(or, It’s No Wonder People Stay Married!)
That last part is tongue in cheek. Dating can be a great experience to get out and grow your confidence after a breakup or divorce. But it can be pretty scary, too!
My True Dating Horror Stories
However, as promised, I am telling the story of the time I was single and dating, right after my separation and eventual divorce. I was in my 50s and out of a long marriage, having just broken up with the guy I met right after my separation. I was cast adrift into the dating world, where I spent a number of years looking for the elusive “Mr. Right” and beginning to wonder if I was going to have to settle for “Mr. Alright.”
Some Really Bad Date Stories
I’d like to introduce you to some of the interesting characters I’ve met along the way, in no particular order:
The Lineup of Really Bad Dates
- The “50-first-dates” guy
- He chose the restaurant, the menu, bragged about his intellect, and did most of the talking. He thought it amusing to mention that he had literally been on “50 First Dates.” When the check arrived, he shrank back and exclaimed, “Oh, what do we do about THIS??” and blamed the fact that he didn’t want to pay for the meal on (get this!) “women’s lib.” Chalk up 51 first dates!
- The sneak-attack
- Older attorney gentleman who claimed to be 5’9″ on his profile but may have been 5’6″ (I was wearing 3-inch heels and we met eye to eye), showed up at the restaurant, looked around, and finally figured out I was the one he was to meet. After he remarked that “I wish the matchmaking service gave us photos beforehand,” we proceeded to sit at the bar and discuss drinking and golf (neither of which I had any interest in, a fact which the matchmaking service blithely ignored). After dinner, he walked me out to the parking lot and dived in for a kiss! I sidestepped and thanked him for the dinner. Photos AND some ground rules would have been nice beforehand!
- The vindictive ex- hater
- Speaks for itself. Spent the whole meal talking about his ex-wife and the much younger model type women he had been dating since his divorce.
- The “sure thing”
- Very nice man who never called again after I explained that I liked going out with him but (in the interests of full disclosure) that I had to continue to date others to fulfill my contract on the prepaid matchmaking service.
- The disappearing hunk
- Had a great day and evening at a music festival and we seemed to hit it off and have fun. Curiously, he was in interview mode, practically answering his own questions before I had a chance to speak. Invited me out to see the movie “Inception” the next week and never followed up. Poof!
- The guy who still slept with ex-wife
- A nice, funny guy who is the only one I went out with twice from the matchmaking service. For some reason, he thought it would also be funny to mention he was still intimate with his ex-wife! Not so much.
- The nonstop talker-stalker
- First candidate from the matchmaking service who would phone me up and talk for an hour nonstop; I literally could not fit in a word. When I explained that this would not work with me, he left me phone messages, emails, and Facebook messages trying to convince me to give him another chance. Since he wouldn’t listen and obviously could not buy a clue, I blocked him.
- All the other nice-enough, no chemistry dates
- No explanation needed. There are a lot of nice fellows out there, but it’s very difficult to present a realistic picture of who you are on one date. Sometimes, you just don’t click and I don’t believe you should worry about it too much. I wouldn’t advise giving up on online dating, but it’s just one component of dating, and there are many other ways you can meet somebody.
|Match.com||Y||1||Good selection, different pricing plans.||Profiles may be out of date. Membership auto-renews unless you cancel in time.|
|Eharmony||Y||2||Extensive screening process. Must be divorced. Occasional discount pricing.||Very expensive per month unless you sign up for long term. Can’t be separated or estranged.|
|Plenty of Fish||N||3||Large selection of men sign up for this site and there is a lot of activity.||Nibbles, not many bites, i.e., you get “winks” and maybe an email but real life meetings mostly don’t materialize.
|OK Cupid||N||4||Free. Lots of responses.||Computer match system makes poor choices. Somewhat intrusive questionnaire with seemingly pointless questions. The nature of free sites is that they attract “thrifty” men, and this is no exception.
|Zoosk||N||5||Free. Has its own phone app.||Ease of use invites dabblers; not very many willing to follow through. (See note above about free sites; don’t expect go-getters here, either.)|
|Y||6||Sister site of Match.com.||Not as well known as Match. I personally have not used this one but including it as an option.|
Interviews, background checks. Traditional format for matchmaking interview.
Prohibitively expensive. Ironclad contract. Limited number of candidates to choose from. Promises much more than it delivers. To me it was a total waste of money, other than adding material for my dating horror stories.
Other Ways to Meet People
FREE SITES TO MEET PEOPLE
- Craiglist personals (Strictly Platonic section is good for seeking activity partners)
- Yahoo! Groups
No-cost (Membership required)
- Society of Single Professionals (San Francisco Bay Area)
Paid Activity Groups
- Urban Diversion (initiation fee, monthly membership $30 or so, plus cost of activity and guide), based in San Francisco
- Events & Adventures (cost in the range of $3000)
NEW WAYS TO MEET PEOPLE
- Kitchit (Personal chef service), based in San Francisco
- Table for Six Dating Service
- Tinder dating app (has gained a reputation for hookups)
What is Your Favorite Way to Meet New People?
- Church or school
- In my circle of friends
- Outdoor activities
- Nightclub or bar
- Online dating
Dating Help and Advice from the Man Whisperer, Katarina Phang, dating coach and author of Feminine Magnetism – The Art Of Being A Woman That Enraptures A Man’s Heart.
We are still together and having a wonderful time—apparently, we were both dating misfits who weren’t the type to put our best foot forward in online dating. I’m thankful for that, because then he and I were both available when the right time came along!
This is an account of my true dating horror stories; yours may be different but I hope it helps you to know that you’re not the only one!
Wishing you all the best in your dating adventure…