My palms sweat whenever I think about it. My stomach gets all nervous and gurgly. My heart starts pounding so hard, I fear it will explode from my chest. Some look at the prospect of this endeavor with excitement. I look at it with fear and dread. What am I talking about, you ask?
After 13 years of being attached, I’m looking at the prospect of dating again. The thought brings shivers, and not in a Pointer Sisters “I’m So Excited” kind of way.
I spent nine years with my ex-husband and the last four with my now ex-partner. Facing singledom again, I feel totally unprepared for what might be out there. Never a fan of the dating ritual to begin with, looking at it through older eyes makes the prospect even less appealing.
I was never an active dater. The guys I’ve dated have always been people I’ve known through friends or school. I didn’t do the bar scene for the purpose of finding dates. Besides, I’m a bit of a wallflower and don’t often get noticed in those situations. That’s one reason I’m not looking forward to dating again. I have a bit of a fragile ego and social rejection has a tendency to send me into my shell, vowing to never emerge again.
Dating is not on my immediate horizon. I need some time to myself to just decompress from everything that has gone on the last five years. But one eye is still looking around, just in case. Honestly, I have mixed feelings about the situation. Part of me thinks, “Hey, this will be ok. You can meet some new people, maybe find someone who’s a better match and will show how much they appreciate you.” The other part thinks, “I’d rather be strapped down to a table and forced to listen to non-stop Justin Bieber than go through all the games of dating.”
Let’s also keep in mind that I have a very small dating pool from which to choose. The California Central Valley isn’t exactly lesbian paradise. I’d have better luck in the Bay Area, but I don’t want to move right now. And frankly, some of the women I’ve seen on the dating sites scare the hell out of me.
And what about the rules? How much has changed since I last dated? There’s a scene in “Sleepless in Seattle” where Tom Hanks ask his friend how dating works because he’s been out of that scene for so long. I get that feeling now.
Perhaps I’ll have a more enthusiastic outlook on dating in six months. Maybe the prospects will be better. Maybe I’ll get lucky and meet someone when I least expect it.