By Lindy Earl
Probably like many others, I rejoined the dating world, post-divorce, kicking and screaming. I wasn’t meeting anyone organically, so a friend decided that we were creating an on-line dating profile for me. I was unhappy but obedient. I couldn’t disagree with her. I had been alone for three years and she had my best interests at heart. So it began . . .
My first mistake was not understanding the vernacular of profiles. I did not know that when I checked the box, ‘Wants to date but nothing serious’ it means that I’m open to one night stands. I didn’t know that! Having a sweet tooth, my Tag Line was something about being partial to chocolate. I didn’t know that chocolate is a euphemism for men of color. You put those two things together and you can begin to imagine the messages I was receiving! It’s okay to laugh. It’s pretty funny. It’s durn funny.
After correcting those errors we got to the initial meet ‘n greets. I was wise enough to not succumb to any drinks or dinner dates that first Summer. It was warm so a simple walk through a park was a good option. Just like some of yours, some of mine were painful . . . like the guy who arrived but learned I wasn’t there yet, so went for a walk, just to keep me waiting when I did arrive. Really? There were more than a few who asked me for help with their profile. I helped one by suggesting he take previous women he’s dated off his collection of pictures. I’ve found men will include pictures of sisters and children, but previous dates? Not a good idea. You can tell pretty quickly if they are still hung up on an ex or just jaded and bitter, which is something they kept hidden during text and phone conversations but seemed to erupt once we met.
Then we get to the actual dates. It took a few months but I did find a gentleman I wanted to meet for dinner after our initial meet ‘n greet. By the end of the evening I had to wonder what I was thinking! In two evenings, a week apart, he told me some of the same stories three times! That was his mistake, mine is about to be told.
The man in question is not of tall stature, being just an inch taller than my 5’6”. Obviously this didn’t bother me because I had agreed to a date with him. For reasons I have yet to understand, over supper he went on a tirade against women who would ignore him for tall guys. Why? What had I done besides listen to him talk for hours? This is where my mistake comes . . .
So I finally said that maybe women didn’t like other men because they were taller, but because they were good conversationalists who had discussions with their dates. The implication was clear and he didn’t appreciate it. When the bill came a little while later, he started to reach for it, then sat back in his chair and glared at me. I paid it and counted myself well blessed to be rid of him.
He continued to text me for a week, with no response, before he finally understood. At that point he texted me that he thought it would be better if we saw other people. You think?! I had moved on, just the littlest bit wiser.
It didn’t take long to recognize scammers, either – Widowed, out of state, and often cannot write in coherent English. One claimed to be from Brazil so I asked him his first language. His response was, “Brazilian” even though Brazil’s language is Portuguese. Oops. Or the guy who claimed to be working on an oil rig in the North Sea in the morning, and that afternoon told me he was in the Caribbean. When I called him on it he told me it’s all the same water. Um, not quite.
In general, what did I learn from my early mistakes? People are needy – we all need attention and affection. People are deceitful. They will take advantage of you if you allow it. People need it to be all about them. It’s okay to be a sounding board, but protect yourself. You will definitely kiss some frogs on your journey, but there’s a prince out there for you, so it’s worth it.
That’s Life After Divorce.
Lindy is a Speaker, Columnist, Author, and Consultant. Contact her at LMEarl@EarlMarketing.com or find her on Face Book.