Dating sure has changed since I was a teenager, the innocence is gone, the expectations of the fairy tale have been tarnished, and life has shown me the realities of people’s nature. I’ve grown up. I’ve tried not to get cynical in the process, as I’ve seen some of my friends have gotten. But it is so different now. Communication is different. Terminology is different.
When I first started dating, we never stated when we met someone what we expected out of that relationship right then and there. We just let it grow or not. If there were good feelings from that first meeting, we let the friendship grow and develop. We grew to understand each other, our likes and differences, we went out on dates to discover each other’s preferences in things. We learned about each other’s personalities and if it didn’t work out sometimes there was heartache. But we talked. We talked long hours, we talked in the cars, we talked at the park, we talked in the restaurants, and we actually were face to face talking. We did activities together. It didn’t have to cost anything, Sometimes, we would go on picnics, catch fireflies, watch the stars, and actually enjoy the evening in each others company. it was an investment in TIME. When we held hands our hearts would skip a beat, to steal a kiss, the heart would flutter.
Now, I know, I’m not everyone’s cup of tea. I’m a unique woman. I’ve lived alone a long time. I’m independent, strong willed, and I speak my mind. I’m adventurous and I don’t tolerate manipulative, judgmental, negative people. So, I don’t expect my dance card to be overflowing with admirers. Besides, at 67, these days, most men are married or looking for women much younger than me. I understand that. It doesn’t bother me.
What does bother me is, the way a meeting has changed, the way getting to know someone proceeds. I do try online dating. And for women, (and men, too) online dating is treacherous territory, to say the least. In my experience, over 90% of the respondents to my profile have been scammers, I can recognize them in their introduction to me. I know it happens to men as well. This is a sad commentary. I do believe, that because I don’t lie about my age, that’s the first tip-off to the scammer that they may have a naïve, older woman, who is desperately looking for security and can be easily flattered. As for me, I don’t really need someone, but when I do have someone in my life I WANT them there, I enjoy their company. But those scammers, ladies, please don’t be so flattered that you are taken in by their charm The next scammer will say the exact same thing. You deserve better, you deserve a real man, keep looking.
But, back to the meeting. When I do finally talk to a real person, many times the first sentence they ask is, “What are you expecting out of this relationship?” Aren’t we on a dating site to meet someone to hopefully meet someone that we will get along with, maybe fall in love with? Many men say they want to “casual date”, in other words, friends with benefits (FWB). Straight up front, first words out of their mouth or rather text. Remember, you haven’t even met them yet! If you give them your honest opinion about that, which I think FWB is BS, because when someone tells me that I think they don’t want the friendship at all, they just want the sex and I’m not into that sort of relationship. You never hear from them again. This does, however, seem to be a good way to weed out the jerks. But really, this is very discouraging. Has dating resorted to not even getting to know someone? Don’t we even communicate anymore? Texting and talking are not necessarily the same as communicating. In fact, sometimes texting can be muddy waters and can cause so much confusion and bad feelings.
When they do start “texting” you, it becomes a game of trying to understand emojis, feelings hidden in text language, and truth. With texting you can’t read their body language, you can’t read between the lines of what they are really saying by the tone of voice, you can’t see the smiles, the winks, the eyes, ahh… the eyes. I love looking in someone’s eyes when they are talking.
Then the first meeting. Do they really look like their photo? OH MY! That photo was taken 20 years ago. Oh no. “Oh, yeah, I lied about my age”. Oh geez. Really? Or you don’t fit their expectations, you aren’t the “perfect, submissive, woman” they were hoping for. Then they bring up the FWB plan.
I would rather be single and happy, Enjoy my adventures and vacations alone, than settle for someone who doesn’t appreciate me for who I am, for my flaws, for my ups and down, for my independence. I would do the same for him.
Women and men, when dating, take this into consideration, get to know someone, learn who they are. People have unique talents, they can offer you unique insights into who you are. They can even teach you a few things. You don’t need to jump in bed right away. Yes, lust is awesome, that adrenaline rush is great when you get it with someone. There’s no denying when that happens. But expecting it to happen on command? When you first meet? Okay, it does on rare occasions, I admit. I’m not innocent.
There’s something, however, to be said for the old-fashion way of dating, for the way we got to know someone, for the innocence in which we approached love. We approached it with wonder, with awe, with hope. And when it actually happened, the joy it brought us was immeasurable. We relished in that love, in that friendship it brought us. The times we had together, the hands we held, the kisses we stole, the whispers at night. Remember love is not something that cannot be texted. It needs to be felt, felt on the lips and seen in the eyes and most of all felt in the heart and soul.