Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Things that are worse than unmet expectations - lowered expectations

So, having not committed suicide, I decided to instead commit to making a real effort in my dating life upon returning home after my brother's wedding.

I decided to really buckle down and give this thing a go!  I swear I tried everything and looked everywhere for Mr. Right.  I hunted down hotties at the grocery.  I gave God's house a go.  Much of the time I came up heart-wrenchingly empty-handed.  Whatever it was that I needed (skill, swagger) to "turn some heads",  I was clearly not equipped with.  The only numbers I was giving out at the grocery store were the ones stamped on my debit card.

Not getting the results that I desired through conventional means, I ventured out into cyberspace.  Back in those days online-dating was in its infancy and for the most part, it was still populated by those who were less than successful in meeting people in "real life".  Most of the time, if a couple met via the internet back then, they had to get their "how we met" story straight.  After all, no self-respecting person would admit to finding "real" love via virtual means.

So I joined Match.com and chatted with more than enough guys online to be able to fairly quickly sort the testosterone-filled wheat from the chaff.  It's also where I developed some very basic tests for determining if I would even respond to an email from a would-be beau.  For instance, if he didn't know when to appropriately use "there and their" or "your and you're", he was clearly not going to make the grade.  It may seem a bit picky, but there had to be SOME sort of process for culling the herd!

After all, in cyberspace I was a regular hottie.  I was witty and charming.  I could talk on a wide range of subjects and I laughed at all of their (sometimes horrible) jokes.  (What I lacked in self-respect I more than made up for in self-loathing.  {sigh})

This is the way things generally went in my online-dating life:  1)  Guy would find my profile online and send me an email.  2)  I would respond to his email and wait with baited breath for his response.  3)  We would converse like this for a week or more before he would suggest we could talk by phone.  4)  Phone conversations back and forth would proceed for another week or so before he would eventually ask me out on a "real life" date.  5)  We would go on said date and then, inevitably, 6) all communication would end.  Rinse.  Wash.  Repeat.....

Even after the 10th or so time of this happening, it was simply emotionally devastating for me.  The worst part was always the deafening silence of the phone in the weeks following those dates.  The only thing worse than NOT receiving a phone call when he said "I'll call you," were some of the other responses I received:

"I had a rough break-up and I don't think I'm really ready to date yet." - Apparently he recovered quickly because he was messaging other women just days after telling me this.
"I think I'm going to try to get back with my ex-girlfriend." - Apparently she didn't take him back because, once again, he was online chatting with other women just days later.
"Well, I called you ANYWAY." - said to me after a brief lunch date with a man that I wouldn't have dated if you had paid me.  He was telling me this because, in his opinion, I was below HIS standards!

I can MAYBE understand this sort of out and out rejection if I had, in any way, lied or misled them about who I was or how I looked.  But I hadn't.  I always posted an accurate, up-to-date photo of myself (more than I could say for many of them).  I was always up front about what I looked like.  I was always honest about who I was.  Besides, I may have never deluded myself into thinking that I was beautiful, but I don't think the self-loathing brought on by their behaviour was warranted either.

Stay tuned for the misery that is speed-dating and turning over a new leaf.


Jenny C said...

Totally agree on the grammar pickiness. Total turn off :)

Ronnica said...

Never have tried a dating site, but you bet I'd use grammar/spelling problems as a deal breaker!


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