Category Archives: Online Dating

Online Dating Actually Worked

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As printed in the 8/25/15 Edition of the Cincinnati Enquirer
http://www.cincinnati.com/story/opinion/contributors/2015/08/25/opinion-online-dating-actually-worked/32332747/

When I wrote about the challenges of online dating several months back in The Enquirer, I didn’t expect all the emotions and backlash that would come along with it.

I received support and encouragement from those who could “feel my pain,” and name calling and mean-spirited comments from others. I received several Facebook friend requests and date propositions. That was definitely not the purpose of voicing my frustrations with online dating.

However, I also never expected to be where I am right now.

I had been on and off several different dating websites over the last few years. I was on the free ones, the paid ones, the popular ones, the obscure ones. And while I met some great guys and have gained friendships from my experiences, nothing really panned out romantically, and I was getting frustrated.

Maya Angelou once said, “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” Truer words have never been spoken. My attitude toward online dating was that there were no good guys out there (“Where are good guys? Not on dating sites” Feb. 24). After two years of trying and failing, I was ready to give up.

But I didn’t give up. Instead, I changed my tune. And not only did I change my tune, I changed my approach. Instead of taking a passive approach to searching for love online, I became proactive and stepped out on the limb I was scared of the most. I didn’t wait idly by, hoping that someone would approach me first. I put aside my longstanding fears of rejection and made the first move and messaged a guy online.

All the proverbial dating advice I was getting from seemingly everyone I came into contact with was starting to come to fruition. Timing is everything, and when I least expected it, I took the plunge, and I met him.

I’m so thankful for this man who has come into my life. He’s not perfect, and we already know that I’m far from perfect. But he’s just what I needed. He keeps me grounded and lets me vent when I need to. He has helped me see a different perspective on life, and for that I’m thankful. He keeps me laughing, and he tries to keep me from taking everything too seriously. Hey, it’s a work in progress!

Together we have survived a family vacation where he met around 40 members of my extended and immediate family in a span of five days. He’s met my children – a first in my two years of being single – and they adore him and have a blast together. I’ve met some of his family, and we have all hit it off. Imagine that! Online dating worked for me.

We may not know what the future holds, but I’m thankful for each day that we have together. I’m excited to see where the road of life takes us and as long as he’s by my side, I’m more content and happy than I could have imagined.

Now, while I still believe that online dating is a crap shoot and sometimes it’s just the luck of the draw, I now believe that sometimes you have to step out of your comfort zone and risk being rejected and hurt. I’ve been rejected and hurt several times over the last several years, and it’s a horrible feeling. But, sometimes you have to take big risks.

This one paid off for me.

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Stop Panhandling Online Daters

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As printed in the 6/1/15 Edition of the Cincinnati Enquirer
http://www.cincinnati.com/story/opinion/contributors/2015/06/01/stop-panhandling-online-daters/28301135/

Can you even imagine taking to the internet to ask strangers for money? Now, I’m not talking about for a good cause, such as a family down on their luck and have had a recent health diagnosis and no insurance.

I’m talking about women asking men for rent money, looking for free drinks and meals and an easy way out, misrepresenting all of their online intentions. You don’t think that’s possible? Think again!

Many women perusing online dating sites are giving us seemingly good girls a bad name.

When I wrote my article about how I’m having a hard time finding a good guy online (“Where are good guys? Not on dating sites” Feb. 24), I had comments coming out of the woodwork about how the women are just as bad. Now, being a woman searching for a man, I had no experience with those situations, but believe me, I’ve had plenty of examples shared with me since then.

Take, for example, my one friend who chatted up a girl on one of the dating websites. They started talking and within about 20 minutes, she was asking him for $100 to pay her rent. She said she wished she was his girlfriend, and then continued to hound him for rent money. He obviously declined and sent her packing.

And yet another friend went out with a woman who told him that she was on the dating site just to get free meals. She’s a single mother and times are tough and she needed food. I’m hoping that she at least ordered the unlimited pasta and breadsticks so that she had a doggy bag to bring home to her children that she’s unable to provide meals for.

Or my one friend who has been through a series of unfortunate dating circumstances, some just too unbelievable for words. From a woman who admitted on the first date she was still married, but her husband didn’t mind if she brought guys home, to the one that broke the news on the first date that she had just gotten out of a nine-year relationship … with a woman … the week before this date, to the one that during dinner constantly talked about the bedroom antics of a previous boyfriend.

Seriously, ladies? What is wrong with these scenarios? Why do you think that it’s acceptable to act like this and work a shady angle, under the guise of a person truly seeking to find companionship and love online? For those of us that have searched for a real relationship, you are really giving us a bad name, and leaving a very sour taste in the mouths of those gentleman who are sincere and honest in their quest for love.

Dating is a crap shoot. Let’s just be honest about it. Meeting an appropriate mate online or in similar channels is hit or miss. Some have been lucky in online love. Many more have been unlucky, repeatedly. Just as I’ve experienced that it only takes a few bad seeds to ruin it for the seemingly good guys who are out there. The same goes for these less-than-desirable women giving the good girls a run for their money – quite literally, it would seem.

Men and women both fall prey to the lure of online dating. The choices are endless. The possibilities go on and on. It’s new, it’s flashy, it’s fun. It’s exciting to anticipate new messages and attention from the opposite sex. Yet, we still fail to find someone. It’s overwhelming to weed through the good, the bad, and the proverbial ugly, even harder when the chips are stacked against us by those just playing the game.

Where Are the Good Guys….Not Online!

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As printed in the 2/23/15 Edition of the Cincinnati Enquirer
http://www.cincinnati.com/story/opinion/contributors/2015/02/23/good-guys-dating-sites/23884793/

Dating for the single woman is hard.
Dating for the single mother is even harder.
Dating for the single mother whose sole provider of dating candidates is the Internet, impossible.

When I found myself single again 20 months ago, I thought dating would be a breeze. I thought meeting a good guy would be a simple task. I mean, all my friends had done just that, so this should be a piece of cake. Right?

What was I thinking?

First there is the guy who tells me he’s still thinking of his ex during our date and then calls his buddy and makes plans to go out with him after he drops me off at my car. Then there’s the guy who cancels our date to a Reds game 3 hours before because he decides I don’t challenge him enough. I guess I shouldn’t have held on to that Draw 4 card during our Uno game as long as I did.

Another one comes over to pick me up for dinner and tells me that his daughter found a kitten on the side of the road, so he might have to leave to help her with that. He then proceeds to talk to his fantasy football teammate while texting his daughter about the cat all the while not acknowledging my existence – only to leave 20 minutes later and never contact me again. Yet another guy says he got called into work even after working a 20-hour shift and having four Jameson and Cokes during our meal. I could write a best-selling novel after all of these dating disasters.

I’m hard-pressed to find a man who fits my idea of the perfect gentleman. Maybe I’m just too picky. Maybe I believe that a man should encompass certain characteristics. Maybe I’m just old-fashioned. Someone once told me that I should lower my standards when looking to find a mate. Well, if that were the case, I would have stayed married.

Having a small circle of friends and acquaintances hasn’t helped the dating prospect pool get much deeper, either. And with an unconventional shared custody schedule, having a “life” outside of work and children seems virtually impossible. Add to the mix a dating roster that is less than second or even third string, and this single girl is striking out.

I’ve heard all the proverbial dating advice.

“It’ll happen when you least expect it.”

“If it’s meant to be, it’ll be.”

“When you aren’t looking, that’s when it’ll happen.”

And what’s ironic is that the people giving me the most advice about having someone in my life and being content with being single are either married or in a relationship.

Honestly, who has time to be on multiple dating websites and keep up with all the communication, or lack of communication, that happens? With virtually hundreds of different dating sites out there, how do you know which one is going to be “the one” that finally assists you in finding your soul mate? But without the aid of dating websites, where can I turn?

I’m far from a perfect partner. I can be clingy. I can have higher expectations in a relationship than I should. I can be overbearing. But I never claimed to be anyone that I’m not. I’m still a single woman on a quest to find love. I’m a forever hopeless, yet hopeful, romantic, hopeful that love is out there and hopelessly trying to find it, seemingly in all the wrong places.