6 Ways to Swim in the Adult Dating Cesspool (and One Work Around)


Caste of body from Pompei

Lost in the Online Either

My last dating post was about how many people think of adult dating as dumpster diving.  Sadly enough, most women agreed with me.  But some men didn’t!  A few evolved male souls talked about how they’d worked on themselves to be more open, giving people.  Then they looked for someone who’d done the same.  They’d found women who’d been hurt, but who they were working with to forge new relationships. Or if they weren’t, they were optimistic (unlike my women friends).

Not surprisingly, one of these fellows was a yogi, into self-growth and seeing the good in others. On the other hand, one guy I’d met for coffee used my post to explain what he thought was wrong with me, bringing me back to WTF with all the damaged meat-space out there.

A Friends with Benefits Work Around?

A recent widower said he opted out of actual dating by having friends with benefits (“FWB”). He emphasized that both people must be caring and respectful of the other’s fears, but it avoided the problem of trying to have a relationship when most of us don’t want to change.  But another fellow said that when he proposed FWB to a woman he liked but didn’t want to have a relationship with, because both were recently divorced, he made her cry.

After I’d had a couple failed relationship attempts, I tried a bit of FWB.  I wrote about it here. The idea was fun and daring, the reality was dreary. I was still lonely. I still didn’t have anyone to go do stuff with. One guy turned out to be angry and damaged. Another wanted to be online with adult skyping, which  I refused and made the whole thing feel sleazy.

I think the lines between dating someone and FWB can be blurred.  I don’t think of FWB as an alternative to having a relationship. And it didn’t work for me, but I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Lessons from Dating Online:

Let’s decide we must jump in, join an online site, and date.  People seem to love torturing themselves for the New Year.

I’ve been an online dating addict.  Here’s what I’ve learned:

  1. Don’t answer messages if you aren’t interested.  When I started out, I answered most long or complimentary messages. I thought I was being nice, but it just encouraged guys I wasn’t  interested in, wasting both our time.
  2. Stop answering messages that are turning into War and Peace. I also spent too much time answering emails with lists of questions to answer or essay-type queries like “What is your world view?” or “How is Debbie reinventing herself?” (Ugh).  None of this matters if you never meet.  If you like the guy, suggest a daytime meeting for coffee.  If you aren’t enthused, stop answering messages. There, one more item on your “to-do” list is done.
  3. Understand that your prospect is very unlikely to change.  Intransigence seems to be the hallmark of us older daters.  I’ve met people who had traits I didn’t like but thought that I, in my secret wonderfulness, could change them.  They’d become better organized or they’d complain less.  Nope.  Didn’t happen.  What you see is what you’re going to get.  For the duration.
  4. If your instincts tell you a guy isn’t right for you, believe them. I wasted so much time and caused myself so much agony by thinking that because someone looked so right on paper, we must work out. But it didn’t. Just because someone was successful and seemed to like me, didn’t mean they were kind or right for me or not so boring I wanted to run when they started talking.
  5. Do not put up with excessive criticism.  There seems to be an awful trend among today’s men, or at least the ones I’ve met, to offer critiques of what’s wrong with me. Maybe because I was a fairly recent widow when I met them, and seemed lost. But they were just rationalizing their own behavior. The cheap guy said I didn’t spend or give enough. The disorganized one said I wasn’t flexible enough. These complaints were self-serving and, to me, deal breakers.
  6. Are we having fun yet? If not, take a break. Bitterness is toxic and causes wrinkles.

Maybe my best advice is to  look at everyone with love and the world will seem more welcoming overall. Any other caveats we should be contemplating?  Tempted to jump into the polluted pond of Plenty of Fish?




  • Debbie says:

    My comment form is not working. This will be fixed…once i figure it out. Until then, please email me your comments and I’ll post them for you:

    Lisa wrote: “I had only one experience in a FWB situation and it didn’t end well. I have found that unless you do your homework, some men who want this type of relationship are unavailable (i.e. married) and not especially nice.
    I also tried POF for a while but since I wanted to start out as friends and let the relationship develop naturally, some men didn’t want to ‘waste their time’ (their words, not mine) on me. Also, on POF I posted honest pictures and a description. Since I am 56 and have naturally greying hair, I didn’t want to misrepresent myself. I found that the men who seemed to be around my age either wanted someone younger than me or had posted pictures of themselves from another era. I started referring to it as the 20/20 phenomenon, 20 years and/or 20 pounds. After a while I gave up on POF although I did end up with one good male friend (now he is my Denny’s buddy).
    I might try online dating again, but I think I will try eHarmony or Match.com because I’m hoping the people on there will be a little more honesty since it is a paid service.”

  • Debbie says:

    And Kevin said: re Lisa’s post: I appreciate your enthusiam and willingness to expose yourself to match or eHarm, but just because people are paying doesn’t mean they’re more likely to be honest. The same games, the same lies…20/20? More like 25/45.

    And before you give eHarm any money, make sure they are in line with your personal beliefs.

    FWB? It can work, but in my experience, one of us (me) began to develop more intense feelings for the other while also feeling “used” (which, is in fact what we were doing). I know, not what you might expect from a male….and the worst part is maybe, under slightly different circumstances, we could have a been a great couple….good luck.

  • Daniel says:

    Great article