So I joined an online dating service a couple of months back at the urging of a friend who met her boyfriend there. It’s one that requires a paid subscription, which I hoped meant the quality of people on it was a little higher than say, WannaHookup.com.
Unfortunately, that has not proven to be entirely true for me. Early on, I was subjected to guys WAY out of my age range (either 25 or 65), who said only, “Let’s kick it” or “What’s up?” Until I figured out the filters, anyway.
I participated in online dating many years ago, when it was still relatively new, and I was not impressed. The men I met did not look like their profile pictures, or they weren’t really single and just wanted some action on the side. Why I thought it would be different today, I don’t know.
In two months on the site, I have ignored about 95 percent of the e-mails, winks and favorites I’ve received. In the first week, I felt so inundated and overwhelmed by the sheer number of messages that rolled in, I underwent a complete mental shutdown.
I have not taken the time to seek out anyone because that seems like work. And that was my major objection to going online for companionship in the first place. I did not want to feel like I had another job. I thought that, if I let people come to me, the process would be more organic than if I were to go on date patrol myself. Perhaps that’s the wrong approach.
Case in point: I’ve found that most guys don’t take time to read profiles, they just respond to photos. (Of course, I only posted flattering ones.) I admit that my profile overall is not particularly robust, but I did note that I am writer and appreciate good grammar. So anyone who is not willing to at least attempt to use capitalization or spell check automatically goes into the trash bin.
I talked to one seemingly decent guy who wanted to meet that same day, but I let him know I wasn’t free until a few days later. Upon reading that message, he never replied. I feel fairly sure I dodged a bullet.
I also chatted with a man for several weeks who was very kind and cordial, and had no problem waiting to meet in person. He had a version of the word “crossfit” in his headline, handle or whatever you call it (the fake profile name you create so the freaks can’t stalk you), so I asked a girlfriend of mine who is an avid crossfitter if she knew him, joking that “all you rope climbers and tire flippers know each other.” Turns out she DID know him and said he was a great guy. I was reassured by her endorsement.
When I finally met him for coffee, I concurred that he is a super nice person, but there was no spark on either side. We both let our communication fizzle afterwards, which was fine by me.
My three-month subscription is up in May, and as far as I am concerned, it can’t lapse soon enough. I chatted with a guy over the weekend, who just this morning suggested we meet, and I felt my whole body seize up at the thought of making time for him.
He’s attractive, professional, in my age range (46), and even took the time to research an author I mentioned. So what the hell, Amy?
I have waffled so frequently on how I feel about dating since I started writing this blog that it may as well be my nickname.
(Side note: My teenage son actually has a friend he calls Waffles; but I’m told that this young man’s moniker originated during childhood because he was overweight. I’m guessing that the teasing is what led to him to shed the pounds. SIGH. Guys are notorious for giving each other shit like that, which I will never understand. But I digress.)
In one of my first posts about dating, I wrote that I wanted to be more open to it. I had recently separated from my ex, and I was lonely. Shortly thereafter, I got my feelings annihilated for the second time by a man I was enamored of years ago. I should have seen that coming, but I didn’t. I spent a little time wallowing in the rejection and swearing off men altogether, but that didn’t last long. I am mature enough to recognize that this dude is an anomaly, not the norm.
I also wrote about my experience with speed dating, which served to provide only entertainment and no real prospects. Most recently, I talked about how a friend and I tend to be attracted to the same type of man — to our own detriment — and we’d like to figure out how to change that. It’s still a work in progress for us both.
So here’s where I am today with all this dating bidness. It would be nice to gain the interest of a gentlemen with whom I share interest. It would be nice to have a night out from time to time with said gentlemen. It would be equally nice to have a night in with him, if you get my drift, every now and again, too. But forging a deep emotional connection that could lead to marriage is off the table for now.
Bottom line — and I realize this sounds incredibly selfish — I don’t want to change or otherwise adjust my life or calendar to accommodate anyone. If he fits in, that’s dandy. If he doesn’t, that’s fine, too. I do not want to screw around, but I also don’t want a serious relationship. Is there something in the middle? I don’t know. So far, these restrictions have left me celibate.
My best friend, Whitney, keeps telling me that I will want to make time and pursue a relationship when I meet the right guy. Point taken, but slow your roll, buttercup. I’m not there yet.
For the first time in my life, I don’t feel like I NEED a man in my life. And I guess that this latest foray into the online dating world has shown me that I am still trying to decide if I WANT one.
Fortunately, I don’t have to decide today. Or I could make one choice today, then change my mind tomorrow. And the next day, and the one after that.
See? Waffling. Eggo ain’t got nothin’ on me.
About Amy Higgs
A former newspaper columnist, Amy takes her random, slice-of-life stories to the web. After 10 years, she's still just saying.