I can determine by the look of a man’s teeth alone if he is in finance and lives in Orange County. My accuracy is uncanny, I tell you.
Like many of my skills, this is not a marketable skill. But unlike many of my skills, this skill I developed without intention or effort. I’m a natural for profiling finance majors in the OC by their dental work alone. Who knew?
It’s a skill nonetheless, so I use it where necessary, in this case, online dating.
I’m new(ish) to online dating, something I approach in a manner that can only be described as “half-assed.” You see, I’m a 47 year-old divorced, working, mother of one living child, and one that, tragically, died. Half-assed is all I can manage right now. Some would argue that I should go “full-ass” into it, but I just cannot bring myself to do it. It gets too depressing and exhausting, and then I quit entirely. So, half-assed it is.
By half-assed, I mean that I put up a profile, and then wait to see who writes me, like fishing. If they write a nice note, I write a nice note back. If there are a few nice exchanges, we can meet in person.
Basically all dating experts will tell you that online dating is a “numbers game” and that you have to line up a lot of dates to find THE ONE. Some folks arrange three dates on a Saturday. My half-assed strategy is likely ill-advised.
If one aspires to land a serious relationship as soon as humanly possible, I suppose the numbers-game-strategy is correct. But this is not my aspiration. I don’t loathe being single, I just prefer being in a relationship. I have plenty to keep me happy without a relationship, so I’m not looking for a page-holder until I find “THE ONE.” I’m not interested in racking up free meals with men with whom I have nothing in common just to pass the time. I’m just not that hungry, as it turns out. Plus, it’s just not efficient, and I value efficiency.
I’m cool dining alone until I find someone interesting, kind, and adult, with whom to dine.
There are few things less hip than being a middle-aged grieving mother in a city full of people with Peter Pan Syndrome. I’m a niche market, certainly. The aforementioned is the truth, however awful, but I do not believe it makes me unlovable. The loss of my child was, and is, obviously, life-shattering. I do my best to live well in the aftermath of that great loss. In keeping with this determination to live well, I have decided to lead with the truth in my online dating life. This also makes me a niche market, apparently.
Mine is a grown up life, and if a man is going to be involved, he’s going to need to be a grown up too. And part of being a grown up is accepting the following truths:
- Life can be hard
- No one is immune to the truth in number one
- We are all going to die
(I know. I sound like a barrel of laughs here, and you are all probably thinking I could stand to soften my game. I promise I’m more fun in person.)
I can change many things in my profile, but I can’t actually change my age or the fact that I have a child that died, so I prefer to get it out there early, and let the men select out, if necessary. It’s the efficient thing to do.
I was advised that this might “turn away men that might be ok with it once they met and liked you.”
To which I say: screw that. First, it’s not my job to make every man like me. I only need zero-to-one man to feel complete. Secondly, when is the right time to tell them? The second date? The fifth date? Seems to me that is quite a bomb to drop five dates down the road. Thirdly, if he is freaked out by death and turns away after hearing my story, he’s not the one for me, and I’d rather know sooner than later. Godspeed. I just avoided an awkward coffee date and saved two hours of my precious life.
I will happily do my thing while waiting for the ephemeral ONE. I realize this is not going to happen overnight, and I’m OK with that. I am seasoned enough to know that my truth isn’t going to lead to three dates every Saturday. I am fine with that too. I’m going for quality over quantity here. More often than not, I don’t need an actual date to know we aren’t a match. So why drive all over town meeting men with whom I have nothing in common? I’d rather floss my non-OC-teeth within the confines of LA County than to line-up three dates every Saturday.
So, for now, I go forth in full truth, in a half-assed, yet efficient, manner. I’ll let you know how it goes.