Unrelated to the topic of this entry, let me say that I really, really appreciate those of you who expressed support and concern about my health care crisis crisis. I was kind of freaking out about it then. I'm feeling much better about it after talking to an insurance broker. There are at least a few more options to try before I'm without insurance at all and Geoff is generous enough to stay married for that process. I felt very loved when you responded. :-)
Now, to the title of this entry...Match.com. A new adventure. I decided to join for a number of reasons. First, I thought it would be interesting to try something different. Most of you might remember when online dating first came out. When I first moved to C-U, I was single and considered trying something like that but at that time, the rumor (fear) was that only crazy people used such services and you had a 90% chance of being abducted, assaulted and murdered if you even looked at the site. I wanted to see what all the fuss was about now that it's become more popular and I'm single again.
Another reason for me to join was because I really, really want to learn to lighten up. Since I've always struggled with self-esteem, I thought it would be a good risk to just put myself out there and see what happens. I will say that it has triggered my shame more than once. I have a couple of pictures up and am convinced that when people see the pictures, they most often click very quickly to get away from the horror. Ok. I'm exaggerating but it feels a little that way. I think I'd only be satisfied if everyone who looked at my profile would then try to contact me. That's what I need to work on. Not very practical or good for me either.
First of all, the process to even register took me a really long time! I'm not sure why, now that I think of it. There are a few places where you can write a narrative so I guess I took too long to write some of those. Once I was on, though, it was amazing how much action I got!! I'd limited my geographic search to within 20 miles of C-U but I got men from all over the country "winking" at me, sending a brief email, etc. I was so surprised and felt a little bit like "ok. Maybe I'm not so bad after all." Well...turns out this wasn't what we call a "corrective emotional experience" in my field.
I responded to one profile of a person who supposedly lived in Rome, GA. I was curious so I responded to an email. He responded and wanted to chat on Yahoo so I switched over to that. He came on waaaaayyyy strong but what an interesting guy! He was from Ireland. He had one daughter who was 12. His photos showed him painting but he was a computer salesman who traveled all over the world. He had been with his partner for 13 years and the two finally wanted to have a big wedding so they saved up all their money to do it up. Unfortunately, poor guy, two days before the wedding, he found out his wife had been cheating. She left him and their daughter and in the past 3 years, the mother had never tried to get in touch with the daughter. Oh....and then his parents died that same year and his sister died last year. This was all in one chat session!! He said that he was working in West Africa. Wow! That's really interesting, isn't it?!
Jeez. I felt like such an idiot for not doing more research about Match.com before I signed up. After this weird chat, I immediately did a google search. Turns out, there are people who create false profiles, try to lure unsuspecting people and then try to get money from them (you know, like the "I lost my passport can you send me money to get out of __________?" whatever country they choose.) I reported the person and confronted him directly through a chat he started. He protested and became indignant. He told me I could check him with the FBI and gave an Atlanta number I could call to check on him. He'd even put up a fake business site (like on LinkedIn or something). Then he said, "And after you check it out, never contact me again!" Okay...Needless to say, the profile was gone immediately.
I have to say, I wasn't really upset about the possible match falling through. I was more upset about what it says about people that they're pulling those kinds of scams. I never amaze myself by how trusting and naive I can be. I like that about myself but it also means I get disappointed in people frequently. I guess because in my work, I meet with people who make themselves vulnerable and have no reason not to tell the truth, I just expect people "out there" to be that way too. It's beyond my comprehension how people justify their behavior. I get it intellectually but it surprises me almost every time. I can spot these kinds of profiles now and am really annoyed with how many there are. I wrote Match.com to complain and told them I wanted to reduce my subscription so now I'll only be on for a month. It's worth that much of a try!
In all fairness, I did meet one very nice man a couple of days ago and he was a good person. No love connection but I enjoyed the evening. It restored my faith in people a little bit. After this month, I guess I'll maybe try eHarmony to see if they block out scammers better. Maybe I'll just go back to meeting people the old fashioned way...or maybe I'll just be ok being alone!