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… Or Why I Hate Chemistry.com.

Granted, I signed up for these things far too early after my heart was smashed into a thousand pieces. A month of serious grieving should have been enough, right? After all, it had never taken me longer than one or two months in the past to recover from any break-up. And I was curious to see what might be out there in the wild blue yonder.

I never dreamed it would take so long to heal to the point I needed to be in order to really use these sites properly. Not that it stopped me from signing up. Friends all encouraged me to go out there.

datingI know a few people … near and dear to me … who found happiness and even marriage using one of these sites. It was Match.com if I recall correctly. But they were both from perhaps ten years ago.

Things have changed. A lot. At least I am guessing they have.

In the year and a half or so that I have been doing this, I have been on several dates. Not one was anything to write home to Mom about.

Things I have learned from this experience?

1. Don’t trust anything written. Who is going to say “I am a depressed loser hoping you will solve all my problems for me”? After all, I made myself sound better than I am. What makes me think anyone else did anything less? So take it all with a grain of salt.

2. If he talks a lot about his late wife, he is probably not really ready to be out there dating yet. Or he is lying and trying to play on your sympathy.

3. Trust your gut. When the ad sounds more like he is looking for a cleaning service than a life partner, avoid it at all costs. If a man says he’s no good for you, believe him. He knows himself better than you do.

4. Beware of Free Weekends. They are the times when the profiles sound like English is a third language … and it probably is. Trust me, there are very few men who are “recently widowed, make $200,000 a year, are corporate executives” … and are illiterate. 

5. Trust the pictures … part one. Never pick a man who doesn’t smile in the pictures. If he can’t smile for a dating site picture, what hope do you have in real life?

6. Trust the pictures … part two. If the picture and the description don’t line up, he is a fake. If the photo of his daughter’s wedding last month shows him sporting a shiny wedding band, don’t believe him when he says he is newly divorced.

There was one man who was in town for a six month project. Couldn’t understand why all the women in this area were so unfriendly to him. I am guessing the pale band of skin around his ring finger had something to do with it.

There was one man who dressed as Santa at the holidays and had been known to ride a white horse to a date. He actually was one of the better ones, but he came along only three months into it all … and I was hardly ready for anything serious.

There was the one I thought was really good looking … but he ended up being chronically depressed … and “just didn’t feel any chemistry” for me. Well, I can understand that. Pity, but I can understand it.

There was the one who required that I know how to cook all his meals and handle a gun well … but it was OK if I didn’t have all my teeth. I am serious.

There was the man who had never met me but was sure that God had guided me to him. And that I was perfect for him and “My Wonderful Son”. Every time he typed about the son he was raising, it was always “My Wonderful Son” … in caps.

Kind of creepy. Reminded me of the customer I had once who always referred to himself in the third person. Like “Gar thinks we should …” or “Gar says …” or “Gar really likes that idea.”

Then there was the one who was funny, intelligent, interested … and 4′ 10″ tall.

Match.com advert

Match.com advert (Photo credit: Adam Pilarski)

And the man who was a few years older and owned a motorcycle. Nice enough, but there was no there there. If there is no spark, I just cannot bring myself to keep seeing someone.

You think I am kidding? Go out there and look at the profiles.

Though in all fairness, the gene pool is pretty shallow around these parts. Once you get to the bigger cities … actually once you get anywhere other than around here … the choices are far better. Even though some of the ones above were from a bit away from here.

In all fairness my heart has not really been into this. I am only now getting to the point where I might be willing to go do things with someone with a somewhat open mind.

When you back away from the bus with these online services, be prepared to get tons of emails just full of men who are anxiously waiting to go out with you. If only you will sign back up again with the online service. Lots and lots of emails pleading with you. And it turns out they will try to get your money even if you have said you are not interested in the service anymore.

They don’t understand No Means No, I guess.

So when I discovered that Chemistry.com had taken $159.90 out of my checking account … when I only had put enough in there for the checks I had already written … I was more than a little unhappy.

On calling the bank to see what the unknown charge was, they informed me that the folks at Chemistry.com were trying valiantly to process the payment.

I was told to call them first. Which I did. After much explaining and discussing with them, I was told “Well, I am not going to lose my job just to do what is right.” It is now in the hands of the bank.

Seems they tried to get the money nineteen times out of my account. The bank caught eighteen of them.

I cancelled my bank account, destroyed my card associated with it, and came home and went through all the dating sites … yes, all nine of them … that I had ever had an account with.

And erased everything I had ever put out there about myself on every single one of them.

If I ever do it again … down the line … when I am more serious about it all … maybe I’ll try writing a profile more like what has really happened in my life instead of what I wish would happen.

Instead of “Witty Woman Looking for Playful Partner … intelligent … fun … yada yada” I think I’ll just cut to the chase and put something there like:

Wanted: Man with Mother issues. Please be emotionally unavailable or sexually ambiguous. Under no circumstances make more money than I make. Show no initiative, passion or creativity. Spine and balls not necessary. Addictions optional. Extra points if you are hopelessly in love with someone else.

Might as well be realistic, after all.