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I began my online dating journey in February 2011. I’ve used Match.com, PlentyofFish, OkCupid, eHarmony, How About We…, Tinder, Chemistry.com, and Craigslist (Yikes!) You can find a listing of the dates I’ve had from each site on the Men in Review page on my website. I resisted using eHarmony, but I’ve had the best quality dates from that site. I’ve had the most dates, twelve plus three I haven’t blogged about yet, from OkCupid. OkCupid is good as a free app/website, but you have to do a lot more screening out of individuals who are not relationship material.

WHAT WERE YOUR BEST/WORST ONLINE DATING EXPERIENCES?

Let’s start with the bad. I have a love/hate relationship with coffee dates. On one hand, they’re short and sweet and you don’t have to suffer through a long date should you find you have no chemistry. However, I have been asked the most inappropriate and bizarre questions on coffee dates. Fifteen minutes into a coffee date, a man asked me if I’d be willing to put a finger in his ass. This was apparently something that was really important to him. So important, in fact, that he had lost all sense of social decorum in pursuit of it. You can read here.

The worst date, however, is probably one where my date’s fiancé showed up. I did not know he was engaged. His fiancé then proceeded to try to chase me down with her SUV. That story is here. The drama and frustration of that one made me cry.

My best dates have been with men, The International Player and The Jewish Doctor, who found my blog, started reading, and then emailed requesting dates. I don’t know if they count as “online dating” dates or not since we didn’t meet through an online dating website. However, in both cases, the men were far more interested in my intelligence and me as a person than any of my other dates seemed to be. The dates generated from online dating sites seem far more superficial.

If I narrow my best date down to one that I met through an online dating app, I’d say it was a man I met through the How About We… app. How About We prompts people to post their date ideas. Then people match by choosing the date venue just as much, if not more than, the attraction to the individual. The Ramen King posted a date to go have traditional Japanese ramen, and I responded. We’ve had lots of ramen since, but we’re just friends.

The bottom-line in all of my online dating…? No keepers.

WHAT DO YOU THINK ARE SOME OF THE STORIES THAT DRIVE US IN OUR PURSUIT OF LOVE?

The stories are probably as varied as the individuals. Some people still believe in fairy tales. There’s a lot of societal pressure to find your prince, get married, and have a big, expensive wedding. It’s like you’re not considered a grown-up until you’re a married homeowner with two kids and a dog you’ve rescued from the animal shelter. Far too much emphasis is placed on planning the wedding, and not enough time is taken to consider what it will take to stay in love and to make a marriage work for years to come.

Some people are so afraid of being alone that they’ll settle for wrong or even abusive relationships or stay in bad relationships for all the wrong reasons. At one point, I was asked to be a dating expert on Wizpert.com where people can ask an expert for advice via Skype. I had constant requests for advice and was amazed at how many people called looking for someone to tell them to stay in some truly horrible situations. They’d rather be in a relationship, even a bad one, just so they are not alone. Maybe their self-worth is centered on who they are in a relationship or who they are relative to their partner instead of who they are as an individual. This is why the idea that you must love yourself first is so important.

Finally, most people know at least one couple who has been married for years that inspires them to pursue the same thing. What we don’t see of those stories is the hard work it takes to make a relationship work, but those couples create lasting partnerships that weather the ups and downs life throws at them.

DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR OTHER ONLINE DATERS?

  1. Know your deal-breakers. If you are online dating because you want to get laid, you will have one strategy. If you are online dating because you want to get married, you will have a completely different strategy and screening process. There’s no sense in wasting your time with people who don’t want the same things you do.
  2. Don’t kiss the first frog. Slow down! Don’t get ahead of yourself. One date does not make a relationship. The first date is really just an interview to see if you want to actually go on a second date. I’m not going to tell people not to have sex on a first date. If you want to have sex, by all means, go for it. Just don’t think for a second that it means something or that you’re then in a “relationship”. I see a lot of women doing this. They act like they’re a “modern woman” and sex is no big deal, and then they’re confused and hurt when a guy doesn’t call them.
  3. No sexting! If you’re serious about finding a long-term relationship, don’t give out your phone number before you’ve been asked on a date. This will weed out a lot of flakes and pushy people who just want to waste your time and engage in sexting.

WHAT’S THE STORY BEHIND YOUR BLOG, MYDATINGPRESCRIPTION.COM?

What would you do if your doctor gave you an outrageous prescription to cure your lovesick heart?

That’s exactly what happened to me. My Dating Prescription chronicles the good, the bad, and the ugly of online dating in shockingly authentic detail. It offers readers a ride-along view of what it’s really like to date online after marriage and children and offers insightful tips for making online dating work.

On September 16, 2010, my husband returned from a two week vacation with his family in South America.  His flight arrived at 11 p.m. and I had gone to pick him up from the airport.  We were home for ten minutes when I realized he was not wearing his wedding ring.  When I inquired about the location of his ring, he announced that while he was in Colombia he had been telling his family he was going to be getting a divorce.

A month later, I told him to move out, and three months later, I lost my job. In the space of three short months, my whole life changed. My therapist suggested I start dating again, “date just to date,” he said, “date 100 men without getting serious with anyone.” Hence the name of this blog and its premise. A friend said, “You need a project,” and I took her suggestion. That’s how My Dating Prescription was born.

The blog has evolved as I’ve gone through the grief of losing my marriage and pieced my life back together. It’s about reflecting on our failures, picking yourself up and starting over, and laughing off the crap life throws you. There’s some adult content; I’m known to drop the occasional f-bomb; and I tell it like it is. More importantly, the focus has not been to simply bad-mouth my dates. Our media does a poor job of portraying women in any real way, and I believe it’s important for women to tell their own stories. This is my story…my comeback story.

If you would like to read My Dating Prescription from the beginning, start here.

The best compliment my blog received was when a woman told me she was now married because of my blog. She found it after a tearful breakup, and it encouraged her to get back out there and date. My highest hope is that the people reading my blog will be encouraged by my story to venture out into their own love adventure.

As part of our research for Lovesick: The Web Series, we are profiling members of the online dating community to see what insights we can turn up. This is a repost of our original blog entry.

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