A friend of mine gave me a piece of dating advice a few years ago. She said, "You need to meet a man when he is newly separated because once he has been single for too long, he will enjoy single life and not want to commit." At the time I thought that this was interesting advice, and I wasn't sure whether it was true or not. Now, as I enter yet another year of single life, I am beginning to wonder if this statement is not just true of men, but of women also. Is it possible that if we are single for too long we start to enjoy the independence, lack of drama and accompanying freedom so much, that with each passing year we become more reluctant to give it up, and thereby become almost undateable?
Over the years of my single life I am finding that I am becoming increasingly selective. What I tolerated years ago, I will not tolerate now. When I first started dating after my divorce, I put up with a lot of inconsiderate and bad behaviour. I can remember driving long distances to meet a date near his home for a coffee and I don’t even like coffee, or coffee shops for that matter. I can remember agreeing to meet someone who I had no interest in at all, but I kept telling myself that I needed to keep an open mind and do things differently because my past taste in men had been so bad for me. Now, I generally won’t venture out of the 416 area code, and if I do, it certainly isn’t for just a coffee. There has to be something more that is worth my time. I also won’t agree to meet someone out of guilt or because I don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings.
I sometimes wonder though, has my increased selectiveness made me so picky that no man can possibly measure up? I say I want to keep an open mind, but the reality is that I lead a happy life and if I am going to bring someone into it, they are going to have to be someone pretty special. I enjoy spending my time as I want, seeing friends whose company I enjoy, working long hours building a business that excites me, and devoting my main focus to my children. For me to compromise on any of this, someone is going to have to really excite me and make my heart go pitter patter. Ironically, when I was younger, arguably more attractive and definitely had less “baggage” I wasn’t as picky with who I would date. I was picky about who I would marry, but I was open to dating lots of people who in reality were not bringing a whole lot to the table. Now that my time is so precious to me, I am extremely choosy about who I am going to spend it with. Casual dating isn’t particularly appealing to me because I would rather spend a Saturday night with my kids, friends, or even alone at home eating ice cream and watching Netflix in a night of “me time”, then go out and meet a new guy who is just looking for a friend for fun times.
Everyone says you need to heal from your past relationships, work on yourself, find happiness within yourself, and Mr. Wonderful will magically enter your life at that time. The reality is that I have done a lot of personal growth, healing, and lead a happy life, and the more I do these things, the less a relationship seems to be a priority to me. Maybe this means that I just haven’t met the one for me, or maybe it means something else. I genuinely believe that if my version of Prince Charming were to come along, I would be excited and make room for him in my life. Despite my independence and self-sufficiency, I do believe in fairy tales, so let’s see what the universe has in store for me. I don’t think being single this long has truly made me undateable. It has just made me strong enough to know though that I don’t need to settle for someone in order for my life to be complete and happy.