While I had been dating Derek, I had responded to messages from men on the dating site by saying that I had recently begun seeing someone and wanted to allow that relationship to unfold as it would. Now that I was no longer seeing Derek, I was again responding to messages more personally. It was often a bit difficult. Was I the only woman who got messages from a lot of men who were not remotely a match for her and too few from men who might be? Were any of these men even reading my profile? I had to admit that I was as guilty as anyone else of looking at the photos second only to looking at where the person was from, then looking at the profile. But I did read the profile.
Men from out of state sometimes sent me messages, and when I told them that the distance made them geographically impossible, I often got a second message saying that the distance did not matter. Some of them even said that they would move for love. I wondered how they were planning to discover that they were in love with distance between them and a woman. Would they rely on e-mail exchanges, texts, and phone conversations? How would they determine whether there was any chemistry between them and the woman? Were they planning on periodic trips to visit the woman of their interest?
I had experienced that myself with my late husband, Howard. He was in Colorado and I was in Illinois. We managed with trips back and forth between February and November. Then I moved to Colorado. But there was a big difference between that scenario and the one I imagined with some online guy from California or New York. Howard and I had met and gotten to know each other as friends before the fateful trip to Colorado that made lovers of the friends. Having some man I had never met visit me from out of state was a rather horrifying scenario. I could imagine discovering, within the first five minutes, that there was no chemistry between us. Then what?
I messaged the out of state men back saying that distance actually did matter to me and wishing them all the best. What else could I do? Actually, there was something else I could do, and I did it. I edited my profile to state that I was looking for a Colorado man. It did not eliminate the men from out of state, but it reduced their numbers.
Some of the men who sent me flirts and messages had no photo and no real profile. It was impossible to tell if anything was possible with them, and I usually sent a message back stating something to that effect. Other men just stopped communicating after a few message exchanges. There was no message from them that they saw no point of connection, just no further communication. I had done the same thing a few times, myself, though I avoided it because it just seemed discourteous, but sometimes you just run out of steam and realize the exchange is going nowhere.
Some of the men who contacted me had dating site monikers that were so misguided, I had to wonder what they were thinking, monikers that included the words old, hot, cool, fun, stallion, and even Glock. If the word old was in the moniker, it told me a lot about how they saw themselves. The words hot and stallion suggested a one-track mind and reminded me of the old saying, those who can do; those who can’t talk about it. If a man referred to himself as cool or fun, I muttered to myself, “I’ll be the judge of that,” and wondered how cool or fun they could be if they had to include it in their moniker. As for Glock, the image of a gun did not invoke anything remotely romantic. It wasn’t that I have a problem with guns, I just couldn’t imagine wanting to be with a man whose gun was that important to him, and it made me vaguely uneasy.
I was seeing the same faces and profiles over and over with too little interesting or new. I decided that I needed to keep an open mind. I suspected that my lingering feelings were clouding my ability to be fair to the men in the photos and profiles I was seeing, and I decided to loosen up a bit.
As soon as I did, some interesting things began to happen.
Note: The name Derek is fictitious and has been used out of respect for the man involved.
Copyright 2016 by Melanie Mulhall