Way back in the thick of the divorce proceedings my lawyer told me that she advises her clients not to date until at least six months after their divorce is finalized. My response was something along the lines of “Six more months once this is done? But we’ve been separated for well over a year now.”
It wasn’t that I was in a hurry to get out there and start dating but that just seemed like a long time to wait after an already long time of being alone and not much fun.
Really I just wanted some fun.
She sent me a couple articles about dating during divorce and why not to. They made sense, saying stuff about healing and messiness, hurting your former partner’s feelings, and whatnot. I got it.
Plus my lawyer is a pretty smart lady and seems to know what she’s talking about most the time .
Not that I wish I was back in the midst of the divorce mess but I do miss talking to her on an at least weekly basis.
For the most part I took my lawyer’s advice and just laid low for a few months, spent some time healing and adjusting. If you’re a regular reader I’m sure you’re aware it’s an ongoing process and far from complete. Truthfully I knew I wasn’t even ready to start thinking about dating. Sure I was (and am) lonely but I still felt like such a mess inside and was dealing with that and learning to be okay with and by myself. Frankly, the idea of sharing this mess (or even letting someone else see it) was a little terrifying. It still is.
Lately though things have been changing and it’d been five months since the divorce was finalized. As I’m starting to accept that my life is what it is I find myself feeling ready to move forward. So I took the first tentative steps into the strange new (to me) world of dating.
I created a profile on an online dating site.
I don’t get out much and have a wicked shy streak when it comes to talking to people I don’t know.
And by people I mean any guy I’m even remotely interested in.
Let’s just say I’m the master of the deer in the headlights look.
It’s no good for meeting new people. Plus I have this crazy seven night in a row work schedule and a bunch of kids that are pretty demanding of my time combined with a severe lack of single friends (or maybe just available friends) to play wing man; it was very clear that online dating was going to be my best bet for now.
Creating a profile was almost painful. Like many people, I just don’t like writing about myself or putting personal information out there. Plus what the heck are you supposed to say on these things? But I did try and came up with something appropriately vague and mildly clever.
Finding an acceptable picture or two to use in my profile was another small hurdle. I have next to no decent pictures of just me especially since they recommend you use accurate pictures and I cut a lot of hair off last year. Putting pictures of me with my kids on a dating website seems weird and maybe a little counter productive. That kind of thing might work for guys (Awww, look at that nice, caring nurturing man with his kid (or puppy). Clearly he is good
mating/father dating material.)
I’m pretty sure a woman with a picture of a kid does NOT evoke the same kind of reaction from a guy.
But thanks to the wonder of photo cropping I found a couple of good enough pictures to hack my kids out of and use. None of them are great, a couple are post run pictures and I am wearing sunglasses in all three of them.
However that has not seemed to make a difference.
Guess what…People like me (online people at least). I get at least a few messages everyday…well, everyday that I go online.
Sure many of them are the type of people who message with a simple “Hi” or “How are you?” And don’t seem to be able to or want to say anything after that.
(I thought the point here was to meet people and discern whether or not you wanted to meet them in person and possibly date them. How does that work if you don’t “talk” to them?)
Or the type of people who open with lines like “Hey there girl you’ve got a rocking bod.” followed with “what you doin’ this morning?”
(I’m pretty sure that’s code for Want to come have sex with me right now? ….Uh, nope, not so much.
Maybe that’s a product of being online late at night/very early in the morning. That’s when most those messages come through.)
One guy messaged “Hey sexy wyd luv ur smile an bod lol im bored in (a town near where I live) lol”
(Seriously? I know using proper grammar can be a challenge sometimes but do people not even use full words anymore? I thought you were trying to impress me here!)
That’s a little better than the people who lead with something vulgar (I’ll spare you any actual quotes on this one…use your imagination).
Maybe not though, at least with them you know exactly what they’re looking for straight off. They’re definitely not hiding anything.
Some guys do have slightly better lines like “I also wanted to write you because I liked the fact you have a nice look to you. I like to call it “classic beauty” Very nice if you don’t mind me saying. :)”
Or my favorite “You’re the most beautiful woman on this site.”
(Yeah, that’s just statistically improbable…especially since I didn’t even use good pictures.)
One guy did compliment my use of adjectives.
I really liked that.
Overall the quantity (if not the quality) of attention I’ve gotten in my fledgling attempt at online dating has been a nice little ego lift. Sometimes I sit back and think to myself (and maybe out loud to my co-blogger) “Jeez, imagine the result I’d be getting if I had actually found good pictures to use. Maybe some where I’m not wearing running clothes or even have clean hair and make-up on.”
In all fairness, I’m not that great at messaging people either. It’s hard to figure out what to lead in with when you only have a few lines in a profile write up to work with. I’ve said things like “You live in (the same town as me) and can’t stand Country music? You may be a rarity. Also, a fully functional brain is usually more of a dating profile asset than a shirtless pic.”
or “So you say you love dogs but you don’t have one. What’s up with that? Do you want mine? She can be kind of annoying sometimes and I’m tired of feeding her.
P.S.- That was just a joke. I would never give my dog to a stranger.”
I’ve even been known to say things like “You sure are pretty but you don’t say much.” when there really is nothing in their profile. (Don’t worry I was only that lame once and I blame a special kind of tiredness that produces a unique level of ridiculousness in me.)
For some reason none of those guys responded to the messages I sent them…at all. Nothing.
Clearly I am no online dating Don Juan either.
But I figure if someone responds well to such odd attempts to start a conversation they’re probably worth talking to.
It’s even worked a few times. I’ve had some fun back and forths, a few good conversations, and have even gotten some actual real life dates.
That’s right, dates with real in person people (only two, don’t get too excited).
Nothing spectacular but it’s a start and that’s something.