Dating Game

Whether you’re 15, 20, 30 or Fabulously40 plus, dating always seems like a task better left to someone else. And the older you get the harder it gets. After all, at 15 we are naïve, at 20 we are gullible, at 30 we are determined to find “Mr. Right,” and by 40 we become the biggest skeptics.

On the other hand, how are we supposed to find Mr. Right if we don’t submit ourselves to the dating pool?

Trying to find that one special man through friends and family almost never works, and blind dates get old and annoying very quickly. You know what I’m talking about. Your well-intentioned friends set you up with that “nice guy” that they swear will fill your life with love and abundance. Then you find yourself sitting across the dinner table from some insufferably self-centered slob, frantically searching your mind for a plausible excuse you can utter so he will shut up and take you home.

The only thing worse is having your mother (because she hears your biological clock ticking) arrange for you to meet a friend’s son. The description starts out, “He is a very nice guy and he is tall…” and goes downhill from there. As the warning bells go off inside your head and the color drains from you face, you realize the time has come to take destiny into your own hands.

So you take a deep breath, sit down at the keyboard, and type a URL that resembles something like [http://www.findingmrrighttonight]……com. You think of a user name and password, open your online dating account, and the adventure begins.

On A Mission

To your surprise and amazement, you awake next morning to find your email inbox overflowing with responses.

Your heart sinks as you open the first email and look at the picture of a bold, very unattractive guy who is “intrigued with your profile and wants to get to know you.” Nevertheless, you note that you have at least 30 more emails to read and plunge ahead, certain that there must be at least one prince among all the frogs.

As you open one email after another, you sift through attractive, successful, ugly, funny, boring males who have exposed themselves for your review. You feel somewhat empowered and confident that “things are looking up.” As you get to the last email, you realize there are several options you can consider replying to, and maybe one or two that actually look interesting.

All of a sudden you find your whole life revolving around this exciting new game of online dating. The next thing you know, you’re browsing your “matches” morning, noon and night, and are even skipping lunch to catch up on your latest online hopefuls. Your boss mentions several times that your work has slowed down. Your mother complains that you never call her. You ditch your friends for drinks during Happy hour day after day.

You now have a mission, and no one will stop you!

Mission Accomplished

So, does online dating actually work? A Fabulously40 sister recently shared with me the following story:

This sister hated the idea of dating online. But, when years passed and she didn’t meet anyone through family and friends, she eventually succumbed. After dating online for several months with mixed results (hopeful one day, disappointed the next), she received an email that said, “I found your profile to be special and unique. I’m recently widowed and fairly new to the dating game. I don’t feel comfortable posting my picture but would very much like to meet.”

She didn’t agree to meet right away, partly out of caution and partly because he lived back east. Instead, she suggested they get to know each other through emails and see where their cyber relationship led. After a while, she began to feel that he was sincere and suggested they meet face-to-face. Delighted, he offered to fly to California to meet her.

Three months to the date of his first email, our sister arrived at the restaurant for the appointed rendezvous. Wearing a red dress and red lipstick, she nervously followed the hostess to the table, where a man was already seated. Everything seemed to be moving in slow motion.

As the hostess stepped aside, our sister found herself looking into the familiar eyes of a man she once knew. His face was older and more lined, and he seemed a bit shorter and huskier, but the eyes remained the same. Incredibly, here in front of her, with a huge smile on his face, sat the first boy she ever held hands with, the first boy she had ever kissed.

They sat for 10 minutes without saying a word. He then reached into his pocket, pulled out a ring, got down on one knee, and proposed to her on the spot. They have been inseparable ever since.

Obviously, most online dating ventures don’t produce such fairytale endings. But you never know what can happen until you give it a try. So, if you’re facing another weekend alone, get off that couch, go turn on your computer and give it a shot. Who knows who could be waiting for you behind that computer screen?