Monday, April 1, 2013

What If You Don't Like On-Line Dating ??!!

What If You Don't Like On-Line Dating - woman girl use computer wear glasses
How do I wage a war against impending spinsterhood when I have little to no energy at the end of everyday? The knee-jerk response is always, "Try online dating." And that's great advice. But is that it? Is there no other strategy?

I was never one to read the relationship portion of my horoscopes. I didn't worry about what hairstyles men found "unapproachable," and I'm not entirely sure I was equipped with the factory issued biological clock. I was happy doing my thing, being successful and independent.

But in the past year or so being independent has started to get a bit stale. The real adventure now would be to commit myself to someone. However, since my ideal mate has no identifiable markings as far as I can tell, I'm going to have to date in order to find him.

Problem is, everything that goes into having the successful, independent life I want to share with my soulmate takes a hell of a lot of time and energy and the last thing I want to do at the end of the day is put on a pair of strappy shoes and hit up the dance club or cruise the bar scene. The only thing I want to do when I get home is pour a nice glass of wine and relax on the couch with my tv boyfriend Castle.

For years I'd tell my friends that while I really wanted to meet someone I just didn't have the time or the energy. The town I lived in, my job, my need to workout 3-4 times a week, all these things made dating impossible for me to do at the moment.

And then I became what the kids today call, "middle aged." Now, to be clear, being middle aged is pretty awesome. I finally like who I am and I like --with the exception of possibly dying alone -- where my life is going. But being middle aged does mean having to accept that time is of the essence in a way it never was before. And that if I'm serious about dating, then flapping my gums about it wouldn't be enough.

I read a book that claimed all you have to do is think about the kind of person you want to attract and they'll find you. You don't have to do anything but constantly "remain open."

I tested this theory for 12 months. I "remained open" on my couch mostly. Although I did send out "welcoming energy" as I commuted to work each day. And I consciously displayed "approachable body language" while standing in line at the grocery store. But in the end, I spent a year daydreaming about having a relationship instead of actually having one. On the bright side, I discovered Castle.

I've gone to the other extreme as well and did a couple rounds of online dating. This was done at midnight after a few glasses of wine. Full of determination and just a touch of hysteria, I created my profile and charged 3 months of membership to my credit card.  I also emailed my friends and announced to them that finding a mate was now my full time job so if they knew of anyone single they were to send them my way.

Of course the fear eventually burned off. Suddenly three months went by and I managed to forget about signing on to the dating sites for two and 3/4 of those months. The few blind dates I went on didn't lead to anything beyond a nice conversation with someone I could empathize, but never sleep with.

So then, what are the guidelines? How do I wage a war against impending spinsterhood when I have little to no energy at the end of everyday? The knee-jerk response is always, "Try online dating." And that's great advice. But is that it? Is there no other strategy?

I mentioned before that I enjoy being a middle aged woman. When you're middle aged you finally learn to stop fighting what life's given you and start using it to your advantage. I wasn't someone who did well with the idea of online dating or going to clubs so I was never going to find the time to do either. But what did I like to do? I mean my life wasn't entirely spent at work or on the couch. Keeping my goal of meeting someone in mind, I started to take elements of my life and look for alternative ways of doing them.

Writing. I have no problem committing to writing on a daily basis. If I'm devoting time to it anyway, why not have that time serve double duty? So I found a writers group on MeetUp that had members my age. Instant community and an expansion in my pool of potential dating partners.

Friends. The thought of going to a club or a crowded bar turns my blood cold, but meeting a friend for a drink? I do that all the time. I pride myself in being available for my friends. So why not have that friend be in a great restaurant or coffee shop known to have singles my age?

Reading. I've always been a reader. I've even had a few lost weekends because of reading benders. Which is awesome for enriching one's mind, but unless my love is a librarian or the FedEx guy delivering my Amazon orders, it's not going to help me with my dating goals. Book clubs though, book clubs have fellow book addicts, many of which are probably single due to having spent all their time reading.

Watching Castle. I haven't found a way to make this one work.

The point is, in this new project I'm calling "Let's Not Die Alone" the secret is to remember that we're potentially already doing the very things we need to be doing in order to find that special someone. All it takes is a slight alteration and our daily routine can become our best bet to finding love.

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