Monday, January 28th, 2013

my_lost_mind: (hiding)
or.. "What's still really fucking weird in suburbia"

I've been wracking my brain trying to figure out how I can get out there in the big wide world and meet guys in my age group who are single, have similarly eclectic interests (or at least compatible interests) and are open to the idea of dating (vs. casual encounters).

I joined a few meetup groups and have been attending events in my local area but have found that at most of these events women outnumber the men (at least) 2 to 1.    While this is great for general socializing and getting out of the house "not being bored", it's been disappointing as far as meeting single guys is concerned.

Last weekend I attended a meetup event that was made up of mostly single men and women in their 50s and older.  I was lucky enough to end up at a table with several women in their mid-late 50s who were great to talk to - we bonded over experiences in the alt.(dating) realm.  I shared tales of dating in my 30s when it seemed like an endless string of one-night-stands, booty calls, and dating guys who were fun while it lasted but ultimately disappointing.   I explained that I never met anyone suitable on match or okcupid (both terrible experiences for me 10+ years ago) but I did meet a couple guys via craigslist back in the day.

We chatted a bit about dating sites in general, and they said they had some acceptable experience through POF and adultfriendfinder, but it occurred to me that the reason why they were successful is because they were not looking for a steady monogamous dating situation.  They were looking for no-strings hookups and were willing to accept married men, flaky younger men, and/or men who were just looking to explore the various ( urges they had to repress in their primary relationships.   These women accepted cheaters, players, and a grand parade of "unavailable" men just to be able to satisfy their urge to get laid regularly.

One of them said something that was actually a bit sad.  She wanted human touch, contact, and if it meant resorting to being someone's booty call she was willing to put up with it vs. going months, years without it.  Another woman said she routinely went for massages so that she could experience being touched in a way that felt comforting.

While I applaud their candor and sexual freedom, I found this appallingly disappointing.  Is the pool of available, acceptable men (over 40) really that small?

I decided to do a bit of recon, and spent a few hours researching various online dating sites.  As I stated above, my experience with online dating 10+ years ago was disappointing at best.  On one site the only "winks", smiles, pings, etc.  I received were from men 20 years older than me (old enough to be my father), or men that obviously had never read my profile and were just randomly clicking on the profiles of single, white females in a specific age range.  

I responded to many profiles, but never received a response back.   Far too many of the profiles of men in my age range were looking for the "slim" or "fit and athletic" females who were 10+ years younger than them.  This was 10 years ago when I was still in my 30s.    Guys in their 30s were looking for women in their 20s - in theory because the 20-somethings were not in a hurry to have babies, would put up with a more "casual" thing, and of course, women in their 20s are less likely to have wrinkles, grey hair, and less cellulite on their thighs. 

What I found while reading these reviews is that this world does not seem to have changed much.   In some cases, it's become worse. Some of the site reviews I found had a long list of complaints about less-than-ethical billing practices and a high percentage of "fake" or inactive profiles.  It also seems like the Nigerian money scammers have taken their primary targets from bulk email to trolling online dating sites.

Sounds like pretty poor return on investment, even if that investment is only time.

I have to admit that doing this research, and gaining that insight from talking to those women older than me made me feel pretty darn angry.

I never really felt that online dating sites were a viable option for me because my personality doesn't translate well in an online profile.  I also believe in honesty, and would never resort to posting a photo of myself from when I was "slim" (20 years ago!).  I'm not obese, but I'm certainly not built like a marathon runner.  If these men are only basing their decision on looks, and eliminating women who are even a bit overweight, then obviously they're not anyone I should be wasting even a second on.

I'll also admit to having a "type". This type is not really limited to a specific physical type.  However, if a man posts an online profile with one photo that obviously looks outdated, or he's got that fish-eyed gaze that makes him look like one of those guys from one of those terrible "true crime" news shows AND he cannot spell or cannot write, it's no deal.  My type has to (at the very least) have a functioning brain.

What this all boils down to is that I really can't go back to the online dating websites and expect to see better results than I did 10+ years ago.  The hard truth is that it's still more or less like an online shopping site where both men and women are flipping through profiles like they would flip through products on an online shopping clearance site.   I'd say it's probably like one of those stupid online "bid" sites where you pay so much for tokens to bid on shit only to realize, after wasting a bunch of money that it's just another form of online gambling.

I've never been a lucky gambler.

I would rather go without, be single, and just take my chances with attending meetup events than risk my sanity and self-esteem by subjecting myself to the grand parade of players and scammers online and hoping to find a diamond in a sulfur mine.

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