Oh, yeah

Last night I blogged about re-entering, this time "for real," the dating scene. Around 1:00 or so today the site I'm using fixed it's technical glitch and I was able to finish retaking my questionnaire and get back to checking out my "matches." And was reminded of that one lousy thing that comes with dating: rejection.

You're probably saying, "But you haven't even been on the site for 24 or 48 hours, what do you mean, rejection?" There was one match that I was intrigued by, so I sent him the "first stage of communication," which is 5 multiple-choice questions of my choosing. His response was to archive me instead of answer. Translated: he's not interested. I didn't even find a record of him viewing my profile. I was a bit surprised to find out how much that stung.

So I licked my wounds and revamped my profile (which I was going to do anyway). I read up on some of the site's advice articles and reassessed my perspective. Although I'm a progressive woman, I do have some deep older-fashioned tenets about dating. For example, I hate making the first move, and I need to get over that. The first move is equally scary for guys as it is for girls. Yeah, according to the site 9 guys checked out my profile over the past 24 hours, and none of them decided to message me.

At least, not yet.

Blind optimism? Perhaps. But I prefer to think of it as an adjusted perspective. I checked out probably 30 profiles yesterday, and messaged only one guy. It wasn't because he was the only one I was interested in, not by far. Some of the others I just didn't have the guts to message. But I'm showing up on their profile page as having viewed their profile -- and not messaging. For all I know, some of the 9 who viewed my profile may be feeling the same way about me. It isn't that they aren't interested. It just takes a certain leap of faith to make that first step.

Fortunately this site has a feature that is sort of "first half step." Rather than just jumping into the questions, you can send an "ice breaker." This is a one-line message, like, "Your profile made me smile." Or, "Just wanted to say hi!" So I bit the bullet and sent out a few of those. After all, the advice articles encourage us to communicate with as many matches as we can.

Now, granted, there were a few that I pretty much automatically archived. A 39 y.o. guy who lists Mountain Dew and Pizza as two of the "5 Things He Can't Live Without" isn't really my type, no matter how our personality profiles match up. And I have to be honest, I have to be physically/visually attracted to a guy. Maybe this is shallow of me, but it is who I am, plain and simple. So, a couple guys got sent to the archive files because, well, they weren't pretty enough. And I'm sure I've been sent to a few archive files as well for the same criterion. Welcome to dating!

So from here on out, I just have to have a thicker skin. No response? You decide to archive me? Fine, you weren't the one, apparently! And I have to have faith in a great article I read on CNN a few months ago. It was written by a fabulous and beautiful single woman, and addressed the, "How Come You Aren't Married?" question that I have heard more than once. After all, according to my friends, I'm beautiful! I'm a great cook! I'm a wonderful person, so caring and sweet! I totally "get" relationships! I'm a great catch! The answer the author had was, "Because I haven't met the right one yet." She didn't mean it in a picky sort of way, but a practical one. We live in a busy, hectic society. Bars and nightclubs and church aren't necessarily the places to meet people anymore. Online dating gives us the flexibility to find out that "Mr. Right" lives a few blocks away, and we've discovered this because we were online at 2 a.m. -- when it was convenient for us -- and not because we just happened to be at the same place at the same time.

Now, I just have to quit obsessively checking the website. I think that will be easier when it isn't my day off... right?


A New Chapter

So what started out as a blog about random things eventually became a blog about my weight loss (mostly). And it will inevitably continue on that path, but I also made the decision to start a new chapter in my life which may lead to more interesting blogging. Having now three part-time jobs that I love, even when they stress me out, resulting in a decent salary and full-time employment schedule, I am happy. I am loving life. I feel like I am in a great place, and I finally feel like I am ready to share that with someone.

Yep, I'm entering the dating world. For real.

After much consideration, I have joined a popular internet dating website on a 3 month subscription. At $15/month, it was a really great deal, especially since the last time I tried a dating service -- a Christian dating service -- it cost me several hundred dollars and resulted in one date over a year. One date. And it was a really bad date, too. In the 24 hours I have officially been a member of this site, I've already had communications with some interesting men. I'm already getting more for my money. One happens to be out in CA, and I'm really not sure if I want a long-distance thing, but you never know.

Of course, at this moment I'm temporarily locked out. About 8 or 10 months ago when I first considered becoming a member I set up a profile and did the whole compatibility questionnaire. (The profile set-up is free; you have to pay to actually communicate with other people and see their pictures.) I'm now in a different place as a person and asked if I could take the questionnaire again. They agreed and I sat down to do my revised profile. I got to the second page and hit a technical glitch. One question, no matter how I answered it, wouldn't register an answer and the page would constantly send me back to that question saying I hadn't answered it. After a phone call to customer service, I was told the issue had to be resolved higher up than the technician could handle (and it was definitely their issue, not a problem with my computer) and it would take 24-48 hours to resolve.

Meanwhile, my profile is unavailable. I have no idea if "Steve" has responded to my initial communication. I don't have the option of seeing if I have the guts to send a message to "Michael" or "Shawn." And I can't go to the second stage of communication with "Richard." I also can't see all the new matches I was emailed today. After almost 35 years of singledom, broken up by a few relationships, I'm impatient over a 24-48 hour delay. Really, I'm acting like a little kid. If 34+ years of being single didn't kill me, another 24 hours won't either. At least, that's what I keep telling myself. That, and if he is the person that has been set aside for me, he'll still be there when my profile is back up. Lather, rinse, repeat mantra.

Will I meet that special someone? Who knows. Certainly what I've been doing -- hoping for chance or blind luck -- hasn't been working. I'm not one to go to bars or other social places to meet someone, and my new jobs aren't a source of single guys my age. In the 21st century, online dating isn't what it was 10 years ago when my AOL personal was a source for some sketchy action. I have numerous friends who have had success meeting people online. Granted, I know a few who have had less-than-ideal outcomes, namely divorce, but is that really to blame on how you met someone?

So for now, stay in touch. Whether I'm blogging about weight issues or being twitterpated or having my heart crushed, I'll find a way to share the information with a touch of humor. Or, at least, dry, cutting sarcasm.

Meanwhile, I think I'll go log into my internet dating site for the 236th time since I called tech support to see if they've magically fixed the issue. I mean, it's been almost 3 hours of that 24-48...


Keepin' On Keepin' On...

Well, I haven't blogged here in almost a month and I have no good excuse except becoming gainfully employed and busy beyond belief. Two half-time jobs plus an extra gig conducting a community choir means 50 hour work weeks. The main benefit to all this -- aside from a steady salaried paycheck -- is that the busier I am, the less I think about food.

There is a downside. Two, actually. Being busy means that sometimes the gym has to be what gives in my schedule, especially since my gym isn't open 24/7. And, it also means that I'm more prone to eating out and eating fast food. No one is perfect, though.

In spite of all this, it's been a pretty good month. I'm now at the 55 pounds lost mark, woo-hoo! And this weekend I indulged in some much-needed retail therapy, buying some clothes for fall. This time a year ago, I was wearing size 22 in Old Navy jeans. The jeans I purchased this weekend are a size 16. Granted, ON has been enlarging their sizes over the past few years; the waist/hips on the 16s I bought this weekend are about the same as the 18s I bought 5 years ago, but you can't beat the ego boost.

Then again, I tried on a skirt at Target. I don't think I've ever really been able to buy anything at Target with a number size on it that wasn't in the plus section. And unlike ON, Target has been doing the opposite with their sizes -- what used to be a 20, measurement-wise, became a 22. This skirt I tried on came from the regular misses section and was a 16. And, it fit. I also tried on a dress, size 18, which was plenty roomy in the hips, but corset-tight in the torso. You win some, you lose some.

That is one problem with weight loss: it doesn't happen evenly. I've lost more from my hips/abdomen than from my rib cage area, where I have a lovely roll. I have lost in that area across my back, and some in front, but not at the same proportions as my gut. It means my shape, my curves, are always changing and that size will continue to be an issue like with the aforementioned dress. If that is the worst that I have to deal with, though, I can put up with that.

Probably the best thing I've heard recently, though, came from members of my new church. I was featured in the church's bi-weekly newsletter in the "Getting to Know You" section. I mentioned that I had lost 50+ pounds, and was working on losing another 80. More than one person made a comment along the lines of how that HAD to be a misprint, where would I possibly lose 80 pounds from, etc. I know what the scale says, and weight can be deceiving, but the ego boost was appreciated nonetheless!

So in the words of my second cousin, once removed (or whatever she is), I'm keepin' on. My next big goal: to move the lower weight indicator on the scale -- the one that does 20 pound increments -- to the left one notch. 3 pounds to go for that!