Counterintuitive to the purpose of online dating, I, generally, do not reach out to or swipe right on anyone when I resort to this method of courting. The clear fact that makes me engage in this type of torture is the acknowledgment I will not meet anyone in his or her natural habitat or in mine, especially during a pandemic. However, prior to this self-imposed virus fearing abstinence, I was not the most sociable or observant when I was out doing day-to-day tasks. If a single person fell out of a tree in front of me, I would most likely step over him while engrossed in TikTok videos.
One might ask why anybody would pay to join an online dating site and decide not to pick one single person. Excellent question. When I figure it out, maybe I will throw it on the long list of items I already have waiting to discuss with my therapist. Deciding to be a passive voyeur seems like the safe option and it makes the choice of dating site unimportant, especially when I know already I am not going to select anybody. I tend to gravitate to men who do not live anywhere near me, so it eliminates the chances of ever meeting in person. The farther away the better. I have made some Facebook friends from some of my conversations I have had in the past on these dating sites, which makes my pathetic dating efforts not a complete waste of time.
The sites are all the same. It's just a bunch of pictures of guys holding fish, guys in action, guys looking over nature, and my favorite, guys with dog. The bios are mostly too short to get any real idea about the people in all the pictures. My favorite part of examining these sites are the names some people select for themselves, like 69ILOVE69, BUTTSTUFF, or 10INCHESFOSHO for example. I can't help be drawn to these types of profiles, like Ted Cruz to Mexico during a rare Texas snowstorm.
I always think about meeting these men, not because I want to date them. I consider them more of a case study. I'm always curious to find out what personality disorder might be afflicting them. It seems they are not aware with their name selection alone; they are eliminating half of the women who might have otherwise been interested. Understanding what makes these people tick is intriguing to me, but still I don't swipe right. I do not have that kind of time or energy for that matter. I believe that deep down, my urge to sign up for dating sites is mainly because I use the content to reassure me there is nothing else out there for me, and I am better off alone.
I understand this way of thinking is not at all constructive, but here I am. Female, forty something, and single. It's painful being an anxious introvert... in a pandemic. I am hoping therapy will help all of this. However, I feel that it might turn out to be similar to what my ENT surgeon said after I healed up from surgery a few years ago. He said, “I did the best I could." To be fair, I broke my nose after catching a softball with it in middle school. My nose might not be straight, but I never remembered what it felt like to breathe out of both nostrils until after the surgery. I imagine after a few months, my therapist might look me in the eyes, shrug her shoulders, and say the same, “I did the best I could." Even so, I hope that therapy might do to my heart what surgery did for my nose.
Surprisingly, I did "swipe right or "like" or "clicked" in the positive direction when I most recently willed myself to sign up again. I honestly don't know what I did to let this person know that I might be interested in him, but we ended up talking. We texted each other now and then at first, but after a month or two, all of a sudden we were talking every day and night. The things he would say were amazing. Imagine being told everything you have always wanted to hear from a potential mate. For example, imaging being told, "If I were there with you, I would hug, kiss massage you, pleasure you orally, and read poetry....all while cooking dinner." I may be taking some liberties on some of the content. Our conversations weren't really sexually driven. To be perfectly honest, I'm not good at talking "sex" or "dirty talk", I always want to cover my mouth and whisper those words.
He even bought a plane ticket to meet up here in Oregon and I made reservations at a cool local destination. I was super excited thinking that maybe, after all this time, I had quite possible found my soulmate. I decided to tell my sister, and she immediately suggested that I watch some Jennifer Lopez movie where she was either beaten or raped or maybe it was both... Anyways, I started thinking about this guy and doubt creeped in. Maybe he was too good to be true? My brain impulsively decided that his words were too perfect to be real. So, I did what I thought was right, after drinking a couple glasses of wine. I told him that this was too perfect to be true, and blocked him. It makes no sense and complete sense to me that I found a reason to block my soulmate.
I had regret while in the acts of dismantling this short relationship. Sadly, the regret was not strong enough to stop the overthinking and reacting. However, after a few clicks it was done. The morning after, I felt even more regretful, and I did go back and unblock him. During the events of the past evening, my irrational, unreasonable brain told myself, I was most likely being "catfished" and I took action to protect myself. My heart was just a casualty. This guy did seem special. He was good with his words and he appeared to know me and appreciate me, even when I nervously said, "fuck" over and over the first time we talked. When I am anxious, unsettled or just breathing, I swear. I need to start a swear jar in order to curb this uncontrollable phenomenon, but I don't think their is a jar big enough. I might need a swear tub, a swear bathtub. However, he did not seem to mind my potty- mouth and for the first time in a long time, he made me hopeful that soulmates actually are real and that some people find theirs's. All hope destroyed with one ridiculous text, with no one to blame but me.
My life always seemed to have been sorted out professionally. I completed the required schooling and started working in social services and have been working for non-profits since, for the past 25 years. I never have been fired and have been relatively lucky with finding social work jobs that I fell in love with. Typically, love and social work do not go together, but I am might be a bit masochistic. As much as my career has been a dependable long term relationship, my personal romantic relationships have all been complete failures. My daughter being the only positive byproduct, who I am forever grateful to have in my life.
Today, I once again pick up with pieces of my hope off the floor, knowing that my self esteem is absolutely the root of my problem. I did attempt to explain my insane thoughts regarding catfishing and such, and he did respond back to me. He didn't even know what catfishing is and I believe him. I told him that I am still interested in meeting up with him, but he cancelled his flight, which sounds reasonable. I decided I will keep my reservations and go, even knowing I will be by myself. I think I need to live in the wreckage of my own stupid actions. Perhaps this will enable some much needed self growth. I can only hope.
About the Creator
The stories you will read are quirky outbursts highlighting everyday activities from a perspective that mindfully rails against them, creating perfectly imbalanced masterpieces. Brought to you from Portland, OR. I hope you enjoy!