Modern Love

March 28, 2022

 

The first kiss of any relationship is so delicious, when it’s done right. There are so many things to get right in that first kiss. How to convey feelings in that kiss. How to judge the chemistry between two people.

Why am I thinking about first kisses?

I recently decided to step my toe into the online dating world.

I’ve known for a while that HE wasn’t going to be who I needed or wanted in my life. I need more emotional connection with someone. I need to be treasured and held and made to feel like I’m the most important person in the world to whoever is in my life. He knew that. I was up front about that from the beginning.

But it just wasn’t in him to give me those things. I know affection is difficult for him. I know he is emotionally stunted from past experiences and childhood. But if I was important enough to him, he would have at least tried to provide to me what I craved from the relationship. So, the signs were there. I chose to believe he could be the man I needed. And I think he wanted to be that man. He’s just incapable.

Which leads me to the online dating options. I never dreamed I would sign up for a dating site. I just figured if someone was meant to be in my life, I’d meet him. Living where I do, as isolated as I am, adds a special wrinkle to dating. I haven’t been too anxious to look for someone since my divorce, but I know now that I’m ready to open up my life for the right man. I’ve never been a social butterfly. I don’t enjoy going to the bars. I don’t like crowds of people, especially strangers. And I have worked at home so don’t go out ‘into the world’ on a daily basis.

I finally came to the conclusion that if I want to include another person in my life, I’ve got to make some effort to meet that person.

I researched the different sites available. And some are obviously hook up sites, where you swipe left or right if someone is within a certain geographic area. Not my thing. For one, I’m not interested in one night or a hook up. For another, there isn’t going to be a huge selection of great men in my little corner of western Montana.

There are some sites that are for people over 50. Some for specific races and sexual orientation. A little too specific. Especially in this area.

And of course, there are the two big ones: eharmony and match. I filled out their questionnaires. I was ready to search through the options. They are very similar, but after reading reviews and looking at their fee structures, I chose eharmony. They are a little more expensive, but I figure the men on that site might be a little more serious about finding the right person if they have to spend a little more money doing it.

I also landed on farmers only. Which probably makes the most sense for me. I really do want to find a man who has similar interests and will want the same kind of lifestyle that I do. I don’t expect to find someone who will match up with me on every point and hobby. But a similar foundation to life is key to a lasting relationship.

The reason I signed up with both sites is because farmers only is very specific. There is a much smaller pool of members. I figured by signing up with both sites, I might have a better chance of finding some acceptable men to meet. I am only doing FO for three months. At the end of that subscription, if I haven’t met anyone, I’ll cancel the membership with a shrug. Eharmony didn’t have a short subscription offer, so I’m on there for a year, unless I find my Superman before then.

I’m realistic about the chances of meeting my Mr. Right this way. I know I’m not going to meet anyone immediately. Going through the process of signing up has made me focus on what I truly want from a relationship. I answered all of my questions truthfully. I wrote an honest essay about myself and who I was looking for. I uploaded recent, untouched pictures of myself – face and body.

Frankly, I don’t want to deal with the men who are looking for someone twenty years younger than themselves. Or men who post their high school photos, even though they’re in their fifties. One thing I’ve already seen is a high number of posts that have no profile picture. Or no essay/answers to questions. Do those men really think they’re going to get anyone to click on their profile? If there is no picture, it’s an automatic ‘delete’ for me. And if there’s no information listed, it’s an automatic ‘delete’ as well. I took time to write something about myself. I took the chance to post pictures of myself – and I don’t like taking pictures – so I figure the men can do the same. And if they aren’t willing to post a picture or essay, that makes me think they’re hiding something, they’re ashamed of the way they look, or they aren’t serious about finding a good match.

Realistically, if you post an old photo of yourself, when you were thinner and in better shape, etc., don’t you think when you actually meet someone, they’re going to notice the difference? I honestly don’t think too often about aging. My folks both aged remarkably well. My dad didn’t start showing gray in his hair until his was in his sixties. And even when he passed away, his hair was still mostly black. My mom looks very young for 83. I’m hoping those good genes have passed on to me. And I’m told that I don’t look like I’m 54. In fact, many people who don’t know me are shocked that my oldest son is 27.

I’m not looking to date someone who is considerably older or younger than myself. I want someone I can relate to and enjoy the same activities and lifestyle. I’m not sure why so many people lie about their age or size or hobbies. Similar to how they embellish their life’s accomplishments and accolades. I just want to find an attractive, honest, affectionate guy who can share my life and love me.

One of the biggest obstacles I saw with HIM was that we had different lifestyles in general. I’m a cowgirl. A country girl. I like my life on my thirty acres. I like my horses and plan to keep them. He’s a city boy. A wanderer. He lives in an RV and can pull up his life on a whim and move when things become uncomfortable. I think we could have compromised and come to a sustainable mix. But looking with a bit of hindsight: I don’t know how long I would have been happy with that.

I don’t know how quickly I’ll find someone that interests me, if I ever do. But I figure, it can’t hurt to try. I can’t stay in my little house, in my little town, and expect to run across a great guy. And I don’t want to wait another nine or ten years to put myself out there.

I feel good about myself right now. I’m in good shape. I’m healthy. I’ve been told I’m attractive and look young for my age. Why shouldn’t I be dating some great looking and great acting guy? I’m tired of being alone. Tired of spending all my time with my dogs and my horses. Tired of waiting for my kids to visit.

I need to start forging a life of my own. That might lead to relocating. That might lead to inviting someone into my established life. Or creating a brand new life with a brand new guy. But I know something has to be different. I’m searching for happiness and for that feeling of being someone’s everything.

Do I feel a little silly? You bet I do. I have mocked people in the past for using these kinds of sites. But I also know some people who have met their perfect-for-them person using these sites. All I can do is try.

One drawback to my situation is where I live. One thing I put in my essay is that whoever is interested in me will have to deal with some distance, at least to begin with. I don’t mind traveling to meet with someone. I don’t mind thinking about relocating, at the right time. But I won’t make the mistake I made in my relationship with HIM, where I was doing all the traveling and making all the effort for us to be together.

If distance scares off a man, then I don’t need him in my life either. I know it’s way easier to meet someone who lives within a hundred miles of me. But that hasn’t happened in the last eight years. I know who lives near me. I know who’s available. And none of them are what I’m looking for.

It would be great if any of my friends knew a fabulous, single, age-appropriate guy that met my criteria. I would honestly prefer meeting someone that way. Unfortunately, most of the great guys I know are happily married. And my friends only know men who are too young, too old, too unhealthy, or too different from my ideal. I’m not going to date someone I know isn’t a good fit for me, just to be dating someone.

The biggest obstacle for whoever I meet will be getting to know each other at first via texts and emails and phone calls. I’m not going to agree to travel to see anyone until I know there’s a foundation for at least a friendship. We have to have enough in common to form some kind of connection with one another. Otherwise, why bother.

I don’t want to waste time or money traveling to meet someone that I have no obvious future with. I don’t expect an immediate, exclusive or serious thing. But if he absolutely hates horses, then I don’t see us moving forward. Or if he lives and breathes NASCAR, we probably won’t have much in common.

I’m sad to call it quits with HIM. And I do miss him. We had fun together. We laughed and we were good for each other in many ways. I thought we might be able to create a comfortable life together. But one of the biggest takeaways from my time with him is I figured out what I absolutely need from a relationship.

I don’t want comfortable. Or good enough. I don’t want contentment.

I want a passionate, all-encompassing love that keeps me off-balance and makes my toes curl. I want to be with someone who looks at me with such adoration that my stomach tingles. I want to be held and cuddled and protected, even when I don’t need to be. I want a man who isn’t afraid to be in a couple and is proud to show the world. By holding my hand, touching the small of my back, running his finger over the back of my hand.

You see, I want it all. This first foray back into dating wasn’t a fail. It was what I needed to give me the confidence to search for what I need and want out of what I hope will be my last relationship. And I know it will take time – and probably a few more endings – before I finally find that.

But I do still believe in love. And I have hope that the man of my dreams is still out there. Still looking for me. I know I’m somebody’s perfect-for-them. We just haven’t met yet.

I’m looking forward to my last first kiss. The power and promise of a great kiss tells so much about a man …

 

You’re thinking about that right now, aren’t you?

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