At 28, I feel like I've definitely missed out on a lot of the 'romantic' rites of passage back in high school and college and even when I first started working. I didn't get the puppy love, young love, lustful love or whatever iterations there are. I'm not sure what kind of love there will be for me when I do find it. So moving out and moving to Singapore and living independently has allowed me to finally go through the beginning stages or my favourite phrase 'growing pains' of these things.
And I came prepared. Sort of. I read the books (I know, I read books -- of the self-help, dating variety.) I did the Tinder bit. I got set up. I went out to places that served alcohol and got dolled up with my best wing ladies. And I tried not take things too seriously and just live in the moment. I've been pretty lucky that the guys who swipe right for me are pretty decent. Maybe not an immense attraction or crazy chemistry, but nothing disastrous, and for that I'm thankful. I'll take meh over scarring any day.
But for someone who's started this 'late', I'm not in a rush to get serious nor am I just dating around casually. I do want to be in a relationship, eventually, when the time is right. But it doesn't mean that I want that relationship to get serious quickly -- i.e. marriage. But it's weird because at my age, I guess societal norms would assume I am of age to be engaged. And yes, maybe that could be the case in a parallel universe but I don't think it's for me yet.
So as much as I'm treating this dating business like I'm looking for a job (because relationships are work, right? i'm kidding, not really), I am told and I do realise the same strategies can't apply. Except I don't know any other way. I've gone on a couple first dates, some second dates and a third date. And there's no formula that I've found or a pattern but there are learnings and insights.
I dont regret how I dove in head first into this dating business these past five months but I definitely feel
I need a break from the sitting, waiting, wishing and heel-wearing and talking about myself. I need a break from learning siblings names and hobbies and how long they've been in Singapore. I need a break from putting on make-up and sitting up straight and pacing my gin and tonic. I need a break from deciphering accents and conferring if I'm flirting enough or too much or if I still sound like a bro. So I've deleted Tinder for the time being and am not actively reaching out to the stragglers.
I'll reinstall it one day and want to go on dates again. But it's not today. As much as I play it cool and try to take things casually, I feel way too much and am the epitome of anti-chill. Practice makes perfect and I'll be a little more jaded as I get a hang of this, but for now, I'm good. It's back to my neglected Netflix and the books I haven't picked up. I'll figure out the happy medium between my self-inflicted solitude and super-socialization some day. For now, you can find me on my couch, chilling with Netflix.