Let’s talk about why you don’t like me! :) Well, maybe not you in particularly, but we will address those in general who deem themselves as “Alicia Fancy Pants Critics”. Although this could easily go from a short blog to a long book defending all of the things I am criticized for, we will keep it to the subject of dating today (which will probably still turn out longer than I intended). For all you grammar critics out there, please note that this was not proofed before posting. I am simply jotting thoughts down and wanted to get them out there before my 2014 blog absence started mirroring the 2013 absences. Plus, the self-appointed proofer I have is MIA tonight so hopefully he won’t cringe too badly when reading this! :)
So i date. I date a lot. I’m not sure what the average single person racks up in dating numbers but I would venture to say that I am above the average if not blowing them out of the water. I have lost count at the dating advice I have been given or the eye rolls I have received from friends and family. Everyone knows how Alicia should date, or so they think. Although most of the conversations my friends or family try to have with me about dating come out of love and only wanting the best for me, there are more times than not that judgement comes from the method of dating I use as well as the amount of dates I have been on.
I would also report that the minute I publicly claim to be dating someone “steady” via Facebook, people rejoice and hold their breath wondering how long it will last. There are some who think that your existence is only validated if you are in a relationship. Unfortunately I see this mostly from my hometown crowd. It was hard to deal with that mentality being forced on you growing up and even harder to see it being embedded into the minds of young girls growing up there today. There are those who think that because I am single, I must be unhappy. I must look at every couple and envy them all while crying myself to sleep hoping that prince charming is right around the corner for me. It’s also assumed that I hate Valentine’s day because I am single. (Which is not the case. We can discuss that later though)
Let me set the record straight. I am happy. Happier than I have ever been in my entire life actually. And because of that, I am able to look at this whole dating thing a little differently than people would expect me to. Because of FINALLY being happy with myself and who I am, I am able to have the following outlook in answer to critics of a serial dater :)
So I have a lot of dates. With most of them being “one date wonders”.
- At least I am not sitting at home depressed about being single
- At least I am putting myself out there despite how many times I have had relationships fail miserably.
- At least I am willing to meet all types of people versus narrowing the field to a checklist of things
- At least I don’t get down and out when one doesn’t work (ok, some may cause temporary “down and outness” that results in talking it over and analyzing with friends. Those times are getting fewer and fewer though)
I keep my great big heart open. More times than not it has been handled very poorly by the other person. And more times than not it has felt hurt from love/dating versus happiness. But every single time that has happened, I have learned from it. I continue to grow. Plus, I keep REALLY GREAT heart glue around!
So I online date. I online date so much that I expect some of the sites to contact me any day now to become a consultant.
- My circle of friends doesn’t have too many single men
- I can’t stay up late enough for the bar scene anymore – nor do I care to meet anyone there. Even if I could stay up, I certainly couldn’t dress the part. The thought of wearing heels and a spanx for hours at a smoky bar makes me cringe.
- Because I am busy with work, friends, family, etc, online dating is a way to easily check out people in my area while sitting in my jammies and no makeup. There are more than one out there that I am thankful I talked to online versus meeting them for the first time in person. If I would have curled my hair, put on my best outfit, and sprayed perfume to meet some of these people blindly, I would’ve been super disappointed that all that work was wasted. Trust me.
I exercise caution and try to be as smart as possible in online dating. A friend always knows who I am out with including his phone number. I have learned the hard way how to detect red flags and have exited many situations because of them.
So I fall fast. When I do meet someone, if I like them and feel a strong enough connection, I tend to jump in with both feet (and hands, head, heart, all of it).
- At least I am not letting past jerks ruin me to being open for love should it come along. (That doesn’t mean past damage isn’t there to deal with by any means. It just means that I keep moving)
- At least I know my heart is HUGE and capable of feeling pitter patters :)
- At least I trust myself enough to fall knowing that it may not work and that’s ok
I am working on this area more than any other in my dating life right now. Goodness knows it needs it. But I will never apologize for the loving spirit I have even if it does seem to live on fast forward.
Look. In all areas of our lives we are encouraged to pursue only the best. We are challenged to be ambitious in our careers. We are told to go after what we want in areas of work, dreams, goals, etc. Yet, in the area of love, we are just supposed to sit and wait for Prince Charming to come. Well, I’m not buying it. If you sit at home eating grapes, wearing flannel jammies, and a face mask thinking Mr. Right is just going to show up at your door and say “hi, I’m here, I’m the one for you”….you’re just crazy. Not happening. I refuse to sit at home, church, the grocery store, or anywhere else thinking that love will magically appear and find me. Is there a chance that at those places love will cross my path? Maybe. (by the way, I’m not sure there is anywhere in the bible that Jesus specifically says “wait on your soul mate at home – I have one for you. That, however is a whole other topic we won’t get into). But I certainly won’t know if it crosses my path if I’m not out there searching.
I will guard my heart but I will not close it. I will take time to heal when necessary so that I don’t lose trust or become too hurt to let the right person in.
As long as I am being true to myself. As long as I am being wiser rather than blinder. As long as I don’t become a bitter, unkind soul………I will date. And I will enjoy it. I will look back on it someday with many stories to share about the journey that I went on leading me to “the one” and how great it was to find him after all I had been through!
The end :)