Where do I even start with online dating? I have been on several different sites. Some are strictly vanilla and some are strictly kinky… some cross the two in subtle ways through the profiles. I have had some success but most days online dating makes me appreciate being single and wanting to stay that way if only because finding someone online is more of a challenge than it should be.
First and foremost, I have come to not mind being single these days. This could be because it has been difficult to find one (or two, or three) regular relationships that make sense. They either just want to fuck, which wouldn’t be bad if that was all I wanted and sometimes that is all I want, but I have to know you first. Or, they want to get married. I am 100% sure I am never getting married again, living with someone else again, sharing furniture or a bank account again! So – these being the two most obvious options, it kind of sucks!
Part of the problem is me… I like the beginning conversations but I also hate repeating the same old things. Then when the suggestion to meet comes up, I become resistant. Yes, mostly I just don’t feel like putting on the front and heading out which would suggest that I am perhaps not ready to do this. I get that and I own my part in it. A friend of mine always says, “hey, it’s a free dinner!” However, that makes me feel bad.
The bad of online dating…
There are obvious safety issues. I think I have mastered that. Chat through the app, move to text with the phone, at least one conversation on the phone, meet in a public place, smile and see how it goes. That is the first rule and the process I have put in place. I hate talking on the phone but I try to suck it up for this purpose.
Second thing, are their pictures valid and are they who they say they are. I have found I am gullible. I just assume people are telling the truth. I tell the truth. Why would I lie when the possibility of this being a good thing is out there. Then I’ll have presented as untruthful. This is not the way of online dating it would appear. I have run into people that do not look a thing like their photos. They have either changed in age or weight or something, or they have filtered themselves so drastically that I stand in the restaurant wondering if it is them or not.
Now, I get it. You want to put your best face forward. I crop the fuck out of my photos and only pick the really good ones to put online. That is a common procedure for trying to make a good first impression. Whether it is pictures of holding the big fish from a charter trip or those sunset beach photos we always pick the best ones. But if I can’t tell who you are, then why go there. Much of this goes to trying to find my own comfort level with my body and hoping that others will do the same. But I also understand why people filter and crop.
I am not good at being direct if I am not interested
I also hate turning people away. I had one situation that was so horrible anyone else would have walked away. They guy had lied about his age, his pictures were fake, he drank like a fish, showed up dirty and unshowered, brought a friend along, and pawed me to death in the restaurant. Even the waiter felt pity for me. I, however, stayed, tolerated, made eyes at the really cute table of guys across the dining room and legitimately counted the minutes before I could leave gracefully.
Our texting had gone so well, as had our conversation. We had so much in common and it seemed too good to be true. Because it was. Maybe he was taking everything from my profile – I don’t know. It bothered me that he lied about just about everything and bothered me even more that I could not walk out of the restaurant as I was realizing the lies one after the other. I was telling myself to leave. Willing myself to be honest with him even though he wasn’t with me. He didn’t deserve my kindness. But I sat, pulled my hands and my knees away and avoided his gaze until I could gracefully escape to my car. I need to get better at that, obviously.
The good of online dating…
There is a good to be able to weed out the ones that you instantly know you aren’t going to click with. There is also attention. All those people swiping right just because of my pictures feels good. Especially when you are self-conscious about how you look. It also opens up a new community and group of people that would never meet otherwise and I like that. Meeting someone in a bar has never been my thing. Being able to hang out online and get to know someone is good for my introverted self as well.
I have met really nice people and whether we ended up dating or not, they are now friends that check in every now and then. I like that. In my situation, having new friends is a good thing. Most of the people I click with but don’t end up dating are going through stuff and just don’t have the time to focus or date like I want to.
The in-between of online dating…
Then, you meet that one person. Nice, compatible in most ways, understand your baggage and doesn’t care, wants the same things as I do in way of a relationship. Seems perfect. It would be perfect but they are entangled. You see the effort he is putting in to being un-intangled, but it is taking time. You still see each other and when you do it is great. But you both want more time. But they are entangled. So you both agree to see each other when you can but it isn’t enough and you start wishing for more. Maybe this has something to do with the lack of enthusiasm to get out the door and meet others? Probably. Even though the other issues of online dating are true and valid.
I also know people that have met online and gone on to be married and build a family. It is possible for happily ever after and success in whatever that looks like for each person. I think it takes a level of enthusiasm and determination. I also think you have to know what you want and what you are looking for when you are online. You also have to have a sense of humor.