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Dating again but very unsure of myself - any advice?

(9 Posts)
FlyingSoloFlyingFree Sun 15-Oct-17 16:15:32

I split from my H of 20 years earlier this year and he moved out in the summer. Things had not been good between us for many years - we’ve always been more like mates - and we both agreed we’d come to the end of the line. We’re quite amicable now but there’s no going back.

Although I’ve only been officially single a few months, in reality I’ve been without genuine affection for years which is pretty lonely. I haven’t felt ready to meet anyone before now though - seemed disrespectful to my H so soon. The only male contact I’ve had is with an ex who contacted me, we’ve been in touch by text for a while but it’s clear he’s not really interested unless it’s for sexting or borrowing money from me (yes I know I shouldn’t have done either).

The combination of his behaviour and the lack of affection (or wishing to fight to keep me) from my ex means I feel pretty rubbish about myself but trying to be positive I decided to give online dating a go.

I’ve had the usual selection of weirdos and losers and those who only want one thing. But in between I’ve also chatted to a few genuine seeming guys, one in particular who is lovely and seems keen.

My problem is how to play it - I’m so insecure and unsure of myself that I’m getting it all out of proportion. I’m ecstatic when I hear from him, gutted when I don’t, constantly checking my phone and hoping for messages. He’s been so sweet and complimentary and it’s like a drug after so long but I keep needing another high. Poor guy doesn’t deserve such a nutter and if I’m not careful I’m going to put him off.

I really like him but I am so tired of needing someone else to make me feel good. I’m a nice person, a decent mum, have a good job and fab friends. So why do I only feel I worth anything when someone I’d never heard of a few weeks ago tells me I am?

I need to get some perspective and sort myself out but just don’t know how to go about it. In the meantime the emotional highs and lows are just exhausting, I can’t live my life like this.

Thanks for reading if anyone’s got this far, I could really use some advice.

OhShit2017 Sun 15-Oct-17 20:13:08

Ok, internet dating 101 😄.

You haven’t actually met him yet. So prepare yourself now for there being a high likelihood that when you actually met him there will be no chemistry/you won’t fancy each other/you just don’t click in real life. I’ve lost count of the number of times people have seemed great at the chatting stage, but it’s all been a bit meh when actually meeting. Not trying to be all doom and gloom, but preparing yourself for this possible outcome will help you stay detached enough to protect your emotions at this stage.

Secondly, best bit of dating advice I ever got was on here, and it was you know if a man’s interested becuase he’s there. If he’s keen and not just an asshat he’ll put the legwork in to stay in regular contact/see you. If those things aren’t happening, particularly in the early days, you may as well cut your losses.

Just enjoy the buzz! Sounds like you’re enjoying chatting to him. If you go into it with a view that you may have some nice evenings out and possibly make new friends it’s all a lot less daunting than getting over invested in whether or not they might be a long term relationship prospect. You really do need to develop a thick skin when it comes to OLD. Good luck smile

EvilOverlord Sun 15-Oct-17 20:40:19

Can't really offer advice but posting in solidarity as am in a really similar position here. I split from ex-H 18 months ago after 25 years - last time I was 'dating' I was a teen and it consisted pretty much of getting drunk and getting off with people at parties.

I've had a very brief fling with a friend-of-a-friend, which was lovely (and got me over the 'how on earth do I go to bed with someone new grown-up-and-sober' very nicely grin ) but it ended recently. I'm just dipping my toe into the world of Tinder and trying to figure out what on earth to say when messaging someone (hate messaging at the best of times).

userxx Sun 15-Oct-17 20:49:43

Flying - there is a dating thread, pop in and have a read, loads of good advice. Try not to get too carried away with the whole texting thing, until you meet someone in person it's not real. On line dating seems to move at a rapid pace, only go with what you are comfortable with. Grow a very thick skin as there are a lot of let downs out there.

RunsforCake14 Sun 15-Oct-17 21:40:00

Another vote for the dating thread. It has saved me many times from doing/saying the wrong thing.
I was in a similar position - married 20+ years - so dating again was a big shock to the system. I've met some lovely men and I've come across a lot of very rude idiots.
Online dating can mess with your head. Remember you don't know them and you don't know what is true, until you meet them.

DrMariaLopez Mon 16-Oct-17 00:03:57

First of all Flying solo....well done you!
It takes alot of courage to put oneself out there again so you should be very proud of yourself.
I am sure everyone reading this would agree with me there.
Building up ones confidence after a failed relationship is never easy and it takes time but get easier and easier as time goes on.
In my experience when counselling other women the most important thing is how you frame yourself and the experience.
In essence what that means is you want to consider the experience as low risk and no pressure. The world is full of great guys..trust me. Even tho friends and the media say otherwise. if it doesnt work out with this guy then there is another great guy around the corner.
Try to just enjoy the fun and excitement of dating with no pressure. This is the beginning of a wonderful journey for you. Maybe it will be with this gentleman or maybe you will find another.

Here is a great article from huff po that should help:
www.huffingtonpost.com/terri-sloane-ms/dating-mistakes-divorce_b_1834322.html

on top of that you might want to use some techniques to boost your confidence such as hypnosis or nlp.
Good luck and congrats on getting out there!

LellyMcKelly Mon 16-Oct-17 00:27:45

I can only share with you my experience:

1. Be very clear about who you are and what you can bring to the table.
2. Have a think about what you want. Don't be too prescriptive, but have a general idea.
3. Until you meet them, nothing is real. If they are texting but unwilling to meet they're probably attached. Move on quickly.
4. Have fun. Spend a month or two saying yes to offers of dates. Go on them. A coffee or a drink is only an hour or two, and even if They're not your cup of tea, at least you have learned something interesting about someone else, or human nature
5. Don't take any of them seriously. It's not serious until you both know it's serious
6. People who are messaging you are probably messaging other people too. So are you. Don't get invested too early
7. Have fun!
8. See 1.
9. See 7.

FlyingSoloFlyingFree Mon 16-Oct-17 22:12:38

Thanks all, I'm not sure I'm ready for this tbh, I'm way too over invested confused. I have had a look at the dating thread but it scared and depressed me in equal measures, if it doesn't work out with this guy I think I need to rethink.

userxx Mon 16-Oct-17 22:49:00

Just look after yourself and all will be good. You don't need to be a dating pro, listen to your gut instinct, it's there for a reason.

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