I live in a small retirement community with few men my age (54,) so online dating gives me access to a much broader field. It also means a much longer introductory phase, and an awkwardly pressured scenario – if on meeting we are not attracted. I can deal with that, I think. But in the course of the protracted conversation, when the tone becomes increasingly intimate and anticipatory, I have to repeatedly face the unexpected revelation that the man I am “involved” with is involved, literally, with someone else, typically, an old girlfriend who is now a sex partner and good friend.
Though I have said expressly in my profile that I prefer a single focus and want to be told if someone has other people in their lives (so I can figure out how to deal with it,) I keep having to find out well into the hot pursuit phase. Is this just too much to ask? Should I just get over hoping for monogamy so early in the game? I just feel the other people involved would be hurt if they knew the exchanges their lover is having with me, even if it’s just over the phone, and making plans to meet. Hopelessly mired in tradition?
Great letter. One I feel I must have answered before, but can’t really remember.
To put a fine point on it: yes, you’re hopelessly mired in tradition. But that’s not a flaw on your part. It’s a blind spot shared with pretty much every single person who is dating online. Don’t beat yourself up about it.
The most pervasive trait that I see in online dating is mind-numbing hypocrisy.
Are you “wrong” for wishing for a simpler, more direct approach to communication? Not at all. Are you fighting a losing battle with technology and human nature? Absolutely.
“I may have lied about my height by an inch…how dare she lie about her weight?”
“I’ve been dating on JDate on and off for six years…look at that loser – he’s been using JDate the entire time I’ve been on here and still hasn’t found someone.”
“I lowered my age to be seen by more people…but what’s with these guys who take off ten years and don’t tell you until the first date?”
“I’ve sent out ten emails and eight men were so rude that they didn’t reply at all; I’ve also got ten emails from interested men, but only two of them are really worth a reply.”
“Men are only looking for hot, young women…but I’ve only got the 20 most attractive men on my favorites list.”
And, of course, your dilemma.
Now, you may be the exception to the rule – for all I know, you communicate with only one man at a time and wouldn’t even consider writing an email to a new man if you were already in correspondence with another.
But that would seem to negate the entire nature of online dating – you have access to volumes of single people who also have access to volumes of single people. So are you “wrong” for wishing for a simpler, more direct approach to communication? Not at all. Are you fighting a losing battle with technology and human nature? Absolutely.
Why He Disappeared is the smart, strong, successful woman's guide to understanding men. If you want to learn how men think, and rediscover how to have meaningful relationships - all from a man's point of view - click here to learn Why He Disappeared.
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