I never make New Year’s resolutions. I’ve always found it comical that, after a jolly season of greed and gluttony, people would pledge to change their ways — then never follow through.
Also, every time I make a conscious effort to lose weight, I end up gaining back more; so I stopped that nonsense years ago.
Why do I bring up New Year’s resolutions in August? Because this year, I did make one — and, almost nine months later, I’m still making the effort to follow through.
I resolved to become more socially active.
I don’t mind living alone, but I don’t really like doing everything alone — going to shows, taking the dogs to the beach, hiking. Things that get you out of the house to enjoy life. Things that are more fun with a friend or partner.
Toward that end, since I hadn’t met anyone on my own after two years in town, I joined one of those online dating networks in January.
I tried them occasionally when I was in my 30s, with varying results. Many of the inquiries I received back then were predictably puerile; some were clearly scammers; and a rare few were genuine. (One actually led to a mostly happy four-year relationship in Arizona.)
I’m older and wider now (oops, I meant to say wiser), and this year’s experience has been disheartening, to say the least.
I’ve received the usual assortment of messages from men in other states professing their undying love based on my photos. (Yeah, right.) I’ve had a few promising first meetings that never went anywhere. I’ve been stood up twice with no explanation or further contact.
The good news is, even most of the creepy ones are more polite at this age. One guy chatted with me a bit online before telling me he wasn’t going to pursue it further because our work schedules really didn’t mesh — a perfectly valid reason. But then he felt the need to add: “Don’t worry, it’s nothing against you — I like big girls!” Umm… thanks?
There’s also been some very disturbing creativity this time around. For example, this message appeared in my inbox a few months ago with no previous contact: “You have just won a 3 day 2 night stay in beautiful [town]. It’s an all expense paid trip to include a Jeep tour of the beach. The guest room is being prepped in your honor. Let the snuggling begin!” Sorry, but ew.
I’ve met a couple of men who still call to talk every now and then because we have a lot in common, but just live too far apart for any reasonable expectation of … well, anything other than the occasional chat. I’m cool with making new friends.
Between that, my hopeful romanticism and the general entertainment value, I think I’ll stick with this online dating thing for a bit longer. You never know what might happen.
Kat Bryant is lifestyle editor of The Daily World and editor of Washington Coast Magazine. No, she she doesn’t want to meet your brother’s friend’s cousin, thanks. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook at Kat Bryant-DailyWorld.