I listened to the podcast and I feel like I'm having the same journey and experiences as Erin. My problem is I play roller derby and have for seven years. My community is full of beautiful women and non-binary and transgender persons. Unfortunately, I am interested in heterosexual men. I find myself participating in all-women activities that have made it impossible to find men. It's been a year since I got out of a five-year relationship. It has been a difficult transition because my ex and I would share so many adventures together, and now, as a single 34-year-old woman, I am scared to take these journeys on my own for safety reasons. The same goes with my life and career; I am looking to change my career and I am trying to determine whether I should eliminate dating completely and focus on going back to school or a new career, or give dating a shot and just live life. As far as apps go, I downloaded dating apps for the first time in my life. I am just more comfortable meeting people in person. Help or suggestions welcomed.
– Derby Girl
For those who haven't listened to the podcast, Erin is the 40-something single woman who let us follow her dating life throughout the season. Erin is the kind of person who does a lot of cool things (including roller derby). But she hasn't had much luck meeting men in these activities because she's always surrounded by a lot of women. The thing is, though, these women have expanded her dating life in some ways. When she let people know she was open to set-ups, her roller derby friends began to brainstorm. The dating process can get a little easier if you tell people what you're looking for – and that you are, in fact, looking.
It sounds like you could also use some new experiences. You shouldn't force yourself to do activities you dislike simply because men might be there. But you can put yourself in unfamiliar spaces. We had a Love Letters comedy event over the weekend, and I was sort of shocked by the scene there, and the fact that so many people were at the Comedy Studio bar looking cute and talking to strangers. It can help to walk into an entirely different place and see it with single-person eyes.
I don't think you have to call off dating while you consider the rest of your life. Breaks are fine, and if you don't feel like pursuing romance, that's OK. But multi-tasking is possible. You can consider your career while scrolling through an app. You can ignore that app for weeks while you fill out grad school applications and then ask friends to orchestrate a set-up if they can. These priorities don't have to be mutually exclusive. And confusion is OK. Searching for a partner can be weird. Give yourself time to adjust, and take a moment to notice the single people in your life who've been doing this for a long time. You can learn from them.
Readers? But what if you like roller derby?