Ok, so I’m outting myself. My name is Kristen B… And I am an online dater. Plenty of my friends think I’m crazy for doing it. That I’m smart, attractive, a good person, and an all around great catch. I don’t disagree. But, I find myself living places where the opportunities for love are limited. So what’s a girl to do?
Take initiative and get online. I’ve done both the free service (Plenty of Fish is a hot mess!) and the paying one (eHarmony, thanks for all of the articles!).. Currently my matchmaker of choice is POF, mainly because I don’t live somewhere where there are a lot of young people.. And I don’t see paying for eHarmony as an advantage right now, so here I am.
Which brings me to the topic of discussion. The people you meet on free online dating services. The funny thing about using a free online dating service is that anyone can get on and create a profile. So, you never really know who you’re dealing with. My experiences range from the comical, to creepy, to downright rude. And honestly, this can do a number on your self esteem. Because the service is free, you never know if the person is actually looking for love, a hook-up, a textual relationship, or what have you.
I signed up for POF a few months ago (haven’t used it consistently), and I thought I was headed in the right direction. I got a lot of messages, exchanged some numbers, and set up some dates. A few of these men fell off because of their lack of courage to ask me out, so peace out. But one stood out. He was nice, has a great job, attractive, would call me to talk for hours, and so on. Naturally the next step was to set up an official date. As with any impending first date, a lot of prep goes into it: Outfit, googling their name, researching great first date questions, and so on. We were to go to the Monterey Aquarium (about 1.5hours North of where I live. So I planned to drive up, which was fine with me). Man was I pumped! Ol dude, we’ll call him Ant, called the day before to confirm our plans.. So, this was happening. I filled up my gas tank and headed to work with a little pep in my step. Ant had a wedding to go to that night, so he text me later (hammered), and I let him know that if he’d be too hungover the next day I’d understand (because I’m cool like that). No, he says, we’re still on. Cool! Well, while I’m having this text convo with Ant, a text from my actual aunt came through and I, dun dun dun, accidentally sent him the wrong text: “Nice. What event was that for?” Upon realizing my mistake, I quickly apologized and explained the situation. Ant was not having it. He cancelled immediately and sent a text the next day explaining how he doesn’t think he’s ready for the online dating world… DAMN.
I was sad about that for half a day, but after a nap and an afternoon run, said fuck you and realized the beauty of online dating is that there’s plenty more fish in the sea (pun intended).
Shortly after this incident, I got asked out again by a 25 year old agricultural engineer and, boy, he was really cute. So we made plans to meet up at a bar on a Friday night in his city, because, have I mentioned how much I hate where I live? We’ll call him Al. Al walks in at 6’2 and greets me with a hug. Besides the usually first date pauses, the evening went relatively well! But, it was a Friday night, and I’m a working woman, so three beers later I was ready for my bed. He walks me to my car, and I offer to drop him off at his place just a few blocks away. I pull up and a passionate make-out session ensues, but I only make out for 3-5 minutes on a first date in order to cock-block myself, so he gets out and that’s it. The next day, the usual follow up text “Had a great time, let’s do it again soon,” came and I was satisfied with that… But Wednesday rolls around and I haven’t heard from him. That’s fine. I shoot him a quick “Hey, hope you’re having a great week text,” and go on about my day. Something like three or four days go by and I haven’t heard a word from him. So I do what I usually do, and went out and had a few beers. In my drunken haze, my friend Rick suggests that I should call him. That’s a great idea, I think, what’s the worse that can happen??? So I call. Al picks up the phone and hangs up. (this is funny to me now) Soooo, that was the end of that.
My next night out was with a 40-year old who looks 25, and he’s pretty cute and I like what he says in his messages. So I met him and a few friends out. He was hammered. We didn’t speak for awhile after that.
I gave up online dating for awhile after him, because I figured three failed attempts in a month was a bit much. So I had my friend Amy set me up. That guy is a blog post in itself, but one night while I was out with Amy, her boo, and her friend, we ran into above-mentioned 40-year-old. I could already tell that me and Amy’s friend weren’t destined to be together, so when 40-year-old, we’ll call him Old Man, asked me out again I said why not?
We went out for Sushi and beers and I was surprised that I actually enjoyed spending time with him. We kept in touch about 2 weeks after the date, but I haven’t heard from him since Christmas. This doesn’t really bother me, because let’s face it, he was old.
Last week I went on a coffee date with a 21-year-old I met on POF, we’ll call him Italian. Italians are my weakness. Conversation was good, he’s ambitious, smart, and attractive. Although he’s hit me up a few times since the date, and we’re now Facebook friends (which he backed me into doing, so I’m not pleased about it), that is clearly on the road to nowhere.
I was also talking to this other cute guy who lives in the same town Ant does. We would talk a few times a week for an hour or two, and things seemed to be flowing along pretty naturally. We had a date scheduled this weekend to the Aquarium that I never got to go to. Again, I was going to drive up. We made this date a week ago, and I haven’t heard from him since.
Tomorrow I’m going hiking with another guy I had a really good first date with, and he seems really nice. Bonus points because he is Asian, which means he’s respectful and family-oriented. My mom is making me send her all of his info, because, he just may chop me up and throw me in the Pacific Ocean. Pray for me.
So, why am I telling you all of this? After my second plan a date and disappear, I am deeply disturbed by this, to say the least. Not to mention that I keep going out (above was not an all-inclusive list), only to never hear from the guy again and I CAN’T FIGURE OUT WHAT I’M DOING. Does this happen to other people??? Is there something, gasp, wrong with ME? Is it because I’m using a free-online dating site, and well, people just don’t care?! I just know that I try to treat people how I like to be treated, and even when a guy I didn’t like asks me out again I at least do him the courtesy of letting him know that he’s just not my type.
I’d love to get off the online dating thing, but, because I live in a town where the median age is 65, no exaggeration, I really don’t have an option right now… but I’m hesitant to pay for this shit because I’ll be damned if I pay $40 a month for the same results.
I don’t know. Of course, this doesn’t keep me from doing the things that I want to do. And I try not to let these situations affect my self esteem or make me a man hater. But damn, is it really that hard to meet someone honest, genuine, and not a flake now-a-days?
Anyway, despite all of the let downs, I’m still smiling, having a good time, and doing me. I’m not sure what God has in store for me, but everything happens for a reason. Just not sure what the reason for all of this is quite yet.
So hey, if you know a hot single guy and you live on the Central Coast- hook a sista up!