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Saturday, June 4, 2011

The most terrifying thing in the world to me...

OK, confession time.

Conversations have come up recently on various blogs and facebook posts about things that people fear. Of course, there are the usual culprits - spiders, snakes, mice, bugs, dentists (oh, wait, that's one of mine), flying (also mine), crossing bridges, things like that.

But honestly, none of those things bother me that much in the grand scheme of things. (Well, maybe dentists...)

My biggest fear in the world is....



Yep. There you have it. I said it. And my skin immediately began to crawl. Literally. The little hairs on my arms are standing up on end from just thinking about it.

Ever since Ex2 and I split up over 2 years ago, people have asked me when I was going to start dating again. At first, it was easy to brush it off. I had too much drama in my life due to the separation from him, too many bills to pay, too much legal stuff to deal with, too many emotions related to the whole thing. My life was just too much.

But now, things have calmed down. A LOT. Mentally, I'm in a much better place. We are situated in our new home, ghetto-like as it may be. I have dependable wheels. Our financial situation has improved, and the bills are getting paid. I'm taking better care of myself, and I feel better about myself in general.

So why is dating so terrifying to me?

It's not that I haven't had the opportunity. I've gone out on several dates in the past few months. Most of the guys have been wonderful (well, there was that one, but we won't go there....) and they have treated me well. But then I freak out and I push them away. Why do I do this?

I admit, I'm independent. Maybe too independent. There aren't many things around the house that I can't do by myself. I don't "need" a man to help me mow the grass (well, except for today when the mower decided to take a dump and die in the middle of the back yard) or to replace a faulty light switch or to take out the trash. I can do all of that on my own.

I like being single. I like not having someone watching over my shoulder, criticizing me for every little thing that I might do wrong. I like being able to drink my Diet Pepsi straight out of the 2-liter bottle in the fridge with no one pestering me about it. I like being able to nuke a frozen meal for supper if I don't feel like cooking. I like being able to buy the food that *I* want to buy at the grocery store. I like being able to just pack up and go on a road trip with a girlfriend (or by myself) whenever I want to do it. I even like waking up alone, because I am NOT pleasant in the morning and the last thing I want to deal with when I first wake up is a morning person.

But at the same time, I hate being single. I hate that when I sit down to watch a late-night movie, the only guys that I generally have with me are Ben & Jerry (not that I don't love them, but you know what I mean). I hate falling asleep alone. I hate not having someone to keep the kids amused so that I can take a shower without having to be a referee for the fist fights that happen on the other side of the shower curtain. I hate that I can't keep up with my running/walking routine because I don't have someone who can watch the kids for me while I go. I really hate that I have to call 911 when I hear a noise that terrifies me because I don't have someone who can go out and check on it for me. I also really hate being the only single person out of my friends, and feeling like I stick out like a sore thumb at the few social gatherings that I attend.

My life finally feels good to me. I feel like I am at least somewhat in control of it. I feel like at this point in time, the kids and I are living in a drama-free bubble, and I like it. No, I love it. I am terrified of allowing someone else into our bubble, for fear that it may pop. But at the same time, I am afraid that if I continue to think like this, I may miss the chance to meet the man of my dreams (ok, even saying that makes me want to hurl, but it's true).

I am torn between just wanting to stay single for the rest of my life and wanting to be in a relationship. And really, it's not the relationship part that scares me the most - it's the dating that is necessary to get there. I've said it a million times, and I'll say it again: I suck at dating. Given my track record, as colorful as it is, I am afraid of meeting someone great and getting all goofy and happy about it, and then having it fall apart. Yes, I know, that's an inherent risk. But, damn, do I have to deal with that crap? And then there's the age-old question about when to introduce the hypothetical guy to the kids. And what guy in his right mind would even want to deal with a woman with 5 kids from 3 different fathers? I mean, really, my kids make me want to run away sometimes - how can I expect someone else to deal with them on a regular basis?

Previous men in my life have not been nice to me, to put it mildly. I have been called every name in the book. I have been embarrassed publicly by them, I have been insulted, I have been beaten down both physically and mentally, and I have been through hell. Not every man, mind you, but a large percentage of them have treated me like crap. Why would I want to put myself back into a position of vulnerability again?

Oh yeah, because one of these days, I'll find one that will treat me like I deserve to be treated. Or at least that's what people like to tell me.

Am I completely mental? OK, I know I am, but am I more mental than usual over this? Or is this normal? This is the longest that I have been single in *cough* probably 20 years *cough*. Is dating supposed to be this scary?

Seriously, I need input here.


  1. Amy ~ do you really want me to be honest? Here is the honest truth. You are awesome. You must believe that you are awesome. You should date... but there are some things you should do first. Make 3 lists. A must list / a must not list / and a "wish, but negotiable" list. Then take a hard look at yourself and start putting things on the list for your awesome mate. I say this because... it seems you might have dated people in your past who did not deserve you. The only way you will find a man who deserves you is if you 1. believe you deserve it yourself. 2. know exactly what you are looking for. 3. go get it. I would also suggest finding a new place to meet guys. And remember.... what is inside matters more than what is on the outside. You deserve a great love. Figure out what would make that great love (with some things that could be negotiable). You don't stink at dating... you just need to be specific.

  2. I couldn't agree more with Kristen. You deserve to know what you want, and settle for nothing less than that. You sound like an amazing woman, who is independent. It's a scary dating world out there, but its managable. I met my boyfriend (currently together just over a year and we just moved in together) on okcupid.com. It's free, and you can take as much time as you need browsing, and getting to know people.
    I am sure theres someone who is a perfect match for you somewhere out there. Just make sure he deserves you! :)
    Good luck!!

  3. Thank you, Kristen! You are absolutely right!

  4. Rose, I tried the online thing, and it was ok. I didn't put much effort into it though. With the situation that I'm in, I feel more comfortable with the friend-of-a-friend scenario - that way I can get a little more honest background information on the guy! LOL

  5. Yes, dating IS scary! I was a single mom for 9 years and dating was always scary! However, the last couple years of single-dom were fun. I had decided I absolutely did NOT want to be single anymore. I wanted to find a NICE guy and I was willing to do what it took to find him. You know what it took? LOTS OF DATING! And what I learned was that dating can also be FUN! I signed up for eHarmony and I dated, and dated, and dated. I was in single girl heaven. :-) And then I met my husband, and now we're one of THOSE success stories. Yes, they're out there. It's possible to find a nice man. One who will treat you right and treat your children right. One who you can count on. It just might take a long time to find him - it took me 9 years! But it was totally worth the wait. My advice is this: although it is scary, be open to opportunities anyway! And most importantly, don't rush into anything. It's more important to find the right guy some day than it is to find any guy today.

  6. OH dear Amy, all I can say I wish the very best for you. It must be scary especially since it is not only about you, but your children as well. I have been married my whole life (well, kind of it seems) so I have NO insight for you at all except to say you sound like a wonderful woman learning to make your own way in the world and learning how to love yourself...I think once you can love yourself, love will find YOU...
    Wishing you everything YOU wish for...

  7. Dating is scary. I also suck at the dating thing. I'm a serial monogamist, but I've found that's probably only because I hate dating so much, and not really because I love being involved with whatever person I'm currently attached to.
    I agree with what Kristen said about getting what you deserve. Make a list. I love lists. I suck at sticking to them, so I hope that works better for you.

  8. Another one who sucks at dating here. I've been divorced for almost 10 years and have not had a single date. For me the problem is that I don't want to get married again, I would just like someone to hang out with......more of a buddy than a boyfriend. But the great majority of the men I've met in the past 10 years have quite obviously either been interested in me as a way to get to my kids, or have started out right quick with the sexual innuendo. Bleah.

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  10. Is dating SUPPOSED to be scary? In theory, no, but in practice there's just about nothing scarier. I too suck at dating and I get really riled when I admit it to friends and they argue with me. I know myself -- I'm an entirely different person when I'm dating, a person I don't like. I compromise my needs to try to get everyone to like me; when it's over, as it usually is, I ask myself what I must have been thinking to make such glaring and dangerous mistakes and the answer is always the same: I wasn't thinking.

    Best of luck to you.

  11. Wow - I love the comments! You all make some very good points - and realistically, they're all things that I've thought to myself, but haven't really said out loud.

    I go back and forth with knowing/not knowing what I want. Like I said, I love being single, but at the same time I hate it. Love the freedom, hate the lonliness.

    I know that someone will come along at some point and it will just feel "right" - and that it will happen when it is supposed to happen. I have always been the type of person who didn't like uncertainty. If something is going to happen, it just needs to happen. Either now, or on a certain date. It's the not knowing that's killing me.

    Ugh. Even the thought of dating sucks. LOL

  12. You are preaching to the choir here! It has been 10 years for me....and I still break out in a cold sweat just thinking about dating....but like you...not crazy about being single. Sigh!


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