In Her Words
Internet Dating In Your 40s
First step or last straw?
By: Jenny Montalbano
It’s been five months since my last relationship. As I perform the mundane chore of food shopping, the sight of couples holding hands, embracing and laughing has me feeling like a single serve in a world of family packs. And with my last dating option being the homeless man who asked me to take him home, I make the decision to join the cyber world of Internet dating.
My 45-year-old love life has had its share of disappointments: a failed marriage, a gay ex-husband (hence the failed marriage), one ex boyfriend who couldn’t “take the next step” and another who continued to push me so hard to take that step that I ended up stepping backwards and finally walking away. So I figure $29 a month is a small price to pay for the ability to view eligible men from the comfort of my computer.
I take the plunge and post a cute picture and even cuter description of myself, trying to sound smart but not snobbish, sexy but not slutty and available but not desperate. All while conveying an impetuous spirit as though I threw my profile together in the spur of the moment. And 2 hours and 45 minutes later it was finished.
The next day, I arrive at work with my morning coffee and check my e-mail. When I finish my coffee, I check my e-mail. Before I go to the ladies’ room, when I return from the ladies’ room, before lunch, after lunch and five minutes after telling myself I won’t for at least another half an hour, I check my e-mail.
And then it happens: my first e-mail arrives from the dating site. I hesitate before clicking on the “you’ve got messages” icon, allowing myself to perceive the sender to be the bright, shiny new man I want him to be. He’ll be my ideal blue-collar man with a white- collar brain. I envision after our initial contact he’ll instantly know I’m “the one”; and he’ll have me meet his family and friends, who will all whisper how perfect we are together. We’ll have hot sex three times a day; and he’ll profess his love for me with each synchronized orgasm, as I’m silently attaching his last name to mine.
With a deep breath I click the e-mail. I’m suddenly jolted back to reality by the picture of a 65-year-old, extremely large man from Yugoslavia who addresses me as “Hey sexy American lady.” At this point all my self-assurance turns into self-doubt. Why can’t I attract a decent man? Am I too fat, too plain, are my boobs too small?
Eventually I begin to receive messages from men in my age group and time zone. After the three stages of Internet dating: e-mailing, phone calls and meeting in person, I find there really are a lot of great men on the Internet. But I also find that clicking on a profile and clicking together during numerous phone calls does not guarantee the click of chemistry outside of cyberspace.
When my membership expires at the end of the month I decide I’ve had enough. It was time to take my chances of meeting someone in the real world.
Five days later I am re-entering my credit card information and renewing my membership for what I swear will be just one more month.
Tell us: Have you ventured into cyber dating?