Started Dating...I've been keeping to myself, happy to be alone, for many months now. Especially being such a mess this summer, I really was not good dating material! But, slowly, I found myself, nearly unintentionally, dating.
It is good! Been dating a classmate who was assigned to my workgroup, and, through a series of misunderstandings, she told me she was interested. Since I have been cautious, I hesitated for awhile, but kept talking to her. After a number of casual dates, I start to feel safer, and so something of a relationship has formed. I really like her - there are some things that are just amazing. The biggest - she is very, very respectful. There is none of the fundamental disrespect for masculinity, none of the BS I experienced in my marriage. Other good things abound.
The respect thing may just be a cultural difference: she is from China. But I've never experience this level of respect from a woman. I think I'm now spoiled, I don't think I will even look twice at an American woman ever again (no offense ladies!). Not fair I suppose, but to put it in perspective: The way this girl is respectful is unlike anything I've ever experienced, and unlike anything I've ever even heard of before. She keeps asking me what it is like when dating an American woman. The very first thought in my mind was: An American woman only cares about how you make her feel, and is not so interested in how she makes you feel. Looking back over my life, I feel that is true. It does make me worry that, maybe, this is just an American thing, and I have not had the same level of considerations for others...so it has kickstarted some additional self reflection.
The funny thing - this is all pre-sex. Been dating a little over a month, and became closer this last week. I've been hesitant to have sex, because I don't want to enter into the possibility of a refuser dynamic...It is easier to postpone having sex than worry about that dynamic. That, and I want to take things slow because I want to be sure! This seems to work well because she is also of the take it slow mindset. Part of it is cultural, but, being raised in China, they really don't date and have American style relationships (except in the bigger cities). It's more of an arranged marriage type of situation for most of China. Consequently she's not had a relationship before, so everything is kinda new to her. While that is something of a turn of, it is also kinda nice too, She has no baggage from past relationships. So, taking things a little at a time, and it seems healing to my heart.
I do not know if it will last, she is going back home in a few years. But the odd thing is I don't care.