- Posted January 20, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
The ups and downs of online dating
With This Wing...
With This Wing
I hesitated to pen this report because, quite frankly my foray into the world of online dating holds some painful memories.
But here I am.
Truth be admitted, I wouldn’t have found the love of my life – my husband – in 2009, without those excruciating moments.
I believe e-dating gives the 21st century man and woman the best statistical promise of meeting a lifetime partner, even though the method is flawed.
Let’s rewind to 2005. I had separated from my ex-husband after 14 years of stewing in a chaotic and toxic pot. I needed time to be alone and regroup, but like most newly liberated people, I rushed headlong into other relationships. I did not intend to stay single. Ready – or so I thought – to get on with the better, and second half of the game. I reasoned if one looked long and hard enough, they ought to find their soul mate. No sweat.
Women had never had such options. I’m referring to the ability to quickly sift through scores of potential partner assets and liabilities. Wow. The probability of meeting someone appropriate goes way up. I was pretty and smart, too. That helps…right? Bound to get many date requests.
Not so, as reality opened its arms to me.
I was too thin. I was too fat. I wasn’t electronically adept enough. I was too athletic. Not enough…Too Christian, and not faithful enough.
I must have perused hundreds of profiles on multiple sites. I belonged to Match, Yahoo, EHarmony, Plenty of Fish and others I can’t remember. I probably dated several dozen men, maybe up to fifty. After four years of tears and giving my heart away to too many Romeos, I finally found my sweety!
Girls, guys, here’s a few things this period of time taught me:
a. An image can be worth a thousand words, but not always. People never looked like their picture!
b. A match seemingly “made in heaven” on screen is a mirage.
c. Your catch may not be who you ever dreamed he or she would be, so open your mind!
d. People can be rude and disgusting, prepare yourself.
e. Give it time. A minimum of two dates is necessary to ‘make a ruling’ – that is, unless he/she is so repulsive or so evidently not your type.
I met a handsome man for dinner. He was very complimentary. He drove a fancy, expensive car. Towards the middle of the meal he started pressuring me to have sex. That night. He then told me he lied about his age. He wasn’t fifty, he was sixty (I was 45). Then, he stated if we didn’t have sex (that night) he didn’t want to see me anymore. A “lack of sexual compatibility” was a game breaker for him. He had to know immediately. I was astounded. I kind of agreed with the premise, but usually that detail works itself out, shall we say… naturally! I shook my head, rose and laughed. I would risk my health over someone I’d just met…who lied about their age?
I arranged to meet another man on St. Patrick’s Day at a bar. I got there first, so I stood shivering in a long line snaking out the door, and down the street. Cold, no, freezing, teeth chattering. He had looked very handsome in his picture and said he was an engineer. An old beater put-putted past, and its occupant waving. I wanted to die. “If that was my date,” I thought, “I’m leaving.” I hate rusty cars from the eighties. But not a biggie. Please, though, don’t embarrass me.
Five minutes later he showed up, sporting an angry, blotchy red face. Pimpled and puckered. “Didn’t you see me? I was waving at you!” I inwardly groaned. As we stood in line it didn’t take long to figure out this guy wasn’t for me. His anxious words spilled out rapidly. I myself had a nervous constitution. My stress level grew by the minute. I suggested we go somewhere else because the line hadn’t moved. We agreed he’d follow me.
Driving away, I realized I didn’t need to do this. I didn’t see an anxious future.
Five minutes later I pulled off the freeway into a parking lot, got out of the car and went to speak to him over his rolled down window. I told him I was going home; this wasn’t working. As I spoke, he grew exceedingly angry. He started screaming. “I reserved the whole night for you!” (that sent a chill down my spine!) It descended into “you b___, you don’t even know me, how can you judge me?” I walked away after two minutes of this. He initially followed me on the freeway and then turned off. Scared out of my mind, I went home and had a few drinks.
The first date with my husband was intriguing. Women, I did not think he was THE guy when I met him. Nothing particularly attracted me to him (now changed!) Nope. I can’t recall his profile revealing much of anything. I liked the fact he was a professional, appeared financially stable and had a motorcycle.
I beat him at miniature golf wearing heels and a dress after work. We had a glass of wine and he joked “maybe someday you’ll end up going to Saudi Arabia with me.”
He had my attention. I love to travel.
He mentioned maybe meeting for a date the next weekend. No call the following week. Darn. He’d caught my attention. He was different from all the others.
A coworker suggested I text him, something short and sweet. “Ok, I guess.” I hated chasing men. He responded.
The next day he showed up on his bike. “We could go to German Fest or the Airshow. What do you want to do?” My heart went thumpity thump. “…you.. like planes?”
Yup, he was the guy for me! I knew it! As we blasted down the freeway, I bent to smell his neck. Mmmm. It was good. Very good.
The ultimate confirmation came at our wedding. (And, by the way, I didn’t get the proposal I always wanted, it was very ‘engineer’)… “Well, if you are going to move to Florida with me and need insurance, we should just get married.” How romantic. Damn practical.
We had a simple, civil ceremony. Our adult kids and two neighbors, Rita and Wayne. There was my high IQ honey, blushing. He stumbled on his tongue. “With this wing…” his words came out all mixed up. And not on purpose. I started cracking up. Then he crossed his eyes in his dopey manner.
This is the man I love.
And I would never had met him if I hadn’t hung in there.
In conclusion, the advent of web-based match sites has ushered us into a blessed new era. Especially for women. We don’t have to wait on the sidelines anymore, pining away for a signature on our dance card. We have some control over our future and more choices than ever before.
P.S. …we’re not headed for Saudi. We’re headed to China for three years.
He also got a head start on me, and is taking pilot lessons. I’ll have my chance soon…I don’t’ care. I’m still flying high, counting my lucky stars I found him.