2020 as a singleton has been dry – Sahara dry. If I’m honest I needed no help from covid to kill my dating life as it had started so unpromising but atleast I can blame it on the pandemic now. Since lockdown ended though, I have had a couple meets with someone……
Before I get onto that, I’m aware that this is usually the time I write a yearly look-back and gear myself up for a rush of emotions. October, November and December were laden with mind games, emotional lows with the eventual discovery of infidelity. I suppose what I want to acknowledge is that those difficult feelings haven’t been there for many years now so the look-backs no longer feel significant.
Where they have felt significant is probably in conversations I’ve had with divorced men or women through this blog. The early blog pieces relating to my divorce seem useful and fill this gap in knowing we’re not alone. Part of the reason those pieces were written in the first place. I’m also conscious though that the same people could read my pieces and feel deflated. I’ve been single now for longer than I was married and am acutely aware of the fear that could send through someone experiencing divorce thinking about their future.
As strange as it sounds, I do believe I could have been married by now. It’s not that there hasn’t been anybody at all interested or that I’ve not been meeting men. It’s because I don’t want the same.
I feel by saying that, I’m opening myself up to the age old accusation of being fussy. I used to think people assumed I was fussy because they had their own preconceived notions of what I wanted. Perhaps they thought I was waiting for a man with a high-flying career. Perhaps they thought I had a material expectations that a man had to meet. It occurred to me recently that the term fussy is often reserved for women who simply don’t settle down with any man. It doesn’t matter what the reasons are really. If you’re a woman above a certain age and meet a man but you choose not to take it any further then you’re fussy.
I don’t actually look for much other than what’s different to what I had. I’m aware of how controlling families impact relationships so I want different. I’m aware of what happens when a man has no financial maturity so I want different.
Anyway, if it’s not obvious and I have to admit to it, which I hate especially after my dramatic post recently……….I went back onto the app. Damn the vicious cycle that is my dating life. Swearing blind, I would be off it only to realise there weren’t many other ways to go about meeting men, I reactivated the dead.
A swipe, match and coffee was set after an initial, polite hello with a younger weegie man. That’s the fastest meet I’ve ever had and even for me, a definite non-novice, it seemed a bit quick. I preferred it though. That’s where it happened. My first experience of Mr Nice Guy……..who I couldn’t connect with.
It’s a lot easier to end things when the guy is horrid or there is an obvious dealbreaker – it feels more difficult when that infamous connection is missing because HOW DO YOU EXPLAIN THAT TO PAKISTANI PARENTS?
Don’t get me wrong, I could keep it from them and avoid having to do this dance but at the same time, I don’t want to hide my life. So, in a recent catchup with the folks, I mentioned my date. I only had to tell mum that he didn’t pray regularly and he was struck from her good graces – that was easy enough. I was prepared for a lengthier chat with my dad though:
Dad: Some people don’t pray and then they do.
Me: I know and that’s not the issue for me – I struggled in my conversation with him.
Dad: Maybe he was shy
Me: He chatted away, he didn’t seem shy.
Dad: So why did you struggle in conversation if he talks?
Me: The conversation was dull. He could only talk about television and nothing else.
Dad: What about another chance, first meetings aren’t the best.
Me: I did, I invited him for a walk. It was worse.
Dad: *admits defeat* Do I know his parents?
Me: *accepts the invite to end it* No
My dad can, at times, fall into the category of people who make me feel like I should be grateful that a man has shown interest in me. I remind myself though that it’s more to do with his fears than trying to be unkind.
I can probably appreciate why many women don’t tell their folks or even friends about a relationship until it looks like it’s going somewhere for fear of how they might be perceived or made to feel. For me, I counter that through the confidence I have in my own judgement of why I do what I do – some days though, it can still take a bit of navigating!