I had successfully dealt with my real life baggage… there’s a new strain of baggage in town… virtual baggage. Virtual baggage is a by-product of the online dating world. It’s the issues one develops at the hands of less than savory online daters. You need really thick skin (think armor) and a strong constitution to deal with the rejection, rudeness and emotional manipulation that online ‘gentleman’ dish out daily. Of course, I’d be the first to tell you that online dating should be ‘fun’… look at it as an adventure… these men can’t hurt you because they really don’t know you… blah blah blah. The truth is, the rational side of me knows all that, but the less than rational side falls victim to ‘it’ every time.
I think I’ve fallen victim to virtual baggage. Lately, I find myself expecting the worst out of the gentleman I communicate with. The new guys are paying the price for the bad behaviored counterparts that came before them. Totally unfair… totally out of character for me. I am usually the one that can find a silver lining in any dark cloud. I always think the best of everyone… even when they fail misearably, I try to understand the ‘why?’. Not so much anymore… at least where online dating is concerned. I’m becoming… gasp… jaded, and I don’t like it… at all.
I have come to equate online dating with buying a new pair of shoes. You’re attracted to the sexiness of the shoe. You ask the sales associate for your size and bite your lip and pace around the store hoping that there is a pair available in your size. When you see the box in his hand, you can’t help but break out into a smile. You’ve made it successfully to the next step.
Your fingers almost shake as you peel back the top of the box. You’re breathless as you peek at your beloved shoes through the tissue paper. You slide them on your feet… oh the bliss… they look fabulous! Your feet look two sizes smaller and the heel height makes you stand straighter… your boobs bigger and your ass… perfection. You decide the shoes are magical and will change your life. So you stand up… You’re confident. No way in hell your magical shoes will let you down. You take those first tentative steps, wobble a little and then you’re suddenly striding across the floor. It’s too good to be true! You quickly take them off and pack them in their tissue paper home and march up to the cashier and state boldly, “I’ll take these”.
You bring your magic shoes home and give them prime real estate in your closet. You can’t wait to have the opportunity to wear them. In fact, you create an opportunity to wear them. You get all dolled up, nervous for your first date with your magical shoes. You’re convinced you’ve found your sole mate 😉 and this is true love. And then… reality sets in… Your toes start feeling a little cramped. Your calf muscles start protesting. The burning starts and you’re starting to think these shoes aren’t quite as magical as you first thought. By the time you get home, your feet are on fire and you can’t wait to pull the damn things off. You literally throw them back in their box and toss them on a shelf that you’ll never reach without a step ladder. Every time you enter your closet, you’ll feel the sting of embarrassment as you remember how you overpaid, fell in love a little too quickly and walked far too long in pain… all this for the opportunity to be burned. Yep… online dating is a lot like the search for the perfect shoes.