I have endured a harrowing three months. I had emergency surgery, the county I live in has dealt with the largest fire in California’s history, and I seriously tried online dating. The emergency surgery was a big deal at the time, but I seem to be fully recovered. And, the Thomas Fire is ongoing, so I can’t fully comment on its affect other than you can feel it is taking a toll on people everywhere you go, even the ones who didn’t lose their homes. Now, I agree that the third thing listed there shouldn’t be a big deal, but in today’s charged male/female climate, it can be described as nothing less than depressing and fully shocking. When I say I tried online dating, I went all in. I signed up on 3 different sites thinking I had to meet at least one person I connected with. I had a very good filtering system set in place, and I knew what I was and wasn’t looking for. For example, if the dude had pictures with his shirt off and flexing, he was gone. But even with good filters, the experience has left me feeling as though at 43, I may be single forever. And, considering the type of men I met in the last 3 months, that wouldn’t be a bad thing. I’m going to tell you about three of them here, so you can witness what women are up against.
About a month into online dating, I met what I thought could be the one. His pictures actually told a story, and I was instantly drawn to him. When we started emailing, he revealed that he was a retired cop (bonus points- I love cops) and a teacher. The getting to know you seemed to be going great, until I went into the hospital for emergency surgery. While I was in the hospital recovering from surgery, we texted nonstop. It was at that time that I mentioned that I meditate every day, and he responded that the only type of meditation he’d practiced was OM. I had never heard of OM, but I can tell you after looking into it, that isn’t at all like the meditation I practice. Within a week, I stopped hearing from him, and when I reached out to inquire why, I never heard from him again. This is a recurring theme in today’s mock dating world: no explanations, no goodbyes, just straight up cold shoulder.
The second guy I met seemed very cool in the beginning. He suggested we share 5 interesting facts about ourselves, and he loved my 5 facts. One of his facts was that he owns land in Scotland, so he is actually a lord- not too shabby. But, then came the big reveal; he said he needed to tell me that he is in a wheelchair from a dirt bike accident that happened 20 years ago. My first thought was “that’s new,” and I was sort of impressed with myself. I have never been presented with that kind of obstacle before, but I wasn’t going to let it dissuade me from getting to know him. Unfortunately, it wasn’t too much later, like 15 minutes, that he revealed he can’t go through the dating rituals that most people do; he said he needed a visual and sexual connection right away and then his heart would follow. I think my first response was “huh?” And, so he went on to explain that he’d need to see how his body responded to mine and how I took direction, to which I asked what kind of direction I’d need. We spent days texting back and forth about how this was what he needed and what he knew in his heart was the way it had to be. I kept saying I wasn’t sold. After less than a week of texting nonstop every day, he vanished.
Now, the third and final guy I’m going to tell you about isn’t nearly as interesting as the previous 2, but he was still curious case study. He too would message me nonstop, although there was nothing romantic or sexual about his messages. He was constantly going on and on about how all the news channels lie and cannot be trusted to deliver any type of true news. During a conversation about the Thomas Fire, which he had been evacuated from, I mentioned the smoky skies being our new normal. To this, I got a page long diatribe about how climate change isn’t real, and it was just cooked up by politicians and news organizations. This immediately set off some warning bells considering I stand with the 97% of scientists who have gone on record acknowledging climate change has been exacerbated by humans. Despite that, I decided to give him another chance. Although within a day, he was going off about different government plots, to which I replied, “do you look for a conspiracy in everything?” As you might imagine, that didn’t go over well, and I received many angry texts in response about how he loves doing research and is a seeker of the truth. I told him I appreciated his love of research, but that I think sometimes too much can lead people to only see the darker side of life. And, with that, I never heard from him again.
So, what did I learn? Well, I’m still putting all of that together. I think it may take a while for dating relations to return to or evolve into a friendlier or even more conscious experience. It is as if people think of the getting to know you process as a disposable one. There are so many options on dating sites that one can throw someone away and have a replacement within a few minutes. Considering I’m approaching my mid-forties, this is not the type of dating I was prepared for. In my day, if you gave someone your number and began texting nonstop it meant you liked each other and would actually go on a date. Did I mention that in all of the above experiences I never met any of those men? I guess it’s easier to walk away and have a shallow text relationship if you never meet the person. But, it leaves me wondering what on earth are all of these men looking for on these dating sites?