Tag Archives: dating

Still the Same [dating story]

Haven’t poasted one of these in a while, eh? Don’t worry, there are more. That’s a threat and a promise. Better keep checking in. 😉

As always, names are changed to protect the guilty.

This particular story is an example, as if one is necessary, that people don’t change. My vast amount of experience haz taught me very little, but I finally glommed onto that nugget. It’s not 100%, but it’s damned close. If someone does a thing once, chances are good that is who they are. There are exceptions due to extenuating circumstances, but they’re rare enough that we can feel safe using this rule of thumb. Well, I can. Do what you will.

Early into my dating adventures I met a man on OKCupid I clicked with. Let’s call him Bob (for Bob Seger’s song “Still the Same“). Bob was handsome and intelligent. He lived in Los Angeles, but unlike every other man in L.A., he didn’t freak out about the distance and driving on the 405 to meet me. In fact, he approached me on the site. Also, unlike most guys, Bob enjoyed texting and emailing. We exchanged loads of messages without him bugging me for the first phone call. Finally, we did chat on the phone and it went really well. But he confessed something: he wasn’t actually divorced, not even legally separated (though “emotionally” he had been for ages, natch), and he hadn’t even moved out of the house he owned with his wife cuz their finances were “complicated” bla de bla. If I had a dollar for every one of these guys, I could buy a house. Well, maybe a condo. Okay a steak dinner for two. At Morton’s!

I told Bob that I was legally divorced and not interested in dating a married man (BTDT, didn’t get a tee shirt). He understood, but said we should meet anyway “just to see.” I didn’t want to see. What was there to see? I didn’t care how much chemistry we might have over lunch ~ why did that matter? He was still married; he hadn’t even filed papers yet. He said that was imminent, as soon as his wife would cooperate on the money things. Sure. I got that. I said when this happened, and he had his own place, we could haz lunch. We kept interacting online and via text because we had built up a good rapport. But finally he faded away, as they do.

Jump to a year and half later. I was back on OKC. And… so was Bob! At first, I was happy to see him. He had a new screen name and photo. I thought maybe he had divorced and all was cool ~ I remembered our great rapport in writing and got my hopes up for a mo. We began to chat. And… guess what? He had become entangled in an almost identical situation! He was divorced. He had bought a new place. And now he had a new girlfriend living with him, they weren’t happy, and he was already on dating sites behind her back. Ughhh! WTF? Why would he do such a stupid thing to himself?

Because people do what they do. They can’t help it. They don’t change. Except for me: I gave up dating sites and am an exception to my own rule. You can take that to the casino.

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My Trophy Life

For a long time, I thought I was doing online dating incorrectly and that’s why I was always so unhappy about it. Whenever I’d poast about it here, that feeling would be reinforced by all the (well-meaning) advice I received. I’ve deleted most of those poasts because they and their comments annoyed me in retrospect. After five and a half years of online dating (including some breaks), I gave it up for good around a year ago. As it turns out, I wasn’t doing it wrong ~ it’s just wrong for me and many others like me. Millions of people. Not talking about the creepy process of selecting our dates by specs like we buy a TV off Amazon, though that’s horrible enough. Not even talking about the brutal way we reject people because they have a scratch and we think we deserve a flawless model no matter how imperfect we are ourselves, nope. Talking about this:

Last year, Match.com released a volunteer-based study on recent dating trends. Although the survey wasn’t scientific, the results were revealing. Almost one in six singles (15%) reported feeling addicted to the online process of looking for a date. Millennials were 125% more likely to say they feel addicted to dating. Men were 97% more likely to feel addicted to dating than women, but 54% of women felt more burned out by the process. [Source]

It’s addicting for people who get addicted to things, and that’s a lot of people, myself included. Hell, I just became briefly addicted to Spider Solitaire after Windows 10 updated itself and installed it on my machine. OOH WHAT’S THIS? Must play game. I played 135 games. In less than a week. They sent me a notice that I’d flipped over 10,000 cards and I got very excited. It was a gold trophy. SHINY! Got a few more goodies. Then I thought wtf am I doing? I’m supposed to be writing a novel, hello. So, I deleted the entire app from my laptop.

Every time I joined a dating site I told myself I’d just be chill and let things unfold. But that isn’t my way. It’s just not. I had to check out the profile of every man in my area who fit my criteria. I had to try to figure out why someone rejected me if they viewed me and didn’t say hello. I’d make up my own stories about each one. I overanalyzed every chat. If a man criticized me in some way or was drive-by mean, I took it personally. It was hard to shrug that off. On and on. And these were the guys I never even met!

But people with OCD are particularly susceptible to spending too much time fussing over stuff in general (obviously), and for whatever reason technology tends to exacerbate that tendency. Online dating is like a game, isn’t it? Or a job hunt. We are driven to “win” or to achieve a goal, whatever that means to the individual, and we keep playing, clicking, swiping, liking, checking, turning over cards, whatever, until we get that shiny trophy. And then what? Well. There’s a question for another day.

In the meantime, here’s a study from 2016 that links addiction to mobile devices with depression and anxiety. Again, it’s more relevant for people who already have issues with OCD in the first place. An online dating site is that perfectly irresistible magic mix of toxic elements coming together for someone prone to anxiety. Definitely not a safe place for someone like me, which I always suspected. I wasn’t doing anything wrong, except for joining to begin with! Those sites fed my existing problems and that’s why I became miserable while dealing with them.

It wasn’t me; it was them. This last year has been so much better since I gave up online dating, and even better still in the last two months since I left Facebook and Instagram. Onward to more shiny goodness!

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Diamonds, Daisies, Snowflakes…

That Girl!

That Girl

I can’t believe no one guessed the correct answer. Some of you got close with MTM, etc. ~ shows about single brunettes navigating big city life. But alas, nobody got That Girl. I’ve been enjoying reruns on Prime and am just starting the second season. A good friend bought S5 for me as a gift and watching some of those motivated me to start over at the beginning. Okay, let’s discuss…

First, we’ll address the theme song (music only until S5 when lyrics are introduced), which I see via google is not super popular. I guess people hate happy, sappy lists. Does this mean “My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music is hated now too? Bye cream-colored ponies, off you go. We’re tossing the crisp apple strudel right in the trash. What the hell is wrong with lists of nice things? Does every piece of music have to be dark and dystopian with singularity death robots clawing out our livers? Eff that. We can haz nice lists.

Second, That Girl is a nice show about nice people, who mostly do nice things and end up getting into mild predicaments. So, you’re thinking omgawwwd boring. No. You know what I’m bored with? Criminals, jerks, liars, druggies, drunks, narcissists, wackos, and psychopaths. But enough about men from dating sites already, eh? Pffft.

Sometimes it’s just darned good fun to watch a show about normal people negotiating the quotidian. Kind of like Seinfeld, in a way… many of TG’s eps are also about “nothing” or nothing more than the minutiae of daily life gone awry via misunderstandings or miscommunications. This was prior to texting and email, so people have to talk to each other face to face to work things out. This generally resolves an issue quickly rather than our current method of trying to “text it out,” which further mires us in the muck of miscomm. Yes, I realize it’s fictional. 😛

Third, there’s a refreshing absence of sex, drugs, and violence. I’m no prude, but I’m just tired of the emphasis on those three things in entertainment. Once they’re introduced, they tend to dominate the script. Ann and Don are steadily dating, but we haven’t seen them in bed. Good. I don’t want to; it’s uninteresting to me. In one of these early eps, they wade in a stream while picnicking and she remarks that it’s the first time she’s seen his ankles. Why? Because they haven’t slept together or cuz he has sex in his socks or what? The questions crossed my mind, briefly, and I’m happy not to know. There’s a mafia ep where the bad guys end up in a food fight then a fist fight but not a gun fight and it’s hilarious. Etc.

Fourth, surprisingly, these old TG eps offer many situations that are still currently relevant. How to maintain a close relationship with your parents when you move away and choose a different lifestyle. Can you conduct a professional relationship in the same office with someone with whom you’re romantically involved? The struggle of pursuing your low-paying dream while juggling two or more side gigs to make the rent. Etc.

Plus Marlo Thomas is funny. So are Ted Bessell, who plays her boyfriend, and Lew Parker, who plays her father. But many actors could have done these roles, imo, including Marlo’s. This is not to disparage the actors, who are certainly fine, but the writers should get the credit for the show. Always credit the writers! Check out that link… interesting.

K, I’m off for more teevee! 🙂

A Glimmer Is Not Enough

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I’ve been doing more deleting, my peeps. Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram were the big ones, but that was just the beginning of my webhousecleaning.

Actually, that’s not true. I began this back when I dumped all the dating sites for good in 2017. And I’ll tell you something: I do not miss them one bit, nor do I miss dating. It’s the most stressful thing in the world, not fun at all, and I’m sleeping so much better since I quit. Turns out, I do not have insomnia! I had dating-related anxiety. I sleep through the night just fine almost every night now just like back in the old days before I began any of it. Anyway, last month was FB & Co.’s turn to get the heave-ho. But what about the other sites?

I had a Meetup account since 2011 and over the years joined various groups ~ Scrabble, writing, walking, board games, etc.  But my favorite writing group never meets at a time that’s convenient for me now. New groups that sound interesting are always too far away or some other annoying thing. The rest of the groups are too sportsy or too young or too costly or too dating-related or whatever. Every week or so I look in with the glimmer of hope there will be something fun and nopety nope nope. Waste of time. Isn’t my new motto to quit wasting time on things that aren’t productive, healthy, or fun? Yes, I believe it is. A glimmer is not enough to justify time wastery. Meetup account DELETED.

Deleted some Yahoo groups for the same reason and quit getting email notifs from a few otter ones. Why spend time reading things that are of no value? That’s time wastery. For some of that stuff, there isn’t even a glimmer of a chance anything interesting is going to come of it. It’s barely one step above actual SPAM. People I don’t know jabbering about things I don’t care about. WTF am I reading this? Habit, a bad one.

And then I figured that it’s just Not Good to have random idle accounts sitting around “out there” due to nasty hackers, evil Russians, alien pods, and whatnot. So I went on a spree, whacking accounts like DISQUS, Quora, Ello, and various otter sillinesses that I don’t even use or waste time on but don’t need to have my name associated with either. Paranoia, it’s what’s for dinner. You guys forgot about Ello, dincha? 🙂

I’m debating Goodreads. On the one hand, it hardly takes up any time, so it doesn’t count as a waste of same. On the otter hand, I find it vaguely irritating. First it doesn’t let me delete my own books. I have unpublished a few (couple short stories I decided I don’t want as stand-alones, wish to edit them, and then have them as part of my book of longer, connected short stories I hope to have out by the end of this year). So, if you click on the links, they don’t exist. Of course this drives me bonkers. Why can’t I delete them from my bio there? That’s one thing. Second, GR makes me feel compelled to finish a book even when it’s bad so I can have that book added to my book count. Okay, that’s not Goodreads’ fault; that’s my OCD again. Regardless, that’s how it is and being on the site creates this issue. But perhaps this isn’t a bad thing? At least once recently I ended up enjoying a book I wouldn’t have finished otterwise. So, hmm.

Guess I’ll leave GR for meow, but they’re on the watchlist. I’m sure they’re terrified.

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Glimmer

Rush: A Dating Story

My college boyfriend loved Rush. I mean, he loved them. I’d never even heard of Rush until I went to college, since I lived such a sheltered life in Chicago. But then again I was still listening to Diana Ross, Neil Diamond, and Gordon Lightfoot in 1979. I tried to like Rush back then, because that was the kind of girlfriend I was ~ I’m not like that now, which might be why I don’t have a boyfriend these days. I really hated Rush though. I hated the music and I hated the voices. I never could even understand wtf they were screeching until I read the lyrics. Pretty sure CB did not care if I liked them or not. He existed in a selfish bubble, as you would expect of a guy in his late teens. Not that he was a bad person or anything. We didn’t have a whole lot in common but we did have some good times with movies and games and such, and we had similar values.

I dropped out of the University of Illinois (finished my degree later at CSUN), but kept dating CB, long-distance and during his vacations from school, for a couple years. Why, you ask. Who knows, I reply. Looking back, it seems strange. Writing snail-mail letters and yapping on the phone for hours about nothing. Visiting during his free time when both of us could have been meeting new people. We didn’t even have much fun together after the shared college experience was over. It wasn’t terrible or anything, but it wasn’t great either. Finally, I broke up with him using the “drifted apart” reason. He wrote a nice letter back saying goodbye.

I google him periodically ~ he seems to have stayed single as far as I can tell. Most if not all of my exes are single now, as I am. I find that interesting. The men I attempted to form serious long-term relationships with also failed to create/maintain serious long-term relationships with anyone else. Of course that doesn’t preclude the possibility that any one of us could meet someone tomorrow and be with them for the rest of our lives. You never know.

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The Daily Prompt: Rush

App Gap

Ever since I deleted Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger from my phone last week I’ve had an “app gap.” What I mean is that I had two screens of 16 phone apps each, 4×4, all filled in, and now there are two missing from the bottom right of the last screen. I know you can all math, so yes I did “unbundle” my fitness apps or else there would be three missing. I also know you are all laughing at the idea that I have fitness apps. SHUT UP! I am planning on fitnessing at some point, and if that day ever comes, those apps will come in handy.

Initially I thought, hmm, I could d/l some innocuous apps I wouldn’t use much, like solo chess and another boring game, but that sort of defeats the purpose, doesn’t it? My idea is to spend less time involved in distractions from my projects. Without FB, maybe solo chess would suddenly become exciting. You just never know.

Then I had an epiphany. The adorable photo of Gatsby I use for my home screen had been pretty well covered up by my 4×4 app grid, but the two missing apps on the second screen reveal his beautiful golden eye and sweet little pink nose. Plus they remind me how I’m not wasting oodles of time on FB and Messenger meow. Win win! Embrace the gap! (You had no idea how OCD I really was, didja?)

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On a related unrelated note, I stumbled across this article a few days ago (I have a lot more time to actually read the news now, go figure). The advice was written for men by a woman (or someone with a female ‘nym) and says to delete all your dating site apps because they are rigged, not fun, and a waste of time. I agree with this advice 100%, despite being a woman and allegedly having so many more opportunities than men on the sites. Maybe if I were 35 I wouldn’t say “allegedly,” but I’m not, so I am saying it.

If dating were a “numbers game”—if exposure to more people meant dating more people—then people would just go to the nearest concert venue, introduce themselves to as many people as they can, and magically end up with a date. — Sophia Benoit, GQ

Yes, some people have managed to beat the odds and find someone via a dating site blah blah blah. So what? Some people also win the lottery. That doesn’t mean buying a lottery ticket, or 100 of them, is a good use of your time/money/energy.

DELETE ALL THE THINGS! Or don’t, wev. But I wrote four crappy pomes this week for my book of crappy pomes instead of BSing on the Book of Face, and I am feeling gosh-darned great about that.

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Number Jumbo

Some of my friends have been discussing aging, the number itself as opposed to general health. In the past, I was more concerned with the actual number ~ a couple birthdays provoked strong reactions. My 45th was particularly upsetting, although I kept those feelings mainly to myself as they had to do with my disintegrating marriage and there was no one I could talk to about it at the time. My parents always tried to be emotionally supportive and I chatted with them a little, but they were of the generation that believed in staying together no matter what (as they did themselves) and that was not the best path for me. My 50th was stressful as well: I thought I was simply physically ill, but I understand now that it was partly psychological too. My divorce was in progress, though tense, and I was in a highly toxic new relationship. Not a good combo.

Then from October 2011 through 2016 , I had to be concerned with age. Why? Because I was on dating sites. There’s no way not to be obsessed with age if you’re “dating while older.” Most DWO men are obsessed with age, a huge percentage of them desiring much younger women while simultaneously lying about their own age, along with whatever else. (If you’re not one of these guys, great!) It’s really difficult to keep a positive attitude when chatting with the next one who comes along. Even if you stroll onto a site perfectly okay with yourself, your age, looks, education, occupation, personality, et cetera, it takes a really strong, confident woman to maintain that mindset in the face of relentless rejection, criticism, gaslighting, trolling, and the general assholishness of men online. I can’t believe I put myself through that BS for five years.

(Remember, if you’re a non-asshole guy, wonderful! No need to tilt against windmills in my comments. I know there are some of you.)

I spent last year detoxing from dating sites. As an added bonus I no longer stress about age, or spend money trying to look younger. Feh! I just realized this today when some friends mentioned their inner 25 year olds. I told my inner 25 year old to hit the road a while ago. Good riddance, silly girl! I’m almost 57 and that’s a perfectly fine age to be. I’m enjoying it very much, thank you. (Well, not the achiness, but you can’t have everything.)

It’s nice to engage in convos with friends about aging sans the anxiety the topic used to provoke. There are enough stressful subjects otterwise. Like did you know housecats would totally murder you if they were just a bit larger? Oh yes!

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The Daily Prompt: Provoke

Clutter Flutter

Butterfly

I’ve noticed a higher tolerance for disorder in my physical space as my emotional landscape has become much less messy. This has been gradual, so I don’t know exactly when it began, but sometime last year I would guess. I suspect it has to do with giving up dating sites and some other activities that stressed me out. Now a cluttered desk and an unmade bed simply don’t bother me the way they used to. My obsession to compulsively keep my tiny corner of the world super organized and at right angles dissipates as inner peace manifests. Who knew? Ommmm…

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Messy

All or Nothing

 

Hat

I’ve been getting email promos for Renaissance Faire tickets already ~ buy now, months in advance, for a significant discount. I don’t really like to do that because I don’t know which weekend I’ll want to go, or if I’ll feel like going at all. I haven’t even talked about it with friends yet. But I am reminded of when I used to put the RenFaire as an interest on my dating site profile back when and I’d either get men who were completely obsessed with it or who had zero interest whatsoever. It seems that this is the case for so many hobbies ~ all or nothing. There’s no such thing as a mild affection. You must be a total fanatic or absolutely cold. Love or hate. Our hobbies have become as polarized as our politics.

Part of the reason I like the RenFaire is because it’s fun to wear a costume. So, I also enjoy other types of costume parties, but it’s not that big of a deal and if I never go to another one my heart won’t break. But if I do get invited to one sometime, that would be cool too and I’d be all excited about planning the details. Either way is fine.

Years ago I was on OKCupid and began chatting with a man who also enjoyed going to RenFaires, but he was moving somewhere far away like Washington State within the next couple weeks, so I didn’t see any point in meeting him even though we had a lot in common and he was very cute. He thought we should meet anyway, start a long-distance romance, and then I could visit him, yada. Maybe I could move there, or he’d move back.

I passed.

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Costume

Fraud

Snake

My password was strong and newly changed. The security questions were impenetrable. I used the phone authorization code as a double check. But even with all that, the fraud slipped past me, slithered into my life like an icicle serpent, freezing my mind. Anxiety coiled around me day and night, for I never knew which lie would strike next, or if it would change disguises yet again and morph back into something desirable that I could not resist. Like a brave fool, I tried to play with the snake, and got bitten. The toxin is almost out of my system.

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Fraud