What I have learned about Online Dating

images copy 54Its February and well this is the month of Love. Of COURSE it is. Its my birthday month and I am all about love. However, I won’t bore you with my birthday plans. I don’t actually have any BUT I will share with you what I have learned about online dating. See, I have been single for a long time. No, I am not dead. I work a lot, timid to date AND rarely get out as I work a lot. Did I already mention that?So, Lord knows I have tried! I have attempted to use the free dating sites. I find the paid ones too pricey for a single parents budget and clunky at best. I did pay for one but it was not very clever and clunky. A “brand” name too! I also felt I was dealing with the same crowd I deal with on the freebies so it doesn’t seem to be THAT different. I have met some people while I was out and about and yet I am still single. I have recently tried online again and well, the results are the same. In less then 24 Hours, over 150 requests.

All starting with one of the following lines.

  “Hey Baby!”

“Man, I d like to…..”

“Your Hot!”

“Why u Single?” (note the lack of Y and O)

“Wanna hook up?”

“Do you like Couples?”

“I want to suck on your feet.”

Now, mind you if the above wasn’t so frequent, I would probably be flattered by some of these ‘lines”. BUT, after 800 messages of the SAME line(s), NOPE. Eww. I wonder if these guys are on a website with “Most Popular pick up lines”?

Sigh.

I have met stalkers, pedophiles, foot fetish types, married, Gay males, males who think they can be Hugh Heffner with lots of “lady loving” and last but not least a zillion 20 something’s that are looking for the thrill of Playing “Stacey’s Mom” (http://youtu.be/dZLfasMPOU4) while hoping to have sex with someone twice their age.stacys-mom.png?w=870 Yes, the younger 20 something’s seem to be my market. If there is such a thing as “my market”. This MILF rules and is almost old enough to graduate to Cougar status. Yup, only a few more years to Cougar’dom.

Gosh. Sigh.

 I can say its challenging and at times painful to weed through all of the profiles. There are some nights, I go through each profile  with my comedian hat on. I put each candidate in a bucket of what they represent to the world. Some are honest and are clearly self sabotage junkies, Where as others are terrifically narcissistic and are so bluntly obvious they are purely looking for sexual relations under the guise of “romantic”, its comical.

However, as I weed through I just cant go younger then 30. I did date a 26 year old. I wont tell you it was perfect. He is gone and I am back to searching for the right one. The moment of MILF was fleeting and hey, I tried. I think in this time of transition and re-invention, its important to learn, explore and figure out what it is that will match your needs, wants, desires and goals. If its just a sexual relationship it will end shortly and become unfulfilling. So, knowing what it is that you need to match “you”, takes some soul searching.

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Of course this takes some time to explore and really take an honest look at  yourself about what you want. I know for me, its all very new. I had been with the same person for 16 years. AND I wasn’t “me” anymore. It was all WE. So, now learning about ME is new, scary, riveting, challenging and well, wild.

I have a male friend who is in his early 50’s and just wants to play. He is strictly looking at this time for a sexual relationship. I think his marriage was very un romantic and so he is seeking the one part that seems most important to him. However, date after date after date, he remains using the words that he is only looking for sexual and yet wanting something long term and friendship. Though he is confused as to his needs, he is at least out there exploring and learning more and more about what he wants. When I say exploring I am not meaning to imply that he is sleeping with the entire area. He is having dinner, drinks, and laughter and hiking time with these women. Of which few have turned into a budding romance. He says he only wants a sexual relationship in one sentence but the next is serious and he is deeply looking for the long term. He is learning about himself. Its good. Always good. He is a wanna be “play’a”.  Its been a running joke with us since he tried to pick me up a few years ago. Clearly, he was unsuccessful romantically but we are friends and I care for him deeply. Yes, he was placed in the FREINDSHIP ZONE. The one place I am learning guys fear. I find it a win/win if at the very least we are friends. What could possibly go wrong with that? Unless, as I have come to learn, he is placed in the F.Z. often. Then this is just purely bad timing on my part,

Oops. Sorry about that?images-4

As we all grow into our new self, we start to realize how much of ourselves merged with our EX and we also have a toe or foot or feet in the muddy water of fear. So, it’s with a “shaking leg” that we walk into thinking about a long term partnership. We know that we don’t want our EX but we do want parts of them. We only want the parts of them that fit with the needs of that time. However, we are also reminded often that its not then. So, in the NOW, we are attempting to grasp the ME and the possible of WE down the road.

Alas, dating as a single parent is a challenge. As the years go by, you begin to really enjoy the coming and going at will. The very idea that I have to ask permission has always pissed me off. I guess I might have a mild problem with authority. Or I like to say my independence is my strength. Either way, I like my freedom. I am a parent and that freedom is just a longer rope then that of marriage so understand I cant just go to Paris on a whim. As of yet. (Soon though and my baby girl will be right beside me as she seems to have the same adventure spirit as her mother. I guess, the apple didn’t fall too far from the tree after all.)

I got side tracked. Sorry, I LOVE to travel.

 As far as dating is concerned I think you should have a LOT of dates before settling down. I don’t mean lots of SEX, unless that’s what you want. I mean going out to dinner or bowling with many in order to determine what is that you are looking for. Getting to know people. I think women tend to settle too quickly and in doing so, end up right back into the relationship they just left. So, now that you have a second chance and you are wiser, use your wisdom. Date! IT wont hurt. I have found that some dates end up POLAR opposite then what they claimed to be as we chatted online. I have found some profiles online to be so impatient that if you don’t agree to have dinner within the first 24 hours, they refuse to talk to you. As far as I am concerned, GOOD Riddance! Over a short period of time you can literally put the online profiles in a few buckets. Here are some warning signs as you begin to explore the virtual world of possible mate matching.

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Bucket number one-Sexual Predator’s.

 These profiles are the ones that like to send photos of their privates. They always start out with some lame line and then demand your cell number so that you can receive a ton of photos of their naked parts. Yup. A dead giveaway is that in less then 3 lines they will ask for your number either directly or with some lame excuse like  “the application doesn’t work well” on their phone at work. If you say no, they begin to pressure you. Then they get mad. Unknown-1Time for you to move on as this is NOT what you want in your next healthy relationship.

Bucket number Two-Stalkers

 The Stalkers are the profiles that will start chatting with you and it seems like its going well. So, you go about your normal day and then they start a dialogue about what your doing and why don’t YOU text them often the next day. They begin to question your intentions on said site and demand to know who you are with. This is in less then 24 hours usually. NEXT. Another group that you don’t need to bother with.

 Bucket Number Three-The Deceivers.

             These profiles tend to be clever, witty and if you carefully look at the photos you can tell that A. The photos are out of date. B. They are not actually clear. Kinda Fuzzy or C. They don’t even have a photo up. What I have found is that most of them are married or out of my age range. Even scarier is that a good chunk of these guys are looking for your personal information to commit a crime. If they like to ask a lot of deeply personal questions quickly, MOVE ON. They are hiding something. Of course they wont tell you at first. They will just play along and try to get you to meet them anyway. So, NEXT. You don’t need that stress in your life.

 Bucket Number 4: The Undecided

 This is a fun bucket. The Profile will read something like Looking for Serious relationship and as you read further will insinuate that they really are not. Once you contact them they can be friendly and yet they will blow you off or even state that they are only looking forward to “late night calling hours”. Is it possible they are Play’as? undecided-sign-570x320Yes, of course.

Is it possible they don’t know what they want? Yes, this of course is true. Is it possible that there is something deeply WRONG with them? Sexual dysfunction, obsessive behaviors, hoarders, and more! Yes, Yes and YES. Of course. I have made some wonderful life long friends out of this bucket and am grateful. BUT be cautious with this one as all of them. There can be some real doozies in this bucket that sneak up and surprise you.

So, to say dating is fun is an optimistic truth for sure. I would say, the weeding out process is exhausting and at times too demanding. I would say that once you go out on a date, it’s always a bonus when they are who they say they are and you can enjoy your time. It does seem rare that the pictures online match what walks through the door, but I can say that the few that have for me, we have become great friends. Unfortunately, there was no spark BUT I think I am getting closer.

So, online dating is what it is and for those of us who work and travel a lot, its one resource to at least try. However, do be careful and DON’T fall for anything. There are a lot of bad people out there and while your heart is in the right place….theirs might not be. So, throw SOME caution to the wind but keep your wits about ya. Don’t give up on dating. Enjoy it! Just be careful.

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Until Next time…………………

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