Last week I yanked myself off all online dating sites. For now.
I even deleted the Tinder app.
I need a break. I just can’t seem to get past “go” with these guys.
After coming out of a 22 year marriage, I got really excited about dating again. To prepare to get back in the game, I watched reruns of Sex and the City over and over and over. I mean, I could probably recite every episode if I had a gun put to my head – those girls were teachin’ me things. I know. It’s a little embarrassing, right? – That I did that. But it’s true. I watched and studied those girls, and I thought this would be easy.
But it’s not.
So like everyone else, I signed up for all those online dating sites.
I dove into it head first, responding to every e-mail, going over every profile with a fine-toothed comb. I would respond to the “Hey there’s,” “Hi’s,” and “Beautiful smile’s” with something like:
Hi, you’re a good looking guy. I see we both like bicycling. Road bike or mountain bike?
Hi, I notice that your pictures show you hiking… where do you like to hike?
Hi, I see you enjoy Malcolm Gladwell books. Me too! Which one did you find most interesting?
But most of them would be unreturned, or, if my messages were returned, they would be something like:
“Hey there,” or “Hi?” or “Beautiful smile” or “you look like you probably have a nice ass on you.”
Rarely better than that.
Even if the messages were half-way decent, many of them would have too many spelling mistakes for me to stomach. Plus, I have rules. I don’t respond to bushy beards, midgets, 20’s year olds, God-fearing, or any man who likes to play video games for fun.
Sorry about the midgets. Those are just my rules.
I felt discouraged. I needed to tweak my strategy.
So I stopped responding to most of the “Hi’s” “Hey’s” “Hi sexy’s” or “You have a beautiful smile’s.” Unless they were off the charts cute, had an interesting profile that I just couldn’t help but comment on, or they sent me an intelligent, reasonable message, I just wouldn’t put forth the effort. It now had to be easy.
There were the odd times, though, when I would catch a good conversation. We’d move past chatting on e-mail to trading numbers of text-machines. And that’s when it started getting exciting. I would be that much closer to
banging bagging a date.
Text-Dating leads to three kinda endings. Then there’s no going back.
The Date: A meeting, in person, of two people who are mutually interested in pursuing a relationship
The Fade Away: The silence – the no response – the crickets from guys when all texting suddenly ceases. There’s no return. Without rhyme or reason. Girls do it too. I guess. Click here for an entertaining more in-depth definition.
The Dick Pic: (Marrieds: if you’re unfamiliar, google it. It relieves me of any responsibility for taking away one’s innocence.)
The most common?
The Fade Away.
Dude: Good morning. How is your morning going?
Me: Great. It got off to a good start. I’m feeling very productive today. How about yours?
Dude: Good. So we should meet.
Me: Yes. I’d love that.
Dude: When are you free this week?
Me: I can meet either Wednesday or Thursday evening or Friday morning for coffee.
Me: Hi. Are you having a good day?
Dude: Yes. It’s going very well. Playing golf later.
Me: Are you still up for meeting this week?
Never to be heard from again. Ever.
I checked with the youngsters. This happens to them too.
My first encounter was with this one dude. We chose a day, leaving the specific time and location to be determined on the day of the date. It would be for a drink. On that day I followed up.
Me: What time would you like to meet? (I recommended a place)
Me: Hi. You may not have received my last message, but would you like to meet around 6:00 pm?
Being completely naive to text-dating, I thought the guy had died. Really! I thought he had! My mind kept wandering.
Was I the last person he wrote his final words to? Did he get killed texting and driving, reading my text? Did he die of a heart attack? Did he get eaten by a bear? Did he drown in the ocean’s stormy waters trying to save a young child thrown over the side of a boat and then got eaten by a shark?
I mean, people at my age now seem to be dropping dead faster than flies trapped by a fly swatter.
But then he texted me one week later:
Dude: I was sick last Sunday. Would you still like to meet?
Me: Sure. (giving him the benefit of the doubt)
Dude: When are you available?
Me: Next Sunday or next Monday early evenings.
Dude: Okay. Let’s do Sunday. I’ll text you as we get closer to that date.
Dude: Are you still up for Sunday?
Dude: I’ll text you on Sunday with a time and we’ll pick a place.
Me: Okay. I look forward to meeting you.
Sunday: (crickets) more (crickets) more (crickets)
I didn’t bother.
If this is how it’s working out there, who can ever score a date, let alone a man. Especially the fertile youngsters? Will vaginas dry up and semen turn black? Will this lead to human extinction? I began to wonder.
So all this time while I was trying on Carrie, Samantha, Miranda or Charlotte for size, figuring out which style would suit me best, I failed to recognize that their type of dating had become obsolete. No one meets guys at bars, in the mall, on the city streets, at the drycleaners, or at parties. They’re dating on computers, on apps, on text machines. They’re text-dating, but how often does it end with real-dating?
Nevertheless, recently, there would be promise for me.
About three months ago, I meet what I think so far is a decent guy.
I meet him online. Of course.
As I’m perusing a dating site under the influence of a couple glasses of wine, I’m getting more and more perturbed by the bout of guys who are wanting a “soul mate,” “the love of their life,” a “snuggler,” a “cuddler,” or a “to marry forever after.” I decide to switch my profile from the “Long Term Dating” designation to the “Short Term Dating” and “Casual Dating” designation.
Once I hit update, the whole landscape of men changes – from Monogamous to Non-monogamous. Never one to refute non-monogamy, but still having been monogamous in the past, I’m curious. I see all sorts of profiles with terms like “sex positive,” “non-monogamous,” “pan-sexual,” “open relationships”, and “polyamorous.”
“Whatever you want,” I hear my therapist say.
So I keep scrolling through the plethora of “non-monogamous” men and find one very handsome guy. I read his profile, find it interesting, and send him a message.
“I notice you’re polyamorous. Would you mind if I asked you to tell me a little bit more about that? I don’t know much about it and I’m curious. ;-)”
And that’s when it starts. Our on again, off again text affair.
His name? It rhymes with “Siren.”
So “Siren” is the only guy I have a decent e-mail conversation with. He sends me a detailed description of how polyamory works. He answers all my questions. Asks me some questions. Mindful. Intelligent. Respectful.
Maybe we can have a drink sometime?
We skip e-mail and move to text. We give each other a brief synopsis of why we divorced. He gives me a brief synopsis of his last relationships. I give him a brief synopsis of a couple flings. We text about exercise, philosophies and beautiful places to hike. We text like adults. Mindful. Intelligent. Respectful.
He asks if I’d like to meet for a drink. It can’t hurt to have another friend, I think.
We start texting more about where and when to meet and then all of a sudden…
I text him 3 days later. Just “Hi.”
Two months later I get a text. Up pops up a name that rhymes with “Siren.”
“Hi, Karen. I still want to meet for that drink. But I can barely walk. I’m still recovering. Is it too much to ask to meet closer to me?”
“Oh, no! What happened to you?”
“I had to have emergency surgery on my leg. I’ve been laid up for quite a while.”
“Holy crap! What happened?”
The next day.
“Are you okay?”
Disappointment. But could he be dead?
Just last week I get a text. Up pops up a name that rhymes with “Siren.”
The text that pops up instantly reminds me of this Sex and the City episode.
Season 3, Episode 16, “Frenemies”
Scene 4 (partial scene)
Miranda: Okay. My date is 3 hours late. I’m being stood up, right?
Carrie: Maybe he got lost.
Miranda: Carrie? (sternly)
Carrie: Well, it doesn’t look good.
Miranda: Oh, and I’m wearing a new dress from Barney’s and I’m eating out of plastic.
Carrie: Oh, man. I’m sorry.
Miranda: He doesn’t even know me. The least he could do is get to know me before he rejects me.
Carrie: Yeah! That’s an illegal dumping.
Scene 5 (partial scene)
(Miranda calls Will’s home number)
Miranda: Hi. Is Will there?
Woman: Who’s speaking, please?
Miranda: Miranda Hobbs.
Woman: Miranda, this is Will’s mother.
Miranda: Well, Will’s mother. I don’t know how you raised your son, but he just stood me up for a date.
Mother: Will died today.
This is the text.
(It’s him. He’s not dead)
“I’m happy to be alive. Remember when you told me about your health scare? Well, I was in the hospital for a month. I had pulmonary embolisms from the surgery. Close call.”
I think I believe him so I have to forgive him and we continue to catch up. It’s back to normal text. Mindful. Intelligent. Respectful.
He says, “Maybe we can meet for a drink soon. I can’t stop looking at your pictures.”
Then all of a sudden…
His Dick Pic.
Ciao for now,