guy on text machine

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.

Dude:  (crickets)


Dude: (crickets)


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?

Dude: (crickets)


Dude: (crickets)


Dude: (crickets)

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.

11:00 am

Me:  What time would you like to meet? (I recommended a place)


3:00 pm

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.

Friday before:

Dude:  Are you still up for Sunday?

Me:  Sure.

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)

Carrie:   Hello?

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)

Woman:  Hello.

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.

“Hi, Karen?”


(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.

My response?


Ciao for now,



  1. This is great and somehow familiar.

    My advice, should you wish to take it, is don’t contact the guys at all. I tried that and they have too much choice and get lazy. I think men want to be the hunter, and if you approach them, it takes the fun away.

    Along the same lines, don’t be available when they ask. Um and ah about your schedule (because you have SO many (imaginary) dates), and then say, “I can only do Tuesday at 11:00am for 20 minutes. Sorry if that doesn’t work for you but I’m booked solid this week.”

    At the first sign of a brush off, just get out. The way a relationship starts is the way it will end up. If he keeps postponing he’s a flake.

    Make ’em work for it. After all, you’re a goddess who deserves to be desired.
    Sorry for the long comment — maybe I should write a post LOL.


  2. This made me laugh out loud. Especially wondering if the rude dude died. Yeah, who’s that rude. I bet he didn’t match the picture. Afraid to be revealed. Probably not even his dick pic.

    Here’s my advice: Ditch the internet dating and just go do something you like to do. After 15 years of marriage, I did a bit of the internet, single scene. Sometimes I felt like I needed to take a bath after the encounters.

    I signed up for season tickets to local theatre with a discussion group after. I met my (now) husband there. We literally bumped into each other at the concession stand (he turned left, and I turned right) We started talking and it was as if we always knew each other. The rest is history.


  3. You made me giggle, Karen! I know just how frustrating this can be. At some point, the guys make you feel like you’re chasing after them even though you’ve agreed to meet! Creeps.
    I would agree with Katie – play it cool. Easier said than done though, as I found it terribly hard to do.
    It might interest you to know that I eventually did meet the man I am married to via the internet. So it does work! Hang in there! 🙂


  4. The dating scene has a new landscape and you have done a stellar job painting a picture of it. Yikes! Very funny and enjoyed the Sex in The City references. Good luck! I hope one of these contacts shows up in the flesh.


  5. I met my second husband through online dating. It does work, you just have to get past the pigs. I put that I was a yoga teacher, I kept getting asked if I could put my legs behind my head—this was an introductory question. Block that. I also blocked anyone who listed hunting or NASCAR as a like. Not my type. It took a year before I found that one person who made it past a couple of dates and he’s still a keeper 7 years later.


  6. oh my goodness – I think I’ll hold onto my husband for a bit longer or take on celibacy if he moves on. I just don’t have the self esteem or stamina to play all those games. Glad you’re taking a moment to catch your breath before you dive in again! ~ Leanne


  7. Fabulous post. I also got divorced a few years ago after a 21 year marriage. I am so glad that I didn’t have to go through the online dating scene. I don’t think I could handle it.


  8. As a man, I’d like to apologize for my whole species. It sucks for a woman out there, as weeding through all the truly troubled male souls to just get to the garden variety and tolerable ones is a feat of Hercules. I actually cringe in embarrassment for my gender when I hear these stories because they are clearly not exceptions from what I’ve heard from women, and from what I hear come out of men’s mouths, We need a third party gender.

    You may want to reconsider the midget exclusion to open the prospects up a bit.


  9. All I can say is that I am SO glad I am not in the dating scene. I had to re-enter it when my husband died in my twenties, and it was frightful back then. I can only imagine what it would be like now in this time, with all this technology, and free dick-pic sharing. Good luck is all I have to offer I am afraid.


  10. Oh yes the crickets! One of the many delights of online dating-or maybe just the way we communicate these days. Thank you for sharing and reminding me of some of the fun online dating moments!! Awesome post!


  11. Hello Karen, I have been looking through your site today and I have been highly entertained. I wanted to relate my own experience, it is not easy on the other side either. I tried an online dating app this year, I just wanted to meet new people and expand my horizons. What an eye opener for me. It is not easy being a man looking for love either. I got a lot of the responses, hi, how ya doin’, whats up handsome followed by someone who is too old, too young but most often too crazy. We don’t get dick pics though. I am not sure why a guy would do that? Any insight? I found some people that might have been compatible, as you said, you move from one stage to the next and eventually the rubber has to meet the road and you have to meet. That is kind of terrifying. I have decided to leave it up to the Universe to manage my love life. It is much easier that way. Anyway, just thought you should know it isn’t easy for men either we all hear the crickets. Thanks for sharing. Love your writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Jonathan, for reading. I’m so happy you found my stories entertaining! As for women and dating – yes, we, too, can be idiots. I have my own rules of etiquette that I follow. As far as the dick pics? wait, what? you don’t get them? kidding… I have no clue why I get them… it’s usually when it gets to the final text stage. But I, too, have left it up to fate… for now, anyway. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Just to give you the “male” side of online dating this crap happens to us also. Before I met my current girlfriend I went through almost a year of complete b.s. doing the online thing. I was a naive singleton for the first time in my life so I definitely had some learning to do!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Love it :). I have on line dated off and on (very mostly off) for 10 years. In my first foray into the dark crevices of on-line meetings I undertook it like the “researcher” I am and went on 18 dates in 3 weeks (yes it is possible to have 3 dates in one evening). Coffee times at my office were around the water cooler and everyone asking “well…what happened this time?”. Needless to say I needed a good long 3 year break before I tried it again and then another 3 years again. The problem really was that beyond the “research project” I wasn’t really wanting to put my tine and energy into weeding out the…(let’s just say, I am sure everyone has something good about them).

    But today I have decided that for this moment in time, I am going to try it the “old fashioned way”. Of course that means smiling, starting conversations, taking advantage of new opportunities, and realizing that with or without a man I am a gift, I have a rewarding life, and I have learned to take the ups with the downs.

    Thanks for making me smile and here is a short story on one of my latest spoofs on dating 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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