I'm wanting to date, but not wanting a relationship just yet.
Some background: I separated in 2007, filed in June 08, went to court in Aug. 08. Divorce became final in Dec. 08. Earlier this year, I felt ready to date. Met a woman and we instantly clicked. After 3 weeks of dating, she told me she was falling in love with me. Well, I panicked, because she had 2 young children (I was never a parent) and I didn't want to commit to her. My reaction was to panic and avoid, which I did by not returning her calls, and drinking (broke nearly 6 mos. sobriety). But I came to my senses quickly, communicated with her and only drank one night. We ended up being just friends.
So now, it's 7 months later, and I'm feeling good again. I'm not needy, and I have a full life with friends and activities, but loneliness sometimes gets the better of me since I live alone. I miss the companionship and especially the affection of a woman, whether it's going shopping together, cooking, snuggling on the couch. I'm in a transitional period, I suppose - eventually, I do want a committed relationship, but I don't feel I'm quite ready yet (and even when I do feel ready, I will take it slow). I have plenty of friendships with women, but I'm looking for a bit more. Basically, I guess I'm just looking to date, to share activities and affection, but without any commitment.
Is that selfish or not? I'm afraid that if I start dating someone, and she "falls for me," but I'm not ready, that she will get hurt. I really don't want to hurt anyone emotionally, but I guess that's always a risk (sometimes even with just friendship). Opinions appreciated!