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Old 08-21-2019, 08:59 PM
 
306 posts, read 212,264 times
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Without getting into lots of details, I yesterday evening I was unceremoniously dumped via email after 12 years together (never married, and a long distance relationship the last 7, which has a hell of a lot to do with the problem) and I'm thinking it's probably going to be a lasting thing.


In an effort to "buck up" some today, I scoured all of the dating sites to see what is out there. From what I can tell since I last went looking for a new girlfriend when I was 28, it's a horror show by contrast. I'm sure it varies from region to region, and frankly from time to time based on just the dumb luck of who is available, but it is BLEAK right now.


I'm not trying to sound like a jerk, or be pretentious, be realize the wound is still VERY fresh and I'm not picking on any individual person or their circumstances. I don't know anyone here, or on all of those dating sites... So, if I say something with less tact than I should have, please accept my apology up front.



To frame what I mean... I'm no awesome catch in terms of good looks or physique, but I have a good job, I have a very good education, I have all of the normal adult things going on (a little savings, vehicles, a place to live, etc), and I'm generally a pretty decent guy. I'm a generous lover and I just generally like spending time with someone I love and I don't mind being the high tide that raises all ships if the situation is good. What I mostly want in life is for others to leave me alone and I will pay them the same courtesy, even at my expense. I also don't have any kids. So, I'm almost exactly "Mr. No Excitement". I am a homebody and I developed anxiety issues several years ago that make things like going out on normal dates absolutely miserable for me. That said, guys like retired Navy SEALS have those problems way worse than I do and they all end up with great women (not that I'm in their league, but...), so, it's clearly not impossible with the right attitude. I'm never going to do runs or pulls ups against those guys, but I can't think of a reason I can't have the same mental hardness that they've developed to overcome their own obstacles. So, anyhow, the last thing in the world I want to do is go out bar hopping... Especially since I don't drink. And I'm in a new town. Plus I've never had any luck picking up women that way. ALL of my girlfriends all the way back to just after high school I've found online. Back then it was actually pretty awesome, because the women you would find had a pretty high level of technical skills. Over the years I've ended up dating a chemist, PhD level linguist, and some other really awesome women that just didn't work out for assorted reasons... Until it did... for 12 years...



Keeping in mind I'm not targeting any of YOU with my opinions here:



However, what I'm seeing out there are women that are just horror shows. I'm talking women of all ages with face or neck tattoos. Women who want to sit in lawn chairs in the back yard and get drunk while their kids jump on trampolines. Women who want to do loads of outdoor activities that I hate (and just can't do for health reasons, some explained above). Then there's a large contingent of women that appear to be leaving dead bedrooms and just want to party (or may be actual ads for prostitutes... who knows?). Basically, my VERY judgemental, day 1 of being dumped view, is that I'm seeing lots and lots of "practice girls" that never moved on and are all a massive downgrade from where I was, even though we had our own problems.



So... From the people that have been there, what are my odds really looking like here? Also, I'm assuming 6 months or more in the future when I'll be in a better place and not nearly as "judgey", but my criteria is going to be about the same. A nice accomplished woman with a similar life, similar goals and desires to me.


One thing I'm feeling right off the bat, and I've seen coming for years now, is that I'm absolutely damning myself by being a smoker. Including myself in this camp when I say it, it seems that only the biggest of idiots are still sucking down cancer canes on the regular and I feel that's going to destroy my chances more than almost anything at this point. 12 years ago it really wasn't that big of a deal to find a girl that was decent and smoked, but, I think the decent ones got smarter since then. It also appears that the political climate is making things hard too as a guy that is a fairly traditional mid-western conservative. I don't love everything any politician does, but I'm totally not into the calling people names about who they voted for gambit and there seems to be a lot of that right now too.



Anyhow, again, I'm not trying to be super offensive to anyone here personally (I don't know you, I'm not trying to date you, please don't be offended if I just perfectly described you and then made other false assumptions about YOU, because that's not what I'm intending to do)...



I'm just really sad and the doorway I opened today only made it worse, where in the past it was like "wow, look at all of those fish!". What are my real options here? Do I need to start attending some social clubs or professional organizations or something and "troll" for women there (seems like a great way to find wonderful women that have probably been married for at least 10 years, imo, thus not being at all helpful)? Or is online dating just fine and it's me looking at the bad apples right now that is getting me down?


I also don't want you to get the impression that I'm looking for some type of perfection that doesn't exist. I have loads of my own warts, and I've learned today that anyone dating at my age is going to be right full of baggage too, so I expect all of that. I'm also not looking for rich or super attractive women. I'm basically thinking a typical 35-45 year old professional woman (teacher, healthcare, whatever) would be fine, but I'm just not finding them...


I appreciate any thoughts you can share. Again, I'm really sorry if this was all too gruff. I'm just in a bad spot right now.

 
Old 08-21-2019, 09:16 PM
 
Location: Texas
10,104 posts, read 3,880,912 times
Reputation: 20528
Although many people say they rule out smokers, I would have dated someone who just smoked socially. If you really want to quit, I would recommend hypnotherapy. I'd also recommend setting up a profile to do online dating. There are tons of women in the age range you are looking for.
 
Old 08-21-2019, 09:26 PM
 
306 posts, read 212,264 times
Reputation: 419
Quote:
Originally Posted by PriscillaVanilla View Post
Although many people say they rule out smokers, I would have dated someone who just smoked socially. If you really want to quit, I would recommend hypnotherapy. I'd also recommend setting up a profile to do online dating. There are tons of women in the age range you are looking for.

It's just the ones I found I want nothing to do with... I mean, it's cool if you're into face tattoos, but I'm not. I thought geography might be an issue too, so I opened up to 200 miles (catching Chicago and Indianapolis in the process) and things did not improve.


Anyhow... I'm down to try when the time comes. Any particular site that caters more toward the older crowd? In terms of quality of options, OK Cupid was the worst (but boatloads of them), and Match was the best, but there were only like 6 women that matched me on Match. In the past, I'd normally have to message 10 or more just to chat before I found someone that felt we would have a mutually enjoyable date. The odds aren't looking in my favor over there these days.


I'm just wondering if this is the norm or if I'm just catching the market at a bad time.
 
Old 08-21-2019, 09:37 PM
 
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
43,941 posts, read 42,545,460 times
Reputation: 84893
I'm not trying to be offensive here either, so ... just take this as it is intended, with care.

You are ALL over the place, and based on what I'm reading here, you need a LOT of time and some pretty intensive self-reflection before you can even think about dating.

First, you don't have a good handle on who you are and where you are on life's timeline. Despite your self-deprecating comments, your ego is way too fragile right now to consider bringing someone else into your life. It's not a "market." You're right, you AREN'T 28 anymore, and if you look at it like you can order someone from Amazon, you'll constantly be looking for the next best choice.

The most damaging factor, WAY more damaging than being a smoker, is that you allowed yourself to stay in an unhealthy long-distance relationship for 7 years. It couldn't have been good, or it wouldn't have ended the way it did.

It just sounds like there's some danger that you may have put your emotional evolution on pause somewhere during the past 12 years.

If you can afford therapy, you should look into it so you can re-center yourself. You want to be in a more stable place emotionally so that you don't launch yourself into a series of short-term fiascos that will only make your attitude and anxiety worse.

Try to do things that get you out into the world and around "your people," whoever they may be. Your actual people may surprise you, when you get past the superficial stuff and get to know them.
 
Old 08-21-2019, 09:53 PM
 
306 posts, read 212,264 times
Reputation: 419
Quote:
Originally Posted by BirdieBelle View Post
I'm not trying to be offensive here either, so ... just take this as it is intended, with care.

You are ALL over the place, and based on what I'm reading here, you need a LOT of time and some pretty intensive self-reflection before you can even think about dating.

First, you don't have a good handle on who you are and where you are on life's timeline. Despite your self-deprecating comments, your ego is way too fragile right now to consider bringing someone else into your life. It's not a "market." You're right, you AREN'T 28 anymore, and if you look at it like you can order someone from Amazon, you'll constantly be looking for the next best choice.

The most damaging factor, WAY more damaging than being a smoker, is that you allowed yourself to stay in an unhealthy long-distance relationship for 7 years. It couldn't have been good, or it wouldn't have ended the way it did.

It just sounds like there's some danger that you may have put your emotional evolution on pause somewhere during the past 12 years.

If you can afford therapy, you should look into it so you can re-center yourself. You want to be in a more stable place emotionally so that you don't launch yourself into a series of short-term fiascos that will only make your attitude and anxiety worse.

Try to do things that get you out into the world and around "your people," whoever they may be. Your actual people may surprise you, when you get past the superficial stuff and get to know them.

I won't say you're wrong about any of that. I'm in absolutely no hurry to jump back into anything until my mind is much closer to right. I'm just curious what my options are when that time comes because what I saw today was completely demoralizing, when in the past it's been very motivational. Like, "Hey! There's a reason to continue on because there are plenty of bright stars in the sky, and I'll pull myself up there to one some day again"... Not what I saw tonight.



The 7 years of long distance I can explain, and its one of those things I'm going to have to explain at some point to some woman after a couple of dates... When we met she was a college drop out. She finished her undergrad locally and then had to move away to law school. She was home every weekend for 3 years (so, every weekend for 3 years is part of the 7). When she graduated, she could only get work in the area of the school (since that was the community of people she knew) so I've been waiting it out since then. When we were actually together, the first 2-3 years, we were pretty legitimately happy and I just kept hoping (and frankly I still am, but it's looking like she probably has really sailed the ship) that once she got her career established and got some more experience that she'd be able to move back... and that just never happened. So the entire time I had super high hopes and it really wasn't "that" bad. Since then, I've even moved to an area that makes even more sense for her career and she claimed to not be able to find anything here... That also makes finding "my people" pretty hard, because I'm a homebody and I'm relatively new in town.



I also tried to move to her but it's basically impossible. She works in the middle of a corn field in a 2 person law office that is at least an hour away from any city I could work in... and I tried... I only got close, once, with 2 years of trying. I had an interview 50 minutes away (in the middle of a different corn field) and I was PUMPED... Didn't get an offer...


So, I totally hear you. I'm not looking to do anything in any hurry and I clearly need to sort my stuff out, but I was no liking what I was seeing.
 
Old 08-21-2019, 09:58 PM
 
1,267 posts, read 389,182 times
Reputation: 4073
If you only want to be left alone, why do you want to date? What's the point?
 
Old 08-21-2019, 10:02 PM
 
306 posts, read 212,264 times
Reputation: 419
Quote:
Originally Posted by E-Twist View Post
If you only want to be left alone, why do you want to date? What's the point?

Left alone by outside people to my sphere. I don't harass my neighbors, I hate shopping, I don't like going to the movies because of the people (but I love movies in general.. so, home video is absolutely on), etc, etc. I just want to do my thing, whatever my thing is, in peace.



I see how that was a mixed message. Basically I was just trying to convey that I live a pretty quiet life and that seems fairly contrary to what a lot of people seem to want. Travel, shopping, movies, dining out all the time, that's just not for me... I would have actually thought boring and predictable might be a plus at this age, but I'm not so sure...
 
Old 08-21-2019, 10:10 PM
 
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
43,941 posts, read 42,545,460 times
Reputation: 84893
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max_is_here View Post

...what I saw today was completely demoralizing, when in the past it's been very motivational. Like, "Hey! There's a reason to continue on because there are plenty of bright stars in the sky, and I'll pull myself up there to one some day again"... Not what I saw tonight.
This ^^^ is a very curious way of looking at it.

Of course the stars will look brighter when we're all younger and brighter. That's my point about being realistic about your place in the world. Your perception of yourself apparently needs some alignment, because according to filters you presumably engaged, those are the women with internet access who are open to online dating and who are eligible for dating you. Maybe it is the area where you live.

But this is why I said what I did about finding your people. One thing people don't seem to get about online dating is that a profile is not a person. When you are trying to date at an older age, your priorities really can be different. Once you meet someone you may forego one preference in favor of other things that matter more. But being around people in person and really getting to know them is key.

You aren't required to develop an affinity for neck tattoos. But I think I'd stay away from dating sites completely. Relocating to a place that has stuff you actually want to get out and do will put you in the path of women who want to do those things too.

How old are you?
 
Old 08-21-2019, 10:24 PM
 
306 posts, read 212,264 times
Reputation: 419
Quote:
Originally Posted by BirdieBelle View Post
This ^^^ is a very curious way of looking at it.

Of course the stars will look brighter when we're all younger and brighter. That's my point about being realistic about your place in the world. Your perception of yourself apparently needs some alignment, because according to filters you presumably engaged, those are the women with internet access who are open to online dating and who are eligible for dating you. Maybe it is the area where you live.

Remove age from the equation, and no more beating around the bush, I saw a bunch of trashy women. Even winding the clock back 20 years on them, I wouldn't have been interested then either. Maybe not the most fair analysis based on a few profiles (and yes, they may be lovely in real life), but that's what I saw. I saw 1 or 2 profiles were they were not just outright trashy.


So... Yes, maybe you're confirming that I'm looking at a bad selection of women right now by happenstance or geography.


I get that... I've online dated for nearly 20 years now (though obviously not on the market full time). I'm more curious about what I should do to meet "my people", since I kind of don't have any. Most of my pursuits are solitary or just massively male dominated. If I go to a car show or something, I'd venture to say most of the women are already there with men. So... I don't know what to do.


I don't want to get out and do anything, anywhere. I'm a homebody. That's both by choice and somewhat by necessity. My ideal life would be owning a little bit of land that I can peacefully live my life on, and it's something I'm working toward. Moving to a better dating area doesn't seem like it would help me since I already expanded the search out to cover a 400 mile wide circle and still didn't see much. I'm really hoping I just have bad timing.

I'm 40.
 
Old 08-21-2019, 10:40 PM
Status: "I don't FEEL tardy." (set 15 days ago)
 
2,064 posts, read 1,000,965 times
Reputation: 5673
All I have to contribute here is support for you to quit smoking. This is coming from a guy who enjoyed cigarettes like kids enjoy Snicker bars. Once you seriously consider the health problems--and having to try to live through and treat them--it becomes a bit easier. I send positive energy your way and sincerely hope you quit smoking.
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