I think this is partly because I'm introverted — I'm energized by alone time, and often feel drained after hanging out with people, unless they're close friends. Hanging out with virtual strangers in a date setting is most exhausting of all.
I don't think my introversion is the only thing to blame, though. Because I rarely meet a man to whom I am drawn romantically. I meet loads of fantastic, godly men each month, but I rarely feel that thing with them. You know, that inexplicable chemistry and connection.
I've tried to talk myself into feeling that thing with many of the amazing guys that have asked me out. I've gone out with dozens of good men with the hope that an evening with them would kindle a spark. I've told myself that x-factor attraction fizzles with time, and then all that's left is character and commitment.
But it's so disappointing to go on date after date on which nothing develops, and I can't bring myself to maintain a purely practical approach to love.
And I've realized that if that thing is not there, it's not there. Sure, it could develop over time, but it's probably going to develop in a comfortable friendship setting. Not over a few forced dates.
So I've recently changed my dating policy. I'm game to go on a first date with a man if I initially feel some spark of attraction and chemistry; otherwise, it's dinner and dancing with my girlfriends for me.
Typically, a guy with whom I have chemistry and connection comes along every two years or so. And since I recently got out of a relationship with an "x factor" man, I realize it could be awhile before I go on another first date.
But...what if I got more exposure to men? Would that lessen the gap in time between meeting men who are romantically interesting?
I've been asking myself this the last couple of months with the knowledge that I'm already meeting so many men in my social circles that I don't think I could do much more to meet others. So if I'm going to try to meet more men it's going to mean...online dating.
And folks, this has never, ever been an option for a number of reasons.
Reason #1: Um, hello, welcome to LoserVille. Population: Me and 500 other desperate singles in my area.
Have any of you ever felt the stigma of online dating?
I can't figure out why, but online dating has always seemed dreadfully embarrassing to me. What if people find out I'm doing online dating? What if men I know are on the same dating website, see my profile, and then suddenly realize I'm a loser???
The possibilities make me squirm.
They shouldn't, though.
Because I know online dating is normal and accepted nowadays. At least in Orange County, anyway. A ton of my attractive, fun, godly friends are online. Some of the best men I've gone out with over the past year are currently online. Many of my friends met their spouses online. Heck, even my most recent 'x-factor' guy is online! So this stigma thing should be for the birds ... it should be.
Reason #2: How can you possibly assess attraction potential via an online profile? Won't I have to meet lots of guys in order to see if there's actual potential? And won't it be exhausting to meet up with all these random men — so exhausting I just avoid it all together?
Reason #3: Do I even have stamina for this? I mean, dating is like a part-time job. And if I do this online thing, I'm going to have to go out with guys with whom I'm not sure there's attraction. I'm not sure I feel up to taking that on right now.
So I've told myself I will join an online dating site when I'm no longer getting regular opportunities to go out with the men I meet organically. When that day comes I'll consider crossing the online dating bridge. In the meantime, I will try not to think about online dating, and when I do, I will make sure I have my inhaler and a paper bag nearby.
And then, yesterday, something came over me.
I don't know if it's that I started feeling like I was coming down with a cold, or if I sat in the sun for too long, but I decided to do a three-day trial with an online dating site.
And I don't know what happened between yesterday and today, but I decided to sign up — I mean actually pay — for a few-month membership with an online dating site.
Someone call the medic. Or the shrink. I am not myself and do not know what happened.
I just felt a strong impulse telling me I need to try it, and now is the time. It was such a drastically different attitude than I've had the last few months that I promptly signed up before I could chicken out. And then I got the shakes and felt like throwing up.
But still, I did it. I'm in.
And it feels vulnerable. Like I'm standing on the top of the pole jump on a ropes course, wobbling
wildly as I survey the landscape.
But it's also kind of fun. Because I like new adventures, and I like getting outside of my comfort zone.
So we'll see what happens.
And as my sister reminded me this afternoon, if nothing else, I can write about my experiences. And I will.
Somehow that makes me feel loads better.
© by scj