Muggy

The weather has become a little overcast today – and after an almost unbroken period of sunshine it’s become a lot more muggy.

Thankfully I’ve been making the most of the blue skies while they’ve been there and spent yesterday afternoon exploring Warwick Racecourse, which (rather bizarrely considering the amount of miles I do) I hadn’t realised I’d never completely walked around.

It’s a really nice space – and a round trip is almost a mile and a half – making a few laps a rather good workout.

It’s a nice peaceful place to think through and talk stuff out too – which I realised definitely needed to do as I made my way round with a friend.

Sometimes you start twalking – and a chat unexpectedly becomes an outpouring.

It’s a good thing I have friends who like to listen because I feel like I’m in a bit of a weird place at the moment. At least for the time being I’m undecided about what I should focus my energies on now the hubbub and noise that filled my head with constant weight loss has subsided.

It’s not gone altogether mind you because I’m still trying hard to focus both on staying on target and keeping my levels of fitness constant.

What I mean is that recently I’ve found that an odd ‘disconnectedness’ has set in after reaching target and the recent excitement surrounding the Slimming World competition.

I’m left wondering ‘what does it all mean?’

I feel in many ways that now I’ve lost all that weight and shaved away all that excess I’m still left with something I can’t diet out of existence and that’s the life that remains.

All of a sudden it feels curiously empty – and ever since Sunday I’ve been preoccupied with a feeling that something is missing that I never really noticed wasn’t there before.

For the first time in a really long time I guess I’m feeling acutely lonely.

Maybe a better way of categorising my thought process is that I’m left wondering ‘what does it all mean if I can’t share it?’

This isn’t because I don’t have friends and acquaintances – because in that respect I feel blessed.

I have a lot of really cool and totally genuine people surrounding me – and all of them mean the world to me.

What I mean is I’m realising that when I stand in a crowd I feel like there’s someone that should be by my side but isn’t and I need a full time presence in my life that isn’t just a friend.

With this in mind recently I stopped procrastinating and finally completed a profile on a dating app that’s been pending for over a month. Since then however the results have been depressingly limited. The people viewing my profile so far haven’t been in the least bit of interest to me – and I haven’t found anyone in my searches that’s firing my imagination either.

To make matters worse I realised in conversation yesterday evening that the last date I went on was 22 frikkin years ago.

To say I’m rusty is a massive understatement and this fills me with a sense of immediate dread.

Not only am I faced with a different landscape now (everything is online) but I’m also part of a completely different demographic.

Almost all of the opposite sex now have children and dating profiles are filled with ladies that are already parts of families, recently divorced or have taglines like ‘now it’s MY time’ – suggesting they’re finally escaping from the responsibilities of parental life and have pretty grown up offspring.

In this respect I’m even further out of my depth because I’ve never had any children of my own. Although I’m no idiot and can muddle through most situations, being in a situation where I’m potentially taking the place of someone’s father sounds terrifying.

It’s almost enough to make me remove the entire profile before anyone is stupid enough to contact me.

I’m not saying it’s something I can’t handle or don’t want to deal with (it might be a really nice family dynamic) – but I just don’t know where to begin when I feel so woefully unprepared

How the hell do I navigate all this?

There are some complex decisions that arrive with an unwanted feeling of complete paralysis – and this is one of them.

Unlike other problems I’ve overcome I don’t really know how to break this down into manageable chunks – because it’s not a physical objective – it’s an emotional and mental one where I have no easy frame of reference.

As soon as I approach it the weight of what may or may not happen buries me and I retreat to safer thoughts or go for a walk.

I come to no conclusions this way though and irritatingly I’m making precisely zero forward progress.

It’s still muggy outside – and honestly it’s apt – because that’s how my head feels at the moment too.

Davey

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14 comments

  1. Some online dating advice from someone who’s had some success (and a whole lot of failure):

    1. It’s not a popularity contest. Success is meeting one person with whom you can embark on a mutually enriching relationship and then eventually love and all that great stuff. You might suffer some indignities and assaults on your ego getting there, but it’s surely worth a bit of agro to reach such a goal.

    2. The online courtship world is surprisingly traditional in that men are generally expected to make first contact. Therefore waiting for someone to contact you is not an optimal strategy.

    3. Try to set to time every couple of days or so to send out, say, three or so messages to woman you haven’t made contact with. Don’t write acres of text but try to be witty, open and show you’ve read their profile. Most won’t respond, but that’s ok. Many men tend to send out loads of messages to many woman so the recipient of your message may have a full inbox full of copy-and-paste messages that they haven’t read. Or maybe they’re no longer paid up members of the site and can’t access the messages. Or they’ve had a few dates with someone and are not currently open to new offers. The point I’m trying to make is there’s a whole heap of reasons why they’re not getting back to you – it’s not necessarily that they’ve read it and don’t find you attractive. So don’t get disheartened by not getting a response.

    4. Have a thick skin. People online are different to meeting them face to face. They can be more blunt, and (I’m afraid to say) will often stop contacting you if they start a communications with someone they think is a more interesting prospect. Don’t dwell on it, and just move on. If you’re treated badly by someone, surely it’s better to find that out about them sooner rather than later, right?

    5. It’s like losing weight. You’re putting yourself through a regime that oftentimes you don’t want to continue because your soul feels battered. But you stick with the plan and soldier on. I’m painting an overly bleak picture of things because at times it will feel that way, but it’s also a fascinating process where you’ll meet lots of interesting people and have a laugh.

    6. If you’ve accomplished the things you have, you can definitely do this and make a success of it. It’s just a painful adjustment at the start but once you learn to decouple your feelings of self-worth from the process you’ll do just fine.

    Good luck!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Great advice from JimP. Another thought… have you thought about speed dating? You’re articulate and have a lovely sense of humour. With all that twalking, you’re doubtless a great conversationalist. You also scrub up pretty well, if recent photos are anything to go by. You’ve done more daunting things and it has turned out alright, why not take a chance on face-to-face? Whatever you do – I wish you all the good luck in the world.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Everyone is giving some great advice here, but here are my two cents. I would not worry too much about not having been on any dates for a while. If the people you see are indeed recently divorced, chances are that they haven’t had a date in ages either… Besides I think no matter how seasoned someone is, dating always remains a little daunting and slightly awkward :).

    The pro of online dating is that it will enable you to chat with someone a bit, before you meet up with them, which should take the edge of things a little.

    Also, despite how hard it would be to deal with the rejection: if you stuff up, you probably will never see that person again. And honestly, it will be their loss. You are awesome, and if they don’t realise it, that’s their problem.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks Mar x

      I think you’re right. For all the worrying aspects associated with online dating there is a ‘sick it and see’ element to it where everything is trial and error.

      (although maybe in this context on reflection I could pick a better metaphor 😂)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Davey, the online dating scene is how I met Mr Raccoon, and we NEVER would have met under normal circumstances (like in a bar/club/work etc). I also had some disasters before meeting him too!
    What Jim P said is pretty spot on.
    If you throw yourself into it, sooner or later you will meet someone who you have that chemistry with, but you may have to sift through a few crap dates first!
    Also, places like Tinder don’t tend to be people looking for True Love if what my friends tell me is true! Much better going with Match.com or similar, even if you have to pay a fee, it’s totally worth it.
    Good Luck! 😘👍 x

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Raccoon x

      Nice to know that there are small furry mammals on dating sites too 😊

      Honestly the LAST place I intended to try was Tinder.

      Well.. maybe on reflection Grindr was probably LAST – but you know what I mean 😂

      Liked by 2 people

  5. There’s an app called Bumble I hear a lot of people talking about. Apparently it’s really good at connecting you with people of similar interests. Maybe it’s worth a look? I don’t know what you’re using now but I know the big names are awash with people wanting a one-night stand and it’s hard to filter out anyone else.

    As for the kids thing I hear ya, but I reckon you would breeze it. Any mother worth her salt probably wouldn’t be introducing you to the kids until you were well established and even then it’d be a gradual thing. Plus you have so much comic book knowledge, you’d get on like a house on fire if you had that it common, kid or not! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

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