In 2014 til 2017, I explored the dating scene again. I explored being in an open relationship with my then boyfriend for us to better understand ourselves and to test our relationship. As I’ve mentioned in my previous blogs, we had a long distance relationship and its something that we both didn’t want but we thought it was practical at the time.
The first year after separation was tough. I was struggling and the potential dates weren’t great. After a few dates, I realise that it’s true what they say. You attract what you are. I was a work in progress. I revamped myself, had fun, met friends and people with no intentions of being in a serious relationship.
After the first year, I started getting my confidence back. Truth be told, I have enjoyed the dating scene as I’ve met great eligible bachelors. There’s something about being married once and getting separated that changes you. You’re always on guard cause you don’t want to be hurt again.
There’s this voice inside your head, telling you, you have to give it a try. It’s not the end of the world yet! You enjoy meeting other people and you get to know them for what they are. This time, I knew what I was looking for. I made a list of the qualities I want to have in a partner. It’s easy to get lost in the moment and the whole dating scene will distract you. If you have a list of qualities in your head, write it down. You’ll notice yourself become more selective of the people you meet and the people you date.
The most valuable resource anybody can ever have is time. We have it, it’s infinite. Once you waste it, you can never have it back. Although I have a very busy schedule during the week working, I make my weekends free and made it my “social time”. It would be hard for some ladies especially if they have kids, but it’s an important part of moving on. If you’ve decided to find someone, you have to set priorities.
I’ve had my share of good and bad dates but most of them turned out to be good dates. In your 30s, it’s quite difficult to juggle work and play because our 30s is our most productive years. Before you know it, you’re losing touch to that guy you dated a week ago. If the connection was something genuine and worth keeping, you have to follow through.
I was surprised at first with the variety of options I have. Probably because of my background. Most guys will seriously date someone who’s focused on career, good-looking and seem to have it together. Nobody wants to date a mess.
To conclude, here’s my take-aways regarding the experience:
- Work on yourself first. Nobody wants to date a mess.
- You attract who you are. Live an interesting lifestyle and the people who like the same things will be attracted to you. You don’t have to try.
- Think abundantly and date as many people as possible. But be selective.
- Use your time wisely. Only date people in your “ideal partner” list.
- You deserve to be happy and give love another chance. Whatever you decide on, whether it’s to stay single or to find someone, know that you’re always loved. You have family and friends, having a partner is just a bonus.
- You are whole. You don’t need anyone to complete you. When you have a mindset like this, you know that you’re finding someone not because of need, but because you have an “extra” love to give.
- Understand that loving someone and having a partner is hard work. Like most relationships in life, you work for it and when you find that special someone, treasure it.
Let the lessons of the past not make you bitter, but a learning experience to guide you to decide better and live life to the fullest.
Update: I married my long-term long distance boyfriend in New York at Roosevelt Island this Spring. In our ceremony, in front of his family, we added a quote from the movie Frances Ha:
“It’s that thing when you’re with someone and you love them and they know it and they love you and you know it but it’s a party and you’re both talking to other people and you’re laughing and shining and you look across the room and catch each other’s eyes. But not because you’re possessive, or it’s precisely sexual, but because that is your person in this life and it’s funny and sad but only because this life will end and it’s this secret world that exists right there. In public. Unnoticed. That no one else knows about. It’s sort of like how they say that other dimensions exist all around us but we don’t have the ability to perceive them. That’s what I want out of a relationship. Or just life, I guess.”