Is internet dating worth the hassle?
Admit it, we all have a list. It might be short: “she should be in her 30’s, not have children, be a college graduate and have a job. Oh, and big boobs.” Or it could be pages, specifying astrology sign, height, religious preferences, pet ownership, sexual tendencies and other things. My list tends to be long and specific, but I also know that I’m not always smart enough to know what might be good for me (see past relationships over the last 20 years for verification of this fact!) So I know that the list might change if I met someone who didn’t meet all the points of the criteria. For example, he might not come riding in on a white horse. It’s ok if the horse is a bay!
What I really want is someone to grab the list, crumple it up and toss it over his shoulder, and say, “Here I am!”
So where do I find this guy? Most of the people I meet through work are adult females or way too young – 3 and 4 year olds, even in my Cougar Disguise, it’s not doable! (haha, joking, OK?)
My other interests – writing, riding horses, yoga, meditation – are either solitary pursuits or female dominated.
Perhaps I’ll go online.
There are many big websites: Match.com, EHarmony, Plenty of Fish. Then you can get really specific as to the type of people you want to meet by finding a website that tries to target types. I put a profile up on Dharma Match (a site I read about in Shambala Sun.) Is this where I might finally meet a spiritual man? I’m excited! But when I check to see how many men have viewed my profile, after a month it was only eleven. Compare that to the first profile I posted on Plenty of Fish, where I received almost 100 emails my first day!
It’s usually free to post a profile, but with only a few exceptions (Plenty of Fish is one) you cannot read emails or write them until you subscribe. I have emails sitting in my Match mailbox that I can’t get to. I have over 100 messages on Black People Meet, waiting for me to be ready to take that step.
So, what’s stopping me? It’s not necessarily the cost: I can subscribe to a site for a month for around $20, and the cost goes down if I commit to more than one month, say 6 months for $10 or $15 bucks. But I certainly can’t afford all of them; I will have to choose one.
Then there is the time investment. Dating online requires a lot of time: searching, emailing, responding to emails, writing back and forth until you feel there is a connection, setting up dates. It’s a lot! And I really don’t have the heart to meet man after man after man with whom I have no spark. For this I miss my yoga class that evening?
And finally, I have the nagging feeling that this is not how I will meet “him”. I seem to have rotten luck with men. My hillbilly ex-husband was a true piece of work. And my last serious relationship (well, I was serious, he turned out to not be) was with someone I met….. you guessed it…. ONLINE. I don’t want to assume they are all phonies because of one disaster, but once burned, twice shy, I guess.
But it’s time. After being strung along for five years and having my heart smashed, I took a year to travel. I learned more about myself, about the world, and about the kind of person I want in my life. Someone feeling, authentic, spiritual. Maybe he’s given up, like me. Maybe he despairs that he’ll ever meet someone in his day-to-day life, and he is trying this just once. I can sort through all the men, who, although they are probably beautiful people in their own right, are not right for me. While he sorts through all the gals, avoids the gold-diggers and loony tunes, and stays true to his search for someone real and loving and a little sexy and a lot passionate. We’ll meet in the middle like Lady and the Tramp with the spaghetti strand. And if it doesn’t work that way for me, ever, then I will know I am still blessed with a full and beautiful life and I’ll be grateful. Lonely, frustrated, and grateful.
But I’m still hoping for more…