I'm an emotional person. Not on the outside, unless it comes to my kids of course. Hard as a rock until they're involved. Then I'm a big old softie. But I'm still prone to getting hurt when it comes to dating so I'm trepidatious. And not because I fall head over heels from the gate, but because I allow myself to be vulnerable and exposed too soon. Before I know it, someone I hardly know, knows too much about me and it makes me so uncomfortable. So I keep a potential suitor in a holding pattern until I'm comfortable. Boy does that weed out the wrong ones.
Recently, it was 38 year old Martin. Yes, I'm using a pseudonym to protect the guilty. Martin, like me, is a civil service employee. Like me, he is also divorced and a parent. Geeky and apparently sweet and fun at first. Until his dark side emerges. The one where he finds it necessary to expose himself via text. It's the most offensive thing a stranger can do. And you're a stranger if I've only known you for a few days. Unfortunately this digital age has made images like this all too accessible and given the public (who should know better) a false sense of security. What if I were the same freak who'd share said images with a pornographer for a little extra cash? Or an angry, vengeful woman who'd forward them to his department? Fortunately for Martin, I'm neither. But the next girl may not be. So I would advise that men like him be a little less trusting as well. I'd urge women who come across men who find it necessary for them to do something like this to consider the fact that if it were done to them in public, they'd feel assaulted. Because ultimately, they would be being assaulted.
Dating has never been easy. Not when I was 15, definitely not now that I'm 36. Now, 21 years later, a lot of men are still not worth the energy, plus they have so much less to offer. And now that they should know better, so should we when we permit them in our lives. Eventually they'll be in our children's lives and one cannot be too cautious when it comes to that. Thank goodness my children will never know that mom dated until they're old enough to read this blog.
Will I still date? Maybe. It's not something I'm pursuing. It just sort of happens. Mostly I find it taxing and stressful, especially because "Martin" wasn't my first flasher, and I suspect he won't be the last. Color me a cynic, batman, but maybe I'm just a product of growing up in the 90s.