Dating and the “patience is a virtue” experiment

Warm, fuzzy love

I thought I’d give you a quick update on my current round of online dating. In summary: it has been painfully boring. Actually, it hasn’t been painful at all because, having an analytical side (and being an online dating veteran), I’ve been looking at the matchmaking process and results with an odd detachment like a scientist or researcher might. “Oh, look! The system’s churning through its pile of 42-45 year-old single/never married prospects. Interesting, very interesting…” A few days later: “Well, what do we have here? Looks like we’ve hit on the divorced computer programmer demographic!”

The matching system isn’t quite as obvious as I’ve described above, and Chemistry.comChemistry - dot com? is living up to its promise of providing new matches as often as you want them to — so far. But I’m beginning to question whether these guys are even still subscribing to the site because I’ve indicated interest in a dozen america's oldest superhighwayguys in the last 6 weeks, and only one guy outside of the prospect who may have been kidnapped by Trump in Atlantic City (translation: lost interest in me somewhere near the Breezewood/Town of Motels exit on the PA Turnpike) has bothered to respond back. Not even a “no interest” indication, which would at least indicate that they are, uh, like still alive.

The one guy who finally started the painstaking “communication process” [insert eye roll] with me — we’re talking 2+ weeks after my indicating interest in him — takes days to respond and move to the next step. We finally got to the point in which we can email each other through the site. So what did he email me on Tuesday night? Basically,

“Hi, here’s another email address for you to contact me at. Look forward to chatting soon.”

For god’s sake, man! If you were in front of me I would grab you by the shoulders and shake you…and, frankly, that wouldn’t make a good first impression. Then again, it is painfully obvious (even to those of us in detached, clinical observation mode) that Guy is not all that interested in moving things along.

So why do it? Why proceed with this guy — or on this particular dating site at all?

I don’t know. I contacted him at his preferred email address late on Tuesday night as requested, but unless I hear something this weekend I’ll close it out for good. Hey, no sour grapes, whatev. As for going back to catalog shopping for men at Match or another site — that takes a lot more time and energy (and interest) than I think I have right now.

Truthfully, I’m busier than ever, largely “doing my thing” and not spending much time worrying about my lackluster love life. That’s good! But this spring will be 5 years since my divorce…and 5 years is a long time. Sometimes you do this stuff just to do something to keep the faith. I look around and see equally fine people who are in similar situations. We don’t want to settle, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we all wonder on occasion whether cupid is laying passed out in a ditch somewhere after a night of heavy drinking.

Does love come to those who wait?

My guess is science and programmed matchmaking can’t answer that…but I hope the answer one day is ‘yes.’

(Well, there’s probably a scientific study that can answer the question, but you researchers and statistics majors just keep it to yourselves already — unless the answer is yes…and the average waiting period is less than 20 years! ;) )

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12 Responses to “Dating and the “patience is a virtue” experiment”

  1. Lulu | November 30, 2007, 10:57 pm

    Build it and they will come.

    Okay – I have no idea why that movie line just popped into my mind, and I don’t even know what it means. But it struck me is funny, which is probably not what you’re looking for at the moment. Just slap me.

    And what’s up with the “look forward to chatting soon” guy? I mean, seriously. Just hang in there, Susan. And don’t settle!

  2. Jennifer Angelo | December 1, 2007, 10:05 am

    Susan,
    I guess you’re not afraid that those you are trying to attract may also read your blog?
    But good luck! I would love to try the online dating. I would go with the one advertise with the old guy. But my husband wouldn’t be so keen on it.

  3. Sophie | December 1, 2007, 10:27 am

    Oh boy. Do you want to hear my story? (Uh, guess you can’t stop me now.) Does love come to those that wait? Yes. And before 20 years. At least in my experience.

    I was divorced when I was 31. I met Grant when I was 39. Inbetween that time, I dated every weirdo in the metro Atlanta area. That could be a blog in itself. I even tried a “high-class, professional” matchmaking service — read: I paid a lot of money to meet weirdos!

    Eventually I gave up. I was sick of the stress of finding, meeting, dating, and dumping (or being dumped). I went through a grieving period (oh, yea! another one!), realizing that I would never marry again and I would never have children.

    Then I was invited to dinner by some friends of mine. “Oh, we’re inviting a friend of ours,” those stinkers said. They were matchmaking! Grrrr. But it was Grant, which turned out to be a lucky thing for me.

    What I found so frustrating about dating is that you have NO CONTROL over the opportunities or outcome. It’s not like getting a degree or working in your profession. In a funny sort of way, I think the best part of those years was that I had to work on finding some peace about uncertainty and not having control. And the weirdos.

    Sorry for the loooooooong comment.

  4. Susan | December 1, 2007, 7:00 pm

    Lulu, baby, I’m here — the Susan model is built and they STILL ain’t coming anywhere near me. Wait, that didn’t sound quite right. Anyway, thank you for the words of encouragement and humor. I do like baseball and at one time had a thing for Kevin Costner – SO over that, BTW. I won’t settle, that’s a promise.

    Jennifer: Don’t think that hasn’t crossed my mind (the part about someone I date reading this blog)! I make sure I don’t say anything too incriminating as a general rule. And if let’s say this guy were to end up the love of my life (which is highly unlikely, seeing that it’s Saturday eve and he’s still in radio silence mode), I’ll gladly explain to him why I wrote what I did.

    Sophie: Thanks for sharing your story. You are absolutely right I/we have no control over this stuff. The only things I can do are NOT to become a hermit, TO dabble in some forms of dating/taking a chance, and just DO what makes me happiest. I admit I’ve had those thoughts of “well, I was with someone for 12 years, it didn’t work, that was it for me…that was my chance,” and I’ve accepted that that could be a possibility. (I know this makes my loved ones very jittery, and it sounds melodramatic, but it could be true.) But I’m an optimist and hope that good karma comes circling back. In the meantime, I’m trying to keep my head focused on the things I can control and let the rest happen.

    My god, I sound like a freakin’ self-help testimonial! Oy.

  5. Madame Queen | December 3, 2007, 9:39 am

    Yeah, don’t settle. You don’t seem like the type that would, but just throwing that out there.

    I remember when I was single in college I didn’t play the “just wait, he’ll come to you when the time is right” game very well. It’s hard, especially when you’re a control freak like I am, to turn over control to “destiny.”

    Most of the successfull relationships I know were instigated by friends. You need to put your friends to work!!

  6. Susan | December 3, 2007, 1:17 pm

    Thanks, Madame. My friends already know I’m looking, and I’ve met 1 or 2 people that way, but nothing has panned out. In fact, a few times my friends have said, “I know someone, but…wait, never mind. No, I’d never set you up with HIM…”!

  7. curt | December 3, 2007, 1:21 pm

    I’d say that dude’s response was lackluster. plus, he ended a sentence with a preposition….

    keep on pluggin, kid.

    keep in mind that the holidays are upon us (as I know you know) and that makes the process all the more slow, with everyone being distracted n’all.

    and, also keep in mind that life is long and that you aren’t done, yet. :-)

  8. Sunday: Susie ain’t got no patience for wet noodles « One-Woman Show | December 9, 2007, 9:49 pm

    [...] Dating and the “patience is a virtue” experiment [...]

  9. Lisa | December 15, 2007, 6:56 pm

    Susan,
    I was married 20 years, was with this man for 5 years before that. We were not happy, but we had two kids and quite frankly, we couldn’t afford to pay for two households. So 4 separations, and three times filing for divorce, the third one took. That was 7 years ago. For some reason when I got divorced, quite a few others did, too and still had single friends. We went out and had a good time, but I never met any guys. A few of us tried the online thing. Within a year almost every one of my single friends were either living with some or married. Some either moved VERY far away or vice versa. Some found men nearby. I’ve been on at least 5, if not more sites. I accumulated quite a few funny stories but no relationships. Most lasted 1-2 dates max. My friends say I’m too picky, but when you get guys who bring their tiny, fat dog on a date at a restaurant and the first thing he tells you is he has PTSD from Vietnam, he’s broke, and as soon as he gets home his ex girlfriend will be calling to see how this went, it just doesn’t seem worth it. That was one of the more normal men. As far as finding dates through friends, at my age most everyone is married and they all know I’m single. They all know I’d like to meet a man. They all tell me they don’t know any single guys. The few they do know they would never send my way. Usually broken or crepy. They love me too much. I’ve refriended 2 or 3 times because when my friends find someone, the space their friends took get taken by the lover. I understand. Between work, kids, lover or husband, activities, etc. etc. There’s not much time left.
    Sophie: Thanks for your story. It’s great t know it CAN happen.
    Susan, Don’t you find the men in their 40s and 50s, who’ve never been married or been in a relationship for very long are pretty stuck in their own ways and not very good at anything long term? And who the heck cares if some guy happens to read about himself? I have some REALLY good stories. My friends say I should write a book. I think I’ll just save them for good party conversation, if I ever go to a party. They also, if you can believe it, make good date stories, if your with a guy with sense of humor. I actually had a few of those and their stories were pretty damn funny or horrifying. Guess the men go through the same thing.

  10. Susan | December 15, 2007, 9:38 pm

    Lisa, thanks for sharing your experiences. Wow, maybe one could take the PTS, flat broke bloke with an ex girlfriend in the wings, but bringing a pocket DOG on a date? That definitely takes the cake…or dog bone…or something! ;)

  11. Lisa | December 18, 2007, 9:56 pm

    The dog was supposed to be sorta like a blind person with a seeing eye dog. I guess this little wiener was a PTSD dog. He also went into how he got thrown out of the last restaurent he was in and the crazy scene he made. Believe it or not, I went out with him a second time, Fat , little, sausage dog and all. He wanted to bring a picnic and watch the sunset at the beach. The picnic consisted of a bag of bagal chips, a jar of pickles, Some really nasty chees spread and store bought , incredibly grody shrimp cocktail in those pull off lid containers. He tasted it and threw it out the window. I asked him to put it in the trash. He did and didn’t flip out. That was it. He was nice, but we mostly talked about his ex.

  12. Susan | December 20, 2007, 9:17 am

    Oh, Lisa. And I thought I had been on a few doosies… I love the bagel chips and jar of pickles, though. That was thoughtful. Actually he sounds like a lost soul, but definitely not someone you’d want to date!

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