Is Internet Dating Worth the Hassle?

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…

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About catnipkiss

I am a writer who is working on a travel memoir. I write about issues that speak to my soul: love, sex, yoga, spirituality, body image, dating and friendship, and more as it comes up! I love comments - thanks! What would YOU like to explore?
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7 Responses to Is Internet Dating Worth the Hassle?

  1. Remember that any relationship you get into can, should, and will end some day. Even if it’s a lifelong one – it will end.

    How this will happen is often out of our hands – but if you approach things this way, it becomes easier not to set your expectations so high that you become disappointed by the many examples of things that don’t fit your well-honed narrative of what you want in a long-term partner (something that is way too easy to do on hyper-categorical dating sites). You can relax a bit and enjoy the imperfect company of a lovely person who might not be on the exact same path as you and probably won’t be your one and only – but you can just enjoy what there is to enjoy. This process, interspersed with periods where you are just with yourself, can probably help you get a better handle on knowing what actually is good for you, and thus increase the chances, no matter what romantic situations pan out, of feeling fulfilled and freer of frustration later on down the line.

    • catnipkiss says:

      I like that thought, Mitch, and it all boils down to being present in the moment, and non-attachment. Things I am working on! What distresses me is that the more time passes, the harder it is to attract men (who are, they tell me, VISUAL creatures!) Well, I dated in my 20s when I was young, then in my 40s, now I am approaching yet another decade, and trying to put the ol’ car back on the market…. New paint doesn’t cover all the dents anymore, and there are many miles on the odometer…. I know that a lot of women just settle into singledom, but it’s been hard for me. I’m still figuring out what will work. Thanks for your encouragement! – Catnip

  2. sittingtight says:

    I read a great book – How to Be an Adult in Relationships – or – The 5 keys to Mindful Loving by David Richo. I believe he is Buddhist? Anyway – it was truly helpful to me – to positively identify the difference between love, sex, and a relationship. Richo also discusses the needs of self, (they are the same for ALL of us – he calls them the 5 Keys – I call them the 5 “A’s” –
    1. Attention – we all need to feel as though we are being noticed!
    2. Acceptance – we all need feel as though we are accepted for who we are.
    3. Appreciation – of who we are and how we got to be thus
    4. Affectionate – touching or holding in respectful ways – just as every child or baby thrives on it – we adults need it too!
    5. Allowing – to be just as one is, without trying to take control.

    I tried internet dating on and off for eight years and the situations I found myself in just kept getting worse and worse, culminating in a very dangerous relationship. The guy told me it was all my fault – why it was as bad as it was – and so – at the end of my rope – I went to the bookstore to find something to help me figure it all out. Spirit directed me to the perfect book – and lo – I discovered all I had to do was be mindful of the needs of self. I ended the relationship soon after finishing the book – calmly, in full control of myself – and without any regret or pain. A few months later, I had a talk with God – an angry one – damned near screaming, actually – and literally COMMANDED Him to connect me with a decent man – no criteria – just good and kind. Three weeks later, I went back onto a dating site (Plenty of Fish this time), and two weeks later, met the most wonderful decent man I have ever known. We have been together for a year now, and decided to live together. So far, we have been through incredible trials – beyond our control, but still find the relationship ever-new, and ever-good, ever-better. I attribute this to my recent understanding that love and sex does not make a relationship, but my ability to both give and get the “5 A’s” does.
    If I can find a whole, you can too, Cathy. And I know you know what I mean… 😉

    • catnipkiss says:

      Thanks so much for the encouragement. I am so happy that you have found someone after so long doing it on your own! I don’t think I can yell at God, though 🙂 I am trying to be happy in my single-ness, but I know that I was MEANT to be a partner to someone, I just have not found who that someone IS yet. I know it will come in time. I just get tired of waiting!

      • sittingtight says:

        Oh God doesn’t mind being yelled at… I’ve been yelling, whispering, talking, arguing, writing and singing to him for as long as I can remember. Just so long as I include Him in my deluded state of separateness on some level or another, He is infinitely helpful. But the concept of “commanding” instead of DEmanding was an interesting revelation in terms and application. – to Co mand is to do it together, to de mand is to go it alone or without. And He did help – starting with getting me to that book store…. to learn the difference between love, sex and a relationship, about the art of Mindfulness… – and then I was ready to meet Mr. Right. But I was right and ready, Cathy and I believe that’s the key. 🙂 We are all meant to be a partner to someone – that or with God as our partner. Two halves that make a whole. Waiting is a long and lonely road. There is nothing wrong with internet dating – the right is in the personal approach. I love you Miss Cathy! And your blogging/writing is so refreshing! Pure! Honest 🙂 XO thank you for being you! XO

  3. Michael Princehorn says:

    I can relate to that.

  4. catnipkiss says:

    haha, I’m sure! Thanks for stopping in 🙂

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