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Jewish Journal

My Hiatus from Online Dating Sadly, and Thankfully, Comes to an End

by Ilana Angel

September 26, 2011 | 10:36 am

I have not had a date in 2 weeks.  One crazy date too many put me over the edge, and I had to walk away from it all.  I simply could not handle going out on another nightmare.  I knew I hit the wall when a man contacted me online and his email made me sick.  Everything he wrote made me sick.

I’m sure he was a harmless guy, but his opening line of, “Hello Beautiful Momma”, to his big finish of, ”I’d like to run my fingers through your long hair”, made me queasy.  He could have looked like George Clooney and there was still no way in hell I would have agreed to go out with him.

I date with a purpose, not just to date.  I am hoping to meet someone great that I will eventually have a relationship with.  It’s not about getting married, or having sex, it’s just about having a partner to enjoy the second half of my life with.  I want to love someone.  That is why I date.

It’s okay to be lonely, but God help me if I ever get desperate.  Desperate is not cute.  You know what else is not cute?  Lame emails to women that you don’t know saying you want to play with their hair, and calling them Momma when they are not your mom.  That is never going to work.

Desperation is unattractive, so I needed to walk away before I read the email again and talked myself into responding.  If I had read it after a glass of wine, or while watching a Kleenex commercial, I would have convinced myself he was not a tool, and agreed to meet him.

So, I saved myself.  I deleted my accounts on eHarmony and Match.  I suspended my membership on JDate, and walked away.  I spent two weeks focused on my son and work.  I saw friends, went to temple, and did not log onto any dating sites.  I was free, and it was great.

I had planned to go a month without any time wasted dating online.  I changed my mind however on Sunday morning.  I went to a local farmer’s market with my son, and 20 minutes there changed my mind.  After two weeks I knew I was ready to get back on the dating hell train.

The market was full of families.  Couples with young children running around the petting zoo, and getting their faces painted.  As I walked along with my son, he noticed me, noticing the families.  He put his arm around my shoulders, hugged me close, and told me he loved me very much.

I told him I loved him too.  He then told me I was a great mom, he and I were a great team, and he loved our family.  It was very sweet. Perhaps he thought I was watching the families wishing we had an intact family when he grew up.  It was lovely, and I suppose true on some level.

Of course I wish he had grown up with two loving parents in one home.  The fact however, is if given the chance to do it again, I still would have left my marriage.  I have done a great job raising this child, and having a home full of love and laughter was the only option.

As I looked at the families at the farmers market, I was not sad about the life I did not give my son, as his life has been blessed.  I was thinking about how great it is to build a family, and that it’s never too late.  My son and I have lots of love, and there is room for a man in our life.

It’s interesting to think that my son and I are both dating.  How is that it I used to change his diapers, and now we are making a schedule for the car as we might both have a date on the same night?  Life is an interesting journey, and I have loved every minute of my life with this child.

I’m ready for more.  He will be heading off to college before I know it and I don’t want to be alone.  I want him to go to NYU, which is his dream, and he will not go if I’m not in a relationship.  He is certain he will go to school here, if it means his leaving will result in my being alone.

I have raised him to be a great man and it’s touching that he won’t leave me, but over my dead body is he going to give up his dreams for me.  He will go to NYU, and I will burst with pride.  I will be fine, and if it means I need to date a few more tools, I will do it.  He is going to NYU.

And so I woke up this morning and reactivated my JDate account.  After 15 minutes I was sent an instant message from a 29 year old, marked as a favorite by a 63 year old, and emailed by a guy with the biggest teeth I have ever seen.  My online tool shopping is back on track.

Dating is not easy.  It takes patience and faith.  It also requires a sense of humor and compromise.  I hope this go round does not take too long, but even if it does, as long as I stay hopeful and not desperate, all will be well and I will be able to continue keeping the faith.

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