I am dating. I think. No, I am…I am dating. My ex knows (save yourself the trouble of leaving a “you’re so stupid!” comment; honesty is my thing), my friends know, my therapist will know…as soon as I find one.
One might consider dating ill-advised at this stage in my life and divorce proceedings. Unfortunately, other than my kids still being outrageously adorable super geniuses, and this new dating thing, life is pretty fucking horrible right now. Therefore, I need to find my happy wherever I can so as not to lose my shit in a large-scale kinda way. Save your judgement and just enjoy the fact that I’m willing to kiss and tell… a little.
What I like about dating…
1. Dating gets me out of the house and into wondrous places where grown-ups gather. On dates I have eaten dinner in restaurants without any children at my table. I consumed alcoholic beverages and ate my meals slowly in these restaurants. I completed sentences and listened to other grown-ups complete sentences. I’ve gone to movies that had no animation or singing. I’ve even gone to movies in theaters that also serve alcoholic beverages. I’ve gone to hear live music and danced in a crowd with a hot potato’s hands on my hips. I’ve stayed up late and worn clean clothes going to these grown-up places.
2. Flirting. I almost forgot how fun it is to flirt. I’m still only slightly above awkward teenager with the in-person flirting (unless alcohol is involved, in which case I’m right at awkward teenager) but I think my written communication skills make up for it–if you like that sort of thing, that is. I like that sort of thing very much and definitely enjoy being flirted with. Compliments, winks, and banter are all very uplifting and stress reducing, I have found. Being told I’m pretty is nice too… no matter how much of a feminist I am. It makes me blush and blushing is fun, in a slightly uncomfortable way… like sneezing.
3. Stress Relief. Many dating-related activities can be very aerobic and, therefore, stress-relieving. Hiking is one such activity, dancing is too, hot-tubbing may be another; feel free to make up your own as you go along.
I admit that all this fun comes at a price. My new adventures in dating did not come with a Get Out of Neurotic Jail for Free card. In my 20’s my neurotic dating thoughts were mostly, “I wonder how he feels about me and where he sees this relationship going?” These days my head is full of, “How do I feel about him? What about right now? How will I feel tomorrow? Where do I see this relationship going? Oh fuck! Where do I see my life going? Shit, I am so unprepared for this!” I like to play this tape on a repetitive thought loop at highly inconvenient moments. So that’s a downside.
Here’s the thing; I am a highly neurotic person and if it wasn’t this, it would be something else. My brain is compelled to freak and fixate… it’s what I do best. At least this mess comes with great perks and leaves a smile on my face at the end of an evening.