Tough Lovin’

I always thought I’d meet the man of my dreams in a coffee shop, or a bookstore, or an airport. It would be the epitome of a “meet cute” and full of sweet, silly things that we’d tell our grandchildren someday.

In the end though, I’ve just ended up drinking a lot of coffee, buying a lot of books and I never really go to airports anyway.

Meeting men is just really, really hard to do! And it’s not that I can’t get a date. I can! I’ve been asked out when selling things on Craigslist, while reading at the park, by text, by email, by Tweet, by Facebook message, via a mutual friend, via a family member and more.

The problem is the spark, the cadence, the chemistry… I never feel it with the people I should. Kind, beautiful men have tried to sweep me off of my feet and I’ll feel nothing. Rotten, selfish men nod in my direction and I swoon. Obviously, this is a major psychological problem and I know already know what it means. I feel like I don’t deserve a good man or real love… blah blah blah… but that’s not entirely true either. I’m ready to have a healthy, adult relationship. I’ve been ready for quite a while now! I live in a place that I love, I feel truly comfortable with myself and I’ve surrounded myself with only a handful of wonderful people who truly love me and care about me. I think the problem is now that I know what I deserve. I don’t deserve the rotten ones. I don’t deserve to be someone’s second choice. I don’t deserve to be treated like a booty call. I deserve a kind, loving man.

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My sweet coworker finally gave me a tough love pep talk. Her argument: online dating. My argument: weirdos, meanies, stalkers and the potential for him to be a killer/rapist. Finally she wore me down. She convinced me that perfectly normal people go online because like me, they’re shy, new to the city, not into the bar scene and busy with work. So in the middle of the night a few days later, I made a profile. I randomly chose pictures, I copied a section of writing from my blog and I then I signed off. I figured that I’d sign up for one month, and one month only. If I received emails, I’d respond and if they asked, I’d go out on a date with them.

One by one, the emails started to come in. I went on 8 first dates. Sometimes two in one day, sometimes for coffee, sometimes a bar, sometimes a restaurant. There was nothing truly horrible about any of the dates, though once or twice I knew for certain that we would not be meeting up again. I was always asked out on a second date, and I accepted five times. I suddenly noticed how different my life looked and I was exhausted from the exertion of it all. I had to shower, style my hair and pick cute outfits out every day. I had to touch up my makeup, carry gum and had to be nice for hours on end.

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However, in the end I gained more than I could’ve ever imagined. I met fascinating people. Men from all across the United States, who had interesting jobs, interesting hobbies and wonderful friendships and families. Sometimes they told me funny stories, sometimes sad and always interesting. I felt so blessed that these men were telling me these stories and sitting across from me for that time because I knew they all served a purpose for me, and me for them. I learned new things and I experienced new places.

I’d recommend that anyone single and interested should try it, at least for one month, just like I did. I had an incredible experience and I think other people would as well! That being said, after 28 days I’ve canceled my subscription. There’s no real conclusion to this story… and I’m not sure I want a conclusion just yet!

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