For the last few weeks all I can think about is standards, or “setting the bar” in regards to dating. I like to think my bar is high, but I think I might be making it close to impossible to finding someone who meets my standards and preferences. I know what I like and what I refuse to settle for. But what happens when you actually meet someone who checks all, or most of your boxes? Well, let me tell you.
Like most women, I want to be wanted. I want to feel like the other person wants me, or is at least interested in a long term relationship. But on the contrary, he cannot be needy, whiney or over emotional. Independent people don’t have time for someone who doesn’t have his or her own life, hobbies, or own set of friends. We don’t need another shadow or someone who is in constant need of attention. Over communicating is an issue for independent people too. I understand texting is the new form of communication, but oh my God, if someone blows up my phone with text messages it’s an immediate no from me. How have we gone from calling someone we really like, to this extremely informal way of communicating with each other? Gone are the days where we called our crushes on the phone, just to hear their voice. Take me back to the 90’s please. Okay I finished my rant, so now you’re probably wondering how this paragraph ties into the rest of this topic. Keep reading and it will all make sense.
I’ve been told I’m what’s called “hyper independent”. That’s when someone who has been alone for so long, no longer knows how to be in a relationship. We are “set in our ways” and don’t know how to accommodate a new person. I have been single for three years (as most of my blog followers know) and I definitely have my routine down. I cannot deviate away from it, or I have a full blown anxiety attack. How did I figure this out? I actually allowed myself to go on a date with someone who checked every box on my list. Here is how it went.
Boy direct messages girl on social media. Girl likes boy. Boy and girl exchange phone numbers. Boy actually picks up a phone to call girl daily. Girl falls for boy. Boy travels to meet girl in person. Boy and girl have an amazing weekend together. Boy goes home and never calls girl again. Confused? Yeah, me too. Regardless what happened, it was a learning lesson for me. Here is what I learned…
During the amazing weekend with boy, I worked hard to keep a balance between my regular home duties like, cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping and taking care of Livvy, all while attempting to spend time with this guy who selflessly traveled to California to meet me. My weekend was packed full of making sure my daughter was being taken care of, and making sure this boy never felt ignored. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention the mom guilt I felt the entire time I was on a date. It felt like a heavy weight was on my chest. I felt so guilty for leaving Liv home alone with the nanny, so that I could go out for a few hours. It made me feel sick to my stomach. In my mind, all I could think about is if this date was to go terribly wrong then I could’ve been home with Liv, spending valuable time with her. Another lesson I learned is, I am nowhere near ready to start dating again until I can find my balance. Balance between spending time with my daughter, taking care of my normal day to day responsibilities, and spending time with someone I am interested in. Now don’t get me wrong, I really do want to find someone to spend the rest of my life with, but now I have this very irrational fear of someone I like, not feeling the same way back. And that’s okay! I completely understand no one is obligated to have feelings for me, but that doesn’t make it hurt any less. How can we go from having a strong connection, to feeling absolutely nothing? That scares me to pieces. It’s definitely something I never thought would ever happen to me. It’s a terrible feeling for sure. After the incident I spent weeks reliving the weekend trying to figure out if I had said something, or did something to make him feel certain way. It’s been a little over a month since the date, and now I can see some people are not meant to be around you long term, and that everything happens for you, which leads me into learning lesson number three: Not everyone is made to stay. I know this person came into my life for a particular reason. I need to learn to let go of mom guilt, find a new balance or routine, and relax. That entire weekend I was operating mentally at a ten. I was stressed out and very tired. The next time I accept a date, I promised myself I will relax and enjoy the date. I don’t go out much, but even if I did I shouldn’t feel guilty for spending some time away from the baby. No parent should.
We all need to find the perfect balance of self-care, self-love, family and finding love. For me this will take time, but I am actively working on it every day. I am always working to better myself and my reality, and deserve to find my “someone”.
So in conclusion, to the single parent who is trying to get themselves back out there, don’t fall for the first person who comes along (situation dictating of course) and drop the guilt. Don’t become hyper independent, because it’s normal and natural to find someone to spend the rest of your life with (and should!), and don’t lose faith. The right person is out there so never settle.
I have a habit of quoting awesome 80’s songs after each of my posts, so I’ll leave you with Pat Benatar. “Love is a battlefield”.