For a while I had a profile up on Match.com and Chemistry.com, since you can have a profile up for free. I had told myself that when I move out of the house I will pay, which means that you could actually make contact with someone and he can contact you, and not just dangle there in dating cyberspace. But for the past few weeks there had been so many nudges (okay, a few, or more than none) (that’s their term for someone who may be interested in you) from men on Chemistry, that I decided to splurge and pay for the three-month membership ($99). I figured that before I give up on finding a man who might be good for me I should expand beyond Craig’s List.
Wouldn’t you know it, but the minute the credit card numbers were sucked in and recorded no one has found me of interest again. And even those who had previously been nudging me were no longer nudging me back when I nudged them back. And those who I, in my forward woman of the modern world guise, nudged did nothing. Sure, most of the men probably haven’t paid their membership either, but what the heck. Maybe this is the Ponzi scheme of the dating world. I have a friend who told me that some sites will send you a picture of an extremely attractive man who wants to meet you to entice you to sign up.
And, indeed, that happened to me in the summer. But they did not trick me, because it happened within my free three-day membership. Yes, he was an attractive and very successful writer and screenwriter; although, the polo-playing was a bit over-the-top and I should have seen the set-up for what it was. Resist I couldn’t. So I responded to said polo playing writer only to have him disappear from view after I responded to his message or comment or love message or whatever the heck it is that they call it.
But back to now. For one week I was checking out men (you get five new matches a day) and putting them in my active matches file and archiving the men who just did not seem that they would be good matches. (For your information, I deleted on the basis of politics, appearance, lack of perceived compatibility in their “mission” statement, and religion if they didn’t even mark Jewish as an option for the woman of their life. And if I hedged, I archived them, figuring that I should see that as intuition to no.)
Combating the negativity that was surrounding me I decided (still being a woman of action and decision, not wanting to be passive) to return to Craig’s List. Yes, I know, what am I thinking? This time I was posting my own ad (I have done this a couple of times in the past and met some friend-quality men). The following is the ad I posted on Saturday night:
Words, laughter, smiles, and lots of walks - 47
The seasons seem to be unsure if it's time to switch, but I'm sure that it's time to switch from being single to being in a relationship.
Sincerity and compassion, as well as the ability to use a comma and an apostrophe correctly, are all things I desire in a man. Anything else? That the as-yet unmet man has a shoulder to lean on and knows when he needs to lean on someone else's shoulder.
Except for a few one-sentence replies that seemed to be the extent of their writing ability and the one man who sent the link to his own ad which ended up being a picture of him and his thingie in a very excited state in his boxers, most seemed to live up to the basic writing requirement. There was one gentleman who commented on two errors in the ad (I have corrected them here), so maybe I was a slacker for him. Two of the automatic deletes included a two-page response about himself and a cut and paste version of his Match.com ad (what, don’t I deserve some creativity?).
I shall admit in this public forum that there was a bit of back and forth (okay one email) that was ended when the gentlemen saw my picture. What is particularly upsetting about this is that in each case I said, “he’s not attractive, or he looks really old, or he looks really weird, or he has a huge chin, but maybe he is nice and we will click so I will respond with my photo” only to have me deleted by said undesirable.
By Sunday morning, when no responses came from the photo-guys, I figured that nothing was going to happen. So I went over to the Men Looking for Women section and responded to one ad. No response came from him. Luckily Sunday was spent grading papers, recuperating from the Saturday round of insults from slime, and being out of the house for yet another Open House so I had other things to think of besides cyber rejection.
Then Sunday evening came. And the man whose ad I answered responded to me that he had saved the best response for last—mine. And then a man who answered my ad piqued my interest and I piqued his interest. And to this day (a whole four days later) I am in email contact with both of said gentlemen. One man has seen my picture and has not voted me off his slender island (or is it the straight hair island?); the other man, let’s just say that we are exposing our minds to each other at this point and not our personages. Both appear to be intelligent and witty, or at least they appreciate my wit, and are intrigued by me.
I am trying not to imagine a scenario whereby I have met two men at the same time who I click with until I at least meet them. And since in the past whenever I was worried about getting two of something, I end up getting none—like in job offers—so I shall not worry. I shall continue with each gentleman in our repartee and see what happens.
Ah, the twisted turn of fate. Or at least a breather from all of the rejection.
* * *
It seems that I am not allowed to luxuriate for too long. I had a phone conversation with one man last night and it did not, in any way, replicate the easy interaction and charm of the emails, nor was it a conversation that effortlessly flowed. No, I needed to put my thinking cap on and ask questions to keep the talk going. And he did not send me an email this morning about how great it was to talk, as seems to be the norm. An email came in the early afternoon. I will not make a judgment until (if?) a meeting occurs.
The other man, the one who answered my ad, is sticking to a “go slow” method of emailing, keeping them to one a day, where each is almost an epistle (mine and his).