I have ventured into the world of on-line dating. It took me a couple of years before I even considered this. All my experiences in dating prior to this decision happened many years ago and had been face-to-face meetings before the first date. I was much younger and everyone was single. You know? Meet at a bar or party, or through a friend, small talk, a few laughs then exchange numbers after a few sips of liquid courage. Not very scientific, but it was an easy way to gage an instant physical attraction, or perceived one, between two people.
That has all changed now. I am older and wiser with more at stake than just my heart. And I live in the suburbs where everyone here comes in a family unit. Singles are a rare sighting. I go out with my girlfriends for dinner and wine, but the last thing I want to do now is find romance in a bar. The pitfalls are greater. You can miss a lot in the dim lighting of a bar when sizing up a middle-aged man.
-Too many age lines
- Bloodshot eyes from too much drink
-Their real reason for being there
-The tan line on a finger showing a missing wedding band.
Oh yeah! Dating is so much easier now that I'm older.
Enter the cupid of our modern era. On-line dating. At a friend’s suggestion and a promising TV ad showing an embracing happy couple, I decided to cast my net out into the sea of cyberspace in search of a “good catch”. So far, the experience has been quite amusing, interesting and promising. I’m like a kid in a candy store.
I have signed up with Match.com and EHarmony. For $39.00 a month, anonymity and from the comfort of my own home, I can checkout numerous men without even getting dressed up and going out. I can find out what they like, their hobbies, their income level, what god they pray to, how many kids they have and what their preferences are in women. From their pictures, I can scrutinize their faces, hairline, smiles and physiques without making them uncomfortable. This is where the playing field evens out between the sexes. We all get a chance to be scrutinized, courted and turned down for the same price.
There are various ways to express your interest in someone on these sites. You can send them a “wink”, “like” their picture or mark them as ‘favorite”. You can send them an email, or imply and interest in their profile. The first time I responded to a "wink" I thought I was making a lifetime commitment. I’m more relaxed about those overtures now. A "wink" is just a wink.
As in live meetings, the first impression is always the visual. I have to admit that there are many good-looking men on this sight. At least their pictures imply so. Then, there are the guys who need a 101 on uploading the image that says, “I’m worth a try. Keep reading.”
First advice: Do not post a picture of yourself with the bathroom tiles of your bathroom and your towel rack in the background. And please, put a shirt on.
Second: Make sure you place the camera away from your face as you try to shoot your reflection through the mirror.
Third: I appreciate your honesty in showing me your love handles through the thinness of your super tight shirt but, it’s too much information too soon.
Fourth: One picture of you from ten years ago is not going to do it. “I want the truth.” More pictures are better than one. Smiles are good too.
Fifth: Make sure you are not wearing “dad shorts” or “dad pants” that sit too high on your waiste. Yes, we women look at that too.
Fifth: Pictures of you at various partying locations with different women flanking you is not going to inspire me to want to be in the picture.
For those men who have awesome, workout bodies, I don’t need to see all of the muscles in your body at once. There is no need to use a speedo to display your “confidence”. It leaves very little to the imagination.
Most endearing are pictures of dads with their kids. Yes they do tug at the heart- strings. You guys know what you’re doing. These are my personal evaluations. There is someone for everyone. I am sure that my profile is, at this very moment being scrutinized. That is a concept I am going to have to become more comfortable with.
I have waded cautiously, as we should all do, into this cyber world of dating. I have gone out on a couple of dates and they have been nice experiences. Mostly, I do more browsing than dating. But it’s a great window-shopping experience.