Online Dating…An Obsession?

Within days of posting my profile online, all I could think about was whether guys would be interested and if so, when, who and for how long?

I was torn over a guy named, Ed*, liking some things, but not certain about others; and another guy, Ron*, appealed to me with his character and personality, but the chemistry seemed to be missing. At least someone was interested, and I devoured every profile. During this time, I realized two crucial things about myself:

I felt starved for someone, and I didn’t feel worthy of anyone. Hawaii

When I began internet dating, I had been single for five years and with the exception of a man who I occasionally hung out with as a friend (even though I hoped it would progress into something more), and a one-time blind date, I didn’t date.

Cumulatively I had endured twenty-one years of wedded despair (with some rare good times) trying to make marriage work and wondering what was wrong with me that drove my ex-husbands to other women. Perhaps they were looking more for sex than love, but in my broken heart (and possibly theirs) those had been synonymous.

I believed that God meant for marriage to be so much more than required sex and a battle of two wills.

I hoped in the idea that someone out there would some day see my heart, my personality, my hopes and desires, and even my occasional opinionated stubbornness  and love it all as a whole package. I imagined that as a result of that intimate connection, lovemaking would follow within the purposeful boundaries of a solid, ever-growing marriage.

However, instead of what I hoped must be true, I had experienced the “if you love me you will…” Hence, sex equaled love, and my search for “love” left me starved.

I actually longed for companionship, partnership, attention and affection; someone who would love me for me and not just for sex. Men of the past had told me I was beautiful, wonderful, attractive and smart, but after twenty-one years and two divorces, I felt like an unattractive, messed up and discarded failure.

Conquered physically, I had been tossed away.

Unfulfilled and lonely, I desperately clung to the Lord with the daily proclamation “You and me, Jesus.” I so badly wanted that to be enough, and I had grown intimately in love with the Lord. I felt him surround me with love and guidance. Nonetheless, I basked in the admiration and seeming adoration of these internet men.

I just wanted to be special to someone.

Day after day I pined for that singular someone, examining each potential prospect. The compulsion to check my computer for messages overtook my life and turmoil ensued. Was I insecure? Looking for a father figure? In love with being in love? Was this an obsession? I wondered. Would I mistake someone’s physical attraction for genuine love and commitment? The patterns that had ruled my life, still threatened to destroy me.

What were my true motives for seeking a mate?

What are your motives in looking for someone online?
*not their real names

Online Dating Profiles…

I confess that when I started internet dating, I did so with fear and trembling.

“What are you thinking?” “What are you doing??” I queried myself as if talking to a person gone mad.

However, filling out the questions for the matching process and profile challenged me to consider who I genuinely am, and to be honest with myself and others. After the few days it took to complete all my answers, I understood myself better. My likes, dislikes and characteristic strengths and weaknesses as well as the particular traits I desired in a mate took shape and presented themselves on a profile page. Then came time for the profile picture.

I’ve heard stories of people who actually post a picture of another person on their profile page because they feel unattractive. I decided against that plan of action, but I can understand in part why some people may feel so compelled by a lack of confidence in their appearance. But let’s look at the reality of this scenario. Eventually you will be found out. Simple as that. And if we are truly seeking the person who matches us perfectly, then we want to be completely honest in every way, don’t we? Otherwise, our false facade misrepresents our true self — in fact, we are hidden. How then can the match seeking our soul find us?

By all means, let’s enhance the qualities God has created in us! Ever watch What Not to Wear? While obviously pointing out fashion faux-pas, the hosts of this show actually bring out the true beauty of the participants by challenging their underlying insecurities. Fashion becomes an accessory to accentuate the natural beauty they possess. I’m all for that!

Understandably, it is a little unnerving to post a picture for all to see. Like looking in the mirror, it’s easy to scrutinize every flaw while overlooking any potential positives. I finally donned my best hair, make-up, clothing and smile and had a friend snap a few pictures in my front yard.

What they see is what they get.

I chose to trust that the person who I would want to be with would be someone who saw more than just my exterior appearance. Hopefully they would also catch the twinkle in my eye. Not every work of beauty appeals to everyone. I only needed to appeal to Mr. Right.

Interestingly enough, some months later my parents requested a portrait quality photograph of me for a family picture wall in their house. My front yard photo shoot didn’t exactly meet their requirements so my dad took me to a photographer friend (my dad is friends with everyone it seems). Posing for portrait photos makes me cringe which I’m sure showed in the strained smile and lack of eye twinkle.

At last the photographer looked out from behind his camera.

"Thank goodness!"

“Okay, that’s the last one!”

In relief I threw my head back with a laugh. “Thank goodness!!”


He captured something relatively beautiful including the twinkle. Dad was delighted. I was pleased enough that when my dad said, “Post that online and you’ll get a guy,” I readily acquiesced.

And so the smile that captivated my future (at that point) husband online was the one captured in that moment. Way to go Dad!

Confessions of an Amateur Writer

I started writing when I was about five years old. No, I don’t mean my name. Stories and poems poured forth from my little imagination without bidding. I set up a library in my room as a youngster and decided I would love to create imaginary worlds just like the authors whose books lined my shelves had. I love to tell stories and seem to have a story for every situation. Writing them down means playing with words; or better yet manipulating them to do my bidding. Sounds like I’m a control freak–not so. It’s just that creating anything fulfills my soul like nothing else. Thinking of ways to produce something with a few items, or as the case may be, a story out of words stirs a challenge in my heart and upon completion, a satisfaction deep within.

So, I wrote whenever I could. I created stories about the kids in my neighborhood. I penned poems about life and love. A few English teachers in junior and senior high school, and then again in college  praised my works and encouraged me to pursue my dream. After completing numerous creative writing courses and scrawling stacks of journals, short stories, articles, curriculum, tossed about novel ideas and one completed (I use that term very loosely) personal experience manuscript, I have entered the world of technology. Here we are blogging and writing essays for contests. The Bible says not to despise the day of small beginnings so I embrace my baby stepping into creating a life as an author. We’ll see how it goes.