Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Thinking about dating again: tell me it gets better...

Speed dating announcement in Paris
Speed dating announcement in Paris (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
please.... Please???

So I made my online dating profile visible again during the school holidays in an attempt to push myself out of the doldrums.  You know - maybe I could lift my spirits by having a coffee and a good conversation with a male to make myself feel like I am still young and attractive and not an old crone waiting for the grave.

When signing up on one site, I got 30 e-mails within half an hour of activation...... which sounds fabulous until I read through them and most were veiled suggestions of something rather sordid and soooooo not for me.  Although there were quite a few really nice ones as well but I got freaked out by the speed of the e-mail responses only minutes after I signed up and never contacted them.

On another, I got some lovely e-mails .... just a shame they were all from men at least 12 years older than me. (I am quite specific about wanting someone who is a non-smoker and under the age of 50 ... don't judge me!  I am looking to reduce my chances of being widowed too soon again.)

..and it is easy to see why so many people get discouraged.  .....

Men nearing 50 stating that they want a 25 year old woman with a 'hot body' (seriously??? when I was 25 with ...ahem ... " a hot body" ....  I thought anyone over 35 was ready for retirement). (and  HELLO  men aged in your late 50s and 60s, this 42 year old woman is looking at you like you are writing from your nursing home and low on your meds when you write to me and make lewd suggestions).

Or the young whipper-snappers who are looking for a Mrs Robinson or some sort of mother figure. No.  Just No.

Something in my waters tells me that I will meet someone I can truly love again..... I know it in my heart.  But as the holidays finish and it is back to school tomorrow, I know I will hide my dating profiles yet again whilst hoping that Mr Right just strolls into my life and finds me.

.....here's hoping!

P.S. I hope nobody takes offence at this - I am just trying to make light of my own self-sabotaging nature and the absurdities of internet dating, and being Australian, I do that by "taking the piss" out of the situation. 
P.P.S. - If you have found a new partner via internet dating, I'd love to hear your success story ... and what site you used..  Alternatively, if you are at the point of looking around again on internet dating sites and have some "interesting" stories to share, I'd love to hear them.
P.P.P.S. I am aware of the irony of the last two paragraphs. 

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  1. snort. Most especially for the PPPS.

  2. Funny Amanda, my best friend who is also a widow and I were just discussing this morning this whole internet dating world. Your blog nailed it precisely as my experience has been identical.

    The only thing I would add, is that when I deal with the "odd" men or the rejection from some of the "good" men, I miss my husband that much more! I want so badly to run into his arms for protection from this volatile and uncertain dating world.

    Best of luck to anyone looking to find that special love again.

  3. My New Year's resolution was to consider dating, so in early January I signed up on Match.com. (Be advised that your profile is live immediately and you can receive correspondence before you even pay. You just can't contact anybody.) Like you, I was freaked out by the initial onslaught of emails from across North America - some pretty weird. (Any guy that's looking for somebody young enough to be his daughter is an instant fail. Then there were the guys in their 40's and 50's looking for women in their 70s & 80s... ??? I think the whole widow thing attracts a lot of deadbeats.)
    Non-smoking was a must for me as well. And I too don't want somebody much older or much younger than me. And any guy that posts a shirtless pic as his MAIN photo is a no go as well... (I don’t need a player – I don’t care how good looking he is.)

    Although I was contacted by a few men in my city I declined them for reasons I won't get into.
    I personally didn't enjoy 'window-shopping' for men, and found nobody that I'd like to 'add to cart' anyway!
    I did however find it extremely useful in preparing me for the concept of dating again. It forced me to write out (and re-write) who I was and made me think about what I was looking for. I think it helped to prepare my mind (and heart) to the concept of dating somebody that wasn't my husband. (For that purpose alone, I would actually recommend signing up for online dating.)

    I never told my friends that I'd signed up for online dating, but a month later a girlfriend happened to ask me if I was interested in a blind date. I agreed and a few weeks later I went on my first blind date ever. it wasn't as scarey as I thought it would be. (However, there was mutual chemistry - which made it a lot less awkward I think.) I survived the blind date and I'm actually still seeing this man.

    My new 'issue' is how do determine if somebody is 'the one'? I'm too old (40's) to believe in love at first sight anymore. (I truly think that what I'm feeling is more like LUST at first sight!)

    Anyway, I'm not diving in head first into this relationship. There are no red flags, and we seem pretty compatible, but I think my heart is still protecting itself – which is fine right now. Time will tell.

  4. I have heard nothing but bad about the internet dating sites. My friends that have tried them find only clingy men who are too quick to want to move in (I am talking after only 3-4 months) and begin talking marriage that soon too! Clingy men turn me off....I have a life and he should too.

  5. you're awesome. not sure if i'll ever get brave enough to open a profile on one of these sites, unless it's for giggles which it seems i'd be sure to get! thanks!

  6. To Valerie - so glad to hear that you have taken the leap. I don't know that there will ever be another "one" for me but what I find I want to be open to is love.
    Just the ability to be with another person. To have love, to give love and to make love.
    We are still vibrant.
    Still alive and wanting to live each moment deeply.
    I think when I gave up the notion of the "one" ( my husband was my one and only love at first site and it lasted over 35 years ) by knowing that he was my first and last.

    I am more open to seeing people as relationships. I am not looking for marriage again.
    Although, you may find it funny to know - my husband and I met on a blind date :-)
    good luck!

    1. Thanks anonymous you!

      "Just the ability to be with another person. To have love, to give love and to make love." Yes!

      I'm surprised by how easy this has been so far - in that it hasn't seemed to freak me out or 'set me back'. (Last fall somebody offered to set me up on a blind date as well. I initially said yes but then quickly panicked and changed my mind after a sleepless night of hyperventilation! I definitely wasn't ready then.)

      I don't think I'm looking for marriage again either, but in all honesty I really don't know for sure. I'm happy to take things as they come (or go for that matter).

      And good to know that blind dates can and do actually work out!

  7. I'm on the other side... a 44 year old male with all my hair and teeth, moderately active, gainfully employed...and a widower.

    My online profile attracts women who look closer to 60, recently divorced with 3 kids still at home and "working on getting healthy"


    1. Oh my gosh... That's ME! Now I know not to write a profile! Hahahahahahahahaha! Seriously, that made me laugh out loud because sometimes that's exactly how I feel.

    2. All your own hair AND teeth WITH a job???? SOLD!



  8. Amanda, I, too, never liked the thought of on line dating. But after much encouragement from a certain woman on this site (who met her husband on line .... as did her best friend, another woman on this site) I decided to bite the bullet and give it a try. I hated it. I hated the IM's that came flying at me every time I signed on and I hated the "winks". I think I last maybe a month at the most. The week that I decided to delete all of my information from those sites was the week that I received an email that caught my attention .... and I found myself replying, and then agreeing to go out to dinner. I was shocked by myself! It just wasn't "me" to answer those emails .... and especially so quickly, let alone agree to go out so soon!
    That was September 18th. Tomorrow marks the 7th month of our relationship. We are both very happy and very loved.
    So, in spite of hating almost every minute of it, I guess I'd have to say that Match.com worked for me. But I still cringe when someone asks how we met.

  9. Ahhh - I can't tell you how it has warmed the cockles of my heart to read these comments today. I've had an annoying day at work, come home to a large bill I still can't fathom, and then you guys make me laugh / make me feel less like a freak...... thank you XAmanda

  10. Aaahh Amanda!
    If you're a freak - then we're all freaks! LOL!

  11. This made me giggle too . . .

    I haven't told many people in my life, but I started an on-line profile just for kicks and curiosity. Most of it just 'weirded me out', but I saw one profile that rated a pretty high match (though not on match.com, but ok cupid), and I saw a few shared interests. For some reason I decided to break from my fear and sent a message.

    That was six months ago (yesterday). Things started out extremely slowly, but are now going extremely well. There are a few challenges here and there, but it's a process. And it makes me smile. And laugh - like I haven't laughed in a loooooong time (with the exception of at Camp Widow!). I have no idea if/where it will go anywhere, but I'm enjoying it while I can.

  12. I met my husband online, over 8 years ago. That was back when it was still kind of a taboo way of meeting people. It worked really well for us...but nowadays it seems that it's been corroded and may not be a genuine as it used to be, "back then".

    We met on a Christian website. Good luck! You deserve the best.

  13. Amanda, I have to say thanks and ditto! I too have tried a matchmaket which has also been a bust. I reallt miss having a best friend. I too am sick of having men much older than me. I feel the way you do. I do not want to deal with widow hood anytime soon.

  14. I used eHarmony. Really good. There are some cheaper, and even free ones, the quality of responses you get is reflected in the price you pay, just like most things in life.
    I was staggered by the initial rush of interest, it was overwhelming and I kinda went out of control a bit (kid in a sweetshop...).
    A few bits of advice: don't sign-up to a dating site until you are ready to start conversing with people, and maybe meeting them.
    Don't sign-up just for the fun of it, there are real people out there with real feelings.
    Don't do it part-time (once a week, or a fortnight!) Take it seriously!
    And - it worked for me; after several dates with several women, I'm still with the first lady I met on my first match! seven months together now and it's great, well mostly.

  15. Its been more than 3.5 years that I've had widow status. So in January I decided to go ahead and start one of those online profiles on the "senior people looking for relationships" site. I'm 55. I am specifically searching for a widower when I search because I hope to find someone who understands what I've been through.

    I also mentioned in my profile that I'm not interested in anyone looking for a sexual partner quickly, that if it is worth having, it is worth waiting for.

    Well..... in light of that my mailbox remains empty. I decided after a while to try reaching out myself, so I have actually written to three different men, but only one wrote back.

    There was very little information on his profile, but he was a widower. He wanted to go out immediately and I asked that before meeting we get to know a bit about each other online through exchange of emails. Never heard from him again either.....

    My profile remains up, and my mailbox remains empty because I spoke my truth says that I am not interested in being anyone's sexual partner until time passes and I've gotten to know that person well. I mentioned a couple of months in context to that.

    So, I guess men really do have a one track mind, which means I'd rather stay widowed and alone.

  16. Here's another male perspective.

    I have a nice profile & I write nice (not at all lewd) notes introducing myself to various women reasonably close to my age. And I get roundly ignored.

  17. I participated in the online dating scene for over a period of four months. It's been four years since the loss, so I was more than ready. Plus, I'd dated a guy previously to that for five months. Anyway, I established a profile at okCupid & Match. Within that short period of time, I tended to twenty something plus dates, countless emails, numerous phone calls & texts, and the occasional casual encounter. The experience brought me no where near my goals, and the quality of folks at online sites are a complete and total toss up. Very rarely did I bump into someone that felt similar to myself. And even though I made it explicitly clear as to what I was looking for via my profile, most men ignored it and instead, let the profile pic do the talking. Don't get me wrong, I made a couple of wonderful guy friends via online dating, but you have to approach the experience with an open mind. For most, love isn't found overnight, and routinely, the dates don't come with that whole magical experience. Online dating is about as random as playing the lottery - you have to be emotionally prepared & ready for whatever it might bring to you. You've a higher probability of "not winning", than "winning". Laugh.

    The biggest positive to online dating is that it presents a major opportunity to learn more about yourself, and the kind of person you're ultimately looking for. It also does a hell of a job of building one's dating confidence if you don't take it too seriously. At this point, I'm a pro dater! Dating no longer scares me. I take it in stride and hope that eventually, I'll meet the right guy....though I'm not in a hurry ;) Gotta have fun while you're at it!

    My next dating experience is to be at a local restaurant where "it's just lunch" is hosting a speed dating session. I'm all for it! It'll feel good to talk face to face with someone for once upon first meeting rather than messaging or emailing. The whole package does really matter!!

  18. It's great to hear everyone's experience getting back into the dating world. Good or bad, I believe that when we decide to take a step into the future it is hopeful and we once again believe in future dreams! yea for us - let love shine on all of us again.

  19. Okay - here's my dilema that has nothing to do with online dating - but rather crushing heavily on a dear friend of 30 years.

    I was widowed just over 3-1/2 years ago when my soul-mate dies suddenly. We met when I was 15 and I never looked back. The 'best-friend' who I shall call "E" was friends to us both but moved away when we were all in our 20's. We've kept in touch over the years - he married and has since divorced. In the past year he came home to visit (most of his family is still on this coast) and he, as usual, came to see me.

    Things felt much different this time -- I felt things I haven't felt in a very long time. I get the impression the feelings were somewhat mutual. Over the past several months we've communicated online - with some definate flirting.

    But just recently all communication stopeed - no explanation. I think he's seeing someone but is afraid to tell me. Sadly - geography keeps us apart -- she is there and I am not.

    So here I sit -- very much in love?? lust?? infatuation?? I don't know - but I so wanted to explore it!!

    Now what -- do I tell him how I feel? Do I let it go and wait?

    I've been out of this game for so long - I don't know what to do!

    G :(

  20. G: I just discovered this blog. No one replied to you since Aigust? What happened with E? I too started a relationship with a friend of mine and my husbands last summer. Very strange at first, but I tried hard to keep my blinders up meaning I didn't let my mind wander too far into the 'this is strange' category. So far so good - we've talked about our feelings a lot, but not about my husband. Taking this one slowly, & will ease conversation about him into this new relationship when time feels right.

    My question: does anyone on this blog have kids at home? I have a 10 and 13yo. Finding dating very challenging, even though my kids know & support it.

  21. Wanting to move in after 3 or 4 months? How about after the first date? I'm finding that the men that I meet online are needy, both financially and emotionally. I think that it's easier to just stay a single widow