The “Why Bother” Syndrome

I received an email recently from a guy with a blog who wanted to share links with me (what’s that called in the blogging world anyway? co-linking? heyheyhey… No really, we are talking BLOGs here people!) I was expecting a blog about widowhood or loss or single-parenting. I did not expect a blog about dating. I had to giggle a little thinking the guy must have done a Google search on “Frustrated” and “Dating” to find my site. Of course I had to browse Evan’s site, as there seems to be quite a bit of interesting info and advice there. That’s when the “Why Bother Syndrome” jumped out at me. Apparently, I am afflicted with something that actually warrants the title of “Syndrome.” Great. But I do have to wonder, have I really given up? Evan says he dated 300 women over ten years before he met his wife. So at 30 dates a year, that’s about 1.5 dates a week? Whew!

It begs the question, how did people ever possibly meet before the Internet? Was the advice then still about the numbers — success comes from dating many frogs? I can’t imagine people dated 300 times over ten years when they had to deal with newspaper ads and P.O. boxes.

I know I am justifying my single status, perhaps pretending I am cool with being single, relieved even. I am sure many of you know how much mental energy it takes to do online dating. At every turn, it seems I am either disappointed or I am disappointing someone. And can you really get to know someone in one date? In the 40+ dating pool, you hear tons of “we’re old enough now to *know* right away when someone is right.” I know because I used to say it myself. But now, I’m not so sure.

Arron and I took years before we actually fell in love. We liked each other and enjoyed hanging out, but it wasn’t all rockets and fireworks after the first date, though I was intrigued. I can’t help thinking that if I were to meet him now through online dating, I probably wouldn’t give him a second glance.

But I won’t lie and pretend I don’t lie in bed at night imagining some cute sumthin, sumthin lying in my arms. Or waking up in the morning all languid… OK, better not go there! I do. Every night. There is still a gaping hole that Arron left behind, sort of like a phantom limb. But my reality is limbless, and I think that after 8 years I am finally coming to terms with it.

Of course, it won’t stop me from checking out Evan’s site from time to time. Who knows, maybe with a little dose of Evan’s rah-rah dating optimism, a little sumthin, sumthin will come our way.

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  1. dadshouse November 11, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    Evan Marc Katz's blog is a good one. He gives solid advice. He might be a little too polly-anna-ish about online dating. I firmly believe it doesn't work. He thinks it does. To each his own. (And I'm not suffering from "why bother" syndrome – I do bother, just in real life!)

  2. BigLittleWolf November 11, 2009 at 9:54 pm

    Online dating in the 40+ world is not exactly great stuff. Been there, done that, been there done that, etc. etc., and on two continents.

    As for "why bother," I think some of us cycle through periods of "why bother" in part because other parts of life aren't exactly without their pressing requirements – parenting, professional, financial, health, family, and so on.

    Partly, I think it's hard to meet people because we're busy, and parenting solo isn't always conducive to meeting others we might enjoy (regardless of the reason, and despite the number of people who are single parents).

    College and early years in career tend to throw you together with many people, lots of socializing, at a time before kids. That makes for face-to-face meetings, something that lessens (I think) for most of us, once kids come along.

  3. AndreaRenee November 11, 2009 at 11:29 pm

    Dude, back in the old days, weren't people in arranged marriages? Or paid a dowry or something? I think it's still done in certain countries… We're lucky we had our choice and met by chance the first time around… I'm not holding my breath to get that lucky two times in a row, should there be another one. But a little somethin somethin wouldn't be out of the question.

  4. Big City Dad November 12, 2009 at 5:06 pm

    I feel like that a lot. Haven't deterimined if it's healthy, unhealthy, or what. I do know I'm not good company when I am like that though. Funny, life seemed really full when I was married. Now I have half a family (Miss M half the time) and I feel like the other part of my life is for me, almost not to be shared. Kind of feels like Why Bother. Maybe that just means I'm not ready. Who knows?

  5. Momma Sunshine November 17, 2009 at 10:37 am

    Online dating is hard. I only did it for a couple of months, and it wore me out! I think that one important thing to try and remember is to not go into it with too many expectations. Maybe just look at it as a way to meet people? That might take the pressure off and allow you to meet someone that you can have a real relationship – romantic or otherwise.


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