I turned 29 this December and have been in relationships since I was 15ish. Most of them were ‘serious’ relationships, and the last one lasted over eight years. I did spend time getting over relationships where a lot of time was spent crying over the ex and hoping to get back together with the ex. Of course, I was very immature in the earlier relationships and didn’t know what I wanted or what behavior from the boyfriend was acceptable. Some relationships were abusive and messed up. In the last few years, I have grown tremendously as a person and I am aware of my personality and also what I want from a relationship.
It has been five months since the breakup with AB but we were still talking to resolve our entangled lives for quite some time. I think it has been a month since the breakup has solidified. This time, I have been sure that there is no going back. I am dealing with missing him, a lot of tears, lonely nights and weekends, but also know that getting back together is not the solution to any of that. Even though the relationship was messed up, he was a close friend and my family or roots in Pittsburgh, and that makes everything harder. The thing that affects me the most is loneliness or being alone. I have been working on learning to be alone and try things that help on some days, and don’t on other days. It’s a work in progress.
I have multiple supportive relationships in my life with close friends and family that have helped me survive and grow in these past years. However, I miss having a significant other or romantic partner or lover or whatever else you want to call it. I find myself craving for the small things like human touch, being able to hold hands, go for a walk, hug someone, cuddle and watch a movie, and so on. I used to feel lonely and crave for companionship even when I was in the relationship and it’s only gotten worse after the breakup. When I think of the next relationship in my life, I have an idea about what I want in a partner and some things that may not be acceptable. I think I also hope to find someone I can eventually marry. Not because I need to get married by a certain age, but because I value love and companionship, and eventually want a fulfilling romantic relationship.
I hardly meet new people in real life and a few people have suggested online dating. While I agree with the idea in principle, something about it unnerves me. One of the big things is probably the fear of doing something totally unknown. My earlier relationships were with people I was friends with and I knew them. Another fear is not knowing what to expect when I date in the American culture. Again, because the earlier relationships developed with friends and the last one was over eight years ago, I am clueless. The biggest fear, I think, is rejection – what if someone doesn’t like me for who I am. I realize that it’s not the end of the world and we all need to express our vulnerabilities to build meaningful relationships. In fact, I make it a point to be authentic and vulnerable in my friendships because that’s who I want to be. I am comfortable asking out/ expressing my feelings for guys I have known and been friends with because I like them. But something about doing all this in this scenario scares me a bit. Do you think it’s irrational, am I over-thinking it?
Some friends have suggested online dating because it may help deal with loneliness. I think I kinda agree with it, and I find myself wondering how important is it to learn to be alone? I am usually fine over the weekdays, but weekends get crazy. Most of my close friends have moved out of Pittsburgh, so I find myself alone almost all weekend. I am trying to include little activities in my weekends so that I have some human connection and don’t go crazy. While I feel I am over this relationship, I don’t know if I am ready to start something new. Also, do you have to be ready for something serious to consider online dating? Do I want something non-serious?
Finally, a friend said that dating is a self esteem boost. When someone is interested in dating you, it means that they think you are smart and attractive, and you feel good about it. My fear is, it’s going to have the opposite effect on me, that people don’t want to date me because I’m boring/ not good enough/ etc. Also, is it a good idea to look for validation from other people who barely know you? If one of the current goals in my life is to learn to accept and love myself for who I am, is it going to be helpful to actually date people if I’m looking for validation?
I think this is all I have to say about online dating, for now. Maybe I am over analyzing this, like everything else. Have you tried online dating? Do you have an opinion about it, or anything else I said in this post?