The Dating ChroniclesIt’s like a little party, the online experience. I like to think of it as a congenial get-together, but of course way too many have crashed it—it’s not the intimate affair I was hoping to attend, but the reality is there are a lot of us, so it is what it is.
I quickly survey the room. The atmosphere is actually quite welcoming. I am surprised. I’m not feeling that feeding-frenzy vibe that has sent me scurrying for the sidelines in the past. Something is different this time. They seem nicer, calmer, more gentlemanly, dare I say it, more debonair. I am relieved.
They seem sincere, polite and one of them even told me that he liked that I came across as very “genuine.” Now that’s a compliment. And that’s when I realized how long it has been since someone complimented me, not only on my appearance but on me—someone was trying to see me, trying to figure out who I was. There is no greater gift, I’ve discovered, than when someone says “tell me about you,” and really listens. And this time when I said, “Now, it is your turn. Tell me about you” he seemed pleased as well. Let’s face it, by the time you are closing in on 50 there is a fair amount to tell usually, and there is always the fear that your listener will get bored, drift off, or worse yet, get irrevocably frightened, and run for the door (or the next profile.)
But when you make a connection the words come easily, and the sharing is less strenuous than it might otherwise be, the laughter gets generated, and the time flies. Then you know you have hit upon something good. Maybe I will leave this party with a date. Maybe I will linger and mingle. For someone who has spent as much time alone as I have, it hardly matters.
I’ve figured out what is different, by the way; it’s not them, it’s me. I have opened my heart and I have opened my mind, and that has made all the difference.