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Dating…Again? Or In Which The Idea Of Dating Makes Me Sick

I have given up on dating. For reasons stated in my last post, I am not interested in putting myself out there at all in order to find, or become involved in, a relationship. Right after my separation and divorce in 2007, at the insistence of my oldest daughter, I put up an online profile on a dating site. Before the year was out, I had tried nearly all the dating sites in existence at that time. I got to know the dating sites, and I met a lot of really great people. None of them were “the one”, but they were all decent. I met a few creepers also, but I learned to distinguish these people early on, for the most part.

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Interviews

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

Notes From The Swamp

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

Dilemma

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

A Happy Man or A Sick Man?

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.

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