I have started to put my nose out in the dating world. And I have to tell you, I think it’s crazy out there. I am amazed at how people behave behind the internet. They allow themselves to say and do things that we never would have done if we were having a cup of coffee. One day, I am chatting with this guy, and he sends me a picture of him, half naked, showing his abs, pulling his shirt up, that said: “I am going for a run…” I just laughed so hard. Can you imagine someone at a coffee place doing that in front of you?? What in the world??!! And so many other experiences. And it brought some crazy things out of me too.

Right after I moved out, I went on Tinder, a dating app. A man became interested in me and so we started a conversation. More and more it started to trigger things in me. I became completely obsessed with his texts. I was texting him all the time and he was not responding fast enough. Goodness, no wonder he stopped texting. I freaked him out, and I freaked ME out. It was time to take a step back and really figure out what was going on. What had just happened? It was clear that I was not ready to go into the dating world. I had to work something out first, obviously.

I needed first to figure out what a healthy relationship consisted of. I found out that there is not one recipe, it is different for all, but what I know is that I sure did not see many around me. My mom was dead and my dad never allowed anyone in our lives, so no relationship model there. Family? Goodness no. Friends? Hmmm, not that many. So, at the end, I just picked and chose what I believed was healthy for me. My list is still growing as I am re-discovering myself. I want to feel heard. I want to feel respected. I want to feel supported. I want to feel I don’t depend on his happiness. The rest, I am not sure, it is still evolving as I am having coffee with people. I am learning what I don’t want.

I put my nose out here and there, not quite committed to spend the time and energy on it yet. I am learning from each experience. I am learning also to reflect afterward on the emotions I have. How did I feel? When some of the emotions are crossing my core boundaries, I do not give it or them another chance.

I now know what I will not accept and will not waste any of my precious time or my heart.