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Oct 23, 2008

Keeping Guys at Arms Length

I think I have been keeping them ALL at arm’s length.talk to the hand Fugu

A guy I dated three Christmases ago told me that I was after we stopped dating. We were catching up over a year later and I found out he was serious with someone, planning marriage even. When I commented that I was dating, but nothing serious, he replied “Still keeping them at arm’s length, I see.”

I asked myself later, what did that mean? I laughed it off at the moment and played it off in conversation, but it has stuck with me ever since. That conversation was a year ago; but it still rings in my head, “keeping them at arms length.” Remember, I have to be guarded to a degree. I have two children that I would like to keep sheltered from any more “drama” in their life; at least any drama that amounts to more than “no candles at a ceremony.” My rule of thumb has been that the kids don’t meet a guy I am dating, until there is a “reason” for them to meet them. Why rush that? So with that in mind perhaps I have not only guarded my children but my heart as well.  But why rush that?

Then in one day this week, one day I tell you; three different women were telling me voluntarily of their success on Match.com. One mom blogger,Rebecca, had met her second husband (who treats her like a queen) on Match and Daily Blond (Cheryl) was telling me she met her long time best friend and now her serious relationship (Mr. Handsome) originally on Match.com. Both of these insightful stories were shared in one day, followed by another friend who said, “I have met the man I am going to marry.” Well wouldn’t you know she met him two weeks ago… on Match.com!

So I ask you, since I am not doing research here, and this information just kind of fell in my lap, is that a sign? Am I supposed to try Match.com again? I do believe there are some success stories from meeting potential dating partners online. Though, I don’t believe there are as many as eHarmony would make you to think exist, the stats were high for this one day at least for Match.com.

Now I may be keeping them at arm’s length…. for a little while longer, but I think it’s time for me to get back out there….

What do you think?

Photo Credit: http://www.reflexivity.us/blog/archives/talk%20to%20the%20hand%20Fugu.jpg

13 comments:

Trish said...

This is a tough question -- two thoughts came while reading your blog this morning - one - you have two kids and above everything else you want to protect them from more drama than they need - which you do a fabulous job at I might add - so there is some "guardedness" (totally not a word) to your dating thought process - the second thought is that - sometimes we put ourselves into our families and our work and lose ourselves in those things so much - maybe because of the uncertain view through the window into the future - it's not that you don't want to date or be in a relationship - but your confident enough in yourself and in your life that you don't require a man to make you happy - you have happiness and strength all on your own. I can't give you an answer either way on what to do -- but I truly think deep down - you know the answer to your question - and when it all comes down to it - like you've told me so many times before - only you will know when to move - when to make that decision - and what that decision will be, and no matter what decision is made - will support you either way!

Katherine said...

Thanks for your insight Trish! Well said and quite the synopsis of my dating saga so far.

Thanks again.

Ms. Single Mama said...

Online dating is a great way to meet men... but it's time consuming too. I would try this - look at these stories in a different way - they all met men they are going to marry. Period.

They were open to meeting them, hence going out on Match.

So in addition to Match, also open your eyes when you go out - to the park, the book store, the bar. And ask yourself if you're really ready. But I think we're not ready until we meet a great guy. He makes us ready. You know?

For example: I'm not ready to date just anyone. I want to date the right guy for me.

I just tried POF - and it was HORRIBLE. So definitely go with Match or Craigslist.

Interesting you keep them at arm's length, I do too... so after recognizing that I've been more open to every guy I meet. Trying to be open to the idea of actually giving myself to someone, for real.

Sigh.

No easy answers are there?

Conclusion - get back out there if you're ready... how long has your man cleanse been on?

This is like the longest comment I've EVER written.

Katherine said...

Sadly, Alaina I usually last only a few weeks on a "man break." I have been in this place before... taking that break and then getting the itch... so with three unsolicited romances shared in one day as successful examples of online dating adventure... it got me thinking... once again! So my answer is... I don't know that I am ready... just itching at the moment :)

T said...

Well interestingly enough, I just read this post before yours: http://honeyandlance.com/i-met-my-girlfriend-on-matchcom

Its all on you girl... and what you're ready for.

John said...

Great post!

As a man that dated a single mom several years ago, you have to be careful when it comes to your children. Call it keeping them at arms length or whatever you want to call it, but being cautious is a good thing.

The children have to come first and they do not need to meet everyone that you go out with; once a real relationship develops, that is different, but not right away.

As for the match sites, I have heard good things and not such good things. I believe it happens when it is supposed to happen, but that can include taking a leap of faith in something like an online site.

Just my thoughts.

John

dadshouse said...

Online dating is just a tool to meet people. If you see it as that, and use it with the right focus - to set up fun dates or events (concerts, museums, etc.) that you enjoy - then you might just meet someone who enjoys the same things.

Same as if you join a club or group doing things you are enthusiastic about. Same is if you volunteer. It's all about putting yourself into position to meet people.

You have to really want someone in your life, and feel good about them being in your life - your whole life - or you'll continue to keep them at arm's length. Once you feel that positive charge resonating in your whole being, and you carry it with you throughout your day, the universe will open all sorts of doors for you.

Are you friends telling you to get back on match? Maybe. Just do it for the right reasons - because it will help you meet people, not help you excavate "the one" from its 15 million members.

Eathan said...

I think you should try match again. A lot of times it's timing. The guy that you're looking for may not be available or looking at the same time you were. Sometimes you need the luck of the draw and good timing.

BT said...

Online dating is not the panacea of dating. Secondly, I agree you have to keep the children guarded until a serious relationship develops, but could you be taking that to far?
In a perfect world you would become friends and the see if it develops into something else. Having tried the online scene, it seems that people have so many choices and something to fall back on, a relationship never gets a fair chance to develop. One little bump, or some broccoli in the teeth and it is on to the next one. Should you have to change and accept the fast pace world we live in? It is not fair you have to, but that is the nature of dating today. At age 39, although I have many years left in my natural life, I do not feel I have that many dating years left. The dating pool of sane and suitable people is not very big, much less finding a person who shares our Christian values. Am I the only one that feels this way? I suggest I am not and that may be what you are running into.

Gary "Big Hokie" Cope said...

Match.com does have its advantages, but not every story is a success story. For example, I met my ex on Match.com more than five years ago ... my ex. We didn't make it. Thankfully, we don't hate each other and we still get along, we just weren't as much of a "match" for each other as we thought we were.

So, while there are a lot of success stories, there are also those that didn't work out.

I'm of the belief that love, true love, will find you when you're ready and willing to let it in. Ah, but how do you know when you're ready? Well, if I knew that answer I wouldn't be where I am today,I'd be in a loving, happy relationship.

All I know is that I won't be alone for the rest of my life and one day, I'll find "the one" who will put up with me and love me - faults and all.

And someday, you'll find that same thing, trust me.

One last thing - I agree about keeping dates at arms length for the kids' sakes. No one I end up dating - when that day comes - will meet my son until there is a reason for them to meet him.

Soap box session over. As you were. :)

Katherine said...

Thanks for all the insight, everyon.... at least I know I am not alone in the wandering stage here...

As a single parent, dating is definitely not easy... but we do it in hopes of someday finding, stumbling upon, or clicking upon that one "true love" that best friend for a lifetime of the opposite sex.

And well said Gary, I think it will happen too... when the timing is right...

Heather @ Not a DIY Life said...

Did you know that my hubby and I also met online? But it was on christiancafe.com. Don't know if it's still around. but there are so many other options.

I know that having your kids changes the situation. but IF you want to meet someone, you have to put yourself in situations to him. It may not happen right away.

Whatever you decide, stick to your boundaries. There is nothing wrong with keeping people are arm's length to protect yourself and your kids. Just be willing to open the door a little just in case Mr. Right comes along!

Heather @ Desperately Seeking Sanity said...

i have NEVER met a man meet my kids this early on. But something told me it was right. I could be wrong and I hope I'm not, I pray I'm not.

But I kept them at an arm's length too... for very very longs times and that arm's length pushed many away.

it will happen.

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