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~*•~*•~ December Dating Thread ~•*~•*~ season of giving... but let's give of ourselves wisely!

post #1 of 67
Thread Starter 

Question of the Month:  How is your dating life helping you to grow as a person, and learn how to become more & more the woman & partner you want to be?

post #2 of 67

Question of the Month:  How is your dating life helping you to grow as a person, and learn how to become more & more the woman & partner you want to be?

 

you know what?  dating the man of my dreams has helped me to see where i have been stuck in my life.  i see how i slipped into basing my life on work and home.  i see him as my other puzzle piece and he's that half that i strive toward.  he greets me every morning whether i am with him or not.

 

he encourages me to be productive and pushes me to be a better parent by leading by example.  he is always thoughtful and generous and those are areas that i am working on so that i can soften myself.  it just doesn't get much cooler than that. love.gif

post #3 of 67

That's a great question for the month. I wound up taking quite a while off of dating to work on figuring out for myself what I wanted my life to look like. And I wanted to make sure that I would be able to recognize a bad relationship before I got into it -- it's one thing to have crappy guys in my life, but there's no way I'm letting that into my son's life. Anyway, I did a lot of work and I feel like I got to a good place. I'm really happy with my life as I'm living it -- good work, I'm loving grad school, and DS and I are surrounded by a positive community of friends and family.

I've been seeing the Incredibly Nice Guy for two months now. Things are still really nice. It's building slowly but steadily. I like him, I like his company, I like the life he's living. I like how we are together. It's kind of funny, I've always so strongly identified myself by my intelligence and my education, and for years I kept on dating guys without any education. I've always had this bad habit of basically slumming it. Anyway, it's really nice to be dating someone with a masters degree, in a field that's somewhat similar to mine. And more important than that, it's just nice to be dating someone who values learning and reading and engaging in his community. 

Also, I've had plenty of previous relationships that have gotten way too intense way too fast. For me, that's always warning sign number one for a toxic relationship. I feel like this is developing in a way that's sane, y'know? In this relationship, it's like we're focusing on actually getting to know and understand each other, while maintaining healthy boundaries.

My big fear was that I wouldn't be able to fall in love with a guy who wasn't an alcoholic with a personality disorder, like I could never find a spark with a nice guy. But there's definitely a spark there. It's not that crushing feeling of being in love (which I don't want it to be, not at two months). But at this point it's a really nice tingle. I get a little excited before we hang out and I grin when I see his name on the caller ID.

So yeah. It's good. Cautious but good.

post #4 of 67
Thread Starter 

Yeah, I keep reading over and over again on the dating thread about the benefits of taking a hiatus from dating.


I was wondering what some of the ladies felt like were benefits of actually dating.

 

There must be some, no?

post #5 of 67

Tomorrow I have my first meet up with a guy in a year and a half. He seems really sweet and busy. Busy is good!

 

The benefit for me will be kind of a reality check and progress report. :lol  I've done the no dating work on myself thing again so interacting will help me see how well I've learned some lessons about boundaries. I hope there will be other benefits as well. That's what has probably dragged me out of my hiatus. :lol

post #6 of 67

Interesting...I think my last relationship, which ended ten weeks months ago, taught me a lot - like you say, MamaJen, not to get involved with someone too fast, that that is a warning sign, and to better respect my boundaries. I'm enjoying the fact that right now I am getting to know LCG as a friend and not feeling any pressure to get romantically involved. Today I met with him for a lunch that turned into several hours hanging out together, and it was good but I don't think there is romantic potential for me - from him, I definitely feel attraction but I can't sort of get past the 'dad' vibe of him being so much older than me. I think although I've been ticking along nicely without sex and a relationship lately, there is some unconscious frustration, as last night I had a crazy sexy dream about my friend's husband!! (who I never see as remotely attractive in real life)...weird. I think I am ready to start dating for real again, though. Am thinking of subscribing to a dating site that I've been on for a while and seen a few potentials but who i cant communicate with until i subscribe.

 

Bad Mama Jama, you give me hope! I so want to meet someone like that, that can help bring out the best in me. In the meantime I'm working on bringing out the best in me on my own.

post #7 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Butterflymom View Post

Question of the Month:  How is your dating life helping you to grow as a person, and learn how to become more & more the woman & partner you want to be?


I was married for 15 years and I also got married at the age of 18.  I feel like in many ways I forgot who I was by focusing on being a wife and mother.  In dating I feel like I have rediscovered who I am and what I want and need. 

 

Jennifer 

post #8 of 67

What a great question Butterfly.  Like a pp, I was married quite young, and hadn't had any real dating experience  -- only high school/college flings/hookups, summer things, and one long, top-secret relationship with a woman.  Not much in the way of functional.

So dating, for me, has been a great learning experience.  Dating has taught me to see myself as attractive and confident.  I have also learned so much about how I relate to people, and about trusting my own instincts.  

Right now, my dating life is teaching me patience, and it is teaching me to look within, and hold myself true and accountable to what I find there.

post #9 of 67

Ugh I'm really struggling with the loneliness of not dating.  I'm really trying to hold off and remain picky- not date for fun & short term since I still don't think that's good for me personally right now.  But in the meantime it is SO hard. I'm lonely. 

post #10 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Butterflymom View Post

Question of the Month:  How is your dating life helping you to grow as a person, and learn how to become more & more the woman & partner you want to be?



I'm learning about what I really want.  I'm taking things slow.  I've been doing quite a bit of dating lately and can be honest with the guys I meet.  Out of that honesty, some great friendships have flourished.  I love being able to take the positive from other people.  So dating is helping me get back in touch with those traits I loved about the person I was before my divorce and marriage.  A few examples of this: I'm riding my bicycle more and using my car less, I am once again participating as an activist, I am volunteering every week, I am becoming kinder and more patient...all things that have been in one way or another an influence from my dates.  These are all things that are helping me grow as a person - they bring me back to who I was and these are things I want my daughter to be exposed to. 

As far as how my dating life is helping me be the partner I want to be...I'm not sure.  I haven't found any 1 man that fits my view of who I want to be with.  I feel like I am keeping the boundaries I have set for myself and I'm doing incredibly well in not breaking any self-imposed rules.  It's weird...they don't even feel like rules, it just feels like my new "normal."  In my new normal I come first, I don't let anyone manipulate me, I make healthy choices.  It feels great.  I just wish someone would come along who fits my criteria.  :) 

post #11 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeta View Post

Ugh I'm really struggling with the loneliness of not dating.  I'm really trying to hold off and remain picky- not date for fun & short term since I still don't think that's good for me personally right now.  But in the meantime it is SO hard. I'm lonely. 



Can you do other things?  Like join a local mothering group?  Volunteer?  Something that would put you in direct contact with people so as not to feel so lonely.

 

 

I know what you mean.  I went through a phase when I really longed to be in love, have someone to hold me, etc.  But I think remaining picky is our best bet!  Having frequent get togethers with friends (and all the laughing that comes from that) took me out of that mind set. 

 

Hope this helps. 

post #12 of 67

Zeta, hugs to you. I'm sorry you're feeling lonely. I hope you're able to find some joy and connection in other ways, but I know how sometimes when your heart is set on a partner, it can be hard to see anything BUT that.

 

In complete contradiction to my  last post, I think I am really developing feelings for LCG. He took time off work to drive me back to my city (2 hours away) when I was snowed in and no public transport ws running, and I had to get back to my son. Then he stayed with me and my son hanging out for an afternoon, and man, was he GREAT with him! I thought it was ok for them to meet as i'm a very social person and DS is always meeting new people, and we are not after all a couple *yet*. Also I just realised that the reason I'd felt switched off of him when we met the day before, was b/c I was very stressed about all the trains being cancelled and being unable to get home, and we were meeting in a public place which always makes me feel nervous and self conscious. As soon as we were in his car and then at my place I felt totally relaxed and able to be myself, and we were flowing with each other just fine.

 

Only problem is the 'dark side' is now coming up...sigh, whenever I start feeling really interested in someone, I then get a tad obsessed and needy. Just in my head, nothing I show to the guy. Even though I know he really likes me, by all appearances, and by things he's said, I still feel this c hronic insecurity and want things to be 'settled' so I know where I stand. I am forcing myself to take it easy!I I will see him this weekend for an afternoon, overnight and some of the next day, which Im really looking forward to  now.

post #13 of 67

Hi ladies, thanks for the sympathy! I do feel so lucky to have meaningful work and lots of friends.  I find that the particular companionship a man can offer - well I miss it.  I'm not talking about sex.  Anyway I am sitting with it.  i did contact CB and we are exploring whether we might resume or not.  We have so much to offer each other, but I have asked for things that I would need, and we'll see where that goes. 

post #14 of 67

Decided not to resume with CB.  Back to regularly scheduled loneliness.  :-)

post #15 of 67
Thread Starter 

Devaya, I am queen of the dark side. Butterfly Vader, I guess.

 

Actually, I feel like I surprisingly don't care what happens with Cool as a Cucumber.  He is a wonderful, sensitive, giving, warm man.  But if he and I just can't connect in every way, and he doesn't want to eventually make slow steps towards opening up more and more of himself to me, to help me feel close and bonded to him, then that's not my fault.  I'm doing everything I can not to jeopardize things with a sweet guy who clearly cares about me and has the character of a man I'd want to have a family with and want in my sons' lives.  But I can't affect the outcome by wanting it to work, only being the kind of girl who a man of such kindness and morals would want to be with.  I admire and look up to him and I guess that's my answer to the question of the month.  I want to deserve a man who is so zen & pure.  I tend to be more zealous, neurotic, and over-the-top.  He seems to care deeply anyways, so it is affirmation that I am silly to doubt my worthiness for someone stable, giving, and honest.

 

In order to detach from the outcome, and since Cucumber's never asked me to be 100% exclusive or 'boyfriend/girlfriend' (or 'in a relationship' on facebook or anything like that), I accepted an offer for coffee with a cute single man a couple of years younger than myself, and it was today and went well.  I guess I mostly needed something to get my mind off the fact that things are still just budding and building with Cucumber and quite uncertain as to whether we'll end up seriously partnering up or not, and it's not wise to try to force things in one direction or another prematurely.  I need to be patient and refrain from obsessing..... and the fact is that I am still a single, independent woman who isn't in any defined relationship, so why not accept an appealing offer of drinking tea/coffee with another man?  Gave me something else to think about for half a day, and helped me not to overanalyze each moment of contact with Cucumber for signs to whether he's falling in love with me, and thinking long term, -- or not.  

 

The weird thing is that I fully expected this guy (I'll call him Volleyball Dude) to spend some time with my bubbly self and hear more about my drama with my ex & custody and then poof! (vanish).  Text messages within minutes of the end of our 2 hour coffee date confirm that he is feeling quite the contrary and .....seemingly completely interested in me.  Shocked.

 

He lives in a different city, where I was just visiting today.  And I barely know him, or feel anything about him so far, other than flattered.   But he seemed very sweet, and pretty charming in general.  

This little turn of events is anyway helping me to stay in the moment of each day for what it is, and get my head out of the clouds in terms of Cucumber-obsessing.

 

Anyone on this thread think that my reasoning sounds like rationalization and I'm really a scumbag?

post #16 of 67
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeta View Post

Decided not to resume with CB.  Back to regularly scheduled loneliness.  :-)


Why?  lurk.gif

post #17 of 67

why?  because he's kind of hot and cold, and I need more consistent warmth.  he's not able to give it, it scares him. we just are at two different places.  we have so much in common and have such a blast together, but i have learned that I do get attached to boys even if my intentions are to keep it light.  we talked about it very carefully and honestly.  I do find it disappointing, but there it is.  I miss him.

 

devaya it sounds like things are evolving nicely with your possible love interest, and i think it's great the way you've been letting it just unfold.

 

butterfly- your situation with cucumber would drive me crazy.  i'd have to ask him about exclusivity at least. i'm sick of the stereotype of the woman being needy.  screw that.  i think it's okay for a woman to desire connection and exclusivity if she's becoming close to someone.  he does sound like an interesting guy- but the contrast between emotional availability & emotional unavailability (or vagueness) would drive me batty.  just me.

post #18 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Devaya View Post

Bad Mama Jama, you give me hope! I so want to meet someone like that, that can help bring out the best in me. In the meantime I'm working on bringing out the best in me on my own.

What's funny is that I had stopped dating.  I wasn't looking for anything.  I had given up and then it just happened.  With just a little push.  I also heeded some advice that I needed to make sure that I was the kind of person that I was looking for -- if that makes sense.  I had to redefine who I was and being by myself definitely helped in that process.

 

I thank you.  I am pleased and it's nice to be really cared for because that has not happened in quite a while and I had to retrain myself to accept it.  What a learning curve!

post #19 of 67

Dating as a mom is stressful for me. Before I would just go with the flow. But now I feel guilty when I go out....so I think it changed me in a neg away. But I mostly want to make myself and my son happy.

post #20 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Butterflymom View Post


 

Anyone on this thread think that my reasoning sounds like rationalization and I'm really a scumbag?

 

I just wanted to give kudos to you, Butterflymom!  I don't think you are rationalizing or a scumbag!  I think you are being very smart.  If you and Cool as Cucumber haven't had that "talk," then I think you are very smart to do as any single, independent woman is able to do... date others. 

 

Dating more than one person at a time really helps to deintensify the beginnings of a relationship, gives you time to really get to know each person and allows you to assess the health of each dating experience, as you will have a clear basis for comparison and a chance to see who is best for YOU.  Plus, it gives you a built-in reality check to insure you see things more clearly.    

 

Although, if you feel ready to make that leap with CAC, perhaps it is a good time to bring up the conversation? 

 

Anyway, that is my .02.   Two cents from a girl on a self-prescribe one-year celibacy stint, so perhaps you might want to take it with a grain of salt!   Sheepish.gif

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