My Six Months Ride On The Internet Rollercoaster – Three Internet Dates
It takes a stout heart to date on the internet, but I’ve always been a little too brave for my own good and Internet Dating offered a new challenge.
What could go wrong, especially at my age? The guys would be older and happy to have the companionship of an average looking, few extra pounds, spiritual, no cats (at least at that time) – woman.
I signed up on Match.com and off I went. There were many choices. I searched for men that lived nearby and sent some winks.
My first prospect wrote to me. He said I didn’t really fit his distance limits, but, “What the heck. Let’s give it a whirl.” I looked at his picture again. It seemed a little off somehow, too open, like seeing a picture of Woody Allen’s face, really close up. However, pictures often lie and I take the worst pictures possible, so I continued.
In his blind e-mail message, Gene gave me his phone number and asked me to call him the next night at 7:00. I decided to surprise him and call him then.
The conversation went something like this:
“Hi Gene, it’s Judy from Match.com.”
“Why are you calling me now, I told you to call me tomorrow night at 7:00 PM?”
“Sorry, I thought I would surprise you, and just say hello.” Actually, just say good night.”
“Well, I’m on the telephone now, so can you please call me tomorrow evening?”
I said, “yes,” and hung up. Hummm.
Not a good start for me. Being very ambivalent by nature, and prone to react quickly to new information, I decided to write him off. I didn’t call the next night, but he called me.
When he asked, I explained that I didn’t call back because I didn’t hear a sparkle in his voice. “That’s what I am looking for; someone who is having fun with life, and generally is a positive person.”
Gene convinced me that I didn’t have all the facts about his day and I just caught him at a bad time the previous evening. We set a time to meet and meet we did. We met at Huntington Beach and had a lovely day.
We decided to go to the next step and date for a while. He did warn me then, and I should have listened. What he said was, “If we date, you will be disappointed, and so will I.” He was right.
Gene and I dated for two months all together. Most of it was truly great. We loved movies and music and he had cats for me to pet. We made dinners together and had a great time until……
One day, on the way to his house, I picked up some sponges and 409 at the store. When I arrived, he discovered my purchases on the counter and flew off the handle.
“What are these?” he shouted.
“I wanted to clean the outdoor table so I picked up some cleaning stuff.”
“I have these. I have 409 too. Why didn’t you call me?” He pushed the 409 container with his finger, toward the edge of the counter.
“I knew you were working and I didn’t want to disturb you for such a minor question, so I just picked them up. I was at the store anyway.”
“Well, I have sponges. Look at this.” He whisked open one of the kitchen drawers, and yes indeed, he had sponges. All lined up, two rows deep, in the drawer. He pulled the whole drawer out to show me how well endowed he was with sponges.
“And, I have 409 too.” He said 409 like was a dirty word and the final insult in an already insulting situation.
“Gene, now you have two 409s. It’s not a problem. You can use one later, don’t you think?”
Instead of our dialogue helping to calm him down, his voice got louder. Now mine was louder too.
“Gene, it feels like we are fighting over sponges and cleaning products.”
“No, we are not fighting!” he said, with that funny internet picture face showing. “When I get mad at you, you will know it!”
The last sentence made me squirm a little bit. “Well, it feels to me like we are fighting, and I don’t like to argue; especially over something so trivial.”
Gene said, “Just promise me that you will call first before you spend any money. Just call to see if I have what you are buying.”
“No, I said. I will never call you for a four dollar purchase.”
I left the room. I should have left the house. This was the first of three such episodes. The last one was the worst of course, and our relationship ended. I was broken hearted. For a while, I really liked him.
As they say, “Next.” And next it was. During the time I dated Gene, another man wrote me all the time. He sent me electronic roses and poetry. He lived a little far away too. He lived about 50 miles from my daughter’s house where I was staying, but still, the drive was do-able. It wasn’t like he lived in Connecticut.
He was so romantic and forward. He claimed it was love at first sight. Well, internet picture site anyway. Later, when we talked on the phone, I found his voice to be fabulous. He sounded exactly like Elvis Presley. He sang too, and would sing to me, courtesy of the Verizon Phone Company. He was great.
Bill and I didn’t meet for quite a while. He worked six days a week, I had the flu, the distance slowed us down, but eventually, after three months total, counting from the first electric rose e-mail, we met and he was nice.
I was always concerned that he claimed to care for me so much without knowing me. I asked him what could he base his caring on? He didn’t know.
He said I was an answer to his prayers and backed that up with poetry he wrote during his lonely times. I was flattered of course, even though I didn’t really believe it. I figured he was just an emotional-romantic guy and what was the harm anyway? If he wanted to delude himself that I was his soul-mate then how could that hurt?
We met a few times before he invited me to come to his house for dinner. Dinner was finished and all went well until he asked me to stay over.
“It’s a long drive home and there is no point of you going back tonight.” He said, “I can sleep on the couch.”
We talked about it for a while then he said, “But, I have to get up at 3:00 to go to work, so you have to get up with me.”
“All right, I said. I can get up with you to see you off, but then I will go back to sleep before driving home.”
“I can’t let you do that,” he said. “If I knew you better, you could stay alone in the house. Once I know you better you can have a key to the house and come and go as you like.”
“Now, let me understand this. You know me well enough to tell me you love me and yet you don’t trust me enough to stay in your house without you being there? Isn’t this a little inconsistent?”
“Don’t be angry,” he said. “It is not about you personally; it’s just my rule.”
“Well, I do take it personally. I guess all this talk about caring was just that, talk.”
As I got into my car he shouted after me. “I love you.” I didn’t look back and never talked with him again.
O.K., you might say I over-reacted, but this situation was very new to me. My temporary living situation was with my daughter and her family. Always, in my life prior to Internet Dating, I had my own home. If I had a visitor, it was on my terms. I didn’t have to test the territorial boundaries of men.
Never would I be so involved with a man that I told him I loved him and at the same time did not trust him enough to stay in my house unattended.
What I learned from this situation is that men can be territorial about their houses and possessions. You don’t notice it when you are doing the giving by entertaining them in your home. You only notice it when they are in the givers seat.
My second lesson from this dating experience is that when a man comes on too strong, it is probably just sales and he doesn’t mean what he is saying. He is just romancing you and trying to win you over. My advice is to enjoy the compliments but don’t take them to heart. Sadly enough, he may say romantic things because he doesn’t have anything else to say.
My number three experience is short and sweet, but you might have experienced this one yourself. It took me a while to catch on.
Raymond listed himself as a romantic prospect on Match.com. We exchanged some e-mails. He wrote to me, but the letters I received were not exchanges of information based on my previous e-mail. The letters were more impersonal than usual on one level, and extremely personal on another.
In one case, he wrote about how profoundly a certain day affected him because it was a patriotic holiday and also the anniversary of the day his dad died. He wrote about his emotions that day, and shared his thinking about the past, and the times he spent with his father. He wrote well.
One day I noticed that my letter was addressed to another woman. I asked him about it and he explained that the other woman was his sister. He wrote to his sister almost every day, he copied the letter to her, to me.
I asked how many other people received the e-mails he sent me?
“Well, quite a few,” he said. “Maybe a hundred.”
Then I got it. This man used Match.com to market his business. He added the e-mail addresses of the women he wrote to to his marketing list in hopes they eventually would buy something from him. I confronted him.
“You should be ashamed of yourself for pretending to want a relationship when all you want is sales.”
He screamed back, on paper of course. “You are totally sick. You need help.” But, he didn’t deny it.
Well, I gave up Internet Dating. I gave it a fair shot I think. I figure it’s like meeting a great guy in a bar. You can, but the odds are against it.
So, if you want to date on the internet, take a good sense of self with you. You may find more of an emotional rollercoaster ride than you planned for. Good Luck.