It is time once again for my continuation of the all-time STUPIDEST questions and comments made to single ladies. So here is number 6.
6. QUESTION: “HAVE YOU TRIED ONLINE DATING?”
Ummmmm helllloooooo….. aren’t we living in a virtual world? Am I 93 years old and living in an outhouse in Siberia? Everyone I know who wants to fall in love has tried online dating. Okay, maybe not EVERYONE. I have a few stubborn ladies who refuse to try it in spite of my whining, persuading, advising and pain-in-the-assing. “But Becckkyyy, do you really want to be like me and not find your love until you are 40???!!” I would think this would make her gasp and shudder and send her running for the Match.com website but no. She is as stubborn as me and well, she needs to do it in her own time.
To some I say, “Um yeah, have you HEARD my stories?!!” And to others, I just drop to the floor laughing hysterically and say “Have I tried online dating?! Oh, that’s a good one!” You will see a little later why I feel this way about this particular subject. I have LOTS and LOTS of experience with online dating. YEARS of experience. You could say I went to the masters course in online dating. Some things are worth trying, and online dating is one of them. I can’t say that I would ever go back to it. I hope I never have to, oh lord help me! It’s like hiking the super scary Precipice Trail in Maine or eating snake for me – I tried it, cross it off the list and NEVER DO IT AGAIN. (By the way, even with the most horrific, salacious and mind-boggling online dating stories, I still forged ahead and never retreated through the blood and bodies and decimation and anguish and I did find the man I married through online dating. It is a necessary evil my dear.
For those single ladies who are asked this question, I think it is important to not take it personally. I know this is rather difficult as it is a personal question. It is your lovelife after all. But try to see it as a question, like “Have you tried a raw food diet or Zumba?” See it as a very casual question and it may be best to answer it casually with an answer like “Yes, I find it very amusing!” Or, “It’s on my bucket list.” Or you can say “I tried it but like champagne, it is delightful to some but gives others a splitting headache.” Should you get a puzzled look staring back at you, be kind. Understand that most people actually believe the hype of the commercials where it looks like ANYONE who tries online dating will be successful. So, they are simply thinking that it should be an obvious course of action for you, the single women, to go online for love.
ADVICE FOR ONLINE DATING FROM THE GENERAL:
As one who has been on the front lines until quite recently, I pass along my strategies and tactics that kept me alive through the most gruesome of online dating scrimmages.
- BE PATIENT – think of online dating like a football game. Imagine you are there and the stadium is full of men. You look around and see that most of them are just not for you. In fact, most of them are just overall unpleasant. You do spot a couple of guys here and there who are kinda cute and seem good. Okay. Now realize that ALL of these men are online dating and emailing you. You are going to have to go through a lot of FREAKS and FROGS to get to one that you may want to meet up with for a drink. I have three ex-boyfriends from online dating – a good record if you ask me. They were wonderful guys but I didn’t meet the ONE until many years of online work. Sorry, but sometimes that’s just how it is. For some, it happens a lot faster and I pray and hope and will go eat some chocolate and light a candle and say a mantra that it will happen for you quickly.
- 2. DO NOT MEET THEM FOR A MEAL. I learned this the hard way and spent many moments where I felt like it was THE LAST SUPPER. I was the bear caught in the trap who would rather gnaw off its own leg rather than remain in that place. I DO recommend meeting for a drink because many times, you will need a stiff drink to get through the date. Plan on buying your own drink so that you won’t owe the guy anything if the date is bad. If the date is good, by all means, he should buy your drink – a true gentleman is what we all deserve.
- DO NOT GET EXCITED FOR THE DATE – this is extremely hard for us ladies as we are optimists and why the hell would we go on a date if we weren’t excited??? Well, I’ll tell you. If you try to look at it as just meeting someone and a “before-the-date” date then you won’t be as upset when he turns out to be one of the guys from “The Hangover.” Also, MAKE PLANS for after the meeting. That way, you did not get dressed up for nothing and you have an “out.” Plan a drink with online guy and then have dinner with friends. They will be there to console you if the guy was an idiot or they will be there to share in your excitement if the guy was wonderful.
- DO NOT GET STUCK ON THE SMALL POINTS – Years ago, I wouldn’t date a guy who had a cat because I thought men who had cats were just weird. But that’s not always true. If you look at every little part of their profile and go through it with a fine-toothed comb, you will be disappointed. That’s because it allows you to judge before you have even met them. At a party, you might meet a cute funny guy and have a spark and then you can overlook the fact that he has a cat named Toodles. AND ladies – THE CLOTHES CAN BE CHANGED!!! Yes!!! I redid the wardrobe of many ex-boyfriends. I even redid the hairdo of an ex and his mother cried when she saw him! His entire community said he looked 10 years younger. I have redone most of my husband’s wardrobe now and let me tell you, the Hawaiian shirts have been given to Goodwill. Do NOT be focused entirely on the guy’s outfits. Most men are pretty bad about clothes. That is why they need us. He can be your Ken doll.
- MEN ARE STUPID – yes. Just know it. The guy with a high school education who makes $20K a year and is overweight and seems to sweat in all of his photos may think he is PERFECT for the ivy-league professional woman who is drop dead gorgeous. They will try. Ignore them. Don’t even respond a polite “No thank you” because you will open up Pandora’s box. And, since men are stupid, also realize that many just aren’t the best at hunting. Do your own search and see who matches up with you and send a Hi. Then see what happens.
- CHINESE WATER TORTURE – Do Not get yourself into this mess. Do not email back and forth for months. Do not IM for hours before you have met them!! Bad bad bad!! If the guy you are chatting with online ONLY wants to email or IM and doesn’t ask you for your number after a few emails back and forth, then offer your phone number. If he doesn’t call, drop him. If they guy ONLY wants to email or chat on the phone but just can’t seem to get it together to meet you, drop him. He’s probably married or looks like Quasimodo and doesn’t want you to see or he’s just a player.
- PLAY THE FIELD – Men many times believe in quantity over quality so understand that the guys you are talking to are talking to many girls and don’t get offended. They don’t know you at all so it’s fair game. For the same reason, I recommend not hanging your hat on one guy who seems great. Instead - play the field. That way, you won’t be heart-broken when the one guy you liked turns out to be an a-hole. You will have others in play. Of course, when you meet a great one, go for it!! When I met my husband for our first date, we had instant fireworks. Months later, he told me that he had several dates lined up for the next couple weeks after he met me, but after just our first date, he canceled them all. Men will stop hunting when they find the one!!! That is, a GOOD man will stop hunting! I also closed my Match account after our third date. Boom. It was fast. And it should be once you meet the right guy.
- HAVE A LITTLE FAITH – you will get frustrated. You will get depressed. You will find this to be a needle in the haystack game. You will think there is not one decent guy online. There will be times when you want to throw in the towel. Take a month or 6 month break and then try again. Just like being in anything too long that is challenging and difficult, you will get burnt out. I had to take a year break before going back online but I’m sure glad I did!!
BON CHANCE LADIES! LET THE GAMES BEGIN!