I hate online dating

Discussion in 'Dating Again After the Loss of a Spouse/Partner' started by Kata, Aug 22, 2020.

  1. Kata

    Kata Active Member

    To whom it may concern: my first time on this site so forgive me if I’m in the wrong place. Here’s my story.

    I lost my husband late last year to cancer. Afterwards I was in pretty good shape, missing him but most of the time happy. Then a month ago I got this idea in my head that I wanted male companionship. I wasn’t sure exactly what I was looking for. I signed up on the two biggest sites, match.com and eharmony to try out online dating. I learned lots about what say and how to say it in my dating profile. But by the time I wised up I had been through enough misunderstandings to be fed up. The last potential match put me over the edge. He lured me in with flattery and a promise of feeling true love for the rest of my life. I started to care for him, started to love him, then found out how controlling and inflexible he was. When I realized what he really was, I cried because my dream was shattered and I thought “that’s it, you found your soulmate and he died and now you’ll never have anyone else again”. I am feeling demoralized and vulnerable. I get teary eyed just thinking about it now. I can’t help thinking that I may be overreacting because it’s bringing up emotions that I’ve been ignoring. I don’t know if people respond to a story but if so you are welcome to, and would love to know about other dating experiences.
     
  2. paul tinker

    paul tinker Well-Known Member

    Kata,

    Actually thanks for posting this. I also tried this route but really thinking dinner and conversation. Match was the site. The loneliness was so acutely painful. Set a site crazy, fraud, mentally ill. Those were quick to recognize. Then write to someone long gone. That site has mostly divorced and really age-appropriate women were looking for committed long term I think most were a few years single. I think that time for most of us is important to begin dating. Not a hard rule but seems reasonable. The gals were very much about the "one". That is way too much pressure. My profile said exactly my intent. Diner and the pleasure of meeting someone. Having a great conversation. A few gals were candid and just said to not expect much. Someone said to try the site, Just Lunch. One gal said it's a numbers game. I feel she is correct. I understand your desire for connection, fill some loneliness, and perhaps some intimacy. My impression that the site was very serious.

    There was another mentioned to me by a friend that was activity driven. That seems a lot less pressure but also more geared to the 30 somethings. Sorry, you encountered a psychological land mine. Perhaps when and if COVID is less. Clubs and interest groups would be OK.
     
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  3. Kata

    Kata Active Member

    Thanks for sharing. Clubs with music and dancing sound good to me. I’ve joined some meetup groups...mostly women. A friend told me guys like outdoor activities, so maybe I should add a hiking group or something.

    I could really use some advice on this other guy I met on match.com. We did three video chats and we conversed easily. The problem was that from the first call he had me on the defensive. He asked me 3 or 4 test questions and I could hear the sighs after my answers. I always think the best of people, and thought it probably wasn’t a big thing. But just the possibility of being judged negatively put doubt in my mind. I told him from the very beginning that I liked him and thought he was special. He deliberately stayed away from saying anything complimentary. We never got to the fourth call. He stalled on answering me with his availability. He mentioned something about not liking talking on the phone so I proposed email and he finally replied that he’d prefer that. A week went by and I couldn’t stand the uncertainty anymore. I emailed him saying I couldn’t understand why he still wanting to communicate when he was showing no enthusiasm, and seemed to be growing more and more distant. Time to say goodbye. He immediately replied that he was afraid of getting burned because of a recent bad experience. But in addition to that, he thought his distancing justified because of red flags which brought my trustworthiness into question. I responded in anger that he should have communicated why he wanted space from the get go. Among other « irrefutable facts », he said that he thought he was a good communicator. So I said his points were good just to stop the futile attempt at trying to make him understand my point of view. He wasn’t angry. It was like he was debating in some collegiate competition. He proposed to hit the reset button and not talk again until we could meet in person. I agreed but I’m on the fence. I’ve seen it from his point of view and mine and it’s a draw. I’ve calmed down and am thinking clearly now, and I still can’t decide whether or not to end it or to meet him to get more information. I really don’t hate online dating. I hate being judged like this, and the mixed signals, and the uncertainty of what to do with this “relationship ». Would love your thoughts.
     
  4. paul tinker

    paul tinker Well-Known Member

    My thoughts are you are courageous and willing to risk. You bring social into your life and that is terrific especially now with COVID. The hiking just sounds good if for nothing else nature, exercise, and being with people. Your profile here says you are in transition geographically? You also seem a quick learner. Match was about presentation and writing a detailed profile. Personally I was nowhere near serious dating and was sorely at a loss as I had been with one woman forty years.

    Please tell me the test questions? Just curious. You quickly adjusted to his comfort level with the emails. I actually have more ease with that style of communicating. Slower and more time to be reflective with considered responses. Are you looking for 24/7 or happy to date, maybe some causal intimacy but take the time to know someone? I only managed a couple of in-person dates, a few emails, and a couple of on the phone exchanges. I read a ton of profiles. The range of how people are was an education. Would travelers, High career achievers, dedicated moms, and family, some deeply religious. extreme sports and athletes to barely able to fill out a profile. I admired many and said so.but knew not a relationship.

    Your guy sounds cautious. The words defensive, sighs, judged, red flags, futile, availability, no enthusiasm, getting burned. collegiate competition, the big one trustworthiness into question, anger. That is a heated conversation don't you think? I think for entertainment value meeting would be interesting to just gain insight into your self and see if this mostly was opening jitters. As long as you feel safe.

    Here are the collective wisdom and impressions that I got from the gals.

    We all have baggage just a matter of how we handle it. I loved that comment and likely from a divorced person. How often is the ex a primary conversation?

    Often the gals requested the men be secure and not expect the woman to furnish their happiness. That I thought wise.

    I have my own money and don't need a man to complete me.

    Be the "one" At our age I want this to be a complete relationship. Honest but a ton of pressure. We all would like that hand in glove relationship. I think especially if we experienced one.

    The funniest was not still living with your parents. Then one gal said, " if you have a half eaten burrito under the seat of the car, that is a deal-breaker".

    Some were adamant about not just sex.

    Some were in a wealth category that I think it literal. Let's meet in Tuscany for diner, your plane or mine?

    My wife and I met and married in about two months. I think just taken with each other and not so warry. As we age the train wrecks of other people become apparent. One gal told me she dated then stocked. Another used the word jaded and also cautious. I tend to think that a committed relationship is about the biggest choice we can make. So much on the line either financial or emotional. I really spent a good deal of time interested in someone's reading list.

    Kata this was fun. If you can update to vicariously live your experience would be great.
    I hope this helped or at least entertained!!

    Paul M.( also questioning relationship)
     
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  5. glego

    glego Well-Known Member

    I looked over some of the dating sites, and decided to take a pass. I get it they're there for dating and marriage. It's been so long for me that it all seems over my head, when I met my husband it just fell into place, we liked each other and just kept wanting to be together, we never made "dates" it was what are you doing tomorrow and the day after, etc., we just kept rolling along. Then the next thing you know several years later he asked me to marry him. Now similar situation with what I'd call a friend, but it's watching movies and grabbing a bite to eat. In this case I really don't see anything serious. I'm taking things real slow Covid has put a stop on meeting new people, when things get back to something somewhat normal, I'll do some volunteer work and there's a meetup that does architectural walks (on break now) if I meet someone with similar interests, fine if I don't that's fine. Trying to fill my time with a small circle of friends now, and not worry about this.
     
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  6. glego

    glego Well-Known Member

    The loneliness is hard, I loved being married and having that special person to share everything with. But my longing is for him, and anyone else would be a mistake right now.
     
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  7. Kata

    Kata Active Member

    Paul, I found your insights both hilarious and thought provoking.

    My expectations: I wasn’t thinking beyond holding hands in the movie theater. These guys were so serious! Expectations over the moon! I was spending half my time reading each potential suitors profile so I could tell them specific things that made them special to let them down as gently as I could.

    My new take. He and I have a lot in common: We are independent, find it hard to compromise, and not really cut out for marriage (anymore, I should add). We can be arrogant, judgemental, lack compassion (he should think like me and I should think like him). While different in how we show it, we’re terrified of getting hurt. We both want intimacy but on our own terms.

    I react to what I don’t like. I get angry, resentful, hurt, feel like it’s his fault one minute, and my fault the next. He doesn’t get heated (or if he does he’s hiding it very well). When I consider it a good trait I call it steady, if I’m mad at him I call it unfeeling. To his credit, he said he wasn’t offended by anything I said and didn’t want to let the relationship(if you could call it a relationship) go.

    Ice breaker question 1. “What do you think of Hamilton?” So I’m thinking, what an obvious interview question. It doesn’t deserve a good answer. So I say “oh that’s a play, right?”. “But you put on your profile that you like musicals.” (Slight distress in voice). “I’ve never seen a broadway musical, if that’s what you mean.” (I’m sure he’s thinking “lied about musicals”). “I see musicals on film” (another sigh. Still considers it lying in my profile).
    Question 2: « So you live in Rochester? ». « I’m planning to move there next year. Right now I’m visiting my sister in LA « (lie #2. That’s a big one. Big sigh). I try to explain that I’d just joined match and if my profile seemed misleading that was due to my ignorance. I’m an honest person and if people get mislead because of anything I wrote , that is not my intent. (He wasn’t buying it. It was documented in my profile, providing irrefutable evidence of my deceit)
    Question 3. « Do you want to get married again? « (What the? I have no F-ing idea!). » I don’t know, haven’t given it much thought » (I had but at that point I thought he deserved the worst answers I could provide).
    Question 4. « Do you want to live together? » « I don’t know. «

    Before the next call I took musicals out of my profile and changed my profile to read « I’m looking for a relationship in Rochester because I am planning to move there next year. »
    Call 2, question 1. « Are you moving to Rochester because of me? » Answer: « absolutely not! » (The arrogance and contradiction! First he’s afraid I’m not going to live in Rochester, then he’s afraid I am. Now he can add « stalker » in the ever expanding minuses column)
    Question 2 and 3. Marriage and live together again.
    This time I said I was leaning away from marriage and wanted my own house. Now that I showed him mine he says « I don’t want to get married or live together. And I’m going to keep looking for other matches. I replied « fine. And if you should find someone more suitable, good for you.” (Nice to know I made the audition list. Sure knows how to make a girl feel special. “What an asshole” was becoming my mantra)

    Anyway, the big thing that helped me in your reply was that it made me lighten up. I didn’t go into the dating world to get bogged down in seriousness. I thought it was going to be a diversion, light and fun. Maybe it still could be...
     
  8. Kata

    Kata Active Member

    Glasgow thanks for sharing. I had to go through some unpleasantness to learn what you already know.
     
  9. paul tinker

    paul tinker Well-Known Member

    Kata and Glego,

    I think we are perhaps in this middle ground period of our lives. The gals on Match were usually four years removed from a marriage or a committed relationship. So enough time to process what that was but tired of being alone. In essence ready to try again. Having been committed for so long I understood exactly what they sought. I had lived in that most of my adult life. Glego as you say we loved coming home to our spouse. Maybe she went to visit relatives or me out of town for work. The first few days were fine and actually liked the autonomy of doing whatever I chose but not too long was missing. Most all here say the same things like hating how quiet the house is or missing the companionship and endless conversation. Building a life and collaborative decision making. Then the intimacy that maybe sex, hugs, kisses, or that lazy day in bed or close watching a movie or going to breakfast out. All the rituals that took years to build. There is a division of labor stuff. I think just natural one is just better at some things and we divide life's challenges. Then this other unique quality. Their way of being in the world. I from the beginning, middle, and end purely adored her. As that is all I knew of course the new will be compared to what worked so well.

    The gals on Match had so many lives. Many I would have been delighted to either hear about their life or have as a friend but they were wanting the real thing. As they should and were ready to start a new page. I was not. This is the difficulty of our middle ground period. I am both wanting autonomy and intimacy at times. How do we ask someone to be what we want or need and then conveniently go away? How do we not hurt someone's feelings with our sometimes engaged then a need to go alone? Add to that attraction is elusive then add compatibility. I wonder at our ages we should know our selves well and therefore have a good idea of what works but then I question I am I to set in my ways to adapt.

    One story of my time on Match. I was struggling to comprehend the dating world. Again I was coming from a simple dinner and conversation need. Somehow I picked in my mind the smartest woman on the site. She wrote flowingly well. She had a great career, great kids, traveled, and a to die for reading list. All that and add she was on several philanthropy boards like, Make a Wish. her name is Kathy. She had been a long time married and intimated a harsh divorce. I would not venture into that as to personal. The irony was we were both from the same university just a few years apart. I wrote to her over both my attachment to Kay and not comprehending this site. I could not have chosen better. Her response was accurate, informed and insightful. She immediately picked up on that I was really still married. Her comment was to do the work involved in being a single person again. She knew well the hardship of going it alone. She from her personal experience dated a widowed man. They considered marriage three times. Ultimately she was stunned that he was comparing her to the deceased wife. So much hurt in that. She worded this perfectly. She said Kay had brought certain gifts to my life. A new woman may come along but her gifts will be different ones. Be ready to accept different gifts.

    I did choose the wisest gal on the site. I for a long time could not imagine being married to Kay. I had a specific question and that was we need love in our lives. There are types of love. The romantic type or more universal love. Kathy by her charity work was well into universal love along with the devotion to her now-adult kids. But here she was still seeking a partner. For her, this was the second time on Match.

    Kata thanks for clarifying the geography part. The test questions seem strange and confining but then that is another thing I noticed. Many women had defined exactly a list of specifications as to who should apply. I had mixed feeling over that. Mostly I rarely if ever would fit any list. In my mind good luck finding this so specific match. You can perhaps do that with car shopping but actually we may be surprised a person may fit the bill better as they bring something new to our lives. Then I thought why not be in the ballpark and express the best fit and save all the disappointment.


    A friend of mine who came out of divorce had an outlook. His observation was dating was a process or an education into defining what you may not care for. Either way, as you note Kata we have lives to fill. I have a few woman friends that are perfect as friends. Just as you mentioned there were a number of social things lined up then COVID made a halt to that. The city architecture walk is likely something I would love to do. There is still a place for romance but how do we navigate this? Younger people have the term friends with benefits. Similar to hippies and free love. That sounds good but there is also bonding. I love reading this story about a guy living in his house. A carpenter by trade. One day a native American woman showed up and just moved in. She is still there as far as I know.

    Do we leave this to fate?
     
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  10. glego

    glego Well-Known Member

    Yes, we do. Didn't we way back when?

    Sure we know ourselves better now, perhaps a little older and wiser, I hope. Maybe I sound unprepared for this? I don't think you can have a script, I recently was asked if I was ready to date? Truth be told I don't know, if anything I'll start with a friendship and after all isn't this what that person should be? My husband was my best friend first and all that good stuff came later. Another question, was how many people do you think you'll need to date, again, hell if I know. It could be the first one, or the tenth, or may not find anyone at all. I think people put the cart before the horse, and just need to see what happens.

    One of my favorite lines in "Don't Get Me Wrong" Pretenders.

    Once in a while, two people meet
    Seemingly for no reason
    They just pass on the street
    Suddenly, thunder showers everywhere
    Who can explain the thunder and rain?
    But there's something in the air.
     
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  11. glego

    glego Well-Known Member

    Kata, sorry for that experience. On a positive note, best to find out up front. Onto to the next as they say.
     
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  12. paul tinker

    paul tinker Well-Known Member

    glego,

    Agreed and well said. I always felt that toward Kay. How else can something happen so seamlessly!!

    Kata an observation and funny Match story. That quiz question about liking Hamilton. As an ice breaker question that would be fine but add the sigh. That is in essence saying you are not cultured enough. So, yes I would be pissed also. I would contrast that to how Kay was. She loved the world of dance. On occasion, I would go with but one time fell asleep. Her take was not to waste money on taking me. We did several times to attend the ballet. Usually the big-name performance. I did like going with her but the best thing was never mandatory. She was more than capable of taking herself and really preferred that less hassle. We did share DWTS, Beauty Pageants, and Football. She was so funny and never got the X$O"s of the game but enamored over the personalities of the players. Her dad used to love to pick who would win Miss America or the Universe.

    So I am chatting with a Match gal and the topic comes up over favorite musicals. She liked Molly Brown and Chicago. I tended toward All That Jazz, " It's showtime!!". That likely was a Kay influence as she was much more into the arts. I loved her dearly for that quality.No big deal really and typical getting to know someone but it got a little concerning as things progressed. Not just Chicago but a specific song in the musical. The woman who shoots the cheating boyfriend song. Then she went on to describe her marriage and said she married him twice but the marriage was essentially war far and fighting for control. We did go to dinner and that was fine. She chose the place, time but changed that a few times. There was to be a movie but changed that to another time. I am OK with all that. Then some commentary that I was remiss in not asking enough questions about her. That was a modest request I suppose but at the time I was edgier over Kay's passing. I was not all that attracted and fortunately had planned a trip to California for the desert bloom. A great trip. Also a good excuse to exit. I was clearly not ready.

    Perhaps I should have kept a potential friend. Likely to thin-skinned but this goes to glego and the expression nothing is wasted. That has a more spiritual connotation. This gal taught me a new word that I love and use all the time. The word is commiserating. That I think is the perfect word for friendship. That is exactly what friends do is to commiserate. The experience of meeting this gal was not wasted. I had the pleasure of meeting someone new. Perhaps saw my self in not the most flattering way. Too quick to take offense. It was at least the experience of being with someone who differed from Kay.

    I love both of you for your candor. We will muddle along somehow.

    I love this site for exactly this. The ability to talk and compare notes.

    Best to you both.

    Paul M.
     
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  13. glego

    glego Well-Known Member

    Am I being naive, thinking that it should happen again so seamlessly? I'd like to think not.

    Paul, don't second guess your decision(s) I do believe we do the best that we can with what we know and feel in the moment. My husband and I both had a I won't force you to do stuff you don't enjoy either. However, there was enough interests to bind us together. A carbon copy would be boring. Commiserating as long as it doesn't come with the "pity" part of the word.

    Being ready, don't know if that's possible. I think the right person is going to have to care enough to realize that we've been and will be going through some rough waters at times, they're going to have to be patient. This man that I'm sort of seeing, more as a friend now gets it, I had a mini melt down of feeling guilty for being out with him, all the sudden I was a puddle of tears. I was so embarrassed and apologetic. He was very understanding, and comforted me. He then said this won't be the last of these moments, that he understands that I suffered a great loss and that if I didn't react this way he'd think something was wrong with me.

    Picking up is hard, but it has to be done.

    I love this site too, the exchange in grief is the most honest.
     
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  14. paul tinker

    paul tinker Well-Known Member

    glego,

    Thanks. This person you are getting to know sounds really fine and wise as well as sensitive. I was watching a documentary a few days ago. about a skin disorder called Morgellons. It is rare and clinically seen as a psychological disorder and treated with antipsychotic meds. A gal that I care for has a friend who was a doctor now devastated by an autoimmune illness with origins not well understood as that upsets the gal I know then all things that affect her have my interest.

    In that story was a nurse from SF that acquired this skin disorder. The pair I was touched by and relevant to our conversation was the man who entered her life somewhat out of the blue to care for her. He was totally supportive. They married and moved to Texas as there was treatment for her illness. He was among other things s a musician. That union did lead her to get better. Perhaps not cured as that disease is not wholly understood. A sad touch of irony was that lived out a bit. He had a coronary and she knew what to do but an actual EMT took a while longer to show up and he passed. Maybe that just says we are so happy we had what most seek for as long as we did.

    One of the grief books I have read by a woman touched on this topic. Her take and she did remarry was she can and does love both. The new husband understands but that story gave me permission or at least a way of looking at it. I likely as I look on that early date was irritable and she had no way of knowing that due to severe focus issues that changing times or locations was more than I could do at the time. All was so raw for a good while.

    I agree pity parties are not so great. I think talking honestly and venting our thoughts to a responsive listener is valuable. Either just the flow of our thought or insight that another may offer.

    I am happy you have a new friend.

    Paul M.
     
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  15. glego

    glego Well-Known Member

    Paul, wonderful post. I quoted the line I liked because it's a perfect way to look at this. I've told people I'm so all over the map on this. I'll have in my mind that I'm just going to forgo the whole thing, best to be alone and nothing can top what I was so fortunate to have experienced, then I logically think, it won't be the same but still can be good, then I'm back to the alone thing.

    A girlfriend of mine asked if I was going to start dating, I said no, but then again ask me in ten minutes. I do believe we're like this with many things.
     
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  16. Kata

    Kata Active Member

    Love you guys and your posts too. It made me realize that it’s not bad to keep changing your mind, or to not think about the next marriage. I can think any way I like.

    When Bob pushed me away I thought I was too fragile to go on dates. Well, with your help I recovered for the most part. After I buy a house, I’ll decide whether or not to see Bob. If I don’t,
    I feel strong enough to date again. Match will be my plan b if nothing is happening locally. If I get hurt again, I know I’ll get over it. It’s small change compared to bearing the loss of my husband.

    At least that’s what I think now
     
  17. paul tinker

    paul tinker Well-Known Member

    Kata,

    Sounds like a lot of life changes. If you feel comfortable how did Rochester enter the mix? Would you buy a house there? Talk about meetups. I had a decent list of activities pre COVID and now feel set back by opportunity. I would be curious about the groups that you are interested in.
     
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  18. Kata

    Kata Active Member

    MeetUp Groups
    Looked for over age 50 groups and anything where singles can meet singles. I’ll try a few girls night out groups. Golf, bowling, ski, hiking, social dancing. Scrabble, French conversation. Groups that are socializing at restaurants, music venues, and other fun activities. Can’t do them all, but a good list of groups to try.

    Buying a house in Rochester
    I’ve been thinking about moving there ever since my husband died. Believe it or not, buying a house in Rochester and all the other associated tasks are not stressful. So far it’s fun. If it starts to be a stressor, I can back off (at least that’s what I’m thinking..there’s always the unexpected to factor in.)

    Update on Bob. I talked to an old friend who’s seen me make bad choices before. She told me to cut it off now. It happens because I sympathize with the guy and tend to romanticize, painting a non existent picture of a happy ending. She’s a realist, never veering away from taking care of number one first, and can’t stand the thought of me unhappy with the wrong guy. So, sent a short email and blocked him. It’s such a relief! Can’t believe I have the same blind spots I had in my twenties.
     
  19. Kata

    Kata Active Member

    also Regarding Covid, I’ve been meeting with one of my ct groups weekly. Zoom. I noticed that Rochester groups are doing that too but I’ll wait until the real estate stuff is settled before I check them out. What do you think of trying a Local meetup video chat?
     
  20. paul tinker

    paul tinker Well-Known Member

    Well, Kata.

    You are not just sitting on your hands and very proactive!!! Often on the net are lists of places to live that are good for senior people. Places like Rochester. A friend of mine moved to NM for that reason. My sister retired in Port Angeles here in Washington. That was a mill town in its day. He has to deal with the heat. My sister is fine and she always is. I went there for Christmas and we explored. What impressed me was exactly what you mentioned, venues. It was amazing the number of things to do. Granted a high school play or musical event is not a big city but the price is right. There are plenty of lectures and all sorts of groups that she likes. I would be somewhat intimidated by the winters? But I would die in the heat. I do love your list of interests. I am a dinosaur and so the tach avenue is foreign. My sister is older and about the same on that.

    The houses can have an old-world charm. There was a Carnegie library now some visitor canter but the old is preserved. They had this art canter and in the woods, people created walking art just for the creative expression.

    As for Romantic love. I am also a sucker for that and crave romance. A woman to hold at night and to love. Make her the focus of how we live. I think good for you to have a friend that grounds you. That desire is strong and I completely understand the wanting. Forgive me sounding blunt as I have no idea about you or what your experience but from your description, caution. One was controlling and the other seems wary and picky. Sorry, it just came across that way.

    There on these sites are the lists of compatibility and interests. That is all great. My list would include a good heart, kindness, navigating the world well emotionally and financially. As I read your comments you were taken away by a guy saying he would love you. I am by no means an expert on love and actually too nieve. I came from a Match with some conclusions. Always chemistry was mentioned. That usually means sexual attraction. I would add intellectual chemistry and most important is emotional chemistry. Like trust. I was so impressed with glego's comment about a man in her life that could be with a grieving woman. That spelled trust and a safe man to be with.

    You are a ball of fire and very engaged. I would think willing to try new things and never boring, fearless. I would love it if you check in on the move and the house, Making a support network of friends. Having someone to love is so desirable. Building a suitable life is also exciting. I* am excited for you. Just add quality people in your life.

    I am glad you started this thread. Very fun and lively.

    Paul M.
     
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