So I’m back out there in the dating world, and quickly connected with someone local. Plus someone in Brisbane. And someone else fairly nearby. Go G! My profile is clear though: with my bruised heart, all I want is casual fun, a bit of exploring and play, and definitely non-monogamy for now.
One person usually rises up above the rest, in terms of attention or connection; messages sometimes fly (or crawl) back and forth, and I totally go with the flow, without too much expectation if possible (the key to online dating in my experience). I like to be spontaneous, so if someone is free on the day (or evening) I am, I’m up for meeting- this is definitely easier when dating women rather than men, when I had to be more safety-conscious.
Now, I’m only 3 months out of a serious, loving and important relationship, thus I need to protect my heart; I don’t want to sit at home grieving any longer, but nor do I want to fall in love or get too involved too soon.
So how do I control that? No sleepovers.
I’m a light sleeper anyway, and now that I’m making my way through the menopause, with occasional warm/hot flushes, and restless nights as I toss and turn, I’ve found that it brings too much intimacy by spending the night.
How did I work that out? Well, by meeting someone lovely, spending several hours talking and walking, then going home to her place for a cuppa, which led to the awkward first kiss and onwards… till I lay awake at midnight thinking ‘F*ck, I have to get out of here! She’s not my ex, and I don’t want to snuggle and wake up soft and sleepy with this stranger, sweet, kind and funny though she is…’
So I did. Which was kinda weird for both of us, stumbling round in the dark, trying to be polite and understanding, without trampling any delicate feelings.
But we’d talked about ‘H’, so it was all very clear, and it felt like the next big challenge I had to meet, post-break-up.
I could have stayed there dozing. I could have suppressed the tears I wanted to shed quietly, as I drove home in the foggy night, realising I’d shifted something profound yet necessary. I could have denied the sadness and relief I was feeling, but then I wouldn’t be being true to myself, and through all this goddamn heartbreak and mourning, that’s all I’m actually trying to do.
I’m too old to be doing anything else now.
It all turned out just fine by the way. I explained the next day, she understood, and we’ve had several more fun and playful dates which have been good for both of us at this time. Online dating isn’t easy, and sometimes it’s incredibly frustrating, as fellow daters can testify, but the opportunity to learn about, and listen to yourself, cannot be underestimated.
In gratitude for heart whispers, softly-listening ears, and the courage to take action, G xO