I had three active dating profiles going for a while until the first expired and I took down my photographs (because they still circulate them) the day before. The second may or may not be active but I need to take the photographs off that site too because I'm done with it. It is the third site which has some potential. There is no email on this site, only secured text messages which remain in the application. If you're lucky you get an email message alerting you to a new chat message but pretty much you need to check periodically if you're not hanging out there all day (I'm not). Periodically I have to go out there and clean up because there's a steady flow of incoming which needs sorting through.
Here's me: delete, delete, delete, delete, ok, check out his profile, delete, delete, delete, um, ok, delete, WOW!, delete.
Here's the site: throw as many possibilities which can be consumed and don't worry too much about the distance.
I'm sorry, 300 miles has hit the ridiculous and yet, I'm chatting with this guy because I like his profile and I may or may not like him. He is interesting, he spells correctly, and he uses complete sentences. At no point has he lol'd in my general direction and he is fully clothed in all of his photographs. Be still, my heart. This is going nowhere even though he thinks it might be worth the travel. Let me know if you come to Lake George again and I'll haul my ass up there and have coffee with you. That's it. Coffee. Yes, you read that correctly. He agrees and asks me how my dating is going. I say, it's fine and he asks how many in the last two weeks. None. Three weeks. None. Four weeks. None. OK, when is the last time you actually had a date. Don't remember but it was with the 44 year old who turned out to be stuck in a state of juvenile inappropriateness.
Because I just don't like any of them enough to chat for more than a sentence or two.
Maybe you need to loosen up your standards a little.
No, I do not.
Do you want a date?
No, I do not.
Then why are you out here?
It makes me feel better, less isolated. I'm not sure why. Maybe there will be someone someday within driving distance.
You would see me?
Yes I would. If you were within 100 miles, not 300 miles.
But would I? Would I date him if he were local(ish) or would he suddenly be less desirable? We continue to chat now because we like each other but until two days ago I had given no-one my phone number or email address (he doesn't have it) much less my last name. Very few of the profiles I've seen have given any indication of a first name. I provide two and that's going to have to be enough. I'll come back to this.
This site does something interesting. There is a carousel which is very much like Tinder in that you look at a face and an age and you click a red X or a green check mark and move on to the next. You can hit that carousel up as often as you like. Elizabeth thinks this is hilarious and likes to help. In any event, every time you hit a green check and you have already been green checked by that man, you are 'matched'. The only thing this means is that his profile goes into your 'matches' folder and yours goes to his. It doesn't mean anything else unless one of you does something about it. When you are matched you are notified.
I have a fairly large folder of photographs and I took a good hard look at them the other day and discovered that I do, indeed have a preference. These men all looked like they came from the same catalog. They are different enough to be truly unique but their similarities create a Sesame Street grid just waiting for one to pop in the 'which does not belong with the others?' box.
I like strong jaw lines. I like faces with signs of wear. I like nice smiles but it's not necessary. I like solid eye contact with the camera. I like an open face. Apparently I like dark hair although there are enough of them in there with grey hair, it's hard to be sure. I like an intelligent face; yes, faces either do or do not look intelligent. I like a photograph that has been taken by someone other than the subject (selfies drive me batshit). I like faces which are close enough to the camera to be able to see these things. I do not like photographs with sunglasses and or hats although I do have a few matches wearing sunglasses. This this partially obscures the face and the eyes. I like open faces. I like faces which don't look even remotely threatening (leering men are threatening). I do not like men with chains around their necks. I do not like cowboys (OK, maybe one) or firemen (apparently I don't like fireman, I click no every time probably for multiple reasons). I am racially biased with the exception of one Native American so maybe not entirely but close enough. I am culturally biased (in as much as you can identify culture from a primary profile shot and I've been pretty accurate). I am body biased. I do not like large muscles or excess weight. I also don't like thin unless it's lanky. I do not like suits even though most of these men have worn or do wear them. I do not care for men under fifty. I appear to be positively biased toward men with photographs taken outside. I am definitely positively biased toward men on mountains or in the forest. I am biased toward men on bicycles who look like they spend all their spare time training for something. I run from those, I run from muscle cars, I back away slowly from men holding puppies or kittens. Stop that.
Most of all, I am biased toward men 100 miles or more from Weston. I don't like it if you're too close. I apparently like it if you're just far enough away, let's say 140 miles that I'm unlikely to ever meet or talk to you.
So something interesting happened the other day. I was coming home from work and thinking about this 140 mile guy who is actively pursuing. The first message I received from him simply read, 'Yes'.
To this day, that is the most provocative message I've ever received. Ever.
My response was an immediate 'OK', with a smile.
He is actively pursuing, brought up the distance issue and stated that he felt compelled to pursue despite the distance. I said, OK.
This conversation has only been going on for a week. About a mile from my street I was thinking about this and hoping I'd hear from him, knowing perfectly well I would, or I could just reach out when out of nowhere my gut twisted and I stopped breathing. Apparently my fear of vanishing men is epic. My first thought as I pulled onto my street was, 'I cannot do this again'.
I cannot bear to feel this way, I cannot risk months or maybe years of the slow bleed of my heart. I cannot twist myself to be someone or something else ever again. I cannot do this. I cannot risk abandonment, especially of the sort which comes out of nowhere. I cannot be vulnerable. I cannot want. I am not strong enough to be in relationship without wanting, without expectation, with any sort of detachment although these are desirable ways of being I think.
And finally, I cannot get into a relationship with this much baggage. It would tank.
I wiped myself off in the driveway, took a deep breath, and left as much of the baggage as I could manage in the car where I can always go back and pick it up anytime I feel like carrying it around.
I've moved from the secure site to text messages. I've asked for and obtained his full name and have also given mine. Today I will probably even talk to him in my out loud voice on the phone.
This will probably last a week before I freak out and run but it's progress.