I recently entered the world of on-line dating. Let me share my experience as this has come at quite a bit of angst emotionally and mentally. The world of dating has changed quite a bit since 1987 when I last circulated in this sphere. I would have preferred the “old-fashioned” way of meeting men and hopefully getting asked out on a date (I suppose I could do the asking as well – topic to come). I have been in that general “open” arena for some time and that has produced nada. I have been told by a number of people I needed to venture into on-line dating as that is the way it is done today. Eek.
So with some trepidation I recently decided to make such a venture, I shall acknowledge that I have needed every part of my recovery to get through this process. The first piece – creating a profile. I recommend this for everyone. After all, why limit marketing oneself to job seekers, grant applicants, and singles? Fortunately there is a prodding process and even if you don’t want to go to the work of writing about yourself, you can choose from a list of answers to the questions. The problem is that simply choosing these does not make one stand out. And in this process I have learned, you want to stand out in a positive way. So don your “I’m wonderful” affirmations and all creativity to describe things like "what you are passionate about", "who has influenced you", "how you spend your leisure time", and "what you’d like for others to notice about you". That last one…well, notice that I’m single and a good catch! HA! It is quite a challenge to not sound vain or insecure; to not sound dull or too into oneself; to portray the attractive qualities and still be somewhat humble about having plenty of shortcomings. I decided the most direct and honest approach was my only comfort zone. To be inauthentic would have gone against every fiber in my body, although the temptation to fudge is certainly there.
The next challenge: selecting a picture. The cover photo is critical. And on my computer, it makes this photo the size of the entire screen, so choose a flattering one. But be sure to select several because I have learned it helps to have a variety of photos. Had I not spent the months learning to love myself, this would have been nearly impossible for me to do. The good news is that I’m fine now. Well almost fine. But the sight of my big pearlies and blue flashers doesn’t send me into a shame spiral. I see a friendly, happy, albeit in her own right, beautiful woman. Whew. I can hardly believe I just wrote that.
So getting through this entire profile process deserved its own reward. That should have guaranteed me a date by the following Saturday night. In my mind, I’m daring greatly and moving into that arena; I’m living in the Healing Lane not just passing by and trying to survive. I am working it! This isn't how it works. It's not like "hit submit" and your pre-arranged date with man, location, and time just appear. Oh, no, you have to start the matching process. And that takes awhile. Longer than I thought.
The NEXT level of honesty, daring, and vulnerability was needed. Because despite my willingness to put myself “out there” the inquiries and exchanges don’t necessarily happen. I was told that I needed to initiate communication. WHAT?! It took me a few days to determine which lucky guy was going to hear from me. I send him a message because those questions annoyed me. I bravely hit the send button. And I heard nada. I sent a second one. Nada. So daily I would commit to sending out an inquiry. And continued to get a blank response. I was told to make 10 before I would hear back from someone. So I doubled-up. Then tripled. Then I got very liberal and if there was the slightest interest and it there were not any glaring dealbreakers, I sent an inquiry. And that poo-pooing of the questions? Got myself corrected on that. First off, that is the method. Stick to it. Secondly, it saves time.
Then, after more than a week, I got a response. From a guy in Nevada. And the next day from a guy in Texas. Now how in the heck am I going to get a date from someone in another state? I decided it was worth the practice so I exchanged a few rounds of question and answers and then the lists of deal breakers and must-haves. BTW – before recovery, I did not KNOW about this very important list! It is invaluable as it helps filter out those that aren't suitable to you. Then I got a reply from a local. I think I had things that showed up on his dealbreaker list. Oh, it was likely mutual. Let’s face it – a homebody, shy, exercise buff isn't going to be my ideal match. After a nother week, I received a response from another local man that actually shared some of my interests like music and travel. Hmmm. This just might lead to something!. Next up: She finally got a date!