Following a recent and very disappointing dating experience, I got an offer from Match.com to download the pretty blue App.
I thought the App would be free, but it was an advertisement to get me to sign up for the online dating Website for a monthly fee. I get a daily enticing email telling me, “You have 24 new matches.”
I would like just one match.
Surprising myself (an avid I-can’t-meet-men-through-the-Internet-because-it’s-artificial type), I scroll through my 24, even looking forward to seeing real-life handsome men.
After two weeks of this, I’ve learned that there are men in their late 30s and early 40s who have never married, who are divorced and who want a relationship. I thought these men, especially the never-have-married, didn’t exist – at least that’s what I’ve been telling myself.
In my job as a reporter, I encounter lots of men, most with rings and many of them not my type. Taking the easy, I’m-scared-to-date approach, I tell myself that I’m in a small city of the happily married, so I should be happy with my dog and imaginary 13 cats. I am. Or was, until I bravely asked a man out and got the big rejection.
I started wondering, do matches happen, just like Match.com and the other online dating Websites claim?
As I do my daily scroll (not paying, not signing up for the tempting “72 hours free”), I feel like I’m shopping for men. I look at clothing ads the same way, evaluating the colors, shapes and styles of shirts, skirts and pants. Would this or that garment look good on me? Would it cover up my extra flabby bit? Will it last, or fall apart after a few washings?
When I review the man ads, I’m not asking if MrHotty0201 would make me look good, but I do think, “Oh my, he’s cute.” I open up the information window where I learn his marital status, if he has or wants children, his religious beliefs and the age of women he’s seeking.
I’ve checked several of these windows, learning some of the men want younger women, are atheists or are plain cute and perfect, at least according to this initial list of very few questions. Even if I’m slightly interested, I go on with the day, waiting for my next batch to arrive with a ping.
Am I afraid to join? Do I think I’ll get a match that won’t fit because I was shopping based on external looks? Am I hiding away with my dog and imaginary cats afraid of something big and unnamed?
I wonder if this inadvertent window man-shopping is not how to approach dating. It’s about the chemistry, willingness of both to make the relationship work and, lastly, on the actual interior and exterior match.
We can match up, but bad things will happen in life showing our worst sides, and if he or she will stay through that, then we have something.
It’s called love.
That’s what I want. Eventually.
(See next week’s blog on Writing and Dating, or App Dating cont.)