So it’s been an interesting few months…yeah, ummm…I’ve broken a few ‘droughts’ – the dating drought, the online dating drought, the letting-guys-pursue-me drought, the kissing drought, the being-in-a-relationship drought.
It’s been good, bad, fun, hilarious, educational, sometimes overwhelming, sometimes guilt-inducing. It’s challenged me in so many ways, it’s forced me to evaluate a whole bunch of stuff about how I see the world and how I live my life. And it’s been a huge personal growth phase. Quite the ride. And I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
And now that I’m on holiday for a few weeks, I’ve got some time and space to review the experience. So will probably make a few posts about How Glo Got Her Groove Back – and maybe some other long-term singleton girls might find a wee bit in there that resonates – even if parts of my history are, to put it mildly, unique 🙂
So, anyway. We begin. About 3 or 4 months ago, I decided that 23 years was quite long enough to go without being in any kind of real relationship with any guy, or being kissed, or having any man come near me for anything more than a sister-hug.
In those 23 years, some people had been conceived, born, raised, educated, maybe married and conceived children themselves…that is a pretty freaky thought to say the least. Almost unbelievable. To the point where pretty much anyone who met me, didn’t believe me if I answered their probing questions about my lack of a man in my life. Apparently, I seemed so ‘normal’!
For years and years and years (and years), part of me was out in the big wide world slaying commercial dragons and striding 5-inch heels into boardrooms from New York to Tokyo, and another part of me was in hiding. Lots of reasons why. None of them unique. Most of them pretty standard as the human condition goes.
What was a little extreme, however, was my response to those reasons. I basically went into Relationship Lock Down for more than 2 decades. I guess I was, ummm, a little less resilient than others have might been.
It was really easy too, as a Christian girl, to hide behind this ideal of waiting and praying for my husband to come along and ‘sweep me off my feet’. To use that to keep everyone out and away from me. To give off an unmistakably unapproachable vibe (through thinly veiled politeness) to any guy silly, brave or arrogant enough to consider coming anywhere near me in that way. I was ‘waiting for God’s man’. All of ‘this’ *waves hand from head to toe* was my future husband’s property, thank you very much.
I didn’t want to waste time and emotional energy on a relationship with any guy unless I knew it would for sure go somewhere. Well that’s what I told myself and everyone else around me. I didn’t want any guy even holding hands with me unless I knew he was serious about me. Like really serious. Like, marriage serious.
Which of course, I now know, is completely unrealistic!
I realized that whilst this idea of ‘saving myself completely for my husband’ for more than 20 years was apparently an inspiration to those around me, especially to other Christian women who were also single…actually, I owed it to myself and to them to take a good hard look at what that was really all about. And what I had to finally admit to myself was that my primary driver for that decision, was actually fear.
Fear of relationship. Fear of trusting another person with my heart. Fear of getting hurt.
And as with any significant change, it often comes when our desire for change overcomes our fear of change. And finally, at the age of 43, my desire had outstripped my fear.
But in order to get anywhere near being even remotely ready to be in a relationship, I had to firstly talk to guys. Not in an I-am-running-this-meeting way, or in an I-am-schmoozing-you-at-this-business-breakfast way or in an I-am-your-big-sister-Glo way. In the other way. The being real and open and (perish the thought) vulnerable way.
A scary thought, after more than 2 decades of hiding. But I knew things couldn’t stay as they were.
So, baby steps. I clearly needed a little help to get the whole Talking To Guys In That Way thing started.
And so began the Tinder experiment. Yes, you heard me right. Tinder.