Hopeful 7 Hopeless 3
I have been having a number of miscellaneous thoughts that I don't seem to have included anywhere yet. I'd like to take the opportunity to post these reflections now.
~ I remember remarking to my friend Stella that Plenty of Fish is like speed-dating. The rapidity with which you are presented with all these different people is simply astounding. You can meet so many different people in just one sitting. So that is why I think it is the online equivalent of speed-dating.
~ It is important for women to be careful when dating online and this is something I most definitely have not lost sight of. I talked about how I chose to protect my personal information. That is a start. But women should always remember that predators do use the Internet to their own ends. No, not everyone you are going to meet is going to be a predator, but you have to be careful all the same; you don't actually know who it is you are meeting, after all. On my date with Brian, I remained vigilant and observant when we met and as we walked to and from our destinations, particularly since we were meeting in the evening. I was trying not to appear ultra-tense, but was trying to make sure that at any time, I was ready to scream, run or defend myself (I have learned a few self-defense moves). My friend George would not be impressed that I did not have a kubaton with me, but I would like him to know that I was very careful and not out with a creep (oh, and for the record, George asked me to call him George, The King of All Awesomeness on my blog; since that is a bit cumbersome, he will hereafter be referred to as Awesome George :). Perhaps I will get one of these for my next evening date.
~ My first date with Brian did serve as a good warm-up. There were a couple of instances where I clearly did not know what to say. It has shown me that I need to have a response for a forward guy. I need to have one planned so that the awkward situation that arose with Brian or one that is worse will be easily remedied. I also need to be ready about the second date question. I didn't say much for fear of hurting Brian's feelings and proving all of his notions about how women are high-maintenance or paranoid or simply unapproachable true. I also need better practice on how to say good bye. Instead of saying good bye, for some reason "good luck" came out of me. Obviously I was tired and that pierced more to what I was actually thinking: good luck with other dates and "good luck" in general as in getting dates! That was a slip I never want to have repeated. I think there was enough physical distance between us at that point for him not to have heard it very clearly, so I hope he didn't or he mistook it for "good bye" or "good night"!
~ The only intelligent way for women to use Plenty of Fish is to have a hidden profile. Finally it comes out that women get hundreds of messages a day and that this is not uncommon! More and more people on the site have told me this. It also explains why guys are so happy to get a reply, because they send out messages that get lost in the vortex of women's Plenty of Fish inbox! I mean, I suppose if you need an ego boost, go for it. It can be flattering to have all these guys writing to you and lavishing you with attention and compliments. But otherwise, if you don't want to be drowning in messages, hide your profile. That way you can pick and choose who you want to send messages to. This is what I didn't get a chance to do and which I sort of regret. If nothing manages to come from the guys I am corresponding with, I am considering trying this method. I think it should be equal in the 21st century: women should be able to ask men out too!
~ I have discovered that online dating is not for me. I knew that being on Plenty of Fish would be out of my comfort zone. I knew it would be difficult, but I was sure it could work out for me. What I found out is that I am really not into it and it is not for me. I prefer to meet the old-fashioned way: in person. I prefer to meet someone and get to know them over time. I prefer to become friends and then to date. I don't like to say, "Hi. The only reason I'm meeting you is because I want to date. Want to date me?" That is simply not me. Being true to yourself is one of the most important things to do in a lifetime.
In light of these reflections, I am continuing with the project. I did say that I am not a quitter. I also have guys who are talking to me and I owe it to them and to myself to give it a try. I will continue to update on my progress here as much as possible.
Trying to stay Hopeful,