In the past I likened myself to an online dating junkie. While this was certainly true in the days immediately preceeding the final divorce judgement and for about 6 to 9 months after, I must say my tendency to “need” to be online and meeting up with people has definitely waned. In fact, early last summer, I took my profiles down only to put them up again right before school started. (WTF is up with that????)
I’ve mentioned before what an impulsive mistake that was. I’m actually still corresponding with people from that little episode that, believe it or not, I have yet to meet. I may never meet them. I don’t really care…if I did, I would have met them by now.
But then last night I did a really silly, stupid, actually, thing. I signed up and even paid money (that’s the stupidest part) for a one month membership on a site I have not been on before. Now, granted, it wasn’t much money at all. It really only equated to about two bottles of cheap wine, probably the amount I could finagle out of just meeting half the people who have already crammed my inbox full of emails insisting they are crazy about me and can’t get me out of their minds after seeing my few lame, poorly lit, and face shot only photos. Well, that is, if I was at all the finagling type. Yeah, sure. We’ll go with that.
So, this bizarre behavior on my part certainly deserves some closer attention. Now, it isn’t bizarre to want to sign up on an online site, especially, if you, like me, don’t encounter a single dateable soul in your day to day interactions. Unfortunately, day to day stretches into week to week and then month to month until one wakes up and realizes they’ve spent a great deal more Friday and Saturday nights home alone than they really ever intended or wanted to spend in solitary confinement.
[So, I must digress and define dateable. Dateable for me in a nutshell is a.) male, b.) intelligent enough to hold his own in a conversation and c.) emotionally, financially and legally available. Okay, a bit about the financially available part. Financially available in my mind doesn’t mean “without obligations”, but if the guy is still part owner in some very big real estate deals that could end him up being taken by the short hairs by an ex, then I’m not really into that drama much. Enough about dateable and available.]
So, going online in and of itself, is not bizarre, though it is incredibly crazy making and painful. I don’t understand why people do it. I do not understand why I just recently did this. Especially since I have so much else I want and need to do besides date a bunch of people one time only to find out that they, like my last year and a half of dating episodes are somehow just not that into me or are completely unavailable somehow. I’d rather have electric shock treatments than endure any more of that.
it’s the “and yet” that always gets ya…
And yet, there are a couple of things here at war within me. First, I do believe Winston Churchill’s statement. I posted it last December, I’m posting it again:
“Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.”
~~ Sir Winston Churchill
There have been a number of failures in the last couple of years. Now, failure, of course, is a relative term and I don’t want to get into the fact that there have been many positive outcomes to those failures. Like, I am no longer and still not in a disastrous marriage or a relationship where the guy really just isn’t that into me. This is definitely positive and I have no regrets. But if I define failure as the lack of a quality relationship with a significant other then, I have to say there have been some failures to move toward this goal in the recent past. False starts is probably a more accurate term but we’ll go with Winston’s failure…just for fun. Anyway, Churchill’s statement is sound for work, school and romance. One’s enthusiasm must never wane if one is to ultimately be successful. I get that. So, that’s one element: remaining positive and keeping one’s enthusiasm when it seems that with each passing day the odds get lower and lower that there will be any viable candidate to date. (And, if you lived where I live, you’d consider my attitude one of complete optimism rather than borderline disgust and despair.) After all, as I’ve said before, I’d like to spend some life with the dude, I don’t exactly want to meet him in the retirement center. (Okay, all you literalists, take that last statement with a grain of salt and chill. It was a slight exaggeration to make a point.)
This idea that it is important to “keep myself open” to whatever might occur…is at war with the part of me that really doesn’t want to take the risks. (Okay, yes, I’m being a tad bit vulnerable and honest there so chill about that too. It DOES NOT MEAN I am needy or insecure. It simply means I am trying (albeit feebly, I think) to be emotionally honest.
So, my dilemma: intellectually I know I should remain social, keep doing things I like and enjoy and keep active and meeting people. The reality is, the things I enjoy right now, are completely centered around my home, my children, and improving me, my financial situation, my fitness, my living situation. It’s a bit self focused I think. I’m wondering if it might be a bit of a defense mechanism and a retreatist approach. I’m trying to figure out if it is an unhealthy self focus or a taking care of me right now focus. Here’s the even stranger part to all this, anyone, and I do mean anyone who meets me receives me as a warm and fun person. You would think me the introvert to look at me…though…introvert…I do tend to be…especially lately.
So about signing up for the online thing…it again happened out of curiosity, I think. But feel free to share your thoughts. After all, it was a site I hadn’t ever participated in (and I’ve explored a few). I think it is also the concern I have that if I don’t make opportunities to connect with others and stay social, I will completely retreat from the world and like Rapunzel in her tall tower become completely isolated. Truly, I could do this. I can be alone for endless amounts of time and not even have it bother me. I’m not sure that this tendency, if allowed to go unchecked is entirely healthy either. That introvert thing again. But then, I’m really not that into it at all so why do I even bother? Is really curiosity. What do you think? Take a whack at it all you who know just enough about the workings of the human psyche to be dangerous.
Sigh. I better wrap this up and go count up my statistics and find out how many men out there are really brave enough to actually make a contact with a message rather than the canned, “I liked your profile!” flirt message. *rolls eyes and heads for bed instead*