Friday night. According to all the “dating” rules, I should not be admitting publicly in any kind of venue that I am at home and not out on a date. I don’t care what the rules say. I’m having a fantastic time. I’ve been grinding away for two months on major work projects. Projects that revitalized me because I felt they were purposeful…and challenging…and interesting. Projects that kept me energized and distracted me from worrying about any number of things.
Okay, sure. Let’s be clear. If Perfect Relationship came along, I would hope I’d have the sense to go for it. The problem is, I don’t believe in “Perfect Relationship”? I just don’t think it exists and I believe that perpetrating the myth that a “Perfect Relationship” exists and is even viable, is incredibly damaging.
2:23 a.m. The big projects I was working on have come up to their deadline. Proposals submitted, bids received, offers accepted, contracts signed. Two out of three of the projects were successful, the third, a surprising disappointment in some ways. This third project, was not the most profitable one, so having to go back to the drawing board on this is not a horrible defeat. For me, it means, I get to return home during my evenings. I get to spend time with my kids. I get to live a bit more normal life. Which means, I’m wide awake at 2:23 a.m., for no apparent reason.
Mr. Just Right, from my last post, ended up pushing our meet up for cocktails on Wednesday to dinner and a movie Sunday evening. He showed up, promptly at 5:30 p.m. While he’s wonderful enough on paper, I knew immediately that he wasn’t Mr. Just Right after all. I don’t usually know this right away, but this time, I did. Maybe it was the fact that even though he’s only a few years older than me, he looked as frail and hunched over as my 90-year-old grandma used to look, when she was 90 years old. Not that I judge people entirely on how they look, but let’s face it: when you’re looking for a romantic partner, you have to, at least, be attracted enough to want to get romantic. I knew instantly that this was not going to get romantic. I also knew instantly that this was going to be a very long evening. Fortunately, much of it was going to be a movie, but I had to get through dinner first.
Online dating is so much like the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. If you’re a woman, you can pretty much put up a profile, and if your profile is decent and your pictures are good, you can just dangle that bait in the water and watch the fish come swarming to your inbox. But then the real work begins. It’s just like Goldilocks sampling the porridge, the chairs and the beds of The Three Bears: this one’s too hot, that one’s too cold, will the next one be just right?
It was one of those weekend evenings. Maybe a Friday night, or a Saturday night. I can’t really remember now. I was home alone. All my children at their other homes. I had just recently been walked out on and rejected by people I met online. I was done with online dating. I was, however, not unhappy. I was also not lonely. I’m rarely lonely, even though I am often alone. I enjoy the company when I’m by myself. (It’s a rare gift when all the voices tend to enjoy each others’ company.) Read the rest of this entry
After you read the following excerpt from my life, you will realize that this happened quite some time ago. The first clue is that the weather was warm enough for me to be sweaty when out riding. I believe I drafted this post back in late September. He was the last of the very cool online dating site guys that I will be rejected by. I’ve given up online dating forever. (Okay, wait. I lied. One night about five weeks ago, I had too much to drink and I put up a profile at ChristianMingle.com. But I’ve never gone back and I delete all the notices about all the amazing people they haven’t matched me with.) Read the rest of this entry
Back in the day, when I was younger, squeaky clean, freshly stamped with that Bachelor’s Degree, and looking for work, I had to go through the arduous, intimidating, and emotionally exhausting process of interviewing. I hated it. I hated the way I was often scrutinized, picked apart, rejected. And that was if I even got the interview. Because I was able to present myself well on paper, and because I legitimately had some decent grades, a fair amount of extracurricular campus leadership involvement, and held down a 30-40 hour job, I usually got any interview I sought. The problem is, I’d crash and burn on the interviews. The only time I didn’t crash and burn on an interview was the interview for the job I have now. Of course, by the time I interviewed for this job, I was in my 30’s, had a bunch more education under my belt, and was far more confident in my abilities to do the job I was seeking. Looking back, I was so terribly frightened and unsure of myself in those wide-eyed, innocent days, that it is amazing that I got the jobs I did get, when I got them, that gave me the experience which ultimately landed me a position in a nationally recognized and cutting edge training program for the profession I am currently in.
I was young and unsure. I felt inadequate. I was afraid to fail. All of this showed through in those early interviews, I am sure. Like I said, I’m surprised I ever got a job to begin with. Read the rest of this entry
I love the area I live in, for the most part. It really is beautiful country, the weather is mild most of the year, and there are plenty of opportunities to do things outdoors whether you like the river, lake, mountains or coast. We have it all. The problem is when it comes to dating, there’s a dearth of educated people. There’s an even greater lack of people who have beliefs similar to mine and this is never more obvious than when we begin the discussion of politics. Read the rest of this entry
So, go figure. My finances suck. We’ve been over that. My love life is non-existent. I just had a guy I supported walk out on me after two years. He gave me three days’ notice and he was gone. Haven’t heard a word from him since. After my two epic fails at marriage, I don’t know which hurt worse, to have the marriages end, or him walk out after I invested so much financially and emotionally for two.fucking.years. It is now all water under the bridge, but at times, it still stings.
I’m at an age and in a demographic where there isn’t much dating action, and if there is, it isn’t serious, nor is it even remotely authentic. Face it, after 45, there are so many obstacles to overcome, so much history to wade through, so many people’s scrutiny you have to undergo before a relationship can even be viable, let alone long term. I’ve given up on that area of my life ever being a source of pleasure or happiness. People who really know me, will know what a big deal that is. Most people tend to understand that it is the nature of the beast these days. Dating after divorce is, at best, a difficult thing, and unlike wine, this does not improve with age. Oh, to be 35 again. Before the wrinkles. Before the mistakes. Before the calendar reveals the stigmatizing number of years you’ve been on this planet (because you cannot lie about that).
In spite of all that, the little surprise I’m experiencing is this: I’m actually having fun. I’m enjoying life more than I ever have. I’m happy, in spite of the fact that nothing (except my delightful children) is as I would have expected it and most of it reeks of pathetically miserable failure. I can’t keep a relationship. I can’t catch a break financially. I rent, on purpose, instead of owning. My car is ready to self destruct at any moment. I should sell the thing and try, if possible, to get some money out of it to put down on a more reliable car. But…how to do that? It’s crazy. I have more problems facing me than solutions. I have experienced more endings in the last year than beginnings. I have more reason than ever to despair, instead of hope. Read the rest of this entry
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