Online dating – what I learned on Lavalife

datingI’ve done my fair share of online dating. I’ve met some great guys who are sincerely looking for love and companionship and I’ve also met some cads who’ve lied about everything from their marital status to their sexual preferences and relationship goals. Online dating isn’t that much different from more traditional dating except for a few things.

Online dating compresses the time frame for meeting potential dating partners. Join a dating site and suddenly you’ll meet dozens of potential dating partners in an evening rather than over the span of months. The result can be thrilling and sometimes discouraging. Sure there are crazy people on the dating sites. But they’re out there in real life too. They just come at you faster through online dating. And remember, you are someone’s crazy person too, so stay humble.

Online dating makes it much easier to deceive yourself and potential dating partners.

I can almost guarantee that if a man’s profile says he’s 5’6” he will be 5’3” or shorter. I don’t care how tall a man is. I do care that he’s lying, especially about something so trivial and easy to spot. What else is he lying about?

If you’re going to put up an online dating profile, be impeccable with the facts. You want to attract people for who you really are and not be left squirming when you have to magically lose 30 pounds or grow three inches overnight before that first meeting.

Use the Internet to meet people, not to get to know them. It’s waaaaaay too easy to fill in the gaps between reality and how you want reality to be, and become attached to a fantasy.

So don’t spend too much time online getting to know a potential dating partner. A few emails exchanged will do. If you are interested in someone you’ve met online, arrange to meet. Only once you actually meet someone in real life will you know if there’s chemistry for you both. Trust me – if he/she smells like your sibling, it will be a turn off!

Last thing. It’s dating. It’s supposed to be fun. So go forth, be you and let the world love ya!

Egos and asses

donkey sanctuary 026This summer I went to The Donkey Sanctuary of Canada – a beautiful working farm where donkeys that have been abandoned or abused can live out their days in comfort. The Sanctuary’s website warns, “Be prepared to be charmed” for good reason.

The donkeys at the Sanctuary are used to visitors and seem to love being patted, brushed and generally adored.

On my first visit to the Sanctuary, a donkey named Misty took a shine to me. She laid her head on my chest, rubbing her ears and cheeks on me. Then she put her head on my shoulder breathing rhythmically in my ear. I was enchanted. I felt special, chosen.

A few weeks after that visit, I eagerly returned to The Donkey Sanctuary to see if Misty and I were still an item or if it had all been a fluke.

Spotting me, Misty strolled over and laid her big head heavily on my shoulder. I happily wrapped my hands around her ears and rubbed her forehead. This was proof to me that I was indeed the donkey whisperer.

Then one of the Sanctuary’s volunteers rushed over declaring “I am concerned about Misty’s behaviour. This is aggressive. Please step away!” She would not accept my protests that Misty and I had a special, cross-species love. Oh no. Eventually I was sorrowfully convinced to “move away from the donkey.”

And so, once again in my life, what I thought was love turned out to be nothing more than some ass trying to dominate me! Ba dum bum.

And here, my friends, is your wise nugget for this post. If my ego hadn’t been so thoroughly engaged, could Misty have made such an ass of me?

Love doesn’t hurt

I’ve been single and dating for about 35 years. I cannot begin to count the number of hours I’ve spent first revisiting each thrilling moment with whomever was my newest love interest and then, soon enough, miserably dissecting the meaning behind his every word and action looking for a clue about how he felt  and where our relationship was going.  

For me, the first flush of “love” was so heady, a giggle in my tummy, a big, old endorphin rush, brain-soaking-in-chemicals, walking-on-air high. I would be obsessed and infatuated and fully charged. The feeling was deliciously addictive and it was easy to want to fall in “love” with that mysterious, smouldering stranger or smiling sweetie who made me feel soooooo good.   Image

But here’s the trouble with highs and addictions – they have a dark side. The high doesn’t last forever. Eventually I’d crash. I’d hurt. I’d be confused, needy, exposed. That’s not love.  

Now I know better.

Real love doesn’t hurt. With real love, you feel great. You’re sure of your own feelings and your partner’s. You treat each other with care and respect. Everything isn’t perfect, but anything is doable and manageable.  

Real love is not a drug. Real love is sustenance. It nourishes your soul and your life.