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Dating + Relationships Compilation Collective

I interviewed a variety of folks from a variety of backgrounds with a variety of experiences. This is what they have to share.

Melissa, 46, Calling in Her Match, California

+ If dating, where do you meet people? 
Not dating now. When I did date in the most recent past, I met people when out dancing. I also dated an Uber driver recently. I’ve met close friends in the last year, while wandering around in new locations and doing new things.


+ What are your fears & concerns about dating and relationshipping? 
Losing myself in the pursuit and maintenance of a relationship. I’m a giver and have a past with acquiescing, people pleasing, and a lack of personal boundaries. I fear I will circumvent my needs over those of needed to establish and maintain a relationship.

+ Are you happy in your current status? Why or why not?
For the most part. Work is my priority at the moment. Having just moved half way across the country to build a new life, I want to ensure I have a strong foundation before bringing anyone else on board. However, I’m open to the Universe sending special someone my way any time💕

+ Do you view marriage as a destination or a journey? 
It’s absolutely a journey and something that must be chosen every single day—as is a relationship.

+ If divorced, when did you know it wasn't going to be till death do we part? 
I knew I shouldn’t have gotten married before I got married, but I did it anyway. I’m also very glad I did, because my son (who was very much planned) is the best thing that’s ever happened to me. When my husband and I were talking about him leaving, he said to me, “It’s hard to make a promise forever.”

It was the middle of the night. I went in my son’s room, snatched him out of his crib and started rocking him. My husband came in and asked why the hell I got my son out of bed. I exclaimed, “This is forever.” That is the thing I'm most sure of.

+ If married, how much work does it take to maintain and happy and loving relationship with your spouse? 
N/A – A helluva a lot more work than we were willing to give. And that’s ok. We are both better off because of the divorce. In fact, we are all (our son included) better off because of the divorce. (See bit.ly/BrilliantCoparenting.) Interesting that as I reread this article I wrote 17 years ago, a line from it completely resonates with what I wrote above.

How telling is this: “My biggest fear was that I would lose my son in addition to my marriage. Mostly though, I feared that I would lose what was left of me.”

+ If coupled, do you follow traditional gender norms or share responsibilities in a different manner? 
N/A but since I hate rules and boxes, I will answer anyway😊 – There are many things I like about the traditional roles. Now that I think about it, they are mostly related to chores. Men do outdoor stuff and cars, and women do the cooking and laundry. I totally understand that’s “backwards” in today’s environment. I do enjoy mixing it up. For example, I love a man who can cook (especially BBQ—but then again, I’ve always seen that as a “man’s” job anyway—which is even more ridiculous, I know). In an ideal world, all the chores would be hired out and I’d be relaxing, traveling, or dancing with my partner, instead of doing chores in the first place! How’s that for N/A?


+ If coupled, how long have you known each other, been a couple and married (if applicable)? 
N/A—this one I’ll leave alone😊
 
+ Do you believe marriage is still necessary and viable or is it an antiquated institution?
I’m not sure about “necessary” but I’d like to think it’s viable. It certainly has evolved, that’s for sure. I’m just not sure we’ve evolved enough to meet the demands of a marriage.


+ Does religion, family or culture play a role in your dating approach? 
Religion, no. Family, in the past. Family stopped influencing me 10 years ago when I brought a whole new meaning to “Black Sheep” and chose to date outside of my race for the first time. While my family was shell shocked I did it in the end, they fell in love with the person I dated and eyes were opened.

The first night I stayed the night with a new boyfriend after my husband left, my mother told me I was going to “give my father a stroke” because I was an unmarried woman sleeping over with man. She asked what she should tell others if they asked where I was. I replied, “Tell them I’m at [boyfriend’s] house!”

Culture, I suppose. Fucking California! Gonna have to eat some vegetables and do yoga. I had spinach in a pasta dish filled with heavy whipping cream tonight. Do you think that counts? Just put me on record now as saying I will never be vegan. I know, never say never. I have swallowed so many words in just the last five years. You honestly never know. Anything is possible at this point.

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+ What do you want from being coupled that you do not feel when single?

I would like to have a partner. I mean a true partner. Someone who has my back—always and in all ways. I want an emergency contact who knows my medical history and what medications and vitamins I take and how I like my coffee (very sweet by the way). I want someone I can call, one I know will be there without hesitation—no questions asked and no score keeping. Yes, I have plenty of friends who would do this for me. However, I can’t snuggle, fuck, or snugglefuck them, and I seriously desire to have those things in my life once again. They truly are part of a joyful life.