Have I mentioned lately how much I dislike "dating?"
Most... okay... all of my dating originates from online sites. It's such an odd and mildly backward process. You learn from a basic profile more than you usually find out in a third... let alone a first... date. Plus, in the "traditional" method of meeting dates, you first establish that you have sexual chemistry and then see whether you're compatible. With online dating, that's backward... you first find out what you have in common and then determine whether there's sexual chemistry. So, why, you ask, do I not attempt to meet people in a traditional way?? Two reasons: 1) I don't usually hang out places where it's common to meet someone on a romantic basis and if some stranger just randomly approached me, I'd likely find that suspect; which brings me to 2) I never notice when someone is checking me out or hitting on me. Seriously, it requires a brick upside the head before I realize that someone might have an interest. Literally, my best friend once asked me during a walk, "Did you just see that guy leaning out his car window checking you out?" "uh, no..." She just shook her head. She and I joke that even if some guy plopped himself directly in front of me, wearing a bright neon sign saying "PICK ME!" I'd just put my head down and walk around him, muttering that "some people are so rude for standing in the middle of the path." For that reason, I suspect that I throw off some pretty decent "back off" vibes, even if unintentionally. And, really, that probably says more about my self-esteem than anything else.
But, back to my online issue. I'm one of those types that can usually find something to talk about with someone, and therefore, can create online "chemistry" with just about anyone. It used to be that I would spend a while exchanging emails but it reached a point where I'd think there was a connection and then I'd meet the man and end up completely disappointed, either because I was still intrigued but he wasn't... or... more likely, I just didn't feel like saying "yes!" I found myself in this cycle of hope and disappointment, which would ultimately wear me down and then I'd have to take a break from the whole online thing. In recent years, I determined that it was much better to meet early, before that faux connection was created. Now, I end up with a lot of first dates... but it doesn't change the fact that there is a serious lack of spark. I wonder some times if that's normal. I don't look at the world and think it's an all day humanity buffet. I'm pretty selective about who I chose to invite into my life and, honestly, don't often feel a sexual attraction to most men.
I've been on three dates in the last couple of weeks. All three of the men were perfectly nice but... nothin', nada. One was a mutual disinterest. I'm quite sure I didn't fit his idea of health and attractiveness, which is totally okay, I don't expect to be everyone's type. From a personality standpoint, we wouldn't have been a good fit. He gave wonderful hugs and was fabulously hairy... but... eh... I didn't even leave the date thinking that we could possibly be friends, let alone lovers. I've already talked about one of the men (see Kissing Frogs) who was perfectly nice and attractive but it wasn't there. We'd originally talked about being friends because we had very interesting conversations but then he decided he wouldn't be able to do that without hoping for more. We parted... but now he's texting. I'm going to have to confront the issue and point blank ask him if he's truly okay with being friends only.
Now, for the date I had last night... this situation is the one that I hate the most. He was so incredibly nice, sweetly nervous and would treat me like a queen. He would be anything that I want him to be. But, per my usual course, no spark. Nothing in me that wanted to say "yes!" I would give anything to be attracted to him. But (isn't there always a but?), I think he'd attempt to be what I want... and not who he is. I'm very attracted to strong men with strong personalities. Part of that attraction is likely about having a strong personality myself and I have no interest in dominating in a relationship. I want an equal partner... someone who can just be themselves with me, just as I want to just be myself with him. This guy has texted me three times since we parted last night. I don't want to hurt him but I'm afraid that he's going to invest too much hope in me and us as potential. From experience, I know how devastating it is when you're not on the same page as the person you're seeing and I won't do that to someone else. Ugh... Now I'm going to have to politely turn him down and that makes me feel like a total shit. Sure, all my friends tell me that I "shouldn't" feel that way and that I can't own their emotions. But, I do. I hate that I'm leaving hurt karma out there. I know how it feels to be rejected... to be the one who isn't "picked" and that sucks. It can, if you let it, erode the self-esteem and make you question your worth. I don't want to do that to someone else.
Why can't dating be simple? I'd give my right arm to realign the planets in such a way that we only meet people that we have a connection with and the potential for a mutual level of attraction and desire.. Dating exhausts me. But, I want to love again and since I haven't found another option, this appears to be the path that I need to take. So, I'll pull up my big girl panties and get online again.