I’m about to turn 35, and find myself single after 12 years of being in a relationship. My ex and I met in college on a study abroad, and were friends (with benefits) for many months before we became exclusive. That friendship developed, evolved, and after six years of dating (four living together) we got married.
We were married for another six years until she suffered the loss of someone very close to her which ended up impacting our relationship greatly. We saw a therapist, both together and separately, and tried very hard over the course of nearly two years to rebuild the relationship, but ultimately we grew apart and decided to divorce. We remain friends to this day, but now I find myself single, and if I’m being honest a bit scared of it. We were separated and living apart for the last 1.5 years of our marriage, so it doesn’t feel like I’m coming right out of a relationship anymore. The pain of saying goodbye to my marriage has come and gone, and I finally feel ready to start exploring life again as a single guy. But unlike last time I was single (college) I’m not constantly surrounded by new people. Hell, last time I was single apps like Tinder and Bumble didn’t exist! I have joined the various online apps, and have been on a few first dates.
The first dates went about as expected given that I was new to online dating, and really dating again in general. The first date had great conversation, but lacked attraction, the second date there was attraction, but the conversation lacked some chemistry, and the third-first date had chemistry on both fronts, but external factors with family (she has a kid, and my family had some health issues) caused a second date to be indefinitely postponed until things just fizzled.
So I’m reaching out to you and your audience to better understand how one starts over in this brave new online world. With work, trying to start a new business, and maintaining healthy habits at the gym my time is limited, and it’s hard to motivate myself actually go OUT and meet new people. There are plenty of women I find attractive at the gym, but my assumption has always been that these women probably get hit on plenty there and just want a place where they can zone out and do their thing, much like I do at the gym. That said, I’d be totally okay with being hit on at the gym, so perhaps I’m putting up barriers for myself that don’t exist.
As you can probably tell by now, I’m not quite sure how to be single guy looking. I’m not really looking for anything too serious, but also not relegating myself to simply hooking up with people. That said, starting with something casual would be okay. Part of that long separation in my last relationship also means it’s been quite the stretch since I’ve had sex, and I’m not going to lie, I miss it! But where to begin? Datings apps, going out, speed dating, the gym . . . do I just cast a wide net, or is there a strategy to singledom?
Any and all help is greatly appreciated,
Starting Over Single