This morning my Facebook update said,
“The morning after your ex husband convinces you to sign up for an online dating service. Like buyers remorse only a lot weirder.”
I realize there are several things about that sentence that are strange.
So yes, I hung out with my ex (or, as I like to call him, my former husband) yesterday for the first time in two years. There is no handbook on the ways to go from married to divorced to friends, but there are probably few who could or should do this. Our situation is special for reasons that I won’t share here, but you’re welcome to ask me about in person.
It was so good to catch up with him, to be like friends again. We live very different lives now, but are still family.
And, like family, we chatted about stuff like jobs, challenges, joys and dating. The last was a short story on my part because I don’t really date. He asked if I’d ever tried online dating and I said it had never occurred to me to even consider. So he gave me the skinny. The down-low. And I thought, “Huh. Why not?”
It was interesting last night to fill out a profile and answer questions.
When morning came, it brought with it the realization that I’m a real person and the people on that site are also real people looking for real interaction.
It’s not like I want fake interaction, but it’s kind of like I walked into a new and happening club thinking I was invisible, thinking the place was a life-sized replica and not a real place, with real people who could see me as I walked in the door.
So I sat on the idea all day and tried to understand it philosophically. I considered whether I am actually the kind of woman to go on dates with guys I don’t know. It’s easy to forget my actual opinions about these things since I haven’t been asked on a date by a stranger since the week before I moved to Colorado (two years ago). It’s a rare occurrence for me to be asked on dates at all, actually. I’m pretty sure I’m not a hag or a harpy, so I chalk this up to some kind of unintentional invisibility cloak.
This was my actual thought progression.
I did get several messages from guys today- some too basic to even respond to, some sweet and oddly worded. It made me wonder what kind of training a person normally gets before diving into such a foreign universe. It helped me understand that it’s not my kind of universe.
I’m not criticizing online dating. Certain things about it seem really practical. It makes sense for people who are really sure they want pursue finding this kind of relationship and are willing to get in there and learn the moves.
But for me today, not only did it feel like shopping for humans (and being shopped for), it also helped me realize that while I am open to meeting someone new, I’m not really interested in evaluating or being evaluated by men in this volume. Although there seems to technically be an advantage to all the numbers and data, I would just rather not spend my free time crunching those numbers.
One random thing that played a part in my process was a website a friend shared today called Write A House. I find myself so much more interested in this than in the idea of going on a lot of dates with a lot of men.
I’d also like to learn karate, try my hand at photojournalism for real, get a dog, take Salsa dancing lessons, and hike the Appalachian Trail.
Don’t get me wrong. I like men. But I was so relieved to delete my profile this evening. It was too crowded in that club, anyway.