I’ve been in the dating scene, on and off, since my separation in 2013. I knew that because I’m an introvert / homebody, my best bet was probably going to be trying online first because I hardly ever go out for the sake of going out. My adventures have been nothing short of a hot ass mess, but I try again and try again.
Since being in Texas, I thought maybe the pool of gentlemen to choose from would be different, if not better, than the vain pickings in LA. I can’t say it’s better, but admittedly, not sure if it’s any worse. Different is the best description.
The men that I’ve had the pleasure or displeasure in meeting or even exchanging text messages with are definitely not what I was expecting. There are some guys who have been way too shy, even for this girl who likes keeping to herself. Some guys have been just down right annoying because they are offended that I have better things to do than to text them while I’m at work, or to sit on the phone and listen to them breathe because they don’t have verbal communication skills that I would expect from even a new college kid.
Every time I take a hiatus from the Tinders and the OKCupids of the world, I breathe a sigh of relief. I no longer feel the obligation of trying to get to know someone who hasn’t tickled my fancy in our first few exchanges. I don’t feel the anxiety of trying not to hurt anyone’s feelings because I’m not interested, and don’t want to drag things out any longer.
After I have time to focus on myself a bit, I find myself reactivating my accounts and seeing what other fish got thrown into the sea. Some faces I see look familiar from my last attempt. Others are strange, new faces, and strange, new profiles. I answer some messages, and admittedly ignore most. I’ve had to put in my profile (that no one reads) that I expect them to not take it personally if I don’t respond. It’s a protection for me more than it’s a diss toward them. I can’t continuously put myself in a position to respond to someone I have no interest in because of false obligation.
My journeys in online dating have resulted in a lengthy block list on my phone as well. Conversations sometimes go way left, and again, I don’t want to be bothered going forward. People feel like I’ve disappointed them or I’m a bitch because Netflix and chill isn’t on my agenda. I’m trying to get over the fact that some men refuse to accept that I do not owe them anything, period. It’s unnerving to say the least.
There are times when I internalize it and take it personally. I point out flaws in myself and figure I’m only desired by the undesirables. I have an internal battle with myself: one side trying to explain to the other side that I’m intimidating to some, and just not interesting to others. That’s not a problem of mine if I’m being true to myself.
I have to reel myself in from self-pity and self-loathing when I feel like I keep kissing frogs and all the potential princes tend to be mirages. I have to stop romanticizing my marriage like being unhappy in that is better than having to go through this wheel of misfortune. I have my sulking moments. I have my pity parties. I have my journaling sessions, and I even have my ugly cries. Then at some point, I remind myself that I’m capable and worthy of love, and that it’ll happen eventually.
As unfortunate as some of my experiences have been, I have learned from each of them. The biggest lesson I have learned from each one is that not all men are the same. I refuse to put all black men (since that is who I tend to date, and honestly, would prefer to date) in the same bucket. I know that they’re not all the same because I know the outliers. It may be a lot of needles I have to get poked by just to find that hay, but I’ll stay optimistic.
This post is a part of Twenties Unscripted’s Write Your Ass Off April writing challenge. In case you didn’t notice, the theme is LOVE.