After six months of online dating, here are some of my key findings…
Finding #1: Men in Arizona are a gun-toting bunch. We’re talking arsenals of 15 + firearms. When I asked several men why so many (a typical California-liberal chick question), I was told that every gun is for a different purpose. One guy, a real sweetheart and a self-described libertarian, insisted the democrats most definitely want to take away his guns. He also wasn’t keen on the COVID-19 vaccine, fearing his DNA would be forever altered.
Finding #2: We are chemical beings, and also spiritual beings, which may or may not be one and the same, considering the universe is made up of, well, chemicals. And, our brains deliver dopamine (a chemical compound) at seemingly breakneck speed when we’re “attracted” to someone. Attraction is not grounds for healthy romance. It’s a start, but not a “sign.” A better sign, if there is such a thing, (I prefer to call it intuition), might be one’s waking and nighttime dreams.
To wit: The man who elicits a waking dream of you, a mermaid trying to swim away, but she can’t because she and her gorgeous, blue fin and tail are wrapped tightly in his net. The unseen fisherman (he lives two hours away in the desert) is attempting to haul you into his port or onto his dry-land boat, or whatever.
Or: the dream you have about another guy after your first phone conversation, suddenly appearing in your studio apartment and rearranging your furniture while you try not to sleep with him on the first date. This dream probably says more about my libido and attempt to manage it early in the dating process, than about the guy.
Finding #3 Long-distance dating isn’t for me.
I had been told this was a tough road to hoe, by people much wiser than I, but I got to experience it firsthand. I’d get super-excited about a new person — their laugh, their New York accent (I’m a sucker for people from Buffalo and Long Island), their hot-dude-gym-rat, physique, the wall-to-wall books behind them on FaceTime calls (yes, books are hot). But then, before even meeting the person in the flesh, and communicating virtually for a couple of weeks (what a frustrating experience), or meeting them once, it became abundantly clear this person wasn’t for me.
Finding #4: Follow my intuition, even when it’s telling me things I don’t want to hear, like “this situation and person are a repeat performance your x’s.” I think it’s more a matter of what my body is telling me about whether or not this thing will “work,” and me, listening. And listen, I have. I’m here to tell you, it’s not always easy. Because it means practicing patience and trust (not exactly exciting), and entertaining the possibility that a healthy romantic partnership may not be in the cards for me right now.
I’ve dumped bumble and the site is leaving me alone. Match.com refuses to take “no more, thank you,” for an answer. I’ve turned off my profile, ticked all the boxes to quit sending me alerts, and still, they email and email me with all the amazing possibilities for the perfect match. Their persistence reminds me of the Scientologists I met on the street when I was seventeen, who were still mailing me fliers ten years after I’d decided not to join their cult. Maybe that’s commitment? I doubt it. Match probably just wants to keep the net ready, so they can haul me in and we can start the dating game all over again.