Facebook Dating App: What Fresh New Hell Is This? (Here’s the Skinny on What to Expect)

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Single? Debating giving the new Facebook dating app a try? I did, and I’ve got the skinny on the pros and the cons of this new addition to the Facebook “empire.”

Facebook dating app review. I gave the Facebook dating app a spin. So if you're looking for a real review of the Facebook dating app and what to expect, this is where you'll find it. Single? Debating giving the new Facebook dating app a try? I did, and I've got the skinny on the pros and the cons of this new addition to the Facebook empire.

Why Can’t I Just Meet Someone Organically?

There is one character flaw that makes someone completely undateable. Unfortunately, my second husband lacked this particular flaw or I never would have ended up in a disastrous six month marriage. But lessons were most definitely learned in that scenario. And as a result, I was able to tackle some of my own issues so I didn’t repeat the mistakes I made that landed me there in the first place. 

Of course, the end of a relationship generally means there’s eventually the beginning of another one. And I dated, quite exclusively, someone else over the course of a year and a half. That (now ex) boyfriend also lacked this fatal character flaw. Though near the end he’d harp that I liked to talk to hear myself talk. As we were living together at the time and had zero in common – how does that happen anyway? – I spent the second half of that relationship quite depressed. By the end of it I felt like my whole life was on hold. 

So I moved out and moved on. And I tried online dating again. The typical go to’s. Bumble and OKCupid as they tend to be less scary than some of the other dating apps out there. But I actually met someone in person less than a week in. And for a blissful few weeks I truly thought he was the perfect person for me.

It began as a whirlwind of an affair that lasted five short weeks. Then we took a break. And okay. So maybe we did move really fast. At this point however, he thought what I feel is my greatest strength was my own character flaw.

I ALWAYS stand up for the underdog. Sometimes to a fault I suppose. And admittedly it can get me in trouble. But standing up for others is the right thing to do. Right?

Some months back I actually found myself flat on my ass bleeding on the pavement. I had demanded some guy apologize for making inappropriate slurs to a transgender woman on the street. But this guy reallllllllly didn’t want to apologize. So he shoved me instead. Hard. I went down immediately and actually slid backwards. Two inches of skin from my elbow down my arm came off in the process. 

So, of course, you know if I’m going to defend someone I just met at a punk show, I’m going to defend the guy I’m dating when he’s being bullied by his family. Granted, it’s his family and it likely wasn’t my place. But that’s who I am. I’m the person who’s going to call you out for being mean to someone for no particular reason. And I’m the person that’s going after an active shooter if there are lives on the line.

The kicker though, is that I actually had a discussion with this guy about that very topic. Wanna know what he’d do?

Hide behind everyone else.

Still, that wasn’t the be all to end all character flaw that nipped things to a quick halt. Nor was the fact he kept introducing himself to my friends as a lead singer in a rock and roll band. (It’s a fricking cover band, dude. No one cares.)

As it turned out, he’s actually a racist. And no matter how you try to defend using the N word, it doesn’t change facts. Nor does it discount that you’re hoping a nice white family will move in down the street instead of more people of color. It’s not okay. It’s never been okay. And for me, it’s completely unforgivable. 

And that is how I ended up on a test run of the new Facebook dating app.

Facebook dating app review. I gave the Facebook dating app a spin. So if you're looking for a real review of the Facebook dating app and what to expect, this is where you'll find it. Single? Debating giving the new Facebook dating app a try? I did, and I've got the skinny on the pros and the cons of this new addition to the Facebook empire.

Enter The Facebook Dating App

Truth be told, I’ve long believed that Facebook should definitely NOT be used as a dating app. Having had my share of stalkers over the years, it’s always creepy when some random friend of a friend hits you up at 1am drunk AF. So I’ve spent ages actually slicing and dicing my friends list into absentia. With under 50 friends left on my list, I was finally able to nip that in the bud.

But then Facebook decides to actually develop a dating app. WTF. Accessible only through the mobile Facebook app, the biggest advantage is that it’s 100% completely free. (At least for now.) I’m sure, like all other things that start out free, they’ll find a way to monetize it down the line.

By no means am I an unattractive person. Except maybe when I’m angry. Because it takes a lot to get me angry. So when I finally get pissed off there’s zero question as to whether I’m mad or not. That aside, if I use a dating app, I am actually getting likes and what not. Therefore I feel like I have a clear understanding of whether it’s a decent app or one that’s quickly going to be circling the drain.

Of course, there’s more to consider than just the dating app itself. Obviously dating outside your area can vary drastically from dating in it.

It’s All About Who You Know (Not Who You Don’t)

Having lived in Southwestern Virginia my entire life, I have a very clear picture of what our area is and isn’t. Virginia did, after all, have a sterilization program in place at one point (which I’m told Hitler used for inspiration and may or may not be true.) Final restitution to the remaining survivors of that atrocity, however, were only paid out in the past decade. While my own hometown specifically, also has a rather sordid history with racism (from the official Roanoke.gov website) even into the early 2000’s. One in which those in positions of power worked to devalue property from black owned businesses and drive down property values. There’s also a lot of civil war history here in Virginia. So I have to mentally prepare myself going in to practice those hard swipes left.

The people I saw on the Facebook dating app were a mix of men I’ve seen on every other dating app out there. However they were randomly mixed in among a slew of new faces. The majority of whom did not look particularly “put together.” I guess if it’s free you have to expect to scrape the bottom of the barrel at some point. (Choose your profile photo wisely!) There were also photos of a lot of dudes with confederate flags in their profile pics. And while around here they say they are simply celebrating their Southern heritage, it’s more apt to say they’re “in the closet.” I mean, seriously dude. You’re celebrating a history of slavery. And, like the guy I wasted five weeks on, it’s racism no matter how you slice it or try to defend it.

What was most troubling however (judging by the fact that facebook is a social sharing platform first and a dating app second) was that many if not all of these men are friends of a friend or a friend of a friend of a friend. (I can’t even.) Flags aside, this may make it seem safer to dip your toes into the dating pool because it tells you who each person is friends with. However, this can also make it hard to find someone new if you’re trying to escape a friend circle that was once comprised of both you and an ex.

If, like me, you’ve taken a hatchet to your friends list, or simply don’t have many friends on social media to speak of, you’ll likely find yourself with fewer matches than you’d hope.

Finding More Matches Using the Facebook Dating App

Agree to expand the range out from 20 miles from your location (or whatever your go to max mileage is) and the Facebook dating app will start showing you potential matches up to 245 miles away. (Or at least that was the experience in my case.) And no matter whether you adjust that mileage cap back or not, you’re stuck with an influx of people who live hours away (that realistically you’re never going to meet) for the next 24 hours.

Additionally, the largest demographic of facebook users are men between the ages of 25 and 34, according to the most recent statistics. Therefore, depending on your age and sex, the facebook dating app may or may not work in your favor. But then again, it also depends who’s actually signing up and using the facebook dating app.

Unlike some dating apps, the Facebook dating app doesn’t allow you to send photos to someone you’ve matched with. Which is both good and bad. Having the ability to send photos allows you to vet people more thoroughly. Or at least in my case. For example, the guy who sent me a photo of himself fresh out of the shower. Hard pass. Block. Delete. OMG. F no.

Facebook dating app review. I gave the Facebook dating app a spin. So if you're looking for a real review of the Facebook dating app and what to expect, this is where you'll find it. Single? Debating giving the new Facebook dating app a try? I did, and I've got the skinny on the pros and the cons of this new addition to the Facebook empire.

Let’s Talk About It (And Other Things That Suck)

On the other hand, you can send gifs and there’s also the option to use an “icebreaker.” Basically random questions (are these always lame?) to send to start a conversation. Examples of actual icebreaker questions from the Facebook dating app are:

  • What was the worst job you ever had?
  • Have you ever been told you look like someone famous? Who was it?
  • What was the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
  • What’s your favorite quote from any movie?
  • If you could be any animal for a day, what would it be?

I mean, seriously?

(This is where I’m reminded of a meme that states: Dating after 40 is like trying to find the least damaged thing in a thrift store that doesn’t smell.)

Another con – and this is a big one – is that no one using the app seems to be very intent on following up on matches. If you match with someone, you’d expect some sort of communication. But for the most part, there seemed to be crickets. Personally, if you can’t engage me, or at least start a meaningful (or hilarious) conversation, then you’re just wasting my time. This lack of contact may be due to new users who aren’t sure how to navigate the app or they may have simply abandoned it after the fact. Either way, I also found that the notifications don’t work unless you have notifications for Facebook on as a whole. And as much as I’m on social media for the blog, there’s no way I’m immersing myself even further into day to day Facebook drama.

In addition, I found the settings for describing your ideal match particularly limiting. No, you cannot specifically ban all rednecks. (Someone could totally market that.) Your only options for the basics are distance, gender identity (limited by men, women or everyone), age range, height range, children and religious beliefs. The Facebook dating app is also only accessible through the Facebook mobile app.

The Pros to the Facebook Dating App

So, there are quite a few cons I found with the Facebook dating app. That’s not to say the kinks won’t be worked out as these issues are by far minor compared to some of the other disastrous dating sites I’ve tried. (Enter Coffee Meets Bagel.) However, there are actually quite a few pluses.

One, the Facebook dating app, as previously mentioned, is completely free (for now) with zero restrictions.

There’s no swiping left or right so there’s no confusion for new users. Simply tap the X if you’re not interested or tap the heart to like a person.

You can see everyone who likes you on the Facebook dating app. You then have the option of liking them back and matching or sending them off into oblivion.

And of course, the conversations are free as well. While you can only start a conversation with someone you match with, I actually find that’s a plus. Otherwise, and girls you know, men will bombard and hound you to the end of cyberland. Additionally, you can also report a conversation or block a user (from the conversations tab.)

If suggestions from friends isn’t working for you, the Facebook app does offer a unique feature in which you can get match suggestions from your events. You can also get suggestions from groups you are in. Or add someone you’re interested in as a secret crush. (A little grade school, but okay. Still, it’s totally unique and kind of cute.)

Overall I thought, compared to other dating apps, that the Facebook dating app was rather lacking. I’m looking for more features and a better pool of people to choose from. On the other hand, Facebook does a pretty decent job at deleting fake profiles and preventing bots. So you’re less likely (as a man) to end up with matches who are looking for a pay for sex kind of deal. Or worse a porn site. While I didn’t have luck with the Facebook dating app this time, I do plan to reevaluate it down the road once it’s become more popular.

After Thoughts

It is important to note, that unlike the disastrous attempt at online dating after my second (ever so brief) marriage, I went wading into this adventure like a champ. I have my shit together, the perimenopause is properly supplemented, and more importantly, I don’t get freaked out meeting someone stone cold sober. #forthewin 

Facebook dating app review. I gave the Facebook dating app a spin. So if you're looking for a real review of the Facebook dating app and what to expect, this is where you'll find it. Single? Debating giving the new Facebook dating app a try? I did, and I've got the skinny on the pros and the cons of this new addition to the Facebook empire.

For more lifestyle posts from Soap Deli News, be sure to follow me via social media. You can follow me on Blog Lovin‘, facebooktwitter and instagram. Or sign up for my newsletter.

The Year I Lived With Agoraphobia (And Other Things We Don’t Talk About)

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Sometimes we catch ourselves in a trap of our own making. Which is exactly how I came to be diagnosed with agoraphobia in the first place.

The year I lived with agoraphobia. (And other things we don't talk about.) Sometimes we catch ourselves in a trap of our own making. Which is exactly how I came to be diagnosed with agoraphobia in the first place.

The feeling you get.

Have you ever felt your chest get tight going over an interstate bridge? It’s followed by this onset of panic. You feel like you’re just not going to make off that bridge unless it’s over the side. Any second you could lose control of the car. And so you grip the wheel tighter. Your knuckles turn white. You’re gritting your teeth. Then, finally, finally, you’ve reached the other side.

Where am I going?

I was never one of those career driven people. Like many of us, I didn’t really figure out what I wanted to do with my life (job wise) until I was in my mid-30’s. At that point in my life, I already knew people entering their 40’s who still had no clue what direction they were headed in. So I didn’t really stress over it as much as some people do.

It’s funny because we’re expected to know what we want to do with our lives as soon as we graduate high school. Very few of us are that far sighted. Which is why so many of us change our major at least once, if not twice, in college. Many of my friends, in fact, aren’t even working in the same field as their college major. As for me, I graduated college with a BA in fine arts after 7 1/2 years (and my son along the way) and still had no idea what to do with my life.

The past three years or so have been a whirlwind for me. I’ve started over a few times. I’ve moved a lot. I took a brave leap and quit my day job to become a writer with zero savings. My only business plan was to “write more.” I got married and then divorced again – all in under a year. Most of my friends know me as being extremely gregarious. I’m occasionally overbearing. I ask too many questions. I treat strangers like family. So it’s a surprise to most people when they find out I was once diagnosed with agoraphobia.

How did I get there?

Well, like all stories, this story requires some backstory. The story, as it was told to me, begins around the time my brother was born.

I was 3 1/2 when my brother was born. My dad, who really enjoyed hunting at the time, had promised that he’d stay home to help my mom with my brother. Seeing as he was born in October, however, he sort of maybe took off on a hunting trip instead. So my mother “sent me away” to spend the weekend with my aunt. That way she only had one child to contend with and not two. (And believe me, as a once upon a time single mother, I completely understand.)

My parents also started spanking me sometime around this age. They’d planned on being progressive baby boomer parents who didn’t spank their children. However, I was apparently so “out of control” at this point that they didn’t know what else to do. So, as their parents had done to them, authoritarian punishment was dealt out for childhood infractions – often with a belt. (Which I was told was the better choice when compared to a switch or a paddle.)

Also somewhere within this time frame, I almost drowned at the beach. I also almost choked to death on a popcorn kernel. But then, again, who haven’t these things happened to?

Nonetheless, I was an incredibly shy child around strangers. And new kids. And very often in new places. Looking back I would definitely say I experienced a high level of anxiety when placed in new situations even as a young child.

I would scream and cry whenever my mother dropped me off at daycare. (This upon realizing having a second child meant she had to go back to work.) And I was bad. There was one day that she was forced to take me to work with her because I’d worked myself up from tears into dry heaves.

When I started school for the first time, and every year after throughout elementary school, that first week was always accompanied by a terrible stomach ache each morning.

I did not like the Easter bunny. Nor did I like Santa. These fictional characters were strangers to me. And to be forced into having my photo taken with them meant more tears – and the occasional cry/screaming that emitted by young children in terror.

While I can’t say with any certainty one way or the other if these events had a significant impact on my life, the fact that I remember them (prior to the discovery of the why) is telling. As were the eventual results, which included severe bouts of anxiety, depression, and eventually, agoraphobia.

When I was fourteen, I was the survivor of a much larger trauma. (#metoo) One that I never told my parents about. This of course led to its own unique outcomes and consequences. Destructive behavior. Cutting. Drinking. Behaviors that led to another similar incident when I was sixteen. Something I’ve since learned is way more common than many of us ever realized.

When did it happen?

Fast forward to just before the agoraphobia started. I’m married to my first husband. My son is in elementary school. I’ve been seeing a psychologist for depression and OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder.)

The ironic thing about me seeking help for my depression and OCD is that it actually led to my agoraphobia. I had started talking to a mental health professional in an attempt to wrangle my obsessive compulsive behaviors and bring it back under control. I was also exhausted, sad. I slept a lot.

I was exhibiting obsessive compulsive behaviors both at work and at home. At work I was perfect folding shirts and jeans like a crazy person. At home I was also perfect folding shirts and jeans like a crazy person. I was cleaning obsessively and checking and rechecking that everything was always perfectly in place.

What therapy taught me, was that the OCD was my coping mechanism for my anxiety. When I got the OCD under control and stopped those behaviors, that’s when the panic attacks began. The one thing that had helped me cope was taken away. Yet I was still left with unanswered questions on how to heal the root cause of my depression and anxiety to begin with.

Modern medicine offered SSRI’s as the answer. In the end however, holistic therapy was the only thing that addressed the core problem.

It’s all in your head.

I had that first panic attack shortly afterwards while at work. I remember it so clearly. It was the start of the holiday season. Online sales had yet to entirely change the face of retail at this point. So holidays meant hoards of people, many of whom were impatient.

I was working at Gap at the time. And as I was walking across the crowded hall of the mall from Baby Gap to Gap, it hit. It’d been so long since I’d had a panic attack that I didn’t really recognize it as one at first. From there however, my condition spiraled.

I could only avoid having panic attacks at work if I was intensely focused on a task, such as resetting a wall display.

Then it got worse. And it kept on getting worse. However, because the attacks would happen so quickly in succession, and last for so long, I didn’t recognize them as panic attacks. I thought maybe I had developed adult asthma.

I went to my regular doctor. He told me that what I was experiencing was all in my head. I didn’t believe him. My mind wouldn’t let me see those attacks for what they really were. Maybe that meant giving up control to view them that way. I don’t really know. What I do know, is that I was – and still am – quite stubborn.

Testing, testing. 1. 2. 3.

I had my doctor refer me to another physician to be tested for asthma. By the time the tests for asthma came back negative, I wasn’t able to work at all. I had started having panic attacks in the house. Room by room until only my office and bedroom were panic attack free.

Eventually, the only time I didn’t have a panic attack, was if I was in bed reading or watching television.

I couldn’t have a normal conversation. I had panic attacks during telephone calls. My panic attacks were so intense, and lasted so long, that I literally had to pause after every word when talking to catch my breath. It was like I’d run a mile and then tried to have a discussion. My heart still pacing. My lungs still gasping to find air.

My now ex-husband used to come home at lunch while I was in the shower upstairs. He’s sneak into the bathroom just to scare me. When I started locking the bathroom door, he’d jimmy the lock. So I started having panic attacks in the shower. This led to me taking showers in the downstairs basement – where it felt like I could breathe.

I finally accepted my condition as being in my head. I accepted that I was having panic attacks. And, I was diagnosed with agoraphobia. At this point my panic attacks were so debilitating, I was told, had I not been so stubborn, I would have been housebound.

So I started taking an SSRI drug to manage the agoraphobia. Even with a high dose of SSRI medication, I would still have panic attacks. They were what one might consider a “normal” panic attack at that point, accompanied by debilitating tension headaches. So I took benzodiazepines to manage what the SSRI’s couldn’t. (These days I take CBD oil for anxiety, stress and the resulting pain that manifests from these symptoms. Use coupon code: ref0716498 for $10 off.)

Life is all about changes.

I decided to quit my job. (I had the luxury to be able to do so at the time.) For eight months I was a stay at home mother and wife. I mostly learned how to cook – though I’m SO much better now. I read more books than most people do in two lifetimes.

One day, while shopping at Target, I started talking to a stranger in the sales aisle. That was the day I knew I had to do something else with my life. I needed to be a part of the world.

I decided to apply to sell my handmade soaps at our local farmers market on a Monday. I interviewed with market management on a Tuesday. Wednesday, I set up my soaps on top of the concrete tables to sell. I met amazing people. I learned so much. Not just about selling on the market, but about other people and life. I grew. And ever so gradually, I conquered my fears.

Soapmaking, and in turn, selling my handmade soaps on the market, more than anything else, was what really pushed me forward. It’s how I tackled the agoraphobia and anxiety once and for all. It’s how I began to slowly become the person I am today. More than anything, however, it’s how I started healing and finally learned how to be on my own and figure out what I really wanted for my life.

The things we don’t talk about.

Once my first husband and I split up after 9 1/2 years of marriage, I moved back home. Within a few days I’d stopped having panic attacks. They literally just stopped.

Six months later, and during the recession, I finally found a part time job. That job went full time. I learned how to take care of myself. And now, well, I’m here. Growing. Writing. Figuring out the growing and the writing in tandem along the way.

There are lots of things we don’t talk about. But I’m glad, that now, I finally am.

More to explore.

If you enjoyed reading about my journey into and back out of agoraphobia, then I hope you’ll also read my other related article, Online Dating in Your 40’s Is The Equivalent of Running Head First Into a Brick Wall.

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Online Dating in Your 40’s Is The Equivalent of Running Head First Into a Brick Wall

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I may receive compensation from links on this site. As an Amazon Associate I also earn from qualifying purchases. See my disclosure policy.

My boyfriend and I both tried online dating. This was prior to meeting one another through, well, online dating. Apparently he stuck around because he thought it was refreshing that I wasn’t fake. There was no pretense. Just me in my, sometimes overwhelming and slightly obnoxious, glory. Greg and I have been dating for around five months or so. I can’t give you an exact time frame. Something that Greg is always (teasingly) giving me flak for.

Online dating in your 40s is the equivalent of running head first into a brick wall. It leaves you dizzy and confused, wondering just what the F happened. Everyone has baggage. Some people though, they have something inherently wrong with them.

The other day I asked Greg what he liked about me. You know’ what really made me special to him. I often give Greg flak for being absent from social media. Plus, poor guy, Greg has like one friend here, having moved from Atlanta. So I wanted to be sure he wasn’t hanging around because he was lonely or some silly nonsense.

As Greg has only been living in Virginia since December, it’s completely plausible that he’s with me through my indecisiveness and hormones for purely selfish reasons. Although, he did let me slather him in sunless tanner, take photos and then write a tell all.

Tell me why you love me.

“So. Why is it EXACTLY that you’re with me?” I asked the other day.

His first response? “Well,” he said, “you have a dog.”

Okay. I get that. My dog is pretty awesome. (He’s a dachshund after all.) So I guess I can let that slide. I mean, quite honestly, I would NEVER date a guy who owned a cat. Not that I hate cats. I just think dudes that have cats are a little off. Allergies aside, there’s just something weird about them that doesn’t mesh well with my personality. So when I was swiping left during this whole online dating debacle, then left again, then left again… (Le sigh.) Anyone who owned cats was an automatic no. Of course, mostly everyone else was too.

“So what else? You can’t JUST be with me for my dog.”

(My dog on the other hand thinks he’s people, so he’s finding the whole first answer thing totally plausible. However, here I am thinking that his next answer better be something about me specifically or I’m walking right out that door.)

“I really like that you’re outgoing. It helps me out because I’m shy and don’t know what to talk about in a lot of situations.”

Whoa. Hold up. Let’s stop right there before you dig this hole any deeper. These answers weren’t exactly what I was going for. For someone who doesn’t forget birthdays or holidays, is generally romantic and occasionally passionate, I was expecting a much different answer. But hey. He likes Star Wars and he can cook. Which, according to my friends, are apparently two very desirable traits to have in a boyfriend. (Or anyone for that matter.)

So, just how did I get here? Well, that requires a little back story.

Into the (not so) way back.

My BFF Bambi (who is not a stripper but an educational director at the zoo – and yes, that is her real name) had been on OK Cupid after she and her second husband split. He was a nightmare, unfortunately. Both a drug addict and emotionally abusive, this guy actually treated Bambi worse after she developed breast cancer. Luckily the judge had enough sense to see this and ordered him removed from the home.

Prior to that, however, she had been staying with a friend for her own safety. All while she continued to pay the mortgage and all of the utilities on her house while her ex-husband lived in her home, rent free. Within that time frame that she stayed elsewhere, he not only stole from her, he also quit his job. He trashed her house and even went so far as to hook up with a fellow addict. A girl with an active felony arrest warrant for both for heroin and gun charges.

When Bambi’s ex, who quickly exhausted his own friend’s patience, finally moved back to Wisconsin to stay with his parents, it was one of her best days ever. Unfortunately, as luck would have it, her rebound was a two-faced liar and a possessive control freak. Which proves just how easy it is for any of us to fall back into that trap of emotional abuse. (Much like I did, myself.)

However, like me, Bambi is a fighter. She’s a scorpio and I’m a gemini. Together we’re tough as nails. But most of all, we are survivors.

Online dating in your 40’s is its own special version of hell.

As Bambi had been married for the past ten years, she was not in the know when it came to “modern day” online dating. So she asked me for suggestions. I gave her a few of my usual go to online dating sites and she signed up.

Then my own marriage, of just six short months, fell apart.

Bambi had been on a few dates prior to me moving in with her over Christmas weekend. My husband of six months and I split just a few week prior to that. I started therapy around the same time. So, as is the way of women, Bambi and I, both freshly single, found ourselves sharing too much wine one evening while simultaneously talking and laughing, discussing her dates and other general gossip that two best friends share.

This inevitably led to a discussion of online dating sites. Which were the best, which were the worst, and which ones had at least 3-5 people we knew. Bambi was particularly a fan of OK Cupid because of their detailed and EXHAUSTING list of personality and lifestyle questions. So, while in the midst being half drunk (okay we where schmammered) on wine, I signed up and we started answering question after question on my profile, together, laughing all the while.

While Bambi eventually met her now current boyfriend, it took me a while to catch up with her. Likewise, her online dating experience was not like my online dating experience. Because mine was a complete and total nightmare.

Let me tell you a little something about dating in your 40’s. Online dating in your 40s is the equivalent of deliberating running head first into a brick wall. It leaves you dizzy and confused, wondering just what the F happened. Everyone has baggage. However some people out there, well, they have something inherently wrong with them.

Don’t get me wrong. I am, or was, just as F’d up as the next person. I have my own baggage from some pretty messed up relationships that left me with me with my own set of PTSD symptoms. I mean my first husband contributed to me developing agoraphobia. He used to sneak into the bathroom while I was showering and scare the crap out of me – over and over – and even if I locked the door. So going into this whole online dating thing was like pulling out a bag of tricks and seeing which “me” was going to come out as a result.

Anxiety is a bitch. Online dating with anxiety is a bigger bitch. So I drank too much on first dates. And third dates. Basically, I relived the same cycle of madness from previous failed relationships until I found a holistic therapist that actually helped me. It wasn’t until Greg that I really started to pull my shit together. Everything before Greg, however, was a total mess. So I documented the hell out of my most interesting online dates in what I call “The Dating Files.”

Online dating in your 40s is the equivalent of running head first into a brick wall. It leaves you dizzy and confused, wondering just what the F happened. True stories of terrible online dates. #dating #onlinedating #disasters

The (online) dating files.

While Bambi and I were both able to navigate our way into healthy, happy relationships, there is some unfortunate drama that preceded those accomplishments. Here are a few of the worst.

Entry #1:

Sometimes swiping left works. Other times weirdos message you and you have no control over it. There was one guy with one of the worst dating profiles I’d ever seen. He told me that I would be perfect if I only smoked. He was non-mobile and a drug user, so, for me at least, I think the whole “non-smoker” thing worked in my favor.

Entry #2:

Another guy that I messaged a few times seemed normal, Not to mention successful. Just before we met for the first time however, he asked if I had a problem dating married men. I blocked him immediately afterwards.

Entry #3:

The first guy I went on an actual date with, after joining an online dating site, was an alcoholic musician. He claimed to have Lyme disease. Although he did lack the deteriorating health symptoms of undiagnosed Lyme. My guess is he actually has fibro. Buy hey, who am I? That being said, I understood the self-medicating thing to deal with pain. Unfortunately, I really think this guy just had a death wish. Not only did he love to drink and drive – because when did he not drink? He also never buckled up.

He wrote me the most beautiful song for Christmas about a week after we met. Regrettably this guy was not only a musician, he was also a narcissist. As if the alcoholism wasn’t bad enough (he’d crush beers in the morning to avoid DT’s) he made me cry three times over a four week period. The kicker with this guy was, on his online dating profile, he described himself as the perfect Southern gentleman.

There was also the story (and he LOVED telling stories about himself to anyone who would listen) about him drinking beer on his drives from Virginia to Tennessee. He’d occasionally take his elementary school aged daughter on these trips. To save time, and avoid stopping for pee breaks, he’d also have his daughter hold a soda bottle for him so he could pee while was driving. Yeah. No words.

The only good thing that came out of the few weeks I hung out with this dude was that Bambi was able to get her water heater, dishwasher and garbage disposal fixed. (Side note: Musicians, no matter how F’d up, are harder to ditch. My second husband included.)

Entry #4:

This next guy was an even bigger doozy than the last one. It started out with him telling me that I should talk to him on the phone because, back in my day, there no texting. Somehow, and it was probably the dry sense of humor, we did date ever so briefly. He was an even worse alcoholic than the first guy, with an unhealthy co-dependency on his younger brother.

We’d meet up for brunch on the weekend. What this actually meant was he was going to be wasted by 11:30am and he’d forget about eating entirely. He also forgot to shower. Or just didn’t care. He kept airline flight bottles of vodka in his car to drink on breaks. He was also waiting on a court date for his second DUI. And he’d scream at me just to turn around and beg me not to leave. If he thought I was mad the phone calls and texts were incessant.

I finally had to block him in the end. Sadly this was after having to give him a shower because he wasn’t physically capable and then help him locate his car the next morning.

Entry #5:

And then other guys still were simply just annoying because they were so indecisive. You can have a great white collar job, kick ass hobbies and be attractive, but if it takes a week and a half for you to plan a dinner date, I have to take a pass.

Final thoughts (and online dating advice.)

Someone once told me (see entry #4) that his Dad gave him this advice. “The quickest way to get over someone is to get back under someone else.” This is terrible advice. It’s also likely one of the reasons online dating can be so disastrous. This guy’s dad was not only emotionally and physically abusive, he also cheated on his wife on a regular basis. So you can see how unhealthy relationships lead to more unhealthy relationships in a cycle that never ends.

If you’re dipping your toes into the online dating pool and it feels like a trip through wonderland – raise your standards. Change your behaviors. Also, from personal experience, if you’re really angry about your last relationship, you won’t find happiness until you’re able to let that anger go. It’s a hard lesson. As is learning to change the thoughts and patterns of behavior that landed you in that mess to begin with.

Quite honestly, I met Greg because I started choosing guys who “weren’t my type.” And I almost missed out. Because, for me, it didn’t start out with that instant connection – that spark – that I was used to. Instead it was slow and steady. There was no rush to live life to the fullest like you’re speeding on coke because you could die at any moment. I had to step back, relearn and then move forward.

Finally, my therapist recommended the book, Stop Caretaking the Borderline or Narcissist: How to End the Drama and Get On with Life. If you find you’re also part of an unhealthy cycle, this book will help you see the other side of that so you can finally break free.

If you enjoyed this article, you may also be interested in my article titled, You Are Not a Failure.

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Everyday Tips + Life Hacks for Simplifying Your Life

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Life is hard. So why make it harder by working harder than you need to? Here a few everyday tips + life hacks that are perfect for simplifying your life.

Everyday tips + life hacks that are perfect for simplifying your life.

Everyday Tips + Life Hacks

1. The Drip Snagger from Current. Simply purchase and hook the Drip Snagger over the spigot of your coffee urn or drink dispenser to keep drips off the table or floor. Or be inventive and make your own using an empty 2 Liter soda bottle.

2. Use a magnet to keep your tweezers easy to find. Simply place the magnet inside of your medicine cabinet and attach the tweezers so they’re always within easy reach. (Source: Real Simple)

3. Use an empty lotion bottle to make a cell phone caddy. A few simple cuts and voila! You have a handy place to store your phone while it’s charging. You can find the tutorial at Apartment Therapy.

4. Make hulling strawberries a snap by simply poking them with a drinking straw. (Source: New Nostalgia)

5. Thumbtack a tissue box inside of your cabinet door for easy storage of plastic grocery bags. (Source: The Family Handyman)

6. Use a seam ripper to clean hair and other debris from the roller of your vacuum cleaner. (Source: Real Simple)

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