Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Me now dating and the ME then dating...

Donna is one of our single contributors. Her site is intriguing and beautifully written. She has an honesty about her writing that you don't feel on a lot of blogs. I am so lucky to have her write for us and be a part of Team Venus. This post about her in the RAW is a great read, she obviously wrote one of these before the other... but it's still honest and open and that is the best kind of blog reading! Check her out on her own site when you get a chance, her link is at the bottom of this post.

Wow, things have changed so much in the past 10 years.

First of all, I think I was getting a whole heck of a lot more action 10 years ago than I am now. I know that’s my fault. I wasn’t as picky as I am now. I wasn’t looking for someone to spend my life with, I was looking for someone to pass the time with. Definitely still committed, but I was more into having fun than creating a life long, lasting relationship.

I think the biggest difference between now and 10 years ago is technology. It has changed so much. 10 years ago I was on a dial up internet connection, in chat rooms on AOL that kept booting me out every time the wind blew. It was terrible. Paying per minute. Ick.

But 10 years ago the thought would have never crossed my mind to use a personal ad. Online or otherwise. I didn’t have a choice, but to head out with girlfriends to the latest hot spot. All I had to do was get all prettied up on a Friday night and hit a club or bar with one of my girlfriends and we were all set. Never a shortage of guys. Nowadays, it just seems so much more difficult. I think the internet has made all of us a bit reclusive. It’s so much easier to “meet” someone from the comfort of your couch, in your pajamas with a glass of Cab in hand. I can be anyone I want to be, and in part, that’s a huge problem too. But more on that later.

On my couch, I can do it on my terms, in my own time. If someone emails me or “winks” at me online or requests to IM me, I can choose to ignore it and basically not feel guilty about doing so because I’m not actually rejecting someone to their face. And on the verse of that, I don’t feel “as” bad when someone doesn’t respond to me if I email them because they are not actually rejecting me to my face, just not responding.

When I used to go out with one friend in particular, she would always lecture me. Never turn down a dance from anyone, no matter what. You never know what you’re missing out on. And she was right. Not only is it difficult turning someone down in person, I was limiting myself. Not letting myself be open. I was basing everything on first glances and if I thought that person was physically attractive. Don’t get me wrong, I still do that online. If I don’t find their pictures at least somewhat appealing to me, you can bet I’m not going to be clicking on that profile or responding to an email that was sent to me.

Honestly, up until recently, I had never dated someone that wasn’t in my circle of friends. I had never dated someone that my friends didn’t know or wasn’t from my neighborhood, etc. It’s kind of tough breaking out of that mentality and scary too. I’m still getting used to going out with guys that none of my friends or family know in some capacity. As I get older, (Ugh, I’m only 36, that’s not that old, right?) my network of single friends has gotten smaller.

I also think that people just don’t have the time like they used to and the Internet or Speed Dating has kind of stepped in to alleviate that problem. The whole speed dating thing does not appeal to me at all. It kind of reminds me of a cattle call. But busy schedules, commitments and careers have become the focus and people just don’t have the time to really get to know someone, it all seems so rushed.

I think the media has also made me a bit more skeptical than I was 10 years ago too. The worst thing my mother would warn me about when I went out was to keep an eye on my drink and make sure that no one slipped anything into it. Now you hear every day about people being murdered by someone they met online or the whole Craig’s list killer thing. It’s hard out there for a pimp, yo. You never know if the other person you’re chatting with is being honest, is who they say they are or is not completely and absolutely crazy. Not that I couldn’t go out and meet someone at a bar or at church even and run into the same kind of issues (Hello Scott Peterson. He looked so normal and decent and then he goes and kills his wife!)

Technology has changed the face of dating completely for me. Sometimes now, I feel like I am paying for a date with all the online subscriptions to meet the man of my dreams. It kind of makes me feel a little dirty sometimes. Don’t get me wrong, I still go out, I still put in a good effort to actually meet someone in person, but sometimes, it’s so much easier, after a long day at work to turn on my laptop and see if anyone interesting viewed my Match ad, or my eHarmony profile.

Has dating itself changed for the better or worse over the past 10 years? I don’t know. I truly believe it’s me that has changed. And that’s a good thing. I didn’t know what I was looking for 10 years ago. Now I have a much better idea and can take my time and find the right person that will compliment me. I’m not just worried about the hook-up or who I’m going to be with this weekend.

And if the Internet can help me do that, I’m all for it!

How do you feel that dating has changed? Whether you are single or not how would you meet people if you were in my situation?

Donna- The Bare Essentials

16 comments:

CaJoh said...

I can't help but be reminded of the scene in Sleepless in Seattle where the character played by Tom Hanks is trying to get back into the whole dating scene only to find that it has totally changed.

I think that dating changes after you graduate. The whole time that you are going to school you are around people who are within 5 years of your own age. After you graduate, it is difficult to find people that are close to your age in the same numbers as before.

Thank you for sharing,

The Bare Essentials Today said...

It totally does! There's a whole world of people out there! I'm not so much worried about finding someone my age, but someone who compliments me.
Although, I gotta admit, I've been contacted by some guys who are interested who are like 9 and 10 years younger and that is still really kind of awkward for me!

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

I think u have to use whatever sources you have available. Sometimes getting to know someone's personality and mind is so much more bonding...and even freeing so as not having the restrictions of seeing ones looks first.

I guarantee there are plenty of men I missed out on because looks are a big deal even though people say it's not.

Great post!

Missty said...

I think I would give a service or an online site a try. I can't imagine dating now, I think it is harder then way back when. lol

Good post.

dadshouse said...

Online dating sucks. I gave it up years ago. For a lot of the reasons mentioned in this post! Chemistry is something felt in real life, not articulated in checkboxes and paragraphs of prose. Get dolled up, and get back out there! Believe me, when you're in your 40s like I am, it's much harder to do the bar scene. Everyone there knows I'm too old to be on the prowl.

My two cents on a decade of dating tomorrow...

BigLittleWolf said...

Technology certainly has changed the face of dating! And it's a rocky ride. I first started using online services a little over 5 years ago. In the beginning, it was great! But over time, I realized that basic rules of courtesy were ignored, flat-out deception was the rule not the exception, and potential dates were a commodity, to be dismissed without a concern.

Ironically, I've also dated overseas via online services. That has worked much better. Distance forced emails of substance, phone and video conferencing that was about old-fashioned courting. My long term relationships have been transcontinental, and those gentlemen have remained my friends.

These days, I'm on furlough. Frankly, I didn't find dating so simple in my 20s or 30s; following divorce, with teens to worry over, sometimes it's all too much to deal with. (Fortunately, that feeling passes after a few months.)

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