The time-desire problem

At the beginning of this year, I created an online dating account because I thought it was about time to be out there again and to show that I am now ready for a relationship. My profile was visited a lot over the first couple of days and I was excited: So many men wanted to meet me!

So far, and it´s been almost six weeks since my profile went online, there were only two guys I have been interested in. This is a huge disappointment! I thought it would be easier to find someone online than out there in the real world. I have been living here for two years now and I´ve never met someone on the street or in the supermarket. I thought it would be easier to go looking for someone on dating platforms. Sieving through the messages and likes I got on my profile has been both time-consuming and a waste of time, because sometimes I spent about an hour going through everything just to end up being disappointed because all I got were sexist messages or a plain “hi” that I don´t know how to answer.

Now, these two men that I mentioned were really nice. They wrote interesting messages and I had the feeling that they were interested in me as a person. I dated the first one, a law student, once, but quickly realized that even though he is a sweet guy, I just didn´t feel any kind of attraction. The other guy was a different story. We met, we liked each other, we went out again, and then again, and then again. He stayed for a weekend, I slept over at his place for another weekend. I all seemed to be going great.

Well…. Almost. I have already mentioned my time-consuming job multiple times. Unfortunately, I no longer work as a student teacher. Instead I now work full-time. And my colleagues out there know what that means: 50 – 60 hours per week are quite normal, more if there are exams to mark. And even though I try to work as efficiently as I can just so that I have a free weekend that I can spend with him, I realized after only 4 weeks of dating that I can´t keep this up for much longer. He starts to get on my nerves, because I´m stressed and tired and still have work to do, no matter how much I work during the week. He, working from 8 to 5, can´t understand the workload and jokes about it a lot, which I obviously don´t like, being as stressed and tired as I am. And after only four weeks, this has turned into something that I have to force myself to enjoy.

I have to get into my car after working all day and drive 100 km (60 miles) to where he lives. I have to take all my stuff with me and work while he´s watching television or going to the gym. We don´t have a nice evening together, because my head is busy with everything that I didn´t get done in time and have to do on Monday before school and he just wants me to enjoy his company and to be a girlfriend to him. And I simply can´t. And I don´t know how to.

My sister argued that I might just need to adjust to this new situation because I´ve been single for such a long time that having someone in my life means to willingly cut back on working hours. And that makes sense. I need to adjust. She actually laughed at me when I said that I´m ready to give up after these four weeks. Obviously she is right: four weeks is not a long time. But it is as much as I can give.

I had to bring myself to go out on the first date. I went along with the second, third, fourth and so on. And now I bring myself to give up my work weekend to be with him. To him, this is just what you do when you are in a relationship. To him, this is normal. To him, this is the “sacrifice” you make. Instead of spending your weekends alone with a frozen pizza, you spend it with someone and share your frozen pizza with that someone.

To me, this means to work more than ever during the week. To me, this means being edgy on the weekend, because I didn´t get everything done and I stare at the watch, doing the maths of how many hours I can squeeze in on Sunday night and still get enough sleep to get through Monday in one piece. It feels like I´m still working even though I´m sitting next to him on the couch watching Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.

I feel torn between wanting to make this work while hating myself for not having the energy to do so and just accepting the fact that, contrary to what I believed, it is not the right time to be out there again and to show that I am now ready for a relationship. I want a relationship, I do. I want to be ready for making room for someone in my life. But I hoped it would be easier, more natural, less stressful. I had hoped it would happen without me having to think so much about it. I had hoped it would enrich my life, not make it more complicated.

I´m supposed to drive out to him this weekend. And I don´t know what do to.



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