I’m not dating anyone right now, for a lot of logistical reasons. I don’t have a reliable babysitter, a car, or cute clothes at this juncture, so I’m holding off. But when I do get back into dating, I have a lot of thoughts about what I want that to look like.
I want to date women. I identified as bisexual from the age of fifteen to thirty-one, but almost everyone I dated in that time was a boy or man. I haven’t been on a date with a woman in a decade, since before I married the father of my ten-year-old child. I feel a lot of regret for wasting my cute 20s on people inherently mismatched for me, and I don’t want to waste any more time on men. I want to date and touch and love women.
I want to be non-monogamous. I’ve given monogamy a fair shake. Every relationship I tried was ostensibly monogamous, though I’ve both cheated and been cheated on. I don’t want another adult to rely on me the way partners sometimes rely on each other. I don’t have that much to give. Between my disabilities and my son, I want to keep my focus on my family of two. I can’t be someone’s everything, and I don’t want to feel like I’m asking someone to settle for less than what they need. I want to date women who have girlfriends they go home to.
I want to date for the sake of dating. I’m not interested in boarding the relationship escalator. I don’t want dating that’s a means to an end. I want to date because I like dating. I love the excitement of meeting someone new and getting to know them. I like going out to eat and dressing up and taking more care in my appearance than I usually get to, as a stay-at-home parent. I like spending concentrated time with just one other person, connecting and sharing stories. I like dating.
I want to try something new. I’ve done monogamy and interdependent (and codependent) dating and I spent four and a half years with a man who didn’t take me on a single date in all that time. I want to have fun. I want to laugh and dance and eat and see new movies. I want to touch and be touched, love and be loved. But above all, I want to be free.
I want to go home at the end of the day, responsible only for myself and my son. I want to sleep in my bed alone, luxuriating in the extra space. I want to be able to have bad days, where I’m emotionally distant and not available for dispensing comfort or solace. I want to date women who don’t need me. I want to date women who want me.