Thoughts on online dating

It’s been 18 years since my last “first” date. When I realized this recently, I sort of panicked. A lot has changed in almost two decades, and even though I’m not ready to date-date (i.e., not date anyone seriously), I want to see what’s out there. Sort of establish a base line so when I decide I’m ready, I know what I’m dealing with.

I visited some online dating sites this week. Even signed up for a couple and started profiles – again, JUST in the name of seeing what’s out there. Result: I’m so not ready for this, at least not meeting someone online. (Yes, I had an online profile for a VERY short time after my separation, before Mike’s death. I should have realized things probably haven’t changed…)

I am astounded at some of the screening questions a few of the sites ask: everything from would you allow a partner to lick certain parts of you (and NOT the “GOOD” ones but the really, really BAD ones – yuck!) to how much pain you’re interested in receiving during sex. So many sex questions…OMG. What about establishing a RELATIONSHIP first?

It isn’t that I wouldn’t answer these questions, it’s just that these are considered appropriate SCREENING questions. I’m not a prude, but I wouldn’t divulge this sort of information until LONG into a serious relationship… Hell, I wouldn’t even kiss on a first date, let alone…

Amazingly, surprisingly, ridiculously, others apparently don’t feel the same way, and reading how men have answered these questions is…just wow. If THIS is the sort of thing people are into, there’s no hope for me finding someone normal, or at least compatible with me.

I’ve had a few messages from obvious scammers. (Really, dude in Trinidad and Tobago: I have completed less than 40 percent of my profile and only have one incognito photo of me and I’m supposed to believe (this is verbatim): “It’s has been a great deal for me to see such a pretty like you here, I liked your profile very sounded sweet and it was nice reading it.when i joined this place i never expected to meet a woman of your type, because you soo adorable and cute.” Um, no thanks. BLOCK!)


I also feel like there are larger issues at play. Some men haven’t uploaded new photos since early 2010 – that means they’ve been on the site for THREE YEARS. At what point do you just cut your losses and try another way? Or are YOU the problem, Mr. Online Dude?

I think I’m in a weird age bracket, also. A few years younger, and the guys seem REALLY young. A few years older, and they guys seem (and look) CRAZY old. Maybe people are lying on their profiles? Wait, am I supposed to lie too? Then, what’s the point?

And what do some guys have against proper grammar and punctuation? And would it kill them to throw in a capital letter or two? Put your best foot forward, dude. Try proofreading your profile to avoid looking like an uneducated buffoon.

Another question: how are guys coming up with their profile names and photos? I do not want to see a selfie of a man posing shirtless, flexing in a bathroom mirror, toilet clearly visible behind him (or selfie of just his bare chest with the same background). And the profile names – why is every other man a something-”asaurus” or a something-“InABox.” Are these supposed to be funny names? Are they supposed to mean something else? It’s lost on me, other than to think they must be weird.

Then there are the guys looking for sex. They’re married, and claim to be in love with their wives, but they’re profiles are active and they’re looking for some NSA side action. (“NSA” apparently means “no strings attached.”) And even though I’ve made it very clear that I’m not in this for just the sex, these guys are still checking me out. It’s disgusting. I feel like I need a shower just knowing they’ve clicked on my profile!

All that aside, I have come across a couple of promising profiles, but the thought of reaching out makes me cringe. They’re STRANGERS – even though I know more about their personal preferences than probably their closest friends.

It’s overwhelming to think of starting a relationship with a stranger. To tell all my stories over again. To explain the little idiosyncracies that make me, me. To tell the story of my marriage and Mike’s death. To think of sharing a first kiss with someone – which way to tilt my head? Will our noses hit? Do they want to be kissed too or did I totally misread the signs? How long and involved should the kiss be? Ugh!!

Even before Mike, I wasn’t a serial dater. I can count the number of guys I’ve gone out with on both hands (with a few fingers left over!), and I’ve kissed far fewer. Still, I don’t remember dating being this complicated – or maybe I was just so much more carefree and oblivious? I definitely know that almost everyone I dated was from my real life – I knew them as a friend or through friends first. (Maybe I should see if there’s some sort of potential with K… Then there’s the single friend from my past that I THINK I’m flirting with through Instagram and email – and I THINK my flirting is being reciprocated. Unfortunately, he lives 1,800 miles away.)

I’m going to give this online thing another couple of days, then probably close my profiles (for now). I’m not sure I will find someone this way – not if THIS is what the eligible pool of men looks like. Wow.

3 thoughts on “Thoughts on online dating

  1. I’m not against online dating, as I’ve seen it work for some people, but it’s definitely not what it used to be. Way too many creepsters use it because they don’t want anyone from their real life knowing what a creepster they really are. I say, keep talking to the guy at your church and getting out and meeting people. Maybe a mom friend has a cute, single brother. Let it be known you’re ready to date again (if you are) and someone will eventually set you up. Which may not make it any less awkward, but at least you know you’re not meeting some married guy looking for some NSA action.

  2. I can totally relate to this … I tried it for about six months and then realized I need to meet someone and be friends with them first. It’s completely overwhelming to me too. It’s been six years for me and at this point I’d almost rather be alone than try to navigate dating in this new and rather scary age!

  3. This is absolutely hysterical and so true! I met my current husband online ten years ago, and it was crazy–I used the “delete” button obsessively. Unable to write a coherent sentence? Delete. Can’t spell or find spellcheck? Delete. Call me “pretty lady” in the first one or two lines? Delete. Delete, Delete, Delete!

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