With all the online dating apps available, Tinder, OkCupid, POF, it is more than likely that you will be meeting a prospective mate this way. However, like a lot of social media outlets on line dating also can give a girl a false sense of security and intimacy. It is easy to liken a couple hundred brief texts, (LOL.. How was your day?, I know what you mean my divorce was nasty too!) into a ready-made commitment.
I have met guys online and I have noticed a few things about them, about myself, and about our interactions. I was married for 15 years and we lived together 2 years before marriage. I had my first child at age 25 with 2 more to follow. We divorced when I was 41 so I had a very limited amount of dating experience before marriage. I am giving you this personal history so you know where I am coming from. I am guessing a lot of you reading this are like me – divorced with kids, fairly long marriages, and starting over in your forties. When I started posting online profiles I assumed the following about the potential guys I might meet (which shows you have naïve I am).
1. Men were being as honest as I was being (which I was being 100 percent at that time)
2. When men marked “looking for a serious relationship” I assumed they were
3. Their profile pictures were current and really them
4. When they said “divorced” they were! Not just separated (or married!).
5. Men in my age range would be seeking me out.
One year into online dating and I realized that I was very wrong about items one through five! I took a break and removed my profile. However, I was lonely and did not know how to meet anyone. I joined MeetUp and thought that might help, but with my schedule and my kids needs it did not work at all. I would never consider going to a bar by myself. It was not in my nature and not in my past experiences either. I went back online armed with new knowledge about the guys and determined not to “put all of myself out there.”
This is what I noticed about online interactions (at least mine and my prospective guy dates). I noticed right away that if you let e-mails, texts, etc. become sexually charged they will – immediately. I did have some guys come right out and say to me, “Can I come over to your place?” Me, “no.”
Finally, I realized a lot of things about myself during this online dating process. Just like in my marriage my need to please, my need to “make things right” came right back with every guy I met online. I was not able to be true to myself like I really wanted to be. I rushed into things also with a few guys.
I had lunch with one gentleman and it went ok. We went out again. The third date he made me dinner at his place and later that night asked me to stay over! I was like what? I did not stay but what I did do was start compromising myself. I wanted a partner. We went out on a few more dates. Against my inner voice, I let him stay over my place one night. I hated it. Halfway through the night I got up and moved to the couch. He came after me and wanted me back to bed with him. I wanted to throw him out. I didn’t.
The more confident woman I was starting to become after my divorce was dwindling back to the scared 20-something girl I use to be. I could not be bold and tell him that this was moving too fast.. too soon… and I did not have strong feelings for him. I was starting to feel suffocated. The sex was totally off for me… he sweated profusely during it and I found that disgusting. This was only a two month relationship but with all the texts, etc it felt like we really knew each other. I was home during a bad snowstorm and I noticed he kept calling me. I ignored his calls. The next thing I knew he was knocking at my door with a frozen meal for two in his hand and expecting to stay with me until the roads cleared. I wanted to shut the door in his face but I let him in. Another night wishing I was either alone or with my kids.
The next day I resolved to end it. And, of course, did not have the courage to just call him and tell him. I sent him a long email about why this was not working for me. I guess if we met online we could break up online. He did not take it well. He too had fallen into the quick intimacy of online dating. I actually went through this one more time with a different guy before I called it quits and did not go any dating sites for a year or more. I focused on my kids, my job, moving to a nicer apartment and felt much better since the first day of my separation.
Eight months ago I posted a totally new profile and was Ms. Picky. I was polite to everyone and answered them but immediately blocked anyone who mentioned sex in the first interaction. I met a wonderful guy and let the relationship go at this pace – Mr. Slowsky. We are still dating.
So be careful about the false sense of intimacy online dating can provide. It can be a great way to meet someone (I am proof of that) but you have to be emotionally ready. Take it slow – there is no finish line in sight.
Have you tried online dating?
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