The Horrors of Online Dating

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Any good attorney should be able to argue both sides of a case, right?! Undeniably, I’m an advocate of online dating; I even wrote a blog piece on the benefits that flow therefrom 5 Reasons Why Online Dating Works but I would be remiss if I didn’t admit that there are some real challenges that come from trying to find love on the infamous internet.

I ran into all kinds while trying to find someone I’d be compatible with. Thankfully, my online dating horror stories are in my rearview and are now even considered laughable but there were several times I thought I would give up on my quest to find love. Fortunately, I was lucky enough to find my life partner; but truth be told it wasn’t easy and it took a whole lot of patience, patience I didn’t even know I had.

Physical Disparity

Anyone who has ever attempted online dating will tell you that the physical disparity that exists between a lot of potential suitors profile pictures and the actual suitor himself/herself is so common that one must always have their guard up. This happened to me countless times.

Take, for example, the seemingly attractive English professor, who in his description of himself stated that he was a fitness buff, who ran 5 miles every day and was keen on kale and every other healthy food out there. We decided to meet for dinner one evening after work and I made sure to wear black since black is a slimming color and this guy was such a health nut I wanted to show off my healthiest, svelte physique.

When I entered the restaurant I searched the bar several times looking for the sexy, toned, lean professor. We had agreed to meet at the bar and he had texted me that he was already there. I stood there thinking for a quick second that I had been catfished when a guy, who easily weighed at least 400 pounds turned around, his eyes met mine, and he smiled at me with some recognition. Oh dear God!!! This couldn’t be English professor guy, who ran 5 miles every day. Half this guy’s backside was hanging off the bar stool. Nooooo!!!

English professor guy had grossly exaggerated his healthy habits. As I sat across from him, while he chowed down on his dinner of fatty pork chops soaked in gravy I realized that the profile picture he had up on the dating site was, in fact, really him; both the profile picture and the guy in front of me had the same eyes, nose, and mouth but the photo he used was obviously taken at least a decade ago.

Here’s the thing, if you’re going to venture into the world of online dating please use a recent picture, like maybe one only weeks old or even only a few months old. It makes no sense pretending to be the guy or gal you were 10 thousand years ago. People are attracted to what they’re attracted to. I strongly believe that there is someone out there for everyone, and online dating is supposed to help us initially weed out who or want we don’t want.

We Like What We Like

It is such a colossal waste of time to tell untruths and pretend to be someone you’re not or pretend to be interested in something you’re not in order to try to get someone to go out with you; and for the record, I’m not a health nut and I enjoy pork chops but I am attracted to a guy who takes care of himself, even in a minimalist manner.

So here is the reverse – At another time I started chatting with another guy during my life partner search and hit it off with a biker guy, who worked on Wall Street. He was intelligent and funny and for a few weeks, we talked until we decided on a time convenient to both of us for our first date. We had really good conversations.

I was looking forward to meeting Biker Wall Street guy and was painstakingly picking out my outfit for that evening’s date when he called. The conversation started off light and easy when he suddenly said, “I’m over here looking at your profile pictures and I can’t really tell.”

“Tell what?” I asked. I was a bit confused.

“Your bra size.” He said without hesitation.

“My what?” I knew I had heard correctly because he spoke clearly and concisely, but I was in disbelief.

“What’s your bra size?” He asked.

“Huh? Wait! What! What did you just ask me?”

“I only date double ds or girls with at least a D cup.” He said.

For a few seconds, I really didn’t know what to say. Whoa! I wasn’t prepared for this one. After the uncomfortable pause, he asked again my bra size and then explained what his preference was and that he “liked what he liked”. He didn’t want to waste “his time or mine”.

Well! Well! Well! What was I going to say to that? The truth is that based on the several meaningful conversations I had with Biker Wall Street guy, there was a point when he was calling daily, I felt a sort of connection. I liked his wit and intellect but the reality is that at that moment I was so turned off. I wasn’t about to reveal my bra size to this guy.

Biker Wall Street guy and I never made it to our first date and that was our very last conversation. Admittedly, I was initially peeved about the situation and went into the entire “how dare him” spiel with my girlfriends but the reality is that the guy liked what he liked.

Unsolicited Dick Pic

I have heard that these days the unsolicited dick pic has become somewhat of the norm, but back in my day, when I was first doing online dating, it really didn’t happen that much, or maybe it just didn’t happen to me; however, it was only a matter of time.

I hadn’t even had a real conversation with “Sweet Sal” (that was his profile name) when I got the unsolicited dick pic from him. Sweet Sal looked like a real gentleman in his profile picture, he was wearing a tuxedo and had the cutest little girl hugging him in that photo, who I later found out was his niece and that the picture was taken a couple of months earlier at his sister’s wedding. We exchanged a few emails followed by our phone numbers.

Sweet Sal didn’t call, he just text. At the time, that wasn’t my favorite mode of communication but I figured what the hell. I swear Sweet Sal and I may have exchanged only a dozen or so text messages when boom he sent me a picture of his penis. I was stunned! There was absolutely nothing in our very short text exchange that warranted an unsolicited picture of that nature. Unbelievable! I guess Sweet Sal wasn’t so sweet after all.

After several minutes when I didn’t respond to Sweet Sal picture he dared to text me asking; “So what do you think?”

“Is that all you’re working with?” Was the only insulting thing I could think of saying. I proceeded to block Sweet Sal from further contact with me and that was the end of that.

There was also the guy who showed up to meet me, who had a severe limp, one leg was literally shorter than the other. He spent the entire date sobbing and complaining about the freak accident that led to this limp, which happened when he was 12 years old, the guy was in his 40s and still detested his childhood friend that caused the accident.

I sympathized with the guy, believe me, I did; but he might have mentioned his “shortcomings”, no pun intended, during our telephone conversations. Plus, when was he going to stop being the victim? It had been 3 decades since the doctors saved his leg, you’d think he’d be thankful he still had the leg but instead, he wanted to spend an entire first date bemoaning an accident that happened 30 years ago.

There are so many stories I could share but I will save some for later. Who knows maybe one day I’ll write a part 2.😃 Truth is online dating is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna to get. 😁

In the midst of it all, while you’re going through the miserable, unpleasant dates, out of the blue s/he will show up. The one who, in the beginning, you were sure you’d meet, but during the horrors, you forgot even existed. The one who will smile so gently and warmly at you you’d swear s/he is too good to be true. The one who will laugh at all your corny jokes, ask you how your day was and take a genuine interest in your reply and make you feel like the very special person your Mom always said you were. The one who will be worth your time and all your effort. All it takes is patience, lots and lots of patience!

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5 Reasons Why Online Dating Works

As I settled in on my couch for a night of binge watching “Dexter” on Showtime on Demand I realized this had become a regular Saturday night routine. When I left my first husband, I had a fantasy that I would be re-married within a year, 2 years tops, after all I was “a catch”, the ultimate woman. I was sexy, personable, good-looking, career driven with a successful law practice and I had my own money. Well, fast forward 6 years and I was still single, going through another very long period of celibacy, not by choice might I add.

It was the end of the first decade of the of the new millennium and online dating was all the rage. Everybody and their Mamas were on Match.com or e Harmony; but I still thought how pathetic do you have to be if you can’t meet and connect with someone in real life. I thought online dating were for ugly, weirdos so I refused for years to give it a try. However, loneliness makes us do some crazy things, so 7 years ago I did the craziest thing I thought I would ever do; turned off “Dexter” picked up my laptop and created an online dating profile. Today, I have been married for almost 3 years, and I am here to tell you that online dating works; yes, I met my husband online.

1. You Get a Variety

Here’s the thing, most of us, by the time we get to our mid-thirties, have developed several routines; we go the same gym, hang out in the same bars, go to the same church and essentially have the same friends. We rarely open up ourselves to anything new, let alone anyone new, so we keep seeing the same faces everywhere we go over and over and over again, therefore our chances of meeting someone new and different is zero to none.

Variety is the spice of life; with online dating there are so many potential suitors at our fingertips, the variety made me almost giddy with excitement. There were so many men to choose from, all with different backgrounds, different looks, different interests, different styles, different levels of education, and it was a pleasure to find out that most of them were in fact not ugly weirdos. The differences were pretty damn sexy; you could go from winking at a bad boy rocker with an arm sleeve tattoo to having an online conversation with an English professor all within 2 minutes. I was in heaven. Within a few days of creating my online dating profile I had scheduled a date with a guy I seemed to share several interests.

2. You Meet People You Wouldn’t Usually Meet

My husband is from New Jersey, and I would never have met him if I hadn’t tried online dating. I could count on one hand how many times I had been to Jersey prior to meeting my husband, Greg. Similarly, Greg’s trip into Brooklyn on the night we met, was one of only a handful he had ever done. In fact, he got lost while he was on his way to pick me up, our first date was before Google Maps became a thing.

Online dating works so well that Greg wasn’t my first success story. Even before I met and fell in love with Greg, there was Paul. I met Paul 3 weeks in after I first signed up for online dating. Paul lived only 2.2 miles away from where I did, less than a 10-minute drive, yet we never met prior to connecting online. We just didn’t move in the same circles and even though we had similar interests we had never ever bumped into each other before. Paul and I dated for a year and a half but alas we went our separate ways when our relationship got to an impasse. We broke up the first week of 2013 and that was the last time I saw him. Despite living only 2.2 miles away from each other Paul and I have never seen each other again; but for online dating we would never have met.

3. You’re in Control

Online dating gives you more control initially than dating in real life does. Take for example, you meet a seemingly cool guy or gal at the grocery store in the checkout line on a Saturday afternoon. The conversation is short and sweet, so you exchange numbers in the hope of continuing the conversation another time. During the very first phone call you make plans for a date. During that first date you realize that guy or gal is a freaking psychopath based on the crazy things he or she is spewing out of his or her mouth. You quickly end the date and escape with your life.

Now, had you met that same guy or gal online, chances are, during the very first several email exchanges you would have realized that he or she is a psychopath and you would have had the fantastic option of blocking that person from future communication with you and avoid wasting precious time on a date from Hell.

One of the beauties of online dating is that it gives you ample opportunity to weed out the crazies before you are seated in front of them sipping on red wine. I have had the sheer joy of using the “block” feature on a few occasions during my online dating experience and I couldn’t be more thankful. Dating tends to work a lot better when you’re in control of the situation.

4. You Meet Like-minded People

All online dating web-sites require that you fill out an application illustrating your hobbies, needs and desires before signing up, the application also asks that you be detailed about what you’re looking for in a partner, from height to weight and everything in between. As such you’re more likely to find the one or the one that works for right now since online dating applications demands such specificity.

Dating sites make it easy to find other like-minded individuals because it requires that each person create a profile explaining who they are, what they are looking for in a partner and what they want. So if you’re looking for a hook-up and you make it clear that that’s what you’re looking for then you’ll probably find someone who is also looking for something casual. Similarly, the same is true if you’re looking for something “long-term”, as was the case with Greg and I.

There are even websites designed to bring people together with similar beliefs and tastes, if you will. Take for example “Christian People Meet”, that site exist for believers seeking other believers to share a cup of coffee and talk about their faith. Further, if you’re adventurous and your desires lean towards something raunchier you will have several sites to choose from, among them “Adult Friend Finder” claims to have a 97.5% satisfaction rate among their members.

5. You’re Encouraged to have an Open Mind

Online dating will work because oftentimes it encourages individuals to step out of their comfort zone, think outside the box and have an open mind. Sometimes what you think you want isn’t what will make you happiest. In your mind you may be dead set against dating a guy who is under 6 feet, especially if you’re a woman who stands 5’ 10 without shoes on and likes to strut around in elegant 4-inch heels. However, you may be winked at by the guy who barely stands 5’9 and even though you might not have winked back he may still be brave enough to send you an eloquently written email that piques your interest, so you’ll go back and check out his pictures and while doing so you realize that he has gorgeous eyes and great teeth. Chances are you might just respond to the eloquently written email.

When I met Greg, I had a check list with specifics for what I thought I was looking for in a guy. He had to be at least 6 feet tall, be accessible, which meant he had to live within a 10-mile radius from my home, no way I was driving over a bridge or through a tunnel to go visit my boyfriend and most importantly he had to be Jamaican, or at least be from the Caribbean. Well, my Greg, is none of that, what he is, is the sweetest, kindest, most compassionate man I have ever met. He is the epitome of the strong, sensitive type – physically strong, with an inner resilience that is second to none, while highly sensitive to the needs of others. He emailed me on a Wednesday, we had our first date the following Saturday on March 16, 2013; and on November 13, 2015 we were standing in little Chapel in Astoria, Queens promising to continue to love and respect each other through good times and bad, with our family and friends as our witnesses; all because I had an open mind.

It’s never easy to put one’s self out there and that is what online dating requires us to do. It takes a certain type personality to cast that net into the World Wide Web and hope for a catch. Is it risky? Yes! Is it worth the risk, 100 times yes!!!!