Wednesday, February 18, 2009
it's a numbers game
One thing that I have noticed after years of blogging - it isn't just widows who are afraid to date. It seems that if you're over the age of thirty-five, you're carrying a bit of baggage and usually by the time you face your second big break-up, you're swearing off finding love altogether.
I have no problem with someone if they really want to stay single. My older brother is one of those, and we have never confronted him about it. He just turned forty-six, hasn't ever had a girlfriend, spends most of the Spring and Summer in a fifth wheel (he's the maintenance supervisor for a campground) and if he ever gets the urge for sex, he goes after his friend's wives. I'm not kidding, either - I'm surprised that no one has taken him down during hunting season!
But I digress. No one bugs Steve about having a GF because we know it would have to be a pretty special woman to take his crap. Between his OCD and his need to control everyone and his deep-seated introversion, we know it's a lost cause.
As for everyone else, unless you're like Steve, you've definitely got a chance.
I know that people are afraid of being rejected, or afraid that the person they choose will turn out to be a psycho, or a cheater, or too controlling. I was afraid that I'd choose another addict, or someone who would mess up the finances so bad I'd lose the house. I was afraid that I'd settle, like I have in the past with Jamie's dad, or my high school boyfriend. But there are a few ways you can go into this search and come out the other side completely intact.
The first way is to treat your search for a partner no different than if you're looking for the perfect job. You don't expect the perfect job to fall in your lap (so to speak) and finding a partner shouldn't be any different.
Take a look at how you present yourself. Grooming is extremely important. Now might be the time to drop a few pounds and get some new shoes. When you walk, are you confident? Do you look people directly in the eye, and have a firm handshake?
Whenever I went on first dates, I asked lots of questions, but never in a way that seemed like I was interviewing them. By the end of the date, if there had been any spark at all - I knew who was his first love, what his dreams of work were (and how much he'd achieved) what his sex drive was like, and whether he still spoke to or hung out with his exes. If there wasn't any spark, the date either ended early or I stopped asking the important questions and just sat back to enjoy the food and conversation.
When I met Bill, I remember testing him a little. Was he interested in talking to me every day? Did he blow me off on messenger to talk to anyone else? When he said he'd call, did he? And the biggie - did he keep his word? The very first time he was to bring Em and stay the weekend, I didn't exhale until I heard the door buzzer go off!
The second way is to remember that finding a good mate is a numbers game. Most of you know that I met Bill online, but maybe don't realize that I had perused well over 3,000 personal ads on four different dating sites. Of those three thousand ads, I emailed over one hundred and fifty people. From those, I added eighty to my messenger. I was asked out twenty or twenty-five times, and I accepted eleven dates. One stood me up, one walked out without saying good-bye, several were looking for casual sex, and I had no chemistry with the rest, except for Bill. Overall, it took me twenty months before my search was over.
It is definitely not for the faint of heart! But I am happier than I have ever been in my life, so it was definitely worth it.
You're worth it, too.