Blogging, Dating, PSAs

Why I’m Never Dating Again

DISCLAIMER: Names changed because it’s fun to rename people you’ve never met.

Go-Jules-Go_Why-Im-Never-Dating-Again_Title-graphic_13FEB2019

“I don’t have a lot of experience with girls. I mean, like, verrry little.”

Looking back, I probably should have dropped my fork and run. But he was so funny. And had great hair.

It was late March 2015, and Adam was the ninth person I’d met during my 10 first dates in 10 weeks online dating phase. I never made it to the tenth. Our first date lasted nearly six hours, over dinner and drinks at a local gastro pub. (And by gastro pub I mean restaurant that features 117 kinds of beer, dramatically mustachioed waiters and duck confit sliders.)

At 35, Adam was a few years older than I was, animated and full of fun stories. When a position in the arts failed to cover the bills, he settled for manual labor alongside his father, work he described with hilarious disdain. If I had had to guess, I’d have said he’d probably just moved out of his parents’ basement within the past year.

“Next time we’re going to have to go to [the notoriously cheap local Mexican restaurant],” he said after I ordered my third drink (I did mention we were there for six hours, right?).

“Why?”

“I won’t be able to afford your hollow leg!”

hot-air-balloon-champagne
Well I need SOMETHING to drown out the memory of first dates #1-8.

At the end of the night, I insisted on paying, knowing I’d racked up an impressive tab with my multiple martinis and tuna tartare compared to his two beers and burger. As with most first dates, I left feeling both energized and drained, and still very much on the fence.

We texted incessantly, and by the end of our second date, I found myself saying, “I reallllly like you” before kissing him. He had been so nervous, I was surprised by how naturally he reacted.

On our third date, we got lost in the subway.

Adam-Jules-lost-on-subway_Go-Jules-Go
Sign you don’t want to see when you’re supposed to be IN Manhattan.

Still, I wrestled with my resolve to keep dating. Meeting strangers and immediately auditioning them for Future Life Partner, or at the very least, Tonsil Hockey Teammate, seemed…WEIRD to me. Maybe because my dating life didn’t begin in earnest until 31 – after my divorce. I had married my first real boyfriend, someone I’d known through work for almost two years before we’d started dating, and we had been together for over ten years.

Nevertheless, in early 2014, newly single, I dove headfirst into two back-to-back relationships via eHarmony, eventually burned and defeated by both. “Gotta get back in the game!” was the conventional wisdom, and since I’d yet to become the baller, independent thinker you see before you today, I went with it. “10 First Dates in 10 Weeks,” I called it.

Big mistake.

Really big.

Just…no.

Go-Jules-Go_10-first-dates_Make-it-Stop
I cannot believe how many pictures I have from this phase that never before made it on this blog.

After that, I entered one more relationship courtesy Match.com that was nice, but not right for me. It was mid-2017 by then and I realized I needed a break. I needed to finish grad school and focus on my passions. I dove headfirst into my thesis, met amazing new people, and lined up an exciting array of adventures for 2019 (heh, stay tuned).

Is that the reason I’m glad I’m single this Valentine’s Day? …Kind of. Have I noticed that I haven’t gone on a date in almost two years? …Sorta. Am I EVER going to date again?

…No.

stuffing-fries-in-mouth
And not just because I want to mainline leftover french fries in peace.

That’s right. You heard me. At some point in 2018 it occurred to me that I wasn’t getting the results I wanted because I was following someone else’s rules. No wonder I was burnt out, frustrated, confused. I thought I just hadn’t found the right app, or tried hard enough, when in fact I was simply looking in all the wrong places. It was so obvious I couldn’t believe I’d missed it:

The only men I’d ever loved were friends first. Including my ex-husband.

Real friends. Friends for the sake of being friends. We weren’t trying each other on to see if we fit. We weren’t grilling each other over craft beer with sweaty palms and sky-high stakes.

Go-Jules-Go-title-graphic-PTSD-from-dating
Or to get a blog post out of it. (…Who, me?)

We connected over shared laughs, common interests and similar goals. Our paths crossed naturally, and over time, we confided in each other, deepened our trust and developed genuine love. Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about.

So did Adam become a real friend? No. But he certainly was the closest to one I found during my 10 9 First Dates in 10 Weeks, and he reminded me of what I really wanted. He reminded me that I need to see someone’s heart and soul before I feel comfortable sharing my most vulnerable self.

I admire those who can bare it all sooner, who can meet new people and embrace the uncertainty. I have girlfriends who relish getting to a new city and firing up Bumble. To them, it’s fun and exciting. For me, it’s a fate worse than death a chipmunk-less world.

chipmunk-stuffing-peanut-in-cheek
Wait, what?

The choice to never date again probably sounds dramatic and sad to those folks. When I made the decision last year? I’d never felt more relieved.

Go-Jules-Go_Redbox_Valentines-Day
Meet my Valentine’s Day plans.

~*~*~*~*~

How do you feel about dating? About being single (or not) this Valentine’s Day?

~*~*~*~*~

60 thoughts on “Why I’m Never Dating Again”

  1. Today, I was watching something and a thought popped in my head, I WANT SOMEONE TO LOVE. Not date but love. I’m not sure I know how to date. It actually made me feel alone.

  2. I applaud your tenacity. Having been married more years than I care to count, I can’t even imagine dating in today’s meat market society. That being said, my husband, lover, and eternal mate? Would never have been my friend. Ever! We differ in every little way imaginable …(although I have managed to drag him over to the dark side in a few areas) My only advice is this… if you’re happy being single? Be single. We’re happy not having any children. The culture at large may not agree, but you gotta do what’s right for you.

    1. A(wo)men! I’ve gotten so used to going against the grain these days that I might not be able to blog anymore. I’ll be living in a Yurt making tea from tarantula droppings.

  3. I’ve given this a lot of thought. I talk to so many people using dating apps who are having an exhausting experience. I feel like modern dating using technology offers ease of entry and bulk quantity, but it also offers bulk lack-of-connection–an existential crisis we’re probably not equipped to handle. As you said, the best connections are often the ones that sneak up on us when we weren’t looking. This can take repeated encounters and often take place when our guard is down.

    1. Please give those people my deepest condolences (…and if they’re cute, my number… wait! Never mind! I don’t do that anymore!). If I republish this post to include the phrase “it also offers bulk lack-of-connection-and-existential-crisis,” do I have to pay you royalties?

  4. It is so trite and annoying as HELL to say this but I speak from experience. When you stop looking, love will find you.

    I think I mentioned the butterfly story to you more than once. (I’m getting pretty feeble-minded in my golden years) But here it is again, you can’t catch a butterfly. You can’t even chase it around screaming JUST LOVE ME, GODDAMMIT! or hit it with a stick. But if you stay real still and patiently wait…it will perch on your face. (Or something like that…)

  5. Two gold quotes: “Meet my Valentine’s Day plans” and secondly, “I cannot believe how many pictures I have from this phase that never before made it on this blog.” Said another way, WATCH OUT FRIENDS OF JULES! (Or total strangers.) She will put your ass (errr, picture of you) online with a witty caption and a rainbow tutu…wait, the tutu was real, the fake crown wasn’t. How do I retract a comment on this f’n site?!

    1. You think the girl who PowerShops “I heart furries” t-shirts on her friends is going to allow them to edit their comments?! Nevaaaaaah!!!! (Unless you wanted to add something about any other line you like. Then I can do that for you.)

  6. Bravo! Now you’ve got it. Friends first. When times are tough, if your spouse is also your best friend, you’re much more likely to make it through.

    In my mid-twenties, when most of my peers were meeting and marrying, and starting families, I decided (after a torturous month or two) to put my social life on hold and go back to school (college – again). I concentrated on my career and stopped looking for Mr. Right. About a year out of school, when I was finally doing what I wanted to do, feeling fully independent for the first time in my life, when I wasn’t even looking, I met Mr. Right. That was 24 years ago.

    1. That’s awesome. It sounds brag-a-docious, but I love my life so much these days, pursuing passion projects and cultivating the “best of the best” in my friend circles, that sometimes I forget I’m single! (I do want to keep making sure I mention that, though, in case Darren Criss is reading…)

  7. I negotiated online dating about two years ago. I am 57, so many of the prospects are damaged goods in my age group. I prefer to date in that age group. I also expect damaged goods.. I have my own cuts and bruises, after all.

    I just broke up with a woman I met online and dated over a year. It was a good experience and I learned tons. What I am discovering that I don’t need a dating app to meet someone.. and it’s better if I am not in a hurry.

    You are attractive, funny, intelligent, independent (i.e. not needy).. likely overqualified for the online dating scene. When it (dating) happens, it’s going to be a friend. That’s a good thing.

    1. I’m sorry to hear that! (The break-up part, not the part where you listed all of these wonderful things about me.) “It’s better if I’m not in a hurry.” Yes! It sounds so simple, but it can be so hard to do. The more I’ve just taken a deep breath and allowed things to unfold in their own time -in all areas of life- the better things seem to get! (Not easy for a project manager to do…)

  8. My husband was my best friend (and a friend of my ex). We talked about anything and everything…including his romances with other women. Then one day, an almost imperceptible change came about. We were married nearly 37 years when he was killed in an auto accident.

    Dating after that long was a truly terrifying eexperience. I wasnt looking for someone for a long term relationship but i was lonely and wanted companionship. I wrote a very tongue-in-cheek personal ad and was amazed to get 300 responses in 24 hours. There are a lot of lonely (and a great many perverted) people out there. One very tongue-in-cheek response to my ad lead to a long distance friendship that has blossomed. I can’t imagine being involved with someone I haven’t gotten to know well.

    Dating is highly overrated…

  9. This is a wonderful. A true enlightening, Oprah-Aha-Moment. Seriously, tho. It’s true…our friend’s make the best partners. Sometimes we let the right one(s) slip away so as to not ruin friendships (or maybe that’s just me), but the person that can make you laugh, hugs you when you cry, buys you your favorite band’s CD just ‘cus, and holds your hair when you barf, is quite truly the person you’re meant to be with. I let one go a long time ago and sometimes still kick myself for it.

    1. Thank you, Sandy!! There’s this one nugget of advice that keeps playing in my head over this past year: Love that’s meant for you will never walk past you. I don’t think that necessarily means that a prior love will never return again, but that timing is everything, and if you’re in a situation right now where something has eluded you, it only means something even better is on its way – when you’re ready for it (with the same or entirely new person). It brings me a lot of comfort to trust that the universe wants what’s actually best for me, because I suspect I often don’t know what that looks like 😉

  10. Yesterday, was the, hmm, 8th single one in a row. Nope, doesn’t worry me. I took my Mom out last night. We went to Cracker Barrel, our favorite place. I bought 3 bags of Peanut M&Ms that I gave to the girls at the checkout and 2 of 3 of my favorite waitresses. They enjoyed that and I was happy (Oh, did buy 1 for me, too).
    Jules, I shamelessly tell you again, you are welcome here anytime. I will drop what I am doing to take you to a nice place to eat (Cracker Barrel or not) and talk to you until whatever time in the morning, even if it means relocating to a bar or AppleBees.
    And, we won’t consider it a date – we are already friends.
    Scott

  11. Hi I am Asian. I m done tru with such. Being single doesnt mean your at your death bed. Sometimes you just have to stay happy and be happy. Thinking of good things and being thankful for you have right now. Having been in and out of a relationship is so tiresome, someone controlling your life and you loose control of your own. Some people says your bitter, yet how do you really feel? Last Valentine I simply spend it with friends and family knowingly they deserve more rather from people you simply tru online dating or matches from friends. and I think your fine, having relationships is not just you meet, you date, drink and have sex. It should have a good foundation to last a lifetime. Cheers!

    1. Cheers to spending time with those who uplift and nourish your spirit! Every day, when I start sinking back into negative thought patterns, I remind myself that I get exactly what I give. In other words, like you said, “You just have to stay happy and be happy.” And, I’d add to that, “Then you’ll attract more happiness naturally.” Double cheers!

    1. One of my favorite newsletters (The Daily Stoic) just popped up in my inbox with this quote from Seneca that I thought you might like, too: “What progress, you ask, have I made? I have begun to be a friend to myself.” It’s been hard to reconcile, but I think only through THAT process will I find “the right person” for me.

  12. Awesome blog! I’m so glad I’ve found you.
    I tried dating the same way and found the same results. I took a two year break and said, “no more dating.” Instead, I focused on working on personal issues and my spiritual journey.
    I am convinced that it’s when we surrender these things that we soon find them.
    I met a family friend, he knew both of my parents ( they’ve both passed away), and we built a strong friendship. I knew after 2 months that I was in love – lol – but didn’t know how he felt. We have been together officially as a couple since January 2017, we have been engaged for one year, and are getting married in October of this year!!!
    You are doing the right thing. Follow that intuition and watch as God/The Universe naturally brings to you the one that will be the lover of your soul!

    1. I’m so glad you found me, too!!! I even shared this comment with some of my close girlfriends; I am doing my very best to go with the flow (Universe/intuition) and life has gotten so much more magical because of it. So many high fives and congrats to you on your upcoming wedding!!!

  13. Your intuition is fire.

    This section…

    “At some point in 2018 it occurred to me that I wasn’t getting the results I wanted because I was following someone else’s rules. No wonder I was burnt out, frustrated, confused. I thought I just hadn’t found the right app, or tried hard enough, when in fact I was simply looking in all the wrong places. It was so obvious I couldn’t believe I’d missed it:

    The only men I’d ever loved were friends first. Including my ex-husband.

    Real friends. Friends for the sake of being friends. We weren’t trying each other on to see if we fit. We weren’t grilling each other over craft beer with sweaty palms and sky-high stakes.

    We connected over shared laughs, common interests and similar goals. Our paths crossed naturally, and over time, we confided in each other, deepened our trust and developed genuine love. Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about.”

    ….is the priceless answer. Thank-you.

  14. I dunno why, but this post left me with such awe and warmth.
    This is very relatable and as your page says,
    Go Jules Go!

    I would love to hear your thoughts about my blog and latest post as well
    Would love to hear from such an interesting person like you!

  15. I’m with you! I have been single two years after being married since 1995! I’m older and things are different all around! I’m getting comfortable and not really feeling the idea of hanging out with strangers!

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