That was me...up until the end of October.
At seven months in, this is the longest I’ve ever been single. Imagine being in a relationship for all of your adult life, then bam! The unexpected happens, and there you are. A grown woman, and mother who has never dated. Suddenly, I am in unchartered territory...this including online dating. Women friends close in age who are happily married hear this, and clutch their husbands a little tighter. Horrified, they tell me they could never imagine being in my position, and couldn't possibly do it. I get it. I had the same reaction to stories of the unthinkable over the years.
I can totally remember hearing about something called match.com for the first time close to a decade or so ago. This was a place where you looked for a partner online! I thought that if people had to resort to this, then they must be totally and completely desperate. How sad for them. I also felt very lucky, if not a bit smug, because I would never need that sort of thing.
But here we are. And you better believe I had residual judgement coming with me into this new chapter of my life. But at almost three months into online dating, my thoughts about it are completely different than what I ever could have imagined.
I quickly learned that in 2018, having tinder and bumble is hardly different from having snapchat and instagram. Everybody's doing it. I've heard complaints of "hook-up culture", and the confusion of "hanging out" rather than legit dates. I'd gone out on a few set-ups which were complete duds (and ghosters). So, despite my nervousness about it, I knew I would need to take matters into my own hands. One night, I poured a glass of champagne and downloaded the first of the two.
I'm constantly learning more about what I do, and don't want. As I've gained experience and can compare, it's easy for me to see who I'm drawn to, and why. The why is important to me, as I want to be as smart as I can about this. I'm also able to learn and practice new skills that I hadn't had to before. It's been nice for me to build my confidence with dating, after feeling so low this summer. I don't know that I'm back at 100%, but I'm coming "back" more every day. And the only way to ensure this keeps happening, is forward momentum, and moving on with my life.