Is that a Dating Pool, or a Mirage I See?
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results.
That definition can also be applied to Online Dating.
When I first separated from my wife, before being divorced, I dove into the online dating pool. I didn’t drown, and I didn’t swim. Just sort of doggy-paddled my way through. I did meet and date someone for over a year and a half (we should have ended the relationship after six months, but that had nothing to do with online dating; just me not knowing how to end a relationship).
This time, however, several family members, who achieved success with online dating, lured me back into the water.
Some facts. I’m almost sixty (I know, when did that happened? I’m just as shocked as you are). I was fortysomething last time I attempted online dating (sixty is the new forty). Now, I already gave up on the thought of dating again. Not totally, though. If God, or fate, stepped in and introduced me to the love of my life, I would not ignore the invitation. However, I was adamant that I would not go online and fill out another profile, another “tell me about yourself in a hundred and forty characters” or post pictures of myself, hoping not to show the waddle of my chin, or the shine off the top of my head.
And then, I did exactly that.
That hardest part is finding that all-or-nothing-at-all profile picture. Fortunately, I had one in mind.
At a friend’s son’s communion party, I was captured on film (not unlike Bigfoot) in a surprisingly flattering position.
Before I begin to condemn online dating sites, a little about myself.
I am picky, and at times, incredibly shallow.
Ok, let’s move on.
As I swiped left through most of the profiles (wonderful woman all, I’m sure) one woman admonished me, after she emailed me a few times that it was rude not to reply to her messages.
So, I did, and apologized, then said maybe we can get coffee. “No,” she wrote, “I like to get to know someone before I meet them”. She then gave me a list of questions (nothing too dramatic). How many times have you been married? What’s your nationality (what?), are you now or have you ever been a communist? (No, not really, but I did feel like I’d never work in Hollywood again if I didn’t answer her questions correctly).
A few days later, she replied. “I re-read your profile, and read your blog, and I think we’d be better off as friends”.
Always thought my blog would be a selling point for me, honest representation of who I am, but that’s fine. I wished her luck on her search (why do we wish each other good luck on our search after being rejected; do we really care who finds that pot of gold at the end of that dating rainbow?). Then, after all that, she sent me a flirt request the next day.
It is all very confusing.
But what followed is the real reason these dating sites, how do I say this politely, suck.
A face popped onto my screen, and I thought, ‘yep, this is it’. We all have our preferences. Mine is, brown hair, glasses, nice smile (think Bailey Quarters from ‘WKRP’).
Just a town over, geographically acceptable. She liked my profile picture, so I responded. In the middle of writing, the email disappeared from my screen. This site was new to me; if you touch anything alerts, flirts, emojis, ransom demands, all go the person you are viewing. I immediately started another email message, explained that she might get two messages from me, but I only meant to send one. I assured her I was not stalking her (which, ironically, is exactly what a stalker would say).
A few days later she replied, and a couple of nicety emails were exchanged. She gave me her number, and on a bright Sunday afternoon, while I walked in the park, I called her. It went well.
At least, I thought.
A get-to-know-you coffee date was set up for Wednesday.
That morning, I received a message, plans changed at work, they were taking out a co-worker, we rescheduled for that Friday night.
I think you can see where this is going.
Another email, another reschedule. Her college daughter needed help with vacation plans. She assured me she would call me the following week to get together.
It was then I realized, I was Marcia Brady and “something suddenly came up”.
My nose may look like it was hit with a football, but that’s just my nose. The swelling is never going to go down; I never heard from her again.
They say that when you give up looking for love, that is when love will find you. I have given up more times than the French during World War Two (too soon?), and I have yet to be occupied.
I will be going off the site soon. It’s just not for me.
I’ll be back on the site in my seventies. Then, if “something suddenly comes up”, it will probably be a funeral.