I’m 45 and I don’t know what casual dating is. For most of my life, I’ve espoused the belief that I hate all dating (as opposed to being in a relationship). Meeting a bunch of new people triggered my minor social anxiety. Making small talk is like entering the seventh circle of hell. Boredom drives me to tears.
I’ve also said many times that I suck at dating, using the above reasons, and my romantic history, as evidence: my longest relationship lasted less than two years; the majority of my dating years have been spent dating nobody; my first dates rarely lead to second dates.
These are all very good reasons to eschew casual dating and begin an application to the nearest convent or cat adoption site.
But sex. Plus companionship and a potential free meal or two. So I’m trying to do the damn thing. Again.
This time around, I’m still convinced that I don’t know how to do the casual dating thing. Dating for the sake of dating, not to look for a husband or a serious connection. Because I don’t know how to like someone just enough to maybe want to see them again. Instead, I’m used to picturing my last name along with theirs and wondering how long I can wait before asking about hereditary diseases.
I’ve got two erstwhile paramours at present — one man who has no time to see or talk to me (though he says he wants to, very much), and another who has some time and some inclination (we text all day but he doesn’t ask to see me), but is a quite lackluster in the excitement and initiative department.
It’s possible that I’ve chosen the wrong two men. Possibly they’re both just not that into me. Possibly they’re both not that into the idea of dating. Possibly I need a combination of the two, a lover who has time to spend and wants to spend it with me.
But that sounds an awful lot like a relationship. And I’m not looking for a relationship.
I’m looking for casual dating, and casual dating doesn’t require accountability or intimacy or thoughts about the future. It just requires good times and casual chatter and occasional in-person meetups. I think.
Because I don’t really know how to date casually.