The day I quit “dating” is ironically:
– The 4 year anniversary of my decision to get divorced.
– The same day my ex-husband announced he was getting remarried.
To the women in my family, marriage was a very important part of life. To my mother and grandmother, it’s still a very defining piece of who they are. My grandmother married young (I believe she was 16) and has been with my grandfather ever since. She always gave the same piece of advice: “The wives must give 110% to their husbands and families. The men… not so much.” My mother married before her 21st birthday, and became a stay at home mother shortly after my brother was born. She would be there every day when we got home from school, drive us to various activities, and plan play dates with other children. She somehow managed to do all this without losing herself, just like her mother did.
But this is not their life. This is mine.
Marriage is not important to me anymore. Yes, I want to love and be loved, but I don’t need to get married to do that. I don’t even need a romantic partner to succeed at love. It would be nice to have someone to snuggle on the couch, eat popcorn and binge watch Netflix with, but I don’t need it. I don’t need someone to pay my bills, take out my trash, or replace my lightbulbs. Yes, sometimes I need my daddy to fix my internet, but honestly I could probably manage that too.
So I quit dating. Completely. All of my dating apps are gone. I don’t have a Plenty of Fish account; no OKCupid profile; no more Tinder… swipe left, swipe left, swipe left, swipe right, swipe left. My Match.com account expired in October, so I’m logged out of that too. I’m sure there’s a Military Cupid or some random profile still floating out there from years ago, but I wouldn’t even have access to it if I could remember where it was.
Part of it is the tiring nonsense of it all. You see the same guys over and over and over on these dating sites. They use the same corny pickup lines (or better yet, no pickup lines at all). And truth be told, it seems like the majority of them are looking for a quick and easy hookup under the guise of wanting a relationship. Believe me, if I want a quick and easy hookup, I can send a text, make a phone call, and a quick drive is all it takes. It’s really, REALLY not that hard, I promise.
If the guys aren’t in it for the sex, they’re looking for the “instant relationship”. I’m not fucking Top Ramen. You want instant, grab a Cup ‘o’ Noodle, not an online dating site. These turn into the Stage 5 clingers. Texts every morning, noon and night. Seriously, my best friends don’t even text me that often anymore. Back off a bit and don’t look so desperate.
The other part of it is I’m comfortable. Not in the settled down, spending every weekend binge watching Netflix on the couch in sweats while eating Ben & Jerry’s out of the tub comfortable (although that sounds amazing), but the I am me and I’m not willing to change that type comfortable. I enjoy being able to make my own plans, and even more so the ability to CANCEL those plans when I just plain don’t feel like doing anything (see mention above about the Netflix binge. Sometimes it happens). I can choose to stay home with my children, and don’t have to worry about some huge argument breaking out because his “mom is expecting us at 3 pm for dinner” or whatever other plans have been made. I like my freedom and the lack of additional obligations.
This isn’t to say I’m out of the game completely. But it does put a lot less pressure on me to “find” that “perfect significant other”. It means I don’t need to rush into a large number of dates in a short period of time, with the hopes that some magical long lasting relationship will come of it. I can choose to wear leggings instead of dressing up for someone I may never meet. (Obviously I won’t be wearing sweatpants though since last time I wore grubby sweats in public, I ended up on a plane sitting next to none other than Fabio himself looking like an overtired homeless mother. At least he was incredibly kind to me and even carried my suitcase when my hands were full. *swoon*)
Of course, in the instance I do meet someone (or a friendship blooms a bit further) this doesn’t mean I’ll turn anything down. My life is full, but it still has a sliver where someone can come along and enhance it. Make life a little more fun, make me miss them when they’re gone, and just make things all around brighter.
Because alone, I’m a whole person and I love being that way. I don’t want to be half of anything. Should I find myself in a stable relationship somewhere down the line, it won’t be a 50-50 thing. It’ll be 100-100 and two complete people combining their completeness.
And in the meantime, if I want a casual hookup, there’s always Netflix & Chill.