Well, I think I'd better post- too many people have seen that last whinge about Internet dating. Specifically, people who have found me through Internet dating, and have gone Googling to find out more about me. I'm feeling rather more positive about that whole thing now. Sitting in on a Saturday evening, I think I'll muse a bit more about relationships- I am learning a lot, and quickly, through this Internet dating thing.
One thing that surprises me is people's expectation that, because I am confident, it is somehow a contradiction that I also feel insecure sometimes. The truth is, I think, that I am confident enough to express all my feelings, including my insecurities when they pop up. Also, there are many reasons why a confident, intelligent woman might feel insecure- like the fact that many wonderful traits she has are not those that are valued in general in society, or by many men individually (in a partner I mean). So, in relation to relationships and so on, getting older with its physical changes in this plastic surgery and botox and shave-yer-pubes world, along with being successful, articulate, confident, intelligent, assertive and so forth, do not lead one to feel more and more certain that the right person is out there and one just has to find him or her.
May I divert here and just tell you about the wonderful website Heartless Bitches International, which has inspired me and made me laugh for many years now. If there are any women reading this and relating, or any men reading this who understand and think strong women are cool, check it out for a smile.
I identify strongly with the main character in "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind"- when she says something about how men think she's going to make their lives better, cos she's so exciting and different, but really, she's just a fucked up girl looking for her own peace of mind. Then Joe Queenan in the Guardian talked about her, saying she was the kind of brassy punk chick who men want to sleep with but not marry. I felt very worried when I read that. I'm no longer a fucked up girl, I'm older now than that character, but I do recognise how much men seem to think I'm this amazing woman who is what they've been looking for all their lives, cos I'm so different, and exciting, and strong, etc. But they soon find out I'm not what they actually want. So that makes me insecure. I don't see what's so difficult to understand about that? Plus, I know I'm not perfect, so trying to find the boundary between "being myself" and working on those aspects of me that may be keeping me from forming a committed relationship seems like a valid thing to do.
Let me stop here and just send big love to my friends who are generally the ones who get me out of this hole: Angel; Jane H.; Jo in New Zealand; Mary M. and Mary H.; my three sisters, Elaine, Vicki and Carole; Allison L.; Babs; Elize; Jake (yes- a man!); Jane B.; Ruth; Joe T. in the USA (yes, another man!); Lisa; Melissa; Mhairi; Neil W. (hey- that's three men- one straight, one gay and one bi- there you go); the three V's: Vashti, Vron & Verene; and Zenobia. Now I feel bad in case I've left anyone out :-( ... I'm sorry if I have and I send you love anyway.
And special mention goes to someone who shall remain nameless cos people might take it the wrong way and blow it out of proportion- but if you're reading this you know who you are- the man who made me believe that it's possible for me to find a soulmate (there ain't just one in this life) and taught me how it would feel when I did, and who gave me a chance to experience a moment of pure love-with-integrity. That was a benchmark in my life honey, and I'll never be able to thank you enough.
Hmmm, getting a bit choked up now.
Well- I keep meeting more very nice people online, and they still tend to come from rather inaccessible locations. A good one just popped up in Glasgow but knocked me back.
Things I have learned:
1. Trust my intuition about people, even at the early stage of looking at their profile.
2. Don't always go by the Guardian Soulmates computer calculation of compatibility. So far my best prospects have been somewhat low scorers in that regard.
3. Definitely trust gut feeling when looking at someone's photo- took me a while to convince myself this wasn't just about being shallow and only going for good-looking people- in fact the guy who has so far given me the most butterfiles is kind of jolie-laide or whatever the French term is for ugly but weirdly sexy. Unfortunately in his case my gut was also telling me he was trouble- and he was, but it was fun trouble for a while.
4. Stick by my very clear bottom-line boundaries- no smokers, no recreational drug users, and if I pick up on things that seem slightly annoying early on, watch out.
5. Aries and Gemini are not good astrological signs for me.
Things I am still not clear on: how soon to start flirting- and how soon to engage in phone sex or cybersex with distant correspondents- I would like to do the three-dates-before-sex thing, but it's difficult when you might not even meet someone F2F for a few weeks.
I am also increasingly clear about how much I love Glasgow, and Scotland, and how many factors are likely to keep me here: a growing circle of intimate and supportive friends who I can do fun things with; a culture and surroundings that really feed my soul (music, arts, mountains, beaches, Scottishness, politics); and very important, access to good career progression opportunities, as Scotland hosts much of the most innovative work in the world in my field.
I don't seem to be corresponding with women, although the Guardian site allows one to look at both genders if preferred (go Guardian!!). I seem to be looking only at men. I wouldn't say no if I fell in love with a woman, in fact I'd be delighted, but deep down I seem to want a male partner.
OK, stopping this now... will think about another post soon.