10 Things I’ve Learned During My Adventures in (Anti) Social Dating

Dating for Domokuns (by ZakVTA)

As I’ve mentioned in passing on this site and on Facebook, I’ve decided to start dating again. I’ve been divorced for two years now and for most of that time I was absolutely content being single/alone, more recently I’ve felt like meeting new people and having some fun.

Although about as soon as I’ve started I’ve felt quitting. It’s time consuming, filled with anxiety, and I’ve encountered some not very nice people. I’m not exactly shy but I’m not outgoing and meeting a new person makes me very nervous. People who’ve known me for awhile are surprised when I mention this though – apparently I project a facade of confidence.

My divorce forced me to make more practical changes with my life such as having primary parental responsibilities and adapting to less than half of the income that I had been living on. I dealt with that and made the necessary adjustments. Since I felt like I had no control over my life, I decided to take control of my weight and lost about 30 lbs. I also started this site as a distraction.

Once I dealt with this and adapted, I was hit with the blow of my Mother becoming sick and passing away shortly after. When I got past the intense grief, and the grief and sadness apparently doesn’t go away, I decided to make more changes. Life was much too short to spend it doing things that I really didn’t want to do.

Since finances and health insurance were really my most pressing concerns, the first changes were with my employment. I decided I wanted to freelance full time and worked hard to make this happen. I devoted the entire summer to this and have mostly made a success out of it although with more effort I could be doing even better.

Shortly before I left for Vermont I started to feel lonely. I spent the entire summer home alone primarily working and knew that I needed to spend time with friends, make new friends, and maybe try to meet a man. But at first I felt bummed out and down. Fortunately, my vacation refreshed and revitalized me and gave me some quiet time to come up with new ideas.

So, because this is all slightly quirky and I’m not good at meeting people, I placed an ad online. I’m always on the computer, right? LOL ;-) I’m not sure if I would do this again but I’ve learned a lot in a very short time. So enough background and on with the ten things I’ve learned. Oh – I should mention that since I met my husband, got married and got divorced I have not dated in about 10 years. Some things have changed while others haven’t.

  1. Texting is the new phone call – Making plans via text messaging has replaced the phone call. Part of this may be because I’m dating slightly younger men. And, actually, I don’t mind. I hate talking on the phone and a couple of quick messages is a lot more efficient. Of course, I do prefer to speak with someone prior to meeting him because I think a voice can tell you a little about a person but a text is fine for plans.
  2. People are flaky – You can have a series of email conversations, seem interested in each other, and then when it comes time to making plans for meeting they become really flaky about it. I’m not sure if they are shy, anti-social, not presenting themselves honestly, or married but the point to all of this is actually meeting and even though it makes me nervous I have plenty of email buddies and I don’t really need new ones.
  3. Odd first date requests – Ok – I know that I’m far from normal. I don’t act my age, I have a child but don’t feel like talking about her non-stop with other parents, I play video games, I hate shopping, I don’t wear makeup, I would rather rent than own, I’m a vegetarian, I’m left-handed, I sit cross legged at my computer desk, I’m obsessive about schedules, I love British soccer, I don’t really drink, etc … the point is I’m very open-minded about people, what they are into, and things they suggest doing for dates. You never know what might end up being really fun. But for a first date/meeting, I am not prepared to jump into a Barney costume while you make balloon animals at a kid’s party. Even if it will really help you out of a jam. Maybe after I actually know you I’ll be Barney, but not the first time I meet you.
  4. People can be very different online than in person – I had some email conversations with one guy that were a blast – he was so much fun and I couldn’t wait to meet him. Then the 90 minutes that I spent with him were some of the most awkward and uncomfortable minutes of my life. He didn’t seem like he wanted to be there, he would barely look at me, and he hardly said a word. Like I mentioned, I’m not all that outgoing at first and I make that clear with someone before we meet. And me desperately trying to pull a conversation out of this individual was torture – I couldn’t get anything other than a yes or no response. It’s almost as if he had asperger’s syndrome, which I suppose is preferable to tourettes.
  5. Men are still obsessed with sex – Ok, nothing surprising about that and women are too to an extant. And while it is often the basis of interactions between men and women a little more subtlety about it would be appreciated. Maybe I’m naive, maybe things have changed, or maybe I just blocked this out from my encounters from a decade ago. But if you are having a pleasant back and forth email conversation don’t suddenly ask me my bra size, at least don’t if you want me to write back. I’ve even had to cancel plans because after making the arrangements have been asked if we would be going back to my place. Dude, I haven’t even met you and don’t know if I will even find you attractive but right now I can definitively say, no, that isn’t going to happen because I’m not going to meet you.
  6. Alcohol – A lot of first meetings revolve around alcohol in some way. Since I don’t really drink, I’m not really into that. Although it can take the edge off and alcohol would have definitely helped with the guy who wouldn’t speak. I’ve had more alcohol in the last two weeks then in the last 5 years. Don’t get the impression that I’ve been drinking non-stop – for me it’s a glass of wine or a guiness. But, ugh …
  7. People lie – Again, this isn’t so surprising but I try to be straightforward with people. For example, even though I’m not exactly looking for a husband I’m not going to tell someone that I have a kid after we’ve been out a bunch of times – that will be known from the beginning. The best was the guy that seemed cool, we planned a date and he then asked me if was ok that he was unhappily engaged. WHAT?!?!?!?!?! He must think he is very special or I am especially desperate if I’m going to think that’s acceptable. I have way too much respect for myself and for his fiancee. I suppose I should be grateful he told me before I wasted time going out with him.
  8. People are wishy-washy – This ties into being flaky. I’ll get a message from someone I’ve met and that I like asking if I am free on a particular day. I’ll say yes what do you have in mind. He will then say I might be able to clear some time. What?!?! Why did you ask me if I was free if you weren’t. I am admittedly obsessed with schedules but I also have a limited free time – if he can’t commit to a plan, I’m not going to wait around for him to figure it out. I’m going to make other plans. This went on for a bit with someone I did like but I finally decided to just not answer the messages any more. It’s a waste of time.
  9. I’ll call you tomorrow – Oh, this one is still going strong. Men can’t seem to get over this line. If you have no intention of calling, don’t say anything or say it was nice meeting you. Or don’t say it and then call three days later. Silly silly games. People really don’t know how to be honest. Oh – but sometimes now it’s “I’ll text you tomorrow” – LOL
  10. Mismatch – This one is still going strong too. The ones you like are the ones you never hear back from. And the ones that you didn’t like are the ones that ask you to go out again. ;-)

So, it’s been an interesting study of human behavior but it hasn’t exactly been fun. I’ve met some new people for better or for worse, had some alcohol, and a lot of cases of the nerves.

photo credit: ZakVTA

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  1. Jim says

    Thanks for sharing this Kim!

    Regarding #5, I think men have probably always been like that but with the Internet, its a lot easier to ask a woman a creepy question like that. It would have been a lot harder pre-email. Well…I guess you could have written her a letter asking her bra size, but that seems like a lot of work. ;-)

    • says

      Hi Jim – LOL – And then you would have to wait and see if she sent
      you a letter back. It’s like you and I were talking about the other day at lunch too – what does the number even mean to a guy – is he sitting there with a chart? LOL

  2. says

    This is one of my favorite posts of yours because it tells so much more about you than many of the others (which, of course, is because you’re not really blogging about yourself here).

    This brought back so many memories. I’m like you — I tend to tell the truth, even when it’s not going to helpl me. I would have put “people lie” at the top. Men have told me they were handsome, irresistible, confident, etc., but it proved to be more than an exaggeration, just a lie, when I met them. They lie about the weight and even their height. (I’m not a height-ist.)

    I wonder how much of the problems you encountered were because you were the initiator by advertising. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that. Some of the men seemed to be trying to take control, while others seemed to shrink from actually meeting you, as if they could write a strong game but chickened out when it came to being there in person. Like the guy who could only say yes or no. Maybe he was just terrified.

    I had a daily email conversation with a guy over a period of several months. We liked each other a lot before we even met (it involved a long trip). He refused a hug when we met, yet thought it was okay to put his hand on my breast when we sat talking. Different agendas — men want to be reassured by sex before they get involved with affection; women want to be reassured by affection before they get involved with sex. Another guy spent the entire evening talking about venetian blinds, his family’s business.
    .-= Dot´s last blog ..Comment on Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes by Jannie Funster =-.

    • says

      Hi Dot – Thanks! I’m trying to view it all as comedy and not let it get to me.

      Well, the breast-shake is apparently more common in bizzaro-land than the hug ;-)

      And venetian blinds – fascinating – snore. ;-)

      Oh – yeah, I’ve thought that about placing my ad but I’m very specific about what I’m looking for and didn’t see any worth answering so made my own. I knew that would bring out more idiots …

  3. says

    Hi Kim – I, too, enjoyed this post because it had so much “you” in it. It seems as though not much has changed in dating. My friend, Judy, used to ask for photos of potential swains by admonishing that they be taken “within this decade.” And, like you, I found really interesting the things that people just “forgot” – like the 100 pounds they gained since their photo was taken, the fact that they were married – I know!, etc. Judy dated one guy for six months. He told her his wife had died years ago, and then all of a sudden, she got a call from the grave.

    I do think the nice thing about dating when you’re older is that you are more self-aware. Maybe this is what has been meant by “set in our ways.” I found myself knowing that one small thing in a person would develop into a big thing with me, and I’d not want to waste the interim. I also decided what would be deal-breakers (not adventurous with food? see ya! bad grammar? bye-bye!).

    Still, I was treated to the 300 lb CIA covert agent (could this guy really blend into an underfed Eastern European crowd? hardly), numerous individuals who were enslaved to demon alcohol or worse (and I love me a cocktail, but not fifth of vodka every day) and all sorts of kooky other stuff that I never realized existed.

    Consider it an education! LOL Thanks for sharing your glimpse. You’re a fabulous person – wish I knew someone I could recommend to you in Philly.
    .-= Betsy Wuebker´s last blog ..THROUGH A GLASS, GRIMLY =-.

    • says

      Hi Betsy – So much more “me” – the smart ass part I assume – lol

      I hate hearing about other’s terrible experiences but at least it makes me realize that I’m not the only weirdo magnet ;-) And my goodness, phone calls from the grave and 300lb covert operations -lol. I’m sure it wasn’t funny at the time but it sure is now…

      Thanks – I’m sure it’s just that all the great guys don’t live in Philly … ;-)

  4. says

    I hate games too. Always hated them, which is why I ended up with an honest, decent man who never even tried playing games.

    Keep trying – eventually you’ll find him – the man who actually has character and personality and respects you. It might take some time though, which means we are going to read lots more funny dating stories. :)
    .-= vered – blogger for hire´s last blog ..Control a Woman Remote Control =-.

    • says

      Hi Vered – Oh, I already have more. Maybe I should start a brand new blog with all the wonderful stories.

      I did meet a decent guy over the weekend – I don’t think there’s anything wrong with him. Except we have absolutely nothing in common … oh wait, we have the same cellphone – lol

  5. says

    Hi Kim – As someone who has met her fair share of assholes – I feel for you.

    I hate how you can talk to someone online a few times and they seem really nice – then they go totally weird on you. I guess it’s better than going totally weird after you’ve met them though.

    But I must say – nobody has asked me to dress in a Barney costume before.

    • says

      Hi Cath – I keep thinking I’ve heard it all and nothing will surprise me and I keep being proven wrong. The best thing about Barney though is that it’s such an awesome story. It’s like my friend Susan said, maybe I would have done it if it had been Elmo – LOL

    • says

      Hi Manshu – I think it’s because I’m trying to meet someone. Usually you just meet someone – it just happens. And I think it gets harder as you get older – especially for women.


    • says

      Hi Valerie – Really? That’s quite a compliment – do you think a magazine would want it.

      I do know what I want – and I’m learning more and more what I don’t want ;-)

      And it’s a good thing I have a good sense of humor because otherwise
      I might be crying an awful lot over all of this – LOL

  6. says

    Kim, dating sounds like a difficult business. This concept is gaining strength in urban India as well. But that’s only a minority.

    Your experiences are hilarious from third persons point of view. But I know it must be frustrating to actually go through them.

    My good wishes with you. May you find ‘the one’ soon.
    .-= Avani Mehta´s last blog ..Do Not Give Up … =-.

  7. says

    You are killing me…I nearly spit coffee all over my laptop as I read this. Good for you on a few fronts: keeping a sense of humor, being willing to share this personal information with all of us, and for trying out new things (posting online ad).

    Speaking of coffee…don’t people in our age category go for coffee instead of a drink? I think I would. However, Guiness?? Dark beer? Right on!

    I won’t comment on #5…I mean, duh. ;-)

    Being an eternal optimist, I truly believe that being yourself and trusting your instincts will lead to good things. I sense that you think similarly. Thanks for a great laugh!!
    .-= Rick Castellini´s last blog ..Set Firefox to recognize web mail for mailto links – Video Tip =-.

    • says

      Hi Rick – Good! I wanted it to be funny and I hope your laptop is ok ;-)

      Yes, if I’m going to drink a beer, it’s going to be a dark one.

      I’m not really an optimist but if this wackiness continues, I’m starting a whole new blog ;-)

  8. srikanth says

    Hi kim.. how are you doing?? nice post this one.. You have conveyed your experiences which are kind of heavy, in a funny tone which puts the message straight in the head to think rather make the heart feel for it.. I agree guys do have a lot to change… This post is certainly very useful for me cause I know now exactly wat i shouldn’t be doing on my first date… Hope you always meet great people and have great fun in the.. God bless you Kim…

  9. says

    I just so enjoyed this post and all your thoughts and comments about the fellows and their lines and ideas….
    I think you are wonderful for trying and getting out there.
    My oldest kiddo does not try….and her faculty just made her get on twitter and next facebook because she is in social media….

    Thanks for sharing. I have a 66 year old friend who just met the nicest fellow on eharmony – no luck with honesty on match. com She finds it helpful that he lives in a city 3 hours away (actually near Davina) so they have to make detailed plans to get together and chatting is great inbetween. He does not have to contemplate giving up his healthcare and she does not have to give up her grandchildren nearby!

    eharmony would like then to get married – they love their relationship just as it is!
    good to open the door.
    .-= Patricia´s last blog ..I LOVE THIS MAGAZINE =-.

    • says

      Hi Patricia – It’s kind of hard but I want to start doing new things in my
      limited free time. I feel like I got into a rut socially.

      Match.com does not seem useful at all. One of the issues that I have with the dating sites is that everyone is looking for “the one”. I’m just looking for friends and to go out once in awhile. I really don’t want to
      get married again.

      Why doesn’t your daughter try?

      I find it has to be viewed as comedy … otherwise I wouldn’t be able to take it :-)

  10. says

    Ok Kim, first of all, i bet that on most dates, when they went wrong, you were like “i will make a post about this weird guy sometime soon”. And on the number 3 point, i had no idea we have so many things in common :P guess it’s a geek thing ;)
    .-= stratosg´s last blog ..Intrusion detection with Perl =-.

    • says

      Hi Stratos – I honestly didn’t think about writing about it the weird things while they were happening – but as the weird things started to build up I decided I had enough material for an article.

      What part of #3 do we have in common? You don’t like dressing up like Barney? ;-)

  11. says

    Hi Kim,

    I LOVE Tracy’s comment – wearing a t-shirt saying “I’ll be blogging about this”. In fact, it makes me wonder, do you think any of your dates are reading your blog? If so, I’m sure they’ll “see” themselves in your list of 10 things.

    What is it they say, “you have to kiss a lot of toads……”

    Happy dating. I look forward to the next ten.
    .-= Barbara Swafford´s last blog ..When Real Life Friends Don’t “Get It” =-.

    • says

      Hi Barbara – My legal last name is different from my online last name (not on purpose – I just haven’t resolved this issue yet) so I don’t think they are reading the blog.

      I’ll keep it meeting a lot of toads – I’m not going to kiss them ;-)

  12. says

    Hi Kim,
    When you get out on a bad date, definitely think of it as “material” for a new section to this blog or even a new blog, and try to get some laughs. :)

    I’m over 40 and have done the online thing too, and one thing I always heard from middle-aged men over and over, as if they thought I wouldn’t want to date someone also over 40, was this one: “People tell me I look a lot younger than I am.” :) Of course they do fella!
    .-= cb´s last blog ..Should introverts “force” themselves to do things with others? =-.

    • says

      Hi cb – Well, I usually say I don’t look my age either. But that is because people always tell me that and usually guess I’m 6-7 years younger. I’m noticing a bunch of gray all of a sudden though so I’m going to have to do something about that.

      I’m really hoping my next article can be about all the positive experiences I’ve had.

    • says

      Hi Haroun – Good luck :-)

      I think one reason is that person met someone and never removed the profile but they aren’t answering emails. I also think some people don’t respond to an email if they aren’t interested in you/me for whatever reason. It’s hard to tell someone that you aren’t interested so it may be easier for them to ignore the message.

      I’m starting to think it may be better to meet people in the real world.

    • says

      Hi Christine – I was either lucky 10 years ago or I blocked it all out. I can
      say I was never asked out my engaged or married men before – that’s a
      new experience. Kind of a yicky one too.

  13. says

    Interesting post Kim and I liked the way you expressed your thoughts about the dating encounters :) It’s a tough thing to start allover and meet people with the aim of finding a long term partner. As you rightly said most people are obsessed with the measures and the physical things first… I wish you good luck in finding the right kind of people in your life.

    Cheers… Ajith
    .-= Ajith´s last blog ..Even bloggers need rest! =-.

    • says

      Hi Ajith – I don’t even have the goal of finding a long term partner – I just wanted to meet new people and go out once in awhile. I actually haven’t gone on any dates since I wrote the article. I am going on one tonight – so far, I am cautiously optimistic.

  14. says

    Hey Kim,

    I must say you have been through a real hard times, but I am glad too that you have made through all those hard times.

    You have observed the things greatly… and I don’t think that you are not normal, every person has his own way of living life so that doesn’t meant that you are not normal.

    I believe that wearing make-up is not normal, being the way you are counts, not what you pretend.
    .-= Ravi Kuwadia´s last blog ..5 Tips to Becoming a Better Leader =-.

  15. says

    I laffed and laffed! Stumbled this.

    And guess what? I sit cross-legged at my computer desk too!

    Sounds like the texting helps weed some of them out to you don’t have to sit stupified with a lot of them for 90 minutes.

    And you made me Google aspergers.

    .-= Jannie Funster´s last blog ..Goin’ For The Page Rank Juice =-.

    • says

      Hi Jannie – Thanks for the stumble. It’s one of those things that’s funny now but wasn’t so funny at the time. I’ve since met a nice-ish guy so am seeing how that works out and haven’t been on so many wacky dates lately.

  16. says

    Thanks for calling my attention to this post Kim. What a great read. Though I’m still single, I don’t feel so alone in my search now. So many of these I GET loud and clear; especially the “I’ll call you tomorrow” and “The Mismatch”. BrooooTHER :)
    .-= Davina´s last blog ..It’s Midnight & I’m Still Single =-.

    • says

      Hi Davina – A lot of us are out there. It just seems sometimes that everyone else is part of a happy couple ;-) My article might not encourage online dating but I still think it’s worth trying.

  17. Monique Swanson says

    OMG! Thank you, thank you, thank you! If you look up dating in the dictionary it probably now has an added definition of “a necessary evil.” Unfortunately, misery DOES love company, so it is comforting to read that other people are going through what I’m experiencing. I think I need my internal compass reset as I am an intelligent, grounded person (blah, blah, blah), yet apparently I am unable to tell if a date has gone well or not. Or maybe I am living in a different reality, goodness knows. But it is INCREDIBLY frustrating when I spend four to five hours on a date that seems to have all the right components and the chemistry is there, plans are made for another get-together, and then the person either drops off the face of the earth, gets abducted by aliens, or, do you think, could just really be a serial dater or a liar? No way! The alien theory is much more likely…

    • says

      Hi Monique – It really is maddening. I haven’t been dating recently as I just didn’t have the energy for all the foolishness.

      Good luck!

      And I totally agree about the aliens. ;-)


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