Dating sucks. Yes, I said it and unapologetically so. The dating pool is like a swamp where waste is also dumped, so there are dead organisms of various types (lazy people and crazy people), fungus (really crazy people like narcissists and serial killers), seawater organisms (salty and bitter people), and freshwater organisms (normal people). I’ll be honest and say that I’m biased because I am admittedly a serial monogamist. Why? Because I hate the act of dating…talking to my fellow swamp people trying to find those in “fresh water” takes so much time, and as a full-time entrepreneur, my time is precious.
Since I’ve been single for most of the year as a 35-year-old woman, I do have a new perspective on dating due to experience, learning, aha moments, and because I’ve seemingly run into a “fresh water” Penis Person. A Penis Person is a male, a name I came up with about a decade ago because the only difference between them and us is a penis. So, I figured that must be the route of what’s wrong with them. With that said, I may be dipping into the “seawater” myself with that hint of saltiness, but I digress.
Here’s what I’ve primarily seen in the dating pool in 2015 that I believe will carry over in 2016: Bustas, Creeps, Fools, and Dudes with Issues. One Busta, after a few weeks of dating, asked me to co-sign a car, asked for money, and even to move in. What? Huh? Am I awake or having a nightmare? I even had an ex who did not respect my boundaries and would show up at my house, multiple times. And yes, I’m only talking about 2015! Between my own dating experiences and stories by fellow single friends I can’t help but have the “WTF” face at times, which kind of looks like this: (Thanks Nicki for nailing a version of the WTF face.)
So what does dating at 35 feel like? Exhausting. At this age, I know what I want from myself, from a man, and from a relationship. It should be simple but it’s not, finding a “fresh water” man that you have an organic connection with that is honest, trustworthy, supportive, intelligent, has the ability to communicate, has common sense, and is just a grown a** man. But this is a 2-way street, I’m sure a “freshwater” man is looking for a “freshwater” woman. A woman that can stimulate his mind, that he can trust, that he can be vulnerable with, a woman to laugh with; in a nutshell, he’s also looking for a grown a** woman who can be a life partner.
I’ve learned a few things about myself and about what I need from a man over the last 6 months, especially over the last few of months of dating someone who is seemingly a “freshwater” organism. I use the term “seemingly” not to add suspicion to his character, but because things are still new and I’m still getting to know him (and him me). What I can say is that so far is that he’s been a really, really great guy. Nonetheless, here is what I’ve learned so far in my dating journey:
- Be vulnerable. If you want to receive what you want in a partner, you have to be open to receive it and you have to be able to communicate your needs.
- Be self aware. What you do, what you say, and the energy you put out is what the other person will likely put back out to you.
- Know what YOU need. Avoid those that have legitimate deal breakers. I dated a bunch of camels in the past, boys that I felt like I had to lead to water. I’m an Alpha Female, I lead in business and I don’t want to have to put in the same concerted effort at home. I need a leader, a thinker, and a true partner (and a planner would be awesome).
- Don’t settle. Wait for the one that makes you feel like your mutual love is Earth shattering, ground breaking, and rare. The guy who texts you back in a reasonable time, makes you feel special, has the ability to be vulnerable, that you can laugh with, act a damn fool with, have amazing conversation with, and have an amazing and organic connection with.
- Leave your baggage at the door. Leave the filth from previous dealings with the opposite sex at the door. The same way you don’t want to deal with someone else’s deep rooted issues, I can guarantee that they don’t want to deal with yours. I don’t want to date someone’s potential, I want to date who they are now in this moment and like them for that.
- Have a sounding board that is NOT just like you. Having a go-to person that can be rational and a devil’s advocate can help you navigate the issues with whomever you decide to date. This person should not be just like you, if they are you will just draw the same conclusions instead of understanding the other person’s perspective. I have a great girlfriend who is not like me who I can talk to when I’m not sure if I’m being irrational, and has no problem calling me out on my bull s**t.
Needless to say, I could talk all day (ALL DAY) about the characters I’ve dated and the lessons I’ve learned, but I would prefer to give you the perspective of a few men instead. I discuss dating quite often with a great male friend of mine, and the stories I hear from him are proof that the dating pool maybe just as swampy for them. So stay tuned for Part II, The Men’s Perspective, this Thursday which will include the thoughts of said male friend, the guy I’m dating, and a guy that I don’t even know.
Crawl inside this body – find me where I am most ruined, love me there.
– Rune Lazuli