Speed Dating & The Lure of the Brits

Last month I hit somewhat of a milestone and entered my 4th decade. It was without much fuss; a quiet celebration with family and lots of well-wishes from friends. I can’t say I turned 40 with complete neutrality. I spent a few days in contemplation about my life and what I haven’t yet accomplished, things I could do to change what I didn’t like and things I had no control over. It didn’t send me into a tailspin of depression, but it did give me pause. I absorbed it and I’ve moved on and I’m pretty determined to make this decade different in lots of ways.

I’ve also re-entered the world of dating. I’ve not been able to bring myself to put up an online profile, but I did join a singles group and went out with someone from that. I also did something that always mostly sounded like an entry-way to hell, but was also kind of intriguing: Speed Dating. To my utter surprise, it was pretty fun. I met nine single men and spent exactly six minutes talking to each of them. At the end of the evening we turned in sheets of paper that tallied who we had said “yes” or “no” to. The next day I received an email letting me know that six men had said “yes”, two of whom I’d also said shown interest in. As far as percentages go, 66% of the men finding me interesting enough to see again is pretty flattering, right? Ha! Perhaps it’s ego or simply insecurity, but I immediately wanted to know why the other 33% didn’t find me attractive!

Unfortunately, I’ve found that meeting face-to-face doesn’t seem to be any easier of a path to dating bliss than putting up an online profile. The other night I had my second date with an interesting British man. Educated, intelligent and a devoted father, we seemed to find a connection. However, he said several things throughout our date that tweaked my intuition the wrong way. When we got back to my place, he decided he wanted to get frisky and began to become very aggressive. I put the brakes on several times and finally told him outright that I didn’t plan to sleep with him that evening. He would back off momentarily, then begin trying to change my mind after just a few minutes. Finally, in what I now recognize as a pattern of passiveness and non-confrontation I need to work on in myself, I let him know that I was on my period. He paused for a few minutes, then said in his eloquent British accent: “Well, I’m sure you’ve had sex on your period before.” I assured him that would not be the case tonight. He left shortly after that.

It often takes me awhile to process things, so the next morning when he set up a date for later in the week, I agreed. I even told myself (how many times do I have to make this mistake?) that maybe I was mistaken about what my gut was telling me. Of course, the last two days my intuition has been screaming at me and I’ve felt very stressed out realizing that the guy I was initially excited about seemed to have some issues I didn’t want to have to be stuck with. Tonight he texted me to cancel our date with “Sorry–I have to cancel for ****”. That was it. When I replied back with a casual, “Everything ok?”, he let me know he’d had a date over the weekend and wanted to see how things progressed with her before going any further with me. Uhm….ok. I guess I didn’t put out fast enough and I find myself tremendously glad that I stuck to my own resolve about only sleeping with someone if I really felt like I wanted to and was ready. I don’t think I’ll hear from him again, but part of me really hopes I do so that I can completely ignore him. Because he didn’t even say “I don’t think we’re right for each other.” He kept the door open just enough in case he decides he wants to walk through it again. Fortunately, that IS one lesson I’ve learned! The one I haven’t quite mastered, apparently, is listening to my inner voice and not trying to make excuse just because someone has one or two of the things I’m looking for.

It’s just hard–I’m lonely and I’m tired of looking. It’s frustrating to keep meeting the wrong men, over and over again. I know there are people out there who are right for me, but where are they? I’m ready to meet them, right now! At the same time, I don’t want to settle for someone who is only half right for me, just because I’m lonely. So…I guess I’ll just keep putting myself out there. Trying to not fixate on it. Living my life and trying to make it as full and happy as I can without a partner. I’ve got another speed dating event lined up next month, so who knows?

 

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