Well, the last in my little series on how I got to where I am currently in views of dating. It was a rough road from pre-teen to adult, but now I’m finally in a head space where I can be honest with not only myself but with others as well.
So this last part really just focuses on the last two years or so. After I returned from Korea, I had a few years where dating wasn’t even on my mind. I was applying to teacher’s college, attending teacher’s college, moving every 8 months. It was a bit of a roller coaster. But I finally settled after being home almost two years.
I moved back in with my parents after teacher’s college. It wasn’t the best idea I’ve ever committed to, but financially it seemed like the best thing to do. I was planning on being here MAYBE a year (that was two years ago). I started working back at Tim Horton’s since that was my job after Korea but before teacher’s college. There really isn’t anything else out here to do, it a very small community. I bounced between stores for a little while (two are owned by the same couple), but eventually was placed in one full time. Once I was there for about a month, I started to notice one customer always coming in on my shifts. He then asked me out. It was kind of sweet actually – he waited for my shift to be over, waited outside beside my car and asked. He didn’t really fit the normal type of guy that I would go for, but since those had all been bad choices I decided I would give it a try.
He drove taxi for the town, so I guess our first “date” was a taxi run for him? He had to take something about a 45 minute drive out of town and asked if I wanted to go along. So it was a nice hour and half time, we talked and for the most part really hit it off. We went for a hike a few days later, and a couple more “ride alongs” but that was really it. He seemed like a really nice guy, but I found that I was compromising a lot in what I wanted out of relationships if I would stay with him. First of all, he smoked – while I’m not completely against it, it did bother me. Combine that with him smoking pot, and living in a school bus in this totally hippy/nomad existence, it didn’t really work for me. And he admitted that in the long run, it wouldn’t work for him either. We parted on good terms and that was that. He then ended up throwing a tantrum at my work a few months later (not while I was working, and not involving me in any way!) and was banned from the store for a year, so maybe it was a good thing that I got out early?
Aside from that, there really are no good men in this town. There are plenty of drug dealers and users, baby daddies, cheaters etc. But no good, quality men. So about 6 months after ending things with taxi man, I started up some online dating profiles for myself. At first I tried a Christian based site. I would prefer to date someone in my faith but it’s not exactly a deal breaker for me. The site lead to a few interesting conversations but not much else. After a month of being on there I cancelled my subscription and decided to switch to a free site instead. It’s probably one of the most popular ones out there, and I had a few great connections.
For the most part, I keep my pictures private and only share with people I want to see them. I’ve had enough with being judged so quickly on my appearance, and there were so many of the guys in town on the site that I wanted to keep that part of my life private. I would share my picture with anyone who asked, as long as it wasn’t just “hey do you have a picture?”.
I made a few quick connections, but it took me about two months of being on the site to find one that was a great match. We didn’t talk every day, maybe once a week or so on the site. He was a farmer and it was the start of planting season, and I had just been hired by the school board in addition to my Tim’s job. We were both busy, but when we did send messages, they were long and thought out and genuine. He was a Christian (bonus!), loved hockey, we shared the same political views. It felt like a perfect match. We had been chatting and texting for quite some time before he asked to see a picture. I had no problem sending one, and it didn’t really seem to make that much of a difference. That was encouraging! He had always been a little distant because of his job so that didn’t really change.
One day we were talking after church and I asked him how he felt about tattoos. You see, I have 4. I love them and have never regretted getting them. He made an honest answer saying he doesn’t really find them attractive, some he likes on other people if they had a story behind them (like the loss of a loved one or something) but over all he doesn’t like them. He was sorry but just being honest. Well apparently that was enough for him to step out of the 3 months we had put into whatever it was. I texted him a few more times after that but he never replied. That took a lot for me to get over. I felt that I had found someone who actually fit my life and then to have it all gone over a little ink really shocked me.
Only two others really stand out over the following 8 months that I kept my online profiles. The first was a hilarious one, the second another disappointment.
Let’s start with the hilarious one: I read his profile and he wrote a LOT for a guy. He seemed sensitive, and his picture was cute but I didn’t really feel anything more than that so I didn’t even message him. On this site, people can see when you’ve viewed their profile so he saw that I had and messaged me. His message was more captivating than his profile so we messaged back and forth a bit. We instantly hit it off. The second day, I was going to bed and said goodnight, and he asked if he could call and say goodnight. It was a little fast for me, but I said ok. He didn’t just say good night! OOOoooo goodness! He talked for almost an hour!! By the time I finally had him off the phone, he had named our children. We were having three, and he hoped that I could compromise on the names because he already had them picked out. Right away I was like oooo hells no! So the next day, I pulled out my secret weapon – it usually works on guys who I want to get rid of quickly. It’s the “I’m a Christian and I don’t have sex until marriage” line. Well instead of him being an adult and saying that was or wasn’t the type of relationship he wanted, he went on and on about how he’s a sexual being and he has needs, and he’s not a cheater but what if he “really needs it” and he “shouldn’t have to beg”. It worked like a charm – I saw his true nature and said that it seemed like it wasn’t the type of relationship for him, and that was ok, but it wasn’t going to work between us. In my life I’ve become pretty good at knowing who is going to be ok with that type of relationship and who is not. He definitely was not! So this all happened on day 3. He instantly went into a panic mode, saying he liked me and I “obviously liked him too” and we should give this a chance. Why was I throwing away something so good? It took me over a week to get him to stop contacting me…..
Now the sad one: father of 2, 9 years older than me, steady job, owned his own house, stable and lovely. We hit it off, connected, meshed well – the first since the farmer about 6 months earlier. The only thing was that we never could meet. We lived about an hour and a half or more away from each other and our schedules never matched up. Eventually we had to be practical. Over two months we had tried and tried to meet but it never happened. We decided that it was best to break it off then and let ourselves go our separate ways. After that ended, I took down both of my online dating profiles. I needed a break from the crazies and from the real connections. I was pushing myself into finding something that I wasn’t finding anything real.
So now we are up to the present. I’ve taken the last 6 months for myself and I’m happy I did. I’ve made some life changes and have found my own happiness and love for myself. Now I’m on to bigger and better things like moving to Korea to pursue my teaching. Who knows what will happen over there, but I’m sure it will be here if anything does!