I've decided that probably sometime in the early spring, I'm going to try online dating again. "Why not now?" you might ask. One reason is that this time of the school year is especially busy, so that I often wake up with my hands moving in the air because I've been dreaming about grading papers (even in my dreams I'm working). Also, I'm pretty broke right now, so I need to save up some money first; hopefully I'll have enough by February or early March.
Another reason is that I'd rather not get lumps of coal in my Christmas stocking this year because Santa found out about the revenge spells I cast on bad dates where I danced around a fire chanting guys' names and calling upon the forces of nature to keep them single forever and...well. Maybe it's best if I didn't finish that sentence.
I'm thinking of trying zoosk.com or chemistry.com. Either way, it will be the fourth online dating site I've tried. I already tried match.com, okcupid.com, and eharmony with varying rates of success. I did go on dates with guys I met on all three sites, but I'd like to try something different this time.
I also tried speed dating, but I like online dating better because you get more than three minutes to get to know someone. (On the other hand, sometimes three minutes is all you need to know that you NEVER want to see this person again, not even if you were the last two people left on Earth, in which case you would have to relocate to another planet and see if any aliens are available.)
I did recently discover that eharmony kept my profile up on the site months after my account expired, which would explain why I was still getting e-mails from random guys who requested communication. I sent an angry e-mail to eharmony to demand that they take my profile down, but they said they kept it up in case I wanted to renew my membership; that way, I wouldn't have to retake the 45-minute questionnaire. But I thought that was misleading, because who knows how many other profiles are up on that site of people whose accounts already expired? They finally agreed to make sure that no one could see my profile anymore. But still. (Maybe I should go dance around a fire again.)
I didn't find the right guy on the other sites. But I don't regret all the dates I went on, even though on some of those dates I made up excuses about why I had to leave early, such as how I was going on a top-secret government mission the next day that prevented me from using the phone or e-mail so the guy could NEVER CALL ME AGAIN, drank extra caffeine so that I wouldn't fall asleep even though my date was that boring, or thought within the first three minutes, "Yeah. This is NEVER going to happen. I wonder if that girl over there would be willing to switch dates with me."
I don't regret the dates because I learned something from all of them. I learned what I'm looking for in a guy, and I learned about how I want to be treated. For one thing, I want a guy who calls when he says he will, and doesn't lead me on or play games. I want someone who isn't condescending and won't put me down just because I don't make as much money as he does or just because I'm not interested in all the same things that he is. I want someone who listens when I talk, makes me laugh, and doesn't go on and on about the same topic for hours. I want someone who isn't going to flirt with other girls when he's still on a date with me. I want someone who doesn't think it's okay to wait more than a month before calling me after the first date.
I also learned about how to treat guys with respect even if I occasionally had the urge to spit ice cubes from my drinks at their faces so that they'd shut up. (I didn't actually spit ice cubes at them. And that is progress.) I learned that it's important to give everyone a chance, but that you don't have to go on a second date if you really don't want to; you don't have to settle for less than what you're looking for just so you won't be alone.
I've also learned that even if I never meet a guy and end up being single for the rest of my life, at least I can say that I tried. It's like with writing. Even if you never get published, you still accomplished something just by writing regularly and sending your work out. And anyway, how do you expect anyone to read your work if you don't put it out there? By a similar token, I probably won't meet anyone unless I put myself out there.
Check out this Second City sketch comedy special titled "Dates of Future Past", starring a younger Steve Carell and Sherry Bilsing (who I think was one of the producers on Friends). It's a good example of how sometimes it's worth it to make mistakes because you can still gain something from them in the end.
What about you? When you look back on the mistakes that you've made, can you think of anything that you learned or gained from them?
Interview with… Alexis Paige - It’s still hot here in the UK, if you’re wondering how this wilting little author is getting on. (Although, I’m writing this on Sunday and the heatwave is ...
4 hours ago