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Why I’m Thankful About Dating

Thanksgiving pilgrims

Interview 100 people currently engaged in dating and I suspect the majority would say, “This sucks.”

They’d complain about the games the opposite gender plays with their head, body and soul. They’d complain about the dishonesty permeating the process. And they’d complain about the time and expense committed to spinning wheels and not finding true love.

Having participated in online dating, on and off, for nine months, I’d agree with these sentiments. I’d also add inappropriate online behavior to the list of complaints.

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It would seem some men believe there is immunity to taste and decorum because you are somewhat anonymous and can hide behind the electronic shield of the Internet. At least once a week I get an inappropriate sexually infused comment from one of my suitors. Sometimes I lose my appetite from this process and want to give up.

I comfort myself with these thoughts: I’m an independent woman! I’ve made terrific friendships with women in my new community who provide companionship. I have an electronic substitute boyfriend I can use when feeling frisky. And because my brain can be very entertaining, at times, I enjoy my own company.

I must be getting something out of the dating process besides inspiration for this blog. Why do I check my e-mails for new suitors and why do I get excited before a date? It’s like the anticipation before opening a Christmas gift. Usually you’re happy after unwrapping your gift, and usually dates are fun and interesting. They are often ego boosters, helpful in healing my broken heart. And I always learn something new about myself.

Most beneficial for me, dates stem my loneliness. Loneliness is such a painful emotion. I’m so grateful that this many men want to spend time with me, that I don’t have to sit home alone every night and every weekend, and that I don’t have to eat by myself at a restaurant.

Side note: Why does the maitre d’ always say, “ JUST one?” when I want to be seated at a restaurant? It makes me feel like a sad sack. Why can’t they neutrally and cheerfully say, “One for dinner?”

I’m grateful that I have enough courage to date. Dating makes me feel strong, even bold. Men also bring out the feminine side of me, even the child in me.

april 17 part colored April 17

So now that I have contradicted myself and completely confused you, let me try to consolidate all of these thoughts into one major point. On this Thanksgiving, despite the drawbacks, I’m truly thankful for my dating experiences. I feel alive. I feel I’m getting younger, yet wiser.

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How can that be? I’m finding myself. Perhaps someone, someday, will find me, too. I remain optimistic, and that’s good.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!

Coming  Dec. 3: Rich man, poor man.

*Names and identifying information have been changed to protect privacy and security.

Photo:eebo79 /iStock

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