Perhaps you are aware of the observer effect, “the theory that simply observing a situation or phenomenon necessarily changes that phenomenon.” (Wikipedia) I find myself wondering if something similar is at work in my experience in online dating sites, because in retrospect my behavior is at serious odds with my own expectations.
No, I don’t present misleading facts about myself, never pretend to be wealthy or saintly in any way. Used to happen when I first started doing it, out of sheer desperation more than anything else; attempts to reflect the flowery and hopeful prose I read in women’s profiles.
I read advice on how to get responses, changed my profile often, and met a lot of women in the process. My results were mixed, and the reader should know that I will not seek out any input from other single men. One reason is because I know very few, and the other reason is the observer effect.
The first woman I actually discovered is the only one I still keep it touch with, although it’s infrequent, and if you asked couldn’t give you an exact count of futile meetings. There were several relationships that showed promise, some of which vanished like a fart in the wind. Others I screwed up myself one way or another.
The last three shots fall into that category – the first was with a woman from FirstMet, a Facebook related site. She was cute and curvy, very sexual, and never went anywhere without her stupid little dog. She was in the nursing profession, yet the only gigs she could find were as a private caregiver, and it never seemed to work out.
F- – – – – – was lng about 58 miles from me, which in and of itself wasn’t a problem, although her refusal to even consider meeting closer bugged me, because hour and a half drives each way was tedious. She was staying with a friend’s friend, an old guy with a huge property up in the hills, with surveillance everywhere.
Because of this, I had to pick her up next to one of the guy’s barns up the hill from the house, the only spot not covered by his cameras, and there she would transfer stuff from her car to mine. This included the all the crap for the dog; food, water dish etc. Recall what I said earlier about desperation.
Suppose I can expand on that – without going into lurid details, I worked alone to save a twenty-five year marriage out of fear of true solitude. After defining oneself as half of a couple for longer than that time, the prospect was naturally unsettling. I can’t help but wonder if that dogged pursuit is the reason for my failure.
In spite of F’s sensual and accommodating nature we never really consummated the relationship; she had a physical characteristic I couldn’t abide is all I’ll say. Shame on me that her living situation, excessive drinking, refusal to drive beyond her mailbox and constant canine companion never entered the equation. I began to suspect that I’m a superficial and shallow individual, because F wasn’t the first woman I disappointed.
The other, and more hideous explanation is that so much time with only one woman has left me unable to perform with any other body type – it’s not like she retained her twenty-one year old body over the years; she did have a couple of kids, but that was a gradual metamorphosis. Thinking I need to find a clone of a woman I have grown to detest is depressing enough to end today’s musings, but I will recover.