For those who feel their time is wasted in dating – I too share these thoughts on the numbers game that is online dating. I have learnt more about myself and others than I could have every imagined!
Today I found myself finally getting back to a man I have had some casual online chat with. Over the last two or three weeks other aspects of my life have required my energy, indeed I have preferred to give my energy to those areas rather than the online game of dating. I could see this man – let’s call him S – had been attempting to contact me and so responded politely with an apology for my online absence.
At this point I need to say that S really had not done much in the way of attempting to get to know me through asking questions and engaging in an ongoing online dialogue. In doing so I had wondered if he would be like that in person but applied benefit of the doubt and continued to occasionally chat with a view to one day meeting and finding out. Maybe S was shy? Maybe he didn’t like typing? Maybe… who knows!
It wasn’t long before S replied to me today. He suggested we meet up tonight. I couldn’t meet up and let him know just as you would with anyone. His reply back to me was “You don’t seem too keen…to change your life”.
There it was. There was that mystical concept that people in the dating world talk about, hope for, believe in. I like to refer to this as the cinderella or prince charming effect, whereby meeting ‘the one’ will in some way rescue you from what must be a terrible life. This was also my ‘aha’ moment of this person definitely isn’t for me. Nevertheless, I was curious to know how S thought he would change my life.
S didn’t like me asking. His intolerance for the question suggested I was supposed to want my life changed, and that I wanted for him to be the one to change it.
Obviously I pointed out that I quite liked my life and wasn’t looking for someone to change it, rather I am looking for someone to add to my life. I also added that I wasn’t looking for whatever it is right now, that I wasn’t needing today to be the day as I was/am extremely tired. Clearly my sense of non-urgency was not good enough as S proceeded to call me a ‘time waster’.
Being a ‘time waster’ is an odd thing. I don’t define myself as a time waster, especially as I don’t intend to do that and am quite upfront about my intentions and feelings in any moment. Being a time waster and having your time wasted are two different things which require different responses. Being a time waster suggests intent on wasting someone else’s time, intentionally misleading them. Having your time wasted is part of both or either being mislead and/or making decisions for yourself contrary to what you want.
I don’t intend to waste people’s time, I don’t mislead people using false and alluding statements or comments. I am laid back –for non-Australian’s this refers to having a relaxed nature, or going with the flow– and I am open and honest.
The term ‘time waster’ seems to get used a lot in online dating. I’m not overly sure what this looks like from the mens perspective but I have some understanding based on my own experience. I had my time wasted for seven years by someone that I was deeply in love with. We both kept ourselves available for the other in various ways across that time so I take ownership over my part. However, I particularly was dragged through emotional torment by this person being unable to be honest with themselves and thus continually pushing and pulling me while I was broken and tearing to pieces, of which he spoke of knowingly doing this. My time was wasted as my best reproduction years have past, the opening for meeting someone else has become smaller, my trust in other men/lovers/partners has been eroded, and my enthusiasm to give effort to others has drained. That’s time wasting, that’s having my time wasted. So how can so much anger be thrown around online for what are mostly strangers in wasting others’ time?
A few brief online chats, superficial at best, surely doesn’t take up so much of your mind and body that your time is wasted? Did S really invest himself in me so much that he believed I would change his life after just a few online chats and potentially one date over a coffee?
This got me thinking, “have we been conditioned by fairy tales that until we find ‘the one’ we are all helpless and hopeless?”
These thoughts have been evolving in my mind for a week since a fairy tale experience. My gorgeous niece loves books. She toddled off and got some books and returned to sit in my lap and handed me Cinderella. Being the realist that I am I didn’t actually read the words from the page, opting instead to tell her about how she doesn’t need a man to be complete and that prince charming is not the perfect picture made out in the story. It was this moment that I realised why so many men (sorry I can only speak of men as I am a hetero woman) feel that they will change my life. They too have been lead to believe they should, will, must save a woman who will then forever gaze at his brilliance and offer her thanks by being his princess who smiles and laughs while twirling her hair. I didn’t do the best job of telling a better story but have since found a book that might.
Instead of reading your children stories like Cinderella and setting them up for dating failure, consider alternatives such as ‘The Paper Bag Princess‘. Maybe I’ll send this to S.
Such a cute and sad pic – Titled: All Alone
Procrastinating by hanging out with my mum in her kitchen the other day raised something I have not really given much thought to. Who would come to my 60th birthday if I don’t have children?
Like so many of our conversations I am not sure how we got to the topic. Perhaps we had commented on it being nearly a year since her 60th celebration, that it will most likely be her last big birthday celebration (by choice, not death), that as she gets older she doesn’t have as many people in her life but is happy with just a few important family members and a friend or two to talk with. Primarily she has me and my sister, her sister and her children, her ex husband (my dad), and one or two close friends she confides in regularly. I’m not sure if it was her or me that first stopped and realised that I am likely to not have the same network/family at her age.
There was an awkward pause, where each of us sort of ‘umm-ed’ and ‘ahh-ed’ for a moment. With a considered choice of words mum said “I suppose…despite our situation [being divorced]…well, I guess I’m lucky to have that”. We both knew what she meant – that it is quite likely that I won’t have a husband and children, or even children without the man, or maybe not even a long-term companion; my experience of turning 60 will be quite different to hers. For the first time I could see she realised the grief I could experience…have experienced…do experience when faced with the potential of not fulfilling my need for a partner and children.
Of course my response was to deflect and use humour, “I like to remind myself while others’ seem so happy now their relationships wont be as glorious as it seems and they are 50% likely to be divorced and bitterly unhappy within five years”. It only helps a little.
Who will come to my birthday?? C’est la vie!
So… I got on here to write another type of entry but thought I would first share this one. I am so amazed at what people consider effort/care/openness,… oh sorry, he said long winded….oh then that must be what it is. If the fella in Stupid Cupid’s post thought her simple, elegant and open profile was long winded then I wonder what his little mind would make of mine???
After a few years of on again/off again online dating and continually attracting idiots I decided to write a profile that was REALLY me but also had the added benefit of doing the ‘sorting’ for me. I just got sick of having to read either stupid or boring attempts at conversation online with men that I just would NEVER be interested in. So what I wrote is below. By the time you finish reading this you can imagine that I have significantly cut down the stream of contacts who waste my time.
“”So I am just going to put this out there! Most people on dating sites are looking for something that is missing, whether that be a companion or a potential partner for having a family. I propose that in a western system we have it backwards and instead should be adopting some sensible and practical strategies from other nations. I am suggesting something far from traditional dating but more like an arrangement, a coming together of two people to discuss and plan and consider all the difficult and tough issues that so often are not discussed during the mating game. This then provides a basis by which to truly form a bond based on shared and agreed values. Of course for this to work I understand that we would still need to be able to even get to a point of robust discussion, so for those who are still reading what follows is a glimpse into who I am.
The good, the bad and the absolute ugly…
Looking much younger than I am has lots of advantages
I am crafty and can create many things for myself and others
I am confident with reasonably good self-esteem
I have a close yet small family
Soon I will be a full-time PhD student – so I am intelligent, analytical, & inquiring
I adore affection – giving and receiving it
I love animals
I have a great smile
I can park a car better than most
Laughter is the key to fun no matter what the situation is (but clearly I can be serious too)
Work is secure and mostly rewarding
Staying active is important to me, as is spending time being still
I can dance and keep a beat well
Spelling is VERY important, but I can forgive errors in exchange for other qualities 🙂
I don’t believe in seeing other people while ‘seeing’ someone else
I am very open and honest
The Bad (well this depends who you are):
I am passionate so have an opinion
Being introverted means work or excessive demands leaves me quite tired
Sometimes it takes me time to think about my feelings and make decisions
You may catch me staring at people…I love people-watching
I like watching gross infection/wound/cyst videos
Being an air-head is not my style
I have small hands
I am sensitive and would be less hurt by the truth than a lie…so if you lie you are intentionally hurting me which would make you not a nice guy (people lie to protect themselves not the other person)
I have carry-on baggage…it’s not so heavy that it needs to be stowed, but enough which has given me some real life changing experiences.
I have cried at work – the ugly cry where you can’t even talk through the sobs
Don’t give me coffee – I become hyperactive and my heart tries to jump through my chest
Work takes up a lot of my time and energy, but this is soon to change
Unfortunately I am addicted to sugar…but trying hard to kick the habit.
I get a lot of headaches… I have finally given in to the value of pain meds for being able to keep going sometimes.
Happy with you
Employed & not intimidated by my job
Open & deeply honest
Willing to explore …things “”
It’s been too long since I shared…
I don’t think our grammar skills are of the same level. It just seems like he could have tried a bit harder. I’m just saying…
I thought I posted this early last week. As it turns out I left it as a draft and didn’t get to posting … so here it is.
As the old adage goes, ‘If life gives you lemons make lemonade’. Basically if you experience something horrible and sour then turn it into a positive and sweet experience.
So here I was last night feeling sorry for myself and unable to think clearly enough to make any sense of complex PhD content. I just happened to have quinces thanks to a neighbour of the house I am housesitting (just another part of my life) so I did what I could do – cook.
When I moved into this house a few weeks ago the instruction note I was left included “…and do something with the quinces”. My first thought was “what on earth would I do with quinces!”. Last night was the night I decided to work that out.
On to Google I went and simply searched ‘quinces’. I had thought about jam or jelly/paste but figured I wouldn’t have enough for that. Ha! Boy was I wrong. Only 4-5 is needed for a jar or two of jam and a heap of jelly. Clearly I have never done anything with quinces before but I knew quince jelly was a sweet taste sensation that goes wonderfully with crackers and cheese.
After a quick glance at various quince recipes I decided on a blog post recipe for quince jelly from the ever sweet and delightful Julie Goodwin.
This managed to take my mind off my self-pity, at least when I was chopping, stirring, and stirring some more. I also didn’t think too far ahead with regards to the time I was starting this process. Needless to say I decided not to stay up until after midnight and instead took the sticky mixture off the heat after about 3 hours (instead of the recommended 5 hours) and poured it into a dish for it to sit overnight.
After a big sleep in I checked my jelly – you can see the little corner I cut out to taste test. The mixture was still too much like jam and not set like a jelly should be so into a very low oven for a few hours it went.
Now it is nice and firm and ready for tipping out and dividing into pieces for sharing. Only those who are familiar with jams and jellies will realise that I actually burnt the mixture on the stove. Otherwise it is absolutely sweet and delicious!
Back to PhD agony today.
So my post today is both one of happiness and… Actually, scrap that. I’m not sure there is a lot of happiness at all.
New life should be a time of happiness and joy.
Well … In this case it is fraught with confusion, anger, unknowing, and insecurity.
I have a great friend who was/is a grandma at a young age. She called me last night to tell me she was going to be a grandma again…not because the same child is having a second baby but because her youngest is going to be a dad. He is 20 years old and has his first girlfriend. They’ve only being seeing each other for 6-8 weeks. The girlfriend is pregnant.
Besides the obvious speed of this, there are many mmmm let’s say they are ‘issues’. Firstly, she’s nuts…I normally can and do get along with anyone but she gives me the creeps. I don’t know why but as soon as I met her I couldn’t look at her like I would anyone else. It seems ridiculous especially as I’m old enough to get past these sorts of things…but I just sensed badness! Secondly, she is now emotionally manipulating this young guy into feeling guilty about not being able to provide financially. He has been presented with lists …a pile of lists…of baby stuff and medical appointments that she says he needs to pay for. He is an apprentice and has no money. What ever happened to sharing costs or working together? Finally, he wants to spend some time talking with her about all of this but she has been so nuts he can’t get in a clear conversation. She wanted him to go to a party but he suggested that before they go out and pretend to be ok that they talk before then. that didn’t happen, so he didn’t go. She proceeded to show up at my friends place (he lives with his mum…as you do at 20) and storm through the house and yell at him for not going to the party. Oh, and he was asleep as he gets up for work at 3-4am. Their relationship is not going to last and she will make this much more difficult than it needs to be. He is trying to hold it together and wants to be involved fully because he knows so well what an absent father feels like. There is something about all of this that just doesn’t seem to add up, that is too convenient within a range of circumstances that are beyond this post to explain.
Why is it that those who are not in a position to have children are super fertile and those who desperately want children are not? How do two young people who haven’t had sex before get pregnant (even with condom use) and I can have sex for years, even unprotected sex, and not once have I ever thought I could be pregnant?
I know it’s horrible to be judging the situation and to be taking some of it personally but I can’t help but wonder what the hell do the higher powers think they’re doing!?
This was forwarded to me recently by a friend and colleague after a discussion about young women, older women, choosing parenthood and not.
I would choose to ignore the ranting discussion at the end of the article if i was you. It goes a bit off topic about what the topic actually is. BUT the point of the article is that statistics on age and conception that have lead to fear and anxiety for many women in their 30’s and above desperately need an analytical eye and updating. This is an informative article and provides a refreshingly positive perspective on ability to conceive beyond 30.
I am also particularly interested in the authors point about the likelihood of women conceiving after 30/35 has more to do with their fertility overall rather than their age. It certainly may take the anxiety of getting older out of the equation. Enjoy!