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HawkFire

Dating

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You all seem so friendly. I have something I would like to discuss with the 30 something crowd. I am divorced and live in a small town. I am planning to move within the next year. I want to know, aside from bars, where do you meet other singles? I was with my spouse for many years. We met as teenagers. I am kind of quiet. Not a partier. My more energetic friends have suggested I try a dating on line service. I do not believe that is safe. So, I go about my usual routine. How do you put yourself out there without going to a bar? I am happily divorced. I initiated the divorce. I am more than happy to give myself a push in the dating direction. I just don't know how to begin.

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What about groups that share your interest? For instance, I used Meetup (not a dating site) to find a bookclub in my area, a celiac support group, and a yoga group. I'm also on a forum for hiking in the area that has occasional social activities.

Meeting people, initially, online, needn't be particularly dangerous, as long as you're careful about it (though I also don't know that initially looking at dating sites, rather than general socializing sites, is of particular benefit.

(Caveat: I haven't gone this route for looking for dates - I'm married.)

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I am 50something and at home on a Friday night. I think all the 30somethings are out. :rolleyes:

Honestly, on the weekend the board gets pretty quiet. I think alot post for work :ph34r:

So it leaves us old broads to man the post.

In your small town (as is mine) there must be organizations that you could get involved with. An art coucil, hospital, library, sports groups, youth clubs all need volunteers. Perhaps that may be an avenue for you.

Things will happen, some just take some time. Good luck, and I defer to the 30somethings.

Lisa

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Thank you both for offering some help. I am also confused about what I want to do. What do I like? What interests me? I was/am a stay at home mom. My bills are paid as my ex was quite well off and continues to be generous... (he is a terrible alcoholic incase you wonder why I would leave such a generous man) He put me and our children through a lot. I am finishing up the degree I never quite finished after getting married and having children. When my degree is complete which will be June 07, I will get a job in my field and receive less from him. I want to receive less from him. I really do want that so badly.

My degree and current course work would seem to be a good starting point, but actually, I have very little interest in my career choice from so many years ago. I am going through this because it is the quickest way to become financially independent. I figure I will find a passion, and work at persuing that while I work in my paying job.

I met no one I wanted to date at the Al Anon meetings I attended. :lol: They were nice, but I was not ready to keep thinking about the same painful subject. My best friend tried to get me to go to a coffee house for weeks. She said I needed to take an uninteresting book, order a coffee and sit there ready to meet mr. right. I thought it was a bad idea. I kept telling her I would go, but never did. Finally, she made a coffee date with me.. for me and her, that is. So I went and waited for her. She didn't show up. <_< I called her and she said it was the only way she could get me to break out of my shell. I thought it was funny. So I sat there and tried to look casual. It did not work. I was surrounded by 20 somethings with laptops and ipods. Ugh.

Maybe I'm rushing things. I don't know. I would like to have a magic answer to this dilemma! I know that is silly. I figure someone has the place, time, date of where I should go to meet my mr. right! Oh, what am I thinking?! Well, I guess it's best to keep a sense of humor about our situations!

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I've been married since college, but I think the idea that Tarnalberry had was good. Get involved in what you like. You will meet other people involved in what you like ... some of them are bound to be single! Do things that get you out meeting people ... sitting in a coffee shop the same time of day is not actually a bad idea ... I've met many people that way! I like to lift weights ... I see lots of single guys (not in their 20's) in there. The same ones, day after day. Figure out an activity you like and get active in it. You'll meet all kinds of people, and they all know other people.

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and if you don't know what you like to do, well, there's no time like the present to start figuring that out. as a bonus, since you're looking at moving, is that you don't have to commit very much to anything right now, which (I think) is good in the 'looking for interesting activities' stage.

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There are pros and cons to being nearly 40, having a sense of absolute freedom, having no emotional connection left with your ex (not even anger), having free-spirited children who look forward to new experiences.... it's almost as though too much freedom has me chained to this spot. Everywhere I look, I can go. So, I hesitate to move at all. I'm looking for a spark in one of those directions to get me going. And the thought of dating is exciting, but I feel amost ridiculous actually imagining myself going through with meeting another man. I suppose when it begins, it won't be as school girl as I recall it being! That's the problem.. I can't see myself dating because I have an image of a school girl, not the woman that I am. My mental image of the process must be holding me back.

I'm in full support of match.com or eharmony - I met my fiance on match.com because I was sick of bars! Its fun and you can give as much info as your comfortable with. Good luck!

I'm afraid of the internet dating scene as a result of the horror stories which are promoted on some television shows. Were you ever fearful? I don't wish to exclude this option, but I do prefer to approach it fully aware.

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I know that I'd probably feel the same way if I had to try dating again. And I'm 28. :P

That's why I wonder if just getting out into new social circles and just practicing by forging new, non-intimate, relationships would be a good practice. If nothing else, it'll be fun, because the only criteria for things to try doing is that they're fun. ;)

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Actually, being comfortable being single, being complete in and of yourself, is what will make you attractive to an equally self-assured man.

That made me smile. :) Thank you for the encouragement! I think my self-assurance is sometimes a problem. People assume I'm content... when I'm actually looking for more! :rolleyes: I am probably guilty of a negative energy when meeting men. I am going to think about that the next time I'm talking with a man I find attractive.

I know that I'd probably feel the same way if I had to try dating again. And I'm 28. :P

That's why I wonder if just getting out into new social circles and just practicing by forging new, non-intimate, relationships would be a good practice. If nothing else, it'll be fun, because the only criteria for things to try doing is that they're fun. ;)

I am thinking too much about this. That is true. I didn't realize it. I believed that by thinking it through, I would "Solve the problem"... but the problem is that I'm thinking too much about it all. Too many details. It is good that I brought this up. I'm learning so much in just 24 hours! I wonder if living with an alcoholic for so many years is part of the reason. I'm used to controling my environment carefully. I guess I should go back to Al Anon! There's a meeting tonight.

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I think you need to learn how to flirt again. :P Learn that you can be friendly and get to know a man without "dating" him. Maybe have the attitude that it's not really "dating" that you're looking for, but just getting to be out with someone who is interested in getting to know you better and spending time with you. It doesn't need to be about "dating" but about meeting people, people who happen to be men!

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I think you need to learn how to flirt again. :P Learn that you can be friendly and get to know a man without "dating" him. Maybe have the attitude that it's not really "dating" that you're looking for, but just getting to be out with someone who is interested in getting to know you better and spending time with you. It doesn't need to be about "dating" but about meeting people, people who happen to be men!

Oh no. I realize the problem. You know, I never knew how to flirt! I am a terrible flirt. I'm not even a terrible flirt - I'm a non-flirt. I don't know how. You have found the problem. I remember dating as a teenager. I was not a flirt then, either. There has got to be a book I can get. Do you know of any? I suppose I can google it. I am speechless. :blink:

I am back. I was thinking. I am a very practical person. I have become even more so over the years. I solve problems, I figure things out. I say what I believe. I am honest. I have no mannerisms that - this is difficult to explain, but I don't say things with my body. I just say things. Or I don't say anything. Even saying that, I feel foolish. If I'm such a problem solver, why do I feel that this problem is unsolvable!?

Back again. http://www.simplysolo.com/relationships/flirting.html

I scored well. Maybe I'm not so terrible. I've made a decision to thow caution to the wind. I am too guarded that is for sure.

This site is very good for information on how to flirt appropriately. I am learning.

http://www.sirc.org/publik/flirt.html

I also see that many in the U.K. are avid students of this subject. Far more sites from the U.K. than America. Interesting.

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It may be a perception/expectation thing. It's hard for us to see our real behavior often. But those problems that involve behavioral/personality changes are the hardest - they don't have 'solutions' in the sense that engineering problems, scientific problems, logistical problems, and so on have. The solutions to the behavioral aspects are of the sort: "Try to make this personal change that goes against your normal behaviors. You'll fail most of the time, but keep trying, because over time, you'll fail less and less often. Eventually, you'll fail so infrequently, that it'll be a non-habit, and you'll have made the change." Flirting (as a type of communication) is one of these. One that I've successfully worked on myself is replacing excessive negative feedback ("Oh, there's this problem and this problem that we need to fix") with positive feedback ("These things were good! More of that!"). One thing I'm continuing to work on is not dominating conversations. And there are childhood attention-seeking behaviors related to that one for me, I think, which just goes to show that some behavior changes that we know we want to undertake for ourselves are made all the harder due to their underlying cause.

So don't overthink too much thinking that you should be able to "solve" this problem. Not all problems are tractable, or have closed form solutions (ha! I'm doing numeric integration on myself :lol: - some of the geeks will get it, I hope :ph34r: ), or have finite solutions that are worth the investment to determine them, and instead, approximations are needed. Ones that deal with our psyche usually fall into this category, unfortunately for the excessively logically minded of us. :angry::lol:

As a bonus, though, know that, on average, the mindset of looking for solutions to problems, rather than just hashing over the problem itself ad infinitum, is attractive to many men. :P

*edit* and sorry if I sound like I'm going off and off or something. it's an interesting topic to me, is all, and one I've worked on myself. I know that sense of "how do I solve the problem"?? frustration... it comes back not infrequently. :rolleyes:

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I actually feel very liberated by this whole discussion. I am realizing things about myself that indicate a need for change. Not a change from who I am, but a change in letting go of the control that I've become so fond of as a result of living with an alcoholic for so many years. I already have many tools for this as a result of two years of Al Anon meetings. I simply fell into the same pattern of situation control even though I've divorced. What you said, resonated for me.

I really meant that I am going to an Al Anon meeting tonight. I suspect I will have many years of this form of therapy as a result of spending nearly 20 years with an alcoholic.

I find that as a result of this conversation, my practice already of letting go, that I am not so bad off in the dating scene. I was only seeing it incorrectly.

Funny how I came here last week for new recipes and have received advice on dating, moving and realized I need to begin attending the Al Anon meetings I'd stopped attending! Interesting week. :lol:

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First, you have to be yourself, don't try to change that ... that is the unique person you are. Flirting is merely the art of making someone talk about themselves ... but do NOT try to solve their problems :P . I come across as a flirt (even though I'm married :) ) because I take a genuine interest in finding out about people. I'll actually talk to men in the same way I talk to women, but because it's men, I look like a flirt. It's just talking ... finding out about them ... taking an interest. I LOVE meeting people! The way to be the most interesting person in the room is to allow others to tell you all about themselves ... everyone likes a good listener! Not that you don't participate, but take a genuine interest in them ... make them feel good.

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The way to be the most interesting person in the room is to allow others to tell you all about themselves ... everyone likes a good listener!

So true!

I can do this because I am intersted in others. I realize now that I've been overthinking this. I've probably been blind to some interest paid to me. This is possible.

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The way to be the most interesting person in the room is to allow others to tell you all about themselves ... everyone likes a good listener!

Sometimes *that* requires personality changes. :P (But those are the good ones. :D)

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First, you have to be yourself, don't try to change that ... that is the unique person you are.

My husband and I had an interesting discussion on this sort of thing last night. The brief background is that I feel that my friends (in the area I've moved to only a year ago) are trying to distance themselves from me, and I don't know why - no one has said anything - but feel maybe they're just generally annoyed. My husband, who is fabulous at finding problems but not so fabulous at finding things to compliment (one of the reasons I recognized the same trait in myself and knew how important it was for me to change it), noted that I can be annoying sometimes, in conversation, when I dominate a conversation, and get loud or interrupt, etc.

So here's the interesting analysis that took an hour of discussing (including many many tangents) to get through: I find that I do this (and even I admit that it can be annoying, in restrospect) because of my enthusiasm for a subject. (That is, I don't do it when I'm not enthusiastic or passionate about the subject of conversation.) I also suspect, as I mentioned, that it's an attention seeking thing, to a degree. But even if I try to be aware of it, when I get particularly enthusiastic, I find it very hard and I slip into old habits. So, ideally, I'd change that annoying factor about me, but my first reaction is that it's natural to me when I'm invested in something, so I'd have to change that basic underlying personality thing about me.

But wait! There's a twist! (It was very amusing when we got to this part of the conversation, it was all much clearer and easier. ;) )

The underlying enthusiasm isn't the problem. Oh, sure, it might annoy some people but it's the part of my personality that I don't want to change. I *like* being invested and enthusiastic, and if people can't deal with that, tough for them. BUT, the other aspect of what causes the annoyance is simply my interaction with others - not the internal feelings/approach, but (you systems engineers out there will understand) rather my interface with others. The interface, since it's not exclusive to me, is something that takes others into account and, to me, is more flexible and I am more willing to change than a basic underlying personality trait that I specifically tried to engender. Suddenly, the idea of this change ("to be less annoying" :P) was easier to both figure out, mentally, and move forward with, without feeling as though I needed to change me.

Anyway... I'm blathering on about personal development stuff, 'cause I was just so excited about this compartmentalization realization. (Am I annoying now? <-- parodying the Verizon commercial) Sorry for hijaking the thread. It's all really fascinating, and what you've noted, HF, has given me good stuff to think about too. :)

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Tiffany, that is very interesting. I have a friend who was trying to be more humble/less proud so she became quiet and reserved, but it didnt' fit her character at all. People started asking her what was wrong, so she learned she was going about it the wrong way. The opposite of pride for her was not humility or being docile, it was charity. She had to learn to care what others thought, not just be quieter. It's good to be working on our personalities to become more mature, but we have to be working on the right thing. For you, maybe don't diminish your enthusiasm, but let your enthusiasm direct you to trying to learn what others think on a topic rather than trying to teach them what you think. You don't change you, you change the way you handle the social aspect of your enthusiasm.

It's negative to say, "I'm going to stop _____" It's a positive solution to say, "I'm going to ____ whenever I'm in such-and-such situation." That way you are not setting yourself up for failure.

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Carla, I believe you are very wise. Tiffany, I get that way as well. I am enthusiastic about something and can dominate the conversation. Other times I am so interested in new information that I become too quiet as I try to absorb what more informed people say. I have found that friends come and go. Usually, one from a group will remain. That one becomes the true friend who understands your personality and accepts it. The very best never ask you to change. I have friends from every time in my life. They are all capable of allowing me to be myself because they aren't slaves to social conventions themselves.

I was new once long ago, I felt I made great strides in finding new relationships. Then it all seemed to fall apart. It is normal. Natural. I would not over analyze this very normal process. Think of all the newness you brought to that group. You were a breath of fresh air. Now, the newness is gone. I believe though, that you will find that this experience makes you stronger. It is no comment on you. It is a comment on them. You should retain your enthusiasm, but find, as Carla suggested, joy in the others who are expressing themselves as well.

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