My experience with online dating started almost four years ago when I found myself in my mid-forties, divorced after 21 years of marriage and a single mom of three teenagers. I wasn't all that keen on online dating, but the physical groups that I had heard of, Parents Without Partners and such, no longer had any local groups. So online dating was the only option I was able to find.
I started my online dating with eHarmony, thinking that the questionnaire and payment plan would weed out anyone not truly in this for the right reason. To me, the right reason was to find a relationship with someone, a friendship yes, maybe more. Yes, I was slightly naïve, I had been married for 21 years, I had no idea how the dating game had changed. After the failed attempt with eHarmony I moved on to Match.com, only slightly jaded from the experience. It seemed as if they had just as many television commercials, so I was hoping for honesty and a different outcome.
So I took my time, I filled out my profile, I picked pictures that showed me in my best light, smiling and happy, and I waited. I waited, and waited and waited. Yep, it looked like this was going to be going the same way. I searched and looked for someone I thought was a match, and I would say hello, and nothing. Slowly I would start to get a reply or two, but they always turned out to be guys who were just looking for sex.
Now at this point I should say that I have nothing against sex, but I am a mom to three teenagers. I was never casual about sex before, and the idea of meeting a guy, having sex and then leaving just never has appealed to me. Maybe because it takes me awhile to feel comfortable enough with a guy to want to share my body and all the scars of childbirth with them, or maybe because I tell my kids not to be casual about it, or maybe it was because I was brought up in the Midwest. You know, the land of cornfields and little white churches where they take sex and marriage very seriously.
The thing is that I really just wanted someone to hang out with, to have dinner with, to see a movie, to go places and to talk with. I wanted adult conversation and friendship, but it seemed like no one on the dating sites were interested in that. They all wanted fast sex, or they wanted a model; at least, that was the impression I was getting.
When I started really reading through the profiles of guys, I would think we matched. I am active and intelligent, I like to be outdoors and to travel and on and on. But there is a code I have figured out; when a guy says they want someone active, they actually mean a gym rat who is a size zero. Healthy lifestyle is code again for someone who is a size zero, it doesn't mean someone who is active, takes care of themselves but has actually had children and put their body through childbirth and pregnancy.
So, another dating site down. Bumble, eHarmony, Match.com — all I got from any of these were guys looking for sex, scammers, or ignored. At least on these sites I didn't get called out for being a real woman; on the next site I review, I'll tell you all about the rude comments that I got in response to my hello's.