Thursday, January 20, 2011
I’ve been off and on the online dating sites now for just over a decade, joining when Match. Com became all the rage. My experiences with these sites have been less than wonderful as advertised on TV. I have heard of success stories but I’ve also heard some of these weren’t so successful after the marriage was in force.
I’ve done Match, Yahoo Personals, EHarmony, and a few others that were “one hit wonders”, and most recently, Plenty of Fish. My experiences have run the gamut: meeting those who want to dive right into a relationship after the first phone call, some who reel me in via email then once they have my number, disappear. Others have called a time or two then disappear with no explanation; then a few have made it to the first meeting, usually in a coffee shop, and then dissipate into thin air as if Scotty just beamed them up! I’ve also had a few I’ve met that looked nothing like their 10-year old college photo they posted. One dating relationship lasted all of two dates; a third date was scheduled but he was 30 minutes late, so I left, after which I got a call saying he was on his way, to hold tight, he'd be there in twenty. As if!
The last and most successful dating result, though an unsuccessful dating experience, lasted for ten months, and in hindsight, that was probably too long. In fact, I’m stretching it to say ten, as it was off and on, hot and cold, and borderline stalking for the last three months. In the last couple of years, trusting my own intuition around dating has been my greatest challenge. There were "red flags" and intuitive nudges early, early on in the “getting to know you” stage that I simply dismissed. My problem is I see the potential in someone and as a life coach and intuitive, I see beneath the surface their spirit, and the potential of what they are capable of being. I can detach from any expectations when I work with my students and clients as they move through their journey; but I’m still mastering letting go of that similar problem women have with “bad boys”: believing we can change them. I don’t date bad boys but I've noticed I'm dating men who are in need of healing. It’s what I’ve been attracting lately and I am re-evaluating how and why. It may simply be one of those job hazards I have to monitor more closely.
So, in the last relationship, I tried to “develop” him into his fullest potential and he was open to it; he’d play along for a very short while, then he’d rebel. Not one to give up a challenge, I continued to give many benefits of the doubt, second, third and fifteenth chances, all the while “coaching” him on how to implement change each time he wanted me back. Eventually, after my head started hurting from banging it against the wall, I got the long ignored intuitive message: Time to move on.
And so, I’m fishing the "plenty" of the sea again, and dusting off old dating lessons to revisit and review. The phrases my students and clients hear me say constantly I am now saying to my self daily: it (dating) is a process; don’t get attached to the outcome; don’t take things so personally! And in dating, I’m learning not to assume that once they are interested they will actually stick around. Message received, Spirit!
Once upon a time I had dating down to a science and was quite successful. A girl has to eat and I was well-fed when in Denver, and when I was fed up, figuratively speaking, of how things were going, I confidently said, "Thank you but no thanks. Next!" I’m embracing this approach again, and remembering how to weed the garden of possibilities. I can’t do anything about someone not showing up in this process, and in hindsight, I appreciate it happening on the front end v. half way through. And as for my latest online dating venture, I am grateful for the abundance of interest and responses I've had – overwhelming, to say the least. I guess there are plenty of fish in the sea. Here fishy, fishy, fishy.