Let's be honest, for most of us, our self-esteem is not at its highest post-divorce. This is certainly the case when extra marital activities have been involved. The way you feel about yourself could be likened to the way most cats feel about baths. Yet your friends, God bless 'em, try to spur you on and release you back in to the dating wild by encouraging you to join online dating sites.
I learned that online dating is interesting territory as I dived in to the process...
First, you select a dating site to suit you. There are so many out there. I went with one that I had heard a bit about -- RSVP. Joining was straightforward and you didn't have to pay anything up front to create a profile.
Then you write a bio.
How hard can that be? You know yourself better than anyone, so just write a bit about yourself. Hmmm. Obviously I can't speak for everyone, but I wasn't feeling very positive about myself, as I had been 'traded in'. I didn't really feel I had much to offer. I had to dig quite deep to be able to write about myself. Who was I? What was I interested in? I had no idea.
I was a mum. Now a single mum. I worked full-time. Most of my interests were interests I had shared with my ex. I didn't really have any interests of my own. The realisation of this was eye-opening and depressing. I realised I had lost myself in my relationship and in my role as wife and mother. That made me sad. Then a bit angry. Then a bit motivated to go on a date and move on from the mess.
So the profile was written, with some slight embellishment regarding my interests -- hey, I could be a black belt in karate if I really put my mind to it. (Just on that, I don't believe anyone out there is 100 percent honest on their profile).
Right, bio done. Now to pick a photo. Ugh. Again, not feeling like the belle of the ball, choosing a photo wasn't fun. Selfie overload. If you're anything like me, you take eleventy million selfies and find one that could be used if you put it up in black and white so that the person looking at it can't tell that you've been tired since 2005.
Then you nervously post the profile and wait.
Then you wait some more.
You are literally sitting around waiting for someone to find you attractive enough to read your profile. Then if they like your profile as well they click a button to say so and send you a 'kiss'.
Once you get past the free 'kiss' part you buy stamps to take the next step and chat to someone. These aren't overly expensive but they're not cheap either. I remember whinging to a male friend of mine about buying stamps and he very articulately pointed out that it costs more money to go out to meet someone once you factor in cab rides, drinks, entry to clubs etc. I think his words were along the line of "online dating would suit you because you can sit on your arse in your pyjamas, guzzling wine for the cost of a stamp".
He was right. It's definitely more my style.
Over the course of three years I have dated a variety of lovely and sometimes weird guys through online dating (interpret 'dated' as someone I met up with 3+ times). The first, lovely but an alcoholic with an extremely unhinged ex-wife. Another endured one of the most boring movies of all time with me and was a heap of fun but only meant to be a friend, which he still is*. Another was 13 years my senior, a silver fox with life experience but not life expectancy -- we stopped seeing each other because he needed a heart transplant.
So here I am. For one reason or another, I am still single. I'm not sure I can be bothered with it anymore.
Being single isn't the worst thing in the world. Being in a relationship and feeling alone would be much worse. Which is why I'm not interested in just seeing someone for the sake of it. Would it be nice to have that feeling of being important to someone? Of course. Would it be nice to wake up to a text message from someone saying 'good morning' because they care about me? Absolutely. Would it be nice to have a naked man in my bed every now and again (who had fed me snacks of course)? Amen, sister. But am I going to change who I am to get that feeling? No way.
They say you fall in love three times in your life -- 'They' being the people that write those motivational articles on Facebook, so it's totally legit. Whether it's through online dating or not, I have a message for that last-chance person. I'm not your ordinary girl. I'm whacky, I have a loud laugh and a sharp wit. I bloody love a wine or 17. Come and find me. I'll be waiting.
Oh, and bring snacks.
*Handy hint: If you know you want to fool around with someone but you don't want to come straight out and say it because you don't want to look too easy, hire 'Noah' starring Russell Crowe. You're welcome.