I’ll never join one of those online dating sites; I’d rather meet someone the old fashioned way, through alcohol and poor judgment!
The curser just blinked at me mercilessly. I had writer’s block. I needed to fill in the field “tell your potential matches about yourself”, my mind was a blank. What was I to say? “Hey look at me, a major loser who lost her husband to an 18 year old”? Uh..no, probably not a good opener; or “loser divorcee seeks stable great guy”? Nothing seemed to fit. Online dating was going to be a challenge. Not only did you have to talk about yourself, but about what you wanted in a potential date (anyone who knows me knows this in and of it self would be a problem. Judgment being the issue as evidenced by my divorce, not to mention all those relationships prior to him). This was daunting. You had to pick just the right picture (s) as to be honest, but not too honest, current but not too current or members of the opposite sex might just scroll right past your profile. you had to “pop” off the screen. This was a lot of work. This close to 15 years ago and not much has changed as far as I can tell.
Back then I jumped into the online dating thing with a lot of optimism. I finally got input from friends as to what to write in my “sales” pitch”. It read (and probably still does, floating, somewhere in cyberspace…) I found this more recent (recent being a relative term, 7 or so years ago)… “Hi, I am a xx year old, w/ two kids, one on the way to college this year! Eeek , how does that happen!? I live in the northern suburbs of Chicago and truly enjoy my “family life”. But also love to have fun and adventures. My most recent being road trips and buying art. I love to get away for weekends when I can even if it’s only a short trip. On my list of things to do is learning to drive a motorcycle just for fun! I love simplicity, yet often crave excitement. I love to travel. My heart is in the city but my loves still go to school here in the burbs! I love taking care of my family and home, and those I hold dear. I am a good friend to those whose friendship I have earned and have earned mine. I am a news junky, love to watch movies (I can be a couch potato at times if something is holding my interest!) Love music, it played a huge part of my life for so many years. I am seeking someone who shares similar values and beliefs, who is committed to family and relationships. One who cherishes the really important things in life, family, good friends and much laughter. I am multi faceted. The photos are representational, LOL. I have a very interesting background having worked in the entertainment industry for years. I am able to go from hiking to social event w/ ease, and would like the same in a partner. Someone who likes to dance and loves music wouldn’t hurt either but for sure isn’t a must!’
What a load of horse shit! In reading it now, I certainly didn’t know what the hell I wanted; I mean what the hell was I thinking? “Eeek”!?? Loving music not a must? I suppose I thought if they were a good family man they’d be a good man. No wonder it attracted who it attracted. More on that in a bit. I actually wonder which of my friends wrote this profile?! Music loving not a must… that one still gets me.
I learned some lessons in online dating, I’d like to share for those of you who have read this far and still might think online dating is a good idea for you to try. For starters, if you are planning on using the internet to date, be forewarned there is a relatively small number of men our age looking to date women in their same age group. While I don’t advocate lying you probably should, and say you are at least 10 or 15 years (more if you can pull it off) younger that you actually are. Yes, you heard me correctly, men in their 50’s and 60’s think they are so hot they should be dating women in their 30’s and 40’s… so yeah lie; at least you will get to make contact because of the search strings they put in. I was not into lying about my age, so I came up in “matches” mailboxes who must have been really desperate. This makes me wonder if now, would I pop up in a man’s “matches” for that over 70 crowd? Oh wait many of them don’t know to use a computer, so we’ll likely be safe there.
Putting up fake pictures also helps (I wouldn’t know this first hand because I was honest, another huge mistake I made). This seems to work both ways, the men on dating sites almost always put up a photo so old that when you meet them for coffee or drinks you have to wait for them to “wave” from across the room and then hope the wind from the wave doesn’t disturb their comb over that they clearly didn’t have in the photos. While you are putting up those fake photos and lying about your age, be sure to lie in your profile and pick an online profile name like Ms. HotHotHot or Ms. MyTongueisSoLong; or grab a headline like ” Looking for sex stop here!? ” those will all get you, I am guessing here, loads of responses in your male box, sorry mail box. Again, like the fake hot photo, it is just to get someone to stop and look.
Lastly make sure someone knows where you are going once you have made that “love connection”. Because let’s be honest, Mr. Goodbar has moved to the internet and is safely hidden behind a computer screen.
I, didn’t do any of the things I suggest above. Yet, surprisingly, I still did get hits by men on these dating sites (the aforementioned desperate ones). Some of the messages were so crude that I couldn’t believe what I was reading. According to these men and their messages, my mouth seemed to be able to do things I couldn’t imagine, not to mention what they’d like to do to my breasts and other body parts, not to mention the pictures of their manly parts. I think this was supposed to be a turn on..? Those were the quick “delete and block” messages. Then there were the ones, where they clearly either didn’t know how to type or spell and were mostly mono syllabic in structure “I lke ur smule. Café?” Those were just deleted. Then there were the occasional few who typed and spoke like they had a brain, and a decent picture (however dated it might be, I would try to age them mentally). These often led to a lot of back and forth via email; the occasional call to the burner cell. Oh, if I forgot to mention, have a burner cell, never give out that real number or you might see those crazy crude texts. Once you chat and try your best to figure out if this dude is for real, you go for broke and make that coffee or drink meet and greet. Which in and of itself is a special circus hell. Here are just a few to give you an idea:
Jackie Mason guy with a serious spare tire, met for coffee. Shakes my hand and says “I am not a chubby chaser, I thought you’d be thinner in person”. This from a guy who clearly could not see his shoes when he looked down. Next.
White haired cheapskate. Ok looking. We talk about the usual, kids and divorce. When he asked how much I got in child support and I said my ex doesn’t pay… he asks “well how do I not have to.. what did your ex do to get out of it”? I responded that that wasn’t information I would give any father. To which he replied “no wonder your husband left you, you’re a real bitch”. Next.
The Jockey. Need I go further? Seemingly great guy, I was willing to look past his tiny size, until he had a foot stomping melt down when the movie we wanted to go to wasn’t playing (did it never occur to him to check that in advance?). “I want to take my lady to that, why is the sign still up”!? And literally stomped his feet like a child. His tiny size and foot stomping made me realize I didn’t need three kids. Next.
The boob stare-er. Seemed ok, tall, fairly good looking, two sons. Met for an actual dinner so this one was looking particularly promising. Once I got past the “I know a lot of guys from Jam” part of the convo (which upon checking later, he did not). Suddenly realized he was not looking at me, but my boobs. I was no dummy, understanding all to well that the girls might be a distraction, they were covered. When I brought this to his attention with the old “my eyes are up here line” he was ready for me “I take in all of a beautiful woman, right down to her nails, I was merely looking at your manicure, since your arms were resting like that”. I quickly pulled the hands down and asked “well what color are they”? He said “Red”. They were a French manicure. Busted. Next
The Perfect Guy. There was one who in his emails seemed so perfect that it had to be too good to be true. He talked endlessly about his two kids, how they were his world etc. So we met. He was from Elgin (I should have figured this out) he worked at a health facility in Elgin (I was so blonde). When I saw him I knew something was up. But I am not a rude person so I gave it my best. I chatted for a few minutes and I asked how his kids were, this made him squirm. I asked again and asked the problem in my asking. He became enraged and I quickly realized that he didn’t work at the facility but was more likely out on a day pass from the Elgin mental health facility. I excused myself for the ladies room, asked the barista at Starbucks was there a back door?… she pointed. I ran around the building with my heart pounding got in my car and sped away. Next.. nope I was done. So, so done.
That was maybe 5% of the iceberg known as my internet dating experience. The stories are too many.
Shortly after that, interestingly enough I ended up running into, then, dating someone I had known in my very distant past. In our getting to know each other phase, we each learned we had each done the internet dating thing. We were even on one of the same dating sites but had never come up as a match for each other. He looking for women 10-15 years younger and me only going up to a certain age, we never crossed paths. Yet we got along great. We actually ended up in a relationship that probably shouldn’t have been. Hell, Maybe the dating site algorithms know more than we do. He was a great guy and ended up marrying the very next woman he dated, this was within a nano second after our breakup, thus making me that “bridge” to happiness, a role I was all too familiar with. So all’s well that ends well.. for him at least because let’s be honest, men have it much easier in dating and fix ups and internet dating than us ladies do.
Let me take pause and mention I know at least two very stable great couples who did in fact meet on line. Each have been married for years, which means the only two normal men out there were snapped up, leaving the bottom of the barrel of internet men (I am sure there are great non internet men). Thanks Sharon, thanks Kathleen for draining the pool… sigh. But I am happy for you both, really really I am.
I am wondering what even prompted me to blog on this gosh awful subject.. oh right… my dating life or lack thereof. In hoping for a “fix up” like a friend got, I get into these dating conversations, where people can’t believe I can’t get a date and inevitably say “Hey have you tried on line dating..:!? To which I reply yes… next?
Does this mean I have given up? No not at all. It just mean’s I gave up that internet nonsense quite a long time ago. A wise woman recently said to me “I truly believe love sits next to you at the bar, in the grocery store, in line at Starbucks…you have have to be ready when it shows up”. I embrace that philosophy. So Stay Calm and Have an Open Heart all you single ladies.
Can anybody find me somebody to love?
** Special Note. I know online dating works particularly well for the the under 45 crowd. It is theirway of life. This is really directed at us older Broads.