I'm not sure what's going on with me. For quite a while now (maybe years?), I've only dipped into the online dating world ocassionally. I kept my profile active, but I only visited the site every few weeks--or when someone wrote to me. I rarely sent messages. I didn't think about it very much. Over the last couple of weeks, I've been checking in daily--usually many times a day. I haven't sent a ton of messages, but much more than my average. I've struck up correspondences with a couple of guys--maybe three?--though none of them seem to be leading anywhere.
I also have the fellow, Ben, out there somewhere who I met on the site and who I may have another date with someday...but he hasn't been in touch over his vacation time (fine) and we're not exclusive, so I'm still on there prowling around. Prowling? More like anxiously pacing. I made sure not to "favorite" Ben so I won't see if he's online. I don't care if he is--I would understand--but I don't want to know the details. Let's hope he's not checking on me either. A little "don't ask, don't tell" is necessary when it comes to online dating--or should we say "online meeting." Yes, that's better, isn't it?
One of the profiles I read recently said the first date after meeting online isn't really a date--the second date is the real first date. I think that's 100% right. The first meeting is like when you run into someone at the bar, or a party, or in class, etc. You circle around each other a little, get the basic info, exchange information--and if you then make a plan, that's the date. The online meeting game puts things out of order. You have the basic info (age, marital status, religion, bunch if other details) ahead of time, but you don't know if you're actually attracted to the person. That's really the test for me...often I have a sense of whether I can hold a conversation with the person--email and IM are fairly accurate on that point--but real life attraction is a completely different matter.
That first meeting is everything...and often it never happens. I have had so many deadend chats and correspondences...I don't think I can count them up. I have to periodically cull my inbox to make room for new messages. I'm not flooded with messages or anything but they do stack up. Over the years, there are hundreds of messages...not hundred of guys...but little short things that add up to a lot of nothing.
Over the last 24 hours, I've recieved more messages than in the last six months (or it feels like it). I suppose the holidays account for my popularity. Some of the messages are just sad. One fellow actually wrote that he's lonely and looking for someone to help get him out of the house. I wrote back with a gentle "no" because I felt bad for him. I suggested that he try and make some friends first because I didn't have time to be his only social outlet. I didn't phrase it quite like that. I almost wanted to say that we all feel desperate at times, but should really avoid putting it in an email to a stranger. Not becaue it's unacceptable, but because it's too damn much pressure.
A few people are wishing me Merry Christmas. Normally, that doesn't bother me, but it's right there in my profile details that I'm Jewish. Maybe just say "Happy Holidays"? I pointed this out to one guy and then he tells me he's half-Jewish (not in his profile) and I that I should "look past the exterior." Well, see, that's hard to do online--especially if your entire message to me is "Merry Christmas. We should talk." AND you live in New Jersey!
I am both annoyed and pleased by the flurry of attention. I want more attention. Is this a side effect of the job change? Are the holidays affecting me? I don't know. I just want more--I want more friends, more dates, more something. Not that I have time! I'm hanging in the office until nearly 7, which means I'm home around 8. I go to bed by 11 and I'm up at 7 (which is actually too late). That doesn't leave much free time. I have my knitting group one weeknight, maybe I see a friend one other night--and I'm wiped out. But I would be willing to stay up late for the right person, of course. Of course!
Happy Holidays, blog friends. I don't know if I'll do a NYE post or not. Oh, and I think I've missed the blog anniversary again...nope, it's December 29, 2004. 2004!!! Nine years. NINE YEARS. What the hell? How is that even possible? This is quite the primer for some future bf of mine. Heh. I've come close to stopping writing, but I haven't really thought about closing up shop. What kind of prize do I get for staying in the game this long. Crazy.
Grateful for: longevity.