What do you do when you are 40 and you realize you have focused the majority of your life on building a successful career instead of getting married and having a family? You shift your focus from career to dating and start building “your team…”
I have never been into dating. My dating past has consisted of me meeting someone at school or at work and then I would end up dating that one man for many years. After that long-term relationship would end, I would go many years without dating anyone and then the cycle would start again. I have never longed to get married or have children, as I have spent the majority of my life wanting to get my doctorate and build a successful and meaningful career. Also, the long-term relationships that I have been involved in never felt quite right. I could never imagine myself spending the rest of my life with that one person. However, after my mother passed away I began to question my past decisions on marriage and family.
Shortly, after my mother’s death I went back home to pack her belongings. During this time, I found many family heirlooms, and I had a realization that I had nobody to hand down these heirlooms to. Over the years I had focused so much on my schooling and career that I didn’t give much attention to finding a life partner or starting a family. Here I was, 40 years old with a successful career and nobody to really share it with. As I sat in the pile of my mom’s personal belongings, I decided to put as much effort as I had with my career into finding my life partner.
Here is where my dating journey begins…
Dating as a Team Building Sport
Since I have never been into dating I had to change my perspective on it. With the help of my very dear friend who I call “Coach, ” I started to look at dating as a team building project. Coach told me, “Annette, look at dating like building a sports team. You have your main starters and you have your guys on the bench. The benched guys can move up to be a starter and a starter can be benched. You can trade and/or terminate their contract at anytime and you are constantly recruiting new players. All of the guys on your team are fighting for that one position, which is to be MVP of your team.”
I tool Coach’s advice, and at the beginning of June, I set out to build “my team.” With the many available online dating apps it was quite easy to build my team. Within one day I had 5 possible starters and 5 guys who were on the bench. For the entire month of June I scheduled a date a day (hey, I am an overachiever in all aspects of my life). June was not only a busy dating month for me, but it was quite entertaining.
The first guy I dated looked like Johnny Depp. He was this attractive successful lawyer who was divorced with two kids. We went on several dates and then one day he stopped responding to me. After a week he finally contacted me and expressed to me how he enjoyed spending time with me, but he was used to dating smaller women and he couldn’t date me anymore. I am 5’3” and a size 2-4. I really don’t know how much smaller I could get. The sad part is that he has two daughters. My response was that I had I hoped he didn’t project the weight issues he has with women onto his daughters. His contract was TERMINATED.
Two for a Trade, One for Termination
While I was talking to the lawyer, I went out with another guy, who on our first and only date, told me I hadn’t met “the one.” He said he wanted to spend a snow day with me so he could impregnate me. I felt like he should be traded. I mean maybe he was “the one” for somebody else who enjoys snow days, right?
Then there was the guy who took me to a Nuggets game. I thought he had bought tickets for half court floor seats. Once we sat security quickly asked us to leave, because the tickets he had were actually purchased for the nosebleed section. After being escorted from our seats, the guy expressed how frustrated he was with me that I didn’t go along with his lie. He then proceeded to tease me by calling me goody two-shoes throughout the evening. He was TERMINATED!!!
I also had a date with Curly Hair Tom. Now Curly Hair Tom was a sweet guy, just not for me. I met him for a drink, and before I sat he shouted, “Let’s play 20-questions!” He quickly explained the rules to me. They went like this: he could ask me a question and I had to answer; then I had to ask him a question, but the question I asked couldn’t be the same question or a question related to the question he asked me. Got it? Two hours and two drinks later we got through a total of 10 questions, because I kept breaking the rules and he had to correct me. The next day I received a text from him saying I was the best date he had ever been on. I traded him because there must be some woman that likes to play 20-questions.
At least he texted me after our date, because many guys who I went on a date with never text or call back. For example, there was Movie Mark, who I went on a few dates with. One day we were texting and mid-text conversation he never responded. NEVER EVER … With guys who never respond to texts, I like to think they suffered a massive heart attack or stroke, that they are in the hospital and though they really want to text back they physically can’t. I mean, that would be the only reason they would go MIA.
Benched and Disqualified!
Then there was 50 Shades of Sam. He asked right away if I was a dominant or submissive. I was quite intrigued by the entire scenario and spent the entire date asking him questions about his lifestyle. He really was nice guy, and at the end of our date he asked if I was interested in signing a contract with him. I kindly declined, but I kept him on the bench just in case I want to write a blog about 50 Shades.
Last but not least there was Engineer Andy. Engineer Andy came across as a successful, reasonable, laid back kind of guy until … I wouldn’t have a threesome with him. We went on a couple of dates, and then one night he asked me to join him in a threesome. I declined and he stopped talking to me. He said he was disappointed in me and that he could no longer date me. He also said he had no hard feelings towards me. This was one time in my life where I did not care if I was a disappointment. Maybe I should connect him with 50 Shades of Sam, as I am sure they would have loads of fun together.
Don’t Take the Dating Game Too Seriously
Now I assure you all the dates I have been on have not all been bad. I have been on many great dates and those are the guys who I keep on my main roster. Although dating has been mentally exhausting, and at times emotionally draining, I would not change it for the world. I encourage all my single girlfriends to build their team.
Through dating, I have come to realize that Coach’s team building advice has a much deeper meaning. At times, dating life can be taken too seriously, and if you take it too seriously you are setting yourself up for disappointments. Dating should be as fun as a game. Sometimes you will find winners and other times you will find losers.
The most important rule to remember is that no matter how bad dating can get, continue to put yourself out there. Each time you go on a date you make yourself available for someone to get to know, thus exposing some of your vulnerabilities. It is through these vulnerabilities that you learn more about your wants and needs as an individual and what you want out of a relationship.
The more you learn about yourself, the more your team building process becomes about building yourself up. The main players on your roster become physical representations of what is playing out internally within you. When you have a clear idea of who you are, what you want, and what you deserve you can put that energy out into the Universe to attract the person of your dreams. You are the one calling the shots. Accept nothing less for yourself, and in time you will find your MVP (Most Valuable Partner).
The takeaway from this blog is this…
“Dating is a game of self-discovery and once you find your true self, the rest of the game will play out in your favor.”
Until next time!