Many people have been asking how the vacation from dating went and or ended. Well it hasn’t really ended nor has it really continued. I don’t know how to end it. Technically, I never ended the vacation from dating, I just stopped caring about it. After the three days of sweatpants, not caring and not working out got to me, I got the self loathing and soul crushing defeat of dating scene burnout out of my system. Life just kind of went on and I didn’t really think about dating. I got sick for a good 10 days, that kept me fairly preoccupied. Then I flew off for a four day vacation to the west coast with my Step-Mom*, to see Springsteen in concert. That four days out of the fishbowl of my life was good for me in this dating funk slump I’ve been in.
(*Hereafter referred to as “Mom”, she’s been there for thirty years since I was five, she’s more than earned losing the “Step” part and gets full title.)
I spent a lot of time talking with my Mom on our vacation about my train-wrecked relationships of the past year. She brought the topic up actually, I think she was interested to see how my life has been since the divorce, and wanted to get a feel for the new life I’ve been trying to create. I won’t bore you with the details of what I told her, and out of respect to any of my exes, I don’t air my specific dirty laundry details on the blog.
Her advice was solid, I have to say. Normally the relationship advice I get is from friends my age or dating articles from one of the dating websites I’m on. It was so refreshing to get relationship advice from the perspective of someone thirty years into their second marriage. Who better to give you honest, truthful feedback than your Mom? Her advice was so simple, so straightforward, not slogged down with pop psychology babble. It was not laden with bullshit motivational platitudes (“You have to send your intentions out the universe” *barf*).
Her counsel made so much sense in its simplicity as she delivered this over a few beers and nachos in a quaint little sports bar we found. It was so good to be in a different city away from the roles we inhabit in our regular day to day lives and just talk like two adults, not just Mother and Son.
Her basic take on it was that the online dating machine creates a false sense of intimacy. So this would explain why I feel like many of the women I am dating are moving way too fast for me; whereas I’m coming out of a sixteen year long marriage I need a much slower pace. Sixteen years is a lifetime, my failed marriage is a teenager who can drive in Canada, or get a pilots license in Australia.
Her advice could not have come at a better time. I never before have been so disillusioned with relationships that the thought of quitting relationships seemed like a feasible viable option. I was on the precipice of embracing my single-hood permanently cliff and ready to jump. I had all but made the decision that there was no woman out there that had anything she could offer me that I already did not possess.
I was and still am a fairly self contained unit on all fronts. What do I need someone in my life for? I already have everything I require. One could argue sex is the one thing I could not fulfill on my own. To which I respond, considering the amount of bullshit that sex created for me and my relationships, I came to the conclusion sex was not worth the hassle. If relationships were dynamite sticks, my dick was the fuse this past year.
Her advice was to toss the terms and definitions out the window. Strike the term “dating” from my vocabulary, she said. It pigeonholes, and almost creates a prescribed track that the relationship has to follow (First date meeting-Third date-Sex-Tenth date-Terrifying ‘so where are we going with this?’ talk etc.)
Instead she said just cultivate relationships naturally. See how it goes. Go to a movie for the sake of going to a movie with someone you like, don’t call it a movie date. Have dinner for the sake of having dinner with someone you like, don’t call it a dinner date. Go for a coffee for the sake of going for coffee with someone you like, don’t call it a coffee date. Go skeet shooting for the sake of going skeet shooting with someone you like, don’t call it a skeet shooting date. That last one wasn’t true but you get the general idea Mom was putting across.
So where does this leave me now? Fucked if I know. I’m just taking mom’s advice and seeing how things go. Maybe by this time next year Kate Winslet will finally accept my skeet shooting offers.