no barnyard animals, please

So, I did it.  I purchased a little subscription for myself. Yesiree, I sure did.

Let’s be clear about something:  I’m not expecting to find my soulmate in a thumbnail photo amidst a sea of other thumbnail photos and pithy self-descriptions.  No, I have done this before.  Just after my divorce, I spent nearly a year, off and on, on and learned the ups and downs of it, mostlythrough trial and error.

Online dating is a bit like fast food — it’s quick and easy and can leave you feeling full but not often satisfied.  Like a Big Mac, it’s great for what it is, but that’s all it is.  If a finely-cooked filet mignon is what you’re after, you’re probably in the wrong establishment. But that’s not to say that there’s anything wrong with fast food, exactly.  It can be pretty darn tasty, if nutritionally lacking.  Online dating is much the same way.  It’s fun, easy, and the menu pretty much never changes.

When I’m online dating, I think of it as exactly that — dating.  Not having a relationship, not looking for Mr. Right.  Just going out for coffee or dinner or drinks with a potentially interesting man who knows almost nothing about me  but presumably wants to know more.  Yes, I’ve met some serious losers (I’m talking to you, Troll Boy) and some narcissists (that would be you, Ron; Annie and I each went out with you.  Once.) and some guys with major emotional hang-ups (It’s been 9 years, Christian.  I think it’s time to finally get over that divorce.  Just sayin’.)  But I’ve also met some really great guys, including some that are still friends of one sort or the other.

I never hated internet dating the way some people do, but I think it’s because I never expected as much as it promises to deliver.  Those commercials are lovely and all, but I’ll bet just as many people meet at church, or at meet-ups, or through friends.  Maybe because I was an advertising major in college, I never bought into the hype.  Instead, I took it for what it really is: just another avenue for meeting people. If you go out to a bar and see lots of single guys, you don’t come home later bitterly disappointed that you didn’t meet your Dream Guy, right?  I approach internet dating the same way.  To go back to my fast food analogy, I can scarf down a Wendy’s Frosty as fast as my kids, but you won’t hear me bitching later that it tasted nothing like my favorite Riesling.  No, I entertain internet dating for what it is — pure, high-calorie fun with minimal effort and minimal investment.

Having said all that, I’m fully aware that some people do actually meet their great loves online, and I’m sincerely happy for them.  Honestly.  True, deep love that is mutual and healthy is damn hard to find, no matter where you’re looking.  And I don’t think the venue in which you find it — be that in the workplace, at the gym, or on an online dating site — in any way diminishes the value of that love.  It’s still love and it’s still amazing.

So, if wants to shock the hell out of me and deliver Mr. Wonderful, then I’m game.  But until then, I’ll just have fun with it and practice my flirting and kissing skills.

My friends are actually pretty excited about this, to be honest.  When I did this two years ago, I kept them giggling with a steady stream of “You’re not going to effing believe this one” stories.   Likewise, my work colleagues will be happy to hear that I’ve re-entered the land of internet dating.  Frankly, they were pretty bummed when I settled into a relationship with James — my hilarious dating stories had certainly enlivened our Monday morning work routines…

And it would seem that we’re off to a great start.  Within 20 minutes of being a fully-subscribed member, I received my first email.  This missive came from a man who sounds very sincere and kind, but who, in his profile picture, is holding an honest-to-goodness baby goat.  Seriously.  During my last go-round on match, I was shadowed by a guy whose profile picture featured a parrot on his shoulder.  Apparently, we’ve upped the ante now to goats.  Given that James used to chronically joke about his personal affinity for barnyard animals, I had to literally laugh out loud at Farmer Ted and his goat.  For the love of God, men, leave the animals out of the photos.  Please.

Needless to say, I won’t be practicing my flirting or kissing skills on Farmer Ted…. or his goat.  But at least they provided me with a moment of pure silliness and brought a smile to my face this evening.  That alone might have been worth the subscription price.



Filed under dating, general musings, internet dating, love, relationships, single mom

14 responses to “no barnyard animals, please

  1. Good for you TPG. I’ve also recently thrown myself into internet dating, but really dislike the apparent consumerist approach to dating…So I’m not doing it.
    My second date turned out to be a guy I really like, we’ve started seeing each other gently and slowly. I obviously don’t know him, but what I know of him makes me want to know more. I don’t know what is going to happen either, but I have hidden my profile and cancelled my other dates. The fast food outlook is just not me. Scared shitless though of course…
    Good luck to you TPG

  2. I have a question… 🙂 … Would you think that giving yourself some break time may be a nice idea for your mind and heart to sooth itself and recenter?

    • Don’t worry, MC, I’m not jumping into anything. That’s kind of my point… I’m just going to do this to get out of my own head and remember to laugh occasionally. I’m not going to gorge myself on the dollar menu. 🙂 I promise.

      Besides, it will likely be a few weeks before I agree to meet anyone anyway. I don’t rush into that, usually; not because I wait until he seems like Mr. Right, but because I’ve learned what a colossal waste of time it can be. 🙂 The other thing is — maybe I won’t meet anyone at all. Maybe I’ll exchange a couple of emails and decide I don’t actually want to do this. Who knows?

      So, you needn’t worry. I’m not interested in rebounding. I just need to get back into the social thing again.

      Thanks for your concern. You’re very sweet. 🙂

      • (flutters eyelashes as screen) why thank you honey 🙂 I think you’re sweet too and smart and funny and all those other good adjectives.

        Okay. LOL No dollar menu for you! GOOD… Take your time with internet dating, as you may or may not already be aware, a profile is never truly indicative of who that person truly is until you’ve actually spoken to them on the phone and/or actually gone out.

        It can very easily become a revolving door of nothing because, oh look… there’s another one, and another one, aaaaaaaaaand another one. It’s a nice distraction and I understand the idea behind it … I was never too impressed with it. You may have better luck but pay attention to your spidey senses 🙂

  3. Whatever it takes to find Mr. Wonderful.

    I am curious. In the photo, the guy isn’t having sex with the goat (is it just a baby, a kid?). He’s just showing that he’s a friendly weekday or weekend farmer type. Unless he’s a stockbroker living in a condo. But he’s mot cuddling his ex or showing his kids. What is the big deal with a guy holding an animal? A number of women have mentioned this as a Serious Error.

    Your low-key approach is a good way to avoid the high expectations but keep the door open to Mr. Wonderful. Although maybe you need to ask a few more questions before meeting soneone face-to-face based on the past stories I’ve heard (like “Were your rich-hair and slim-line photos taken before or after my girls were born?)

  4. Well, SD, the animals are just creepy. They may seem sweet to you, but there’s nothing in those photos that make me want to kiss the man, and (if you’ve been paying attention) you’ll remember that that’s kind of key at this point in my life. I’m not looking for a dad for my kids or someone to dance and sing at their birthday parties or a friendly farmer to practice farm-to-table with. I’m looking for a confident, assertive guy — the kind who wouldn’t be caught dead with a photo of himself and a goat on the internet. 🙂

    As for my screening methods, you need remember that I first attempted online dating not long after my divorce, and (unlike you 🙂 ) had no one to guide me — none of my friends were divorced yet and doing this. So I was winging it. I made some errors, but I learned from them. However, I do think that if you’re on for a year (like I was), and you meet dozens of people (like I did), you’re bound to meet a few bad apples. People who want to mislead you will do so no matter how many questions you ask or emails you exchange. And that’s okay. None of them hurt me; they just wasted my time. And provided ample fodder for laughs with my friends…. 🙂

    I’ll keep your advice in mind, of course. Thanks for the concern. 🙂

    • I will admit that I’m with S on this one- I’d be thrilled to talk about the goat! ‘Course, if I was doing some online dating, I’d prolly have pics of me with my chickens, so I’m not the best person to talk to. 😆 But that definitely would not have been a turn -off for me at all, fwiw……. I’d want to know what other barnyard animals he’s got……….. 😆

      For a ltr, I’d be seeing that he’s responsible, not afraid of hard work (if that’s really his, of course), and committed to the long haul.

      Maybe there are no sparks, but it definitely could be a nice few times out, talking about said animals. I’d wonder if he has a cowboy hat and boots- everyone looks better in those……… 😉

  5. I just recently wrote a blog about too! But I’m really jealous because it seems I am missing out on the barnyard animal men….

  6. Oh, but I do get the high school pictures, lol

  7. lamehousewife

    Be careful, sister. Most of the ladies in my group who went this route have had bad experiences (not good odds), even stalking problems, lying problems… Many of our exes met someone on these sites and subsequently left. You are in my prayers…

    • Yes, it can be a snakepit for sure and some sites are definitely worse than others. I online dated for nearly a year sometime ago and it was fine. I’m more remedial than a true newbie. 🙂

    • My sister and a friend of mine from school connected via and it’s been almost 2 years; they built a house together and seem quite happy. Of course, it was someone we grew up with and knew all the way through high school, and someone who my parents still knew pretty well- but, it can happen!

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