I have heard that the Urban Legend is true. People can really and truly meet the love of their lives on an online dating site. I know couples who have met on EHarmony, on Match, on Plenty of Fish, and yes, even on Tinder.
I myself tried one of the online dating sites many years ago, but I didn’t share these happy couple’s luck. To say I was reluctant to try online dating would be a vast understatement. I never have had a problem meeting people in my day-to-day activities and I really didn’t see the need to go online. However, I was talked into trying this process by friends who knew I would have the same great luck they had.
My biggest objection to online dating is the hidden “Crazy” button. There is nothing as clear cut as a literal “Crazy” button, but I know it’s there. You see, if you accidently hit this button, then only crazy people can view your profile. Lucky me! Evidently, I hit the granddaddy of all crazy buttons when I tried dating online.
The very first gentleman I went out with had a profile that said he was 5 years older than me, and there were pictures of him looking exceptionally fit. When we actually met, he was closer to 15 years older than me and while fit, he was also stooped and wrinkled. Okay. That’s not an uncommon phenomenon in the world of online dating, so I decided not throw out the baby with the bathwater and gave the guy the benefit of the doubt.
I should’ve gone with my first instinct. He was pleasant enough on our one and only date, but he called me for months afterwards. On the nights he was sober and reasonable, it was a pleasant experience. On the nights he was hiccupping and slurring drunk, it was not so pleasant. He would go on and on about how amazing I am (he was right,) and then he would accuse me of all sorts of infidelities. After one date…which by this time had been months ago. Disengaging from that one was challenging.
Soon after that, I heard from a firefighter in KC, who emailed 5x in one day. The next day I checked my messages and his profile had become a completely unrelated name now from Alexandria, Ohio. Later, I searched both names and neither were on Match anymore. When I checked yet again a few days later his profile was back up, but it was empty. And he’d gotten 5 inches taller in his description. I quit looking after that bizarre growth spurt.
One man I had an immediate and intense connection with. We would talk for hours every night. I really liked this guy, but when he accidentally sent me a text intended for another woman, I asked him about it. He made it very clear that he had paid for his online dating and he was not going to settle for communicating with just one woman. I was amazed that he was so financially motivated. How flattering.
There was the mountain climber who I agreed to meet after a few days of messaging. He politely texted traffic updates the whole time we were driving to meet. We arrived at the restaurant at the same time actually walked in together. While sitting at the bar, it wasn’t long before his hands were all over the place. I dodged them to the best of my ability and kept trying to have an intelligent conversation. Finally, when his hand went to my leg for about the umpteenth time, I picked up his hand and firmly placed it back on his leg. Not long after that he went to the bathroom and was gone a really long time. When he came back, the date was over. It was pretty clear he had made a date with someone else while he was gone. I hope that lucky girl had a better time than I did.
Next there was the man who worked in retail. Wowza. We started emailing one night, met for coffee the next afternoon and he went from handsome, charming and intelligent to crazy town in a matter of hours. We started with coffee, had a couple of drinks, then he tried taking me to his place. After refusing to do that, somehow I let him talk me into going out dancing. He drove to the dance place. His driving was a perfect analogy to his personality that night: he’d be driving ridiculously slow for a few blocks and then gun it and speed like crazy. I realize I should’ve called it quits way earlier, but there was a weird fascination to watching his personality shifts.
My final date took place shortly before I left the site for good. Shortly after meeting this ex-military man on the site, my home electricity went out and I accidentally sent my SOS message to this man instead of to the friend I intended to text. This guy, who seemed like a nice guy, ended up coming over and problem solving the issue for me. I was very grateful and we got along really well.
So, after that experience, I really looked forward to the next night when we went out for dinner. Silly me. First, while we were eating, he informed me I needed to go home and start practicing writing his last name as mine. Seriously. Then, later during the meal, he threatened the restaurant manager when he was dissatisfied with his meal. Those red flags were definitely making me nervous and I should’ve said enough after that first date.
However, a few days later, I was leaving for a short vacation with a girlfriend of mine. This man offered to take me to the airport, and since I needed a ride, I agreed. I got to the airport just fine, but after a rather arduous flight, I forgot to charge my phone when I arrived and it died that first evening. When I re-charged the phone I had about a dozen messages from this man, all accusing me of behaviors that not only were untrue, but were none of his business at this point. After a brief conversation telling him what I thought, I never spoke to him again.
I also have never tried online dating again. For those of you who have found your Mr. or Mrs. Right, congratulations. For myself, my experience made an evening home alone with my cat look reasonable and sane.