While I’ve never used Facebook for romance or dating, it’s friends, family and readers/followers only, as a single, I did join a few dating sites.
Dating sites where married men finally exposed themselves through the patterns/time of their “availability” which was confirmed when I asked: “Are you married?” This was not exclusive to one dating site either. Free, paid, questionnaires out the ying-yang, there is no mechanism to determine when you are dealing with a determined liar. I know, I know, women do this, too. Men do not have the market cornered on deceitful behaviour by any stretch. But the married people usually vanish before you can utter instantly. Except for one woman who sat across the table from one of my guy friends at a very fine dining establishment when she told him on their first “real” date, even getting upset with his reaction, after telling him there was no reason they couldn’t continue because her marriage was long dead and she was happy to have found someone like him, now she could think about finally ending her bad marriage once and for all. He was not happy and wherever she is, whoever she is busy deceiving next, she clearly is not either.
Luckier are those who know enough to close their deceitful books promptly. I have no time for deceit of any kind especially on the front end of things, even in forging a new female friendship. It does not bode for a happy future for anyone. You must ask yourself, if this is how you are meeting them and they you, could this not simply repeat itself when the fireworks of “newness” get old, again and again and again… as is bound to happen for those who grow obsessed with chasing the quantity of thrill over lasting quality.
I did manage to probe into the mind of one and asked him: why are you even on here?
It led to a lengthy conversation that took him places he did not anticipate going. This conversation unfolded over the course of about a week or so and I learned a lot about his psyche, his motivation but when it was all said and done, cheating is still cheating. Cyber, real world or not.
Without any urging from me, he shared that he was closing his account and thanked me for letting him share so openly. He said he had realized a lot and probably wasn’t even being fair to his wife. You’d be surprised to find that you can probably share all of this with your own wife is just one of the things I told him. At least he was willing to try.
Kudos for the backbone to even try where many still nurture a wishbone they are never likely to realize anyway. The grass really isn’t as green as you think on the other side. I’ve been to the other side and I can tell you from personal experience of navigating the emerald jungle, the yellowing thatch is just as thick below all those enticing blades of green and aeration may be necessary much more frequently than it was with your last partner. Aeration may not even work. You may find that being alone is easier than bothering to try.
As a good friend who happens to be male says of the dating sites, after three years of “codswallop” and lies, he looks at new profiles of women thinking, “What’s wrong with this one?”
Online betrayals are as painful as real world betrayals. This I know from one friend’s marriage that ended because of it and my own experience of surviving years and years of online betrayal. There is much to be said on this topic, the least of which is not the psychological effects of our choices on others as well as on ourselves. My husbands self-esteem and integrity diminished as did my own with each subsequent betrayal and shame was the world we both lived in. He, for making the choices time and time again and me for believing he wouldn’t anymore, time and time again.
If there is no solid ground of trust remaining any longer, no grass will ever grow no matter the seedings and feedings of fertilizer. Blown away by revealing gusts of repetitious history, absent seeds make it impossible to trust the person again. Once, okay. Twice, maybe. Three times, well… Thirty times, unreal… Three hundred times… it all becomes fertilizer on barren ground.
If sex is all in the mind as so many maintain, we don’t need to change partners, we just need to change our minds about the one we are with. If Viktor Frankl can change his mind after what he endured (Man’s Search for Meaning), we, too, have the capacity to change our minds about any situation. Don’t we? Okay, maybe not.
I don’t believe we always have the capacity to do so, sometimes we simply don’t, especially where we are shattered by mental thrashings that threaten to destroy our very being. What I believe we can do even in this weakened state, is recognize the inability to make a clear decision and withdraw from the situation until we can (I speak of myself).
Sometimes we truly do not want to change our minds, even if we know we are on a train destined to breach the rails and wreck down the side of an innocent mountain. I’ve seen this behaviour in addictive personalities I lived with for years. Regrets and remorse abound, but always too little, too late and too temporary. Sometimes there is no healing possible. There is only moving on… when strong enough… if strong enough…
Nor is the person we are involved with able or willing to do the same as we do, whatever it is we decide to finally do or not do – inherent human limitations – but then, relationships are never solo, it wouldn’t be called relationship if so. Even in friendships… ah trade offs, trade offs, life’s almighty balancer…
If ever it happens that we reach a definitive understanding of human nature, I’d like to be the first to hear of it.
In the meantime, if you are married and online seeking some fun, talk to me, baby.
I’ll give you plenty to think about that you didn’t bargain for.
You’ll probably vanish at my first questions anyway but if you don’t, you might just learn something that your wife would like to one day thank me for.
My father used to play and sing this song often. It was a song he knew well. Though not a fan of country music, I can sing many songs word for word, this one included.