Help ! trying to figure out the weird world of online dating

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    Hi everyone,
    Glad to be posting somewhere else besides the Tough Times section. Recently, I have felt comfortable enough to put up a profile on a online dating site. I tried it once before and it was terrible. Maybe it didn’t help that I wasn’t ready for it and that I had a friend at the time who told me horror stories about women he had met.

    This time it has been different for me. I have been in contact with two different women. Both are single mothers, and from our messages back and forth, they both seem down to earth. I have just been talking to them and would like to meet with them soon. Then if I have a strong chemistry with either one, I can focus my attention on that person. I never been and I never will be the “player” type. I’ve been used and it’s not a good feeling.

    There is something about the situation that is bothering me. The first woman that I started having contact with is giving off weird signals that I am not sure about. She said she was taking her daughter to the lake on Sunday for the week. From Friday until mid Sunday I sent here a couple of messages. Just general stuff saying that I hope her and her daughter have a good trip and I will talk to her later. I checked the site throughout the weekend and she sent a notification that she wants to meet me.

    During this whole time, I have gone and checked to see if she responded to any of my messages which she hasn’t. During this time, she has been online on the site. I understand there is nothing there but if you are interested in someone, and want to meet them, why be aloof about it. If I’m interested in someone, I am not checking out dozens of other profiles while I say I’m interested in someone. Do I ask her if she still interested or not?

    Maybe I don’t get dating right now. I’m 43, and the last time I dated, I was 21. I think it would just be nice to meet both women and see if there is a spark between either one. Quite a few different women responded to my messages but it was the two I am talking to that seemed the most down to earth and I had the most in common with. The difference between them is age and kids. The one who says she wants to meet me is 35 with a 2 year old and the other one is 43 with a 5 and 6 year old.

    What do you guys think?


    none of these women.
    they both have kids which can cause you problems if you want something more than a date.I think that is so rare, when a divorced woman with kids can create a new life with a new husband,and be happy.Although many relationships are out there with these circumstances.
    But i think that the best you can do is to find a woman that doesn’t have kids,which means that she doesn’t carry the past to the present moment.A woman who can create a big start from where she is.Children may not accept the new,sometimes.
    Maybe she is wounded by her ex-husband (and desperate to find a new man who can carry the weight of her problems,life,and kids) and so, her reactions can affect you. The right moment to find someone to love ,in my opinion, is when we are okay within us,and they are too.If i am with a person by need,or if i’m desperate to find someone to date or to love etc etc, it’s…wrong (always in my way of thought) because the right person we can choose is when we are happy and comfortable with ourselves,when we love ourselves and we want the best things to happen to us.
    Love,or marriage,or dates,sometimes comes when we don’t expect it to come.Okay,in the age of 40’s is a little bit worrying BUT this doesn’t mean that we must compromise with the internet dates.Yes sometimes gets out something good from this,but,my experience taught me nor internet dates, neither despair led me into the right way.When you feel okay with yourself to choose a person and not by need,it’s the right moment to do the right actions.
    Excuse my english.I’m learning 🙂 haha I wish you the best.

    The Ruminant

    You don’t have to have kids to carry the past into the present moment 🙂 Anyone who is around the age suitable for Steve is going to have a past. Steve has a past. Things happen in life and people find themselves in new circumstances and they have to adapt. No need to be judgemental about it.

    I do agree though that one should feel comfortable with themselves before starting dating.

    The problem with online dating is that it creates the illusion of a marketplace, where you have a lot of options, but you know that you get to choose only one. So people behave the same way as when shopping for a large investment, like a car or a house. Some people hate shopping so much, that they would rather just quickly have their most basic needs met and be done with it. Some like to browse a bit more before making any commitment. It doesn’t mean being a player. That’s just how it ends up being in the world of online dating. Sure, there are also those who get so hooked on the dating process itself that they aren’t interested in settling for anyone.

    As for this one person who is interested in meeting, but is being aloof. Aloof isn’t always a bad sign. Intensity is a worse sign than being aloof, to be honest. Being able to handle temper is important, in my opinion. She said that she has plans for next week, but is interested in meeting you. If you haven’t asked her any direct question that she should answer to, then what is the problem with the pace? She might be in contact with you after she comes back from the lake. Being really invested in one person even before meeting them is the sort of intensity that can be a bad sign. You haven’t established a true connection yet, so she isn’t invested enough in you. Doesn’t mean that she is a player. It can mean that she has a bit of common sense. Of course it could be that she is bonkers, but I wouldn’t say that based on what you’ve written.

    You need to handle your own temper and cool down a bit. Don’t be too eager to settle for the first one that seems OK enough. That gives out an air of desperation, and that’s not good. Relax, and try to see the people as someone interesting that you might get to know along the way, and not as someone who could potentially offer you something that you need. That kind of attitude also takes away the shopping element, and you might be able to see and accept people as they are!


    Hi Steve,

    Sorry, If I were on a dating website, and a single mom with a toddler, I’d be aloof as hell! LOL

    There are a lot of strange birds out there and shame on her for bringing a potential total stranger into their midst.

    And even in a perfect world where she had babysitters and oodles of time and you never meet the kid, what message is that sending the kid?? Dropped off at daycare while mommy works and now a babysitter when she’s not working??

    Please only date childless women. I knew someone who was pissed because his GF spent more time with her teenagers than him. (!!!)

    Don’t be That Guy.


    I extensively used online dating services on and off for 4 years before meeting my now fiancé, so I can share a little bit of my own experience. Even when I messaged someone that I wanted to meet them, it didn’t stop me from continuing to browse through the other profiles. It was only once I was consistently meeting up with someone in real life that I would drop off from browsing the online dating world. Dating is just dating to me, playing the field. Unless there’s a mutually agreed on commitment to monogamy between both people, no harm in continuing to look!


    I just wanted to say a couple of things about some of the comments here.
    It is almost impossible to find a woman in her 30’s or my age that doesn’t have kids or has been married before. If they haven’t, sometimes they are the most out there people. I know, my former sister-in-law was like that. I have 2 boys that are 13 and 11. Any woman who might want a relationship with me will have to get use to them too.

    Secondly, I am courteous to whomever I am trying to get to know. I am not pushy because I have kids and I know the commitment that is involved in that. As for The Ruminant saying that I need to control my temper and be cool. I didn’t know I was anger in the first place. It has been 22 years since I dated so online dating is a little odd to me. What is the point of me getting upset at people that I don’t really know, and that are just trying to possibly start a relationship with someone new ?

    Thirdly, to Inky. What does this woman have to be ashamed of? Wanting to have love in her life? Sure there are a lot of strange people out there. Many are just on there to use and dump the people that they contact, without a second thought about what they are doing. But,
    there are people out there that want to build a real relationship and respect the person they are with.

    My sister’s marriage ended and my niece was about 14 months old. She started seeing someone when my niece was about a year and a half. Fifteen years later, they are still together, and married for 13 of them. There is no perfect world scenario, it’s just how you treat the one you are in. I would never try to pressure someone into part time parenting their child. My ex has put several men ahead of time with our boys and they resent her for it. I wouldn’t do that to someone.

    Lastly, Jade you gave me the best advice. I know it’s just dating and nothing is set until the two people decide it is set between them. Eventually, something will come together and that connection will be there. I never had the intention to force it. That wouldn’t work.



    I think people freaked out because you *seemed* angry that she was looking at other profiles while interested in you.

    For all you know this is how she gets her kicks to counteract the drudgery of potty training and sippy cup cleaning.

    And for all she knows, you could be one of those bad guys. My point is Why go trolling the internet for strangers when there are plenty of people you may already know or be introduced to IRL, where love could blossom naturally and with more safety. I dunno, dating sites are the last places I would go if I’m still counting my child’s age in months. No offense, just makes me go “Hmmmm”.

    The Ruminant

    What? No, I didn’t think you were angry, and I didn’t freak out (if that’s what Inky was implying) 🙂

    Sorry, English isn’t my first language, so I might miss some nuances of words. I used “temper” to describe the ability to moderate the intensity of feelings. You know, like a thermostat 🙂

    I guess what I should’ve said was, “do not be impatient”. Does that make more sense? Aloofness and slight detachment is good all around when you’re starting to get to know someone.


    Surely you recognize that people’s lives are busy. I think the lady giving you the heads up that she’ll be off to the lake for a week (to me, the implication is that she’s letting you know she may be a bit unresponsive, which is very considerate of her) along with the fact that she sent the notification that she wants to meet you are all positive, good signs. You might wonder why she’s still logging onto the site if she’s not responding to you. One thing to consider is that the level of effort required to log in and take a look around is a lot lower than the effort required to respond to messages. I have my email up all day at my desk, and I respond to emails as I feel the desire to write back. I would hate for any of my friends to think that the timeliness of my response has any correlation to my affection for them as people. “But she has her email up all day, why isn’t she writing back?” If there were something that demanded an expedited response (“Do you want to go to the ball game tonight?”) I would respond immediately. However, a general “here’s a download of stuff going on in my life, how are you doing?” shouldn’t make a person feel pressured to respond, despite whatever else they have going on. In your case, you telling the gal to have a fun time likely put a smile on her face. She wants to meet you. She knows she won’t be able to meet you until she returns from the lake. Don’t invest so much into hearing back a “thank you, talk to you soon!”

    I would avoid asking her if she’s still interested, and rather just throw an invitation out there. “Would you like to meet for coffee next Thursday?” or whatever. Let her response to an invitation be your guide to if she is interested. For what it’s worth, one of the reasons I do not participate in online dating is because of the pressure I feel from guys who are very eager and get worked up over not getting immediate responses, or who make assumptions about my level of interest based on relatively benign indicators (logging in but not responding, for example). Understand from a woman’s point of view, we get TONS of messages to respond to and frankly, it’s a lot of work. Good things come to those who wait. In the meantime, ask out the other lady and see how things go.


    I want to say thanks to the people who responded to my post with their insights. Online dating wasn’t something that was not around when I was 21, and starting dating who would turn out to be my ex-wife. As overly blunt as Inky can put things across, I think she is probably right about the 35 year old woman with the toddler. It appears to be escapism for her and I won’t be pursuing that any further. I am having great conversations with the woman my age and I will try to meet with her.

    Inky does have the right idea about trying to meet more people in real life ( dang you Inky ! ), but after spending most of my time focusing on my family, I am finding it difficult to get to know more people again. It does still seem that online dating is what people do more of than anything now. The problem is that it’s so disconnected from the real world. Most people seem scared to actually meet. I am going to look into some special interest groups on Meetup.com even just to get to know more people.

    Other thing, I completely realize people’s lives are busy, but why go on a dating site if your life is so hectic ? My life is busy too. I have two sons that never have to worry if their dad will be there for them or not, and I work full time. But I could always find some time to meet someone.

    I am not going to worry too much about any of this. I’ve come a long way from where I was when my marriage broke up and I am continuing to get better. When the time is right, the right person will appear. Stressing over any of it won’t help make it happen.

    Thanks everyone

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