I honestly didn’t expect to be back here again. Where? The world of online dating. I tried it briefly in the past on a couple of different occasions and both experiences were disastrous. Maybe that’s an exaggeration. Maybe it was the sites that I was on or maybe I just wasn’t ready.
So, what’s different this time? I’ve been single for close to seven years now which is close to the same amount of time as my last relationship lasted – it’s time. I needed sufficient time to be by myself to figure out who I was without a man and I have it figured out. I’m comfortable moving forward and pursuing a relationship with a man. I realize that in my need to protect myself from hurt I was simultaneously shielding myself from the possibility of love. I did some real thinking and I do not want to spend the remainder of my days alone. God willing, I still have plenty of good years left and I want someone by my side. Go figure.
At the beginning of the month I decided to purchase a 30-day membership on a dating site that caters to people “of a certain age”. I decided it was best to try it out for a month just to test the waters. I took some time to develop an interesting and honest profile and I uploaded four photos, one head shot and 3 full body shots all taken within the last 2 years – the profile pic was taken a few months ago.
Because I am (for the most part) very traditional I believe that the man should be the pursuer, however, I also realize that in this day and age I have to take some initiative when it comes to my love life. Here are few guidelines that I set for myself:
- The man must be either divorced or never been married. No widowers. I’ve been down that road before and believe me, standing in the shadow of a wife that is deceased is a very cold place to be. No thank you. Also, men who are separated are off limits as well.
- The man has to be between 48-62 – I can be flexible if his profile is intriguing.
- Shirtless profile pics will be ignored
- If he hasn’t written an original profile but instead opted to choose one of the generic ones that the site provides he will be ignored
- I’m only interested in men who want a serious relationship, no casual relationships or travel partners.
- Winks, flirts and liking my photos are all fine, however, I will not respond to those either. He should take the time to write a real message showing me that he is interested.
After almost a month of being on the site I have encountered some interesting characters:
- A guy who posted a picture of his house including his house number. A quick search showed me exactly where he lives. Who does that?
- Men have messaged me with their phone numbers. If they had bothered to read my profile they would have read that I need to take this process very slowly.
- Men who say they are willing to relocate
- Men who are looking for a female roommate
- Men who ask for a face-to-face date in the first message
- There was a man in Atlanta whose picture caught my eye and I viewed his profile. The site sends a message whenever someone views your profile. Shortly after that he sent me message which said, “Hello. Virginia Beach is nice. I’ve been there once and I don’t plan on going again. Do you have plans to visit Atlanta? If not, stop bothering people who live outside your area.” Then he blocked me so I couldn’t respond. Wow.
Then I received a message from man who lives about 2-1/2 hours away from me. His message said that from reading my profile, it seems that we may have some things in common and if I agreed then I he would like to hear from me. I read his profile and he was right, he is a bit older than me, he only posted one picture and he was fully clothed so that was a good start. I responded and we began a correspondence. After about a week he asked if we could move our conversation to the telephone. I was nervous but I agreed and we’ve been speaking on the phone for a couple of weeks – not every day but a few times a week. The conversations are easy and comfortable and I’m enjoying the process of getting to know him more than I thought I would. Last night he asked me how I felt about meeting him in person. I said that sounded like the next logical step … we haven’t made any definite plans.
I have to go out of town this weekend so I’m not trying to solidify anything until after I get back. Here’s my concern: I like talking to this guy. He’s respectful of my timeline and he’s not pushy. There may be a connection here. However, historically I have been guilty of allowing my emotions to steer to the ship and throwing logic out the window. I’m too old for that – I have to be logical. But I don’t want to be so logical that I cancel out any possibility that he might really be a good guy and there may be something there. Part of me feels like that the one way to take emotion out of the equation would be to correspond with several men and compare and contrast. The problem with that is that I am no good at juggling. In fact, I hate it. It’s exhausting and I only have the energy to deal with one man at a time.
I have been out of the game for so long and I have to re-learn how to trust myself. I have prayed for guidance and asked God to lead me. I’m not falling for the sweaty palm trick or the heart flip trick. Been there and done that.
I am happy to say that this experience, albeit confusing and anxiety inducing, is still better than what I have previously experienced. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next.