My “Unforgivable” Online Dating Mistake
Valentine’s Day last week felt like the Superbowl day the week before — I just wanted them both over. Nobody likes a Packer party like the Cheeseheads– so to have the dream dashed at the NY Giants vs. Green Bay playoffs, the Superbowl felt a lot like having the groom not show up for the wedding. This year’s Superbowl came and went and I (along with every other Wisconsin sports fan) had already moved on to think Spring and the Brewers 2012 home opener.
Then Valentine’s Day rolled around.
I’m not a Hallmark holiday cynic. I embrace any occasion to send out love and affirmation to family and friends. But when there is not that Special Someone… Valentine’s is a reminder that there is not that Special Someone.
Being single at any age is challenging, but especially so for me the past decade when I had my hands full with many things, among them single-parenting 5 children (& not always well). The right time, right man, me being the right person, were all wrong.
Over in Germany last year, however, one of my dear couple friends had met via the web. Thinking it would be safe to dip my toes into the online dating pool across the pond, maybe even hopeful, I signed up. Turned out, also wrong. If you think dating is work, try doing it in a foreign language! Love not only was lost in translation — it wasn’t worth the effort to go looking for it.
I returned to the U.S. as single as I left. Then another friend Stateside was also on an online dating site. Long story short, in a weak moment, I thought I might as well give it a go in English. It was a short-lived experiment and I’m off now, but here’s what happened in the meantime that struck me as funny– well, I think kinda ironic.
I should say first that I was pleasantly surprised by the seemingly large number of quality people on the site. Finding who’s out there outside of co-workers, social circles, etc. makes a lot of sense when it comes to dating, but the nature of Internet communication is that it begins in a more artificial way than if you meet someone face to face. Living in a social media world, it’s easier to actively engage with others beyond normal parameters than one might in person.
Valentine’s seemed hopeful. There was a connection with a guy who had a lot in common with me, so emails, texts, and phone calls ensued. He said he had just written a book on forgiveness and was about to embark on a speaking tour. Having a similar foundation of faith, I also thought this a positive for the overall potential of the relationship. We planned to have a first meet-up at a coffee shop, but I made a joke, at least I meant it to be “jk (“just kidding“) but instead it turned out to be a deal-breaker. :[
I emailed a response to his book title on forgiveness, “what’d you do that needs forgiving… I won’t end up in a dumpster, will I? lol” [In my defense, it is important to be a safety girl.] His response did not join in with the banter, so realizing my insensitivity, I apologized–even called, so that the sincerity of my remorse could be heard in my tone of voice and we could actually talk it out.
As a professional with a degree in Communications, I of all people should remember that effectively “talking” via emails and texts is like going to a movie blindfolded. (i.e. you’ve taken away very important aspects of communication that occurs when face-to-face, including non-verbals and body language.)
Next thing I knew, I had effectively been dumped via email — on Valentines Day! That‘s harsh–but apparently my [attempt at a] joke was unforgivable (and there’s the irony).
Actually, it turned out not terribly disappointing, as it is all a part of that wacky world of dating. As a single (old) girl and mother of daughters, on more than one occasion I’ve reflected that “men are like buses — if the one you’re on doesn’t take you where you want to go, there’s always another one coming.”
So is St. Patrick’s Day… will wish for better luck next month! ;-)