Adventures in Dating: Brave New World

3 Feb

RJESlpoolI made a conscious decision when I left my marriage not to run the risk of anyone else getting dragged into the fallout. It didn’t matter that I was separated, I’ve witnessed complications from these sort of scenarios before, and there’s honestly nothing worse that trying to embark on a relationship only to have it falter because of other people. It wasn’t until I’d formalised things with my solicitor and began pushing ahead with the paperwork that I took the risk of dipping my toes back into the dating pool, and even then I was holding back.

I still do to be fair. I’m so ridiculously fussy that I find excuses to put off the vast majority of those who express an interest in person or in the virtual sphere. The smattering that get through, and are actually prepared to meet (a tiny fraction really) then have to face off against all my foibles and insecurities.

“Erm, hello. So, yes, I’m 34, divorced. No kids…. No I haven’t so much as spoken to her in years… What do I do? Erm, I’m a freelancer working in the arts… Yeah, no job security. Frequently poor.”

Its little wonder that these things end up as friendships (because frankly I’m actually a pretty decent person) rather than anything romantic or sordid. I haven’t got the hang of selling myself. And then there’s a lot of people put off by someone who is so recently (on paper) divorced. Anxieties that I’m still not yet over the ex. Completely ignoring the timings – now apart longer than we were together. I sort of get why so many divorcees end up together – they at least have some sympathy for each other’s possibilities.

Thanks to that fear of complication, I went so far as to make sure nothing physical happened until my divorce was signed, sealed and delivered. That old taught morality no doubt was rearing its head again telling me I’d be punished for putting myself into compromising positions. The few that I’d have considered had long since found proper partners of their own (and shockingly most are engaged/married themselves now). Timing is everything.

Stepping out post-divorce into a world of romance and sex is a daunting prospect that will probably never get easier. I’ve written before of my utter inadequacy in reading signs let alone acting them out. So concerned about doing the wrong thing I basically do the wrong thing. When to kiss? Appropriate levels of physicality? What’s the rules re. sex? Its not as if I haven’t experience, I’m just a bit fumbly, especially at the onset of these things. Its not like I’ve even had a chance to let them experience my inner kink yet…

But the past is behind me now, and I’m most definitely available, and willing to interact. Sure, I’m not entirely sure what I’m looking for – short-term, long-term, forever friend? but is that so wrong? I don’t want to be pressured into being anything other than myself. I don’t want to find myself leaping into another massive commitment unless it feels right. With any luck someone interesting and myself will find each other and these hang-ups won’t get in the road .

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