140 Characters or Less??? – Part Two: The Joys of Online Dating

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Last month I shared the challenges of the on-line dating process—Tell the World Who You Are – In 3 Photos or Less.

The above picture was taken by my niece (thanks KF) on our Christmas vacation and it is one I will include. However, as I now wear glasses more frequently and as I believe in truth in advertising, I needed some photos of me wearing my various glasses.

So, this past month I have participated in a couple of “photo-shoots” with the help of my supportive girlfriends. I have learned one thing about photo-shoots – they are more fun if mimosas are involved.

But photos are just Part One. Part Two is to write about yourself and what you are looking for in a potential date.

After talking with various friends who have experience with these issues, I have decided I will join Our Time which is a dating site that markets itself for singles 50 and older. (That be me.) They have three categories you have to fill out: In a Nutshell (describing yourself); The One I am Looking For (describing qualities important to you); and a final section titled: I’d Just Like to Add.

I googled topics such as “writing a dating online profile” …. and even though the articles were intimidating, I am a woman who has practice with the written word so I thought I could handle this part.

But then…… Our Time made a change to their site that challenged even me.

Beginning this past January, Our Time started limiting you to 140 characters for each section. 140 characters – that includes letters, spaces, and punctuation marks.

What does that look like?  It looks like this…….

Xxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xx xxxxxxxxx xxx xxxxx. X xxxxxxxxx xxx xxxx xxxxxx xxx xxxx xxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxx xxx xxxxxx, xxxxxxx xxxxxx xxx xxxxxx.

Basically….. 2 sentences…… which means every word must count.

Being a research-oriented type of person, I asked some of my guy friends to give me a list of 5-10 words or phrases they would find attractive in a profile. After all, I would not want to waste any space saying I love to read if that would not be on someone’s top 10.

After some discussion, I realized the meaning of some words could be a bit fuzzy due to “personal interpretation”.  For example, one friend included the word “adventuresome” in his top ten.

I do view my going on three trips by myself to Europe (no tour guide…just me and my carry-on suitcase) as evidence that I can be adventuresome. But I also know some people who would think it would be adventuresome to go white water rafting in the North Georgia Mountains. I do not view that as adventuresome.

I view that as fulfilling a death wish and I would never go white water rafting.

NEVER – EVER.

So, I decided to avoid the word “adventuresome”.

Another friend said I should use the word “bubbly” when describing myself….. and I have also had others tell me I am perky. And whereas that may be true, it makes me sound like an 18-year old Barbie Cheerleader Doll looking for the Ken Doll.

I am not 18 years old….. I am not Barbie….. and I never liked Ken.

And of course, what do you say about appearance—his or mine? Apparently there are a lot of women looking for “toned and athletic” men….. as I am not toned nor athletic, it seems a bit hypocritical to seek such. And how do I describe me physically – tall and slenderish – but should I prepare my date in advance for the age appropriate twinkly around-the-eye wrinkles and other failing body parts?

And what am I looking for? The two men in my life—my ex-husband and my ex-fiancé—were totally different….. in personality and looks. They were total opposites. So, what do I want this time?

And what kind of relationship do I want? Serious? Casual? I married at age 22; divorced at age 57; started dating my ex-fiancé at age 61; and broken engagement at age 64. So, for the last 45+ years of my life, the only two relationships I had were—serious.

How does one do casual? I do not know what that looks like. But after the last turbulent ten years of my personal life, would I? could I? take the emotional and financial risk of being in a serious relationship again?

As I write these words, the reality is once again I am headed into uncharted (for me) waters. And my head starts spinning. And I want to run.

When leads to some challenging words spoken to me last week by a friend at work. He stopped by my office and was getting an “not-online-dating-yet” update and I told him I had just gotten new glasses and I wanted to wait and take pictures wearing them and I had not done that yet and I was thinking I would also wait and get past St. Patrick’s Day before I went online and other blah blah blah.

He looked at me and raised one eyebrow and reminded me I had told him I was going to get past Valentine’s Day before I went online and he made a few other comments and then he paused and basically said I was going to run out of holidays and he thought I was making excuses and I would probably not do this.

I hate it when my friends nail me like that.

So, note to BR and my other friends …… I am going on record …… I have a minor procedure (nothing of long-lasting consequence) scheduled for March 5th that I need to get past but after that and before ST. Patrick’s Day arrives, I will complete the final steps…. sign up and post my pictures and text….. and, as of now, this is what I would say…….

In A Nutshell – 137 CHARACTERS – I enjoy being on-the-go (travel, entertaining, outdoor fun) but also love quiet dinner conversation while lingering over a glass of wine.

The One I Am Looking For – 136 Characters – Has a laugh-at-life sense of humor; sees the glass ¾ full; a strong faith; enjoys learning and exploring; desires a caring relationship.

I’d Just Like to Add – 138 Characters – Outward appearance is important but being a thoughtful and kind person who has strong relationships with family/friends is more important.

I have no idea as to where this will lead…but it is time to get out of the boat and get wet.

If nothing else….perhaps by St. Patrick’s Day, I will be drinking green beer with a charming Irishman in a pub somewhere!

It could become my favorite holiday.

HA

See you next month………….

jfh

Girlfriend photo shoots—with more possible girlfriend photo shoots in the future and I still may ask my son to add another picture using his fancy camera……..

2019-012019-02-25 Brunch (Large)

15 thoughts on “140 Characters or Less??? – Part Two: The Joys of Online Dating

  1. Hi, Janet. I think this is one of the most open and honest posts I’ve read in a long time. Since you’ve put such effort into it I think it deserves a more in-depth comment.

    Here is some male perspective from guy who has been out of the game for 51 years and has no idea what dating sites are like nor any desire to find out!

    First of all, the three photos are all fetching. You look equally lovely with or without glasses. My favorite is the first one where you are leaning on the porch post. But only because, to me, it exhibits your sense of love of the outdoors. If the photos were the only part of the submission, I think you would be inundated with offers. You probably will be anyway.

    As for your text within the confines of 144 characters, I’d say you could not have been more eloquent. I’m sure that was a most difficult task and you were right, your experience with the written word certainly paid off there. Concise, but with warmth.

    Just one piece of unsolicited advice, which along with $13.50 will get you a latte at Starbucks…….I like that you are going a more casual route. If it turns out to be that, but only that, you have not set you or he up for potential disappointment. On the other hand, the chances of a casual acquaitnance getting more serious is always a possibility. A serious start might scare off someone to begin with who won’t ever get the chance to find out what a catch you are!

    Anyway, it was a delight to read this humorous introspection about getting out of the boat. Good luck and by all means, keep us all in the loop!

    Your pal, Al

    P.S. I would have loved to been a fly on the wall during those photo shoots. I imagine there was plenty of mirth, especially the one involving the mimosas.

    • Thank you, as always, for your continued advice and encouragement about my blog stories! I agree that starting out casual is the best course – at least for me emotionally – as it does not put expectations out of reach and I have no true “end game” compared to 45 years ago when the “end game” was to get married.

      The 140-word limit also forced me to really ask what was important to me and yes, I spent time giving that thought as well as making sure I am really who I say I am…not merely writing about who I want to be.

      And yes, you would have enjoyed being the fly on the wall—and both girlfriend photo shoots involved mimosas! The picture of me in the hat was taken after a fabulous brunch including a mimosa at an upscale restaurant at a beautiful outdoor (also upscale) mall – we sauntered about trying various poses and places – and kept laughing the entire time – from the outdoor train ride to seating areas and so forth. The dining room photo was taken at my home – I had my Bible Study group over for a Mardi-Gras celebration lunch and we were taking various pictures inside but always with a mimosa in my hand—trying to convey “she loves entertaining and is fun”!

      Thanks again for the encouraging word and I will update again at the end of March!

  2. Love all the pics! They are right on target with each showing a different aspect of your personality! As always, you do a wonderful job expressing your thoughts and feelings through your writings. Can’t wait to hear more about your online dating experiences! Thanks for sharing!

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