I really had no intention of writing this post. There are so many other things I’d rather write about – which may very well be the reason I’m sitting here writing.
Do you ever feel like you’re the pawn in some huge cosmic game? I’ve felt that in so many areas of my life in the last few years. The build up of hope (which is not something that happens easily these days…) followed by the inevitable disappointment. I realize that some of that is a control thing – I like feeling in control of my immediate environment. I like knowing the answers. It’s frustrating when things don’t go as planned. But, in one area of my life, the ‘game’ has gone well beyond frustration. It sucks – it hurts. I wonder if it’s even worth it anymore…but that goes directly against the desire of my heart. So do I keep playing the game or do I pretend that I don’t really want what I’ve wanted for so long?
I never dreamed that I’d be 37 and still single. It kills me that I’ve been saying that same thing for about 10 years. I HATE being single. Don’t get me wrong, I’m fully aware of the benefits to being single. I’m just tired of them. My desire is, and always has been, to be married. There was a time when I couldn’t admit that to myself or anyone else because it would mean admitting and connecting to the emotions that are tied to that. Before I moved here, I had other people around me who understood those emotions and struggles. I haven’t really had that here – which just makes me feel isolated and in the middle of that ‘game’.
As of May 9, 2012, the online dating industry has an annual revenue of $1.049 billion (clearly, I’m in the wrong business…). 17% of marriages began by meeting online. An additional 20% of committed relationships began online. Since 2006, approximately 40 million people have tried online dating sites. I personally know people who have met someone online (spouse or committed relationship). It is simply normal in today’s world to turn to online dating sites to find the person you’re looking for.
I first started looking online almost five years ago. There have been stretches of time when I didn’t pay any attention to them, but I’ve mostly been a regular on many of the sites. I live in an area that is highly populated by families, making it difficult to meet single men. Even though I know I’m living where I’m supposed to be living, the reality of this area being mostly families adds to the ‘game’ feeling. There aren’t a lot of options to meet other singles, so I’m online.
Of course, all I’ve really found online are more games. There’s a guy who sparked some interest until he admitted he was married. He emails me every once in a while to see if I’ve changed my mind about dating a married man. Um…yeah, aside from all of my other issues with it, I want to get married so dating a married man would make sense…
I can’t date a guy who smokes because smoke makes me physically sick. A guy contacted me, and his profile said he smokes. I asked him about it (thinking there was a chance he was trying to quit), and he said, ‘Yeah, I know your profile says you can’t date someone who smokes, but I didn’t think you were serious. Everyone lies on these things.’ Really? What exactly are you lying about, and what’s the point of trying to find someone if you’re misrepresenting who you are?
A guy that I wasn’t interested in kept emailing me over and over. He told me that I should be interested in him because he was a member of MESA. I asked him what MESA was. His response was, ‘MESA is an organization for geniuses.’ Oh, you mean MENSA…sorry, you may be too intelligent for me. I finally had to tell him that I rented from a cop so he should really stop stalking me.
It’s hard to tell a little about yourself on profiles. A few sentences can’t really describe a person. I often put something at the end of my profile like, ‘Feel free to ask me anything.’ Here is a word for word response I got recently: ‘Yea, I’ll ask you something, how did you get so ugly?!! Why don’t you go back to Iowa where you belong!! We don’t need your kind of Midwestern White Trash out here!!‘ The cool thing is that not too long ago, that would have actually bothered me – a lot. But I don’t care about the words – just that it’s another play in the ‘game’.
I used to have a picture of me & a friend on my profile. It wasn’t my main picture, but I like to put other pictures up that show a little of who I am and what’s important to me. A guy contacted me and said, ‘Is your friend single?’
I have a difficult time with the concept of long distance relationships. If I build trust with someone & then there is distance – that I understand. But to try and truly know someone and build trust when you can’t spend regular time with someone…that doesn’t work for me. I know there are people who have made that situation work, but I’m not wired in a way that would be conducive to that. I need to spend time with someone to really get to know who they are (and for them to know me). Apparently, that’s not normal because no one seems to understand it.
For the first time in my life, I believe that I have something to offer. I have a confidence that I never had before. But there’s a part of me that wonders, ‘Does it matter?’ Will I ever find someone who is willing to take the time to know that? Will I find someone who will make all the ‘games’ worth it? Or is it easier to just pretend that it doesn’t matter – that I’m ok with being single?