(or How I found my Love – Online)
I decided to add to the list of things I was doing by setting up an account with an online dating organization. The first two that I tried were not encouraging. I wanted to find someone within a reasonable distance of where I lived (I chose a 100 mile radius) – and I said so in my short bio paragraph.
But I was attracting men from thousands of miles away. Men who claimed they were willing to move to my city – which is nice. But what about the actual “dating” process and the vital “getting to know one another” – which you do over time? I thought it would be pretty hard to do that from such a long distance.
(However, I have read that some people have successfully found a mate in this way. So perhaps I lacked the imagination to envision this possibility!)
Aside from the issue of being contacted by men who lived far away, I was also being “courted” by some very young men (in their 20’s), and by much, much older men, as well.
I made it clear that I was a 55-year-old singer – interested in the arts, dancing, theatre, reading… (I also listed snowshoeing as a possible outdoor activity.) And that I was looking for someone who was around my age. I suggested they be between 50 and 60.
One man, aged 72, sent me a photo of himself positioned beneath a deer’s head that was stuck to the wall, while he himself was sitting proudly in a chair holding the gun that shot the deer.
It was not easy to dissuade some of these men from continuing to pursue me. Many were interesting and full of desire, but I knew they were not right for me. And you learn quickly with online dating that each person with whom you communicate takes a lot of time and energy. So you want to be sure that you are dealing with someone who is at least a “potential” candidate.
(I spent about 2 hours a day looking at pictures and bios and corresponding with various men. It was a serious job!)
Eventually I paid a higher monthly price (about $35.00 per month) and went to an online dating service that claimed to screen potential dates better. And they did. I began to see people in my “potentials” box who were closer to the right age and more appropriate in their interests and backgrounds.
And so began the more time-consuming process of going through the online dating rituals: chatting in e-mail; sending questions back and forth; finding common ground. And then, if there was a bit of a “spark,” we would agree to talk on the phone.
NOW! LET’S GET PERSONAL! (How to find love faster…)
Get out and have coffee in a public place. (Always choose safe meeting places!)
Look into his/her eyes. Get a feel for how they express themselves in person. See how they behave with you in public. Are they pleasant with the waiter/waitress etc.?
You can learn a lot about a person over a simple cup of coffee.
With one wonderful man, I made a mistake of talking and talking and talking on the phone over several weeks. We had a great romance – voice to voice. And some truly memorable discussions about life, love, science, music and the arts. But when we finally met in person, the physical desire was simply not there – for me. Animal to animal, we were not a match. It was a great disappointment to me (and to him). And a lesson hard learned.
One day, I saw a picture in my “potentials” box – and I clicked on the link to the bio with real interest. This man had posted 4 pictures. (By the way, I never looked at bios that had no pictures.) And all of the photos of this attractive man – each in quite a different context – grabbed me.
I felt an immediate surge of interest. And to my surprise, I said out loud – “Here he is!”
So I wrote to him right away.
We sent the requisite “let me introduce myself” e-mails and we exchanged the canned questions that the dating service supplied to us as a way to break the ice. This took about 2 weeks or so.
Finally we shared our real e-mail addresses and, after one “misunderstanding,” which almost derailed us altogether, which would take too long to explain here, we agreed to meet for coffee.
It was a hot summer’s day – July 31. The sky was clear and the cozy coffee shop was humming. I saw him (John) standing at the counter as soon as I walked in. My heart did the same flip as when I had viewed his 4 photos online. He looked at me with some pleasure, too, I thought.
The 20-minute coffee went well and we planned our first real “date.” One year later, I moved into his lovely house. Now, 4 years later, we are still happily learning about one another and making a good life together. (He also has a fabulous 23-year-old daughter who has become an important part of my life, as well.)
This “Journey to John” took about 2 years from when I started dancing and dating to when John and I had our first cup of coffee together. It was a fascinating experience for me. I met a lot of memorable people (both men and women). And I believe that the daily meditation and the weekly dancing kept me stable, expectant, and open. There were quite a few disappointments. But somehow, my eye stayed on the pleasure of the search – not on the many false starts.
With each person who did not work out, I learned more about how to “stay myself” in these short-lived relationships. I feel a little bit sorry for the men I dated at the beginning of my journey. I think I may have been a bit “rusty” about how to date with flare, and not as much fun as I learned to be later on.
I hope this story will encourage you to take your own journey, if that seems like the right thing for you to do now!
NOTE: ABOUT TELLING THE TRUTH!
One more important thing that I learned in my “find a mate” search was that many people feel the need to lie about their age and their current physical state. Several women suggested to me that I reduce my age by at least 5-7 years.
“Men like to pursue younger women,” – I was told. “So if you don’t look 55, then don’t say 55!”
I could not imagine meeting a man and not being the woman he thought I was from our online communication. That idea of getting over a lie at the beginning of a relationship was just too daunting a problem for me to consider.
Several men told me that they began to grow very wary of meeting women because so often the woman in the picture was VERY different from the woman in front of him. For some of these men, the possibility of a relationship was over as soon as the lie was obvious.
(P.S. Men do this too apparently – lie about age and weight. Although this did not happen to me.)
WHENEVER I GIVE A CONCERT, I DEDICATE THIS SONG TO JOHN: (sound clip) “YOU TAKE MY BREATH AWAY” –
This song will be recorded for my upcoming CD, Passionate Heart. See the full video here – You Take My Breath Away – Video.
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