Reasons to start dating again:
1. When my mother asks me if I've met anyone, I won't have to say stuff like, "Um, yes, I have met someone. His name is Ken, but he's not ready for anything too serious right now. He just broke up with some blonde woman. I think her name starts with a B."
2. I might meet someone who's special and that I really like and want to be with, not someone whose number I end up blocking on my cell phone (which is what I did with the numbers of three of the guys I went out with in the past few months).
3. I won't watch the ending of Hallmark movies (they all pretty much end the same way) by saying bitterly, "I give 'em six months."
4. If I meet someone special, I'll never have to join another online dating site where I make boring small talk with random guys, even though what I really want to say is, "I don't CARE about which town you grew up in! I just want to know if you're the kind of guy who will come in and change the channel when I'm watching TV or who will look up from the TV when I come home from work and immediately ask, 'What's for dinner?'"
Reasons not to start dating again:
1. I might get matched with yet another guy who used fake pictures in his profile, which is what happened to me on Bumble. I figured out the pictures were fake by doing the reverse image Google search. The guy claimed to live an hour away from me and work in finance, but the pictures actually belonged to a twentysomething model with a different name and who lived in Los Angeles.
2. I won't have to look at any more profiles where guys pose proudly with pictures of the deer/fish/geese that they killed. I'm not a vegetarian, but I've been eating a lot less meat lately, partly because I can't afford it and partly because I've grown increasingly uncomfortable with the idea of hunting for sport and with how many animals that are bred for slaughter are abused. The sight of a dead deer with bullet holes in its body just doesn't make me think, "Wow, I bet the guy who killed that deer would make a really great husband someday."
3. I don't like it when a guy I start dating (like the Artist) messages me every single day before we even go on our first date. I don't think it's necessary to talk to the person you're dating every day. That's why I have to resist the urge to text back, "For the love of God, STOP texting me! Clinginess is NOT sexy!"
4. I'd like to focus on my teaching responsibilities, my second job, my academic research, and the memoir I've been writing about my experiences with online dating (I've written more than 10,000 words so far, and it's still pretty rough. But it's been fun to write, and I have plenty of material to mine through.).
5. I hate making small talk, guys who aren't interested but think it's "polite" to exchange messages with me, which gives me false hope, and guys who seem interested at first, send me many messages, and even talk about setting up a date, but then pull disappearing acts. But what I hate even more is that state of uncertainty: Does he like me? Do I like him, or am I only dating him because he's nice and I don't want to spend the rest of my life alone? Should I go out with him again? Will he text me again? Should I text him first? And so on.
6. I fell hard for the Model, but he took what he wanted and tossed me aside like it was nothing, like I was nothing. The rational part of my brain knew that I deserved more and better than what he gave me, but the emotional part finally understood how you don't choose who you fall for. I can't keep putting myself out there in the hopes of finding someone special and ending up crushed, disappointed, and alone every time. There's only so much one person can take, and I'm at the point where I'm ready to give up. I'm almost thirty-seven years old, and I'm tired of all the b.s. that comes with dating. I don't want to still be going on first dates that go nowhere ten years from now, or even five years from now.
7. Dan Savage, the writer and advice columnist, said that it's not necessarily true that everyone is meant to find true love. He said if it was, no one would ever be alone. And the fact that I've gone out with more than two dozen guys, joined seven online dating sites, had several unrequited crushes, and failed to make a real connection with anyone makes me think that maybe the problem isn't the guys. Maybe it's me. Maybe there's something wrong with me, or maybe I'm just not meant to be with anyone. Maybe I'm meant to do something else with my life. There are a lot of other things I want to do: write, travel, teach, adopt a dog from an animal shelter, etc., and maybe that's what I should focus on instead. Maybe I should just focus on the things that already make me happy, instead of perpetually taking risks on something (or someone) that might make me happy and ending up sad every time.
I will try online dating at least one more time, most likely this summer. But for now, I'm going to focus on the other things in my life that are important to me because I still need a break.
What about you? Do you think that Dan Savage is right that not everyone is meant to find true love?
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