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UBT: When Your ‘Match’ Is a Married, Motivational Speaker

Happy Memorial Day, CN! Especially to all the veterans and military spouse chumps in our ranks. Thank you.  Forgive the day off, but I just hauled myself up to Northern Michigan and I’m spending some time with my folks. Meanwhile, here’s a rerun featuring one of my favorite bloggers, her travails with dating, and the UBT, which eats a motivational speaker. Enjoy. See you back here tomorrow. — Tracy

Friend of this blog, and interior design blogger superstar herself, Laurel Bern, recently sent me a funny account of her dating travails.

Sick and tired of being alone after six years and with the writing on my meh mug, long worn off from repeated dishwashings, I put up a dating profile on match.  Yeah. I did. Tracy, every time I read the word “chemistry” I want to throw up a little in mouth. Okay, maybe more than a little. Having a little time on my hands tonight, which is kind of rare, I got on the site and checked out my matches. One gentleman who calls himself “John” (could we be a little more original?) said that he’s 64. Nice looking, except that his photo says 44– 48– TOPS. Here ya go.
(This is not “John” but an unhappy kitten I have substituted. CL)
Right?  Like a blond Ted Bundy? Adorbs. On Dirk’s profile on matchdotCON (the other photo, not seen, is him from a distance with his daughter at her graduation from something) He also has a son. Oh, it says on the profile that he has no kids? Well, he does. “I am an active, energetic person who is filled with gratitude for the life I have. I take the time to marvel at the look of a spectacular sunset, to listen to the sounds of birds chirping in the Spring, to smell the leaves in the Fall, to savor the taste of salt water on my lips, and to feel the warmth of a hand in mine. Music is in my soul, and is expressed in the songs I hum, sing, play, and write. Contributing my time and talent is important to me – I try to do what is right, even if it’s not in my personal best interest. I place a high value on integrity, honesty, generosity, and kindness.” (Barf! – CL)
[clearly] 🙄😢 “And, although I sometimes ponder the meaning of life, I never miss the opportunity to be childlike[ish] to laugh, have fun, and be playful… and to use my sharp mind and quick wit. I have both the freedom and the zest for Visiting friends and family, Vacationing in wonderful places, and Volunteering for worthy causes.” *********
So, what does Laurel do? Laurel takes the image of “john” and puts it in google images. And voila. She finds the REAL John. It took all of 30 seconds. John is really a bleach-toothed motivational speaker named DIRK LIAR 
Not his name. And neither is he a kitten. But Laurel did send his actual Facebook profile and support group pages. And the link to his personal motivation videos, which I will spare you. Because I love you and I care.
And finally, Dirk’s beautiful WIFE, uhhhh… obviously not the one that made him a “widower.” which of course is bullshit 🙄😢😟 To be clear, I have absolutely no idea who these people are. I have not communicated with this man. It is remotely possible that it’s a fake profile and someone else ripped off his pics and is actually a bonafide swindling con artist. But I don’t think so. This dude is too visible in the real world with zillions of videos and on and on. A professional con would go for someone who looks like this but there’s nothing else out there about them. Could it be that Dirk-boy is merely going through an existential crisis? I’m sure that he is, but does it have to involve cheating on his beautiful wife and fucking with untold numbers of women on the internet? Apparently, it does. Believe me. I’m tempted to fuck him over royally. I could. But, I won’t. Clearly, he’s a rank amateur cheater, or else he’s just plain STOOPID. HE puts up a pic of himself on match that he also uses on FAKEBOOK!?

Takeaway for Dirk I-Snort-the-Sunset LIAR? Don’t fuck with bloggers who know how Google image search works. Laurel can source an ottoman with a couple blurry pixels. Your fuckery was never going to work here.

And my pro-tip for any aspiring daters in Chump Nation is to avoid anyone who mentions sunsets in their profile. Either, it was written by robots. (Whirp! Whirp! Must. Be. Comfortable. In. Jeans. Or. Tux. Whirp!) Or written with the hackneyed insincerity of a con artist.

EVERYONE likes sunsets. NEXT.

The UBT wants to date Dirk. (Are you a robot? Swipe right!)

The UBT has put Dirk’s prose through the Universal Bullshit Translator.

“I am an active, energetic person who is filled with gratitude for the life I have.

I have an energetic index finger that cuts and pastes dating profiles. I’m filled with gratitude for the wife I have (and her chumpiness).

I take the time to marvel at the look of a spectacular sunset,

I marvel that this line works on you.

to listen to the sounds of birds chirping in the Spring

I am a Disney forest creature twittering in a technicolor garden. Let’s dress Cinderella for the ball! I am as harmless as a bluebird with a thimble!

, to smell the leaves in the Fall,

Ah, leaf mold!

to savor the taste of salt water on my lips,

I like ALL THE SENSES! Do you have senses? All the better to dupe you with!

and to feel the warmth of a hand in mine. Music is in my soul, and is expressed in the songs I hum, sing, play, and write. Contributing my time and talent is important to me.

I am a misunderstood singer/songwriter who only wants to inflict his talent on a cruel world. Won’t you hold my warm, clammy hand as I sing to the sunset? I HAVE A CONTRIBUTION TO MAKE. To art! To life! To leaf mold!

Thanks Laurel for this warning to vet all your “matches”. CN, share your dating tips or motivational speaker horror stories. Remember — good people exist! You just have to wade through a lot of bleached teeth and sunsets.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • There was this one guy who declared himself 63 but then revealed in the fine print that he was actually 68. I couldn’t resist questioning him about this obvious lie. He explained that he looks young. Oh brother.
    I wrote again (and one shouldn’t do this, probably): “Hey, people say I look younger, too, but I don’t lie about my age.”
    His response? “I’d like to meet you sometime to explain the difference between biological age and chronological age.”🙄 Nope. Nopety nope.

    I know it’s fun to criticize dating sites and that people have to be really careful, but, this guy aside, I’ve actually had good experiences overall. In fact, I’ve been with someone I met on match for over a year now.

    I feel grateful and lucky–every day is like watching a sunset on the beach with a salty warm breeze blowing through my hair.😜🤣

  • I’m reading this flat on my back in a very comfortable king single bed, accompanied by a sleeping middle aged male ginger cat.

    I have had no online dating profile since 2001. My last real life date was in May 2017.

    What I do have is a busy, happy, productive life, with lovely friends who value me exactly the way I am. I also live with a sister with whom I get on famously.

    I have really started to notice the difference between my life now, and the terrible drama-laden unhappiness of my dating days.

    When I dated, there were great highs – but I also lived in fear and nausea and terror of being abandoned. I always chose men who made my raw nerves even more ragged.

    And I kept doing it because I thought that was normal. Every song I heard, story I read, or movie I watched, confirmed it.

    It’s been a long decolonization of my mind and heart and life. Happy to raise the new flag now. And sing the new national anthem.

    • I agree Lola. I’m happy for happy couples but I don’t need a partner to be happy. I thought I had found a lovely person and we had a great life for about 10 years and then the cheating started( I didn’t know) and went on for about 4 years before I was suddenly abandoned. My heart is now too fragile to risk it again so I determined to be happy alone. I have plenty of friends, coupled and single and my dear little cat.

    • Fabulous Lola! I live alone but have an SO who comes to visit me every couple of weeks or so. I have the best of both worlds. He wants more but I’ve told him this arrangement suits me very well and I have no plans to change it. I’ve told him that if this arrangement doesn’t suit him, tell me and we can amicably end it. But no cheating. Or it ends immediately. Sometimes he pressure me to give him something more solid but I’ve told him that our financial values (and assets) are too lopsided for me to consider ever moving in with him. I’ve also said that if he plans to change that situation I might reconsider but I won’t be one to Nag/encourage/suggest or help him in any way.

      • I can hear the faint cries of ‘Cake, cake, cake, cake’ coming from your SO. They always want things to be arranged to suit them.

        Well done for sticking to your boundaries, and protecting your assets. He can get a job like a grownup; you’re not his mother.

  • See, now this is just *another* reason why I’ll never, ever go on dating sites! Oh, puke, puke. 😳😂

    It was very funny though. I’ve saved it just in case I ever have a brain fart and think I might sign up – good check list. 😂😂😂

    • I have never joined a dating site. Although I did meet my now wife through Words With Friends. We had mutual friends. I was very leery of her at first. But took many months of getting to know her as a friend FIRST before asking her on a date.

      • “Although I did meet my now wife through Words With Friends”

        Really? I play Words with Friends because I love word games, but had to change my user name to NoChat because there were so many creepy men (*not* referring to you!) who started chatting as a prelude to sexual innuendo etc. Now I just block anyone who starts a chat.

        I’m glad you had a better experience.

        • I got the scammers on Words With Friends. You know, the guy who does terribly dangerous work in a diamond mine or the doctor working for NATO in Afghanistan! I have a blog and took screenshots and posted them on my blog as this crap was ongoing. My son was working from home that day and we were doubled up laughing it was great fun!

        • Chumpnomore, I love Words and play regularly.
          Yes there are creepy people on there but I hope I connect with you on there and I would enjoy chatting with you. If you get a 🍭 on a chat, I hope you respond.

  • The written profile has “I’m a phony creep” written all over it…but I have to wonder what sort of woman would actually be attracted and respond to that load of dog shit? I hope none.

  • I tried online dating for a very brief time, a very long time ago. It was one of the most disappointing experiences of my life. I think it is sad that people abuse technology designed to bring like minds and hearts together, to use and abuse others. There were so many lies in the profiles, and it was such a time-consuming process to have to sift through them, that I did not last long. I think I would be more likely to find my match in a library or a live music show than online. The important thing is when I go to a library or to participate in live music, I go because I love to read, and sing. I do not expect to find a match. People who may want to use and abuse me will have to be creative and interesting in person, because I do not waste my time with people who have expectations of being invited back to my place. I am there to find a new book or enjoy music. If a Jackass can play guitar well, I do not speculate on his lineage, or his owner. I enjoy the music.

    These sites thrive because there are honest people in this world who want to believe there are other honest people in the world. They seek companionship. They do not expect to “score” anything from another person. They express their beliefs and vulnerabilities seeking someone who resonates with those beliefs and vulnerabilities. Instead, they are pursued by vultures with no moral compass. These vultures want to pick your bones clean of anything useful — sex, money, position. All they have to do is lie convincingly, and the chump wants to believe.

    I am not saying it is impossible to find a match. I am just saying it is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. If you have a lot of time and are not allergic to all the mold and mildew found in the haystack, happy hunting. Just know that there is a lot of work involved in sifting through all the lies and that exposure to all those toxins can cause your allergies to flare up. I know there are good people out there in the world. I just decided that for me, there had to be a better way to find them. I also decided that I was more than ok being by myself. I heard a good saying this morning on tv — I have learned the difference between finding what I enjoy and finding what brings me joy. Think about that for a minute. How do you want to spend your time?

    The biggest regret I have heard on this site, and with friends of mine who have gone through similar experiences is that they wish they would not have wasted so much of their precious time. You matter, and you deserve to be treated with respect. Find what brings you joy. Determine what you need to do to protect yourself, and still be able to find joy in your life. If you do that, I suspect you will not need online dating sites.

    • Portia, I hang on your words and delight in your wisdom. Your insight has kept me hopeful these last months. Thank you.

  • I had to give up internet dating. Besides the cat-fishing, there were the fish that were obviously thrown back into the sea.The guy who had sport shots galore, but was 100 lbs overweight. The guy who made racist comments, unknowingly that I’m from that culture. The guy that had to one-up any of my accomplishments. The guy who had several fish on his line & wanted to keep them all. I guess I had more energy & tolerance for this shit when I was younger, but have moved on. It either happens more organically or it don’t 🤷🏻‍♀️

    • I should clarify: that Mr sport shots either photoshopped himself to look slimmer or those pix were long-past photos. He also wanted a slim woman & requested my body-shots before going out with me. So I was to be slim, but the same rule didn’t apply to him. Also, he lied.

  • Dating tips:

    1) Know yourself first! Having your deal breakers first before dating
    2) Make sure their words and actions meet.
    3) Don’t mistake sex for love. If they are to good at sex beware because they might be love bombing you. The vast majority of people are just average. I learned this the hard way.
    4) reciprocation
    5) be practical about dating someone. I broke up with someone who I had a better connection with then my now wife because she had to much going in her life for ME. My now wife had a her life together and was ready for a long term relationship.
    6) lying was a deal breaker for me.
    7) I have seen this way to much, especially with women. They have a long laundry list in what they want in a man. NO ONE is perfect. Everyone has baggage and issues. You will NEVER find a perfect person out there. I remember a woman who wanted to date me and she had a list of things she went through on the first date. There was not a second date. I am not a shopping list.
    8) You don’t have to be 100% compatible. Yes, you need to be on the major things. You won’t grow as a person if you are with a clone of yourself. And how boring it would be if I was married to myself!

    There are more but I need to get going.

    • “I am not a shopping list.” Exactly. After I separated from SBTX, I went back to my old marital home to fix something (while STBX was out of town) to get the house ready for sale, and saw a note lying out in public on a desk. It was STBX’s shopping list for her next mate. Guess what? Several of her items – “must be emotionally and mentally healthy” etc. – didn’t even apply to HER. Now she’s partnered up again, and I can only imagine the level of mutual lovebombing that’s happening. 🙄

      As for me: I have no shopping lists. If I meet someone, I’ll treat them like a human being and see what unfolds. But for now, I’m loving my freedom!

      • “If I meet someone, I’ll treat them like a human being and see what unfolds.”

        Exactly. We just need to watch out for any red flags.

        “I’m loving my freedom!”

        Me too! 😊👌

  • I’m older–late 60s–and most of my life has been spent in relationships in which I first and foremost gave of my time and talent to others. As a child I was the designated “fixer” in the family. As a parent I put my child first. As a wife…well…you all know about this. As a college professor I was dedicated to my students. And now, as a daughter, I’m caretaking my 95 year old mother.

    Because of this history, I foresee that the only relationship I will want in my life from here on out is the one I have with myself and with the natural world.

    • It is always interesting to read about other chumps life experiences, and find so many similarities to your own. I would love to see a statistical analysis of chump nation’s personality traits! Fixer, sane parent, useful spouse, and caregiver for parent. Also, many of the chumps here were educators. Check, check, ….check. We followed a very similar life pattern!

      • There are traits that exist. I was educated about this through the Safe Relationships Magazine site. I also participated in counseling with them. If you decide to date again, you can work with them and they will help you explore your date to help discern, see red flags , recognize, and break old cycles.
        I am late 50s and have at this point decided not to date. I’m enjoying life today.
        I don’t know about the whole of CNs traits but most probably carry some mentioned and researched. Sandra Brown has done extensive research and wrote the book Women Who Love Psychopaths. It’s one of a few I gifted my attorney.

  • “I try to do what is right, even if it’s not in my personal best interest. I place a high value on integrity, honesty, generosity, and kindness.”
    This is a huge red flag, people who value integrity, honesty, kindness and generosity and try to do what’s right, even if it isn’t in their best interest, show you by their actions not words. Good people don’t ned to let everyone know.
    Cheater was constantly telling me what a good person he is. His favorite thing to tell me is “he’s a man of integrity.” He said it so many times I ignored other red flags because he told me so often how honest he is. I was convinced more like brainwashed into believing I married a man of integrity.

    • My fw’s line was, “I can sleep good at night.” And quite frankly he could, because whether he was in his marital bed or a whores bed; he had no compunction against what he was doing. He was living a double life and by gosh he deserved it.

    • What is it with cheaters constantly voicing how much integrity they have? It’s bizarre given they actually have none.

      • I will never forget sitting next to my husband at a party while he discussed with a friend (whose ex husband had cheated on her) how much he valued monogamy and fidelity, and what a scummy piece of shit said friend’s ex husband was.

        He had been fucking his coworker behind my back for three years at that point. Howorker was also at the party.

  • Omg where do I begin!! My friends have said many times I should write a book but I think a comedy act would be more appropos. Steve 1.0.. an older gentleman but young at heart. Ghosted me after 3 pleasant dates then came out of the woodwork a year later. When I said why did you ghost me he said is that when you stop talking? Done he understood the assignment I did( stop talking). Steve 2.0 younger than me by 3 years( my friends were insistent that I need a younger man because men my own age are “too old”). Too much pot too much booze and we spent most weekends together after the initial getting-to-know each other stage. Lots of future promises, left when I finally asked him to step up and help pay expenses because I’m a single gal paying for a house and groceries are expensive. All he had to say? “ I’ll come and get my stuff this weekend. I’m sorry I was such a burden” to which I replied if that’s what you want to do…. Steve 3.0. 6 years younger than me. Talked about a future far too soon (6 weeks) and loved my house and hot tub. (Red flag). When I told him he wasn’t contributing enough to the groceries he went full blown attack mode by text( coward). He was also controlling declaring that I didn’t need to see my friends as much because I have him and that if I travel ( something I tell every man I love to do) that I would cheat on him(whaaat?). Buh-bye. Don’t even get me started on the ones that ask for pictures of body parts( what is it with feet?) which I will not do. Check it out on the first date bub. So many more but let other speak lol. Oh and I’m 61 so these are not kids.

    • New Lady,

      Funny book I read addressed dating after 50. Written by a widow, she detailed her foray into midlife dating. The title said it all-Rescue Me! He’s Wearing a Moose Hat. 🤣🤣

  • Evidently I have a knack for inspiring the men I meet. One announced I’d inspired him to paint his living room (his mothers) so I could come over to watch a movie. The latest was inspired to get a haircut and take a shower. My favorite was the one who asked me what high school I attended.
    I’d rather be single.

  • Right after DDay i was devastated that I’d need to date again if I wanted a partner and I hate dating. I looked at guys my age on Match and started crying and cursing the ex that this is what I was left with. Out of focus bathroom selfies, lots of fish and dogs in the pics. Ungroomed. Tousled is fine. I’m a big advocate, but at least brush your teeth and trim your beard and nose hairs. It was disheartening. I stopped looking because I really didn’t want to date anyway. I think I wanted another reason to be angry with the ex. It’s been 2 years since the divorce and ex’s death and I recently started dating a nice younger man who I’ve known for a year. I wasn’t ready before. Still don’t know that I’m entirely ready but I’m enjoying myself. If it works, great. If not, I’m still not going back to online dating. The profile in this post and CL snark made me laugh. Who falls for this stuff? That’s the sad part. Someone will.

  • Hail Mary Full of Grace – and I ain’t even a Christian – how I hate the internet single’s sites.

    I’m also 6 years out. Wasn’t ready for human consumption for a few years after I left. Worked on getting my feet underneath me financially and mentally. Figured out my FOO issues. Then I felt I was ready to try again, to date and enjoy male companionship.

    I live in a small town that I love and have no intention of leaving, but there are no dating prospects for me here. Everyone said, get online, look outside this town and bring someone back! I gave it two years and probably close to $500 in membership fees to at least 4 different internet dating sites. And what a shit show. For all that effort I got two video meet ups and one real date. The ONE person I met who I was excited about, he contacted me, pursued me for a month, then told me I lived too far away…..Only a 1/2 hr flight to the ‘big’ city where he lives and where I travel to regularly. I even had the pleasure of being matched with my X husband, whose profile has been up for longer than we’ve been divorced!

    My rule of thumb for going about life nowadays, whether its cleaning out my closet, an activity, or meeting new people, is: Does this grow fruit for me? How does this activity, person, thing leaving me feeling at the end of the day? Negative or positive feeelings? The dating sites left me feeling frustrated, offended, disgusted, cynically amused and very depressed. Not going back to waste my time, money, and hard won mental peace ever again.

    I guess I will remain happily single unless the Universe feels free finally to send me that one impossible to find guy, ’cause I’m totally done ‘putting myself out there’.

  • Ah, I still have my little toe dipped into the online dating world. I will swipe left or right every few months. I was heavily invested in online dating at one point and I noted some trends:

    1) If they say ‘Not interested in any drama’ – they are the complete opposite
    2) So many profiles with passive-aggressive statements, like ‘only match with me if you’re going to chat’. Well, that’s a given and if the person doesn’t respond to your ‘chat’, move on. No need for the statement. You just come across as a bit of an ass
    3) There’s no ordinary – everyone has images of them working out at the gym, or with their top off, or walking up a mountain, skydiving. Where’s the normal? Where’s the guy walking his dog, cooking his dinner? Haha.
    4) You will strike up a conversation with someone who will reply with ‘Yes’, ‘No’, ‘K’ and then when you no longer communicate, they ask why? Please!
    5) You strike up a conversation and invest a lot of your time in the conversation for them to just send you a d**k pic and you just realised how much time you wasted of your life
    6) They just got out of a 15 yr relationship and have been single for precisely 2 days (ok, slight exaggeration) and they express their divorce woes to you

    I have been on many dates in my online dating days. The worst encounter was with a guy who wasn’t really for me, but he seemed like a nice guy. I didn’t want to see him again. The day after the date, I went to my niece’s 3rd birthday party. I didn’t take my phone. When I returned home, I had about 20 messages telling me how I’d led him on and I was a s***. I blocked his number.

    I’ve been on a date with a guy who talked all night about his job. He was quite senior in the business he worked at, but it was just to brag. Another guy asked to meet for coffee at a high-end restaurant. When I arrived in my jeans, I was mortified. The waitress was really miffed when he said we just wanted coffee.

    I’ve dated a guy who just couldn’t look me in the eye. He would talk to me with his eyes looking far from my face. He was lovely though.

    I’ve been on a date with a very charismatic guy who I thought we had lots in common but was ‘ghosted’. I found out he wasn’t actually single (my fix my picker radar wasn’t fully in place at this stage)

    So, I don’t look too often now. If I have a spare 30mins I might. Having two children, a full-time job working at home, elderly family members to look after, dogs to walk, exercise to do and have a small social life, I’m not sure how I can fit in time to date or meet anyone that isn’t online, so I’ve just decided what will be, will be! If I meet someone, that would be great, but also I’m pretty fine on my own too.

    • My ex would constantly say “I hate drama” yet somehow there was drama wherever he went. Took me a LOOONG time to find out he manufactured most of it. Ugh.

      Have you ever considered that the lovely guy who couldn’t look you in the eye was autistic? Some of us really struggle with eye contact, but we are very nice, friendly, loving people. Maybe don’t let that be a deal breaker without more information next time. I’d hate to think I was rejected by someone, even though I was “lovely”, just because I couldn’t quite look him or her in the eye. For autistic people, eye contact is really intimate, and also can cause us to get flustered and forget what we are talking about. It takes time for me to be okay looking someone in the eyes.

      • Yes, I did! I think I mentioned it to him as my son has autism and is similar. I would have continued to date him further, but there were other factors too. I didn’t in any way dismiss this guy for that sole reason, although at times I did find it uncomfortable.

  • I tried Match — not for me. Not to be a snob, but I have a masters degree and put in my requirements that potential matches must have at least a college degree. I kept getting matched with truck drivers. I messaged with another guy who seemed nice — but then said some suicidal statements. The last straw was the guy who told me I have such a pretty face but need to lose weight. One of my friends told me about “negging,” where a guy tries to use negativity to get my attention. No thanks.

    • A brilliant late friend jokingly called negging the “Fuck ’em up and reel ’em in” cruising maneuver. He was a NYC native and studio jazz musician so hardly a sheltered wallflower but had never heard of it before and couldn’t believe it was a thing when I first described it. When he changed careers due to his health and started doing finance, he called me laughing and said, “Holy shit, it’s a thing!” That was during the build up to the crash of ’08 and it seems negging had long been a Wall St. frat boy hookup tact. Whether it’s promoting dog shit CDOs or promoting their dog shit selves, defrauding methods are all the same.

    • I remember being negged as a young woman and yelling at a couple men “WTF is wrong with you?! Don’t talk to me like that!” And I was confused as to why THEY always seemed so confused I reacted negatively to their insults. It was another decade before I learned about negging and the rudeness of so many men made sense. Such a gross way to attempt to abuse women into having sex with them.

  • Dearest chumps, your testimony has really buoyed me today!

    I spent about 2 hours with a Tinder account months ago before deciding that it was too inefficient a tool for weeding out liars.

    Since then, I’ve often asked myself: Is it sad that I have no desire to seek a new partner, even as I watch XH and AP have fun times with my kid? No. I no longer think it’s sad. Your stories have reframed my attitude as a healthy and normal response to reality.

    Fulfilling work, friendship, the beauty of nature, and my beloved kid provide more than enough joy to fill my life.

  • I met klootzak on Love@aol 20+ years ago. I definitely will never go that route ever again. Based on my experience with a FW, they troll the electronic mediums hard because it’s easy for them to be sly and spend a lot of time communicating and luring APs while sitting at their desks or on the porch just “reading the news” on their phones.

    I intend to live the rest of this life being the sane parent and enjoying myself thoroughly without any strings attached. I’m older, have plenty of friends, and don’t intend to spend any more of my money or time running off to do what someone else wants. Relationships take compromise and rightly so. I have spent so many years giving and giving and giving that I just want to do my own thing from here on out. I’m burned out. Love can be a wonderful thing but can turn into a prison and I have done my time. Maybe I’ll meet someone wonderful for shared good times in the future, but I certainly won’t be looking for it.

    I had the realization the other day that maybe I will never have sex again and I just shrugged.

    • “I had the realization the other day that maybe I will never have sex again and I just shrugged.”

      That’s what vibratory are for. I call mine Stanley. 😁

  • I created a profile for free, to test the waters. I didn’t post a photo because I wanted to remain anonymous and the photos of the men were blurry.

    One guy messaged me, “photo”. Not “could you please post a photo”. I suppose it took too much effort to pretend to be polite and type out five extra words.

    Done. Not going to waste my time.

    • I would have been so tempted to text back “basic etiquette” and “sentence construction.” But why coach creepy players to improve their game?

  • Not doing it. As I’ve shared here before, I have a handful of “gray divorce” friends who married guys in short order they met on various apps, and not one of them is happy. Each one said they settled too quickly and ignored the red flags. I’m not saying that it can’t happen, but it is concerning, to say the least. I can’t imagine dealing with the drama.

    I do know people who messaged for a very long time and then took it very slow and ended up very happy. I’m not sure that I have the patience, but that approach weeded out a lot of trash, from what they’ve said.

  • I met my now dead ex husband on match.com. In fact, every man except one that I’ve met on line has turned out to not only NOT not be an option, but they’ve seriously been the bottom of the barrel.

    Since I’m from Montana, 99% of the profiles have men holding up a fish, or displaying their harvested elk. Dude, I can do that myself… it’s not that impressive to me.

    The others are of guys skiing or boating or golfing… for fucks sake… can’t anyone be REAL?

    And then the ones who are “real” are filthy slobs who take their profile pics in the bathroom in front of a dirty vanity mirror with a reflection of the toilet seat up. 🤦🏻‍♀️

    I still peruse from time to time, but my own profile is hidden. I peruse mostly to remind myself that my freedom is better and that I’ve given that up twice now with disastrous results.

    Never again.

  • Back when I was dating someone (not exclusively however), he began to say he wanted to get married. Up til that point, I had not done any sort of snooping, but … marriage? Yes. I went to all the free dating sites I could find and found him in 3 of them. Very active on them and always on them when I checked. So the next time he started the discussion, I mentioned the dating sites and the fact I wasn’t interested in marrying anyone still dating multiple people. His response: “I understand that you can’t just quit the sites suddenly, you do it gradually.” I snorted.
    Thus began his campaign of winning me over. I suspected he privatized his profiles so I created a fake profile that was inspired by some of the swooning stuff he put on his profile. Why yes, he did contact me. I deliberately didn’t tell him. Part of me thought it was dishonest to snoop; the other part was held fascinated by this snake.
    Eventually my self-esteem forced me to cut him off.
    That’s when the real ugliness started. I didn’t realize how bad it was until years later when I took the survey mentioned here on Chump Lady (sorry, I can’t remember it) to assess the danger in a relationship.

    • One of them is the MOSAIC Threat Assessment (www.mosaicmethod.com). Just in case someone needs to know.

  • Back when I was dating someone (not exclusively however), he began to say he wanted to get married. Up til that point, I had not done any sort of snooping, but … marriage? Yes. I went to all the free dating sites I could find and found him in 3 of them. Very active on them and always on them when I checked. So the next time he started the discussion, I mentioned the dating sites and the fact I wasn’t interested in marrying anyone still dating multiple people. His response: “I understand that you can’t just quit the sites suddenly, you do it gradually.” I snorted.
    Thus began his campaign of winning me over. I suspected he privatized his profiles so I created a fake profile that was inspired by some of the swooning stuff he put on his profile. Why yes, he did contact me. I deliberately didn’t tell him. Part of me thought it was dishonest to snoop; the other part was held fascinated by this snake.
    Eventually my self-esteem forced me to cut him off.
    That’s when the real ugliness started. I didn’t realize how bad it was until years later when I took the survey mentioned here on Chump Lady (sorry, I can’t remember it) to assess the danger in a relationship.

    • Hah, the thing that we quit gradually is giving these snakes any kind of heads up before dumping them cold without explanation. But I relate to your morbid fascination and experimenting on shitty people like lab rats at times. For instance, I was stalked by a coworker when I was running a project years ago and found about half the team– educated adults mind you– knee-jerkedly siding with the perp after I filed criminal charges. It was eerie. The other half were supportive of me but I couldn’t help being curious about what was wrong with the perp’s flying monkeys. Some hadn’t liked the guy before he got arrested and a few had seemingly gotten on well with me prior so what in the world had driven them to defend him? Some were even calling him in jail to inform on me to the point that the head of SWAT threatened them with witness tampering. So I literally “interviewed” these people about their FOO issues, etc., before getting them all fired.

      Anyway, I don’t think I’d do anything like that again because I saved the “data” from the first “experiment.” Study Conclusions: Victim-blamers and flying monkeys are like Manchurian Candidates who were– often unconsciously– programmed from childhood by familial abusers to go into an automatic boxer’s clinch with a range of abusers they may later randomly encounter and to punish and silence anyone who “tattles” on abusers. Furthermore, up until the moment they get triggered into this behavior, pre-programmed proxy abusers may not even realize they’re capable of doing these things. It may go against their stated values, but once in the throes of their programming they can’t stop, can’t be reasoned with and need to be cut off as brutally as a perpetrators themselves

      It was useful information! That’s why I forgive myself for untangling the skein a bit after D-Day. Some of it was hopium for sure but I did solve a few enduring mysteries and gained some tips for my picker-fixing project, like the fact that every accusation from a narcissist is a confession. And the fact that wedding rings can be magnets for psychopaths and creeps, which applies to chumps as well: we can find out some trusted “platonic” friends aren’t so trustworthy or platonic when the our marriages start tanking and the rings come off.

      I don’t need to keep testing these theories. The research has been replicated a gazillion times. Now my feet start walking away before my brain has a chance to say, “WTF?” regarding other people’s behavior. I may still have a few vulnerable points of entry for manipulators to squeeze through but by now I know some of the body sensations I get when interacting with mask-wearing shitheads.

  • Prior to the internet, I was never a personals ads fan, and I am not interested in the modern day version, the dating app, even though I have a close friend who was chumped, and met her current husband, a successful contractor and retired Navy SEAL, and great guy, on Match.

    I have turned into Ouiser from Steel
    Magnolias. “Who is your family!?” Appointments by referral and invitation only. References. Introductions. Background checks. Moats with alligators. Fiery hoops. Attraction rather than promotion.

    For now and the forseeable future, I am enjoying being by myself and have a very long ways to go before I am healed and solid enough to consider dating. I am focusing my energy and attention on me and my daughter. She’ll be 18 in a couple of years, hopefully flying solo, and then I can think about that part of my life. I am not ready to do that, not only because of where I am at but because of her. I consider my primary duty is parenting a child in trauma thanks to what her dad did, and dating requires energy and time and attention that I want to spend on getting her and me flying strong again.

    A lot of people with children don’t consider the impact of their romantic lives on their children. It happened in my own life with my mother when my father died. Cheaters are the big self-centered offenders in that regard. I don’t want to flip my daughter off the cliff by
    bringing other men around until we are both healed sufficiently enough for me to do so.

    • In cheating, one is acting as if they are a bachelor/ette with healthy relationship skills and no children.

      In resuming a dating life, I need to consider my child. I need to be a whole and solid person on my own. Learning and practicing healthy relationship skills is ongoing education.

      I don’t ever want to take pages from the cheater playbook, aka Relationships for Dummies.

      I took my daughter to see Top Gun: Maverick the other night. My dad was a pilot and I was telling her about the different planes in the movie and sharing other aviation knowledge I have. The next morning she told me she wants her pilots license. I called our Navy SEAL friend and he hooked us up with a local program for kids who want to learn to fly. We are scheduled to begin attending next month and I am really excited. The head of the program has a Cessna that seats four and we are going flying with him next month. We might go to the air races in Reno this year. It’s something I did with my dad and now I can take my daughter.

      There’s plenty of me and plenty of her to discover without dating people and I am so glad to be in that headspace.

      Make your Ultimate Bucket List to fill
      in the bomb crater your traitorous fake spouse left.

      • TYPO…

        “In cheating, one is acting as if they are a bachelor/ette with healthy relationship skills and no children…..and in reality they are traitors without the most basic of relationship skills who completely ignore the massive damage they do to the children involved.”

        The second part of that sentence didn’t make it for some reason!

        • My fw even referred to his adultery episodes as “dating”. Um no, you were committing adultery, not dating. Married people don’t date they commit adultery and betray others.

          • Right? I agree with using correct terms, and “dating” is a term for those who are genuinely single.

            When you feel the need to use a euphemism, it’s an indicator you are doing something that is wrong.

            I despise the term “affair” for the same reason. That word sounds breezy and lightweight and normal, with none of the connotations of the abuse that it actually is.

            IMHO.

        • What lingers as one gets nearer to meh is the utter treason of cheaters towards children. I don’t have a single friendship where the topic of my kids isn’t a major theme and it’s the same for any of my friends with children. In the rather interesting “full disclosure” part of the RIC fiasco where I got some comedy fodder about the AP’s skanky sexual behaviors, gross habits and idiotic views, FW admitted that he also got bitchy cues from the AP that he wasn’t allowed to talk about the kids because he might slip and say things like “we (as in him and me) decided (to do x or y regarding kids)” or “we’ve always (done x or y regarding kids).” Mention of the kids evoked me and the AP would throw a shit fit. If he did slip and mention things we got for the kids or their accomplishments to her– like their musical abilities or trips and opportunities or interests they had or whatever– the twisted, stunted, sicko AP would immediately try to compete with the kids and start campaigning to be given the same things (like a hugely expensive musical instrument she’d played for a semester in seventh grade, etc.). She didn’t just want to displace me, she wanted to displace the children as well.

          Ergo because any mention of the kids made him lose out on bimbo blow jobs or was just too expensive, he gradually edited the children out of existence in his mind even aside from the treason of playing childless within his secret double life. Never mind editing me out of existence, there’s just no redemption for mentally erasing the children even part of the time. I couldn’t do that. I don’t recognize the humanity of anyone who could. I don’t recognize the humanity of someone who could stomach the company of the kinds of scumbags who would demand a parent do this.

      • It is interesting because now that I have S15 for every other week I am really connecting with him in a positive way. I have arranged my operative and office schedule to be there for him. I get him to and from school and all activities. FW moved out in September right as he started HS, it was so selfish of her. In spite of that he has been on the Dean’s list in all honors classes and was in the 99% on his ACT. He also swims and is an accomplished piano player who was recruited for Jazz Band. I hate like hell that his life has been disrupted but so proud he is handling it.
        FW lives in a 2 bedroom and he doesn’t like it there.
        When all this went down my rugby buddy who was also chumped told me to reframe the situation. He said “now you will have to be more available to your son and it will be great.” He was right. He takes interest in lifting with me and wants to play rugby because I coach the high school.
        It will be a long time before I date. People have mentioned “oh can I set you up..” they have obviously not been chumped

  • We all have pretty bad experiences with internet dating by the looks of it. I had quite a few as well after using eharmony for a while two years ago. I had plenty of bizarre experiences, but also had 3 dates with women who were lovely to meet; the meeting was polite and pleasant – but just no spark. Nobody ghosted . It was either me or them to write that it was nice to meet and good luck for the future.
    This year I had a brief stint on Bumble. ” Empowered woman make the first move” . I was intrigued, only to find out that the first move was the message “hi” – and that the conversation otherwise had to be carried by the man. I understand it’s a number’s game. Each women would have hundreds of matches, they can’t write something smart and intelligent every time. It’s much easier for them to sit back and see what the guys have on offer. One lady even sent me a catalogue of questions, which I answered truthfully. At at the same time she didn’t answer a single question about herself.
    People are burnt, they don’t want to reveal too much about themselves, to someone they probably never meet.
    And that was it for me : I am not here to be “browsed” like stock on a shelf.

  • After D-Day I went on one dating site to see how bad it was, not thinking I’d actually match with anyone. I knew there was no one in my small-ish town to date.

    I talked to 2 guys, the only 2 that didn’t have a cringy profile.

    The guy that only had a picture and his location is the guy that I met in person, and we’ve been dating for 18 months.

    I don’t want to get married or live with him. I like my own space and my kitties (plus we still both have young adults not yet launched). We haven’t said the L word. We have our own friends and our own activities. It’s perfect.

    And if things don’t work out for the future, I will be happy to not date again.

  • I thought id never trust again after my ex (who I met on eHarmony). But after time and therapy and healing, i’m willing to try.

    If abused animals can trust again, so can I. I just need you to show me you’re trustworthy.

  • I am laughing uncontrollably because the Google Ad being shown interleaved with this post is for datemyagedotcomm. Ad bots for the win 😂

  • In 2016 I met a very cute man and agreed to go on a date. He wanted to meet in a hotel room. no. At a remote park. No. Finally he agreed to meet in a restaurant in town. When he arrived he had aged 20 years and was slinking through the crowd with a baseball cap and sunglasses on. As soon as he sat down I exclaimed. Oh my gosh – are you famous? He looked at me confused – and I confessed I was just kidding it was now obvious that he’s married.

  • Omg, I have been a rabid Laurel fan for a solid decade and to hear both of my favorite bloggers know each other … I am squealing!

    What an amazing take down. So awesome!

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