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.


  1. At least after all the searching you found somebody special to share your life with. I met my wife on-line and we are still together, ten years on and two kids later, we have our ups and downs but that's life....oh and we have a cat as well

  2. As a recently un-singled 35 year old, the thing that made the difference was the time I spent to get to know myself. I had a long time on my own and when I was ready I knew who I was and what I wanted in a mate. I had such a clear vision of the qualities I was looking for that when I met SG I just knew. And they weren't unrealistic: I wanted someone who made me laugh, who listened to me, he was interested and interesting. He was gentle, there was no urgency to move the relationship quickly.
    I loved that he had his own interests, had been on his own, he had also really thought about what he wanted.
    I love him very much.

  3. mr-stu: absolutely - someone wonderful with an eight year old daughter (now 11) and a dog. The house is much fuller now! I'm glad you found a good woman too.

    Tamale - thanks!

    sas - That is so important and I'm glad you brought it up. Spending some time getting to know who you really are and what you need is key.

  4. Kate

    Just like insurance sales when you put it in those kind of search terms isn't it?

    I am done if anything should happen to my wife.

    I mean it most sincerely.

    You will always need to pair up I believe. I believe I have plenty of room in my heart for love. I just prefer to keep that door closed forever if my circumstances change.

    I also may be talking out of my ass because I don't know crap about dating or ever being lonely.


  5. Bobby - talking out your ass? LOL!
    I hope you and Mabel have another 40 years together.

  6. It is a numbers game, the more shots you take the more likely you are to hit the target.

  7. I think it's a distinct possibility I may be the twin of your brother steve - except of course the stealing others wives. And the wanting to stay single. and the need for control.
    Ok i'm nothing like your brother steve, I just wanted to contribute.

  8. Reading that just made me tired, Kate! I'm too old for that work. I found Andy when I wasn't looking, and if for some reason I am on my own again, I will not be looking again. I will just get a small purse-dog and go about my business.

    Great post, Kate.

  9. Being single,27..I don't think about marriage.
    I've always been single and I think I'll stay that way.
    I prefer being single..not attached,no kids..(I dont need sex either..why risk diseases and kids)

    Nothing like a bit of Autism.. (was diagnosed with it in the 1980s)

  10. That would be far to methodical for me. Especially the 'job interview' thing :-/

    If I were in a position where I WAS looking, I'd tend to just go with the flow.

  11. uamada -for a minute there I was concerned, lol
    Carla - it WAS tiring, but since I'd always done things by chance before and the results were less than stellar, I went another way. Totally worth it!
    AK - staying single is good if that's what you want.
    Andy - how do you know if you don't ask? Believe me, they didn't mind at all. Except for two (one didn't show up, the other left when he said he'd "do me" and I didn't respond in kind) everyone else was completely charmed and not offended at all.

  12. laugh
    still looking think I might be for some time :(

  13. Good Post!

    I think you are on target. It is definitely not for the faint of heart and it is definitely worth it.

    If I have already left this notice please excuse me. Please stop the current post on Psyche Connections for a bloggers award that is waiting for you there.