Hopeful 6 Hopeless 2
I have touched in my previous entries on the difficulties of making decisions when it comes to answering people back on Plenty of Fish. Answering someone back is being open to an opportunity and giving someone a fair chance. Not answering someone back is stopping an opportunity before it even has a chance to start. Both answering and not answering are decisions, even though the second one seems rather passive. Both require a fair amount of thought.
By Monday last week, I had concluded that I simply could not continue with the amount of messages that I was receiving. The amount of time it was taking me was not only jeopardizing my health (it was exhausting and frankly I had skipped my exercise on several days including that Monday because I was answering messages!), but also my school term (because naturally I wasn't getting any homework done through all of this either!). I didn't want to quit and give up on my project, but I had had enough of the Plenty of Fish messages! I thought I should just shut my account and continue to correspond with the few nice people I had enjoyed talking with. It would require more decisions, naturally, as I would choose who to keep in touch with and transfer them to my pseudonym e-mail like Amin. Once I had sent these messages with my address, I would get rid of my Plenty of Fish profile.
So I read up on deactivating my account. It turns out that it is not like facebook where you can deactivate your account and then reopen it at a later time and you get all of your information and messages back. The Help section said that an alternative to deactivating your account is to hide your profile. This allows you to retain your information and not have to re-enter it at another point. The advantage is that no one can find you on searches. You are no longer visible period! So the only people you can exchange messages with are the ones you already have in your inbox. GENIUS! It would finally stop the constant influx of new messages.
I didn't end up hiding my profile last Monday. I should've, but I was so stuck on my previous idea, which consisted of deciding who to write to before taking any terminal action for my account. So on that day, to facilitate my decision process, I opened up a couple of word documents. In the first one, I pasted the messages from Plenty of Fish that I wanted to keep. That was the easy part. I was sure of ten people, which I know can seem like a lot. It is certainly a lot for me. But all of these guys were nice, polite and had taken an interest in me and had been able to sustain an intelligent and civilized conversation. Besides, I realized that it was entirely possible that it could not work out with all ten of them! So in that way, ten was keeping my options open. In the second word document, I pasted the people that I was on the fence about and needed to figure out what to do with. I pasted the content of their profile and any message they sent me or messages that we exchanged. This kept me from being on the Plenty of Fish site while I was deciding to minimize my exposure and put all of the information in one place, so it was easier to deal with. It was a bit intimidating, I have to say; they totalled about thirty pages per document. I was only working on one of them, however.
I spent most of the day with that Word document. I scrolled through it over and over. I read and reread the self-descriptions and the messages. I thought about the ages and the personalities. I wondered who was compatible with me and who deserved a chance to get to know me. Decisions, decisions! I couldn't decide for the life of me! This is my Libran side: sometimes I can be so indecisive. So finally I called Mom in to look at my document and help talk me through it. I ask my Mom a lot when I feel the need to bounce ideas off of someone. She didn't seem particularly impressed with any of the people on that document. When I was no longer considering someone, I simply deleted them from the document. It began shrinking at last. I had originally wanted to retain perhaps one or two from that list, with a maximum of five, which was half. I finally had it whittled down to three people, but again I was staring at my document completly clueless as to what to do. But so many hours had gone by then that I left it at that.
I had three people left on my document by that time. One was from a guy whose username was JoiedeVivre, who seemed very nice in general. He had only sent me one message and I had not replied as of yet. The next one was a guy who I had exchanged some messages with. He came from a place I had never heard of; I had to google it! He comes from a group of islands off of Madagascar called Mauritius. The last one was named Brian and his username was CharmSchool; I never quite knew what to think of that. Brian, however, definitely required an answer. He had asked me out for coffee and it was for an as of yet undetermined time later in the week. The trouble was that I couldn't figure out whether to say yes or no. There is a wonderful quote from Emma that says: "If a woman doubts as to whether she should accept a man or not, she certainly ought to refuse him. If she can hesitate as to say "Yes," she ought to say "No," directly." Of course, she is talking about marriage and you don't have to marry a guy who asks you out on a date. I truly wondered, though, whether or not I should go if I felt so uncertain.
That was the next set of decisions I had to make last week. I had received three requests to go out on a date. The first, as I said in another entry, was from Siavash. I had already said yes to him, so that was settled. I had misgivings about Brian that I couldn't really explain other than the fact that he is 32, which is a bit out of my age range. Otherwise, he seemed fine to me; his messages had been nice and we shared a common taste in movies. The other request came from a guy named Patrick, the 27 year old kinesthesiologist. He gave off pretty good vibes; the only thing I could think there was that we are not quite in the same place in our lives because he already has his career set up and is looking to get a condo (aka settling down) while I haven't even obtained my first University degree yet! In the end, I decided to accept both offers, because the point of doing this project was to be open minded. I also have very limited dating experience, so I knew that it would show me what it is like to go on a date with someone who was older or someone whose life was ahead of mine and see if that was compatible or not.
Here's hoping I've made good decisions and will continue to make them moving forward!