Tag Archives: online

The Online Dating Chronicles: Welcome to my world

It’s no secret – dating kind of sucks.

OK, that may be a bit strong. Dating itself is kind of fun – going out with someone, having a good time, getting to know them over drinks or dinner or a walk in the park, holding hands, kisses good night (or good morning 😉).

funny-dating-memesGetting to the point of having a date? That part sucks. Especially if you’re one of the hundreds of thousands of people using online dating sites to get there (and chances are, if you’re between the ages of 18 and 99, single, and looking for a partner, you probably are). Online sites are awful for many of the same reasons they’re great: You can meet lots of people, conversation is a lot easier over the internet, and it’s a lot easier to get out of a conversation if you can just log off rather than trying to back away slowly or hope your “wing man/woman” comes to save you at the right time.

They’re awful because people believe they can be whomever they want to be and say whatever they want to say – and often do. I’ve been thanked for chatting because he was “tired of doing the five-knuckle shuffle”; met a man who said he was single but was in fact ready to celebrate a milestone wedding anniversary; and asked out by a man who should have been serving a life sentence in a federal prison but worked a deal with prosecutors for early release by helping to get a murderer to draw a map to where she hid the bodies.

You think I’m kidding. I’m not.

As much as I may hate to admit it I’m more familiar than I should be with dating sites. I tried my first site before my divorce was even final – udate.com in 2002 – just to get back into the swing of talking to men on a social level. I was an awkward dater as a teen, and after 12 years of marriage I wasn’t sure how it would go (turns out I’m a more confident adult dater than I was a teen dater). I met a man on that site and was convinced to move across the state.

The relationship fizzled, but my love for eastern Iowa was immense, so I stayed. And I dated. And dated. And dated.

And have developed quite the collection of crazy dating stories.

My initial intent was to write a book – and I still may – but that will take a while and I’m anxious to share some of these stories. So that’s what I’ll be doing here, on this blog. Some will be recent, some will have occurred sometime in the last 17 years. All – I assure you – will be true. No embellishments, no fictionalizing (other than the names, because, you know, most of them are still out there), no hiding.

I’d love to share some of your stories, too – same rules, no embellishments, yada yada yada. I’ll identify your stories as “from a friend,” so you don’t have to be as public in your self-deprecating humor if you’d rather not. Feel free to send them to me at mollyswhine@gmail.com.

Here we go – this could get interesting.

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The virtual world of online dating

I’m a people person. I like to have real conversations that involve using my voice, making eye contact and reading expressions. I enjoy the sound of authentic laughter and the wispy aroma of a nice cologne.

I am so not cut out for digital dating.

My first attempts at online dating went reasonably well. I tried the site www.udate.com at the advice of a friend just a few weeks into my divorce. The thought was, from her, that it would get me used to talking about myself and being “out there.” Neither of us really expected anything to happen, certainly not right away.

Something did happen right away — I met a man from Eastern Iowa (I was still on the other side of the state) and we started what would become a three-year relationship that included moving my kids and I near Cedar Rapids.

I didn’t blame the digital age for the relationship’s downfall; that was due to something more controllable on a personal level (No, it really isn’t a good idea for him to date more than one woman at a time — that’s kind of a sticking point for me). Instead I waited a few months and tried again.

I tried them all: Match.com, Yahoo Personals, eHarmony. And that’s where the horror begins.

* Kevin* and I had great online and telephone conversations, and decided to meet for dinner when he got off work. Unfortunately, he was working the 3-11 p.m. shift and forgot to ask to get off early — so my phone rang at 6, at 7, and at 8 with promises of “being right out.” I should have hung it up there, but he kept telling me how much he’d been looking forward to going out so finally, at 8:45, he called to tell me he was off work. I followed him to the restaurant where he left me while he went home to shower. When he left, so did I.

* Robert and I actually got along pretty well. He was great fun, made me laugh and had a lot of the same thoughts and beliefs I did. There were two things that went wrong with Robert: a) I met him about a year too soon, just after my three-year relationship ended and I wasn’t really ready to date; and b) Robert was too interested too fast — he sang me karaoke love songs and told me he meant every word. On  our second date.

* Larry was another who seemed perfectly nice and normal on the telephone. We met for dinner after a few weeks and had a great conversation, so great that he suggested we go to a movie. I tried putting it off — you can’ t really talk during a movie — but was eventually persuaded. He went to buy the tickets and his debit card wasn’t working and would I mind paying for the movie?

The list goes on; lost of first dates, very, very few second.  The phone calls always go great but when it comes to the face-to-face meeting something just falls short. At least in “the old days” the physical assessment was done before you even took the time to talk to a person, let alone get their number.

I know we have gone digital for much of our ordinary lives: we pay bills, rent movies, arrange flights and book hotels sitting in our pajamas at our computers.

It just seems that something as personal as dating should be … well, done in person.

(*Names have been changed to protect the lame …)


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