Quick Dating Search
E-DATING IS FOR FREAKS AND WIERDOS
By Cherie Burbach
Once I began e-dating a friend of mine became a bit curious, and I suspect, concerned. She had her own preconceived notions about Internet dating. While I usually kept details of my dates to myself, this time I printed off the profile of someone I was going to meet that night and showed it to her. She read it and said, "This guy looks fun... oh look, you both like to do the same things... this guy would be great for you... and he's cute..." She looked at me, "This guy seems perfectly normal" as if it surprised her.
Everyone knows there are nothing but freaks and weirdoes online, right? If you stop and think about it, the people that are online looking for a mate are regular, busy people who just haven't bumped into Mr. or Mrs. Right yet. And if you can meet your mate at church or in a grocery store, why can't you meet them on-line? I'll tell you from personal experience that my husband and I found that we had hung out at the same places for years, and yet it took the World Wide Web for us to finally meet.
I maneuvered around the online dating world for approximately six months. I met a lot of wonderful, sweet, nice guys. In fact, I was very surprised at the number of great guys out there looking for the same things in life I was. None of us could believe we were doing online dating, and yet now that we've done it, we know it's a great way to meet people and date successfully.
When I started Internet dating I was a marketing director for a large firm and I worked long hours. I had the kind of job that consumed me. Looking back, that was one of the reasons I had not yet met someone. Despite the fact that I loved what I did, I really did not have much of a personal life. Sure, I had friends, lots of them, but I also spent many evenings when I came home and was totally alone. I've always been very independent, but I realized it would be nice to have someone to talk to at the end of the day, to share my triumphs and my sorrows, and to one day start a family with. I realized that I wanted a relationship.
I had no false illusions of what having a relationship would mean. To the friend that told me a man would not make me happy I wanted to say, well no kidding. I was in my mid 30s and had a great life; of course I didn't need a man in order to be happy. I had spent a lot of time on my own and it showed me I could do anything I wanted in life. I was a complete person before I started looking for a mate. And I think this is very important.
Don't misunderstand me, I love my husband and getting married has transformed my life is so many wonderful ways I actually wake up each day and thank God for this gift. It's better than I ever thought it could be. But before I met my husband, I took every opportunity to do exactly what I always wanted to do in life. I started working on a book of poetry; I went to college for the first time; I spent time with friends; I read; I painted. I had a strong faith. I never wanted to be one of those people that got married because they felt as if they were missing out on some part of their single life. I enjoyed my single life immensely. My husband and I both did exactly what we wanted when we were single, and we were both complete people when we met. Now, we are both independent, creative people who make the ultimate team. We are truly partners, friends, and lovers. My husband and I talk a lot about meeting the right person at the right time. He's never met anyone he wanted to marry before me, and if someone would have told either one of us that we would meet our ideal person and marry just one year later, we would have probably laughed in their face. I never believed in the sappy stuff people talked about. I thought it was just an extension of pillow talk. When couples would tell me they "just knew" when they met the right person, I always rolled my eyes and thought they were crazy. But it's true, I knew with him in a way I never knew with anyone else. He says the same thing; with me it was just different from the beginning.
Now I don't tell you all this so you'll think I'm just a sap who wants everyone in the world to get married. Au contraire. I firmly believe there are many people that have no business being married yet, let alone in a relationship. Be a complete person all on your own first. Be brave enough to spend some time by yourself to figure out exactly what you what. Don't jump from relationship to relationship, and don't be afraid to walk away from someone if it isn't totally right. And for goodness sake don't stay with someone because they are okay "for now." If you stay in a relationship that isn't quite right it is only keeping you from the one that is right. Wish them the best, mean it, and move on. Don't stay with someone that isn't right just because you think it will magically transform and turn around one day or because you are simply afraid to be alone. Look at it this way, the time you spend alone will help you figure out exactly what type of person would be great for you. And then when that person is finally right in front of you, you'll know it. You deserve to be happy, not just "okay for now."
With all that said you're probably wondering if my e-dating adventure was all fun and games. Well... yes and no. Granted, I met more sweet and wonderful guys than I ever thought existed in the world. But I also met some real goofs. But hey - doesn't that happen in the "normal" dating world as well?
Look at it this way, the more you date, and the more likely you will meet not only great people but also some not-so-great ones. Several years ago I met a guy (in a bar) that I went out on what I thought would be a fun date. We had planned lunch and then a ride on his boat, but when he picked me up he asked if I'd mind stopping by his house for a quick minute. He said he'd forgotten his jacket. Sure, I said. We walked in, not to his house (as he'd originally said) but to his parent's house. Then he introduced me as, "This is the girl I told you about," to his parents. After hearing the "oh, she's lovely" comments from his parents I realized this guy was reading more into this date than I was. Thankfully we left and had lunch. Then we met up with two of his friends that were also dating. The four of us went out on his boat for a quick spin, and while my date was showing me the sites we could hear the sounds of his two friends madly making out behind us. I tried to give him my best "don't even think about it" look, when suddenly my date said, "Uh oh." It turns out the boat had run out of gas. We had to start rowing ourselves back towards the shore, until mercifully a rescue boat came to tow us in. When we got to shore my date acted as if this was the most normal thing ever, so when we docked and he asked me what I wanted to do next, I told him I wanted to go home. On the long drive back to my house he chatted non-stop about his life, and suddenly I heard a beeping sound coming from the car. He continued yakking away until I finally had to ask him what that sound was. He laughed sheepishly, then told me that was the warning sound because the car was about to run out of gas. That would make twice, on the same date. And this was someone I met all on my own.
So you see, you can meet odd people anywhere. The Internet isn't exclusive to them. I should tell you that despite how awful my date with this man had turned out I was glad I went. At the time I had an on-again, off-again relationship and was seriously wondering if I could date someone else. I realized that despite how this date had went, there were plenty of people in the world looking for the right person, and I owed it to myself to move on from something that wasn't a healthy situation.
©2005 Cherie Burbach
Cherie Burbach is the author of two books of poetry, The Difference Now, and A New Dish, as well as At the Coffee Shop, a humorous look at the world of Internet dating. She is currently working on her first novel and resides in Wisconsin with her husband. Please visit her website at www.thedifferencenow.com