Valentine’s Day and Dating

I see a lot of posts on social media sites sending the Happy Valentine‘s love message to their friends, family and significant others. For most of us who aren’t currently in a relationship, we don’t like seeing these posts. We wish we had someone to buy a gift for or go out for dinner with or stay in eating by candlelight while indulging in some much-deserved romance with our significant other. Unfortunately we can’t do these things since we’re still single, possibly still dating and have not yet been lucky enough to find our

special someone.

I realize not everyone shares this viewpoint. There are many who are perfectly happy and content with being single and love the single life and have no regrets regarding the path their lives have taken. To them I say “good for you!” It is good to know that there are people out there who don’t dream of romantic getaways for two or sharing dinners or movies with their best friend/partner or sleeping late on Sundays with someone they love. But I am not one of those people.

For as long as I can remember I have always wanted a best friend to share my life with. To hold hands with, to dance with, to share a romantic dinner with to escape for a weekend getaway with. Alas, that was not to be. I married at a very young age (by today’s standards), and for all the wrong reasons and have now been divorced for 11 years. For most of those years I was perfectly content being single. Sure I didn’t like when Valentine’s Day came along and I found myself (yet again), still single and feeling envious of those who no longer had to keep looking for their “someone,” but it would pass quickly and another year would go by.

But then something changed. I filled out an online dating profile recently and I started getting attention. Male attention. And it was good and it was fun and I started imagining what it would be like to go out on Friday nights with a date. Or spend a Saturday with someone who was attracted to me. Or even just have someone of the opposite sex to talk to.

Sounds good right? Well yes and no. I have successfully shed my indifference to dating and the possibility of finding someone to share my life with. But the reality of that is not as simple as just waking up to the possibilities. I may have removed my indifference, but the actual “finding” part will take time. They say that whatever you are looking for will show up when you least expect it and I believe that to be true. The more aware I am of the fact that I am “alone” and the more attention I give it, the more likely I am to not find anyone for the simple fact that I keep focusing on what isn’t here.

So what’s a single guy or girl to do? Stop looking? Well no, that obviously won’t work either but as they say, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. The best thing you can do and what I am going to be doing, is to work on improving my perception of myself, creating a life that has room for someone else, keeping a flexible schedule that allows for the unexpected and making room in my thoughts and my life for someone else to fit into, all while doing things I enjoy doing that make me happy and fulfilled and desirable to others.

In essence I will become a magnet for what I am looking for. Are you a magnet?

For fun: Wiki Love                                For a bit of yum: Spoonful

For men: Ask Men                                For women: Your Tango

Dating, Sex, Love

I wasn’t trying to find love online nor was I planning to start dating after a long absence from the dating scene. I came to have a profile by doing a favor for someone whereby I couldn’t compare his profile to others without having a profile of my own. So long story short I created a profile and that as they say was that. I had every intention of deleting it soon after I posted one but before I could, I started getting emails from guys who wanted to meet me.

My first response to this unexpected development was um, why? It’s not that I think I’m not date-worthy or anything, but I haven’t had any attention from men in such a long time that I’d forgotten what it was like. I also hadn’t put much effort into my profile, yet given the attention I was receiving I was obviously wrong.

After creating a new profile on a new site, I realized that I had some serious misgivings about a lot of things. Such as, my appearance, my self-talk, my lifestyle and how felt about my life at present. So I began making changes while I continued flirting my way through what I still perceive as a rather muddy minefield of not knowing how to proceed. What surprised me the most about this adventure is just how much I’ve learned about myself and what I want out of life. I can now comfortably accept compliments by men without laughing out loud. I am no longer blind-sided or left speechless by the more suggestive and/or direct messages I sometimes receive and have realized that sometimes the best reply I can give is that of silence when I have absolutely zero interest in the sender.

I am now in my 40’s and I find it oh so flattering when I receive compliments and suggestive messages from men in their 20’s. Although complimentary, there is such a thing as just too damn young. For a short time I entertained the “younger man” fantasy but it didn’t last long. I mean seriously? These “men” are barely out of college, whereas I’ve lived through more major life changes than most for someone my age and there is no way I would ever be able to take anything they said or did seriously without visibly rolling my eyes while smiling knowingly and biting my tongue – hard… lol. Which obviously would not go over well, so why go there?

If I were to give advice I would say that online dating isn’t for everyone. Bring a very well-developed sense of humour and an open mind. If someone suggests “exchanging photos” with you, just say no. Unless of course you want your inbox flooded with some VERY adult images, make sure you know what they want to send before agreeing to this, and DON’T use your main email address…make one just for dating that if necessary can be deleted later. If someone has no profile photo or no details in their profile, ask them why that is. Most men who are married, separated, in a relationship or otherwise “not single” won’t include a profile image for the simple reason that they don’t want to get caught. Also if someone has to ask you “what are you looking for on this site?” all they really want to know is whether or not you’re available for sex and they didn’t read your profile.

Last but not least, I no longer expect anything from any of the men I communicate with online. Regardless of their initial interest, regardless of how many times they message you or compliment you or otherwise behave as though they REALLY want to meet you – don’t hold your breath. I’ve had all these things happen and more with the result being that I’ve met a total of 2 men in 4 months, and have never seen or heard from either again.

Online dating is not a quick way to meet people. It is not a great way to meet people, nor is it filled with people who are seeking a relationship on the same level you are. It is just as hard and just as frustrating as any other way you might possibly stumble upon meeting that special someone. Just like building a relationship, online dating takes time and effort so keep that in mind if you ever decide to dip your toes into the deep end of online dating.

Writer’s Write….Sometimes

I must be bored. It’s the only thing that comes to mind to explain why I’m feeling so compelled to keep writing. I mentioned earlier that I struggle with being succinct, but I don’t believe that is the real trouble. I think the real trouble stems from the fact that as a writer, writer’s write and I haven’t written anything much more than the occasional tweet in many, many years.

Sure I’ve written blog posts and content here and there. Posted the occasional rant or comment on Facebook or made my interests or thoughts known in conversation or shared images of interest on Pinterest. But all that is just avoidance of who I am at the heart of everything that is me. I am a writer. I should be writing on a regular basis. Even if that means short blog posts or excerpts of fiction or commenting on current events that interest me.

I am opinionated. I have ideas all the time. I have comments to make about a wide variety of topics that can’t possibly be addressed in a 140 character tweet on Twitter. So why don’t I write? Well for the same reason that many writers avoid the page or the word document or the blog. We convince ourselves that what we have to say isn’t important or that no one will read it or that someone else has already said it and probably has said it better than we can.

But this is all a lie we like to hide behind. The fact of the matter is, is that no one sees the world the way you do. No one experiences life the same way you do, no one has had the same experiences you’ve experienced from your unique perspective. There is no one else that is YOU. And if you can write about it, how do you know that there isn’t someone out there who would benefit or appreciate what you have to say about a topic that interests them or helps them in some way?

I think that if you can write and you can share stories or experiences that helps others connect to life, love, the world or other communities you should be writing. And honestly, it doesn’t REALLY matter if you don’t connect to someone who needs to see or read your words. What matters is that you honor yourself by writing for you.

I’ve Been Bad

Fog Ahead

“Fog Ahead”
Photo credit: Julie Thibodeau

I can’t believe how long it’s been since I last wrote a post for my blog. When I visited it last week I was not impressed by the format or the look of my page, so I changed it. I find it interesting that my last post is dated almost exactly one year ago today. What is it about February that makes me want to write? Musings for another day perhaps.

I’ve always thought that at some point in my life my main source of income would come from writing. Some far-off day in the future when my work would be published and people would know my name and everyone who liked my work would be salivating for more. (Seriously, what writer doesn’t dream of that?)

After reading through some of my posts I was again struck by how well-written my work actually is. How even I as the author feel compelled to keep reading, even though I was the one to write it. I will be the first to admit that it is in no way “perfect.” I still tend to include too many run-on sentences and can be much too wordy at times and being succinct has always been a challenge, and yet the writing is tight, stays on topic and rarely goes off on a tangent into some wild foray into irrelevance. Which was a problem for me many years ago but I have since learned how to avoid such pitfalls.

Basically I can see that my writing has improved a lot over the years even despite the fact that I don’t spend nearly as much time on perfecting my craft as most say you should. So why don’t I write more often you ask? Well I just asked myself that same question and my answer felt rather feeble.

As someone with as many varying interests, experiences and passions as I have, my biggest challenge is finding a topic that I want to stick with, and topics I have in spades. From my list of experiences, I could write about divorce, relationships, children with special needs, death of a parent, single parenthood, job searches, employment experiences from all the different positions I’ve had and even chronic illness. From an interest perspective, my writing topics could range from oracle card readings to history, from writing about writing to sharing dreams and dream techniques to chakras and Reiki. In the well of non-fiction ideas my cup “runneth over.” And if I were so inclined, I could probably write some fiction pieces ranging from romance and erotica, to mystery and horror. And therein lies my dilemma.

I think I have too many topics to choose from and no clear idea of what topic or interest will hold my interest and thus that of my readers. But then again, maybe that too is just an excuse not to write? I will be a very happy camper when all my questions no longer need answers for the simple fact that I will no longer need them because I will be writing. Period.