Online Dating: Learning to Be More Honest

Having been online dating for all of three weeks, it occurred to me that it was time to “gird my loins.” I have met a few men online, had my first video date, and have even had two “in person” dates. It seems like most people are perfectly happy to be busy biking, hiking, skiing, and golfing until they die. Unfortunately, I want more. It’s important that I am honest about who I am in my online dating profile. If I pretend I’m just like everybody else, I may end up in a relationship with someone who doesn’t really know me. Now there’s a recipe for loneliness!

How to Gird

I wasn’t entirely sure what “girding your loins” meant, aside from having a vague idea that it means to be prepared for something coming fast. Turns out, it’s biblical, from the times when people wore long robes. Here’s an illustration from the “Art of Manliness”:

Girding Your Loins from the art of manliness.
Illustration from the “Art of Manliness”

“Gird Your Loins,” is an admonition to be emotionally and physically ready for what may come. To me, this means being fearlessly honest about who you are and what you want in life. Even if it’s not what the other person wants to hear. The word “valour” is tossed around a lot when talking about Girding Up. Valour is a kind of honour + dignity. It’s exemplifies determination, fearlessness to be yourself, and fortitude. You know, like the attributes you need to start dating online.

Video Killed Something

Before my first video “date,” we’d done everything “right” but it still ended on a down note. We’d emailed back and forth and seemed to have quite a bit in common and had even talked on the phone. I was disappointed that he forgot to ask me anything about my life but made excuses for him, as I tend to do. Like, “maybe he was nervous…maybe he’s been cooped up so long that he’s forgotten how to converse…maybe he’s going to begin asking me about myself soon….”

It was only later I realized that he had his whole future mapped out. There was no room for me, let alone any of my suitcases! This guy liked the idea of a girlfriend but not the reality. I liked the idea of his heritage house and lifestyle but wouldn’t want much to do with him at all as I suspected he was not telling me the truth about his health or his addictions. So much for honest online dating!

It was this experience that made me realize that I enjoy the life I have created here and am not willing to simply throw it all away. A few years ago, I would have ditched everything, just for a sense of security. Not anymore.

Hold on There, Little Buckaroo!

Shortly after that experience, I met a younger guy with a really open mind. I admired his directness and willingness to share. We decided to meet in person when he was coming through town and I had a really great time on our casual first date. It was only upon reflection, when trying to picture a life with him, that I realized it wouldn’t work. He is still figuring everything out and is willing to throw everything away to come and join me in mine!

A feeling of panic set in after we spent a lot of time talking on the phone. I told myself it was just because I am not used to dating anymore – that it has been a very long time that I’ve felt a physical attraction like I did with this guy. But my fear is that I’ll be dragged into the environment that he has chosen to surround himself with. (My thoughts on How to Choose a Winning Environment) I know I would not be able to reconcile myself to it. Uncomfortable obligation, upheaval, even what I would consider chaos surround him in his life.

Whose Life is It, Anyway?

On the flip side, I don’t want the responsibility of entertaining someone coming into my life without their own set of friends, family, established job or interests to share. This is what happened in my last relationship. In a few before that one as well, if I’m being honest with myself. Pattern repeating is a red flag. Must investigate.

Still, I am saddened that we are not in the same place but I deserve to have someone who has done his work already and has a great life.

Extricating myself from this has meant a level of honesty that I’ve rarely achieved. He is persistent so that I’ve had to be very clear and say things flat out, without embellishment or any careful softening. Apparently God told him on New Year’s Eve that he’d meet his future partner soon and he believes that is me. I’m trying to tell him that God forgot to tell me about it. It’s a God stand-off, at this point. I may have to block him – I am a little freaked out. He has guns and has been collecting ammo.

So Not My Type

What’s truly frightening, though, is the next guy I met. Mostly because I imagine most men in the world are exactly like him and think the same way. Not my type at all but I thought maybe he’d be a good match for a single friend of mine, which I told him straight out. Well, he is as opinionated and pig-headed as she is, that’s for sure.

Besides not letting me get a word in edgewise, he is certain that his view is the only one and that he is morally superior. Of course, I may be describing the way he saw me! I am going to work on being more accepting of the differences in others after this “date.” I went home discouraged – although he did pay for the appies and cider so there is that! Not a bad guy and I may organize a walk in the hills with several people and see if anyone likes each other. We’ll see. Not overly keen to resurrect friendships that ended in such a painful way last year though.

Disappointed Hopes

After all this emotional churn, I am contemplating going off the dating site altogether. I am most definitely an outlier and my unconventionality is not easily conveyed or understood in a profile. Besides, I have no right to punt a guy from his comfy world with all my philosophical mumbo-jumbo.

Most guys just look at my photos and maybe they don’t give a shit what I’m really like. I suppose I could throw in a couple crazy shots – dressed in camo complete with painted face or hanging upside-down on a cross or something. Ennui is setting in fast.

The thing is, without being honest while online dating, most of these guys will go to their graves as lonely as they are now. If you don’t know yourself by this age AND you keep yourself so busy that you don’t have time to think about what you stand for, what else do you expect? Add to this the manic, overly-hyped lives they try to sell on the dating site and you know that this level of dishonesty only begets more of the same.

Honesty is Such a Lonely Word

I think it’s more important than ever for me to be honest with the people I meet in this online dating experience. It starts first in my profile and then when I’m communicating with guys. I have re-written my profile again and again so that it acts as a kind of warning to any happy, shallow swimming fish – Nemo is so not here. This shark lurks in the shadows and will tear apart your carefully crafted world and drag you miles from where you began. (Cue Jaws…) Gird your loins, boys.

But if I am found dead of a gunshot wound, it was Trevor the truck driver.


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