Though it won’t bother me.  For the simple fact – I don’t ‘date’ on the internet.  I don’t go to starbucks for coffee and conversation online.  My prospective date(s) have never taken me to Chili’s to enjoy Southwestern Eggrolls and Wings over Buffalo while on the internet.  Know why? Impossible! You guessed it.  Why spend months talking to someone and never see them?  Reality check folks.

Okay, the ugly: it’s out there. Big, mean, and nasty. There are scammers.   Those attempting to lure you by engaging into an online relationship.  This one I term ‘online’ as there are no chances ever of meeting said person.  If you hear the words, ‘out of country on business’, RUN.  If you hear, ‘my child is in need of surgery in said country where I’m on business and we don’t have access to our bank accounts’, RUN.  If someone on a dating site asks you to immediately go to an IM messaging service outside of the dating site (yahoo, gtalk, etc), RUN.  They will often claim their membership is expiring at said dating site so they would like to talk via YIM.  Like that’s your problem.  Grow a life and don’t believe that garbage. If your interested party can’t write English (Or your native language) well, be warned.  I understand some aren’t good with spelling/typing but common folks a little common sense goes a long way.  Unfortunately many can’t see past their noses when it comes to their own well being and safety.

There are men and women out there to lure naive victims to have sexual encounters without the opportunity to get to know the individual first.  Greed people, greed!! I’ll add to that stupidity.  To the naive: wake up and respect yourself.  If you want to meet with someone, by all means be smart and go somewhere in public.  Tell your friends and family.  Sheesh if you didn’t want your family to know at least tell a coworker, friend or SOMEONE.  I’ve always told either one of my parents, friends (several), at least one friend that lives in the area in case I need back up help or they could come to said restaurant for security purposes, or coworkers.   Going to a secluded area void of people is asking for trouble.  If you want sex that bad you need help.

Back to part of my title: Go Ahead: Judge Away.  I’ve frequently visited a chat room of my choice. Yes on a regular basis. It was a co-ed environment, without any obligation to engage in private conversations with anyone.  It has message boards, prayer, bible study, and other fun activities.  Become a single parent and see how many chances you get to ‘go out’ without your kids.  See how many singles functions you are invited to (that’s right they don’t exist unless you have a church with that type of ministry, are willing to go bar hopping – which I’m adamantly against, or just so happen to know a friend of a friend that knows a single friend…). Yeah like that’s gonna happen. It does at times – and I’m not opposed to meeting someone by word of mouth. But face it, in almost 3 years since my divorce – I’ve had ZERO of those types of hookups.  Slim chances. Most in their mid 20-late forties are already cruising the marriage track.  I came across a few ‘friend of the family’ type encounters while I was separated/in the legal part of the divorce getting paperwork done (which will be 4 years ago in May 2014), meh it was okay but not for me.  I wasn’t legally able to scout the fields anyhow at that time.  My point is unless someone is thrown into the same type of situation they can’t truly know the difficulties presented with the ‘dating again’ in your 30s, 40s, and even later.  And not to throw the woe is me card, because I’m not the only single parent around – but having children makes it 100% more difficult to get out and meet people.  I’m absolutely up for meeting others – if I had an on call babysitter.  I’ve paid for sitting services so that I could go out and have fun.  It’s expensive – as if going from two incomes to one wasn’t hard enough.

Okay – yes the dating sites.  If someone isn’t willing to meet me in person and within a week or two weeks maximum – I move on.  I’m adamantly against long distance relationships. If it works for you and you are one of the many success stories, bless your soul.  It’s not in my heart whatsoever.  As far as meeting in person – if conversation is wickedly awkward right off the bat – I respectfully finish the conversation but again, move on.  If conversation goes well – and a friendship is a possibility I ask the chances of meeting in person.  If there’s hesitation or doubt I won’t go through with it.  On their part or mine.  Nothing is 100% fool proof (unless you profess abstinence to dating or courtship period).  Quite frankly no I don’t want to raise my children alone. If that’s God’s will for me I will suck it up and live that plan, I just hope it isn’t.  Life is full of taking chances, risks, accepting defeats and failures. Does that mean we don’t keep trying? No..not ever.

For you that feel that online dating is for freaks and weirdos, go ahead with your perfect little life and your inability to think outside the box.  I’ll keep being a freak and weirdo.  For I don’t date online. I just use it as a tool to get to the point of meeting someone in person. If they can’t meet me or don’t want to meet in person then I won’t have it (hence the local folks only for me).   Open up your eyes, there is a growing number of people using it as a tool like myself.  I’m not perfect, but neither are you.

I’ve met a few REALLY great guys. And several REALLY bad ones (not dangerous, just not respectful).  It’s part of life.  I have no regrets, for each experience teaches me something about other people as well as myself. Life is a journey, and we are all walking different paths.

God bless.

For more safety tips concerning ‘online dating’ and safety, please visit this FBI website:

http://www.fbi.gov/sandiego/press-releases/2013/looking-for-love-beware-of-online-dating-scams

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