Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
ZOMBIE THREAD ALERT: This thread hasn't been posted on for a while.
Dating - How long do you give it before you feel a spark?(25 Posts)
I have been single for 4 years and have never really dated before. I've always met someone, fancied them, pulled them the same night then had a relationship with them. But I had a baby 14 months ago (his dad is a not serious ex from a long time ago and isn't involved) and everything has changed. I feel like I don't know how to fancy people anymore and also my self esteem isn't what it was. I haven't had sex since before I found out I was pregnant.
Anyway, I thought I should give online dating a go, give myself a chance to meet someone. I have been out with one guy 3 times. Dinner, theatre and a gig. He is very sweet, always comes up with the dates, and they are totally things I would want to do myself. He texts me loads (too much probably) and seems quite into it. Problem is that I am not sure there is a spark. I like him when I am with him and can chat to him. We had one kiss and it was nice... but I definitely don't want to rip his clothes off. I also am not sure I find him funny or interesting enough. But I don't know if I just need to give him more of a chance.
It's also hard to find time to see him regularly enough TO get to know him as a lone parent with limited support - no ex partner and parents 200 miles away. Plus baby struggling a bit post mmr with ezcema and teeth etc so I feel a bit like I just cannot be arsed.
Does anyone have any advice? Would you persevere or think after 3 dates if you don't feel like you fancy them yet, that maybe it's not the right thing?
If it's not working for you, you don't have to analyse it or give him more of a chance. When you really like someone the word 'persevere' doesn't cross your mind. Why waste your time and why get his hopes up if it's going nowhere? It's been nice but no thanks.... and move swiftly on.
If I'm feeling generous, maybe I'd go to a second date. But generally I think you know pretty much straight away whether someone suits you or not. Sounds like you've got a lot on your plate at the moment without adding someone you don't really fancy to the mix. Get rid - after all, you're not going to meet someone you really get on with if you're wasting time with someone who's just OK.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
If no spark and it seems like you need to persevere than this isn't the man for you.
Do you really want a relationship or just a friend? It sounds like you have enough on your plate. I have a 15 month old and if I were single, dating would be the last thing on my mind.
There must have been a spark at some point NailedIt for there to be 2 DCs?? Seriously, am sorry to hear it's gone. I have definitely been THERE (without the DCs mind).
Thanks for the responses. Pretty unanimous then. Friends have said that I need to give him more of a chance, but they don't have kids and it is so different when you only get maybe 1 night a week if you can square babysitting and you want to also see friends or do other things that don't feel like such an effort. I guess you do need to know you fancy them in order to prioritise them.
Makes me feel the online dating just isn't for me at the moment as I can't invest the time you need to in it.
'persevere' does make it sound a bit like an endurance sport
if you feel like you should give it more of a chance, then how about cooking Sunday lunch together or something?
No baby sitter needed and no need to go out (unless you go to his home to do it)
I'd see someone that I thought of as 'nice' but not wanting to bed him as friend material and not partner material.
Polly, I could have written your post when DD was 14 months old. Her father was my first love from the 90's, and never wanted anything to do with her after we 'hooked up' again and I fell pregnant.
I commend you for getting the get up and go to bother doing anything like that when your child is 14 months. I waited a bit longer, I say waited, I didn't intend on meeting anyone or anything really until I just decided one day to sign up on some websites. I was online dating for 2 years, on and off, before I met my fiance.
If you need more time to just chill out, take it. You'll know when you're ready to dedicate more time to finding a partner, but till then, relax, work on your self esteem and just enjoy chilling out.
Spark wise, I didn't feel a spark or a rush with DP till I saw him cross the finish line of a marathon, that was 5/6 weeks after we had been dating 2-3 times a week. I think 'sparks' are overrated, it's about getting to know the person, developing a slow bond, I think those are the wonderful things we should aim for.
Nothing wrong with a spark, but all sparks I've ever encountered ended up with the bloke being a colossal jebend!
Granville, that is a good question. I would like to fall in love and feel that spark again. But I don't want a relationship for the sake of it, if that makes sense.
Stopping breastfeeding and getting past the first year made me feel a lot more like myself so I thought it was time to see what was out there, but maybe it's too early really. I feel like it's too much to think about at the moment so you are probably right.
In my experience, men feel 'chemistry' quicker than women, and chemistry can often be mistaken for a spark. Chemistry is wanting to kiss or have sex with someone, but a spark is wanting to walk hand in hand down a beach or stay up all night chatting to them about life and making each other laugh.
It sounds like you've got neither in this case, and three dates in with neither is a bad sign. You're just not that into him. But OD is unfortunately a numbers game, you've got to weed through a lot of people (and dates) before you find someone with both chemistry AND spark.
If free-time is a factor, then OD is a lot easier to 'meet' people than in real life, the problem is you're only meeting the persona they portray on screen, you can't tell until you meet them whether it's right or not, and often you're left with a feeling of 'meh'.
Maybe you're not in the right place for dating, or maybe you just haven't felt that spark in a long time and miss it?
Perseverance is not good for the early stages of a potential relationship. Drop him and move on, or sit out dating for a while if you think it's just not realistic
How long do you give it before you feel a spark?
I find it's a pretty instant feeling; it's either there or it isn't. But I would give someone at least until the end of date one before deciding, and if they were interesting but I wasn't quite sure (rather than it being a definite "no") I'd probably accept a 2nd date just in case they were nervous. But TBH, if I don't feel like ripping their kit off in the first 30 minutes they probably aren't right for me.
Sorry, cross posted - I am a slow typist!
Granville, I would feel like it's too soon to have him in my space I think - that is a great idea but not yet.
HairyGrotter, thanks so much for your post. It's really good to hear from people who have been in my situation. It's good to hear the opposite point of view, that you can let a spark develop.
Having said that, I don't think this guy is for me. I know that because when I read the first responses on this thread saying it's not right, I felt a sense of relief. And that speaks volumes I think.
The lack of spark isn't because I don't find him physically attractive, because I do (in an objective non fancying way), it's because I don't think I find him funny enough. When he called me the other night, I just wanted to get off the phone!
Argh, he's not for you then, or maybe he is and you are just not ready to be dating yet.
Follow your gut feeling
So then, I have another question - after 3 dates can you text someone to say it's not right, or should you call them?
Calling is more commendable. Text to say 'we need to talk' as that kind of sets the expectations nicely low ...
Not the first time I have used that line!
I know the problem is me. I think I don't really quite know who the new me is yet and until I figure that out, I won't fancy anyone.
You're not 'a problem'. If you're not ready for dating it's OK to step out of the game for a bit, work on developing your own life and have a bit of fun as an independent woman. I've been doing it for nearly 20 years now. Men come and go but I'm actually very happy with life on my own terms. Too happy to throw it all over for something or someone that doesn't enhance it, certainly.
You are not the problem. Trust me, if someone came along who you did fancy, you would fancy them. You might be right and that wouldn't lead to a very healthy relationship until you sort your shit out a bit more, but you would fancy then.
And I do think that one of the best ways to find out what you want is to try a few people on for size. But that's only if dating doesn't knock your self-esteem, and for some people it seems to.
I think sometimes you just aren't in the right frame of mind to see what's in front of your face.
I knew DP 5 years before we got together, we got on really well, worked in a bar together, I knew he was attractive but I had no attraction to him. Years pass and then I suddenly look at him with fresh eyes and don't know why I was so blind before!
Maybe you're not actually ready to meet anyone yet?
Thanks, I am sure you are right re being ready if I met the right person. It is a bit chicken and egg really! Fifi669 that is the ideal really, falling for someone you already know you like as a friend. 2 of my friends have just started sexual relationships with people they have known but not fancied for years and it's like a light has turned on!
Um, a little update. I did not take your advice and ended up going for another drink this week, just because I felt like going to the theatre and a concert, while lovely things to do aren't great for first dates as you don't really get to chat.
Anyway, we went to this speakeasy, drank rum cocktails and I found I actually quite fancied him. We had a snog and he has asked me if I want to go to paris next weekend, which I can't due to DS and babysitting and I have a wedding.
I don't know what will happen, but I definitely had all the barriers up and maybe they are coming down a bit now and actually I definitely want to see him again.
I probably sound ridiculous, like I don't know my own mind!
It sounds lovely actually Polly
Sometimes it takes a little time, to get past the initial stages and to feel comfortable with someone well enough to make a informed decision.
Very glad you are feeling more confident of things. Enjoy!
Horray! Just want to add that my friend met her DP online and for some weeks kept saying there was no chemistry. Yet she liked him.
They now live together, will, I'm sure get married and are so loved up. It really was a slow burner.
Big thing will be him meeting your baby, though and how they are together. At that age things really do need to be right. Meet in the park for swings and a coffee?
Thanks both Obviously totally early days, but it feels nice to actually fancy someone again!
Matilda, that is a nice story. We are nowhere near the him meeting my baby stage. I agree, that is a big thing.
I am just going to take each day at a time. We are going out on Tuesday, so that's next
Join the discussion
Please login first.