Ah, the online dating world. A world I have been exploring for the past four months and have developed the skill of traveling through the meeting of strangers. With a click of the mouse - a door opens- another click- one closes. Other possibilities are on hold. Welcome to the world of online dating.
All of the experiences have been unique: I have dined in beautiful and eclectic restaurants, sipped coffee while sitting on the park grass, rode on the back of a Harley Davidson and passionately made out in the back of a movie theatre. I have laughed a lot with some, wanted to leave quickly with others, have felt seductive chemistry to feeling absolutely nothing at all. I have received beautifully crafted, intelligent and thoughtful emails and have traveled the highways in a lusty Porsche to a beaten up old wagon. I have laughed hysterically while on a biking excursion, felt calmness while apple picking, felt suffocated by the bombardment of irritating text messages, sat through dinners feeling restless and have wiggled out of the failed attempts of being lured into the bedroom. I have experienced things I have never tried before like hot yoga and I have quietly wondered if the person sitting in front of me could be apart of my life for a while.
I have met men whom I would of never of met other wise. I have engaged in conversation with a neuroscientist, a medical doctor, a lawyer, a fireman, salesmen, entrepreneurs, writers, artists, information technology gurus, bankers, carpenters and executives. They tell me all about their lives. I listen. I tell them about mine. They chuckle. They tell me that they want to find that “someone”. They want to share their lives with someone who makes everything worth it, and when it is hard, is worth fighting for. Someone who will wrap her arms around their strong and worked bodies and make them feel admired, desirable and strong (and yes, they want lots of sex, too). Many can’t seem to find what they are looking for. Either can I.
With so many men a click away, when will one man be enough? Do I long for too much? Is it too much to desire strong sexual attraction for someone and have long- term compatibility with that same man? I have been on dates where I had a difficult time keeping my mind in the PG department but simply could not foresee any future with them unless it was recorded on dvd and distributed for financial gain. There has been other dates where the future could be filled with wonderful possibilities but lacking that same sexual magnetism that is so exhilarating. Could I live without it? Maybe next time I will want to rip his clothes off? Maybe if I oil him up or put him in a spandex outfit? Latex?
There have been many dates. I have witnessed the dimming of hope in men’s eyes when I tell them about my ability to start fires in kitchens. I still have some aspiration that I will be able to cook some day. My parents have lost all hope. I have witnessed men appearing completely and utterly lost in their own kitchens. “Oh my God, we are going to starve”. I am certainly not the woman for a man who desires a domestic diva. I shrink sweaters, pile papers instead of putting them away and squeeze the toothpaste from the middle. I usually don’t screw lids on tightly enough either.
What I like about online dating is that it offers the chance to know someone a little before meeting them through their writing, the words they use (and don’t use), and telephone conversations. Inside, out, instead of outside, in, I call it. I have learned that two people being together should make sense together. I have been swept up in fantasy that simply never made any sense to begin with. Been there, done that. Got the t-shirt and sobbed in it. Some men have genuinely been interested in my life to suddenly falling away to somewhere or someone else- an old girlfriend reenters their lives or another interest prevails. Maybe it was my toothpaste squeezing? Some people enter into our lives just to turn it inside out. They are there to teach us something we need to learn in order to become the person we are meant to be and live the life we are meant to have. Well, this is what I tell myself anyways.
I have been on many dates thus so far. I have consumed many calories and I have heard many stories. Here are some tips for men on online dating from my experiences: are you ready? Always be a gentleman and offer to pay the first bill in full- the memory of you will have a lasting impression (unless you want to be referred to as “El Cheapo”). Always offer to walk a woman to her car if it is late at night, and don’t ever trick her by trying to get her to go to bed with you (we know about those second date weekend getaways). Don’t complain, whine, and make sure you are over your past. The date might last only hours, but the feeling of you will be remembered for some time to come. Every person I meet, I feel closer to knowing a bit more about my own destiny. There is no certainty that there will be chemistry, but there is always the promise to learn something new…about different cultures, lifestyles and dreams (...fetishes, dysfunctional families….).
On a serious note, when meeting new people, it will always be in public. All women should protect themselves by listening to and trusting their instincts and letting loved ones know where and when they are going for their dates.
The discovery of online dating, for me, has been an enjoyable and adventurous way to meet new people. It has offered many opportunities to try new things and the chance to better know myself. I have even found some passion here and there. I am taking love slowly, and hopefully at the end of this journey, I will know exactly what true love really is…. one of these days. Until then, I must get ready for my next date. Pasta anyone?