Monthly Archives: September 2012
If you’ve ever attempted to enter the shark-infested waters of online dating, you understand the feeling of disappointment that can somehow arise from an encounter with a complete stranger. This, I believe, is due to the fact that many people online are liars. In some way, they misrepresent who they are.
The most common of these is the married individual, who, for whatever reason, finds they are in a ” loveless” marriage. “We haven’t had sex for years!” these types lament. “But I can’t leave. I’m the beneficiary on a multimillion dollar inheritance and the doctors have only given her six weeks to live.” Okay, so I haven’t gotten that line exactly, but I’ve gotten some version of it. It’s always the same: loveless marriage but I’m hanging in there for the money or kids. I personally suspect neither is true. These people are trolls. These, though, are the obvious disappointments because, if you are even a little bit savvy, you can pick up the clues that indicate the dude’s looking for sex with no commitment.
The tough ones are the ones who appear decent and real. They, in fact, anywhere else but online, may even be decent and real. But in digital world, they connect with you, first in a message on the stupid dating site, then later via email, and eventually through text or phone calls. You sense a liking, at first, an attraction, which grows with each contact until you’re very nearly ready to marry the guy without ever having met him.
Then you meet him. Read the rest of this entry
One of the people I’m corresponding with from the sleazeball online dating sight has been pretty decent. I can tell right now, without ever meeting him that he’s not going to be someone I fall madly and passionately in love with. If there is chemistry of anything more than a platonic friendship nature, I will be astounded. The man’s really nice, intelligent, thoughtful, and maybe, if I weren’t so damaged from my history with men, I might be more interested in him as something more than “friends”. I don’t know.
Anyway, I asked him what he was doing on said sleazy dating site. He responded with a lengthy tale which included information about his divorce, financial situation, job history, etc. This just proves my theory that, “So, what is such a nice guy like you doing on a dating site like this,” is a perfect question to ask if you want to get some really intimate information from a person. They usually end up spilling everything about their past and present to you. I got a lot of information, all of which reinforced that this is truly a genuinely decent guy. None of which convinced me that he was my next Prince Charming. So, of course, when he asked the question in return, I threw the game. Read the rest of this entry
Online “dating”, if that’s what you want to call it, is exhausting. So, far the contacts I’ve received can be classified into four main categories. First, there’s monosyllabic contact. Easily half of the people who contact me do so in this manner. “Hey.” “Hi.” The more sophisticated ones say, “Hello.” Okay, so that’s two syllables. All of these characters get the delete key. I don’t even bother to look at their profile.
The next group is the group that uses words to say nothing. For example, they might initiate with,”I liked your profile.” Really? What exactly did you like about my crummy profile that basically says nothing about me? What could anyone find of interest in three sentences written when lit? Another example is, “You have a nice smile.” Now, there’s a real conversation starter. What can a gal do with that besides say “thank you”, and move on to the delete key? Or this one’s always destined to be a charmer: “Having any luck on here?” Like I’d tell you if I was or wasn’t. Then there’s this comment I just received,”How’s the night?” It’s just great, thanks. I’m blogging about stupid things guys say when contacting a woman online, and I’m using you as an example. Hmmm, should I really reply with that much honesty? It’s tempting. Or this:
Hi. Good morning. Happy Friday. Anyway, thought I’d stop by and say hi.
I just don’t even know how to respond to that, especially when I go check out the profile and the one image the person has posted was clearly taken in the 70’s. Read the rest of this entry
I’ll cut to the chase. I’m an idiot. Who signs up on an online dating sight at the most busy time of their professional and personal year? I do. Like I said…I’m an idiot. I admit it. I have only one excuse. I was three sheets to the wind when I did the signing up. Yep. Had one of those down days. One of those days that proves living a block from the local liquor store is not necessarily the benefit you might think it would be. I don’t know the particular circumstances. I think I successfully drank them out of my memory. I just remember it was one of those days, which, for whatever reason I was feeling blue about the whole situation that transpired in my life recently. Actually, I wasn’t really feeling blue about that situation if the truth be known. I was feeling blue that I’d wasted the last two years of my youth on the man. Okay, enough with the drama. It is also very possible that I was feeling happy. I feel that a lot these days. In fact, I almost get giddy with the lack of stress and the ease with which my family functions right now. No more walking on eggshells. No more having to ask permission or wonder when the next derisive comment is going to come. No more worrying about money. Since I’m not paying his bills, there’s an extra amount in our coffers this month, and that makes me genuinely silly with the giddy factor. Read the rest of this entry
Five, almost six, years ago, I left The Evil Ex. It was a devastating divorce and not exactly one I want to rehash here. Suffice it to say, that I spent a number of months, just trying to survive: figure out the family budget, put food on the table, get to work and keep my job. These were the priorities. Then one evening, my oldest daughter decided to create a profile for me on an online dating site. I mean, dating after divorce has to be okay if your kid is suggesting it, right? Yeah. No.
I was in no place to be dating back then. I was just finalizing the divorce for a marriage where I was still in love with the person I was divorcing. The reality was, he just did not love me, and never would. While every relationship has it’s tough places, this one had more than most, and I needed to leave regardless of whether I really wanted to or not. What I wanted was for things to change. This was not going to happen. I left in order to survive. Needless to say, I was a basket case. Insecure. Frightened. Totally unaware of the things you need to be aware of when online dating. Yet, here I was, putting myself out there. (Honestly, as I look back I wonder that I am alive. I made so many stupid mistakes.)
One of the first people I met was intelligent and fun. He was digitally articulate and his profile was interesting. He lived nearby and we arranged to meet up one evening after I left a Christmas Party I was attending. Yep, you guessed it. Mistake number one. Dates occurring after 9:00 in the evening read one and only one way: booty call. Suffice it to say, I met up with the guy, had a couple of drinks and then went home. Let’s just say it was a late night, but I made it to my own bed that night. We ended up going out a couple of times and, though I found him intelligent and attractive, something out of my recent abusive experience told me to run. I did. I just ended up not returning his calls or emails, etc. I think I finally had to block him from my phone, my email, any dating site I happened to be on…you get the picture.
Guess who contacted me within the first hour that I signed up on this dismal dating site? Yep. He contacted me the minute he saw my profile go up. He’s trolling the new members. He’s a desperate and lonely soul, or maybe he really is just a creeper. Here’s how the conversation with A Happy Man 4 U went:
Happy Man: Hey, is your name _____?
Me: (not realizing who might be contacting me) Who’s asking?
Happy Man: I’ll take that as a yes. You look like an Ex of mine from a few years back.
The conversation progressed to the point that I was able to figure out who this person was. Happy Man is most definitely NOT a happy man. He’s negative, has a victim mentality and it exudes from every contact he made with me. 5 years later, I am amazed that I didn’t see it. But I didn’t see this poisonous individual, because I was in so much pain and clearly not in any place to be meeting others like this. In the end, my conversation with Happy Man 4 U, ended pretty abruptly, but not before he referred to me as one of his “Ex’s”. Yes, that is the word he used. Really? I’m an Ex? We went out three times, if that. I paid my way most of the the times. Since he was referring to me as an Ex, I responded with the fact that he didn’t sound like and of my Ex’s (from marriage). Of course, I reminded him, I couldn’t tell because the only picture I have to go by is one of a forest stream. (By this time I’m fully aware of who he is, and I suspect he’s on to me too. Also, yes, he’s reduced himself to putting up a forest picture for his profile. It doesn’t show his face. I’m not sure how he gets away with that.) I then said that I once dated a guy from his town who was bitter, negative and had a victim mentality. I went on to say that because of these qualities, we didn’t date long, maybe three times, and certainly not enough to refer to that person as an “Ex”. He must have me confused.
He responded with “Yes, I must have you confused with someone else because my Ex was fun and nice.” (Really? She’s your ex and you’re not sure you even recognize her. She was fun and nice…really…there was nothing about the way he treated me five years ago that indicated he thought of me as anything other than a potential testosterone release valve, let alone “fun and nice”. Needless to say, I deleted the conversation…after a great deal of laughter.
The truth of the matter is, this man is not a safe person. He’s bitter, angry, and unhappy and that is just not anything I want to be around. Like I said, I made some mistakes. Five years ago, not recognizing this man immediately, the way I could today, was one of them. For a couple of dates, I thought he was decent. When I wouldn’t sleep with him on date three and he loudly called me out on that in public, I got out of there as fast as I could.
A Happy Man or a sick one? I think you’ve probably figured out by now that there is nothing about this individual that is happy.
I hate this emotional rollercoaster I am on. I am happy, I am sad. I am glad it’s over with the Gone Boyfriend, I hate that it ever had to end. I feel optimistic about my future, then the very next day, I’m thinking that all have to look forward to is the decline of old age and the associated aches, pains, and debilitating experiences that come with the aging process. Face it, it’s going to get worse from here on out, and I’m not making it out alive.
I wonder when these feelings will leave me. I wonder when that dull ache in my chest will disappear. One minute I’m sitting playing and laughing with my 12-year-old, grateful for our freedom to play together, without criticism, but when she leaves to go spend her weekend with her dad, I am a lonely mess. I wander around aimlessly. I do things, laundry, chores, etc., but I’m forgetful, absentminded, and unfocused.
Fortunately, the downturns are becoming further and further apart. They are becoming shorter and shorter in duration. I feel so good, happy and content, and free, most of the time. My sadness these days, is not so much that the Gone Boyfriend is gone, but that he took up space in my life for two years. For two years, I put in effort only to be abandoned. And suddenly abandoned at that. The longer I am away from him, the more I realize it was probably best that he left. It still hurts to feel the rejection. It still hurts, at times, to think that for whatever reasons, I must be some complete relational loser since I am alone at my age. I just liked being in a relationship and having the companionship. It’s sad to me that it wasn’t a lasting situation, and even sadder that I couldn’t see that truth earlier. So, somedays I am just sad.
More and more frequently, however, I am grateful. I am pleased that my children and I can take off our shoes and wander barefoot around our home, without worrying that we left our shoes by the front door. I hear my children laughing together so much more often. We talk more and linger over dinner, laughing about funny events of our day, or discussing the upcoming schedule so we can decide who will use the car and who will not. I’ve had more really good times with my children in the last month than I’ve had since the Gone Boyfriend showed up on the scene.
The other day, I was somewhere with my 18-year-old. We were doing something and I mentioned how this would never have happened with the Gone Boyfriend in the picture. She very quietly paused, then said, ” I really don’t think we ever need to mention him ever again.”
I think she’s right. He’s gone. He isn’t getting any readmittance in my life. He doesn’t deserve to. It is time to let this go. I’ve cried enough tears, wasted enough emotional energy and time. I never need to mention him ever again.
The following is a blog post I started a year ago, on September 27, 2011. I guess the break up with the Gone Boyfriend really was a long time coming. The post below isn’t complete. I’m posting it in this unfinished state, because I think it is a good lesson to me to go with my gut. I sensed something wasn’t right a year ago. Whatever was brewing inside the Gone Boyfriend was brewing for a while, and I was seeing something of it. I just was too afraid or unwilling to face it. My bad.
How can you tell if it is real love?
I find this a difficult question to address.
Maybe, because, before you can address the question at all, one must define love. This is something I cannot do. Well, maybe I can do it when it comes to loving that little sports car that just drove by, or loving my job or not loving it, or loving my children…but when it comes to an adult relationship? This is where I have trouble. What is real love? I don’t even know what it means to be really in love. Moreover, I’m not sure, having been beaten by men either verbally or physically or emotionally and certainly financially most of my life, that I can even understand the meaning of love or what it would look like or feel like to have a man be truly in love with me. Too me, it looks just too much like competition, or the lack of competition.
But, I’m currently in a relationship, and have been with a man for nearly a year. Eleven months to be exact and, well, questions are coming to my mind. Yes, they are keeping me up at night. I am beginning to wonder if this relationship is really right for me. Maybe, when I get done, I will come to the conclusion that my even asking the questions was the sign that things weren’t right. Then again, maybe everyone needs to ask the questions periodically just to check in and re-evaluate what it is about the relationship that still is worth committing to. At this point, I don’t know, but I am concerned enough about some things that I need to take a step back and ask, “What’s really going on here?” That’s not the only question I’m asking either…obviously.
There were more questions like “What is true love? How does it behave? What does it look like at middle age?” and so on. I’m still asking some of those questions, but I’m certainly not thinking I should be so surprised that the Gone Boyfriend is gone.
Last September, I moved in to the home and neighborhood I live in now. I’d lived in my previous home for seven years. This move was a big change for me, I actually moved out of the city boundaries where I’d lived for almost 20 years into a smaller, bedroom community nearby. This meant a lot of things for me, and the move was a good one in so many ways. The one downside to this move is that there is one neighbor that has a dog. This dog is not a small dog. This dog has a bark designed to be heard from a long way away. This bark can be heard for several hours most nights.
Tonight is one of those incessantly barking nights.
I’ve looked up the non-emergency number for the police department, and am preparing to call. This animal has been barking for nearly two hours. What confuses me is how no one else seems to bothered by it. What confuses me further is how these people can just allow their dog to bark all.night.long.
Maybe I should just get on a robe and slippers, go pound on the door, and wake my neighbors and tell them to make their dog stop barking.
I just don’t understand how people can let their animals bark and bark and bark. They have to hear this. They are a block away from me and I can hear this animal through closed windows and doors.
It’s keeping me up. I’m putting the non-emergency police number on my speed dial.
His byline read, “Who does this?” It was a valid question, after all. Who does this? Who displays a bunch of photos so anonymous strangers, trolls really, can view them and thus make a decision based on whether or not they will contact you? Who goes through this in hopes of finding a viable long-term relationship? The sad truth is, everybody’s doing it, or so it seems. Even more pathetic, I have jumped in this pond again.
I deleted Who-Does-This’s initial email to me. He didn’t say much other than hello or how are you; a simple cut-and-paste statement made by trolls when trolling. I discarded it without even checking out his profile. But he contacted me again. His second contact was no more brilliant than the first, but I looked at his profile this time. 54, okay, that was good since I’m looking for someone who has to be at least 45…if you could call what I’m doing, looking. I cruised through his images, impressively, he had many, and he was attractive. Then I noticed he lives about 90 minutes away in a city near me that I am not even remotely interested in visiting, let alone spend significant time in. Dealbreaker. That’s when I saw his byline. “Who Does This?” Maybe I should have been cynical, but it cracked me up.
I ventured a response, “I have the same question: Who does this? And why are we here? Are you really 54, because you look 45.”
And now he wants to chat. All will be well and good until I have to actually meet the dude. This will involve getting dressed up. Getting dressed up means I must wear shoes. Shit. Why didn’t I think this through a bit more thoroughly?