Whenever I read or hear about a woman who is semi-famous turning to online dating, I feel like throwing my hands up in surrender. If, with their heightened visibility and connections, those women can’t find someone, who can?
I had experienced varying degrees of loneliness since my guy and I split up. After our breakup, I had just assumed there would be a bunch of kind, brilliant, liberal, funny guys my age to choose from. There always had been before. Surely my friends would set me up with their single friends, and besides, I am out in the public a lot doing events at bookstores and political gatherings, the ideal breeding ground for my type of guy. But I hadn’t met anyone.
People don’t know single guys my age who are looking for single women my age. A 60-year-old man does not fantasize about a 60-year-old woman. A 70-year-old man might. And an 80-year-old — ooh-la-la.
Almost everyone wonderful that my friends know is in a relationship, or gay, or cuckoo.
I went onto Match.com with a clear knowledge that relationships are not the answer to lifelong problems. They’re hard, after the first trimester. People are damaged and needy and narcissistic. I sure am. Also, most men a single woman meets have been separated or divorced for about 20 minutes.
This pattern repeated — a flurry of dates, followed by radio silence on the man’s part — and made me mourn the old days, when you met someone with whom you shared interests, chemistry, a sense of humor, and you started going out. After a while — OK, who am I kidding, sometimes later that day — you went to bed with him, and then woke up together, maybe shyly, and had a morning date. Then you made plans to get together that night, or the next, or over the weekend.
But that is the old paradigm. Now, if you have a connection with a Match.com man, he might have nice connections with two or three other Match.com women, too, and so each date and new dating level — coffee, a walk, lunch, and then dinner — is like being on a board game, different colored game pieces being moved along the home path in Parcheesi.