Online Dating Jungle

Friend zoning, ghosting, bread crumbing, benched, textlationship…what does it all mean?? Online dating is exhausting and confusing – its a jungle out there.

After 9 months of on off online dating, I am left bemused but hopeful as I’ve finally met someone who I really like and who likes me back. I won’t get ahead of myself though because that is not necessarily the end of the story and brings its own issues.

Let me start at the beginning then or the end I suppose; the end of a two and a half year relationship with a man I loved deeply. The problem was he didn’t love himself too much so couldn’t receive my love or give me his in return; he was running on empty. When he ended it, it took me months to untangle myself emotionally.

My online dating experiences were part of that untangling. Here are some of them:

Date 1 – We start texting and have good banter, texts are regular but not taking up too much time and I’m not grasping. We arrange to meet. The date is fun, we get along, chat is easy. After a hug goodnight, I definitely would like a second date. The next day I text as normal and he doesn’t reply as quickly as normal. I sense something is not quite right and then I get friend zoned, translation, he’s not that into me.

Date 2 – A few sporadic texts, not flirtatious at all. Very laid back style almost to the point of wondering if this dude actually wants to text me, let alone meet up. After a few weeks we finally meet and find there is no connection, surprise surprise. We don’t text each other again.

Date 3 – We text and text and text and never meet up and when I suggest meeting, he comes up with excuses. After a few weeks, it fizzles out.

Date 4 – He just wants a bed buddy and then disappears when he meets someone seemingly better, I get benched.

Date 5 – He’s working away for a few months so we begin a textlationship. We get addicted to texting and receiving a text from him gives me a rush. After a length of time and investment, phone calls, sexting, we finally meet, it’s weird physically meeting him but it has potential. Soon after my intuition is pricked that something is off. I’m proven correct, he turns out to not be what I expected. We never speak again.

In between the actual physical dates, there are numerous messages to different men. Sometimes all the texting makes you feel like you are a priority to these people and sometimes you feel the last resort. You are just part of a long list of women being messaged, you are easily benched for a rainy day, you’re in reserve. Sometimes you are simply swiped away and all conversations are lost. They vanish and there is no control over this happening.

The torture of it all, the lessons.

I’ve heard it put that there is a lid for every pot and that dating isn’t a numbers game, since you only need to meet one person…the best one person to fit you.

It does feel like a needle in a haystack. Some people are lucky though, I was the first online date of the man I’m seeing now and I class him lucky that his first date was me! I still would have gone through the roller coaster of my dating experiences if it meant it led to meeting him though. Plus, I have learnt a lot about myself and although I profess it as a negative experience, I am grateful for it all. It has helped me realise a sensible, heart felt list of 6 non negotiables.

It is so important to know what you want in a relationship and stick to your boundaries. Let’s not stay with or make excuses for a man or woman because we think we can change them to fit our non negotiables or because we don’t want to go back to the jungle again. Don’t settle.

Dating in the U bend is undoubtedly tricky to navigate, it seems there are slim pickings out there. Online dating takes time and energy. It’s an important lesson to feel whole and happy in yourself and love yourself before asking someone else to love you. Online dating will not fill a void in your life, it can even feel more vacuous. This is my experience anyway, it was a relief when it stopped. I’ve taken on the lessons, it both helped and hindered my love journey, ultimately, I’m glad it’s over and hopefully I won’t have to log on again.

Be your own Superhero

Take your life seriously, be brave and take action.

With 2017 behind me and 2018 already unfolding, I feel different….renewed. A new energy is motivating me, like all of a sudden my life has just got serious….no, not serious but that I’m taking my life more seriously. Perhaps this is just a January feeling that every new day counts or something, whatever it is, I’m compelled to make some positive changes. How long will this last? Who knows. I do know that it has felt that I’ve lived a lot of my life thus far like a student and now I’m all grown up at 46 with a 9 year old daughter!! Talk about taking my time.

My first post this year was going to be a poem that I wrote a few years ago but it didn’t feel right so for the first time here, I’m just writing my thoughts as they arise in my mind. So apologies if it becomes a little incoherent.

I didn’t realise how the events of last year had taken their toll on me. I know January 1st is just another day but it still holds significance in wiping the slate clean and letting go of the negative emotions associated with the last years shenanigans. My hopes and desires for 2018 are big, I’m dreaming big for love, career, passions and experiences. Why not? I’ve restricted myself so much in the past, feeling not worthy of an amazing relationship, of abundance, of happiness. I’ve had enough of seemingly being dealt and accepting a bad hand, it’s my time to shine and shine I will.

I’ll prove myself right or wrong, whichever, I have no attachment to the outcome, just that a shift is already in motion. The decisions I make from here on in will send me on a particular path and I’m not going to care about the multiple parallel universes where I turn out differently. I’m going to practice mindfulness in this path, in this universe, there is no place for ‘what ifs’ ‘if only’s’ or regrets.

So I urge you and myself to pull our socks up, stand tall, be brave, dream big this year and take action.

Think I’ll set a reminder to read this post at the start of every month!

A little late but Happy New Year x

Midlife break ups

Relationship break ups during midlife, emotional spewing in new relationships and getting to the sweet spot.

Breaking up with someone at any age is hard enough, when it happens in your 40’s and 50’s it can be devastating. It happened to me earlier this year and it knocked me sideways. I had thought that I was set, I had found my forever partner. Finally, it was going to be my happy ever after. When you’re in the U bend of life and find someone who you love and cherish, you would think ‘this is my last love’. Not so, in my case anyway.

We had a very soulful connection, I always said we were made from the same stardust. We both indicated through the few years that we were together that we were ‘soulmates’. I use that term loosely because I believe that one can have many soulmates, some better than others. I had found one of them and I was all in. It turned out that he actually wasn’t, and probably never fully was.

I didn’t understand where his love for me went. He wanted me in his life, loved me and then he didn’t. I did receive some reasons but they didn’t really add up in my mind. I was left feeling bemused, confused and devastated. I had put so much effort, energy, time, support and love into our relationship, and made massive changes in mine and my daughters life, in order for us to be together. When it ended I felt used up and discarded. I spent time soul searching and re-grouping and thankfully had many useful realisations.

One very important one;

Giving each other enough space in a relationship is a massive factor. Space to work things out, space to reawaken ourselves, space for creativity, space to explore. This is important and necessary. My ex didn’t seem to be able to carve this space out for himself whilst in our relationship, he needed to be single to enable this to happen.

New relationships in the U bend

It is difficult to navigate a new relationship in the U bend because there will be a lot of emotional shit to work through. It begs the question; does it have to be this hard?

Well, yes it does. We accumulate so much emotional damage through our decades that it needs to be spewed out. Being in a new relationship highlights it. This spewing can happen at any time but usually occurs soon after the honeymoon period, when being with your partner is like looking in a mirror. The emotional spewing might not last very long or it may be on and off for years. It takes a lot of hard graft, determination and belief in your love for each other to get through it.

I’m exhausted just thinking about it and I can’t quite believe that I’m going to have to do it all over again if I meet someone that I want to really be with. However, the eventual reward of all the hard work is getting to the sweet spot; a more gentle and deeper understanding of each other. An inner peace, trust and knowing that you’re happy together; a relaxation of body, mind and spirit. There will still be ups and downs and stresses of being in the U bend – life beyond the two of you still exists after all – but you’ve got to the place where the emotional spewing has mainly been worked through. You’ve both gone to your edges and found a way to fit together and you’ve learnt how to keep giving each other the space to go to those edges in all aspects of your lives.

My ex just wasn’t up for getting through the emotional spewing time, he gave up too soon. Seemingly he needed space to emotionally spew on his own. I gave him space but he didn’t come back.

I feel different about it all now. I now know that I deserve better, I deserve more, to adore and be adored in equal measure. I need a partner that has the energy and emotional intelligence to work through and go to the edges with me to get to that wonderful sweet spot. That easy place of ebb and flow, so finally I can get my ‘walking into the sunset’ moment, knowing one of the hardest periods is done and I never have to do that bit again.