Walking on eggshells, walking on water

The former stigma of online dating is going away, according to this article.

Gone are the days when you could hope for your friends fixing you up. Instead, we can just hop online and find anyone, anywhere.

I’ve been doing the online dating thing for about four years now. I’m not thrilled with it. I find myself wishing that some of my guy friends COULD hook me up with some of their buddies — at least, that would be an honest testimonial that someone who knows both parties put some thought into said hook-up. But, in fairness and gratitude to my male buddies, most of them have refrained from hooking me up with their friends whom even THEY thought were pigs.

I learned a lesson today about personal ads. I just got a response from a 19-year-old. Here I’ve been, so busy trying to make myself sound fun and exciting and attractive, but I neglected to truly define what it is that I want. And while I don’t believe in restricting my search too much, I had to put in some paramaters.

I got a response from another one of my ads this week, only to find that I have to pay the site a big fee to return the e-mail, and it’s a recurring monthly charge if I’m not on-the-ball enough to suspend my membership. Forget that shit — I am not paying to meet people. I keep trying to remove the ad, but the site crashes every time I try.

At any rate, I prefer to pick up a vibe from somebody. I want to walk up to them and feel that they are people I would feel comfortable spending time with, instead of hoping against hope that they aren’t going to miss a date with their parole officer to meet me in a public place. The beauty of the online persona is that you can truly make yourself out to be whatever it is that you want people to perceive you as. And that beauty can become a dark reality when what you see is not, in fact, what you get.

With my recent (first) 29th birthday, I am finding that I really crave a serious relationship. I think I have the right to wonder whether or not my dates will go somewhere — I’m not dreaming of marriage, by any means, but I would like to sincerely invest a significant amount of time with someone I’d like to have in my life for awhile. I would love to have somebody to hang out with, to take to events and to call up whenever I need companionship. And yes, I have wonderful friends for that, but increasingly, they all are finding other people to do things with and to go to events with. I don’t begrudge them this — I want all of us to be happy. But I also believe that it’s my turn to have this as well.

Yes, I did awaken on the wrong side of the bed today (after 14 hours of sleep!). I had a bizarre dream about all of this. The usual cast of characters appeared during my sleep, and I started picking fights with everyone around me.

And, in a generalist statement, I understand that the precariousness of friendships is what keeps me from really picking fights or from voicing whatever concern is on my mind. I watch Shan and John, who will be married in a week, and while they sometimes spat like they were in a boxing ring and I’m the “ring girl” parading in short shorts and a sign announcing the latest “TKO,” I realize that I want what they have. They can fight and make up. They can be absolutely up-front with each other without worrying that the other is going to get pissed off and move out because they disagree about something. They can be real together, and they love each other, no matter which side of the personality feels like emerging on a particular day. 🙂

Sure, when you’re first in a relationship, you do walk on eggshells so that you can appear to walk on water. 🙂 But what I long for is the realness — the ability to say, “Get out of my face — you’re annoying me” or “Clean up your mess” or “Are you smoking crack? Did you honestly think I’d find that insult adorable?” or “Shove that performance review where it fits” and not worry that this will be the last discussion the two of you will ever have.

I promised Shan and John that I will give the toast on their 20th wedding anniversary. I will steal a bit of it from Michele, from when her sister recently got married — the part where she wanted to say, “They have been to hell and back together, and sometimes, they’ve taken us with them.” I love it that they can, in fact, board the Dante’s Inferno Express but make a round trip right back to blissfulness, once the air is cleared. They’re never second-guessing each other. They know each other well, and they know that sitting around and wondering instead of asking is counter-productive.

At any rate, I’ve had too many counter-productive moments of my own lately, and I’m through. I want the dream relationship, and I want the reality that comes along with it. But until then, I am going to treat myself to a matinee of “Alex & Emma.” And like those characters, until I find the dream I want to live, I guess I’ll just remain here, writing about it. 🙂

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