Note: This year, I am starting to give away paper goods from my Happy Solitude Shop each month to one of my subscribers!
Last post's winner: Jeanne! Congratulations, Jeanne!! I hope you enjoy the Handpicked Flora envelopes 🌺🌸🌼🌻♥️.
Hello my beautiful friends! Since we are now in February, and it is the month of Valentine's Day, I want to spend some time talking about something that I have had a love-hate relationship with, and that is dating.
I sit here at my keyboard not sure what to say exactly, since I have not really ever talked about dating on my blog before. But I want to talk about it because it was precisely when I had come to my lowest point in dating that this blog was born.
Dating– seeking but not finding– was (and is? yet I'm not so sure I'm really seeking at the moment) very much part of my single life experience.
It brought me to where I am.
And honestly, I don't think I would be able to be where I am today (i.e., more in tune with myself and what I want in life) if I hadn't dated, and searched, and thought I found, and then realized I had not found... through online dating.
Let me share with you a story.
A handful of years ago, if you asked me if I ever thought of trying online dating, I would have made a face and said, "Eww, why would I do that? Online dating is for desperate people. I'm not desperate."
Fast-forward to today, I would still tell you I prefer meeting someone 'in the wild' (as one of my good friends would say it lol). But the truth is, if you are interested in meeting someone who shares your same faith, values, AND who you find attractive, that combo is not so easy to find in the wild.
Sometimes it takes jumping onto an online-shopping sort of dating experience where you browse through a number of faces and descriptions in order to get closer to meeting someone you actually have a chance with.
When I first started online dating, I had three rules for myself.
#1– Give everyone who asks me out a chance. I never know how someone can surprise me.
#2– When going on a date, always tell a friend or family member where I am. Obviously.
#3– No ghosting. Don't be afraid to turn someone down if I'm not feeling it.
These rules brought me to go on a handful of dates over the years...
Some painfully awkward dates (now I know not to make rule #1 a thing... lol.)
And I learned how to have the courage to be honest and direct when things were not working out (#3 taught me how to say good-bye in the hopefully kindest, clearest way...).
Also, side note: I hope I'm not making myself sound like I have all these men asking to go on dates with me; it was most definitely not like that. But when you open yourself to ANYONE that seems pretty normal as a viable date, you will find yourself on outings with a lot of people who really don't vibe with you which can be tiring after awhile, hence all the awkward dates and frequent no's.
I was an on-and-off kind of online dater. I would get on for about a month each year and then take a break. I went on CatholicMatch. I went on OKCupid. I would create a profile and see what happens.
At first, I felt so embarrassed to be there. My profile was short. I almost hoped no one noticed me.
Then over the years, I gained the desire to give the profile thing a more worthy try. I wrote longer intros. I made some jokes. And magical things happened.
The magical things that happened are things that may not appear very magical at all, but looking back I think they are.
I got to know so many different people and learn about their interests. I got to discover new, amazing things that now are part of my every day life such as Opus Dei. Even though it did not last, I got to fall in love.
Putting yourself out there is scary. It's uncomfortable. It can lead to delightful surprises in love, and it can lead to great disillusionments and disappointments.
I remember a time when I felt so down in the dumps about my dating/love life. It was a time when I felt like I had lost my best friend when she had moved to another state to be closer to her boyfriend. Other people in my life were getting married and moving onto bigger and better things. I was hard-core third-wheeling it many a day. And on top of all that, I was just dating people who were simply not the right fit. My online dating experience felt like a great disappointment but looking back, it was one of the best things that happened to me because it was what I needed to start this blog.
Without all the ups and downs of online dating, I would have never come to the moment where I said, I want to learn how to stop searching and just enjoy my one and only short life.
So yes: I love online dating said no one ever. But I say that sometimes it's worth it.
Who knows, maybe it's just what you need to help you figure out what you need or don't need in love. To know how you want to be treated and how you don't want to be treated. And how to ultimately, return to yourself, worn out, but knowing you gave it your all, and ready to be exactly where you are.