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Is Anybody Better Than Nobody?

After so much time alone during the pandemic, Gail Forrest tries online dating again. But does she have too many deal breakers?

Will you be mine? I’m looking for applicants. There’s no application fee and you can apply quickly and easily online. I’ve deleted the financial statement page as well as questions about height, weight and employment. However, I have included wanting to know your voting record since 2000, and a no smoking agreement is mandatory. I have spent the past twelve months re-evaluating the upside to alone time and decided there is none.

After a year of living with fear of Covid as my constant companion I decided I wanted any human. I have had enough of just me. I was not surprised to read articles about the quickie romances consummating in marriage that have been pervasive since the isolation demands of the virus. Zoom dates turned into engagement rings and wedding plans.  People who were already in relationships finally decided to make a commitment as Covid made the uncertainty of the future certain. I also read that single folks finally began to realize they were wasting their time looking for the “perfect” person or soul mate. They don’t exist except in Hallmark movies. Are dating deal breakers morphing into “I need to seal a deal before another pandemic?”

I had to face my own dating mortality; I had more relationship deal breakers than years left

I have been on a lot of first dates yet wondered why there was rarely a second. I had to face my own dating mortality; I had more relationship deal breakers than years left. Were my standards too high? I had a laundry list of deal sealers: over 5’9”, a lucrative job or retired CEO, German car, more than two bathrooms, cleaning service and likes to take me out to dinner. My deal breakers were idiosyncratic but meaningful to me: ankle length pants, socks with sandals, a bad dye job with hair the color of the crayon “Burnt Umber,” a comb over, and not funny. I have fabulous shoes, never wear socks with sandals, a great hair colorist, and am definitely funny, so in my mind I was almost perfect…

But Covid alerted me to the fact that my already dubious dating life and search for Mr. Right had to come to a screeching HALT! I have been afraid to meet anyone since March.  As a precaution I cancelled my Match.com membership. The only way I was willing to meet was a thirty mph drive-by and courteous wave. I might have been adventurous enough to go to Walgreens so we could nod to each at a six foot distance in one of the aisles, but that also begged which aisle was not revealing of any medical condition? That stumped me so I stayed home and saved money on gas.

Being single has had its advantages but not during a pandemic

Being single has had its advantages but not during a pandemic. And after a year of alone time I cannot remember one advantage worth hanging on to. Yet, I do like the whole bed to myself, not brushing my teeth until noon, having cereal for dinner, watching endless re-runs of Friends and, the best one, not shaving my legs!

On second thought, do I really want Mr. Anybody? Finding him at this time of life is no easy task, but I decided I was up for it. I was ready to jump back in the dating pool and sink or swim. My solo life had to end, so away with deal breakers. With an open mind and martini I re-joined Match.com. I judiciously read through the emails that came my way but my mind wasn’t quite as open as I planned. I mistrusted misspellings, poor sentence structure, the use of the word “irregardless” as it is still wrong, and men who lived over 35 miles away because that requires traffic reports. Anyone with a topless picture was out as that called for antacids and blinders. And why do men over 50 think that is a turn on? The ick factor looms large.

As for my question, “Is Anybody Better than Nobody?”

I really hate shaving my legs.

14 COMMENTS

    • Thanks for reading. It’s a tough choice after this last year isn’t it? I am really grateful people are relating as it makes this feeling of isolation, being alone easier!!

  1. Well said …… I am with someone who is great … but 24/7 ? Thus is tough! Whenever I talk to other friends who are with someone the statement is always some version of “ We haven’t killed each other yet!”

  2. I too had had enough of just me! Great article by the way. I dove in just before the shut down in March 2020 and after an honest chat with myself about deal breakers, and unrealistic standards (e.g., being accepted for my flaws as well that is and more), I met a lovely gentleman online and we are still talking daily, laughing a lot, sharing and seeing each other once a month without risk to our health. One of deal breakers I had to let go of was distance you see – he lives 200 miles away!

    • Well that is great news! I am willing to over look some of my deal breakers which are basically those of a much younger me. I am done with just me sitting here and after having had both vaccines I am ready to move forward. It is important however to be yourself and glad you have that attitude and new relationship! How are you negotiating the distance?

    • Hi!
      I just wanted to say that I have actually appreciated the time to get to know me as a solo, to spoil myself by making all the decisions and to learn to deal with all the responsibilities – including all the ones I was happy to let someone else take on. I have concluded that I would not mind some companionship from time to time, but I really don’t think that I can ever completely let go of that sense of freedom and independence I have come to cherish so much! I suppose it’s a journey, I shan’t try dating sites at this stage… Let’s see what ‘after lockdown life’ looks like… It could very interesting!

      • It is great that this time of isolation has brought you a sense of independence and self understanding and that you have enjoyed it. I wish I felt a little more like you as the lack of human contact and just the endless phone calls has been difficult. I miss people coming over and going out but hopefully the road back is on the horizon.

  3. Perfectly stated. Thank you for this and for the smile it gave me. As a single person that works part time in the travel industry and normally has a decent social life, this past year has been a challenge.

    • Thanks for reading it and appreciating my message both sad and funny. It has been a terribly challenging year and hopefully we are seeing light at the end of a dark tunnel. I am so ready. And I am getting on a plane next week to start feeling free again. The travel industry will definitely be back as we are all ready to get out of town!!

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Gail Forresthttp://www.gailforrest.com
Gail Forrest recently started doing standup which she finds is a complete blast. Gonepausal is her blog and she has a book on Amazon by the same name filled with stories of her skewed, funny view on midlife and all its attendant surprises. Humor is the only way forward at this point.

 

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