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I was a dating queen. Is that even a thing?
Well, I spent a lot of time on my craft—putting my best foot forward on many dating sites (this was way before dating apps).
I was on eharmony for the right type of guy with morals and values.
I was on Match for a guy who would be the yin to my yang.
I even put myself out there on a “sugar daddies” dating site thinking “What the hell?”
There was a great satisfaction in making a potential match—the chatting and maybe a phone conversation. It was more of a real life fantasy that played out in my mind of how many kids we were going to have and how perfect our names went together even before I had met the dude.
Then came the excitement of getting ready for that first date in the mirror, planning what I would say and how the evening would go—the ride up the roller-coaster, so to speak.
This was where the adrenaline was pumping and the excitement and nerves were escalating.
I would arrive at the restaurant and try to make the perfect appearance from the walk to my car (in case he was watching). I spent all my day planning for that moment and the time we would lock eyes. Then, I see him.
Usually, from my experience, the guy was frumpy if his picture lied (times 1,000) and he lived in his mom’s basement still. I would realize quickly that the photo I saw and the images I imagined in my mind were make-believe. My heart would sink to my feet and I would quickly figure out how to get the heck out of there without hurting the guy’s feelings and still being able to save my night.
I did this countless times and always with the highest expectations. I would even give the men the benefit of the doubt.
“Oh, you’re Mormon, that must be interesting. Tell me more about how you rode your bike around on a mission trip.”
“Oh, you are going through a divorce; that must be painful.”
Meanwhile, my radar was saying, “Run, run, run.”
Being a sober woman with a sound mind (questionable), I would sometimes go on multiple dates with a man who I knew wasn’t “the one” or even close to what I was looking for to ease the loneliness of the single life.
I get a knot in my throat when I think about some of the men who I tried to mold into what I was interested in. My morals and values could be pushed to the side for an inkling that maybe I could change this or I could ignore that.
I am happy to say that I finally met the man to whom I am married now, and it wasn’t even on a paid dating website. I don’t know how many hours I logged on those damn things and how much money I spent trying to find him.
One night, he messaged me on Myspace of all places—it’s like Facebook, only different for those before my time. You could put your own song on the front page and add photos and comments on others. It was like your own personal web page (I actually kind of miss it).
Anyway, I was pretty done with dating at that point and felt like I had sown my wild oats, so to speak, in my 30s.
When I least expected it, I got a message from this guy, and he sent a picture that appealed to me. He seemed real and not showy, and it all happened really fluidly and naturally. We met up at the beach: me in a hoodie, casual style, and we just talked, bonded, and connected.
The rest is history. There were no weird questions like “Should I call first?” or “Wait for him to call.” No empty promises and booty calls—just kinship and love right off the bat.
That was 12 years ago, and I like to share this story to spread hope. It hasn’t been perfect or easy all of the time, but it felt real, and I am so grateful not to be driving up to a place expecting to meet someone who may or may not be who they said they are in order to find that diamond in the rough.
If you happen to be single and looking, keep praying that the one will eventually find you.
Keep working on yourself and working out those things that make you want to be with someone and not alone.
Even though I’ve found someone I love, I am still alone a lot of the time—and alone can be an uncomfortable place to be in when we depend on someone else to fill our cup.
And heck, you might even want to try Myspace.