It used to be a lot of fun, back in the days of Yahoo Personals. Back then everyone was pretty friendly. So much so that when someone didn’t answer your note to them, you noticed. Things registered.

I remember when I returned to on-line dating some years back and I didn’t understand how much things had changed. Suddenly everyone was rude. Even nice people. And by rude I mean here today, and gone tomorrow without so much as a no, thank you. I mean people not responding  to a brief nice message. Or people writing first, and then dropping off the planet.

Most embarrassingly, my last go round before I got adjusted to the new normal, I fixated on a guy that had the only good profile on Plenty of Fish. MB, if you are reading this, I was just naive. I forced him to be my friend, which is the embarrassing part. It wasn’t my fault that I didn’t understand the new order.

Now, I’ve put myself back out there, but I am acclimated to the altogether dehumanizing aspects. I can’t even read profiles anymore, so I am just fielding anyone who comes to me. Most of the “Hi’s” get deleted immediately. All of them do, actually. And anything referring to my beautiful smile or soba noodles (you gotta read my profile to get that) gets similarly tossed.

So far, I have exchanged messages with a biologist (a senior zookeeper!), a pediatrician and a glass blower. There is at least one good prospect in this group, (the zookeeper). He wrote to me and was presumably interested. There hasn’t been enough exchange to change his mind, one way or the other. But I haven’t heard from him again, and we have no definite plans to hang with the lemurs (one of his proposed date ideas that I pounced on). In the past I would still think that perhaps I’d just met someone interesting. But now I am more certain that I have just been added to the bottom of someone’s back-up list.

I am sufficiently hardened, and sufficiently basking in the afterglow of a couple of months of sweetness with Dave, that I am managing the “whatever” attitude just fine. Since I have no impulse control when it comes to texting a man, it is good to genuinely feel able to roll with whatever doesn’t come of things.

I think I want to be in the game, but I am in no hurry to go on an actual date. I really don’t like dating very much. I want someone, or even several people,  by my side for reals, but I don’t want fumbled communication, empty promises and unanswered expectations. And don’t give me some new age lecture about expectations…everyone has them.

I will likely at some point get on up and do some Meet Ups. I will take classes. I will meet a lot of women. I will rent out rooms in my house and if that doesn’t work I will live on a commune. Eventually, I will have to do something.

In the meantime, internet dating keeps a door open, even if nothing much walks through it.  It keeps possibility in the air, even when the stench is hard to bear. I have learned to carry my own air freshener, so I’m good. I got those essential oils up my nose. But I preferred the early days, when we were all in it together and took care of one another a little more gently. I don’t know what happened. Innocence lost? We all got hurt? Not sure, but it does no good to fight it. Just hit delete and move on.internetdating