I’m dragging my feet with dating

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I’m recently divorced after seven years. I met my ex online and we have a 7-year-old. I’m usually very confident and sure. Since the divorce I’m uncertain about my decisions in work and my personal life.

I heard my ex was on dating sites again from some friends that saw him on a few. I'm afraid to date online again but part of me what to. I’m the primary parent for my daughter, and that doesn’t leave a lot of time to go out. My friends are far away and/committed/unavailable.

I’ve tried connecting with old friends who are single, just to let them know I’m available, but I’m not getting much of a response.

I attempted to go to a bar and struck out. But just as I was leaving, a guy who wasn’t my typical type engaged me in conversation and I gave him my number. I’ve been avoiding all his messages since. I’m ready to date I think but I’m not sure why I’m hiding or dragging my feet.

– Hiding in plain sight

Now is the time to hide, right? During this period of social distancing, it should be easy to remove yourself from the dating scene without feeling guilty about it.

I’m wondering whether having this time at home will make you – and others – more likely to want to go out when it's over. Six weeks ago, I might have groaned at the thought of leaving the house to meet a new person. Now that sounds like a gift.

I do think you're ready, and that the part of you that wants to date is going to win this internal struggle. I find it interesting that you went to a bar instead of going back online. Perhaps it's the online dating process that’s putting you off. All of the downloading, swiping, messaging, frustration when it hits a wall. You were willing to take a risk at the bar, but when it came to texting, you got turned off by the whole process. It became another task.

Online dating – which now happens on phones – can feel like work. But if you set boundaries, it might be something to look forward to. If you swipe and respond to messages for one hour a day, as a rule, it's less likely to overwhelm.

Also remember that the divorce is recent. You're not racing your ex-husband, and just because he's on dating sites doesn't mean he's figured it out. You can take your time with this. Find your new routine, at home and at work. Use this weird period to daydream about what you'll be looking for when it's possible to look at all.

– Meredith

Readers? Why is this LW going to a bar to look for love, but avoiding messages?