April 18, 2017 at 2:54 AM #1735
Something that’s often said about singles is that we have the benefit of lots of free time. And I think that’s true in many cases, I know it has been for me in the past. But lately, due to various life and family circumstances, I feel like I’m in the opposite position, pulled in many different directions and without a lot of opportunity to focus on myself and the things I need to do to move my own life forward. It seems like every time I start to gain some momentum with dating, something else happens and I have to shift my focus away from it again. I’m still trying and I haven’t given up, but some days it just feels like such a losing battle. And while I know without a doubt that there are more important things right now that need my time and attention, I still fight that voice inside telling me I’m not doing enough of what I need to be doing to create the life I want to have moving forward. When I look at just the present I know I’m making the right choices, but when I think about the bigger picture I have this constant sense of unease about the future. I guess I’m just finding it hard to balance the present with the future when the present is currently demanding a lot of time and emotional energy. I’m not looking for a solution, as circumstances are what they are and they aren’t really fixable, just wondering if there are others out there in similar situations and if so, how do you reconcile that?April 19, 2017 at 10:24 AM #1737
@mariposa I can relate to what you are expressing about trying to find a balance between just living your life and also devoting time to finding a partner. Part of the frustration of being single for an extended period time when you don’t want to be is that you feel you should be doing everything you can to change your circumstances. At least I feel that way. I imagine most of us do. So that means when days or weeks or even months go by when you’re just focused on your life and you’re not actively meeting new people, you feel you aren’t doing enough to find a partner.
The problem is that even if you use all the dating apps and go out on a lot of dates, that doesn’t necessarily bring you closer to finding a partner either. I know you’re not looking for solutions, but I can at least share a strategy that’s worked for me lately. I think about my life in the terms of the next 3 months. For me personally, I’ve decided to spend as much time outside as possible. I’ve joined some adult sports leagues. This is because I really love the sports I’ve decided to play, with the added benefit that I know I will meet new people. For my own sanity, I’ve abandoned online dating, yet again. Every weekend I have fun things planned — beer festivals, day trips, concerts, etc. I also have a fun vacation planned with a good friend at the end of this 3 month period.
At the end of that 3 month period I will re-evaluate things. Am I happy? Has it been a good 3 months? If I haven’t found someone to date, what other strategies can I use to potentially meet someone? What should I plan for the next 3 months in my life?
It’s hard to hold a balance. To live a full and happy life, while still putting yourself in situations where you might find a partner, while at the same time not letting it consume you.April 20, 2017 at 11:46 AM #1739
There’s a really great illustrator on Instagram and one of her posts is a line graph of life that starts in a straight upward trend and then loops and zigzags all over the place. She herself set off for an extended adventure in Europe and within a week or two ended up in the hospital for a couple months. The life you want may indeed be in the future, but it’s unlikely it’s a linear path to get there. You’re busy, you know, living, so you probably are already doing exactly what you need to be doing. I’d maybe even argue for doing less and making sure you have time-outs to regroup. Beachbum’s idea of the 3 month check in is great. Checking in with yourself regularly and often can prevent burnout of all kinds.
I’m interpreting your post to read that dating is part of your focus on yourself, and that other life things are getting in the way. I’d like to pose this question: Is dating/finding a relationship essential to “forward”? And going back to Beachbum’s idea, are there things in your day-to-day that are different than they were 3 months ago? My therapist helped me think in those terms, and she constantly reminds me that I’m meeting new people all the time just living my life. They may not all be romantic prospects, or maybe none of them are, but it still counts.
April 27, 2017 at 12:50 AM #1747
- This reply was modified 6 months ago by Reds10.
@beachbum and @reds10, thank you both for sharing your thoughts. I like the suggestion of the three month check in. For anyone trying to find middle ground between staying living in the present and focusing on the future, this seems like it strikes the right balance between the two. As someone who definitely struggles with this, I think that’s a really good way to think about it, so thank you for that.
I like that you both shared ideas that related to thinking in broader terms about both the present and the future. You’re right that I need to expand my definition of what it means to move forward, and to look beyond just whether or not I’ve found a relationship as a measure of growth or success. And I know I need to learn to just relax into the things in life I can’t control and let them be what they are (still a work in progress but I’m trying!).
I think for me, and I didn’t convey this very well in my first post, it’s also about trying to find emotional balance, and managing the emotional impact of dating within a life that lately has been filled with a lot of other ups and downs. This piece touches on that, and those little losses of hope can be difficult when you’re trying hard to hold onto hope in other areas of your life as well.
Thanks again to both of you for your posts. You’ve given me some good things to think about for sure.April 30, 2017 at 7:36 PM #1748
Microbreakups are super annoying! That emotional piece is hard. I stopped internet dating about a year ago and don’t really try anymore. Sometimes I wonder if I’ve just blocked myself off from potential disappointment and given up (story/post for another day).
And relaxing into things is so much harder than it sounds, but I think it gets a little easier (probably still not that easy) over time. Hope you find a path towards that balance. It took a long time for me, but I think you’ll know when you find it.May 8, 2017 at 3:14 AM #1750
Thanks Reds10. I can definitely relate to needing those breaks from internet dating. I think it can be hard for people who haven’t really had to do it for a prolongued period of time (ie: most of my married friends) to understand what it’s really like.
I’m glad to hear you’ve found that balance. It gives me some hope that one day I’ll get there too. Really appreciate you sharing your thoughts on this.
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