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Dating Again
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spacer Well, so start yet another topic for me. Dating. BLETCH! After so long in the married world (11 years), plus another block in the "getting over the married world" (3 years), dating is a very foreign idea, at best.

When I first announced to some of my friends and acquaintances that I was divorcing, the first advice was to go have a retaliatory one night stand. To this day, I have no idea why that particular person opened their mouth. To say the least, I'd not been having a very satisfying love life for quite some time, but to complicate my situation seemed the stupidest thing that anybody could have said to me at that juncture. Still seems horribly shallow.

Later, others suggested I go hang out in a bar or two with them. In my situation, doing the bar-scene is just out of the question. What do you find in bars, anyway people? Drunks. This is not a good hunting grounds for having a meaningful relationship ever again. Even the local "Duds and Suds" (a combination coin-operated laundromat and bar) didn't sound appealing. So that was out.

I had always been advised to avoid dating any coworkers, for fear of messing up a perfectly sane job. This rung as true to me, even before I hired on to my current employer, so I avoided the two or three women there totally.

During my divorce recovery phase, I attended many divorce workshops. Here again, there were few women who seemed to be far enough along the process to even approach as possible dating material. Not to say I didn't try. One of my first and really only early experiences came off poorly for both of us. Neither of us were really ready, were healed enough, nor willing to threaten our friendship with the possibilities at the time. Not to say that the lady involved wouldn't make someone a fine catch, but there simply wasn't bait enough in the world at that time.

So I hunkered down and did the work associated with the divorce workshops I was attending. I went on team with the Oklahoma City Beginning Experience Team and tried to do even more work on myself there. In short, there was lots of crying, lots of journaling, lots of discoveries (both good and bad), but it was all worth it.

Now, having worked on myself to a point where I'm pretty happy with me, just as I am, I find the dating world facing me yet again. As I surveyed the various services (match.com, Yahoo!Personals, date.com, singleslibrary.com, and emode.com, love.org, CatholicSingles.com ), I became aware of just how weird this must seem to an alien to our planet. Here we have every self-help book, psychologist, etc. saying "just be yourself" and yet to use one of these services, you have to do anything and everything to make yourself stand out among the crowd. I read one ad that summed it up pretty much like:

...I hate talking about myself... ...when all we are all really doing is saying "pick me, pick me!"...

Well, I took the same road with all of these services. I spoke my mind about what I felt I was like, and I listed in fairly direct terms what I was looking for in a date/mate. As per the PREPS group's research, finding a good mate is basically defined as to actions. Finding someone who is VERY similar to yourself and two, learning how to resolve conflicts in a mature way. In any case, stereo typically, when I hit the "search" button to find my match, it came back with very few returns. Two or three within a 100-mile radius sorts of numbers.

Next came the doubt. Should I "settle" on some of the requirements just so that I'd have someone to talk with? Should I increase the radius to see if anybody in their respective systems match?

That's when it hit me. I may well be alone for a very long time. This realization was both driven home by the search systems, as well as my instances that a future date/mate match.

Subtopics

  • What I'm looking for in a wife (sorry, but I think I've found whom I've been looking for)
  • Ladies, what the bleep are you looking for
  • Service Comparisons, or what do I get for $25/month?

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