Brave enough to date. Again.

My darlings,

It’s been a helluva week. My body occasionally runs into a migraine cycle that can be very difficult to break. Once the pain is gone, I deal with what I call “migraine hangover.” It involves the light-headedness, blurry vision, and ringing in the ears that can hold on for days after the initial pain/nausea has subsided. Have any of you ever dealt with this?

When I was writing 365 Days of Gutsy Women, I often came across women who did extraordinary things while battling health problems. One thing I never came across was women who used dating sites to get to know potential partners! Dating in the 21st century is a world all its own to say the least. That does not mean I haven’t met some interesting (and likeable) guys along the way, but I do have some stories to tell. I would much rather meet someone in a grocery store or congregational meeting, but there haven’t been many of those in the last couple of years thanks to COVID.

When you do see someone you might like to talk to, then there’s the battle of the masks to deal with. Either you can’t hear correctly what they’re saying or simply can’t get close enough to hold a conversation, let alone speak intelligently about how the organic vegetables are holding up and why their price is sky-high. So I did the unthinkable AGAIN—tried a new and better (different) dating site—they seem to be popping up all over, yes? (I had promised myself never again would I resort to this way of meeting people, so I must have been sipping a glass of wine.) Or could it be I just recognize that part of myself that is so longing for connection?

Aren’t we all longing for connection these ongoing COVID days? Without much of a support system, days seem to lengthen yet pass by quickly. How do you explain that? Sometimes I feel like time is running out—or maybe that’s just wishful thinking hoping that COVID is on its last legs. Regardless, hugs are few and far between for those of us who live alone. At least people are considering hugs once again, perhaps that’s due to so many of us being vaccinated, though that’s no guarantee against Omnicron.

So how does a dating site function during a pandemic? It appears pretty much the same as they did ten years ago. There’s a smiley face for the faint of heart. And then those of us who are very brave simply send a note and say “Hi, how’s your day going?” The message is either ignored or seen as a grateful welcome to a conversation difficult to have via said website. A man once told me that for guys, dating sites were like going shopping for a sweater. “Hmm....This looks good, and I ‘ll have one of this color, and one in that color.” I like to believe we have evolved beyond that, but I was proven wrong this week.

There was a man whose name I can’t remember. He was very explicit in his “don’t likes” up front. There were five important things that automatically narrowed down his choices (supposedly). Number four (his date could not be under a doctor’s care) I simply had to take issue with. When I suggested he rethink his number four (because any woman worth knowing took care of herself with regular checkups) he explained that his definition of “under a doctor’s care” meant she was seeing a psychiatrist because she was “one brick short of a full load.” Did I mention this dude was a tennis instructor, wore a cowboy hat and pale blue tennis shoes? It gets better—same man asked me what exactly I was looking for in a man. My answer, “Someone who is emotionally evolved (remember Maslow’s Needs’ Pyramid?) affectionate, and a good cook” was met with skepticism. His response was that I was searching for a “girly-man, not a REAL man.” How misogynistic can you get? His reply made me feel like it was slime-y just typing a response.

For all of womankind I know I need to address his insecurity, but I simply haven’t wanted to go there. All sorts of fun phrases jumped into my head (like fuck off, jerk) just haven’t decided on how to educate him knowing that there is no educating that frame of mind. And I can’t figure out how to delete him from my space. How much do I owe him because I was the one that started the conversation? Would you write back, mentioning that his lack of emotional maturity was not something you wanted to deal with? Or mention his misogynistic response wasn’t worth my time?

It is kind of fun to write about the silliness of dating sites, but a little sad as well. Why is it our society has dropped to this level? Progress is supposed to be about growth, but the only growing happening on these sites is the pockets of whoever owns the dating site/app. Do you know anyone who has really met someone and built a relationship with that person? I know I’m skeptical….but hope can rise eternal to those of us who recognize that a partner in life can be a good thing.

One of the messages I received today was from someone who was trying to convince me to email his friend who was not a member. The story goes his friend saw my profile and wanted to get to know me. Thus, I could write him a line at his friend’s gmail account which he included. Not sure if I should laugh or cry at that attempt to get my email address. NO way am I going there.

I suspect all this fuss is happening because we simply need to be with people. Even introverts need hugs and conversation. And it’s been a very loooong pandemic. Who could have guessed when COVID began we’d still be dealing with its variants two years later? It has changed us in ways we sometimes don’t recognize.

It’s Friday afternoon, so time to quit. I hope you-all have a good weekend. And if you’re braving the occasional choppy waters found on dating sites, best of luck to you! Remember to keep your sense of humor and embrace the adventure.

Love and light-


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