mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Further adventures in internet dating, or why dying alone still seems likely....

So since I wrote this rather depressing and rage-filled post on internet dating, I've had dates with two more women, both of whom I met on eHarmony. That's the good news. The bad news is I didn't get a second date with either of them.

Woman #2 actually contacted me. Didn't have a whole lot in common with her beyond the fact that we both had cats, but she was interested in meeting and I figured I'd go with it. It didn't hurt that she had a pretty smokin' body. I thought the date went OK, although I was kind of doubtful that it would go anywhere long term. Called her for a second date, never heard back.

Woman #3 was someone I thought could actually go somewhere - I thought she sounded a lot like me personality-wise, she was a big reader (and when I asked her what she was reading, it was a book I'd read a few months earlier), had a cat, had some cool hobbies, ect. I did meet her, and she was incredibly cute. Alas, I called her for a second date and got back an email that she "didn't think we had enough in common to pursue it" although she "wouldn't mind being friends" or something to that effect. I did appreciate that she actually responded instead of just ignoring me, but I'm obviously disappointed.

There are two things that I struggle to wrap my head around about this. The first is why now - I've had an eHarmony profile for probably 18 months - every time my subscription runs out, I debate canceling it but end up renewing it. Until 2 months ago, I'd exchanged a few emails with women (none of whom I really was thrilled with) but never met anyone in person. Now I actually met 3 in the course of two months. I didn't make any major changes to my profile, didn't add any new pictures, so I don't know why the sudden increase. I've read a few articles crediting the recession to an increase in online dating". But none of the women I dated were victims of the recession - two were teachers, the third worked for the federal government.

I'd like to believe that this is the start of a trend, and I'm going to have a bunch more dates. I'd also like to believe in magical unicorns. If I could keep getting dates, then the odds would suggest eventually I might get somewhere. But I don't really see any reason to believe that is likely. Since I don't know what actually got me the dates I got, it's not like I can just do more of it.

The other thing I don't understand is why I never seem to be able to get a second date - what is wrong with me? Are they disgusted by my appearance? Am I that bad a conversationalist? Am I just boring? Do I smell? Am I asking too little for a potential girlfriend? Are they asking for too much - for someone who is exactly like them, or unattainably perfect?

I wish I could understand what is wrong with me - why I seem to be completely undateable. I feel like everywhere I go, I'm surrounded by happy couples - in cars when I'm driving, holding hands in the international food isle when I'm shopping. Almost everyone I work with seems to be happily married - we have an employee picnic tomorrow, and I feel like I kind of have to go lest not showing up hurt my career, but it's going to be painful seeing everyone with their spouses and kids, reminding me that I seem to be a complete failure at having the normal sort of relationships that everyone else seems able to have.

I hate dating, because I seem to suck at it. I always thought the problem was getting that first date, but even when I can get that, I can't get any further. It's like I've done something horribly wrong, and I'm being punished like Tantalus, allowed to think I'm getting close to what I want and then having it snatched away.

I've been following Megan's discussion of obesity pretty closely. She basically claims it's impossible for a fat person to lose weight and keep it off, that almost everyone who tries fails. I have trouble accepting that, since I dropped about 100 pounds 4 years ago and have managed to keep it off. But I don't understand why I can do something that other people seem to find hard - lose weight and keep it off - and I can't seem to do something that everyone else seems able to do - find love. Losing weight is easy - burn more than you consume. It requires nothing outside of the individual. But dating is much harder - you have to depend not only on yourself, but on members of the opposite sex, who are unpredictable and can't be simplified to an equation. But everyone else seems able to do it, which suggests that there is just something horribly wrong and unfixable about me.


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