A couple of months ago, about the time my Farmers Only subscription was up, I ‘met’ a southern gentleman from Texas. He sent me a message on the site and we exchanged a few while I was still on there. Once my subscription was about to expire, we exchanged numbers and started a pattern of a couple of calls and texts each week. Nothing major. Nothing big. Just friendly chatter.
After a few weeks, the friendly chatter turned more serious. We realized we had a lot in common. He had a firm connection to Montana, albeit a different part of the state than where I’ve lived. But he admitted he wanted to move back to the state within five years.
He lived in Montana for almost a decade and has many of the same interests as I do. We seem to share similar values and morals. And so far, our conversations have been full of laughter and teasing.
It’s delightful to talk with him on the phone. His accent makes me smile and sends a few butterflies to my tummy. We both want to see if we have any basis for a friendship before we even think about taking this to any other level.
The cons of online dating:
*** Are they telling the truth. Are they posting real pictures? Are they looking for anything of substance or just on there as a lark? Some of the great guys on these sites live half a country away. And that is a deterrent to a relationship.
*** Several men have sent me messages, in the form of flirts. I always respond, even to the men I have no interest in. But some of them have a hard time accepting a gentle rejection. And some of the men I thought were interesting enough to converse with turned in raving wackos within the span of two messages. I’ve had to block quite a few men.
*** Everyone lies. At least every guy, so far, that has wanted to ‘meet’ me. They post old photos. They lie about their height. They lie about their interests. They lie about their goal for a relationship. My bullshit meter is set on high at this point. (And my Texan knows this!)
The pros of online dating:
*** There is physical distance between us. That gives me the chance to truly get to know things about the person. And then I can decide if I want to meet in person. The first few days I had my profile up, I received quite a few requests to exchange emails and flirts and compliments. I did respond, even if it was a kind rejection. I just am not going to waste my time with someone I know isn’t right for me.
One guy suggested we meet in Billings and have sex. That was his opening line. I couldn’t block him fast enough. One thing I was very clear about in my profile was that I don’t do casual sex. So, he obviously didn’t read it.
Another guy wanted my cell number right away so he could send me more pictures. Of skin. After gagging, I blocked him very quickly as well.
What I appreciate about this Texan is that he’s allowing whatever this is to unfold and evolve organically. He’s not a big texter. But he called me several times in the beginning. We’ve gotten to know each other slowly. And I like that. Too many guys, when you’re on a physical date, think they can jump things into kissing and touching right away. With this particular southern gentleman, his calling has increased from sporadic, feeling-out-the-water, to every day, several times a day.
*** I can do some research on these guys. If I find out they’re posting fake or old photos, I block them. If I don’t like something they send me in an email, I block them. I researched my Texan. No social media. No red flags jumped out. Nothing. He offered to text me a copy of his driver’s license. And told me to call the sheriff in Lincoln County to vouch for him.
*** The awkwardness is gone. If I’m not interested, I can simply say I’m not interested by either declining contact or sending a respectful email. I don’t like hurting anyone’s feelings. And sometimes, I’ve dated guys far longer than I should have because I couldn’t reject them. And the same is true for him. If he decides there isn’t enough to pursue anything further, he can pull back and keep things friendly. Or go away.
One refreshing thing with this Texan is that he has said if we continue talking and decide to meet, he’ll fly me out there this coming winter, so I can see his place and his life.
“I’ll put you up in a motel so you know I’m not after anything. Whatever you’re comfortable with.”
That is a marked difference from what I walked away from with you-know-who. I already feel more respected and treasured, and I barely know this guy. Not that I expect him to pay my way anywhere. But just the fact that he offered and is thinking about me and what would be most comfortable for me, makes me feel kind of fuzzy toward him. He doesn’t want me to travel there this time of year because of the heat. And since I’m a red head, he’s worried the heat would actually kill me.
As I’ve said, I’d much rather a friend introduce me to some great guy that they know. But I’m not running into that. One friend wanted to set me up with her brother. I didn’t really know what to say. I felt like she put me on the spot by suggesting it, especially knowing that his life and mine are very different. Plus, I don’t feel any attraction toward him.
For now, I’m absolutely fine on my own. I do believe in love. And I do believe the guy for me is out there, probably sitting on his couch, in his basement, wondering where the hell I am. I’m not rushing into something just to ‘be’ with somebody. Anybody. When the right-for-me guy shows up, I’ll know it.
And who knows? Maybe my Texan is that guy. We’ll see, if we ever agree when and where to meet in person. Here in Montana, in the southeastern part of the Lone Star State, or somewhere in between. Neutral ground. But things are shaping up for something positive with him.
He is a couple of years younger than me.
We have the same sense of humor.
We have similar morals.
We each have a background in rodeo and sports.
He has led an interesting life and is very intelligent. I like that he can challenge me and make me think.
He admitted in our first conversation that he has a thing for redheads. He thinks we are fancier than a blue roan. So, I sent him some pictures from earlier times, when my hair was long and permed. And still very red. He told me if we had met thirty years ago, he would have followed me around like a puppy dog.
I admitted I have always been drawn to a man with a southern accent, particularly from Texas.
We talk every day. A lot. Each day it seems we add twenty or thirty minutes. This past weekend, we talked for almost five hours total one day. And it didn’t seem like it. I tend to send more texts. He tends to call more. I don’t like bothering him while he’s working. But we’ve established a very comfortable ‘ship of some ind. We are talking about when we should and can meet.
He wants to come here for the first visit. Not for anything physical. Not yet. But to see if we like each other in any way. If there’s any kind of spark to move this forward. Realistically, it would be easier for me to travel right now since I’m still on workman’s comp. But we both feel it would be best for him to travel here. I know my boys would feel better about that option.
We’ve agreed that sex is off the table right now. We just want to meet each other. We want to spend some time together, doing simple day to day things. He wants to be in Montana for a break. And if that goes well, I’ll go down there to see his world.
I’m not jumping to any conclusions about my feelings for this man. Right now, he’s still a stranger. He’s someone I’m intrigued by. But is that enough to pursue a romantic relationship?
I know already he has more respect for me than the last man I dated. He listens to me talk. He doesn’t interrupt me. He tries to lift me up. He compliments me.
He is making suggestions, just in case we feel something for each other and decide to move forward. But he’s not dictating to me how things will be if we get that far. He even told me I need to speak up if anything he says bothers me.
I’m being smart. At least I think I am. I’m not rushing into a love situation. I’m not deciding that I’m changing anything in my life right now. I’m not making any of the same mistakes I made with you know who.
I won’t give my Texan a bunch of chances to hurt me. He and I have already talked about my history, both ex husband and ex ‘boyfriend’. I’ve told him what my boundaries are. What I’m comfortable with and what I simply can’t tolerate. He listens without any judgment. He has told me he will never treat me that way. And I will hold him to it.
I’m looking forward to being wooed. To being dated. And taken care of, in a way. I don’t expect to be coddled or looked after financially. I just want to feel like someone has my back. That I’m important. I have to be the priority. I have to be everything, if I allow him into my life.
And he knows, if he can’t do that, then we won’t start any kind of romance. Because he feels the same way. He’s looking for a life partner, not a short-term fling or another notch in his belt.
For now, I’ll enjoy our hours-long phone calls. The lightness of what this is. And I’ll look forward to him visiting in a couple of weeks, so I can either start a new romance with a handsome and intriguing man. Or I can regroup and be thankful I have a new friend.
(I’m hoping it’s the former!)