And most of the time, people offer up advice with the best of intentions. After all, they do have our best interest at heart, don’t they? But sometimes, the advice that comes after that classic phrase “Well, if you want my advice…” is just a little, well, wacky. For me, a few friends have suggested that I try online dating, but that prospect scares me. I suppose I’m still a bit old-school and a bit weary of the whole online-dating thing. Like I’ll-end-up-with-a-creepy-stalker-who-sends-me-secret-love-notes-made-out-of-newspaper-letters scary. A few people have also suggested that I stick to dating only people with disabilities, as that would just be easier. I’ve never been able to wrap my head around that one. In love, just like in life, nothing is ever easy. I’m not expecting it to be, either.
[Photos via Le Love]
Jenny in Ohio says
My great aunt at my cousin's wedding to me, "You can't be too picky, you know"….Thanks Aunt Norma…I'll just go with the next one that breathes.
Jenny in Ohio says
(p.s. I'm in the camp that thinks you should try online dating!) 🙂
The one piece advice that doesn't make sense to me is. "Don't worry about a relationship. Run around and be free and do whatever you want."
What exactly is the "freedom" being taken away by being in a relationship? The fact that you don't get to have one night stands anymore? Shouldn't being with someone that cares about you and accepts you for who you are outweigh that?
I realize that everybody is different, but it seems like the whole "running around" will have you running into a wall eventually (i.e. you get bored with it or start to feel bad)
Not sure that I have ever received any unwanted dating advice:) But I did want to reach out to you to offer my support for online dating! I think that this could be amazing for you for so many reasons:
1. Meeting a guy in a coffee shop or at a book store is no more a guarantee of avoiding wackos than online dating is. I think there are far more online dating stories with happy endings than ones with scary ones:)
2. I think online dating is for people who are really looking for a relationship and to connect one a deeper level, not just looking to "hook up".
3. I think you are allowed to ask questions (and assert your own opinions) on issues that you would not bring up in a first (or 10th) date like: Do you want to get married? When do you want to get married? Do you want kids? Etc etc etc. It seems like as a woman in her 30's, you justly have very specific opinions about what you want in your life Online dating is a way to get that all out there (and to get answers about those you date) without out months of getting to know one another and realizing how different your view points are.
4. You will meet people from all walks of life (variety of backgrounds, races, faiths, experiences, occupations, able bodied, disabled) that that you might not encounter in the path of your day to day life.
5. You can always decide it is not for you….even before you go on your first date. Might be fun to just see who you find! I think that just "putting yourself out there" digitally could change (not that you need to change) the way your carry yourself and interact with others in the real world too.
In closing (whew that was long winded, sorry!) you have built such a strong community through this digital platform…why not reach out romantically in the same way? Kisses.
Melissa Blake says
Thanks, Jenny and Sofia — i appreciate your insight! Definitely good arguments. 🙂
You are still misusing the word weary. You mean either Leery or wary.
Or she is exhausted by talking about it repeatedly.
Not sure how wacky it is to suggest that you try online dating- I just think people want to see you actually doing something proactive about finding love, since you've been claiming that you want to find someone. And aside from some of the jerks, I think most of those who suggest that you try dating someone with a disability come to that conclusion due to the amount of time that you spend bemoaning how men see you and interact with you, and blaming that (rightly or wrongly) on your own disability. If able-bodied men don't understand this part of your life, maybe a disabled man will. Or he might, at the very least, have some advice of his own to share about dating when disabled- something solid that you can use, instead of continuing to beat your head against this wall over and over again. It hasn't worked. The wall remains. Try something different, and you might find a way around it.
…One other thing. There are other ways to be proactive about finding someone, if the whole online thing skeeves you out too much. Singles meetups. Speed dating events. Even just going up to someone and asking him out. Yes, rejection is scary and hurts, but its inevitable for just about everyone, and one of the realities of real (rather than fantasy) love. Besides, it sounds like you already take it as a rejection when one of your love interests just doesn't ask you out or show return interest. You have a lot more to gain than to lose; it just takes some courage.
Elsa de Diego says
OK, so here you have some of the wackiest dating advices: 1. You can't be too picky cause we're not getting any younger 2. You try to adjust your personality to your man's so that he feels more attracted to you (True story!) 3. On dates you have to ask a lot of questions so that you get to know him and where he sees himself in the short middle term…( if the guy is truly feeling it he will tell you, no need to ask!) Darling, I've always rejected online dating, but if you feel it, go for it…do it right so that if it doesn't work you can forget about it. XOXO
Seems like you are the only student in your version of old school.
I don't know if it's wacky advice, but the advice I HATE is to stop looking, because love will find you when you least expect it. I'm sorry. You need to be available and proactive, even if that just means leaving your house. Just sitting around waiting for your prince to find you is not going to work.
And, to stand up for online dating: I met my last bf on an online dating site, and we had a very good relationship of a year and a half before I moved away, and we called it off. We would've never met without online dating. Yeah, we didn't have the most romantic "How We Met" story, but is that what's important in the end? I think actually meeting is the important part, no matter how it happened. 🙂
Oh, and with online dating, there's never the "Is this a date?" question. I love having everything above board!
Cafe Fashionista says
Honestly, I have never been on the receiving end of dating/love advice, because I just don't want to hear it. I guess I'm just of the belief that everything will fall into place some point in time; and if it doesn't, it wasn't meant to be. :/
The wackiest but also most valuable dating advice I got was from my mother. I was whining one day that I didn't have a boyfriend and she said "Well whatever you've done hasn't worked, so maybe you should just do the opposite." And (I know this is a fluke thing) I met my boyfriend that night and accepted a date even though I'm super shy and my first reaction was to say no. And although I was 23 a lot of my instinct was to panic and hide when he called me up – I'd never been on a date before! – but I took the advice to heart.
So it's good to leave your comfort zone at times, I guess!
Another thing I've never forgotten came from a girl I knew in high school. We weren't super close, but she was very kind. One day I was crying in the girl's room, she asked me why and I said no boys liked me because I was too shy. She said, "Someday a boy will like you BECAUSE you are shy." I've never forgotten that. It's very true, there is someone out there who will like you for exactly what you are.
Lena at A Crimson Kiss says
My godfather told me the summer I turned 15 that maybe if I wasn't so pale, I'd be able to meet my Italian husband (our families were vacationing together that year). I replied that I liked my men just like my meat–white and dry.
He didn't get it.
I think you should try online. That's how I met my boyfriend and I'm really happy that I did.
Just like you, I was really unsure at first. A friend encouraged me and it seemed to make sense. She pointed out that there is nothing to lose if it doesn't work but at least you'll know then. Also, with how busy my life was then, I had little opportunity to go out and meet people, and that, because I had specific things that I wanted out of life then it would make more sense to try online.
So I gave it a go. I was really nervous and apprehensive but I met the most amazing guy who is perfect for me and we're really happy together.
I think you should try it. If you don't like it then you haven't lost anything but at least you'll have tried. You could meet somebody really special that you just wouldn't have the opportunity to meet otherwise. Be brave and give it a go! xx