"No matter how love-sick a woman is, she shouldn't take the first pill that comes along."
- Joyce Brothers -
(continuing from last time...)
It’s intimidating to get back into the dating scene after almost two decades. You don’t know where to start and what to expect. But one thing I did know for sure was that after so many years of being in a horribly toxic relationship, I knew exactly the type of man I didn’t want to be with. Much wiser, and certainly more confident, I wasn’t going to be with someone who didn’t appreciate, respect and deserve me. And since I wasn’t emotionally needy nor did I mind being alone, time and patience were on my side.
|My girls made every day special.|
I was pleased to discover that despite what my ex had said, other men did take an interest in me. And my first experience with that was with shy Danny; the sweetest, kindest and gentlest man. We were in the same computer programming course and became good friends very quickly. He nicknamed me “Athena, Goddess of Wisdom” because of my high grades, and when school came to an end, he finally got up the nerve to ask me out to dinner. When I told him I would take a rain check because I was moving that weekend, he didn’t pursue it. And neither did I. The chemistry was there for friendship but not for romance. And I didn’t want to lead him on.
My second experience was a friendly type of dating with Alan, a man I met while doing my computer programming internship. We hung around at work all the time, spoke on the phone, went to the movies, out to eat, for coffee and to several other places. I wasn’t interested in more than friendship and he never pushed for anything beyond that, so I assumed he wasn’t either. But we enjoyed each other’s company immensely, got along wonderfully and he played a huge role in helping me rebuild my confidence. Unlike my ex, Alan made me feel intelligent, fun to be with, interesting and attractive in every which way. Eventually our paths took us separate ways and we lost touch, but the time that we shared was priceless.
But the vast majority of my experiences with meeting new people – welcome 21st century! - were through an online dating site. And if you’ve ever done that, you understand all about the mostly good, sometimes bad, occasionally ugly and downright weird and wacky people online (waving to Robyn). Boy of boy did I run across some interesting and somewhat entertaining men. Here are a few that contacted me online:
- The married cheat: Number one clue? No photo. And when I asked him for one privately, he made every excuse in the book. I mentioned in a message that I suspected he was married and he quickly slithered away never to be seen again. Jerk.
- The control freak: I always thanked everyone that contacted me, let them down politely and wished them well. Most appreciated the kind gesture and moved on. But this one guy wouldn’t. He replied to my ‘rejection’ email, highlighted some of my sentences, dissected them for deeper meaning or contradiction or unfairness and demanded an explanation. Holy crap. I didn’t even know this guy and he was already trouble. Block!
- The material worshipper: His profile read like a brochure and listed all of his material possessions. Expensive material possessions...just so you know. His photos had him posing in front of his car/house/boat. Brag, brag, brag. Drag, drag, drag!
- The mama's boy: The profile picture that included the umbilical cord that hadn't been severed yet was definitely a red flag. Then he contacted me and said that if I hooked up with him, I could enjoy the beautiful home in Greece that he owned right by the beach. Okay, his mama owned it. And okay, we’d be guests. Of mama. Gawd...
- The egomaniac: His messages consisted mostly of two words: me and I. In any case, we never would have been able to meet because his fat head wouldn’t fit through any door.
Did I meet anyone in person? For sure. One guy invited me to lunch and boasted about how his friends say he looks like Woody Harrelson. Not even close. At least the lunch was good. One guy chased after me for months and I finally caved in and met him. We went on two dates and I ended it there. He was a nice guy but the chemistry just wasn’t there. Another guy met up with me twice and when he mentioned that he was codependent, somewhat needy and a recovering alcoholic, I bolted. Call me insensitive but that wasn’t what I was looking for. There were a few more short-lived encounters and after a few months of disappointments, I called it quits, canceled my membership on that dating site and concentrated on my new job that I started in November 2001.
In January 2002, a friend of mine set me up with one of her clients who was recently divorced and in search of a new romance. He was just a few years older and had one teenage son with his ex wife. I thought this might work out better than all the online fiascos. It didn’t. We clicked somewhat and went out a few times. But it didn’t last long. He was emotionally unavailable, unpredictable and unreliable. He described himself as “intellectually adept and socially inept”. When it was over, I thanked my friend for wanting to help and jokingly said to her “From now on I’ll find dysfunctional men all by myself.”
Later that night as I was lying in bed, I stared up into the sky and whispered “Where are you?” The hopeless romantic in me who also believed in reincarnation and soul mates and destiny yearned for that special soul. But maybe it just wasn’t meant to be in this lifetime.
Or maybe it was.
To be continued... (click here)