Sunday, August 22, 2010

And this is how it all began....

Why is it that when become single, you start to notice all the (seemingly) happily married or engaged couples around you?

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to venture to talk about the trials and tribulations of online dating and dating in today’s wonderful world of single and not so single men.
Herein lies my experiences good and bad, the men I’ve become friends with, the men who seem to disappear into the Bermuda Triangle of online sites, and of course never to be forgotten the men who scared me more than Godzilla himself.

I hope to entertain you, teach you, and help you put out there exactly what you want to come back to you in the world of real and online cyber dating.

How it all started.

It was 2005 and I had just ended my marriage to my husband of 6 yrs. With a young baby at home, I had found out that he had been cyber chatting in inappropriate ways with women off and on over the course of a few years. It was the last straw of many straws, and I ended it for the sake of my child, my sanity and self preservation. With that, I shall go no further in that direction.

I was 33 years old and had not been single since my early 20’s. Boy had things changed. A friend of mine almost immediately introduced me to a free online dating site that she joined that I will refer to from now on as the “Sea of Mud” dating site. She said that it was the newest thing and that I needed to get my profile on there as fast as my fingers could type. I had never heard of it before but apparently many others had. So I logged onto my computer and typed in the website. I filled out all the necessary information to the letter and then created my profile. Now, what to type in the box that says you have to type at least 50 characters? It can’t be that hard, or can it? I will just type that I’m a nice person with goals and a good job. No good, not enough information. And now I’ve received an error message saying that I need to write more. Darn it! Ok think girl think.

How about ‘New mom with 9 month old baby at home needs to find a man to fill the void of losing the wonderful life she had envisioned before her’. That was the truth of it but there was no way that was going to attract any men. Actually, it would attract some men out there (I’m not even kidding), but not the kind I was hoping for. I filled it out as best as I could and then clicked ‘save profile’. I received an email message almost immediately and was a bit startled by it. Ok it was just an email saying welcome to the Sea of Mud dating site and wishing me best of luck with swimming and not sinking.

Next I had to download a photo of myself. That is the scariest part of the entire process. It makes it all real. A whole world of people out there can now see who you are, and report back to friends that they saw you on a dating site. I had to choose a good photo. One that hides my flaws, but still shows the real me and not the me of 10 years ago. I had also just had a baby 9 months earlier and was going through a separation. I had gained some baby and stress weight. I will use a pre-baby photo. Yes, that will work! Uploading…still uploading. Is this thing working?? "Upload Complete". Well, there I am in my photo and all its glory. I am now out there for all to see. Yikes.

I started to look around at all the photos of so many different men. Was I really ready for this? What am I attracted to? I had no clue anymore. My world and life had changed so much in the last 10 years that I really did not know what I was looking for in a man. I guess that was the first step. I had to figure out what I wanted in a man. Tall. He has to be tall. And have a career job and not just a temporary call centre type of job. What else is there? Oh and not a cheater or a liar. Should I have put that in my profile? Maybe not.

On my merry way I went surfing profiles of all different sizes, shapes and colours of the men out there. I was reading profiles of those just out there for bed buddies or FF’s, profiles of men who seemed to be confused about what they wanted and then men who genuinely seemed to want a long term relationship. Genuine! Yes that’s a good one. I need to find someone genuine and not phoney. As I surfed along, little did I realize that each and every time you click on a profile, they are informed on their end that you have viewed their profile.

Let the games begin !!  And oh, did they ever....

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