That's kinda funny when I think about it. I mean, don't get me wrong, it isn't that I want to be single. That wasn't always a dream of mine along with the perfect house in the perfect school district. But is also wasn't something that upset me either. Well, it was when it originally happened, but since then I have really come to terms with being a single mom. I wanted to do this. I wanted to have the two kids and focus on them. My thought was that once I got through the finding a donor phase, and then the getting pregnant phase, and then the pregnancy phase, and then newborn phase, and then baby phase...then I would think about maybe finding someone. You see how that works? See how I just kept shoving that part of my life further and further away? Pushing it way far into the future so it wasn't something I had to put onto my plate of "things to deal with?"
I have a good friend who has been asking me about dating forever. For the longest time I simply wasn't ready. I couldn't even imagine going down that road. Then there was the period of time where I really wasn't in a good space to even think about it. I was still so angry and damaged from my past relationship that I had NO concept that there were people out there who didn't want to destroy me. Then there was the time when I simply couldn't imagine having a relationship not feel like it was literally sucking the life out of me. I couldn't even fathom thinking about having someone else in my life because that other person would just be someone who wanted something from me, who needed me to make them feel a certain way... And I had nothing left over to give. Everything I had to give I gave to my kids and if there was a tiny smidgen of anything left over, I needed to learn how to give it to myself.
Time has passed, and all those distractions (I lived through getting pregnant, pregnancy, babyhood...) have slowed down a bit. The time has also helped me realize that there are some nice things about being in a relationship with someone. I can see through the fog to see that another person wouldn't necessarily be sucking me dry, but perhaps I might LIKE to spend time with that person. Perhaps I would even look forward to it. Perhaps they might even bring a little extra something to my life that is missing. And perhaps figuring out how to make that happen could be giving myself that extra something that I need. Maybe that is what I need to do FOR myself, you know?
So now, almost exactly (wow, just did the math...trippy timing of this post) two years after The Ex and I broke up for good, I can officially; kinda sorta, say that I am ready to start dating. Gulp. Did I just say that out loud? But here's the funny part. When I finally get to this point, when I finally realize that it might be okay, and that it isn't the scariest thing in the world...I have to figure out how the hell to make that happen. I mean seriously. I am a single mother who owns her own business and works almost full time. When the hell do I fit in dating? Because there isn't a moment of any day that goes by with me sitting on the couch with my feet up thinking, "Wow, lots of spare time on my hands...wonder what I should do to pass the time?" I mean seriously. When exactly am I supposed to make this happen? During the time of day after I pick my kids up from daycare and before I put them to bed? I think not. During the hour long period of the evening after I've put my kids to bed before I retire myself? Seriously...where am I supposed to fit it in?
AND. Say I have carved out a little slice of time in my life to make this happen. Say I have hired a babysitter for one night a week to go out for 3 hours to enjoy myself. How the hell do I find someone to go out with? I am 35 years old and have two kids. The last time I dated was when I was 26 years old. Things are a little different now. I can't wait until it's "Girl's Night" at the local gay bar and go out and have a few drinks and see what happens. I can't roam The Castro giving looks to the ladies I think are hot. It has been nearly 10 years and I have NO IDEA how to go about finding a date. What do you do once you are past the bar scene? Seriously. I know there are the internet dating sites, but is that my only option? Do I have to try and take some flattering photos of myself and try and write something witty to post out on the internet for all to see and hope someone finds me mildly attractive? Plus, I know for almost a fact that my Ex frequents almost all of those internet dating sites and I just don't feel like I want her able to see me throwing myself out there. I don't want her to have that power. Plus, she's been dating forever. She's an old hand at this. She would look at my rookie ways and laugh. Or at least I feel like that'd be what she was doing. Ideally I would love someone who knows me well to say, "Hey, I know the perfect person for you. We are actually having a big BBQ at our house this weekend and she'll be there. Why don't you stop by and see..." And then I go to their house and this woman is beautiful (to me, not necessarily beautiful in the aesthetic sense of the word) and fabulous and we are like perfect little lesbians who meet and ride off into the sunset together.
But I know that's not how it is going to happen. I know most of my readers are happily coupled with their partner of choice, but does anyone have any advice? If after 10 years of being out of the loop, once one decides she might be ready to start dating again...how the hell does one go about doing it?