Opening my OK Cupid profile is not a sign I’m damaged.

In a recent post I made a one-off comment about reopening my OK Cupid profile.

The act was not some admission or proof of my being desperate for a boyfriend or needing someone in my life who gently tucks my hair behind an ear and holds it tightly when he takes me from behind.

I’m good at listening to my gut (even when I choose to ignore it, I usually know what it’s saying). There is no desperation or pull of neediness. My self esteem is not damaged by what happened with Fox or Tony.

On the contrary, I feel fucking awesome about being able to stand up for what I needed in both relationships.

My Dad often says some people love the pain. I’m not that person. Maybe some time ago I was, but not now.

Some of you may argue I was weak with Tony; I shouldn’t have given us a second chance or he was never right for me. You can tell me that over and over but it would deny the things I value – admittedly perhaps ignoring some negatives in the process. But there was a lot which was good about Tony and me.

Back to dating.

The last time I went online, I had some clear guidelines for myself in the attempt to limit the bullshit I dealt with in my first year. Those guidelines worked quite well. The men I met were of decent quality and we sought similar things.

Online dating for me is no longer a frenetic time sucker used for a self esteem boost and distraction.

Honest.

I loaded OK Cupid and have probably spent 30 minutes in total on the site. I followed my guidelines and as a result have only responded to one man – who I knew before – and it was just to say I’m fine, thanks for asking. He’s number fifty on my men I’ve had sex with list. I removed all of my old “likes” and messages from before.

Dawn asked me (rightfully so) why I would open up the profile if I’m not ready for a relationship. My friend Grey (who I swear just likes to wind me up) told me to not be somebody else’s Tony.

I’m open to going on a date with someone new. I’m open to meeting someone wonderful. But I know what’s out there on sites like OK Cupid and have immense cynicism that there will be someone who proactively reaches out to me who I find mentally and physically appealing and who is also looking for something similar.

If the men who have reached out so far are any indication of what’s to come, there will be no new performers in this circus any time soon. There’s plenty of good fodder for ridiculous “OMG online dating is such bullshit can you believe these guys?!” posts.

And I do know by saying that, there’s likely to be someone amazing that comes along next week and I will eat my words.

I will gladly eat my words.

I opened the site because it can take a while for people to find you. I also know that someone could find me but be dating someone else, so it takes some time to work through the system. What little searching I did was a deliberate reminder there are some decent men out there. Tony is not the only man in the universe who I could be with. It’s important to remember when I get sad about what I see as lost potential.

But I am not interested in Tinder or obsessively being on other dating sites to flip through profiles in the hopes of finding someone. I’m perfectly content to focus on other things. I went to the gym four times last week and I went yesterday, when plans with Lewis fell through. My fitbit is helping remind me to get enough sleep. My weight has come down a few pounds; I have 10 to go to fit into my suits again.

I’m starting a new gig at work and it’s going to be insanely intense.

I’m about to have Liam for two weeks straight and my sweet boy is having some issues. I am taking him to a psychologist next week; Will and I are that concerned. He needs all of my attention when he’s with me.

My friends are amazing and I’m continuing to find time with them. No. 14 and I are going to the symphony together on Friday and despite all of his morning fantasy texts, it will probably just be as friends. I’m seeing the Comedian on Monday after work and it’s to catch up on life and his now-final divorce. Lewis and I have not had our foursome and I’m okay with it. Tony and I have communicated a little bit but I haven’t seen him since we broke up.

I have moments of intense sadness but I’m generally okay. I will continue to be okay.

And dumb OK Cupid on my phone doesn’t prove otherwise.

57 thoughts on “Opening my OK Cupid profile is not a sign I’m damaged.

  1. I’m sure I’m not your average follower, but I find your story fascinating. I wait for each new chapter and this is what I needed to hear!

      • I’m a 61 y/o man happily married for 37+ years, with no desire to date/play, and no blog of my own. I even ask myself why your life is so compelling to me. Maybe it’s the great writing!
        😉

          • Thank you for sharing your story. I look forward to each post and have even learned a few things along the way.

          • I’m a female in about the same “boat” as your above commenter, married to my HS sweetheart for 34ish year, no desire to play or date outside of my marriage either! Since you share your most private moments with all of us I’ll share one of mine, my husband is the only person I’ve ever had sex with!!!! Maybe I read/follow you for the things you’ve unknowingly taught me?!! Please don’t think I’m a stalker but I’ve gone back through your blog and likely haven’t read every single post but many, many of them!! Again hopefully not sounding stalkish reading has greatly “enhanced” things for us, so thanks!! I’m fascinated with your writing, but hate to see anyone with heartache! You are one strong lady!!! Thanks sharing your life with all of us!!

          • I don’t think you’re a stalker at all – thanks for coming out and saying hi, though! It’s nice to hear from you and I’m thrilled to hear you (and your husband) enjoy my stories.

            I’m working on my strength… it becomes self reinforcing I find. That’s what I’m going for, anyway!

        • I agree that your adventures are very compelling to follow. I have read every post since day one and have seen the growth of your self confidence. Your adventures with relationships have been rocky, but you are amazing with your response and recovery. I know you will find a good relationship again and hope it is long lasting. I am also among your minority at 69.

          • Thank you so much Forester, I’m honored you’ve stuck with me for this long!! I do sometimes wonder if my analytical side shuts down some of the emotion, so if I just seem to be moving on. I don’t think so, but it’s in the back of my head. I know I can convince myself of a lot of things and tell myself I’m okay when maybe deep down I’m not. That’s partly what this blog helps me with.

  2. It sounds to me like you have a healthy approach to the OKCupid and other sites and a plan to keep it from taking over your life.

    I am sorry to hear L is having difficulties, hope you get some answers to those soon.

    • Thank you Holly. I also think I’m being pretty reasonable too so glad to hear you agree!! I think Liam will be fine but given some of Will’s past issues with anxiety, even as a child, we want to not overreact but also not put our heads in the sand.

      • For what it’s worth, I was very concerned about my littlest one (close to Liam in age I think) and we went to a psychologist. After the first session already I could see my kid feel so much lighter.
        We had a second, follow-up session 3 weeks later. Sorted a few things (like anxiety, nightmares, phobias) and the psychologist is confident enough that the tools she gave us should be enough that she said we were done, unless my kid asks for her again.
        And I agree. It’s good to see my child feeling so much less stressed. All this to say that, with kids, therapy can go very quickly!
        It’s my hope for Liam!

  3. It sounds like you’re plugging along and with the right attitude. I don’t think second chances are weak. Sometimes second chances are about closure, and sometimes they have a happy ending. I don’t think Tony was ever wrong for you… just that he was obviously a chapter behind. I still hope that he finds the necessary closure he needs, and doesn’t become another victim of circumstance. I’m piqued about your meeting with the Comedian. Can’t wait to hear more. 🙂

    • I like the notion of him being a chapter behind. Seems right 🙂

      Thanks for your support!!

      I’m not sure anything will happen with the Comedian. He’s a sad man and a bit messed up. But a while ago, we did talk about finally having sex, after this many years… Perhaps just one of those things we should do to get it done. Or maybe it’s better to never do it and have it be this delicious wonderment.

      • That is a predicament, for sure. I have one of those – shared (wonderful) kisses, never had sex or any real intimacy beyond handholding, and I spent more than half my life wondering. I wish we’d just forged on, so I’d know it was wonderful but wouldn’t work, or it was awful and wouldn’t work. I was never very good with the not knowing part. He’d come and go from my life with a phone call or randomly bumping into each other (we lived in the same town) until I married. A friend bumped into him years ago while I was pregnant with my daughter (11 years ago now) and he asked her for my number. She wisely called me to ask if I wanted her to. I said no. It took me forever to acknowledge that I was never going to be anything more than a second thought for him.
        NOT that this is comparable in any way. Just sharing. (I refuse to blog about him, for a variety of reasons including sensitivity for my husband.)

  4. Good Morning Ann! Good for you in opening your Okcupid profile back up. And I hear you on that it’s few and far between to find men who fit our criteria’s. My problem seems to be that I get to chatting with someone who peaks my interest, then poof! He fades away. 🙁 But I figure it must be for a reason and maybe I dodged a bullet.
    Kepp on doing what you’re doing, and may Liam be back to himself soon too. HUGS!!

    • Thank you!! I’m curious; the ones who disappear, did they reach out to you first? I figure it can happen no matter what when they are talking to multiple people and then someone works out. But it’s one of the reasons I don’t reach out proactively… Because if they don’t initiate, they may not be ready for me me yet. Doesn’t mean they won’t engage in dialogue, but there’s a higher chance they will disappear.

      • Yes those that I have contacted first seem to be the ones who disappear. I think I’m going to try your approach and see if that makes any difference. It’s hard though when I see a profile I like to not respond first.

        • I’m going to chime in here and say as a man I think it’s great when a woman proactively contacts me, assuming I am attracted to her. Which is really no different than when men contact you I’m sure.

          The only cases in which I can see it makes sense not to proactively contact a guy is if he’s already visited your profile and hasn’t made contact. In that case, he’s probably not interested, and if he is he’ll reach out.

          But in cases where the guy hasn’t visited your profile yet, you reaching out to him first might be the only way he knows you exist, as he may not have seen your profile at all to begin with. Some of these sites are notoriously fickle about which profiles actually turn up in various searches, as it can sometimes seem a bit random. Though I guess as Ann said, you could reach out by simply liking his profile rather than sending an actual message.

          In the end though I still think such “strategery” sacrifices short term gain for long term pain. No decent guy I know of who finds a woman attractive is going to be threatened by her proactively reaching out to him first, and if he is the type of guy who would be turned off or have his masculinity threatened by a woman being confident and proactive, is that the type of guy you’d want to be with anyway?

          • It all comes down to timing for me, not any dumb rules of who is supposed to reach out first. I agree completely that anyone who is put off by my being bold isn’t my kind of man! And in person I will definitely be bold. Did you ever read my story about asking the cop out who gave me a parking ticket??
            But yes, it does assume I’ve shown up in their search! So on OK Cupid I reveal that I’ve viewed them and “like” them… So I will be in their lists of they are looking. I find it’s very rare for a man (person?) to not engage in conversation, even if they are talking to many other people. The ideal is to get the timing right where someone is looking to add to their pipeline.

  5. I’m sorry to hear your son is having some issues 🙁 I really hope things work out well for him quickly and it’s good that you and Will are on top of this.

    As for the dating websites, it’s merely window shopping, not a big deal at all. It sounds like you have so much going on already, enough to keep your mind busy while your heart heals. You are doing so well even if sometimes it may not feel like it.

    • Thank you Sassy. It feels different for me right now… There’s no neediness to find someone to fill my time. So yes, opening those profiles is a pretty passive thing for me. Maybe something comes from it, maybe not. There are some good blog posts coming from it thought, which means not all is lost!!

      I appreciate your support my dear. xo

  6. Sorry about Liam….I am right there with you on that. It’s not easy to be sure you are always doing the right thing for your child.

    You are the one who has trained me to be more responsible on the dating sites so I have no doubt you are being selective and making good choices…and it does take time. And, you need the time to heal, but no reason not to window shop! 🙂

    • Yes, you’ve had your share of child issues as well. It’s difficult when you don’t know what is best for your kid. We don’t know if it’s just because he’s a little boy or because he’s anxious or just had a shitty few weeks. We’ll figure it out; at least Will and I are good partners in this.

      I was pleased to hear you are also engaging in some good online dating behaviors!

      • I am happy you have a good co-parent through this because it will make the difference and you know Will has Liam’s best interest at heart. I hope he will be fine – he’s too young for anxiety but I have read that for some children separation anxiety happens years after the separation.

        Dating behaviors: slowly but surely learning from the masters, here. 🙂

        • He’s not too young for anxiety – far from it. He’s exhibited clear signs of anxiety since he was 3, and spiralled into OCD after we told him we were splitting up. He has good self-recovery mechanisms but give Will’s issues we are monitoring Liam very closely while teaching him practical coping skills.

      • I agree that at least Will and you being partners in this is a good thing.
        I didn’t tell the ex I was looking into a psychologist for our kid because I knew what his response would be. Even though it was suggested by a doctor that I seek this option for my child.
        And I was right: when I told the ex about it, he said he refused to pay, there were no reason for our kid to see a psychologist and maybe if I took better care of my children, instead of taking them to a therapist… Sigh! Yes, I know why I’m divorcing him 😉

  7. Ann, you don’t owe any one of us an explanation or justification for your choices. At this point you’re self aware enough to know what you can or can’t safely engage in without hurting yourself any further.

    I wish you all the best with Liam–whatever the issues he may be having are obviously have to be a priority to be addressed. Just keep doing what you need to to take care of him and yourself.

    • Appreciate it, Josh. Somewhat unusually, I felt the need to address a few specific comments that arose on my blog in the last couple of days. I hope it didn’t come across as defensive. But it also works for me to “unpack” my visceral reaction and make sure it reflects reality. I feel pretty self-aware at this point and am trying to not harm myself.

  8. Nice that you’re in the game. How many messages from men hand you gotten so far?

    And awesome that you’re taking care of your son taking him top a psychologist. I should have gone as a kid, though I’m sure in the moment id have been too stubborn to go.

    Ultimately is a good move. You’re a great mom.

  9. Well, I do hope you didn’t feel attacked when I asked you. I hear you and am simply happy to know that my friend is on top of it, as usual. 🙂
    I have zero online dating experience, so this is something that is hard for me to grasp.
    I wish you all the best Ann, always 🙂

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