Ok, confession time.
I’ll admit it. I’m a serial monogamist.
Since the time I started dating as a teenager I’ve just had relationship after relationship after relationship. I never used to see this as a bad thing and felt it was just normal; something all females were used to. But as I’ve grown and matured I’ve realized that being paired up all the time left me devoid of certain things like knowing what it was like to be single and have options.
I cringe as I type that word not because having options is a bad thing but because the serial monogamist in me seems allergic to the very concept. For me it’s always gone something like this:
- Meet a
boyman and talk to him/ see him/ hang out a lot.
- Become mutually exclusive with
Boom! Done! Relationship, activate! But that ease I once found comfort in is working against me as a 34 year old single woman. Why, you ask? It’s very simple. I have no idea how to “date”. I have girlfriends who are very happy with their singlehood; totally content with not being attached yet simultaneously exploring their options in an effort to find a fit for them. They all make it look so easy and yet I’m tripping into it like a klutz with tied shoelaces on a wet floor. When I compare notes with my happily-single-and-dating girlfriends it seems that my history of serial monogamy is the differentiating factor.
While all my friends were developing the necessary skills to navigate the rough waters known as today’s dating pool while in their twenties, I was paired up, having babies. In a lot of ways the social education I missed out on by not dating in my twenties left me totally unprepared to date in my thirties. Where does one meet men these days? Do you wait for men to approach you? Do men even take women out on dates anymore? The answers to these questions are a mystery to me and depending upon who you ask the answers vary. But does having all the answers guarantee success in the dating world? I’m going to guess that it doesn’t.
I live AND work in the same neighborhood which is both convenient and at times uneventful. I’ve been told that meeting men is easiest when it occurs during your daily routine. Considering the small neighborhood I live and work in I doubt I’ll run into anyone I don’t already see daily. There is simply a lack of fresh blood. Not to mention I’ve grown tired of the attention I do get from my neighborhood “fans” like from the 60 year old married, retired fire fighter who tells my coworkers I’m his “girlfriend” (Ummmmmmmm, NO!) and the guy that empties the dumpster outside of my job yelling “You know I’m sexy!” from his truck every week. If I were to base my level of attractiveness on those who choose to engage me I would feel pretty fugly. Pretty damned fugly.
Enter the brilliant idea to try online dating. Logically speaking, expanding my dating terrain past my immediate neighborhood and onto the internet seems to increase my chances of finding someone dateable. That logic and the suggestions of a few friends (eh em, Danielle and Erica) made me decide to say fuck it and take a trip down the rabbit hole. Had I known what would initially await me there I may have just opted for a stiff drink and some reruns of Sex And The City.
The myriad of sites out there made it almost impossible for me to choose where to start. Thankfully, most of my single girlfriends had experience with OK Cupid or OKC so I decided to start there. Here’s what I came up with profile-wise:
Ok, first hurdle overcome. Bring on the boys men!
This would be a good time for me to mention that in my lifetime I haven’t normally been the hunter but instead the hunted. Being all for gender equality I can’t say I mind the concept of women approaching men and making the first move however maybe I’m a tad bit old fashioned. I haven’t had to make the first move. Ever. And that’s not to say I haven’t wanted to but I do prefer being pursued by a man. It makes me feel wanted and womanly. Bearing my preferences in mind I kicked my heels up and waited to be approached.
It didn’t take me long to start getting profile views. My page wasn’t even up 24 hours before I had a couple dozen messages from different men. For example:
Short, simple, and easy to respond to. It didn’t hurt that the sender was cute. But I wanted to see who else was out there.
Ummmmm, I honestly didn’t know how to reply to this initially but I was curious to find out what he meant. The sender was attractive and I made a mental note to respond after I read through the rest of my messages.
And then there was this exchange:
Okay, not the best at spelling but whatever.
Ummmm, you just did but whatever.
Aight, end convo. NEXT!
Ok so far.
Ummmm…. I’m not religious in the least but you’re on a dating app in church? Give Jesus your full attention, please. NEXT!
All of these messages were received within 48 hours of my profile going up. I couldn’t figure out if I was being too picky or if men were just severely unimpressive these days. Then it hit me. In person my experiences aren’t that much different,
I’m 6 feet and a half inch tall barefoot. I realize when I go out in public that I somehow cause a spectacle by just existing. I didn’t ask to be tall- hell, I didn’t ask to be born! Yet my arrival is constantly some sort of “event” for some men and I’m no stranger to awkwardly contrived opening lines being thrown my way. Why would I expect anything different from the internet?
Weeding through the various failures on the part of the male population of OKC made my head hurt. So much so that I took a 3 day break before I was willing to login to it again. During the three day hiatus I did a lot of thinking about my motivation for trying online dating. I was somewhat fresh out of my last relationship which in a lot of ways I wasn’t sure I was completely over. But I had spent time single and not dating and knew I had finally come to the point where I wanted companionship. If I had to predict the likelihood of me finding someone even remotely suitable based on what I had seen up to that I point, the news would be bleak. A different approach was necessary. A different approach I took.
Part 2, Down The Rabbit Hole: Online Dating, Take 2 will be up soon. Be sure to check it out. In the mean time take a look at my random YouTube video of the day, Breakfast by LeLe: