Saturday, July 10, 2010

Leaving a dust trail to my online dating experiences!

With so much focus now on online dating, I thought I would share my experiences with two dating sites I joined this past year: Christian Mingle and E-Harmony. I had reached a milestone—ten years after my divorce—and I felt that God had finally given me the high-five to date again! These are some of my experiences!

Online emails and chats: online identity-switcheroo

First, he was a 49-year-old gem smith from Austria wanting to know all about me. He went on shopping sprees all over the world for the best stones. The only problem is that I swear he left me chatting with him when he took off on those trips! By that, I mean he left me hanging on to his next word literally without signing off. How rude!

He next turned up with a completely new identity (new name, age and nationality) perhaps a 35-year old mountain climber for all I remember. I was shocked that he was a player! Betrayed...!

I had a few marriage proposals, sight unseen, one from a widowed father in NYC, and another from a lonely geologist whose wife had left him.

I dated a guy with his own carpet-cleaning business who lived about three hours away from me. We finally agreed to meet in my city. We had a romantic visit to an expensive Japanese restaurant that night. That was followed by a brisk walk back and forth several times at a nearby strip mall. Still can’t figure that out! The next morning called for a surprise trip to the vet, and he obliged. My dog bonded as he made space for him on the floor of his van. I was dreamy for a few more weeks, then things fell apart on the second day of my first visit to see him in his city. I asked him, “Where are all the jokes?” He asked me, “Where are all the words?” He felt like a rent-a-clown and I felt like a rent-a-chatterbox. To make matters worse, when he saw me in my new dress for church, he quipped, “Did you plan to sing in the choir?” I felt like a misplaced southern belle! He proceeded to usher me into a seat and never introduced me to a single soul. That afternoon, he took me on a planned hiking trip. I knew we were not destined to be together when I asked if he ever did anything spontaneous, and he said, “Yes, put you on a bus home!”

My family celebrated my birthday a few days later at the same Japanese hibachi, and I thought that would kill me, but I rather enjoyed myself instead! Thus, I let him sweep our date under the carpet with his super-duper carpet business. Three hours was just too far away to bother with any more dates with him!

There was another man but he lived four hours away. We had one dinner date. He had been working for a professional printing press for years. Kinda cool for a writer like me but ... simply not attracted to him. He selected a coupon from his stash for The Olive Garden. A nice enough fellow, though. He liked hiking and was an amateur painter... I was imagining myself checking out his paintings. I do so like art. But about four days later, he wrote me, apologizing, and said that he had started dating someone else. I was happy for him but sad for the loss of a painting aficionado and my potential hiking partner; he had a flexible schedule and it was the autumn season, the best time for hiking, after all!

I also went out with a root canal specialist (Who dates THEM anyway?!) I think he was a little bit of a snob, and he seemed just like I imagined one of his profession to be—impersonal and to have a cold veneer! He took me to a posh country club but talked all evening of his "toys" –his words, not mine- his boat, jet-ski, Caribbean cruises, and how he wanted a woman who could "keep up with him." As I imagined myself running after him, sweeping my cane in clumsy haste, or perhaps trying to walk or should I say...glide...or rather fend-my-way-with-my-cane on water (for he was a Spirit-filled man of religion as well!). As I envisioned myself sinking INTO the water the further on I went, I thought it best to be left in the wake of his jet-ski…

I corresponded next with a local guy. When discussing where to meet for our first date, he suggested the GROCERY store!! (no joke!). We bypassed the shopping expedition but met for a late lunch at Wegman’s delicatessen at the grocer. He currently acts as a supervisor of bridge repairmen and snow plow operators. In the past, he was a Farrier (a horse-shooer), at least thirty years in this job! What I know about horses isn't worth mentioning but my experience is limited to my teaching days in Colombia when I rode around burial sites in San Agustín for five hours one rainy day. I recall the dreadfully serious response of my riding companion: after it was all over, he rubbed himself painfully and groaned, "I don't think I'll be able to have children after this experience!" Needless to say, my future with the farrier was doomed from the start.

After that, I exchanged six weeks of emails with a match from NY but he was not right for me either. He wrote to say he was PASSIONATE about paying his bills! I am passionate too, but about traveling and writing, and other things, like having a sense of humor! It seems that poor guy was sadly lacking in that department. There was some kind of computer problem (I think he timed out on the site and lost his email). He wrote "I am DISTURBED about this loss as I would like to continue to communicate with you." That word disturbed me. Who gets disturbed about a lost email?! Maybe disappointed. Or confused. Or irritated. But DISTURBED? I think that's a deal breaker, or at least a warning sign of times ahead...

Last but not least, I can't forget to mention the retired oil rigger who had horrendous spelling and grammar. What can you say to someone who can’t write let alone pronounce his brother-in-law's last name (a good solid Italian-American name by the sounds of it!)? Not only was I disturbed (if I dare employ that word!) I made my living working with, as the oil rigger called them, "ferin'rs" (foreigners) for twenty-five years. Couldn't find a common topic between us. Till he called me one day and told me he had to learn Spanish and could I help him? I sent him a set of cassettes and urged him forward...he was supposed to take a test and get an oil rigging job in Brazil (BTW where they speak Portuguese, not Spanish!). I followed up recently to see if he got the job. He must have as the number was no longer in service!

I quite often felt in despair - like was that one perfect—no, I wasn’t even aiming that high—just suitable, guy out there?? I used to soothe myself with thoughts of exposing my mismatched dating experiences and write about the whole idea of putting yourself out there on computer dating. Looking back on my experiences, I don’t think I was successful but it taught me how to laugh at my situations. An actual article might not be appropriate but maybe an entry on my blog about these crazy matches might be okay. I wouldn’t want to hurt them (we are all just reaching out for someone, after all) but the point is … I don't know how they were matched up with ME!


  1. Hmmm, KyngBivo, thank you for your response. What do you mean? If you mean that finding the right partner is like finding the right riches, then I will be well-served, then you are right.
    When I think of riches in regard to a life partner, I think of a richness in spirit, in heart, and in intellect. I think of devotion to God and the richness that can develop between two people.
    Sometimes people get blindsided by either worldly riches, or lack of Godly riches. Whatever richness I receive, I want it to be God-directed, and not command me.
    God bless you and keep reading.

  2. OMG!!! I can sooooo relate to you in so many levels... Don't give up as of yet, there is a match in Heaven just for you. God bless you and keep trusting Him.