Sometimes I think about dating. Only it’s a confusing topic for me. Not the dating part; I know how to do that. It’s more the mental and emotional part that has me uncertain. And not uncertain in an “Am I ready?” way; uncertain in an “I am a madwoman” way.
Worse, it’s more than one concern. So, I’m going to share them here and maybe the act of writing it down will help.
First, there’s the question of why I want to date. Is it because I’m lonely, bored, or restless? Is it because I don’t want to be alone? Is it because I feel a bit of social pressure? Is it because I actually feel that I’m ready to share my life with someone? Is it because I want to have someone to go to the movies with? Or is it because I want someone to curl up on the couch with?
I suppose it could be for all of those reasons. But if I don’t know why I want to date, then how do I know that I should be doing it?
Then, there’s the question of “What if I like him?” I wonder if I would know why? I mean, if I meet some guy and he’s nice and I find myself liking him, how do I know that it’s him I like and not just the idea of him answering/solving the questions I asked about why I want to date? Is he really all that funny? Is he really all that nice? Or am I like the thirsty man who drinks sand in the desert?
But there’s also the question of “What if I don’t like him?” Is it really that I don’t like him? Or am I just afraid and therefore finding flaws in flawless things? Or maybe I’m so confused that I can’t recognise the “spark” that you feel when you meet someone new? Is it because somewhere in my mind he’s not Paul and that makes me feel guilty and so I run? Is it because I’m afraid that others will judge me for dating, so I’m avoiding it? Is it because I’m afraid that if I date, Paul’s family and friends will be hurt?
Of course, there’s also the fear of my legitimate dislike (or maybe just a disinterest) in a guy and when I voice that feeling the guy (or others around me) may think that it’s because I’m holding a candle for someone else and that I’m “damaged by widowhood” or something. And whilst I admit that the concerns above are very much fears based on my marital status, I also know that sometimes I will just not like someone and that it has nothing to do with Paul.
Anyhow, there are millions of other questions and concerns that float through my head as I start to think about re-entering the dating world. And believe it or not, some are even crazier than the ones I’ve shared.
So, I don’t know. Between bad experiences with dating sites and these confusing questions and realisations that keep popping into my head, maybe I ought to just start looking at getting a dozen cats instead …