Watching the Survivor finale and people winning immunity made me think of dating. I’m laughing as I write this because it’s ridiculous to compare a reality TV show game to real-life, but dating can feel like a race to the finish line. The difference is that you don’t want to be the “sole” survivor of this game, but rather end up with a lifelong partner in the end (see: Boston Rob and Amber). And you are not going to be able to be immune to the difficulties of dating. Dating is tough, dating can suck at times, but dating is a means to an end so try as hard as you can to have fun while you’re at it. Dating is going to hurt and there’s nothing you can do to stop it, and if you try to be immune to your emotions then you’re going to fail.
My former girlfriend is now on JDate, only three weeks after our breakup. I still have feelings for her. I have not put up my pic yet as I feel insecure about her seeing me on JDate. I would like to contact her, but feel it is not appropriate as she is obviously seeking new men. She will see me when my pic is put up. How do I handle this situation?
Dear Ex or Next?,
I don’t think JDate is the right forum in which to let your very recent ex-girlfriend know you still have feelings for her; that’s something that should be done in person or on the phone, not via a JDate email. If she had been an ex from long ago, I would say go for it as I think that’s romantic. But, since you just broke up, a different medium should be used. If you’re not ready to date then you should refrain from posting your pictures until you are emotionally available, otherwise it will be a waste of your time and the prospective date’s. Obviously, since you saw your ex’s profile is active, you know that she is trying to move on — even if she’s not ready, she’s trying to put herself out there and see what her options are. I recommend that to a lot of people as part of the breaking up and moving on process. On the flip side, you could post your photos, knowing she will see them and hope that any feelings she has for you will surface. But, hey, that’s playing games, both with her and your own heart and mind. Once the sting of knowing that your ex is ready to move on wears off then hopefully you’ll start being ready to, too. Good luck!
I started chatting on JDate with a guy in another country back in March, then via email and now consistently twice a week on skype (with camera). In between skyping we email short messages, but nothing is flirty. We talk about the moon, the stars and everything under the sun, but nothing about us. He never says I like you or I am attracted to you and never gets into emotional discussions about ‘us’. I find him emotionally detached. Is he? I really like him. When I have tried to hint a ‘how do you feel’, he says ‘I am interested otherwise I wouldn’t communicate with you’. He has told me he would like to come visit, probably in September. Where do I actually stand with him? I really like him.
Dear Long Distance Lothario,
First, let me say September is a long way off. The problem with spending so much time getting to know someone you’ve never met who also happens to live halfway around the world is that you don’t really know who they are or if you will be a match once you do (if ever) meet. Second, the lack of emotional connection could be one of two things. Either he’s just bored and passing time at your expense, or he’s a really great guy and is getting to know you on a deeper level than just talking about sex. As women, we’re not totally used to this, but think about it… why should he talk about a relationship with someone he’s never met?
I don’t think there’s any harm in keeping in touch, but I wouldn’t stop meeting other people on JDate in the meantime. There are a number of reasons for this: it will keep you from putting all your eggs in one basket; it will make the time between now and the visit fly by faster; and if he never visits then you didn’t totally waste your time.
Dear Gems from Jen,
I am a 44-year-old single woman who would love to understand men better. Are any of the men on JDate interested in finding a soul mate? The ones that are, are a little too needy and the ones that are interesting are too distant! Any recommendations?
Of course there are men on JDate who are interested in finding a soul mate! Many marriages have occurred thanks to JDate and the service it provides to us singles. I can understand your frustration, but finding someone takes effort and for most of us we are not going to click with everyone we meet every time.
My recommendations would be to keep your profile up to date and be sure to state your wants and needs. Your story is not that unique. A good number of women find the men who are distant more attractive than the ones who appear needy. Look past the image and really focus on what it is you want in a soul mate. Needy may just be emotionally available, where as distant may be emotionally unavailable. For some, having someone willing and ready to commit is a scary proposition. Be sure to look long and hard at what it is you are really, truly searching for in a potential mate. When someone is offering themselves to another it can make the recipient feel vulnerable without even realizing that is what is happening. Even though our wants and needs are being fulfilled, some still tend to run from this largely because of fear. Keep up the JDate search and if you are willing to let all of the possibilities play out, I have no doubt you will find who you are looking for.
Gems from Jen