So I went on a date last night; the first one in over a year. About a month ago I got back on eHarmony and Match. Since I didn't conceive my daughter the "traditional" way, I've never felt like there was a need for a hiatus from dating after she was born.
I was really excited. I did all the girly things like get a manicure and text pictures to my friends for their approval. We met for dinner at a place near my house. Nonni watched the baby. I had a great time. Nice guy. Tall, funny, easy to get along with. So, second date, right? Wrong. While I fully enjoyed being out with him, I came to the realization that I am not ready to date and I don't know if I ever will be.
Dating in and of itself has always been a pain to me anyway. My experiences in the past have been less than pleasant to say the least. Let's see, there was the guy that got a table for us in the bar so that he could watch the football game (note this was our first date). Then after sitting in the bar and watching the game the entire time, decides he's going to try to come back to my house by saying he wants to meet my dog. Ummmmm...no dude, you don't. Trust me. Then there was the guy that found it fully appropriate to tell me a story involving a "massage parlor" on our first date. There was the guy that insisted on calling me before we met and talking for about 4 hours each day, thus on our first date we had NOTHING to talk about. Then there was the guy that I never even had a first date with. We were supposed to meet for lunch and when I got busy at work and had to cancel, he adamantly told me that I could not cancel on him because he had "scheduled me in." I could go on, but you get the idea.
But regardless of my track record, my reasons for feeling like I may never date again have nothing to do with the actual men themselves. Instead they have to do with one thing: expectations.
Expectations are everywhere in life, but they are really strong in the dating world. You meet someone online or through a friend and decided to go on a date. Boom! Expectation. Whether it's for the other person to pay for the meal or for a goodnight kiss, something is expected. And frankly, I'm tired of feeling like I have to live up to anyone's expectations. I'm having a hard enough time living up to my own expectations as it is! I have no job after CHOOSING to give birth to my daughter. I have a body that I don't have a clue what to do with. I'm not fat in any way, but my body is just....different. I have skin that hangs on my stomach that used to be completely taut against it. I have lines and creases in random places. Then on top of that I have a house that is completely a mess more than half of the time. And on top of that I have child who is dependent upon me for her every need. And THAT reason, above all, is the most important.
I have a child. She needs me. My time and energy need to solely focused on her and providing for her. Not on trying to meet some guy's expectations of me. And on top of that, I'm just not ready to share her yet. I worked so hard to have her on my own, that I want to keep her on my own for a very long time.
Maybe one day the man of my dreams will knock me off of my feet. But for now, the girl of my dreams has my full attention.