It is well known among my friends that when it comes to dating and women I am a hopeless cause. Whatever it is that most men are born with that allows them to easily start up conversations with women that they find attractive and to flirt with women as if they were talking to their best friend, I was not born with. I am completely unable to walk up to a woman that I have never met and start up a conversation.
This has led to a life relatively dateless. I was dateless throughout high school. I was dateless for much of my college life. The women I did date actually had to ask me out. Of course, I did a lot of hinting, but the ultimate pull of the trigger had to come from the woman. I met the woman I would marry my senior year in college and she had to ask me to ask her to go for a walk the night we met.
When I did meet my wife I thought that was it. I thought I was done. However, things did not really work out there and my years after my divorce were rather sad. I had one real relationship during that time and it lasted two years and was with a woman in Canada. This made actually “dating” rather difficult, but we did our best to manage for a couple of years. I was quite head-over-heels at the time and when she broke it off it took me two solid years to even consider wanting to date.
My adventures in dating were often disasters. I have tried dating women I have met in chat rooms. This led to a lot more attempts a long distance relationships and those just never work out. They are too difficult to sustain and you end up missing important events in the other person’s life and that just ultimately leads to resentment and dissatisfaction. It led to a lot of lonely and sad nights and lots and lots of talk, in my part, about giving up.
Some of the things and attempts to find dates have been rather amusing. Since I was unable to walk up and meet women in any normal fashion, I was going to have to meet someone online. That meant trying several dating services. One of the most popular, these days, is eHarmony. I have now tried that service twice and I can say, without a doubt, it is crap. Yes, I know, you met your soulmate and are ecstatically happy. Yes, you know someone who met someone on eHarmony and they are married now and will live happily ever after. For me, it was just one meeting after another of women who would take one look at me, get that look of utter disappointment upon seeing me, and lots of promises about staying “friends” that never went anywhere.
I also tried, prepare yourself, putting ads on Craigslist. This led to some very amusing stories. At one point I was talking with three women who had responded to ads on CL. I met one for dinner and, the next day, she told me she was going back to the man she had just left. I was in talks with another about meeting for a date and she backed out of our date and, ultimately, went back to her ex-boyfriend who was just about to enter prison to serve a sentence. The third backed out of even making plans to go back to an ex. I, for a time, figured I was the bottom rung of the dating ladder. I figured I could maybe hire myself out to guys who really wanted their girlfriends back because it seemed that one date with me was a guarantee that they would run back to them.
When 2008 was coming to an end and 2009 was beginning I hit rock bottom. Then I started using Twitter and, somehow, ended up following and being followed by a woman who calls herself The Dating Diva. Her real name is unimportant. You can search for the Dating Diva and find her yourself. She is a rather remarkable woman.
Her story is that she met her husband using online dating. Yes, she used eHarmony. She now consults with other lonely hearts and helps them create their profiles for whatever online dating service they want to use. She and her partner will help you create a profile for eHarmony or Match.com. I was disillusioned with eHarmony and when she came to me I was Tweeting pretty routinely about how I was giving up on dating and that I would believe in love when love showed that it believed in me.
She told me not to despair. Since my finances were tight, she recommended a free service that you might have heard of called Plenty of Fish. I asked if such free services actually worked and she assured me that they had had success stories. She asked me to write out a profile and then give it to her and she would, for free, help me create a profile that would work. I was giving up. I was dubious. I was ready to pack it all in and live the life of a hermit. However, I decided to give it one more try and I wrote out my profile and submitted it. A few days later, the Dating Diva came back to me with suggestions. My profile went live.
I had expected everything to change right away, but that didn’t happen. As such, I was sure it was all a bust. Then I met one person through one of my last eHarmony dates and thought I had met the right person. When that didn’t work out, I was devastated again and scoffed even louder at Plenty of Fish. Then came January of 2009 and my life changed.
I ended up on her favorites list. When I saw her photo, I was immediately smitten. She had these eyes, well, they are eyes that you could stare at for the rest of your life and never once get bored with it. She had a smile that told you she was classy but with just enough fun still inside her that you would never find moments with her dull. Stupidly, I did not respond right away. Then, when I went to check on her again, I found she had removed me from her list. I searched, found her again, and emailed her.
We went for our first date, coffee, on a Friday afternoon. Our first date was at Caribou Coffee. I think I fell for her right then. However, I wasn’t sure if she liked me at all. It was several weeks before we had our second date. That night, in the parking lot of the restaurant, in the freezing cold air, she and I kissed for the very first time. When it happened I saw those fabled fireworks, felt my knees get weak, and knew right then and there that I was in love.
So, I had to write this article. I had to thank the Dating Diva. I had to thank her for not only writing and re-writing my profile, but for her unending belief in love and that things would work out. She told me, repeatedly, not to give up and that everyone had someone and that everyone deserved to be loved. Without that, I would have given up and not met the woman I am hopelessly and helplessly in love with.
I think I have my happily ever after ending. I am still not sure that love is the thing we all want to pretend it is, but I have re-discovered how much fun it can be. When it works, as it seems to be working with us, it is nearly effortless. There are always bumps, but when you are in love, somehow you feel you can run over them together and not get mussed. It feels great.
So, if you are out there and, like I was, ready to give up, let me recommend the Dating Diva. Even if you don’t use the specific Dating Diva that I used, there are others out there who can help. At the very least, maybe give it all just one more try. It’s so much better to do that, than it is to give up. Everyone deserves that happily ever after.