In 2005, after a failed engagement, I set out to do something I hadn’t really done before even though I was already 27 years old – date. Yes, I had been in relationships before and there were those crazy college years. However, I had never really dated. In a time before online dating, you met people through ACTUAL social networks that did not include the information super highway which we now know as the internet. Through friends, work, or going out and talking to random strangers in broad daylight (GASP!) was how you met new people. You clicked with someone and took it from there. Thirteen years, a lot of dates and membership fees, and some almost-unbelievable-if-they-hadn’t-actually-happened-to-me stories later, the world of dating is completely different. Online dating options are endless –Match, eHarmony, Tinder, Hinge, Bumble, etc. I have dated and been on all of the most common sites and apps. My friends have heard all the stories.
Relationships can be messy, but dating? Dating in the 21st century challenges your self worth almost daily. It takes an emotional toll on you after a while. Every couple months, I have to delete accounts and apps and take a break from time to time to remember the larger picture of why I continue to torture myself. I would like to believe I’m closer to finding a person to spend my life with – I have to be right? You know, in the exact same way every day of living is really bringing me closer to death. Some days I have questioned everything about myself and wonder what’s wrong with me. Why is it so hard for me to find someone I like that actually likes me back? On other days I’m proud of the work I have done – on myself, by myself, for myself – and I am optimistic that I will find the guy who is going to be my best friend that I can’t keep my hands off.
At the start of my online dating journey, people wanted me to write a book about my crazy, fun dating life. I was fresh faced, young and certain I would find a guy by 30 back then (oh how naive of me). Along the way my heart learned some tough lessons. I wish I had chronicled all of it now, because as the months pass the stories get more bizarre and my sanity in the quest to find love diminishes a little more each day. I can honestly say (this is not a pity party sentence) that I do not know that I will ever find it now. I DO know that sharing the stories will bring you laughter, shock and yes, I promise there is at least one that will HORRIFY you. At the very least I can laugh my way through the madness and I can provide entertainment and/or comfort for those in the same boat. As an added bonus, when my sister drops me off at the funny farm, I can just give them the website when they ask the reason for my visit. If I’m so exhausted from dating now – after a total of 26 years – I am certain by the time she takes me to check in I won’t have the energy to explain why I have gone completely mad. I do hear that sanity is overrated – not that I would actually remember.
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