August 8, 2008

Thoughts on Online Dating

My dad surprised me last year by gifting me with a laptop. "'Chela," he says, in his Italian accent, "You know, you are a professional now - and you need professional tools."

Tools? How about TOYS!

Wow, I finally get it, at the ripe age of 41, how fun the net can be. Take a moment to consider that I am this radical feminist, crunchy granola, hippie dippie chick living in Santa Cruz, who hasn't watched TV in almost 11 years, and finally got her first cell phone. I am actually quite computer savvy, using the ones at work, but I have been technologically reluctant for years, to say the least.

I kinda just tinkered around at first, but after a couple of months I become addicted to Best of Craigs List. It was like waking up laughing every morning, but it sucked the time right out of my clock, and I finally had to limit myself to reading 10 posts a day, until I had read all of them. It's a good thing Post Secret is weekly - but I avoid the comments page or it could become daily.

I had always felt cynical about online dating, but of course, still checked the basics. First I did the mainstream: Match, Yahoo, Craigs. I went more queer for awhile, then became more risque, checking out alternative adult sites. Let's make that a hippie dippie kinky chick. Then I was over sex sites & "got serious" with some pagan & eHarmony type sites.

Much to my delight, I did find my true love on line - blogging - so maybe online dating has it's place. On one site, after receiving literally 10,000 hits on my profile, 7,000 hits on my blog, some crazy ass amount of emails (400?) from lonely men (which I faithfully answered, even if just to wish them good luck), a dozen excellent emails from women (with whom I'm still corresponding) my ego felt huge. What an endorphin rush! At the peak of my madness I had five or six different blogs, let alone commenting on 10-12 blogs per day, literally spending hours on the computer, until I developed bloggers elbow. I kid you not. It was painful. But dang, I loved the mental connection.

In real time, I went out with a couple of women, three men, and had one complete no-show (but a great day ice-skating in San Jose). What I really learned was how many lonely people are out there - and that we all need companionship, intimacy & affection. One of my affirmations: I am here to give love and I am here to receive love.

Thoughts create reality, but the internet projects those thoughts a thousand fold. I'm over the dating sites and I've deleted all my profiles, all my past blogs, though I'm sure they're archived somewhere in the blogosphere. Hopefully they'll make someone smile a thousand years in the future. While I definitely met someone special on the internet, I know myself, and it'll be awhile before I fish in those waters again.

Instead I spend my online time working on my business, joining LinkedIn (which has been a fun experiment), now using ConstantContact for my emails, or my own websites, like Rambling Rose Studios. I have more Herland memoribilia I plan on posting soon. I was recently invited to join FaceBook and Classmates, and have the same endorphin rush reconnecting from folks from my past, including old loves I thought would never speak to me again. Time really does heal all wounds.

What I enjoyed about dating sites was creating a profile - of defining who I am, what I'm looking for, etc., as well as blogging, feeling that part of the community - hence being on Blogger. While I haven't joined blogaholics anonymous yet ( I am powerless before the blog) I am following a path of online moderation, and now just have two that I still post on daily Enchanted World and it's little sister, Cruzio's mini blog: Tendrils of Belief.

So, I love my laptop, I love blogging, and I love feeling connected. That's what I've learned from online dating. And I give myself (you know it): Gold Star.

Blessed be.