To Online Date or Not to Online Date

It has been several weeks since I did anything pro-dating, and I have a friend who keeps asking whether I’ve re-subscribed to The answer is no. At this point, I feel like I’m entirely occupied with other things. It’s not that I wouldn’t like to be in a relationship, but between getting the dog into physical therapy and work and the house and my volunteer commitments and upcoming travel, the idea of adding something as time-intensive as online dating doesn’t really appeal.

My other observation is that, although I’ve met some great guys and had meaningful relationships, online dating hasn’t really connected me with people who’ve shared my values. Even when I subscribe to values-specific sites, I don’t end up meeting people who are on the same road as I am, and frankly, some of the worst experiences I’ve had have been with people who said they shared my values, but didn’t.

Yesterday, I was meditating (sort of) and was reminded about a story that a friend tells about a woman she knows, who met her husband while she was in prison for an act of civil disobedience. The man saw a news story about her, began writing and visiting, and they eventually got married. My friend cites it as proof that, when the time is right, love can find a way, even if you can’t imagine a way. And I felt like, in a particular moment, yesterday, I was released of responsibility from searching for love. Like I got a signal that if I focused on the things I feel called to focus on right now, that love would take care of finding me. I’ve got a guy in my faith community who seems more than friendly and is starting to border on territorial, but hasn’t asked me out. I’m not sure what I think— he’s not the obvious choice for me, but I’d be open to exploring it a little more than we have, to this point. And this has been building for a long time now (years), and the escalation seems like it’s accelerating over the last few months. I felt, yesterday, like he was a word away from asking me out, and I intentionally left the door wide open for him to do just that. Is that it? Is something else on the way? Can I just set the intention that I’m going to do what I feel called to do and trust that love will find me when it’s ready?

I kind of feel like something’s on the way. The decluttering thing needed to be done either way, but I keep getting surprised by the idea that I’m making room for someone or getting ready to move. That I’m literally and figuratively getting my house in order for what comes next. That wasn’t in my specific plan. I didn’t started from there, but when you add the sudden impulse to get rid of a bunch of stuff to my January and February impulses to divest myself of relationships that don’t demonstrate the highest levels of self-respect and raising of my standards all around— something feels like it’s in the wind.

But I wonder about that. I believe you have to open yourself to relationships, and to meeting people. It’s unrealistic to expect Mr. Right to appear in my living room. Is it possible that I’m hiding from the relationship that I say I want because it’s been disappointing or because I’m afraid of rejection or because I’m not sure how to get “to the next level” (i.e. past guys with whom I have a great basic connection and on to something with a future? And also, how great is it that, after all this time, I’m past the point where I’m surprised to make a great connection with a guy and onto wanting the whole shebang?)

I can say that online dating is not the only way I’m seeking a relationship— I have subscribed to a bunch of relevant Meet-Up groups, and am looking through their activities for something promising. But so far, it’s just been looking. I last went to a Meet-Up just after New Year’s, and although I’ve gone to singles meetups in the past, I’ve never actually dated anyone from an event like that. I’m trying to be open to meeting people in my regular life— keeping my eyes open for nice guys I encounter while walking the dog or doing the day-to-day stuff of my life.

What do we think? Am I hiding behind magical thinking, or dating just to say I’m dating? Is one or the other worth trying, despite my skepticism? These questions are not merely rhetorical. If you have thoughts, I want to hear ’em!


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