I wanted to write a post to all of the thirty-something people out there who suddenly may find themselves single in this crazy world of poor communication, easily offended people, and horrible online dating situations... You are not alone. It is a tough age range in which to be suddenly on the market again. As someone who recently found themselves in this situation, due to less than perfect circumstances, I just wanted to offer some advice to you... but also to myself, as we embark on this crazy journey together.
First and foremost... being suddenly single in your 30's doesn't mean that things are hopeless for you. It doesn't mean that you are never going to find true love. I truly believe that the world is still full of plenty of awesome people. People like us. Fates willing, we will find each other. We will find someone who will love us for exactly who we are. They won't try to change us. They won't lie to us. They will think we are beautiful/handsome even when we have terrible morning breathe and afros, as well as puffy eyes and smelly pits.
But... don't put all of your eggs into that basket of hopeless desperation, as that can reek as we re-enter the world of dating. The thing is, we are all truly awesome EXACTLY how we are. We are strong. We know how to thrive in this world, and I truly believe that even if we never find true love that we will be OK in the long run. But, these are a few tips that I intend to live by for my own life in this situation. Take it with a grain of salt if you'd like, or perhaps see how this can prove true in your own life as you embark on new adventure once more.
1.) Don't rush. Even if we say, "I'm fine," we probably have some hidden issues that we don't even realize we have. One thing I found when I did online dating way back in the day is that most people on there seemed to be in some kind of rebound. That person on the rebound now could be you. Now, there is nothing wrong with rebounding, by any means, but be open and honest with those whom you may be rebounding with so that they don't get false expectations in their heads. That goes for you too! Also, if you DO happen to have someone in your life who you think you'd like to date at some point, make sure not to jump in too too fast. Work through your shit, and when you are ready, be willing to be open and honest with them about where you stand... and don't be afraid to ask them on a date, y'all! I mean, what ever happened to chivalry, anyways? (Ladies, it's ok for you to initiate too... not sayin', just sayin')
2.) Be safe. If you need to have crazy rebound sex, then have at it... but be SAFE about it. Don't make a stupid decision during this time that could ruin a friendship, or even ruin your body (i.e. STDs and such). I mean, let's face it, when you've been emotionally hidden behind a wall for a while it's easy for everything to come pouring out all at once, so be mindful. Don't let yourself lose control. Don't do anything that'll lead to regret later on.
3.) Communicate. Talk to friends about what you are going through. If you hide away and try to deal with it all yourself, you are likely to make some of the bad decisions above. It's good to talk it out with those whose advice you truly trust. Also, if you do plan on partaking in #2 above, I'd recommend sharing where and when and who you'll be with so that at least one friend can keep tabs on you. They will reel you in if need be.
4.) Be confident. Just because you are single again does NOT mean that you are damaged goods. It's easy to fall into the trap of, "I'm old, I'm ugly, who the f*** could possibly love me now!" Find all of your truly amazing traits and focus on those. You are fabulous, baby! You are NOT worthless, ugly, unloveable... or any of the above. You ARE worth it. You need to believe that.
5.) Let it all out. It's totally OK if you need to spend a day/evening on the couch watching sappy movies and crying it out. Just let it out. It's better to let it flow than to bottle it all up inside. Healing comes with us being able to tap into our emotions and work through them.
6.) Recap and Let Go. Try and figure out what YOU can do differently moving forward as you embark back into the dating world. Sure, the easy out is to be like, "It was all their fault! They were a lying, cheating piece of shit!" but that will only lead you to have anger and trust issues moving forward. The more we hold onto these deep emotions rooted to our past, the harder it will be to see a clear future where we won't continue to compare our new dating options to everything that went wrong in the past. So, what can YOU do? *puts on best Elsa impersonation* Let it go! We need to let go of all of the bad shit that has happened to us. Yes, no more blame! No more brooding! We NEED to approach this with a new light... with a smile... and with the intention of just having some f***ing fun, y'all!
Look, I'm by no means a dating guru. I mean, heck... my love life has been far from perfect. People could easily view all of my past failures and bad choices and be like, "Who is SHE to be giving us advice?" I'm just a gal who has messed up a lot in the past and who intends on moving forward with lessons from all of my past mistakes. This doesn't mean I will be mistake free moving forward by any means. But it does mean that I am moving forward with a positive outlook and an open mind. I hope that you will too, and I wish you the best on your journeys back into the Kingdom of Singledom. May the Force be with us.