After some real soul-searching and consideration I’ve decided I am ready to take the plunge and re-enter the dating scene; I cleaned up my on-line dating profile, posted some recent pics, and made the profile visible. Emails, winks and “likes” started coming in, and I’ve taken them on like it is my job. This time, I am approaching the online dating scene with a new attitude and outlook. For starters, I am viewing this as just one avenue to meet a future mate. I’ve also given tremendous thought about what I want and the type of person that I am looking for. I have dated a lot in the past 20 years, and sometimes I haven’t been the best screener of who I let into my life. I had to think about what I want in life and the type of person I want to share my life with.
It’s ironic that being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia forced me to become clear with myself about these things. I realized that I am no longer interested in dating just for companionship or because there is a mutual attraction. I am truly looking for a life partner and marriage material. I’ve also become a lot clearer about my boundaries and who I am willing to make an emotional investment with. My heart was broken last year, and it was totally preventable. The warning signs were there all along. The red flags were practically neon, but I let myself get caught up in a relationship that was headed down a dead-end street. Although painful, this taught me a valuable lesson: Just because two people are kind, enjoy each other’s company, get along fabulously and are wildly attracted to each other, does not mean they make good partners in the long run. It’s just not that easy; If it were, the divorce rate in this country would not be over 50%!
Now I am a clear that I am looking for a man who is dependable, loyal, generous with their time and energy, intelligent and has a good work ethic. Most importantly, I am only looking to date guys who are also actively interested in finding a life partner. I am not interested in investing any more emotional energy into someone who is just looking for a companion or who has no intention of getting married when they find the right person. Now- don’t worry, as I said in my profile, I have no intention of showing up on a first date with a white dress or a UHaul. I just want to know that the person I am dating is also looking to get married to the right person.
I’m also looking for a peer, and somebody that I am proud of. I’m done being the ‘rescuer’ in my relationships. It’s draining, one-sided and has never fully met my needs. It’s still a little hard for me to let go of this tendency, but I am determined that I will find somebody and we will be mutually supportive of each other.
A couple of my girlfriends have commented that this is the most serious they have seen me about dating. I actually think it is. I’m trying to be careful to not burn out with exhaustion. I’ve done that before, and become so overwhelmed that I just shut my account down and throw up my hands. In order to avoid this, I have to stay true to myself and listen to my gut. Experience has taught me that my gut is generally dead on, and yet I have often doubted it.
Admittedly, this is challenging with Fibromyalgia. The pain and the exhaustion are there, and I am trying to put my best foot forward. My dietary habits are a bit drastic, and I no longer drink. This has come up on first dates, and is an awkward conversation to navigate without getting into the Fibromyalgia and not sounding like I’m in recovery. (Of course, I applaud everyone who is in recovery, and I’m sure you all can relate your own dating challenges around this issue). I just don’t wan to be misleading, and I don’t want to get into the Fibro thing until I know that I’m interested in spending more time with someone.
I’d really like to hear from others who are out there living with a chronic disease and dating. What are your challenges? What are you looking for from dating? and When is the right time to have the “So- you should know that I have some health issues” talk? For my married bloggers and those in long-term domestic partnerships, what trait do you value most in your partner? I’ll take any advice on these matters.
Now, I need to go get ready; I have a second date this evening