Warning: Don't read this is you still have a conservative view of dating and relationships.
I didn't realise how safe I had made my life since my break-up. The more I think about it, I can see that my original choice of man was a reflection of what the world expected of me.
It's just been easier to make myself unavailable. It's been simple to take a slow recovery from a broken heart, engulf myself in my work, live comfortably with my family and have no space in my bed between my 3 cat children.
About 80% of my friend circle is made up of gorgeous gay men. It stems from my bestie and just continues to flow in burst of happy rainbow humans. They do dinners and brunch, they do clubbing and camping (no the real deal, not just wrist flapping) and they also do trying to figure out why their fruit fly is single.
So after too much bubbly & my bestie not there to protect me from the boldness of a pack of Queens, I was convinced to get back into the dating game. It's so easy these days ... just hop onto a free app and swipe your way through an array of potential matches.
I met my ex and my "friend with benefits" on dating sites. It was back when we were all on free Facebook apps, still pretty fresh at putting ourselves out there in this new way of meeting people. We would discreetly say that we were not looking for anything serious. We would go for coffee first ... it didn't have to even get cold before it was time for the second "date". I would suspect that maybe a guy or two were married and trying to search for some fun, but I stuck to my "more than one pic and willing to become Facebook friends" rules and I had a fun, good time. I'm still friends with some of them and nearly married the other.
Fast forward about 4 years and I may just be that 40 something girl, but as fast at technology has moved on, so has the dating game. It's not even called dating anymore, I don't think ...
I've never professed to being a prude or an angel. On the contrary, at one stage of my life I was a speaker at Sexpo and encouraging women to get okay with their bodies and revel in our body's right to fully enjoy sex.
I've also been very open about not wanting the traditional get married, have kids life. My mother still freaks out when I tell her that I'm totally into Mr Right Now! The only time I wanted something different, the wheels all fell off ... the best times of my life have been with Mr InTheMoment.
I still have self respect and integrity though.
I still want to know the truth of who you are so that I can decide if I'm going to let you into my space for a chat, a coffee, a kiss or sex.
I'm an intelligent woman ... at least I think I am. I'm cautious, stick to my rules to ensure that I find the truth of the person I'm engaging with and yet, I'm confessing that I have no clue as to whether he was married or not.
Someone has to say it ... someone who is on there has to say that they've seen familiar faces of people who chose to commit. I have! Then there are ones who are honest about it and say they are married, shouldn't be there and are looking someone for discreet fun.
I can't label my belief system, but it pretty much goes along the lines of our existence being a choice, our bodies being sacred and our intentions being our Karma. That makes this crazy world of dating very difficult. Men haven't asked me for coffee ... they have asked me naked pictures. They haven't sent me their number, they have sent me their penis pics. They haven't asked me to dinner ... they have asked me who's house we are going to shag at during their lunch hour.
Here's the clincher ... barring the unwanted pics of male anatomy popping up unexpectedly and without welcome and the uncertainty of trusting the promise of being single ... I get why this does work.
If you want the fairy tale stuff, then swiping through pictures that are basically a sex catalog is not the place to be hanging out.
However, if like me, you can openly admit that you are still human, with wants and needs and have some level of self worth and respect ... then why not play??
Dear mom, if you've read this ... thanks for teaching me about choices and consequence!!