Thursday, May 19, 2011

Online Dating---It's an experience.

Yes, the title of this post is true...I've delved back into the dating world.  I figured there could be very little harm in putting myself back out there and seeing what happens.  I doubled my pleasure, doubled my fun by putting my (fake) name into the pots at both OkCupid and PlentyofFish. 

I did online dating once before very briefly when the boy and I broke up after 6 weeks of dating.  I wasn't too invested at that point, so I hopped right onto and ended up with a couple of lackluster lunch dates.  Very friendly fellows, just not my type, and no sparks to speak of.  I'm the sort of person who can't really keep dating someone if there's no spark.  I just don't see the point!  Perhaps this is why I generally am a failure at casual dating?  :-)

Anyway, the one thing I really enjoy about this whole endeavor is that it is a pretty regular ego boost.  I don't seek out many people on these sites, I mostly just whip up an awesome, unique, entertaining profile and wait.!  I guess that's one way my writing comes in handy, I am pretty damn fantastic at selling myself as someone worth a second glance, and I think I generally convey a fairly accurate representation of what I offer on a day to day basis.  Sarcasm, pop culture awareness, a total lack of coordination, and a desire to be happy.  :-)

At this point I have only met one of these gentlemen in person.  We've been on a few dates and I'm enjoying myself.  I'm taking care to not get in over my head, and am still conversing with several others, with tentative plans to meet up for drinks, dinner, whatever.  I figure I may be a relationship person, but I'll be damned if I don't kiss a few frogs before I settle into another one! 

I'm weird, anyway.  As outlined in one of my previous posts, I haven't had a ton of experience in the dating world.  At age 32 I've only kissed four men.  Pretty innocent, I am!  ;-)  Is it so wrong to want to bump that number up a little before succumbing to the inevitable again?  I think not!

Anyway, the online dating provides me constant entertainment and near constant interaction if I want it.  Some people I can have genuinely entertaining conversations with, others fall flat almost instantly.  Already a couple have rubbed me the wrong way.  For example:

Don't message me if you're "Seeing Someone".  I don't care how informal that designation may be, I'm not interested.  If it matters enough to denote it on the site, it matters enough to me to say away from you!

Don't be a stalker.  Neediness is not cute.  Desperation is not cute.  One guy would see me online and immediately message me about 3 times in a row.  He asked once how the site was working for me and I told him I'd gone on a couple dates with someone.  He replied with a very dejected "Okay" and I thought, "SWEET.  Maybe he'll go away." 

Nope.  I logged on one day and he spied me and sent a very demanding missive:  "I thought you were dating someone!"  I kindly advised him that yes, I'd gone on dates with someone, but that I hadn't enrolled in a long term relationship after a week.  He replied instantaneously to tell me how hard I'd made him laugh with my response.  I try?  Weird.

I enjoy the freedom to just willfully discard people I've been talking to when they turn me off with a comment, or a behavior.  I like that I don't feel attached enough to care, and like it even better that I can block them if they get feisty.  Both the sites I'm on are free, so this experience is costing me nothing but free time, which I'm okay with.  I can afford to be picky because I'm not gunning to find my soulmate, I'm just seeing what's out there and passing some time.

I like the butterflies in the beginning.  I like the little games we play at first, trying to gauge interest.  I like laughing when the comedic vibes match.  I like wondering about first meetings, being pursued a little, feeling that power.  Perhaps that sounds bad, but's honest. 

After being in a relationship where I always felt like I wasn't enough, where I always did the lion's share of the work, when I was the only one working to make things better, it's liberating to step back and let someone else do the work.  I'll participate if I feel it, but I'm not going out of my way for anyone just yet.

I'm always so good at first when dating someone.  They pursue me.  They want to see me more.  I'm the one controlling the pace.  But somewhere along the line I always seem to lose that, and the power shifts, and I'm back to being the one waiting.  The one on hold, the one being decided on. 

I want to decide.  At the very least, I want a say throughout, a more equal share of the say.  I deserve better than what I give myself sometimes in relationships, and eventually I need to learn how to get it.  Yes, I've gone on a few dates with one guy.  Yes, he gives me crazy butterflies.  Yes, he is an amazing kisser.  Yes, I want to see him again.  But I'm careful.  Watchful. 

I deserve to be listened to.  Even if I'm just talking about something that happened at work that day, or about the happy hour I went to with coworkers, or the weird thing I found on my walk with the dog that night...I deserve to be heard. 

It's such a challenge to find the right balance.  Physical chemistry with someone who listens.  Someone who makes you laugh, but isn't too needy or too flaky.  It's like trying to put together a giant puzzle and working on different pieces to see what actually goes together.  My puzzle is certainly incomplete again, but give me incomplete over a bad fit anyday.


  1. It does sound like you're having fun - love it!

    (I can't help but think, though, that just sometimes it would be nice to pick out a guy like Cher picked out her clothes in "Clueless." Not all the time. But sometimes.)

  2. @Tracy: It is a strange little adventure. :)

    Ha, I still love Clueless!

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