Have you ever experienced online dating? Chances are you cringe and laugh at the same time when asked. Even if you personally haven't been on Match.com, eHarmony, PlentyofFish or any of the dating sites, you have probably heard some scary and hilarious stories. What keeps us going on dating sites and encouraging our single friends to do so, are the few stories we hear of someone finding their perfect match or soul mate, or just having someone that keeps them from staying home alone on Friday and Saturday nights - you know, just happy to have a life away from TV and the computer.
Dating online is a great way to get your feet wet after getting out of a long term relationship. Where else can you flirt in your jammies with a mud mask and teeth whitener on? You also gain the joy of being picky and painlessly hitting delete, when you are no longer interested. (On a side note, even if I did like hunting, which I don't, I want to know why so many guys think that holding a dead deer - tongue hanging out and everything, is a good profile pic. And the guys that think that flexing shirtless in the bathroom mirror self-portrait is sexy, it's not. Also, the many guys that are throwing a jab at the camera as a joke - not funny in a dating profile pic. Is this your way of letting us know what it will look like when you punch us in the face?!)
Once you have figured out how to sort through the good guys from the creeps and crazies, you will find that there are some really good guys out there. I have yet to go out with a guy that wasn't respectful and kind. That's not to say that some didn't turn out to be kind of odd when I met them in person. (My weird, true, freaky and funny dates are for another blog.)
Some men, I have yet to meet in person. I think they like having someone listen to them without having to to put forth much effort. Yes, the Effortless Relationship - everything on your terms, no shower or shave needed. Most of them tend to be workaholics or too scarred from previous relationships, except for this one...
It started last winter. From our very first eHarmony communication, we clicked. Soon we were emailing regularly and talking on the phone. Our instant chemistry was so hot. We shared photos, the nice kind - nothing nasty. We shared similar world views, senses of humor, interests - we got along great. Both of us had been traveling quite a bit and between our kids' schedules, we couldn't seem to find time to meet, so we emailed and talked on the phone daily. One day he didn't email me and I knew. I knew he met someone else.
The strange thing is that I wasn't mad. I really just wanted this guy to be happy. (When did I get so mature?) Of course, I was hoping he would be happy with me, but I truly believe that if we were meant to be together, we would find each other again.
Our relationship, was a bright flame that was distinguished before we even got physically close enough to blow it out. Disappointed...yes...but far from devastated. A new me emerged when I made that new friend...and I like her.
Okay, now let me tell you the truth.
Like most women, I have been rejected before and it hurts. With this guy, I just felt a little sting and I wasn't busy trying to figure out what was wrong with me. As much as I would like to chalk it up to personal growth and maturity, I think I need to ask myself this question:
Why is it easier to get over a guy that dumps me when he has never seen me in person before? It's true. One of the first things I said to my girlfriend after he told me he thinks he met "the one," I said, "He didn't even see me. He didn't choose her because of the way I looked, it was just my personality!" Seriously! I was happier knowing that the rejection was based on the person he knew from lots of conversations, emails and photos, not the same "me" in person. Maybe it's because I felt like I had control over the me I chose to show him; therefore, he was incapable of rejecting the real me.
What I do know, is that I am finally comfortable and happy with who I am inside, and have never been comfortable with me on the outside. No matter what size I have been or races I have run, or compliments I have received, I am one of the many women who are insecure about how they appear to others. I know it makes no sense to diminish who I am as a person. If a girlfriend would tell me that she doesn't value herself because she is unable to reach an unattainable image, I would come unglued! Then I would make it my mission to show her the beauty that I see in her. Do you see the irony? Do you ever act this way?
The story doesn't end here. This guy still emails me and I respond. Maybe I keep communicating because he is a nice guy and I know he missed out...or did I miss out, because I never allowed him to see the real me? Now that I think about it, this Whimsical Sol needs to work at being Vulnerable, Vivacious & a Vixen. More importantly, I need to learn to love myself even half as much as I love others!
Who wants to join me on this journey?