Tag Archives: Match.com

Hypocrisy, Dating & God Hating Me

This_happened_LOGO_S

(Image/thishappened.podbean.com)

So, I met a girl.

She seems to like me.

It’s weird, because that never happens. (Yes, that’s hyperbole.)

But it’s also not weird because when it DOES happen, there’s always some obstacle, major inconvenience or unusual challenge attached to it. Always.

It’s The Matt Way®. Things can never just be normal and easy. Not with me. Luck might have something to do with it. Maybe ADHD, too. But all signs seem to point to this unfortunate probability: God must totally hate me.

I’m an asshole. Let me put that out there. I don’t mean that I’m mean and treat people poorly. I just mean, in a 50-percent-serious, self-deprecating sort of way, I’m an asshole.

Why am I an asshole, you ask?

Because I met her on an online dating site, which you might consider strange, if not impossible, since I swore off online dating more than two years ago and have constantly railed against it as shitty and horrible and unnatural and couldn’t POSSIBLY have an online dating account! And that makes total sense that you’d think that.

If it’s any consolation, I promise I’m really embarrassed about it, and that it’s not my first time being kind of a hypocrite.

A few weeks ago, because I’m a shitty planner, I let a weekend sneak up on me without making plans. One of my friends and I were going to go out for a few drinks. But then he got sick and needed to stay home. And then, because all my local friends are married and/or have children and don’t live in Asshole Single Guy World where smart planning has forsaken these lands, everyone already had full calendars and I ended up spending most of the weekend alone in my house, and that was that. I’d had enough.

Some people like being alone. I’m one of them, sometimes. I was an only child, and I love writing, reading, and poker—all things best accomplished alone or among strangers you don’t really want to talk to. Creeping up on three years removed from my marriage, I’m totally fine being alone.

The flipside? I’m ridiculously social. If I could ONLY choose company or solitude for the rest of my life, I would choose company for sure. Maybe even a lot of people. A lot of people is good. I like energy and connectedness and togetherness and all that shit. Very much. It’s life-giving to me. I’m at my very best in a room full of 40 people I know and love who brought along 10 strangers for me to befriend.

But there I was, watching HBO and football, and writing from my couch two weekend nights in a row, and I was done.

This is bullshit, I thought.

Match—the online dating site I used for a few months when I wasn’t emotionally ready to be dating two and a half years ago—had sent me one of their crap emails telling me someone had winked at me, or whatever.

I texted my friend: “Remind me again that I hate online dating and don’t want to do it.”

Huge mistake. He’s super-smart and I usually listen to him. Even worse? He is more than a year in with a new girlfriend (an excellent one) he met through Match.

I don’t remember what he said, but it felt like a two-handed shove toward the vortex of suck, and I fell in.

Also, I want to deflect some of the blame.

I used to whine here that no girls liked me on Match.

But then I read my profile that was still live from spring/summer 2013. It sounded EXACTLY like an insane, insecure, whiny, crying mess of non-sexy loserness had written it.

Good God, this is bad. No wonder that shit didn’t work.

I rewrote it.

I can’t be certain it’s the best-written Match profile of all time, but there’s a fair chance it’s the best in my 50-mile radius. Girls liked me. I talked to some of them, but there was nothing there. Even though it wasn’t a rejection festival to the degree it was more than two years ago, it still sucked ass.

I’ve said it a hundred times: I’m either someone who passes your primal attractiveness test, or I’m not. And if I do? You’re probably going to like me because, cocky as it may sound, I don’t make it hard. I’m not the smartest, funniest, wittiest, sexiest or most charming, but I have enough of all that stuff to make it work in real life.

But not so much on Match. And that’s what I hate about online dating. It takes away the one thing I tend to excel at: one-on-one interaction.

Even though I’m kind of a hypocrite about online dating, I’m not a hypocrite WHILE online dating. I try hard to be fair. And it’s perfectly fair for women to want to date tall, never-married, childless men. Those aren’t unreasonable preferences. I have preferences, too.

Match would be amazing for casual dating. If it was all about dating simply for the sake of having something to do. And I’d be all for that if I thought legitimate platonic friendships might result from doing so. But it doesn’t work like that. And if something can’t end well, I have a hard time investing in it. Even when I really like the other person and believe it could go somewhere if things were different.

People hear me say that and assume I’m wife hunting.

Not true.

I don’t crave marriage. It’s scary. I don’t even crave a committed, monogamous relationship. That has never been my objective, or even my hope.

My only hope?

To meet someone so amazing that I would want those things with her.

I’ve met some great people since becoming single. Under other circumstances, things could have gone differently.

But no previous encounter had a viable happy ending. Single parents put their children first. And when your loyalties are (appropriately) with your children, it often makes single adulthood more challenging.

Not that this thing now is less challenging.

She lives three hours away, even though she used to live in my town, because God’s hilarious.

Some people don’t think that’s a big deal, but I intentionally don’t date people who live even an hour away. Want to know why? Because that’s three hours, roundtrip on a wintry Tuesday night for dinner and a movie, and that’s some serious bullshit.

I don’t do it because I’m selfish and I want to actually see and spend time with the person I like.

I don’t do it because I think, fundamentally, long-distance relationships are unsustainable.

So, here’s the deal: I’m breaking a ton of my dating rules on this thing. But I’m not compromising ANY values. Not one.

Whether it was radical differences in life philosophy or personality, insurmountable geography, or a bunch of really bad timing, a fatal flaw in any potential relationship tended to rear its head immediately.

But not this time. Even with all the rule breakage. Not this time.

She lives three hours away.

She’s an insanely busy person, personally and professionally, which keeps communication comparatively infrequent.

She’s a mother of three. (I had a no-more-than-two-kids rule, because I already have enough trouble with time- and money-management.)

She might be a fraction of an inch taller than me. (Classic, right?)

Any of those four things would filter you out of my online dating preferences if these hadn’t been particularly unique and unusual circumstances, quite possibly orchestrated by a God intent on smiting me. “Hey guys, check out this dude, Matt. I kind of hate him. Watch this!”

And then, fa-la-la-la-la-la! Alakazam!

This thing.

And it’s way too early to know what “This thing” is, but I insta-turned off my Match account after meeting her and that felt like something.

And it’s way too early to be scared, but it still feels scary.

And it’s way too early to make judgments or predictions about anything, because really? Who knows anything, ever?

I only know that it’s different.

No matter what happens next, this time’s a little bit different. Because I’m still single. But I’m not still available. And that feels like something, too.

Wow, two and a half years feels like a lifetime ago.

Wow, this is crazy and different.

Wow, I’m going to hit Publish.

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The First Date

Here's to a good night.

Here’s to a good night.

I have a date tomorrow night. My first in eons.

We have dinner plans. Pretty old-fashioned. It’s a good restaurant, so the eating part will be pleasant no matter what.

But Matt!?!? Your first date?!?! I thought you said you went on dates with girls from Match.com!?!?”

Yeah, yeah. Online dating is bullshit. This is a real date. A person I met out in the world, then expressed interest in hanging out with some day, and was fortunate enough to have her reciprocate.

I know very little about her.

I know she’s pretty.

I know she’s about five or six years younger than me.

I know she just finalized her divorce about a month ago under circumstances very similar to mine.

I know she’s not a parent.

I was scared to tell her I was a dad. At least with online dating profiles all those “red flags” are just out there for people to accept or reject upfront.

In real life, you have to drop the hammer and wait for the reaction. My date knows I have a five-year-old son. And still she wants to go out.

So. Yay me.

The Floodgates of Fear

So, I’m afraid of a million things. At least.

Nothing petrifying. I’m not particularly nervous. She and I have already met and spoken for a half hour or so, and then again on the phone. So there isn’t that weird online-dating dynamic where you don’t really know what you’re walking into.

But I tend to over-think things. It’s kind of my modus operandi.

Do we talk about our divorces, since that’s what’s most in common and what’s most affecting our lives?

Do we ignore that topic to avoid discussing emotional and deeply personal things?

I don’t know.

But there really are a million things to be afraid if I allow myself to indulge the fears. Fears, both big and small.

Because I haven’t done this in about 14 years.

What if she doesn’t like me and never wants to see me again? Ouch.

What if she likes me and wants to see me again, but I don’t want to see her? I hate hurting people.

In the big picture, regardless of whoever I date seriously again, isn’t my next relationship doomed from the start? Isn’t your follow-up relationship to a marriage by definition a rebound? Don’t those always fail?

I think they pretty much always do.

I’m not just writing about my date tomorrow. I’m writing about any date. About any girl I meet from now until eternity.

What if I like her but we’re far apart philosophically?

What if she likes me but would make a lousy partner in caring for my son?

What if she finds out I write about my personal life and decides she could never be with someone who does that?

What if she likes me but then reads my spaz-fest writing here and decides she doesn’t?

What if she reads this post!?!?!?!?!?

State of Zen

None of that shit is going to happen.

Well, maybe some of it will. But who cares?

Maybe the world will end today.

Maybe I croak before I pick her up tomorrow.

Maybe we get salmonella poisoning from the food and end up in the hospital together and she falls in love with our doctor.

Maybe spacemen will beam me to another galaxy.

Being afraid of the unknown—while common and sort of standard operating procedure for me—is wasted energy.

When your entire life turns to shit, you toughen up in a hurry. I know I don’t always act like it, but I’m going to need you to trust me.

I’m now tougher than I have ever been.

I don’t know that I’ve been to hell and back, but I’ve been somewhere close. Hell’s suburbs, maybe. Everything’s really shitty there. I didn’t like it.

But it didn’t kill me.

And none of this is going to kill me, either.

I’m confident in ways I’ve never been before. I’m still insecure about my physical appearance sometimes. I don’t like that I don’t have washboard abs. I don’t like that my arms and back aren’t what I want them to be.

But mentally? Spiritually? Emotionally?

I’ve never been more put together than I am today. I’ve never been more confident in my ability to navigate personal waters with grace. With humor. With sensitivity. With wisdom.

Maybe after tomorrow night, she and I will never see each other again.

Or maybe we will.

I can’t control tomorrow.

I can’t control other people.

I can only control me.

So, I’ll smile. I’ll listen. I’ll care. I’ll feel.

I’ll be grateful for the moment.

The silver linings.

The opportunity to feel alive after all that time I felt like dying.

Because there can be no bad outcome as long as honesty exists.

And honestly?

I feel lucky.

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The Reclamation Project

Photo by Me. I've been getting out hiking more lately. All part of the reclamation process.

Photo by Me. I’ve been getting out hiking more lately. All part of the reclamation process.

My wife moved out six months and four days ago.

On April 1.

I felt like a fool. But it wasn’t a joke.

It seems like nothing has happened since then. But that’s not true.

A lot has.

Some of it has even been good.

A Six-Month Review 

1. I learned that my wife left me to pursue a relationship with a rich guy. 

The first thing I learned about him is that he took my son to his first baseball game. My, at the time, four-year-old son. The second thing I learned about him is that he hosted a sleepover for my wife and son. That news fundamentally changed me and everything I believed about my world, forever.

2. I created a Match.com account. 

In one of my all-time worst moves as an adult, I tried online dating less than two months after my wife left. One of my friends convinced me I needed to as part of his Three Poles in the Pond theory. My online-dating experience was mostly sad and horrible and only made me feel worse about my life. I strongly considered renewing my membership. In the end, I told Match and the scores of women who hate me there to piss off.

3. I created MBTTTR and started writing almost daily. 

This is one of the most-important things I’ve ever done for myself. I don’t suppose that makes sense to very many of you who don’t spend a lot of time writing. But, this is important to me. I don’t quite have the words. I don’t know what this is. I call it my journal. It sort of is. But it’s something else, too, thanks to all of the beautiful people reading and participating and rooting for me to succeed. This is the opposite of online dating. It’s been remarkably therapeutic. I get overwhelmingly positive feedback, which is beyond appreciated. And I’ve made some really nice human connections. It has accelerated my healing more than anything. I’m so grateful for this. And you.

4. The Pillage

My wife came and took a bunch of things out of the house—namely the living room furniture, my son’s bed and some barstools from my basement. It dramatically changed my mood. Because she was cohabitating with a man with loads of money, and still she was taking major pieces of what little I had in comparison. It was as much symbolic as it was a logistical challenge. Every day since, I’ve walked downstairs in the morning and come home in the evening to an uninviting living room. A place that echoes. A place that looks and feels empty. A place that made my home feel like a foreign place.

5. The Hearing 

My life took a turn for the better on the day of my divorce hearing. And not because I was happy to be rid of her. But that was the day that I learned that my wife’s relationship with her new boyfriend had failed. I was not celebrating her sadness. In fact, I felt something akin to sympathy for her. But her boyfriend was a bad person. It was something I knew for most of their relationship, and she did not. I lost a lot of sleep thinking about that man helping to raise my son. My divorce hearing was when I learned I no longer had to worry about that. Something that should have been horrible ended up being positive. It felt like divine intervention. Seriously.

My son's new bed makes me feel like a better father.

My son’s new bed makes me feel like a better father.

6. Every Day Since 

It’s been a slow climb.

Slow and steady.

But I continue to inch closer. Closer to reclaiming my life.

And each day I feel a little less broken.

Friends in my life—both new and old—give me confidence.

My son has a bed. He slept in it for the first time last night. And a little bit of terrible went away.

I bought a new couch and love seat today. My son was with me and I let him choose between the three sets I liked the most.

My living room will be fully furnished on Wednesday. And then even more terrible will go away.

You can’t know what that means to me.

I bought this couch and matching loveseat today. It will make my home feel complete and comfortable. I'm very happy about this.

I bought this couch and matching love seat today. It will make my home feel complete and comfortable. I’m very happy about this.

Because my five-year-old was so well behaved at the furniture store, I took him to Chuck E. Cheese for the afternoon.

Aside from the obvious problem of potentially contracting Kids AIDS, we had a great afternoon.

I bumped into a guy I know and his two daughters. He’s a new friend who is in a serious relationship with a girl I’m friends with from college. They live less than a block away from me.

In the Holy Shit, That’s Ironic Department, she’s the person who introduced me to my ex-wife in a city 230 miles away from here 16 years ago.

Her boyfriend Justin has two little girls that play well with my five-year-old son.

He had brought the girls to Chuck E. Cheese so they could attend a birthday party.

He was with a pretty blonde woman. She turned out to be his ex-wife. The mother of his children.

Justin sat across a table from me. We were handing out tokens to the kids each time they’d run out.

I asked him about being in the same place with his ex-wife. She left him four years ago after having an affair. She’s still with that other guy today.

But they’re friends now.

They appeared to get along effortlessly. Justin’s girlfriend—my old college friend—has become good friends with his ex-wife.

Just a few nights ago, Justin was using her phone for something. A text came through from his ex-wife to his current girlfriend: “I miss you and need to see you!!!”

Remarkable, I thought.

I don’t really want to be friends with my ex. But I like the idea that four years from now, so much could change for the better.

In only six months, so much has changed already.

I don’t miss her anymore. I miss companionship. But I don’t miss her.

I was rifling through my iPhoto library a short while ago to track down an image. I stumbled upon all my wedding photos.

I barely gave it a second thought.

My life got taken from me.

But now I’ve reclaimed it.

My son has a bed.

I have couches.

I have friends.

I have you.

I have peace.

sunsetphoto

Photo by Me. The Overlook at the Cuyahoga Valley National Park is a great place to take in a sunset. The sun will rise tomorrow. And it has a great chance to be even better than today.

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Hey, Match Girls: Piss Off. You Had Your Chance.

Hey Match.com! Stop sending me email. I already broke up with you.

Hey Match.com! Stop sending me email. I already broke up with you.

Now that I no longer have an active Match.com account, women are emailing and “winking” at me, left and right.

It’s total bullshit.

The decision to discontinue online dating was a thoughtful and deliberate one.

First, I considered my options and was leaning toward re-upping my membership for another three months.

Then, I thought: Screw it. And decided to move forward with just Two Poles in the Pond.

Match to Customer: We’ll Be Watching You

I canceled my membership. And I unsubscribed from Match’s email list.

I work in email marketing. When someone unsubscribes, you’re supposed to take them off your send list.

Those cocks at Match are geniuses, though. They have, like, 14 different lists. Oh, you unsubscribed from one of our lists? Don’t worry! We’ll still send you dozens of DIFFERENT kinds of emails!

For three months, they let my profile ride. The results were poor. It made me sad to realize just how undateable I was online.

I always imagine two single girlfriends checking out different guys’ online dating profiles together.

Ewwwwww! Look at this one! He’s got a kid and he’s only 5’9”. Lets masturbate and then make fun of this guy some more!

<10 minutes later>

This stupid guy, again! How much do you want to bet his wife left him for a tall, rich guy? I bet he doesn’t even have couches in his living room! Bwahahaha!

This blog got its name because of the tendency of every woman on the planet to prefer men who are at least 6’0” tall.

They don’t care about personality. Or intelligence. Or employment status.

They don’t care about kindness. Or sense of humor. Or anything like that.

Just be six-feet tall and maybe have a bunch of tattoos! And for the love of God, don’t have any children.

Must. Be. This. Tall. To. Ride.

Eat shit, Match.

My Online Dating Experience

I had an active Match account for three months.

If I logged in at all, this is how each experience went down:

  1. Did anyone email me? Nope.
  2. Did anyone wink at me? Oooh! One. Cool. Let’s check her out! Let’s see, she has three kids, four dogs, weighs 40 pounds more than I do, has a glass eye and spelled 67 percent of all her words correctly. Oh, she’s not fat! She’s just pregnant again! Good God.
  3. Maybe I’ll peruse some profiles and reach out to them! This one’s pretty! Cool, she’s only 5’2”! Prefers men who are: 6’2” or taller. Fuck! Oh look, this one’s outstanding, and she lives close! Prefers men who earn: $150,000+ annually. Fuck! Oh look, this girl’s fantastic. Prefers men who: Worship Satan and have a clubfoot fetish. Fuck!

Almost no one wrote. Almost no one winked at me. Almost no one would return an email I’d send them.

This is the kind of rejection I could have done without every single night alone in my bed while another man stuck his penis in my wife.

Match to Customer: You Can Check Out Anytime You Like, But You Can Never Leave

Fine. I don’t need this shit! Piss off, Match! I’ll meet someone the old-fashioned way when I’m good and ready!

Boom. Done. Canceled.

If you’re a guy under six feet who has cancelled a Match account before, I bet you know what happens next!

I get INUNDATED with emails from Match telling me every time someone sends me an email or a wink.

It happens all the time! Right now, I have a big pile of winks and messages from mystery women floating out there in Matchland.

It’s a communist plot to get me to renew my membership. I know it. Match has a bunch of chicks they pay $4 an hour to write notes to and wink at all the guys who try to walk away.

And every other day, we get these little notifications.

“Hey Customer! All these girls are TOTALLY interested in you! They love that you’re 5’9”! They love that you have a kid! They are DYING to come to your house and camp out on your living room floor and give you back massages and run their fingers through your hair! Don’t give up! You’re really not a loser! And for a limited-time, you can find out we’re not lying to you for just $19.95 for three months!”

There will probably come a day where these tempting emails will get the best of me.

“Dear Matt, you have 26 unread emails in your inbox! Sign up now to see who’s interested in you!”

And I’ll break down and give them some more money.

Most of the girls will be felons, or have a dozen children, or live in other states, or have clubfoot, or try to convert me to Satanism.

But there will be one, I bet. One who’s an absolute angel.

My heart will pitter-patter. And I’ll respond.

“Hey! I’m really sorry. I had to quit online dating for a while because Match is soulless and evil. I’m really flattered by your note. That’s cool that we live so close to one another and enjoy all of the same things. If and when you feel like it, please write back, let me know whether you’re still single and whether you’re still interested. I’d love to talk you. Please take care in the meantime!” I’ll write.

Two days later, she’ll respond.

“Hey. Thank you for writing back. That was so nice of you. I’m really sorry to tell you this, but I’m dating someone now.

“And the truth is, I didn’t see before that you were a father. I hope this doesn’t sound mean, but I just don’t date guys with kids.

“Oh, wait! You’re only 5’9”?!?! Bwahahahahaha!!!”

I hate you, Match.

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