My extremely funny friend, Mary, recently sent me this story about love, money, children, lies and eHarmony.
After two years and 20-some odd first dates (begat by the laws of fate and happy hour) I decided this summer to take a proactive stance towards dating by signing up for eHarmony. One of the things that drew me to this particular site was it’s notoriety for participants seeking LONG TERM relationships, not just hook ups or casual dating.
Evidently, not everyone there saw it the same way. Five months in to my six month trial membership I was matched with a man we’ll call “Rich.” Rich’s profile struck me right away. This six-foot-tall, 34-year-old who was spiritual (but not religious) and perhaps wanted more children proclaimed that he was passionate about finding love, that he already had enough money, and while his work was important to him, his life was lacking that spacial someone to share it with. He had interests, hobbies, was well-read and seemed to have a sense of humor. WOW! I was shocked, where had he been hiding all along?????
What was even more shocking was that magical Rich, with his love for love and liaise fare attitude towards a trivial little thing like money, was that HE requested communication with me! Oh happy day! I answered his questions, he answered mine. He sent me his must haves and can’t stands, I replied in turn. Finally, we had arrived at the blessed moment of open communication. The place where hoop jumping stopped and intimacy began. My first inquiry in this inner circle was with regard to his children. I told him how lovely it had been to get to know him and how I looked forward to continuing the process and asked about his kids. Boy’s? Girls? How many? How old? To me, this seemed logical. Not only do I currently work with kids I like them, I would like to have my own and at this stage of my life, I’m not entirely sure I wouldn’t want to date some one who already had some. Still, after I sent the message I felt like maybe I was out of line. Does this guy really want to e-mail with me about his children? Is that too personal at this stage? It’s certainly not a huge turn on to chit-chat about little Suzie’s soccer game and Billy’s pre-school antics.
But, oh how very right I was to ask. Shortly there after I got a response from Rich:
” My son is 21. My daughter is 17.”… As I began to do the mental gymnastics around the math, and started to wonder if he had previously lived in a state where 14 is considered adult, I stopped and read on. . .”The age I posted on my profile reflects the age that people generally perceive me as. I am actually between 45 and 50.”
Here’s what I would have to say to Rich (were I at any point able to refrain from expletive):
When it comes to love, some think age is just a number. Others think dating within one’s own age bracket increases the chance that they will be able to connect due to shared experience. Some think love trumps age, others think May-December relationships are creepy etc. But I’ll tell you one thing all these people can agree on, being lied to SUCKS.
I might have gone on a date with 49-year-old Rich. I might have thrown away my preconceived notions about age and fallen madly and passionately in love with him to the point of gladly pushing around his wheelchair in a few decades when he is 70 and I am in my 40’s. I might have, but I sure as shit won’t now.
As my friend Jordan said so eloquently last night, “Would you drink milk two weeks after the expiration date… even if it smelled okay?” Eff no! And Rich is certainly past his posted expiration date. Take note, online daters: When fudge your age, post photos from high school (when you should be posting photos from your 10 year reunion), claim you’re 5′10″ when you’re 5′6″, the first thing your potential mate will know about you when you come clean (or they meet you in person and see you’re wholly unrecognizable face) is that you, my friend, are a liar.