ONLINE DATING- it’s all fun and games until you actually meet – (or somebody looses an eye)

My online dating days have come to an end (well, until the next Saturday night I’m home alone with a bag of Cheetos, a bottle of wine, left over holiday chocolate and decide to sign up for the latest new and improved dating site for the over 50 crowd).

After 30 months, 52 first dates, hundreds of messages, winks, flirts, favourites, pokes, and likes, I am hanging up my online dating profile.

I did have some positive experiences along the way, but the majority of my matches were as they say; “no cigar” just a lot of smoke and no flame.

Each potential match starts off fun, maybe with an online wink, a “like”, they might designate you as a “favourite” or send you an online emoji gift, and then you start to communicate online.

In the beginning there are lots of flirty messages, texts and even phone calls. You find all sorts of commonality and talk yourself into believing that this person could actually be the “one”. You may even go out and buy a new bra in anticipation of something wonderful about to unfold.

Then you meet and, there it is, the big let down. WOW, talk about fake news! Dating profiles is where you’ll find it.

For me all the pre-meeting communication creates an expectation that ultimately, most often, leads to disappointment. I’m sure my dates felt the same way.

My good friend and online dating guru Ken, always told me to “keep the initial communications to a minimum, once you’ve connected online, just get out there and meet.” He’s right. The longer you delay having a face-to-face, the more time you have to build up false expectations. Then, you meet and wham, you and your expectations crash leaving you wondering if you saved the tags so you can return the top you bought for your date.

Most, more than 75%, of the men I met were not exactly what or who they said they were. Let me explain.

I met a 67 year old man posing as a 52 year old active male. We met for a lunch date. I got up to use the restroom, while I was gone, he fell asleep at the table. Gawd I must be a bore. I paid the bill, quietly woke him and put him in a cab.

One gentleman I went on a walking date with, was just looking for someone to go half-ies on a double-wide.

Another just wanted a date he could introduce as his fiancé at his mothers 80s birthday the following weekend.

There was the guy that for our first (and only) date, toured me through three job sites he was working on. Perhaps he wanted to demonstrate that he was good with tools🤷‍♀️.

A couple of men uttered those three little words on the first date – “I’m still married”. To be clear there were no second dates with these fellas.

One guy had obviously set up a “call system” with a friend. As soon as he knew I was not going home with him, he received the “you’ve got an emergency” call – we were both relieved to bring that date to an end.

A few were just really angry at their ex’s and apparently needed to talk about it.

Many despite what their profiles said, were not really looking for a relationship, but rather seeking short-term hook-ups.

A couple fellas had done impressive creeping research on me. Especially the one that told me he had figured out where I lived and liked what I had done with the garden and patio in my front yard. I have since moved.

Then there was the guy that punched the wall because I had a different political viewpoint than he did. TAXI !

One just drank a whole lot, maybe he hoped I’d look better after 9 double scotch. When he tried to kiss me goodnight, I turned away and he poked me in the eye with his keys( thus the title of this little editorial)

And then, there was a man that I thought was, well, an excellent match, I felt a spark with him immediately. I thought we were likeminded, he had not lied about anything(that I knew about), he was attractive, I loved his presence, there were lots of positives from my perspective, but, it wasn’t meant to be😔.

I connected with several really nice, attractive, decent people, but when we met face-to-face, the chemistry just wasn’t there. And, that’s where online dating falls down (for me). Without the body language and other important social cues I could not get a true sense of who most of these people were through pictures, texts or even phone calls. I need to look into somebody’s eyes, into their soul, touch their hand and most importantly I need feel something when I first meet somebody.

A few confessed that they had not written their own profile. They had their mother, sister or a friend help them write it AND, they had them help craft responses to our online communications. I fall in love with words. So for me, using a “Cyrano de Bergerac” approach, is disappointing.

I’m not even going to describe the scams and ultra-fake profiles, that’s an editorial unto itself.

I’ve coming to believe that all these online dating services might not really want us to find love, if we did they’d be out of business. They rely on our desire to find “the one” to keep us signed up. Many of these companies are subsidiaries of other dating sites and hook you with the idea that their site is unique or will offer you only “Elite” (yes I joined that one too) match prospects. But, once I got on a new site, I was met by mostly all the same people, that like me, jumped from site to site.

To be fair, I know people that have met the love of their life online. These success stories become the inspiration for the rest of us to jump into the online dating world.

I also have male friends that had similar experiences with less than honest dates. So, it’s just not men that put up outdated photos and colour their profiles into something they’re not. The ladies do it too.

I am grateful that I grew up in a time when we had the opportunity to experience dating the old fashioned way. A time when my heart raced, my hands sweat and butterflies went rogue in my stomach when I saw my crush for the first time. These elements of human connection are absent when we first make contact online. While the online environment exposes us to thousands of potential matches, it’s just not the same, well, not for me.

I’m not giving up on love. But, I think if it happens for me, it will have to be the old fashion way.

Or, perhaps I’ll realize that I’ve already met my person, maybe the timing was off and we’ll find our way back into each others lives.

Or, I’ll get another dog, maybe add a cat to the mix, actually baby goats are popular pets right now.

Regardless, I will not die with my love still in me. I plan to leave it all out on the field. Right now, I’m just gonna love all the beautiful, amazing, people already in my life.

For those still in the online dating game. Good luck, I hope you find the one that will ignite both your heart and soul and fill your life with love, laughter and beautiful memories.

TO’K ~ 🌹❤️

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