Okay, so I’ve been watching friends set out, onto the internet and at least find some good people to date and in some cases, to fall in love and become best friends and feel inspired. Such heady stuff. Really, what single body could resist the temptation to join them?
Besides, once you’re past college and your twenties it gets harder and harder to find that pool of single people who might have something in common with you. Normally, I see online dating as a series of blind dates but instead of a friend setting you up for free, you pay a corporation and hope for the best.
It helped that not one person told me any really bad stories and besides, I came of age in the ’70’s in the last century when people met in bars. You didn’t even get a profile or trade a few emails before agreeing to a brief coffee. At best, it was a shouted conversation about the music or maybe a brief mention of what someone did for a living.
At least on a dating site, you have an idea of who the person is with a few pictures and can increase your chances of at least some initial success.
Well, maybe not.
The first guy sounded really interesting and had some cute pictures. Grew up in Germany, owned his own engineering company and had a lot of funny, interesting things to text. I felt my optimism rising quickly, maybe a little to quickly and thought, ‘maybe I am like the masses’. Odd thought, right?
And then, after those two weeks of texting the marriage proposal started, followed by ‘don’t you miss me’. No matter how many times I said, ‘no, because I’ve never met you’, he repeated his outline of our future as husband and wife. Did I mention he didn’t even know my last name?
The next guy looked more promising. A widower with a teenage daughter who worked for a non-profit. Third text in he said, ‘I’m looking forward to meeting you too. By the way, are you fully prepared to support your partner morally, financially and sexually?’
After I told him that was a big question I preferred to answer way down the line he went silent. I think he made the right choice. By the way, if anyone knows what all of that even means, let me know.
My enthusiasm was really starting to wane. But then, I was at a dinner party and a woman there mentioned how she had met the perfect nerd who went on to become her perfect nerd-husband. Men in the nerd or geek lane really appeal to me so I decided to take this as a sign, and try again.
Besides, I decided to try to do things a little differently this time and talk to this next guy on the phone. Maybe texting was part of the problem. So difficult to really get a good read on someone from a few sentences typed out on a tiny screen.
They were easy conversations and no weird questions, no talk of our future together. All very casual and light. So far, much better… until… a text.
An x-rated text late before the night we were supposed to meet about what he was hoping to do while falling asleep. I immediately said that was really inappropriate and disappointing and meeting the next day was a mistake. He swore it was a horrible accident, which inspired me to ask if he was sending that message to someone else, why talk to me at all? It also turned out he had lied about his age and used pictures more than a few years old.
It didn’t work out.
My insides felt like they were taking a spiritual pounding. All of my enthusiasm had drained out of me and I really wondered why I ever thought this was a good idea. How did I go from being so happy all by myself to questioning what was going on, surrounded by potential dates?
Being a girl, I called a few friends to find a little perspective and remind myself of a few basic truths. I pick who I’m willing to call very carefully. No one who will agree with me that all is lost, ever, or complain even more about the situation than I’m tempted to do. I call the spiritual hardliners who take no whining of any kind.
The general consensus was to shut up and start looking for the lessons because with that many bad stories they had to be there. Despite my attempts to protest, I started to see a pattern.
Instead of having a sense of humor and seeing all of it as bad dates, I was taking it personally. As if I was somehow causing it all to happen. If I was more spiritually fit, I’d attract people who maybe fit into the middle of the dating road a little more easily. It must be me.
Hogwash. Frankly, I’m not that powerful and it’s not about who shows up in our lives, it’s about how we respond to it all. Instead of seeing everyone who answers or shows up as some kind of reflection of me, just walk away, keep going and try to have a laugh or two.
Most of all, keep believing in meeting the right person because it is what I want and bigger, more wonderful things have already happened. I’ll let you know. More adventures to follow.