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Monday, September 21, 2009

Blog Crawl Day 2: Simone Grant Writes Right Here!

I am so totally stoked to host guest blogger Simone Grant today for day two of the Single Women Rule blog crawl for National Singles Week. Simone writes prolifically over at Sex Lies and Dating in the City and I suggest that when you're done reading here, you crawl on over there to read more of her stories about single life.

Here is what Simone has to say:

I'm so honored to be taking part in this blogcrawl, and especially so to be guest blogging on Singlutionary as I've been a fan of this site for a while now.

I write primarily about dating and relationships (with the distinctive point of view of a 39-year-old happily single woman) and so it seems sensible for me to write about that here.  More specifically I thought it might be interesting to tell the story of my first date after a long dry spell.  

It was about a decade ago.  I was very focused on work and at a stage in my career where I had to work an unhealthy amount of hours a week.  At one point I caught pneumonia and had to spend several weeks home on bed rest to recuperate (I was in pretty bad shape by the time I finally dragged myself to the doctor).  My home computer at the time was pretty crappy and so the organization I worked for sent me a laptop via messenger.  I was sick as a dog, but they couldn't survive without me.

Anyway, it had been a couple of years since my last actual date.  And just before getting sick I'd been talking with friends about trying online dating.  So one of the first things I did when I got well enough to sit up for an extended period of time was sign up for the earliest iteration of match.com (I think it was match).  I figured why not take advantage of the fancy laptop? Back then there were very few people posting their pictures online.  All we had to go by were people's descriptions of themselves, which was pretty great in someways.

Within a few weeks I'd started and stopped communicating with a few different guys and had progressed to speaking on the phone with one man in particular.  And then he asked me out on a date but I was still too sick to go out.  My doctor kept extending the time I had to stay in (my own fault, I cheated and went into work too soon and ended up in the emergency room...).

He had no reason to believe I was lying.  I sounded awful.  So he offered to come by my apartment to bring me soup and keep me company one night after work.  And, for some demented reason, I said yes.  

I have no idea what got into me.  My first date in a couple of years was with a man I'd never met, had never seen a picture of, who was coming to my studio where I lived alone while I was too weak to defend myself.  Not to mention that I was still sick and looked sick.  But no matter, I was excited about the prospect of a date.  

And it was, for all of the weirdness, a good date.  He was a gentleman and handsome to boot.  And we ended up seeing each other for a while after that.  A few months.  Until we got the chance to get to know one another a lot better and then learned how utterly different and unsuitable we were for one another.

Anyway, I think of that story every once in a while.  Every time someone is telling me about their dating drought/how they haven't been on a date in years and don't know how to start again. Or when I hear people rant and rave about how all of the guys online are creeps.

What happened back then was an aberration.  I would never again invite a strange man to my home for a first date.  But I don't think that all the guys out there are dangerous.  I'd just rather be safe than sorry.  

And more importantly, there was no lesson to be learned about how I got back into dating.  I decided I wanted to do it and I did it.  I'd heard of online dating and it sounded like a pretty low risk proposition so I figured why not.    Then I went from not dating in a couple of years to dating a perfectly nice man.  And then more perfectly nice.  No magic.  Just a decision to do it.  Sounds easy, because it is.


Anonymous said...

I have made similar errors in judgment that likewise turned out well or at least innocuous. Once I left for the airport way too early and my cab driver told me that the check-in desks wouldn't even be open when I got there (no really; it was a small town) and he offered to drive me to the local lookout to see the morning lights. I was a dumb tourist so I said OK. Stupid, but it turned out that he really was just proud of his city's lightscape and wanted to show it off.

Yes, what gets into us???


Keysha said...

I dunno. Maybe there's something in us (men and women) that wants to believe that people are inherently good natured. Maybe 50 years ago, people were less crazy on a whole. Maybe we missed our stranger danger class in 5th grade.

I've done it before too.

Dazediva said...

Great post Simone :)

My experiences of online dating are by far very few and not even a handful .. however I did meet a guy randomly on Facebook Speed Date which I somehow apparently had installed !

Anyway this guy and I got talking, he was cute looking in his photo and we had great conversation on Gtalk; his voice on the phone - not so bad but no great shakes either .. We agreed to meet at a coffee shop and go for a 'long drive out of the city' ... When we met, he totally wasn't my type and when we got talking face-to-face realized that neither knew it was 'dating application' that caused us to meet ! This led to a chilled out evening including lying in the middle of an uphill road and watching the stars and discussing metaphysics ...

That was a random incident - not everyone is a bad person .. he could have done anything but he didn't .. would I do that again with someone I have never met .. errr NO !

Sheila said...

Yay! We're single girls! Let's all get together and talk about our first dates with men! This crawl is so lame...

Vanessa said...

I agree with you, Simone. After my ex and I broke up, it took time for me to feel ready to date again. I waited until I felt ready and then - after almost a decade of not dating - I just jumped in. I was sort of terrified, but then the practical side of me said, "you're a grown woman. you'll do ok." And you know what? I did.
Like you, I started online. I filled out the profile, uploaded a picture and started to communicate with guys. Nothing dramatic happened. I met some, canceled others and called it a day. No great romance came of it, but I didn't die either. Sometimes, you just have to go forth and give things a shot without analyzing anything too much.


Special K said...

I think we "think" too hard MOST of the time. Want to date? Do it. I am sure that if I said "today I am going to get myself a date" I could do it. But the hard thing is finding out if I want to or not, or if I am SUPPOSED to want to. Moving overseas (7 DAYS and counting!) right now, I want my close friend, my bottle of 14 hands, and sweats....the chemistry can come in Paris.
Would you write up a short guest post for me for Friday???? Please???? On anything singlutionary!

Clever Elsie said...

Hah! I remember so well those days of old-school Internet dating when it felt like we were pioneering some revolutionary new way to connect. Which, I guess, we were! Although I didn't jump on the Match.com bandwagon right away, I took things offline with people I'd met in AOL chat rooms and then the AOL personals. Come to think of it, I don't think Match.com even existed then, though I believe there was something called Digital City that hosted the ads, and back then, it was all free--and not just to create a profile, either.

Although I was always careful to meet in public, back then I thought nothing of having a coffee with someone I'd never even seen a picture of. One guy flew two and a half hours to meet me with nothing more than my own verbal self-description.

Maybe we weren't quite as safety-conscious as we are now. But so what? We were more willing to take chances on a wild card, less concerned with appearances, usually interested in making a real connection, and not jaded by a shopping mall mentality. I miss those days.

Simone Grant said...

Thanks everyone for chiming in with your stories. It's great to see that so many people have had similar experiences. Wow, Special K, is it really so soon. I'm excited for you.

I want to address what Sheila said - that this is about first dates with men.

Maybe I'm giving myself way more credit than I deserve here, but I think it's about more than that. I'd backed myself into a place where my career was more important to me than my health or my personal life. Deciding to date while I was home sick was no coincidence. I was reacting to the fact that for a couple of years I'd had no free time.

I think a lot of young single professional women can relate to that.

And I realized that dating wasn't really that big of a deal. That it can be as simple as making the decision to shop online for new pair of shoes. Quite frankly, I think a lot of people need to hear that. Not because they SHOULD date but because they want to (because they miss the company of the opposite sex) but have no idea how to start.

Anyway, that's my two cents.

Anonymous said...

think dating sites had it pretty tough during the crunch

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