Happy Valentine's Day...and other stories

Oh, Happy Valentine’s Day—the day to celebrate love and romance! Imagine being in your mid 40’s, successful, independent, financially stable, loving life, and single. Yeah. This may be some people’s ideal, and for others, not. I was going to title this “What the %#$!* is Wrong with Men”, but figured that might dissuade some peeps from reading it. And, I figure people would say the same about women, so…. Entering the dating pool in my 40’s definitely has been entertaining, frustrating, and leaving me questioning my sanity. What I’ve learned from this experience is to stay single. I could stop there, but…I won’t.

Background--The () are just a few samples of things that have been said to me or about me in the process of dating. Just a few samples…and we haven’t made it past the first date yet. I am 44, never married (OMG, what is wrong with you???), no children (obviously, something is wrong), master’s degree in social work (I’m sure you’re analyzing me… or I can tell you ALL my problems), I own my own home (oh, you’re a rich girl), I own my own business (so you’re a ball buster), I’m a yoga instructor (oh, yeah baby!), I’m a belly dancer (are you going to DANCE for me? Wink, wink), I’m a minister (they ghost me or pester me about going to their church), I’m psychic (you’re crazy or I can ask you 15 million questions), and all around nice person (Oh, I can manipulate you). Seriously. I wish I had pictures of my face when folks say these things. And on the FIRST date!!! Thank you so I don’t have to waste time on a second one.

EHarmony, Facebook dating, Zoosk, Match.com, Plenty of Fish, the list goes on. My complaint to eHarmony was that the only matches I was receiving were non-active members or free accounts that couldn’t respond back. So why am I paying decent money for no matches? I did go out on three dates over the course of the six-month subscription. One told me that he allowed me to pick the restaurant so I would be comfortable (nice gesture), but went on to say that way he could determine if I was greedy or not. Since I filed a complaint with eHarmony about their matching process, now all I receive is their ads for lesbian women. Not a problem, but I’m looking for a male. 

I was on the receiving end of online bullying. One fine gent yelled at me in text “NO, NO, NO” asking how I dare thought that we would connect when apparently, I didn’t read his profile. He went on to insult my intelligence, my character, and my looks. Funny, I did read his profile and we had a lot in common. APPARENTLY, I missed the asshole checkbox. Blocked and reported. 

My Nigerian prince was kind enough to come forward and promise me the world, 100 camels, and a life filled with love and romance, as soon as I could send him my bank account to deposit a dowry. Between that and the “Hello Beautiful”, “You are so pretty”, and “Wanna f#ck?” the whole idea of dating is being put to the back burner. The concept of safe sex, STI screens, and pregnancy also seem to be a foreign concept to many of the fine specimens that seem to think saying hi equals a roll in the hay. Someone admitted they did need to look for smaller condoms—that really is intriguing especially since we had never met. And finding someone who considers smoking weed unnecessary for everyday life also is apparently an oddity. Not my thing.

Back to my “What the %#$!* is Wrong with Men?” title that I scrapped. I can’t say how women act on dating sites because I’m not looking at them. But, being asked for risqué pictures and my phone number and video chat requests after one exchange tells me that boundaries may be an issue. That reminds me, I also got told I was emotionally unavailable and not ready to date when I told someone no when asked for my phone number after one text exchange. Really? Did he think that was going to make me hand it over and wait for his phone call? Hell no!

Back to the pictures. Why do people think it is attractive to have alcohol or cigarettes in your hand? Or to have a bag over their head (yes, I’m serious). Or a pic of the shooting range target with bullet holes in the body? Or almost naked pictures? Or pictures of their kids? Or the pictures with their spouse? What are people thinking?

Now that I am done venting, at least until something else pops in my head, here’s my assessment of all of this. Honesty seems to have gone by the wayside. People say what they want to get their immediate needs met. I figured paying for a dating website would find more eligible gentleman who were searching for a relationship. Ha! It made me question how many were already in relationships because they could only communicate during the day. Within a few conversations, I was told they were stationed in Turkey…or looking for a polyamorous relationship. No thanks, that’s not for me. 

I’ve been told I’m hard to date. Oh, really? Please explain…I am independent, I support myself and do it well, I own a successful business on my own, I’m highly educated, I have good boundaries, and I can communicate about everything. So why does that make it difficult to date me? One kind gentleman said because you have your shit together. Oh. Nice. 

My response…when you are a therapist for 20 years, you kinda have to learn how to communicate and work through difficult issues because you are teaching others how to do so (duh). I’ve done my own therapy—I’m well aware of my issues and struggles, and I’m perfectly fine with sharing them. And I continue to do my self-work. Yes, I have a successful business—would you like me to explain the hard work and time and effort that I have put in to make it so? I am honest—I do have morals and values. So, I guess if that makes me hard to date, so be it. 

Back to Valentine’s Day…Aldi’s has beautiful ½ dozen roses for $4. I know where I can find some good chocolate too. I’ll be enjoying my happy single life on the couch, curled up with my pooch, a cup of tea, and a good book.