Being single again after more than twenty years has been an adventure all its own. Truthfully, I wasn’t good at dating in my teens and twenties let alone two decades later. Nonetheless here I am again left to figure out how to navigate dating in the twenty-first century. To make matters more interesting, my newfound freedom coincided with becoming an empty-nester and a career change. In addition to my business degree, I apparently had enrolled in the school of hard knocks.
I am very outgoing so one would think that meeting men and going out on dates would be a cinch but I entered the new and mysterious world of singlehood with my knees trembling. The first five months of being single, my son would tell me, “You don’t even notice men who interested in you, Mom” I intellectually knew he was right, I was closed down. I simply didn’t feel ready to accept attention from the opposite sex.
Eventually one surprise romantic encounter on an airplane broke the thin veneer of this ice queen, rekindling the desire to be loved and cherished again. I was incredibly lucky to find a few great people at the onset to spend quality time with. I didn’t feel like they were suitable life partners for me but they were good souls and nice company.
The following three years were full of entertaining yet mostly bizarre connections with men. It’s as if I was over thinking the whole process and if I wasn’t doing that, I was seeking out very new and unique (to say the least but more on that later) experiences in an attempt to see if they “felt” right. The storyteller in me, loves sharing humorous dating tales. Swapping bad date stories with gal pals seemed like a rite of passage, one I learned that I really hadn’t done much of in my youth. I had quite a few relationships early in my life but I rarely shared the highs and lows with anyone. I have always been a bit of a lone wolf and assumed everyone was like this, that was until I led a Meetup group of single ladies, all forty-five and older. Each of the 200+ members brought their own distinct marriage and dating tales to the table; I was in awe.
Beginning a new career that required me to push myself out of my comfort zone every day was a perfect accompaniment to the challenges of finding a life partner. I quickly adopted the mindset that dating wasn’t bad or scary, it was simply prospecting. In sales we never expect all of the leads to convert to clients so why should dating prospects be any different? Once that attitude prevailed I was free to experiment – heaven help the world! That shift in thought essentially set off what would come to be known as “Bachelorette Meets the Travel Channel” Much like the popular Bachelor and Bachelorette reality programs, I would travel in search of my soulmate, however I wouldn’t date twenty-five men simultaneously and they wouldn’t all flock to one place in hopes of winning my heart. Nah, I march to the beat of my own drum and that dictated that I would travel alone to many places, enjoying my own company and sometimes the company of friends and family so as to put me in a theoretically relaxed state, naturally drawing in people who resonated with my energy. Ah, my energy! That all was predicated on the presumption that my “energy” would always be positive, uplifting and warm, thus magnetizing what I desired. I was in for a dose of reality! As my moods shifted with the stress of completing a divorce and passing my son (best friend) off to college some 2500 miles away, I sometimes found myself in weak or vulnerable states. Guess what I attracted? You got it – controlling partners!
Stay tuned for Part 2 of Bachelorette Meets The Travel Channel…