This means I pass up a lot of sex. Or the RDA, I guess.
It's not that I've never clicked long-term with anyone. I was married at at 23 (she was 21), but that lasted under three years thanks to poor communications on the part of two otherwise halfway-smart people. Here in town, I lived with someone for three and a half years after going with her for a year and a half. That one hinged on me wanting more--a baby, a marriage, more of her time. I'll get it right at some point. My grandfather met my grandmother when he was 37 and she was 27. That was ancient in the 30s. Yet they were married nearly 60 years until his passing. Hope springs eternal.
Despite being picky, I find plenty of people online who are of interest and attractive. The problem is in--you guessed it--clicking. In this town people often have a chitinous shell to shield them from the oddness and danger that you get in any large population. Cutting through that takes major work for most people, on both sides, and I don't think many people are interested in making the effort. Every failed attempt also makes the next one that much more difficult in a sense.
I'm also hard to peg: a little weird, a little intense, a little goofy. But in a large population, there are lots of people you should, in theory, be able to click with. People who can complement the odd if they're even, be level-headed as a balance to intensity, and the like. Instead, it's a weirdly alienating town, with the crush of millions only putting singularity into a relief made that much starker. It makes me consider caving into the desire to move, and become a bigger fish in a littler pond.
Meanwhile, I keep trying, focusing on things that bring me joy, so that I can get excited about them and share that with others.
As for dating online, I'll say this much for the profiles: It's easy to tell when someone is flip or self-absorbed or uninterested in partnership. It's not as easy to tell when someone's a wet blanket. How do you figure out from a picture and text if someone is simply initially shy, generally reserved, or--on the other hand--a fuckin' lunatic? In short, you have to meet people. Good on ya if that goes flawlessly. I can't tell you how many fantastic e-mails I've traded with women, only to hear radio silence after proposing we meet. That's perhaps the most frustrating part of online dating. The good part is meeting someone and being able to bounce around town and just enjoy what the two of you bump into. Even on a planned night, there's always something new to see/hear/feel/experience.
It's just a matter of getting the right partner to do it with.
The first time that I had a guy show up high on a first date with me, it took me about 30 seconds to question in my own head whether or not this guy was actually high, and about 1 minute elapsed before I actually just bucked up and asked the guy (it was quite clear he was not of sober mind). His giggly reply said it all...
Being rather stunned and knowing the plan for the date was just to find a Starbucks and have a coffee, I somehow didn't wind up leaving immediately... I continued to the Starbucks and drank my coffee with him (rather quickly, though, since I was growing increasingly uncomfortable with his complete lack of ability to carry on any sort of conversation...unless you would consider the case of the giggles he got when a little of my coffee spilled on my shirt "conversation").
In subsequent dates with other men, I had one or two show up already drunk and then one who actually had the balls to smoke weed in front of me during the date, despite the fact that earlier in the I said that I find it to be pretty lame at this point in life (30-something).
On a first date, if someone shows up already drunk or high or gets high in front of you... Chances are they're not particularly serious about finding any sort of true relationship with you.
The first online date I went on was (to say the least) nervewracking as fucking hell! I was literally shaking to the point that it could be heard in my voice. I was flushed and my heart was racing, as was my mind... "what if he sees me and thinks that I'm so fat that he just 'peaces out' and leaves me there?" "What if I have NOTHING to talk about" "What if I laugh and a booger comes out?"...WHAT IF? WHAT IF? WHAT IF?!?!?!?
I could go ON and ON... but I'll save you the torture as I'm sure you get the gist...
And what ACTUALLY happened on that doomed first date? Pretty close to nothing special... 2 people talked over 2 glasses of wine at a bar on the upper west side, then walked a few blocks together, said goodbye, and never spoke again... No catastrophe...Just no "spark."
Now just imagine that happening about 15 times in a row to me (though the shaking subsided after date 2 or 3...)
Eventually, for my own sanity, I just had to say to myself, "SNAP OUT OF IT!" I'm not showing anyone my best "me" and I'm certainly not in a very good head space if all I'm doing just before I meet this guy is talk shit about myself. So I consciously put an end to those voices and promised myself that I would think as little as possible about the date prior to it happening (aside from the normal what-to-wears and such).
It was LIBERATING!!!! I saved myself so much worry, and was finally able to just be "me," and well...As far as being me is concerned, I think I'm pretty damn cool to be around...funny, cultured, kind, and a good conversationalist... so it allowed me to show my best side instead of being someone I truly wasn't.
And the great part was, I found my dates were much better experiences. I'm not saying I instantly found love, (hell, i still haven't found that!) but I actually started making it PAST first dates, and even got to some 4th and 5th dates and on occasion, even more than that.
Lesson learned... Chill out! Nerves will only hamper your ability to meet your goal... It is hard enough to find the right person without ruining it for yourself before the date even begins.