The Online Dating Pool

Posted: March 18, 2015 in Marriage, Love, Dating, and, yes, Sex!

Lately I’ve been feeling as if maybe, just maybe, I was ready to put myself back out there, to climb back in the saddle. It’s been over a decade since I have dated but how hard can it be? It’s like riding a bike…right? 

I wasn’t ready to dive head first into the dating pool- my swimsuit doesn’t even fit- but maybe I could dip my toes in, test the water before wading in, and maybe the cyber pool would be just the place to get my feet wet. 

So, I signed up for Plenty of Fish. It’s free, has an app that’s fairly easy to maneuver, and there are thousands of men, and women, there searching for various kinds of relationship.  Perfect. So I got to work filling out the profile which is more like a government census.  I mean really, why do they need to know if my parents are still married, how much money I make, and how ambitious I am? 

Height: 5’2. Good things come in small (err short) packages. 

Body Type: pleasantly plump is not an option so I choose a few extra few. A few is anything over 3 right? 

Do you do drugs? Does seroquel count? No? Okay then. No drugs. 

Do you have a car? Yes. Does she always start, well, you didn’t ask me that

Longest relationship? 35 years. With myself.

And then you come to the best part of all- the About Me section. Here’s where the real fun begins- selling yourself in a couple hundred words or less to an audience of men (or women) who really only care about the picture on your profile. But, it’s mandatory in order to complete registration, therefore I give it a shot. 

I’m a real woman, not a Barbie doll.       Creative and artsy.  I don’t need a man to take care of me. I’m quite capable of doing that myself (should I have said that?) but what woman doesn’t like to be treated like a princess once in a while.                             

And so it continued. I write about myself as if someone, somewhere, will find me interesting among a large school of available fish, and hope that I don’t get eaten by a shark! I add a picture- an eye shot because, well, they are my best feature and who wants their whole face, or worse yet, their entire body attached to their application for everyone reviewing it to see. My profile pic gives an idea of how I look and that’s good enough. Once my profile was complete I did the only 2 things I could do at that point- browse profiles and wait! 

I didn’t have to wait long and the messages began popping up on my iPhone screen. Men of all ages from their early 20s to their late 60s (I kid you not). Okay, maybe I should have specified the age range that I would be interested in hearing from. As varied as their ages were, so we’re their looks, from handsome and boyish (oh wait, they are just boys!) to wrinkled and bald. Then there were the ones in between- not too young and not too old, not drool worthy but not hard on the eyes either. 

It takes all kinds to make up the world. I have no idea who came up with this quote but they certainly knew what they were talking about. Although I try not to judge a book by it’s cover, sometimes the cover is enough to form an opinion. For example, I knew instantly when I received a message from a guy who’s username was KinkyGuy and another who called himself Likeonenight, that they were not someone I wanted to meet. Really, who chooses a username like that? It just screams perv!! I also knew when a guy, who’s username was simply Steve77, started off with a long speel about how the eyes have a story to tell, blah blah blah, that he was trying to hard. Sorry Steve77, you just got off on the wrong foot! 

Then there were the guys who seemed normal enough, asking how I was doing and talking about the nasty weather we’ve been having. These guys I talked to for a few minutes but quickly became bored when the conversation seemed to just drone on. While these guys appeared perfectly fine, they appeared just fine. Not interesting or intriguing, not mysterious or exotic, not articulate or intelligent, not fun or funny- just fine. That just wouldn’t cut it. While high intelligence is not a must for me, being able carry on an interesting conversation is, and a man who makes me laugh is high on my list of requirements as well. 

Within a couple hours I had received more than 30 messages. A few (the book’ cover pervs that I already mentioned) I didn’t even bother replying to. I am not looking for a one night stand or casual sex. I screened more of the messages and replied kindly to a few guys in their early 20s, thanking them for messaging but informing them that I was far too old for them (not that they were too young because, well, these young studs were sweet enough to message, why bruise their ego). 

While there were several young studs, there were as many older men. Some were just a few years older and I began chatting with them. However, there were also the older men who were, in all honesty, dirty old men looking for a young woman to ruffle their feathers and give them a reason to refill their Viagra prescription. These messages were ignored. Being a perv is one thing, but being a 60-something year old perv trying to get in the online pants of a woman half his age, well, they are in a category of nasty all their own. 

Sigh. Who knew online dating was so hard?

After the pervs, duds, young studs, and dirty old men, there were a couple  guys who, once they messaged, made a bee line for the friend zone. They were interesting, but not my type at all. There was one particular guy, who I will call Clarke, who I actually would like to be friends with, but just friends. He’s interesting- a techy and avid gamer who writes a little and is well spoken, likes to read and has a university education. Clarke is nice enough and I enjoy talking to him about everything from religion to movies. The problem? There is just no chemistry whatsoever. I am a very perceptive person and can usually read a guy pretty well. I knew after just a few minutes that we could be friends, but there was no potential for romance. 

The pool was beginning to feel more like a bird bath! Where were all the smart, funny, handsome, interesting 35 to 40 year old men? Are all the good ones really taken? 

I had almost given up when I got a message from a 37 year old, username  Lookingforher. He was nice looking, educated, sweet, respectful, and seemed to be an all around decent guy. We began chatting. Had a few things in common. Both of us are parents of boys, working class people, not long out of serious relationships and starting over. 

Hmm. Potential? Maybe. We exchanged cell phone numbers and began texting. We’ve discussed maybe talking on the telephone in the near future and eventually meeting and going out for coffee. I’m not in any rush. I’m just learning to swim again, and while I may have gotten my feet wet and learned that the pool is not entirely filled with algae, it will be a while before I’m ready to take off my water wings and dive in. 


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