You Can Leave The Light On

I deactivated my go to dating profile last night. Wait, I guess I should state that I had reactivated it a few weeks ago to begin with.

I have to be honest and state I really don’t know what spurs me to turn this thing off and on. Sometimes, no sooner do I have it on, than I start to think “Why am I doing this?”, and I immediately turn it back off. I feel like if my profile had a light to it, it would look like a child was playing with the switch. Off/On, Off/On. Once I turned it On, and then Off and then back On again all within 24 hours. Sometimes I turn it on, and it’s crickets out there. I feel like the ugliest girl at the ball, the one no one will ask to dance. I am Janice Ian’s “Seventeen”. Then I might come back a few weeks later, turn it on, and it’s like I am the only woman on the fricking site, and my ego inflates the size of the Goodyear Blimp. I am a Goddess.

Both of those are always short-lived. I am never really The Beast, or The Goddess. I am just another single 50-year old woman, putting some feelers out there. Some days the fish are biting and other days the waters are calm.

I remind myself that online dating is a fickle beast.

Ok wait, actually I think at this stage in my life, *I* might be the fickle beast. There is a part of me that thinks I really do want one of those relationship thingies. I am the orphan on a snowy night pressing my nose against the glass, watching couples laugh and cook together. Maybe they are sharing a bottle of awesome wine, and listening to some great music. Maybe dancing a little. A single tear goes down my cold cheek, wondering if ever again, that might be me.

But then I start to really think this out, and I realize I don’t want this imaginary person to want to do things like, oh — stay the night at my place (I love sleeping alone) or, I dunno, … call me all the time. Or make demands like wanting to see me all of the time. Or limit me so that I can only see him….

In other words I want my cake, but I want to eat it too. Which really, I understand the logic of that saying, but what does it mean? You are only supposed to want cake, but not eat it? To want to eat the said cake is greedy?

Then I am greedy.

So I battle it. On days when I think “Ok, no, I really do want that picture in the window. That cooking dancing couple. I’m serious this time.” I open the profile back up, and I stand back, waiting for the hordes – or the silence, or the most realistic of all scenarios; the consistent trickle. I hope this one won’t be a gaming geek. Or someone who loves hiking in 95 degree weather. That this one might have something in common with me. But then maybe that common interest guy comes along — I put up a road block and I make it clear that I need someone who is willing to move at a snails pace. Friends first. Maybe friends only. Hey, why not just be my friend? Only to turn the damn profile off again a few weeks later, and realize I don’t know what the fuck I want.

Off goes the light.

I fear the longer I am single, the more I am going to enjoy it. I sometimes worry that the more casual relationships will become so easy, that a real one won’t be worth the work you have to invest into it. Or maybe a good one is in front of me, and I can’t see it. The worst? That by the time I get back into the water my time will be gone. I will be limited to 70 year old men.

This weekend I wanted nothing more than the warmth of someone to lean on, while sitting in a church mourning the loss of a friend. I wanted someone to hold me close and murmur in my ear soothing things. I wanted to be reminded that we are here, to love. To be loved. I wanted grief sex, that reminded me I was still an alive and feeling woman.

I had to compromise those needs. Friends instead of lovers. Tears understood, and tissues shared. Sober moments reminded me of close friends who are willing to travel, to spend time with you. Less sober moments reminded me —- well let’s just say they reminded that even far away, some friends can be entertaining.

At some point I will leave that light on. Or maybe even meet someone the old fashioned way, like by chance, or thru friends.

Until then, I guess the child is in charge of the lights.



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