h2>Dating : Quitting Dating Didn’t Work for me — So I Decided To Date Myself
Quitting Dating Didn’t Work for me — So I Decided To Date Myself
So there I was, drinking coffee and listening to Sarah rant about her last first date. “I ordered a glass of wine when I walked in, then found him in a corner booth. He’d obviously started drinking way before the date began. Can’t slam down a good red, even if the company sucks. So I listened to him slur on all about how hot I was…and then his wife showed up.” I choked on my coffee and gave her a look. She grinned and said, “No, but that would have been more interesting huh? Really though, he drank three more beers by the time I finished my one glass, was offended when I declined to go make out in his car and sent me a nasty message instead. Delete, block and try again time. But how about you? how’d your last one go?” I groaned and remembered that lovely lost hour I’d never get back, listening to a potential match talk about how crap his ex wife was and how all woman suck but “not you baby. You’re different.” Turns out I wasn’t that different when because I became “just another online bitch. Figures you’re stuck up” when I said no to another date.
“I told you I quit dating for a while. Not going through that mess again. I’m just tired of it.” Sarah snorted and said, “No you won’t. You never quit.” Which is true. Mostly I get through things by sheer force of will. But THIS, I was determined to quit. What was the point? I thought. I just felt bad, and it wasnt making me happy. That lasted for a whole week before angst set in. I kept thinking about the things I missed. Going to the movies, trying new restaurants. Huddling in a coat warming my hands on coffee while watching the sun stretch into a new day. There’s a thousand tiny adventures during the getting to know you phases, and a thousand more as you settle into a relationship. Trying out new recipes, dancing in the kitchen, a decadent bath with wine and stuff. I missed paying attention to someone, trying to make them happy, and being important to someone. I missed romance. And then I thought, Why can’t I give that to myself?
A lot of us have a curious habit of delaying doint things until we have a partner. Of course I’ll do that… when I’ve got someone. We tell ourselves that we’ll see that movie, try that restaurant when there’s someone to go with. We define ourselves as a half of a couple, not a whole person. We wait until we’re complete to really live. I had fallen into that trap. I was defining myself by the absence of someone I hadn’t even met. Why would I do that? I like me. I think I’m pretty darn awesome. I decided to treat me as if I was someone worth spending time with.
I started bringing flowers home because they make me smile. I first bought what I was used to, those showy bouquets my ex dropped off so he wouldn’t have to say the words “I’m sorry, I was wrong.” Then it dawned on me that those weren’t what I liked. So I brought home carnations and poms, daisies and tulips. Simple flowers that last longer and mean more to me. I smiled every time I walked through the door and their happy faces greeted me.
I took myself to a favorite restaurant and to the movies. I walked on the beach. I made time to make myself happy. I dated myself, wooing me. Turns out that it’s a great deal of fun. I took myself on hikes and adventures. Don’t get me wrong, I still made time for family and friends. But all of the things I would do if I had someone — I did anyway. Because I did have someone, and she’s pretty awesome.
The next time Sarah and I hung out over wine, she lamented yet another misadventure in dating. Then she eyed me closely and said, “but you look happy. Relaxed. Did you find someone worth dating?” she about spit out her wine when I replied, that I had. Me. Turns out I was worth dating. Then she listened as I talked about all the date worthy things I had done. “Wow” she said, sighing a little, “I wish I had the courage to do that.”
“Why not,” I asked her. “Don’t you think you’re worth dating too?” And the next date I took myself on I bought sparklers to light up the night. Sparklers make me smile and I deserve to be happy. Why not you indeed. Aren’t you worthy?