I’ve never been good at dating. I am what most would refer to as a serial monogamist. I’ve had only a few boyfriends in my 32 years on this earth and each relationship has lasted at least three years. In my younger years, my love life resembled the plot to a John Hughes movie of the 1980’s. My relationships always began with being friends with a guy who would attempt to date all of my other friends. After they turned him down, he would confess that he has secretly been in love with me all along.
My longest relationship lasted eight or nine years. I’m not quite sure the exact amount of time we dated because I stopped counting after he left me to spend a summer in Europe alone. To most women that would be a red flag, but to me, it was an opportunity to get better acquainted with my cat and to use the bathroom with the door open. I overlooked many red flags in our relationship, which I now regret, but chalk up to the old saying, “live and learn.” Having been with him since I was 20 years old, I was naïve. I also felt trapped since we had decided in 2006 to leave all our family and friends in our home state of Minnesota and start a new life together in Arizona. Therefore, I let myself believe that it was normal for a guy to have a lock on his cell phone and bring it with him everywhere he went…even in the shower. And although I found it odd that he only befriended females, I accepted his explanation that he just got along better with women because they were smarter than most men. I was also supportive as he spent eight years attempting to obtain his associate’s degree. Even after he quit his job to attend Scottsdale Community College, I stuck by him. Go Artichokes! However, it was during that time that our relationship began to crumble. He became friends with a vegan art student named, Valerie. Despite the obvious ridiculousness of someone considering herself an art student at a community college, I accepted their friendship and trusted that it was a strictly platonic relationship between two people in their late 20’s who had yet to graduate college because they spent their late teens and early 20’s doing ecstasy and getting tribal tattoos.
A year later, I realized I was wrong. After accidentally leaving his email open on my computer in early September of 2009, I saw an email exchange between him and Valerie. In it, they described in great detail the relationship they really had and their gratuitous references to each other’s body parts made me question why they weren’t majoring in anatomy with a minor in gross. Despite having seen his affair in writing, he still denied that their relationship was inappropriate. I, however, was no longer in denial and we broke up. I never blamed Valerie. I think we as women should always blame the man who was supposed to love and respect us and not the other woman. Sure, it was hard not to hate her because she was skinnier, prettier and stole my boyfriend, but I was able to take solace in the fact that after reading their email exchange, she didn’t understand the appropriate use of the words “their,” “there,” and “they’re.” Pretty and dumb may be a good look now, but beauty fades and then you’re just left with a dim woman still working on her associate’s degree in art 22 years later.
After my breakup, my friends encouraged me to try dating. Being unaware of how to even start such a foreign activity, they suggested that I try online dating. And in the fall of 2009, I created my first online dating profile on EHarmony. From the beginning, my goal was to impress any prospective suitors with an attractive, yet honest profile that captured the real me. I agonized over which picture to use on my profile because I knew that 99.9 percent of the men do not read when there are pictures involved. I finally decided on a picture of me in my 2009 Halloween costume in which I dressed up as Kate Gosselin from TLC’s “Jon & Kate Plus Eight.” Being a dating novice, I assumed that any man would look at this picture and instantly be attracted to its representation of fertility and emasculation. Apparently I was wrong. After two weeks I didn’t receive any “winks” or messages, which surprised me since I thought for sure the remaining 0.1 percent of men who would actually read my profile description would instantly fall in love with me.
My EHarmony Profile:
Fun gal with a lot to say. Bring your listening ears because I’d love to call you repeatedly throughout the day until you finally answer so that I can go into great detail explaining to you why I’m mad at a certain girlfriend (which girlfriend varies from week to week). I am extremely sensitive and moody, but very good at Tetris. I have adult ADHD and enjoy reading the first 25 pages of many different books in the same day while jumping from cushion to cushion on the couch. I love animals and waking up multiple times each night to make sure the oven is turned off. Even though I have an electric stove, one can never be too careful when it comes to gas leaks. I’m very loyal and avoid red flags. I’m willing to overlook your infidelity for up to eight years so that I don’t have to kill bugs, cook for myself or live alone. I love animals and watching myself cry in the mirror. I’ve been told that I look most attractive when having a panic attack and am willing to share my meds. For a good time, call another girl. For a mediocre time and someone who will be tweeting throughout the date, call me.
My two unsuccessful weeks on EHarmony made me swear off dating forever. Instead I would just wait for a suitor to find me and sure enough, he did. Two years later we are still dating and I am thankful to have a boyfriend whom I can trust. I am also thankful that he never read my EHarmony profile. Also, I would like to think that my experiences as a serial monogamist could possibly help other women out there who find themselves stuck or trapped in a bad relationship.
Here are a few tips I’ve learned along the way:
- If he offers to buy your hot friend a DVD player when her DVD player breaks, RUN!
- If he gives shoulder massages to any other girl in front of you – immediately add his name to the website – DontDateHimGirl.com
- If he wears True Religion jeans and a t-shirt with a blazer over it, do what the PETA people do – throw red paint at him and run away.
- If he ever expresses interest in visiting Amsterdam…alone, go to your doctor immediately and get checked out.
- If his ears are gauged, but he refuses to go above a zero gauge because he doesn’t want to permanently stretch his earlobes, leave now. This just shows a total lack of commitment. Stopping at a zero gauge is like jumping into a marathon during the last two miles just so that you can get your picture taken crossing the finish line. Go big or go to your mom’s house.
- If he has a faux hawk and wears aviator sunglasses, it’s too late to try to change him. He’s on the dark side of the Force now. Next he’ll start bragging about “bottle service” and his leased Beamer will be repossessed.
- If he has a barbed wire tattoo anywhere on his body, you shouldn’t have started dating him in the first place.
- If he spends over $500 getting a tattoo across his chest that reads: Love, Trust, Happiness – he will give you none of those things. Breakup with him immediately! Especially if after getting this expensive tattoo, he complains about having to take you to Ruby Tuesday for the unlimited salad bar.
- If he claims that the reason he hasn’t put that he is in a relationship with you on his Facebook profile is because he can’t figure out how to do so, accidentally bury his laptop in your cat’s litter box. If you don’t have a cat, run it through the dishwasher and then claim that you Googled, How to change my relationship status on Facebook and that is what it advised you to do.
Be careful out there. Thanks for reading!