Monday, February 22, 2010

Stage Five: In the Weeds

Well friends,

It has been a strange week for me in the online dating world. My emotions have been up and down. There have been some trials and tribulations. I might be losing my mojo and my mind. And no actual dates have taken place! But I can tell you this: All my time is being sucked away by this endeavour.

One of my messages early on in this experiment was from a good-looking man who reminds me of John F. Kennedy Jr. He's 31 years old and in marketing. We started chatting online and he asked me out. I texted him Friday to firm up the plans. He said that he was actually off that day, but unfortunately, I was on my way to Toronto. So we made plans to meet Sunday. I was feeling a bit of the residue of my Saturday night festivities and was not at my best Sunday. However, I planned to go through with it anyway, all in the name of research!

I got a text at 1 p.m. that said he might have to cancel. He would know for sure a bit later on. So I waited. I got another text that said he could meet after all. He suggested a pub at 7 p.m. I said okay. But I was starting to feel misgivings. This is all very nerve-racking in the first place. When there is a lot of lead time and planning the nerves get worse! Then I realized that the big Canada/U.S.A. hockey game was on that night. There would be massive crowds and everyone at this bar would be watching TVs. I wondered if that was his safety net if things went wrong. And I admit, I felt kind of annoyed. Was he not even bothering to take this seriously? I said maybe we should make it another place, or another night. He chose another night. So we have not met yet, and I have lost some enthusiasm. This Sunday we will try again.

But there is someone else, a dark horse, who has entered the scene. I believe he is not a practical choice, but am intrigued against my better judgement. We have chatted for a week and I have agreed to meet him this weekend. We have started a texting relationship, and have gotten wrapped up in the expectation and emotion. He is a musician and is divorced with a child. He did not post online that he has the child, but told me today in a text. I am wondering why. Is he cautious, or just out for a good time? These are things that you cannot tell online! This is trickier than I ever thought possible.

So I am already breaking two of my new rules:

1) If you think you want to meet someone, meet them quickly.
2) Don't begin a relationship online before you meet(i.e. emails/texts) in order to avoid overblown expectations.

Friends, I am keeping my chin up! I will not let my nerves or misfires make me give up this easily. But I am slowly realizing the truth: Online dating is hard work, and not play.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Stage Four: First Date

Hello Dear Followers,

Well, it was accomplished yesterday: my first ever online-dating date! It was with the boyishly-cute man with the PH.D. in English. We chatted online for a few days, then finally connected on the phone. He asked me out for a coffee the next day. Funnily enough, this turned out to be Valentine's Day. What could be more romantic than possibly meeting my future husband on Valentine's Day?

So at 3:30 p.m. I boldly walked into a coffee shop to search for a stranger who I hoped to be able to recognize from his photograph. But as soon as I walked in he saw me and waved me over to a table. We exchanged pleasantries. We sauntered over to the counter and he offered to buy my coffee. (I am always a sucker for a gentleman.) Then we went back to our table to get to know each other a little better.

Unfortunately dear followers, this is where it turns into a case of "swing-and-a-miss". He is a lovely man, but he is not for me. He loves to talk...I mean A LOT. Any time I started to speak, he would talk over top of me as if he didn't even hear me! And the funny thing was that I even commented on it early on. He asked me a question, and as I started to answer it, he asked me another one. So I said with a slight chuckle, "Okay, you need to let me answer the first question before moving on to the next." He apologized, but for the next hour it was a battle to get a word in edgewise. It was dizzying. I have to admit that I started to tune out. I caught myself doing the smile-and-nod head bob. I thought about things such as my laundry, and what I was going to have for dinner.

I was wondering how it would end and hoped that he wouldn't ask if I wanted to see him again. But it all came to an abrupt close when he said "Well, it was nice to meet you. I have to go home and finish my laundry." Ha ha ha! Perhaps he had as awkward a time as I did.

Lessons learned so far:

1) People can look great on paper, but that does not guarantee any sort of chemisty.
2) You can tell if there is chemistry within the first five minutes of meeting someone.
3) Develop a plan of escape if things are not going the way you had hoped.
4) Always tell a good friend when and where you are meeting. (Safety first!)

But, dear friends, I took the first step! My courage and confidence are rising. In fact, I have already made a date with a second man for this Sunday. This man's pictures look like they should be on the cover of GQ. I am at once both suspicious and intrigued. But I will try to reserve judgement until Sunday.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Stage Three: Online

Well, it has been a crazy week with many messages pouring into my newly-created POF account. I have deleted many. I have responded to a few. In the beginning I felt that good etiquette required that I respond to all requests in some fashion. It quickly became apparent that I would never have the time. And to be honest, I felt that there were some men who I just didn't want to engage in conversation. Let's just call it a "gut-feeling" that they were not on my wave-length.

A small cross-section:

1) The tall, dark and handsome man who keeps calling me "Hun" and asking me out for a drink. (playa?)
2) The sweet, boyishly cute man with a PH.D. in English who has given me his number (whom I plan to call tomorrow....)
3) The man who works repairing bikes for a cycling team and travels all over the world for a living. (So jealous....He has gone to Cuba for three weeks now, but wants to meet when he gets back.)

There have been various others that I have crossed off the list immediately: the multi-tattooed, the ones who have more pictures of their dogs than themselves, the ones who have posted only a picture of their naked chest! (No judgement, to each his/her own.) I am looking for a genuine man with a sense of humour, sense of fun, and a positive attitude. Oh, and a mischievous grin is never a bad thing.

This weekend could be first contact. This may include a drink, a coffee, all of my lovable friends sitting at all the surrounding tables for support! I can do this!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Stage Two: Creating a Profile

Hello All,

Okay, I mustered up all of my courage and signed up on my first ever dating website. I decided on Plenty of Fish since it is free and I have known people who have had success with it. First I entered some personal information, but not my address or name. I was asked to write a little paragraph advising of my hobbies, goals/interests, taste in music, etc. I was not sure how much or how little to write, but I figured I would be pretty general to start. I am still a little nervous as I am a very private person. One very important thing was to upload a headshot. I grabbed a picture from a recent evening out and hoped for the best.

One thing that I did not expect was to be asked to fill out a quiz that creates a "chemistry profile". It contained a long list of questions of a variety of subjects. It was meant to cover five areas: Self-Confidence, Family Orientation, Self-Control, Openness and Easygoingness. A report was churned out that was, no word of a lie, 19 paragraphs long. I ask the question: Did my answers really give them this much information? Or is this just a scam to make us believe that they are matching us up with only the truly worthy potentials?

So, as I go wandering around this new website, I notice that I have five messages already in five minutes, actual men who have commented on things that I have written! Readers, I am terrified. I am not ashamed to admit this. I think that it will take a little research, and a few more days gathering courage, before this woman decides on which candidates are worth replying to. However, this experiment has a purpose so I will read through my messages and possibly, when the stars are all in the correct alignment, decide on a meeting. Stay tuned.

Miss S