Although the prevailing thought seems to be a long healing process post-breakup, I think something can be said for putting yourself out there as soon as you are finished with your first big cry.
Here’s the thing, at first I would have been in no shape to date anyone after my ex and I broke up. This is mostly because I was bottling it up so tight to avoid feeling. Sure I put up my old dating profile, but was I dating anyone? No. It wasn’t until I broke through my “feelings barrier” that I could move on. Funny enough it was all started because he left a little drawing of a heart in the cap of a new bottle of coffee creamer. When I opened it, I lost it. The flood gates were opened and I spent days getting it all out.
I also took some time to think about what I could have done differently. I will apply those lessons to the next guy.
Meanwhile, back to dating. I’ve gone out on a couple of dates and it is so striking how different it is when you stop trying to “lock something down” with someone. I know in my heart I am so ready to settle down and build a future with a special man. However, I have to chill when I’m on the dates. I get to know who they are and we have fun no matter what. Meanwhile, I can evaluate in the background whether they would suit me as a life partner. If they’re not a fit, nothing was lost and I got to meet someone new.
I am amused with all the different types of guys out there though. For example, last night I went out with someone who I deeply enjoyed conversing with. He was well read, intelligent, funny, curious about me. He really showed some good character traits, like noticing when a disabled woman was trying to exit the building. He jumped right up and asked her if she needed help. It was just as though I could be in my “natural state” with him. I even found myself taking off my shoes and curling up in the chair at the Starbucks after dinner.
Today I enjoyed an afternoon date with someone who piqued my adventurous side by inviting me to an Indiana Jones exhibit (one of my childhood role models who inspried my travel lust). It was really cool to see fact v fiction. This guy was also funny and creative. However, he kept looking at his cellphone during the exhibit, thought that a paragraph description of a display was soooo much to read that it would put him to sleep, and had no interest deeper than the movie memorabilia. Then we got to the Nazca lines part of the exhibit and he was so into it because it had something to do with aliens. Ummmm…what now? Did you say that you think aliens created the Nazca lines? His response – yes either them or God. I’m sorry…wtf? So science is not an option then? The Nazca people, not an option? Long story short there were alot of dealbreakers here in a row.
The point is that when you aprroach dating as a curiosity towards someone it is different than judging them. You can just say…ok this is how we differ. Then, you have a choice – can you live with the difference or not? No need to ruin a date. Just leave knowing there won’t be a second one and if he calls to ask you out again, just be woman enough to excuse yourself politely. Say something like, “I really enjoyed our date (if you did) and I want to thank you again. I just don’t think we mesh on the important stuff so I’m gonna have to decline and wish you the best.” Done. Simple. Grown-up.
What I notice about dating soon after a breakup is that what I want & don’t want is really very clear in my mind. So, for me it makes dating a more intentional process of weeding out because I am focused. At the same time, my approach is open towards getting to know another person as is instead of simply just checking boxes on my list. Who knows? You could just meet some really great guys that you can call friends. At least this way, you make the most out of your own time and energy.
Do I still love my ex? Am I completely over him? Do I have monents where I wish he’d call and make things right? Yes. No. And Yes.
But he doesn’t feel the same way so I have two options – I can wait for a call that may never come or I can continue looking for someone who does love me as much as I love him and who can’t imagine his future without me.
So here’s to healing this broken heart while continuing to walk one step at a time.
With love from aneternaltraveler 😉