If you are single after fifty and still have dreams of meeting the one what options do you have? Online is the future my lad! Bah humbug I say! Never in a million years did I believe you would catch me online trolling for a date. There is something innately creepy and desperate about looking at pictures of strangers online to determine if they will be the one. If it were so easy to pick an el husbandido I would have scooped up the handsome horseman Nacho whom I recently saw playing at a Polo match. Talk about Prince Charming. Too bad he's already somebody else's el husbandido - in fact, she is an equally adorable model. Some girls have all the luck... I bet she didn't have to go online to meet Nacho.
Hollywood ruined it for all of us.
'Some enchanted evening you may see a stranger across a crowded room and somehow you know that somewhere you'll see him again and again...'
And it is for this exact reason I can't seem to wrap my head around online dating. The wooing gets lost in cyberspace and there is nothing organic about the process. Instead of feeling little bubbles inside of me when I meet someone I am relegated to feeling like an item sitting on the shelf of a grocery store waiting to be placed in a basket and head towards the checkout.
Trying desperately to buy into the online dating concept (let's face it, it's really not dating, it's trying to sell you and your personality to millions of online peeping Toms! Okay, yes, I'm a little skeptical) I spoke with a girlfriend who shared her great success with online dating.
"I'm having the most fun I have ever had! I have oodles of men to choose from and they are all educated, handsome and fun..."
Miss Online Dating enthusiast cooed of all her conquests. Admittedly, she is a bit of a huntress, tossed in with a mild dose of narcissism, thereby, making her opinion less reliable. I have another friend who met her current husband online and yet another girlfriend who has a date lined up every weekend via online.
Geez, maybe I should reconsider this whole online dating thing? My hesitation felt so much more complex than these girls' cavalier attitude of dating so many strangers, yes, complete strangers! Excuse me, but I am really choosy. I can't even pick out a pair of shoes online let alone a man. Huntress told me about her secret weapon; she hired a cyber Cyrano de Bergerac who manages her online profile on numerous dating websites, weeds through the riff raff, reaches out and lures in the unsuspecting men she chooses for her clients. Is this kinda like shuffling through the garbage to find a treasure?
Ms. de Bergerac literally responds to her client's emails, coaches them about how to behave on dates, on phone calls, etc. and will even tweak your wardrobe if she feels you need a makeover to draw in a man. I spoke to Huntress' friends who have all hired Cassie, her real name, and they swear by her. Cassie and her business model piqued my curiosity so I decided to interview some of her clients who were happily swimming in puddles of men.
First, there was Vassar girl from back east; widowed, 52 years old (although her online profile says 49; always a good way to start any relationship... by lying upfront), and she was looking for 'The One.' She said she needed to do a lot of work on herself, redefine herself as a single person; she also needed a dating coach and says, Cassie provided all of this for her. After coming up with her list of qualifications and months of working with Cassie she was receiving 3-4 proper dates per week. I'm exhausted at the thought of going on that many dates with different strangers per week... Then I spoke with Jenna; fifty something, newly divorced, looking to remarry or at the very least, looking to feel happy again... If only she knew that no man will ever 'complete her' and that happy resides inside of her not her computer screen... Jenna, through the magic of the Internet and with the help of Cyrano met a nice guy who treated her like a fairy princess. No, they are no longer together -- not surprised -- but, her confidence is back and she is going on regular dates.
Okay, sign me up! Strictly for journalistic reasons (wink, wink) I decided to work with Cassie. Lot's of profiles later, I finally went on my first date with a really terrific guy, but he wasn't my match. Recycle I say! I told Cassie about him and she had another client to set him up with. Those two are now happily in a committed relationship.
Score! Cyrano: 1 Me: -1
Next, spoke with a couple of men via the phone; Guy one tells me within the first ten minutes of speaking with him, a complete stranger: "My ex-wife has a personality disorder and she was very mean, so, I divorced her." Need I say more? I didn't think so.
Next guy, same scenario; within the first fifteen minutes of the phone call he tells me his ex-wife had a personality disorder and may have committed suicide. MAY HAVE??? What does that mean? You're either pregnant or your not. No way am I going on a date with this guy because I am sure there is duct tape and a shovel in the trunk of his car...
A few more phone calls with the same lines: "my ex has a personality disorder." Since when did we all become desktop licensed therapists with the ability to diagnose our exes?
Me: -15 Clearly I'm on a loosing streak...
I'm ready to throw in the white flag when Cassie phones: "I have the perfect guy for you!" Where have I heard that before?? "No, really, you have to go out with him!" Why not, I've come this far... So, Jeff sends me a text:
"Hi Agi, although you come highly recommended and you are beautiful I just feel the geographical distance is too much. Best of luck, Jeff"
"Hi Jeff, thank you for your candor! Best of luck to you, Agi"
Jeff: "Well, to be completely honest, I had high hopes you would push back and tell me how you would see the long distance thing working out! My concern is that we hit it off then what, we start the two hour commute?"
Dude, we are only divided by two hours not two continents!
Me: "Jeff, I'm not here to convince you otherwise. Life just works. Sounds like the distance bothers you. Hey, I'm not the only fish in the sea..."
Jeff decided I was worth putting aside his hang up with the distance and we are meeting for coffee soon... to be continued...
What I am learning through this process is to just have fun. As a fifty something year old I am not looking to have babies, therefore, marriage is not at the top of my list. Having a happy, fun filled life however, is very much a priority. The truth is where else are you going to meet other single people? At a bar - yuck! We can't take it so seriously, another words, every person you ping online doesn't mean you have to marry him or her. Just have fun. Who knows you just might meet the one...online...
Finally, I'd like to offer my own piece of dating advice: Do not discuss your ex anything on your first phone call, first date, second, third or at least until you know whether or not you even like this person. I have news for you; nobody is interested in hearing about your dirty laundry.
Take great care my friends ~