A Life, Replotted: On Dating

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It’s been longer than I care to admit since I’ve sat across the dinner table from an eligible bachelor and felt that indescribable spark that marks the sign of good chemistry. While I was writing my first book – then the second – and taking yoga teacher training, I put romance not only on the back burner, but shoved the prospect of dating way into the back recesses of my emotional pantry. I had other priorities, legitimate demands on my time and energy.

“I wish you would open your heart to finding someone special,” my best friend said to me one night. With yoga teacher training consuming every kid-free weekend, I knew I didn’t have the capacity to devote to a new person.

“When I’m done with teacher training,” I promised. “I’ll make an effort.”

Thus far my attempts have fallen flat. Match.com has provided me with nothing but blogging fodder. What’s with all the guys who pose by their cars? I didn’t know so many men in the DC metro area liked to chillax. Am I too picky? Maybe. But I’m not willing to settle for anyone less than exceptional. Frankly, I’d rather spend my evenings going to my favorite yoga class or writing the next chapter of my book than having a boring drink with a mediocre guy who randomly capitalizes nouns (e.g. special Lady) in his profile.

Honestly, I’m fine with my solitude. Sort of.

I get it. The right guy isn’t going to find me if my nose is always pointed toward a yoga mat, book or computer screen. But in the spirit of full disclosure, I might be a little scared to open up. If the last guy I dated had worked out, I doubt I would have written my first book. But then again, if I hadn’t suffered the heartache inflicted by the guy before him, I might never have written my first book. It’s the ultimate catch-22.

So I check my matches everyday. I signed up for Hinge. And that incredibly hot man who started dropping in to classes at my regular studio? One of these days, maybe I’ll get the nerve to put my mat next to his.

chelsea hendersonChelsea Henderson is an aspiring novelist and recovering Capitol Hill staffer. When she isn’t sneaking time to finish writing her second book, she advocates on behalf of clean energy and environmental policy, reads, practices yoga, and single parents her perpetually hungry pre-teen boys. She also periodically contributes to her lifestyle blog, the Chelsea Chronicles and is intermittently good at Twitter.


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  1. I’m in my mid-forties, and I’ve been dating for about 2 years total. I’ve been online dating since earlier this year, dated someone from work, and someone I met through my sport.

    The difficulty for me is that I want to get to know someone as a person first. Work and other activities allow me to do that; online doesn’t. While the net is definitely wider, it also pitches you directly into romantic interest instead of allowing you time to see them as a person before you decide.

    So I’m at a bit of a decision point soon. Anyway, I definitely agree that it’s challenging, but someone told me before I separated: At this age, everyone you date will have baggage, as do you. It’s up to you to determine if that baggage is something you want in your life, or not.

  2. This resonated with me on all levels. It’s nice to know I’m not alone or crazy for finding other things to do. I admit it has to do with fear, and skepticism, but I appreciate that it’s not that easy. I worry that I’m too old and then Ms. Tina Knowles gets married again at 60! There is hope.

  3. I’m in my early forties and I’ve been on a dating sabbatical for the past six years. Honestly, I love it. I do what, when I want, how I want. Like you, I would have to be bowled over to bother with a man.

  4. I totally feel you! I am in my mid-thirties and single. I feel like at my age, for me personally, I have come to love and appreciate my alone time so much that I need a really exceptional man to make me willingly give it up. I’m not a naive young woman who thinks love will “complete” her or make life easier. Love is great, but it’s also work. And I know it’s worth it, but I have come to love living alone, doing my own thing, and the freedom of being single. I will go through dating bursts where I date a whole lot and then take six months off because I’m over it. The last guy I dated I really thought I had a future with, but it didn’t work out, so I am on a break right now. Anyway I totally understand where you are coming from with this post!

    1. Wisdom comes with age – and knowing that another person can’t complete you is an important realization! Damn the Hollywood endings that lead people to believe it’s as easier as a knight swooping in on a white horse!

  5. I internet dated for years in the DC area. Match, e-harmony, etc. Finally cast my net a little wider, got on plentyoffish.com and had my first date with my husband 8 years ago yesterday. It happened when my expectations were so low yet I was too tired to be cynical any more. Ha! Good luck!

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