Length of time since the relationship ended doesn’t determine readiness to date. Length of time has nothing to do with whether one has healed and is ready to open oneself up to love again. Trust in self, however, is key. It’s important to wait as long as one needs to make sure self-confidence has returned.
In many ways, I know I’m ready to date. The thing holding me back is that I simply don’t want to. It isn’t what is important to me. It doesn’t sound desirable. If I’m being honest with myself, the deal-breaker is as small as figuring out what to wear out of the house. It’s getting dressed and making myself look presentable. It’s having to go meet up with a stranger and talk to them.
It sounds like more effort than it’s worth.
The reward, if I managed to overcome those hurdles, would be having a man in my life. I’m not sure I think of that as a reward. Having someone in my life who has expectations of me, who wants to see me and talk to me and make plans with me… it sounds exhausting!
These days I’m far more interested in other goals. It’s who I used to be, what I used to do. To me, a boyfriend is something that’s nice to have, but being in a relationship shouldn’t be a person’s whole world. I’ve always been far more interested in the various ways I can move my life forward than I’ve been about whether I’m dating anyone. I’m not shocked that I’m like that now again.
When I was 20 years old, I knew what my goals were for age 30. I knew I would no longer be living in or near my hometown. I knew I would have some adventures. I knew I would be a homeowner by my 30th birthday.
I achieved those goals.
When I was 30 years old, I knew what my goals were for age 40. I would still be a homeowner but in a house instead of a condo. I would celebrate my 40th in Paris. I would have more experience in relationships and love.
I did not go to Paris for my 40th. I achieved my other goals, though, for better or for worse.
Note that none of these goals had anything to do with marriage, or children, or relationships. Those were things that, if they did happen, would only happen because I had found the situation that felt right.
The concept of meeting someone, getting married, and possibly having children was never a goal for me; it was a dream. It wasn’t and isn’t something that, to me, defines a happy life. It is something that strengthens one’s happiness, but it does not define it.
I want a relationship again someday, but I want it on my terms. I do not want to lose myself to love. I did it once. I got lost in dreams, in fantasy, and I forgot my goals. I know better now.
I will not allow it to happen again. I will love and I will be loved again, but I want a love that will enhance my life, will support me in doing the things that make me feel whole and successful.
I will never love again in a way that detracts from my life goals or makes me feel less than who I know I’m capable of being.
It feels true to form, then, that I am thinking far more these days about my age 50 goals than I am about dating.
I don’t want to wait until retirement to start living, to start having a life that feels like it belongs to me and not to my employer. I want to do it as soon as possible.
By age 50, I want to live abroad, as a nomad, staying in one Airbnb after another, moving to different destinations around the world as the whim strikes. I want to keep my condo and rent it out, but I want to be working remotely, and I want to be out experiencing the world, not living my life tied to a specific location.
These are my goals and pursuing them are more important to me than dating right now. Living a life that is mine and being true to myself is what I want.
And if someone happens to enter my life while I’m living it to the fullest, pursuing my goals, doing the things that make me happy? Well. Perhaps it would be nice to have a fellow self-employed nomad at my side. I’ll be living my life for me, though. If someone wants to join me, we’ll just have to see how that goes.