Monthly Archives: September 2014

Online dating: Do I, or don’t I?

Online datingI can’t do it. I just … no.

No, this isn’t me whining about my breakup – I mean, yes, breakups suck, but if you do them right they’re a growing process that doesn’t have to end with bitterness and hate. That’s what I hear, anyway – this is the first one I’ve had that’s following that plan.

What I’m dreading now is entering the whole dating scene again. I’m not looking to jump into another relationship, and who knows if I’m really even looking to date anyone right now. But I have been scoping things out on the digital sites and I’ve gotta tell ya’ – it’s kinda scary out there.

On a whim. when I was mad at my ex-boyfriend (breakups are a huge blow to your ego – there’s going to be some anger, even if it’s fleeting), I filled out a profile for one of the online dating sites I used to be on, added a few pictures and posted it to go live. Then I took a look around at some of the men who were on the site.

The majority of the photos were ones I’d seen before – when I was on the site three years ago. I’m not saying they were the same men – they were the same pictures. One complaint I heard from several men the last time I was “out there” was that women posted old photos, or didn’t look like their photos when doing in-person meetings, so I found it particularly interesting that a lot of men – and I mean a lot of men – are still using the same photos from three or more years ago.

Then came the emails. I swear sometimes there’s a code in something I post – a code even I don’t understand or see – that tells men if they have any kind of odd line or strange way of approaching women, I’m the one they should try it out on, just to see if it works. “You look like you’re nice – we should go out sometime.” “What kinds of things turn you on?” “How do you feel about …?”

Ugh.

I hid my profile, thinking maybe I just wasn’t ready yet – it hasn’t been that long and I’m in no hurry. Then I remembered all the great stories I was able to tell (like this one, and this one, and even this one) and thought,┬áif nothing else, it’s a conversation starter. Maybe I should let the profile be public.

But, wow – I’m really not looking forward to it.

 

 

 

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The thing about breakups …

Note: This is not a quest for sympathy or well-wishes. I greatly appreciate your thoughts, but one of the reasons I put this post off for so long is because I made it through the hard part. – Molly

Let’s face it, breakups suck. No matter how amicable, how cordial or how mutual they are, they still suck. Injured heart

Sometimes, as with my recent breakup, the more amicable they are, the more they suck. Rather than having that anger/distrust/rejection/fury that comes with a cheat or a liar, you have … nothing. Hurt and sadness. As we were putting an end to our 2 1/2-year relationship as a couple, we were still telling each other how much we loved each other. We made the obligatory “let’s be friends” promise, but unlike most times those words are spoken, I think we actually meant it. We severed our romantic ties a little more than two weeks ago, but we still chat often.

That’s probably because we really are friends. In the 29 months that we were together, there were no fights – no angry words, no yelling, no arguments. There was one topic on which we disagreed, but conversation – although tears were involved – was just that: conversation. What we did do in that time frame was build a great friendship.

Still, the breakup – like any – still sucks.

Breakups suck because of unfulfilled plans. There are so many little things we were going to do – go to the Quad Cities to see a ball game, go to his favorite breakfast joint before it closed, have the first Christmas in his new place, get all the kids together on Christmas Day to see the final installment of “The Hobbit.” Then there are the bigger things: next summer’s vacation (sadly, the breakup came just two weeks after we had a fabulous vacation in Denver); a “someday” trip to Ireland; trips out east and out west. Many of those I can still do on my own, if I want, and some of them I will. Most, though, I probably won’t.

Breakups suck because, as adults, they’re not just between two people. Two whole families broke up. My daughter created close bonds with his daughters and their children. My son became good friends with the guys in his family. We met and loved each others’ friends. I felt like we were one big family – I loved his kids and grandkids and enjoyed all the time we spent with them. I had a great relationship with his mother, and my parents loved him like they never loved anyone else I’d been with.

Breakups suck because, eventually, you begin to see the holes, the places that the relationship wasn’t as “perfect” as you thought it was. I knew we weren’t perfect, but I honestly thought we’d be riding off into the sunset together.

And breakups suck because the landscape has forever changed. Where once there may have been a clean slate, there is now a “record.” A broken heart mars the playing field.

But breakups are also a time of growth. I don’t regret having given him that chunk of my life – despite the one issue that persisted, it was a very joyous time of my life, where I felt loved and cared for and comfortable. Incredible new people are now a part of my life, in some big or small way, because of him. I learned things and went places I’d never known before. And I pushed myself because of him – not because he asked me to, but because I wanted to be a better person for him, and for me.

And for those things, I will always be grateful.

* * *

Note: Snark will return with the next post. I promise.

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I laugh at your school supplies

20140824_143656You know that Staples commercial, the one with the father pushing his shopping cart down the aisles of the store, skipping and laughing and tossing flower petals along the way?

That’s me this year, only instead of being exorbitantly happy about sending my kids off to school, this year I’m celebrating the relief felt by my wallet.

For the first time in 17 years, I don’t have to buy school supplies. Not a notebook, not a backpack, not even a small rubber eraser.

<insert your own vision of me doing the happy dance here> (You’re welcome.)

My kids, at ages 19 and 22, have made the conscious decision to put off college until they know what they’re really and truly passionate about. Why spend the money, they contend, if they aren’t sure what they want to do? And – since they’re both happily working full-time jobs (albeit at meager wages) – I applaud their logic for now. As every parent does, I want my kids to be happy and successful and to live comfortable lives. That’s my wish for them. The definitions of “happy,” “successful” and “comfortable” are theirs to create.

In the meantime, I’ve been walking blissfully past all of the crayons and notebooks and folders and protractors and too-expensive calculators they’ll likely never use again. I gave a smirk and a nod to the parents scrambling for the school supply lists and hoping they’re not too late to fill it before classes start.

So maybe there’s something to this whole “getting older” thing, after all …

 

 

 

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