Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Trying Again
Well, I've done it. I've actually put my profile back up on the internet dating site where I met Mr Wonderful.

There's a whole etiquette about dating sites that I'm not sure of, and I suspect no-one else is either.

Communication with people whose profiles look good is by means of "kisses" which are a limited set of pre-written statements, and are free to send. Emails can follow, but they require "stamps" - now, one stamp opens up a channel of communication between two people for a month - but someone has to buy it.  A book of three stamps (which is the minimum - you can't just buy one stamp) costs about $45 - so it's not a small investment, really.

So when the first communication I get from someone is a a kiss which says "If you buy a stamp, I'll buy coffee", I respond with another kiss that says something like "I like your profile, looking forward to hearing from you."  Why? Well, like I said, I don't really understand the etiquette involved, but I thought it was a great idea when one man had written on his profile: "If I send the first kiss, I'll buy the stamp. If you send the first kiss, you buy the stamp." In fact, I liked that so much, I copied that on to my profile.

Most of the men's profiles I read that have anything about the whole matter of stamps on them contain the complaint: "If women want equality, why won't they pay for the stamps?" Well, darlings, in the past two days, I could have paid for three stamps to talk to three different people who made the first contact. Two of these gentlemen hadn't completed their profiles, so I couldn't even tell if I had anything in common with them. All three gentlemen, however, had sent as their initial contact the kiss that promised they'd buy coffee if I bought the stamp. This leads me to wonder if: a. I look like I'm desperate; b. Australian men are just plain cheap; or c. they didn't even read my profile as indicated by not knowing what I already said about stamps.

My profile picture.
Aside from that little bit of frustration over not understanding the social mores of that initial contact, I have one much bigger and more important issue: at what point do I tell a potential new partner about my lupus?

This one's a struggle for me. When I'm relatively well, I feel like it's not really important. But I'm not always relatively well.

I have a tendency to err on the side of being up-front. I warn people fairly early in the contact that I do have this issue which can affect all aspects of my life, including relationships. There's a big risk here of scaring someone away prematurely. I opt for that, instead of the risk of becoming attached to someone, and then finding that they can't handle it when I get sick. If the rules of the site allowed links - I would include a link to this blog so that men could actually assess for themselves what this means before they contact me.

So, I'm back out there, looking.  Am I going to find my Prince Charming this time around? It's only been two days, so there's no knowing. I do know that in the next couple of years my kids will leave home. And I don't want to end up being the crazy cat lady living alone with my pets for the rest of my life.

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