What is the Loneliness of the Long Term Dater

                                                                              Aka The Red Badge of Online Dating

                                                                              Aka The Red Badge of Online Dating

Girlies, there’s just no way to say this easily so I’m just going to blurt it out: I’M STILL ONLINE.

I’ll spare you the actual date I’m writing this; just be aware my blog is chronological and I’m only at the very beginning of my trials and tribulations in writing but in life did I mention I’M STILL ONLINE??

And before I continue on with the date by date commentary I have to tell you if you start this journey as well, you'll probably still be online for a while. Like more than six weeks, dude. Maybe more than six MONTHS. Maybe...okay. I can’t go down that road or my head will explode. I’m just in that place right now, you know?

But it could be you’ll be one of those urban legend type women that are on for a minute then off, never to go on again. Maybe you’ll be the me I thought I’d be online. Fast. Efficient. Obviously stellar long term relationship material for the guy I knew was the one for me. Maybe. Maybe NOT. For all the rest of us ordinary, slightly dopey, rather challenged daters, this post tells it the way it usually goes so tie those laces up tight. It’s a marathon not a sprint and not a walk in the fucking park either. Fyi.

When I went back on the second first time, I really thought it would only be a matter of teeny tiny time before I was snatched up by the M of my D ie man of my dreamz with caps oc. Why did I think this? Because I was me – naïve and completely inexperienced in the POF pool. While not particularly hopeful, I was also not particularly daunted or hopeLESS.  I wasn’t aware I was beginning a personal fucking odyssey and that it would take all of my energy some days just to not let its emotional vagaries consume me. I had no idea how much I would be changed by my choices and by what did not kill me. Drama much? Uh. Huh.

I don’t know about you but I am NOT a patient girl. And I’m better than I used to be but I pretty much still SUCK. Add the fact that I’ve discovered when I’m bored I tend to soley browse the bad choices buffet means being a long term online dater for me has often been interminable stretches of stultifying with brief spurts of mortification and wtfs. Combine that with the strain of the constant eye rolling I do from the messages – and I use the term VERY loosely – that dribble in and you’re looking at a challenging place to date from let alone live in. Yes girls, welcome to my world. Sigh.

And here’s the thing, for the longest time I was embarrassed as the weeks and months piled up and my dance card stayed sparse. I felt ashamed to be left on the shelf, expiry date outward. I felt like Hester fucking Prynne with a stupid stitched on turquoise POF fish. Obviously there was something wrong with me if millions of male users were passing me by. OBVIOUSLY.

But one day, suddenly Susan, I woke up and instead of shame I felt a blazing pride for the exact thing: still being online all these months later. Dude, I deserve the Stephen fucking Crane red badge of courage for holding true and staying whole.

I haven’t changed my profile to reflect my disappointments. I haven’t replied bitterly to anyone who’s sent me a less than polite message. I’ve barely even blocked anyone because I feel it’s pretty harsh and we’re all human and doing our best, though it doesn’t always feel that way. I haven’t gone to the Dark Side on anyone at first meet or any other time. I haven’t held grudges against the less than stellar behavior of the guys I did spend time with. Though yes, I’ve been disappointed and yes, I’ve been hurt and no, it hasn’t been what I expected or signed up for at the same time, I still do my very best see each man as an individual, worthy of trust and the benefit of the doubt. In the process, I've learned to really revel in a genuine connection/ a moment of happiness no matter how the story ends. And to skip the buffet! No brainer, bitches.

What I’m saying is you’re constantly tested and it’s brutal but when you keep in mind, as I keep reminding you, your life is about you and only you, then you’re golden. That’s how you keep going and going and GOING. I have learned so much about myself and I continue learning and yeah…it’s not even all bad shit! You take the emotional blows, be they from without or from within and then you bounce the fuck back up. Drink that wine. Dish with those besties. Laugh about it all because what doesn’t kill you WILL make you realize you’re so much stronger and brighter and more beautiful than you know.  Like Kelly Clarkson says: “Stand a little taller.” Show off that badge. You have earned that mo fo. BOOM.

How long have YOU been on, girlfriend? And how's that last nerve holding out? Don't go postal. Share! But put the gun down first, please.

xo Lucy