Saturday, January 26, 2013

Boy Crazy

I am having an awful lot of fun being boy-crazy lately.  But my forty-something boy-craziness is very different that the boy-craziness of my youth - I think mostly because I have a sense of humor about it, and because none of my self worth is tied up in the results.

As I've mentioned here before, when I was younger I would agonize over men's responses to me.  If they didn't like me, I was sure that it was because I was flawed, unattractive, and unlovable: I thought I was unworthy of love, and that the fact that some guy wasn't into me was absolute proof of that.

Yuck.  And would you want to date someone who felt like that about him/herself?  I'm sure that the signals I sent out were needy....and worse.  I talked the talk, but I didn't walk the walk.  I chased after guys that I didn't even really like that much, because it made me feel good about myself (or at least less bad about myself) if they changed their minds and decided that they liked me after all.  Needless to say, that didn't create rock-solid foundations for relationships!

Worst of all, I had no idea I was doing it that way, and I would have argued  all day that I wasn't behaving that way.  I would have been wrong.

So, fast forward twenty years, and things are different.  I've had some pretty serious tests in my life, cancer first among them, and I know a thing or two about myself.  I wouldn't recommend cancer as a way of finding yourself, but I suppose that it's better than not finding yourself at all.  Cancer brought out all kinds of things in me, and I started to hear - round the clock, even when I wasn't doing anything to prove anything to anyone, merely trying to fight for my life and be there for my daughter - that I was an inspiration.  That I was strong and courageous.  That I was amazing.

After a while, I think I finally started to see it in myself.  It was that belief in myself that ultimately allowed me to walk away from my broken marriage, even though I didn't have a job, even though I wasn't sure how I was going to make it work.  I believed in my own abilities, and knew that I had what it took, even if I wasn't sure what "it" meant.

And it turns out all those things I learned about myself along the way are directly impacting my dating life now, and it's almost comical how the little light goes on in my head - self-knowledge - and how the world seems to notice it right away, and how things happen as a result of that.

I walked out of my divorce feeling twenty pounds lighter.  (I jokingly say 250 pounds lighter, corresponding to my ex's (over)weight....)  I didn't change anything on my OkCupid profile, but suddenly, corresponding to my feelings about dating, there are men all over the place.  Yesterday I got ten - TEN! - OkCupid messages, and several of them were actually from interesting guys.  (Attractive men who didn't leak all kinds of baggage across their profiles; literate men who appear to have interesting, together lives.)  I've been on the site for about a month, and never received that many messages in a day (excepting perhaps the first week when I was fresh meat on the website, and all the sharks smelled the blood in the water), and not from such high quality men.

Last week's coffee date didn't go anywhere, and I'm okay with that.  He was cool, as in not warm, in his interactions - didn't smile enough, didn't have any sparks, even though he was a really good man.  We exchanged a couple boring messages afterwards, and we both let it drop.  He sent the last message, and I didn't reply, because I don't need to chase anymore to prove anything to myself about my worth.

But my pheremones must be getting through the internet, because there really are plenty more fish in the sea.  I have a date tomorrow, and the possibility of two more on the horizon.  I don't hold much stock in them, and I have no expectations other than this: I'll learn how to talk to men.  I'll keep my dignity.  I'll try a new coffee shop or restaurant.  I'll learn a bit more about how people tick.  I'll have a good time, no matter how it goes.  If it clicks?  Wow - that would be cool!  But if it doesn't?  That's a-okay.

If I never meet Mr. Right, I'm still going to have a fantastic life.  And if I meet him?  Oh, that would be bliss.

So, right now I'm a little boy crazy.  I'm having so much fun checking OkCupid to see who has been checking me out, and reading their profiles, and choosing which messages I wish to reply to.  I'm a bit giggly about my dates, because it's just plain weird to be dating at this age, but my giggles are out of both the absurdity and the fun of it.

One day, I might meet someone worth a second date.

One day, I might even have sex again!

So pardon me if I'm just a wee bit boy crazy right now.

1 comment:

  1. I loved reading this because I am feeling the same way in my life! I love dating again even though I never thought I would be back in this position at 31. It's a lot of fun :)