Hot on the heels of the highly-anticipated blog heard round the world on the sensational halftime show a few weeks ago, this Dear Wednesday topic will be the Process of Elimination: Dating after 30. This series of Dear Wednesdays for February on the Victory and Vulnerability after 30 living is no easy task. I mindfully take into account that everyone has a unique experience and yet, some experiences are shared, so… I will attempt to be as honest and utterly real as I can be. And if you feel me, leave a comment.
I’ve been dating #randoms for 20 years. That’s longer than many marriages last. That’s longer that many friendships last. That’s longer than some trendy restaurants last. Let’s be real. Dating for 20 years is a long time. And it's exhausting.
I indeed took breaks. I spent much of my time in my 30s happily abstinent and minimally dating by choice. And, I had some cool boyfriends, but they were not cool enough to recognize we could grow together. Very few things worth consuming come ready made. But, apparently, at the first sign of an argument or change of pace, the jokers ran or disappeared.
I’m convinced we need an Unsolved Mysteries (remember that show?) for dating. Maybe the host can find out what happened to the guy and the reason why he ghosted or popped up 3 months later engaged.
I was disappointed to discover that dating is so anti-climatic. It lacks flavor, depth and warmth. The older I get the more nonchalant I become. When I reallzed, via dating apps, that guys just wanted to hang out at the house, I decided that dating apps were not worth the time.
And while we are on the subject of dating apps, every single man on a dating app is either jumping out of airplanes (or flying them), jumping into volcanoes, posing in front of the Eiffel Tower or Stonehenge, bragging about their passport stamps, hugging babies (but that's his niece), celebrating craft beer and burgers, and posing with their latest project, Brutus, the rescue dog. They claim they want the Pam for their Jim (The Office reference). They simply state they don't know what they are doing online dating. And, suddenly everyone is a sapiosexual - stimulated by intellectual conversations. Not to mention the couples looking for a third partner... but I digress.
As I mentioned earlier, dating apps waste valuable time. Especially the ones who just want to chat all day, at work (the job they hate), but they never insist on meeting up. Well bye. If I suggest coffee, I hear “well I don’t drink coffee”… Well, dude, it’s not all about you and it never will be. So, have a bottle of water at the coffee shop and stop being contrary. If I were to suggest a restaurant, the comments ranged from “what’s good around here” to “ well I would rather cook at home” No sir, you wouldn’t. You want to invest in a late-night romp. Going out means you may not get your instant gratification. And, due to your many dalliances, you simply don’t want the flame from the other side of town to catch you out.
Oh to be grown and scared of the repercussions should your ex-girlfriend, ex-wife, cut buddy, or situationship see you out with someone else. If you’re that afraid your tires might be sliced up by one of them, may I suggest you be honest and leave them alone.
What I’ve found in men over 30 is an overwhelming lethargy and lack of seriousness. They generally do not care whether they get married. Children are optional, but mostly because they already have a few. And, dating takes them away from other pursuits such as washing their car, watching sportscenter or playing some video game. Dating takes them away from the couch. How dare anything or anyone separate them from the couch!
Contrary to popular belief, there are quite a few single men in the world, but I’m not traveling and looking in every nook and cranny. The single ones within a one hour radius reek “it’s all about me” mentality. The other single ones, really aren’t that single. They are engaged in multiple escapades with multiple partners. And I'm including church boys in this charade too.
In my thirties I had to develop thick skin, but it still hurts. I would love to frolic foolishly like I did in my 20s, but now my feet are planted firmly on the ground. Now I recognize the vulnerability and the victory. I’m too old for BS. I’m too young for a sugar daddy (ewwww). I’m too old to waste a lot of time in a long 3+ year relationship. And, I’m too young to stop caring completely.
My Gyne and I had "the talk"... and you can look forward to a blog on that too.
I don’t want to hear that “he’s coming”… because it lost its encouraging affect 10 years ago. I want to hear and see 30+ year old men be the amazing men they can be.
Oh sure I haven’t completely lost my excitement for men, but when I see them I roll my eyes. I begin to think “what kind of hot dumb garbage mess is about to come out of your mouth?”. Some of them lack the ability to go deep, to ask questions, to be thoughtful. They are quick to talk about womens’ motives. But, they do not take the responsibility for being her "go fund me" for years. And, no I’m not going dutch with you on a date.
But, it’s not all bad.
I’ve learned in my 30s that I don’t want just any man. I don’t want to accept the first man to compliment me. I’ve learned to be at peace like a calm river when chaos ensues around me. Dating can be full of joy when pulling teeth is not a part of the service. Getting to know someone new can be exciting, especially when they have adequate conversation. Victory comes not through securing the relationship, but through enjoying the dating experience. Vulnerability may mean that you nor I are no longer great at juggling or holding our tongue on what is unsuitable. It may mean that making hard decisions takes us away from someone we thought was for us... again. Vulnerability is the alone time which is so good and yet intermittently lonely. But, there is victory in saying yes to yourself and no to another sorry night in or out.
So, now, at 38 years young, my process of elimination is stronger than ever. In my 20s I was still learning how to walk the talk. But in my 30s, the process of elimination brought me nothing but elevation, personally and professionally. It's like eliminating sugar from the diet. Your skin clears up. You have more energy. You feel trimmer.
That's why I don't think twice. If he's not meeting the criteria for my one, then there will never be a date number one. No more randoms. Only those in right-standing get a shot at the ultimate title - my time and attention. So far in 2020, no man reached that milestone and I'm content with that. Onward and upward.
Catch me next week for my blog on gynecologists, uteruses, ovaries, eggs, stirrups and sperm banks.
Your single pal from around the corner,
This Dear Wednesday Letter was hand-crafted by Dr. Joy. Dr. Joy Well, mental health clinician, confidence catalyst, professor, self-sabotage solutions and avid researcher is one of the quintessential experts on the connection between the mind, body, and immune system. Her doctoral work explored the experiences of women of color living with autoimmune diseases and how they function and experience the medical community and beyond. Once a shy, small-town girl with big dreams, Joy has found peace and purpose working with women of all ages to develop a fierce, faith-filled identity, personally and professionally. She is a clinician and entrepreneur in mental health private practice, seeing all ages, backgrounds, and genders. In her spare time, she enjoys music, movies, writing, and getting into mischief with friends. You can find Dr. Joy on social media @captivatingjoy.