“How was your weekend?” says everyone on Monday morning. My answer is always “good.” I don’t usually elaborate because the details of my weekend are not particularily exciting. According to Facebook, everyone but me partakes in some extroardinary weekend adventure. “Just hiked the grouse grind – loving life”, “Peter asked me to marry him – I said yes”, “Skied all day- and partied all night”… I often wonder if it’s time to get off Facebook; it’s just a constant reminder that everyone else’s life is so much more interesting than mine.
I’m not complaining, as I love my weekends. I get up early each day, make my coffee and breakfast, and sit down to a couple of solid hours of online studies. Next, I put the laundry on and walk the dog. The rest of my day is filled with grocery shopping, working out, coffee with friends (occasionally), reading, and housework. I get a lot accomplished on my days off, and it feels great. On extremely rare occasions, I agree to a date from one of my online dating candidates. As a matter of fact, this weekend began with one of these rare meetings.
As I’ve mentioned in earlier blogs, online dating and me don’t work well together. But with a busy life, it’s hard to find other ways to meet people. So, even though 100% of the dates I’ve been on so far have been duds, I still cling to hope. Thursday night I was browsing through my dating inbox messages and responding to the ones I found potentially interesting. One of the messages I decided to respond to was from a gentleman who has been asking me out for over four months. So far I have declined every invitation for the following reasons: he lives just over an hour out of town, he doesn’t drink, and he only has two pictures of himself posted. The pictures he has chosen to post leave a lot to the imagination, so I couldn’t determine if I found him attractive or not. Needless to say, I decided to give it a shot – you never do know if love is right around the corner. He let me pick the place, and we agree to meet on Friday at 6:00 p.m.
Because I have been disappointed so often with dates, I no longer get excited for them. However, I do make an effort. I clean my house, shave my legs (just in case), get somewhat dolled up, and show up on time. I like to be the first one there – that way I have a moment to collect myself. This evening was no different. I arrived two minutes early and grabs some seats at the bar (the only seats available). My date showed up ten minutes late, but since I had already ordered a glass of wine, I don’t care. I see at the door when he arrives, and I watch as he scans the room. I had sent him a text message letting him know where I was sitting, so I thought he would walk right up to me. But he doesn’t seem to know where to go, and I feel as though I should wave him over (I don’t). After a few minutes, he checks his phone for messages, and I give him the ‘once over’ – I’m think, “not as good as the pictures.” I return to my wine and let him find me.
I feel him approach, and I turn slowly to greet him – pretending I hadn’t already seen him at the door. He opens his mouth to introduce himself and I know. I know immediately that I don’t like him. It’s in the way he carries himself, and the awkward way he is looking at me. He slouches into the seat beside me, and I notice him heave his large belly on his lap. I try not to be superfical; however, being a fitness trainer, I tend to be more attracted to men who look after themselves. I shake the thought out of my head, and tell myself to give it a chance – and I try, I try hard. Within five minutes, however, I’m ready to go home. I won’t get into details of the date because they are terribly boring, and honestly I don’t want to re-live those moments. Social awkward does not even begin to describe this man. Nothing he said was in context, and I was getting the “creep” vibe. It took every ounce of my being to make conversation with him, and I uncomfortable the whole date. I paid way too much attention to my wine, and I was thankful when the food arrived. At least then he would be busy eating, and he wouldn’t be able to talk. Once dinner was over, I excused myself and found my way to the bathroom. I took my time; giving myself a bit of a breather. Luckily when I arrived back at our seats, he was paying the bill. The date was over. I braved the storm, and I survived.
Unfortuantely, this is how many of my dates turn out. Men seem to fall into certain categories: boring, dirty pig, deadbeat, rebounder, noncommittal, or clinger. Yet still, I soldier on into the battle field of middle-aged dating. I fight for my right to find love; I fight to bring an end to my lonley existence, and I fight because the alternative is not an option – at least not yet. I believe true love exists for me. I need to believe it does. This is why I put on my battle gear and face the army of undesirable men. With each man down, I am closer to finding the one soldier left standing. The one who can stand up to my power – the one of my dreams.