Online Dating? Thanks, But No Thanks

About five years ago, I abruptly ended a 10-year relationship with a man I loved and trusted. Being 54 at the time made it that much harder as the prospect of finding someone else I was so compatible with at my age seemed grim at best.

I left him because I discovered that he had filled out dating profiles on every imaginable dating genre available. There were kinky ones, Christian ones, farming ones, pornographic ones, college ones and well, you get the gist. You can imagine my horror to find that this man I trusted was actually dating while living with me! He actually met a few women personally which is a definite deal breaker but even filling out a profile, responding to invitations to chat and continuing conversations about meeting up or, in some cases, just jumping right into online intimacy is the same thing. It’s cheating.

Before leaving, I did go in and change all of his profile settings. He was now interested in men only, very elderly people and weight lifters; anything that was the opposite of what he originally filled in. I can only imagine the responses he got. Oh, I also signed him up via phone and email for several time sharing opportunities and sent requests to real estate agents to contact him because he was interested in selling his house. Also, I may or may not have shared his information with several health insurance agents requesting phone calls about their incredible, low-cost programs.

He knew I had done it but couldn’t confront me for by doing so, he was admitting guilt. Silly man, never leave your pages open! It was obviously killing him not being able to confront me about my discovery but what could he possibly say? “Thanks for changing my dating profiles, now you’ve gone and screwed everything up!” He had to suffer silently. I enjoyed it.

I moved back to the area where I grew up in and now live with my brother. I have not dated since. My married friends saddened I was now alone, were determined to find me the perfect man. “Fill out a profile on a dating site!” they said. “It will be fun!” they said. It was not fun.

After several glasses of wine and if memory serves me correctly, some sort of coven-like ceremonial dancing involving moonlight, twirling around in flowy gown attire (picture Stevie Nicks), a bubbling cauldron (and there are some fuzzy flashbacks of some sort of cult sisterhood blood letting) I agreed to join a dating site. I truly couldn’t remember nor could I discern if the stain on my flowy attire was wine or diluted blood. I never investigated further, some things are better left unknown (your partner dating while in a supposedly committed relationship with you does NOT fall into this category, let there be no confusion).

I joined some site that was offering a “free trial weekend” where you could actually communicate with potential ‘love of your life’ candidates. Imagine! You could actually communicate! I didn’t realize there was any other way of finding your “soul mate” without actually communicating but hey, I was 54, what did I know?

I took extra care to fill out my profile and luckily, I had prior experience under my belt from changing all the settings on my ex’s numerous dating sites. I thought that if I were really going to try this, I should be very honest in my answers so as not to waste my time or my “one and only-s.” Why I assumed others did the same, I don’t know! I am going to pull the age card on this one… again.

I was quite flattered when I got my first “flirt” within minutes of posting my profile. How exciting! How special I must be. My ego deflated rapidly when my notifications started dinging furiously, sounding a bit like a child banging on the xylophone. I realized after opening the flirts and looking over my potential suitors that I must have signed up on some sort of prison dating site and if that weren’t frightening enough, after perusing a few profiles and their answers to the same questions I had spent hours toiling over, realized it must have been from the psychiatric ward housing the most heinous offenders.

The scrawl that was legible seemed to contain small phrases such as, “sumone who is pretie” or “i like lots afekshun.” Gasp! My picture, and a lovely one which took me many hours, an entire bottle of Pinot Noir, the good $12 stuff, to select was now released into the vast unknown. To add to my already shaken sense of security, I found that most of these wonderful candidates lived within miles of me. Lucky me! Could they find me? No address was on the profile, so surely not. Was I in danger? What if I ran into ‘SexmusheenSam’ while shopping at Safeway? What would I do? Did I now have to travel about incognito? I know I have a Suzanne Sommers wig here somewhere, should I dig through all those must have midnight clearance sale items purchased from HSN I couldn’t live without and brush and style it? What if I looked horrible in it? Could I go out looking unfashionable when I spend a good deal of time watching what I eat and exercising so I still manage to look fairly fetching?

One problem only led me to endless others and I was now completely overwhelmed at the thought of having ‘Hum-donger’ tapping me on my shoulder in a parking lot, displaying his three crooked, yellow teeth in a maniacally twisted grin saying, “I no yew, yer my favorite lady on that that day in web!” Once recovered from breath that I’m sure could only be described as vomitus epicycles, what would I say? I can’t be rude, particularly when representing Suzanne Somers and her Fun Flirty Fashion Fiesta Pixie Cut All Natural Looking Wiglet! What if I ran into my ex in his pursuit for “any woman not me?” My brain was actually exploding.

Scenarios like this plagued me and my 44 Magnum at night while buried under the covers. I had finally reached the height of paranoia and launched out of bed, opened my computer and deleted my profile post haste. Enough was enough. I honestly did not feel much better, who knows whose hands (shudder) my profile was in. I had no control over that but at least it wouldn’t still be ricocheting out there in Psychoville.

Things have settled down now, my friends no longer worry that I am alone because they see I rather enjoy it, in fact, I think some are conspiring to abandon their husband’s so they, too, can experience life on the freedom train. I like me. I’m fun. I go out when I want, where I want and answer to no one (well, my sons believe I am completely senile so they check on me hourly which is highly annoying!). If I happen to meet a nice man, so be it. I will tell you that if I ever get to the point where I am at his home, I will check his computer while he is busy attending to whatever psychotic habit I’m sure he has not revealed to me yet. Skeptical? Very! I still believe there are good men out there but for me, a dating site is not where I want to meet one.

All in all, life in my 50s is great. Well, the wig is scratchy and the Jackie O sunglasses and chin tie scarf can be difficult to pull off at times. But I manage quite nicely.

via The Huffington Post

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Love Triangles And Its Confusing Complications

Love triangles are confusing affairs. Find out how love triangles work, how you could end up falling into one and how you can get out of one here.

Have you ever been in love with someone who’s already in love with someone else?

Or are you in love with someone right now, but find yourself falling for someone else at the same time?

Well, you’re just living the perfect love triangle life!

What is a love triangle?

A love triangle is a complicated dating scenario where there’s love in the air, but there are more than two people involved.

When love is mutual and shared between two people, everything is perfect, simple and easy.

But when a third person enters the picture, everything changes just like that.

In come the complications and the frustrations, laced with intense happiness and a flow of bitterness.

The two types of love triangles

There are two primary types of love triangles. There are many complicated love triangles too, but they always find a way to fit into these two scenarios.

#1 Two people trying to win one person’s affection.

#2 One person who’s in love with one person but likes someone else at the same time.

How would you find yourself in a love triangle?

If you have a crush on someone who’s already in a relationship, that doesn’t become a love triangle. It stays as a crush.

And if you’re in a perfectly happy relationship and your friend tells you they’re in love with you, that’s not a love triangle either, because your friend just has a crush on you.

A love triangle starts only when there is reciprocation.

When a single person starts to feel a reciprocating connection with someone who’s already dating, or if you’re in a relationship with one person and start loving someone else who reciprocates your love, it has the perfect recipe for a love triangle.

Only with reciprocation does a motive to pursue arise. After all, if you liked someone and that person didn’t care about you, there’s nothing at all that you can do, is there?

It doesn’t matter if you’re in a relationship or you’re single, what you need to realize is that love triangles can never ever be created because of one person’s weak moment. It always takes two people to start the complication while the third person suffers for no fault of theirs.

No one wants to be in a love triangle

And yet, almost all of us end up in one. A love triangle may start off as an interesting distraction at first, which then unexpectedly turns into love. And this can lead to sticky love triangles where one person could be in love with two people at the same time.

When you don’t want to take a step ahead, nor do you want to take a step back and stay happy in your own relationship, a love triangle starts to form even if you try your best to avoid it.

Love triangles always affect a relationship negatively

For the person who’s single, it’s simple. All they need to do is steal the person who’s already in the relationship.

If you’re single and trying to steal someone who’s in an unhappy relationship, it’s really easy. But what do you do if they’re with someone they really love? They may love you and yet, they may not want to lose their own partner. You may be able to steal a few happy moments of love and lust, but if nothing really works out, you can still walk away with your share of pain and helplessness.

On the other hand, a person who loves two people will want the best of both people, and the worst of none. They’d start picking flaws in their partner and creating false reasons to justify why they’re cheating. They need a reason to convince themselves that they’re not happy in the relationship, and that’s the only reason they’re falling for someone else or getting involved in a love triangle.

But even when the third person walks away from their life someday, can they ever overcome all the flaws they’ve picked in their relationship?

Unless there’s a lot of love and bonding in the relationship, a love triangle always leaves a deep scar that tests the person’s faith in the relationship.

And almost always, a relationship that is put to the test of a love triangle fails or never regains its former glory.

Love triangles are painfully fun

If you’re involved in a love triangle right now, you would know this. A love triangle is a lot of fun for the cheating partner and the third person because it’s so exciting and risky. When you enjoy the pleasures of a love triangle, it’s always fun.

But for your partner who’s in the dark, it may be a very miserable time because you’re ignoring them, detaching yourself emotionally from them, and completely avoiding them.

And once the fire and the passion of your secret affair start to die down and you realize that you still love your partner and not this third person *which almost always happens*, you’d start to feel the pain too.

So what do you really get out of a love triangle? Nothing but pain, even if it feels like fun while it lasts.

Love triangles are selfish

You may think it’s acceptable for you to love someone else behind your lover’s back. But would you be fine if your partner behaved exactly like you, used the same flirty words you use with your adulterous lover, with someone they like? If that bothers you, you’re being very unfair to your partner and you’re being selfish.

I know you feel helpless, but you really need to keep this in mind. Most lovers who are stuck in love triangles forget to think from their partner’s point of view now and then. By keeping your partner in mind, even if you do fall for someone else, you’ll always know who’s more important at the back of your mind. And that guilt will help give you the strength to walk away even if you’ve rolled in the hay with someone else for a few weeks.

Love triangles are inevitable

Let’s face it. We can’t always stop ourselves from appreciating someone else or falling for someone else helplessly. But a love triangle is best avoided.

It can happen when you least expect it. You may just enjoy a conversation with someone, and without realizing it, a few weeks later, you may be in love with them because they excite you and have infatuated you. Don’t hate yourself if that happens to you. Just learn to do the right thing.

But if you ever do experience a love triangle, instead of picking flaws in your own relationship, ask yourself whom you’d really choose, and who you want to be with. Just one answer. Don’t try to push that thought away. You have no choice because someday you’re going to have to decide on that. And the earlier you make up your mind, the less painful it’ll be for everyone involved.

A love triangle starts only when you’re confused over your emotions for your partner. If you’re certain about who you’re truly in love with, you’ll never have a weak moment even if you just enjoy a flirty conversation with a flirty someone outside your relationship.

You don’t need to be wary of everyone you talk to or avoid ever getting friendly with anyone of the opposite sex. All you need to remember is how happy you already are in your perfect relationship. Just keeping that in mind will safeguard you from ever sliding down the exciting and dark hole of love triangles.

If you’re experiencing a love triangle or wondering how to get over one, it doesn’t make you a bad person. It only makes you human.

via LovePanky

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Cheating in a Relationship

Can you really define cheating in a relationship? As complex as the feeling of love may be, affairs and cheating in a relationship are just as complicated, says Roberto Rossi. But who defines cheating, and what constitutes cheating in a relationship?

Cheating in a relationship is a funny business. Painful, most definitely, but it’s extremely hilarious to watch from a third person’s view.

Have you seen how relationships change with time?

And have you noticed how we twist our own promises to our lovers to suit our needs as time passes by?

You kissed someone else because you assumed your partner was cheating? Or did you sleep with another person because your partner just wasn’t showing you any affection?

Is that cheating, or is that just changing the circumstances?

Cheating in a relationship

More often than not, things can sometimes be lost in translation when it comes to your relationship with a loved one. Without clear boundaries set, it’s even more likely that relationships won’t last past the initial honeymoon period.

It seems nowadays you can’t even fart or sneeze without your loved one having opinions about it. Why is this happening?

Only god knows, but as couples become more and more immersed into each other’s daily lives, problems seem to be occurring left, right and center!

Just think about it for a moment. Have you been in a situation where the doubt of infidelity has been so small and so insignificant, but in the end, you ended up having a row with your partner and probably took a few days to resolve it while the dust settled?

Have you been in that situation when in looking at what is positive in the relationship, you instead focus on the negative? There’s always a light at the end of the tunnel, but it’s up to you to find the torch that can take you there.

Cheating and our own views

Cheating in a relationship can be a confusing affair. Recently, a friend of mine came to me with a dilemma. His girlfriend had left him because he often sent text messages to a female colleague from his workplace.

This girl from work would call him occasionally to talk, to gossip, etc. His girlfriend came to him concerned, and even after he had comforted her over a few glasses of Portuguese Rose, she came right back at him with the sucker punch, “but you always see her at work, why do you need to talk to her even when you’re home?”

His response was somber, and there wasn’t much he could have said back, other than “she’s a friend who likes to talk, what’s wrong with that?” Of course, some level of flirtation probably took place, but let’s be big boys and girls here, who doesn’t flirt in life?

Infidelity creates its own circumstances

As a few months went by, a one-off, random office drinks party ended with my friend and his workmate sharing a kiss. Of course, my tone changed. But in the end, I felt this couple had a lot more going for them then, to allow a stupid kiss to get in the way.

Three years together and a stupid kiss could ruin all of that? Who hasn’t done something stupid which they come to regret, or rather forget? But this is it. When he felt guilty about it and told his girlfriend about the kiss, she was obviously pissed off. But she went one step further. She told him she always knew there was something going on between them.

Fair enough, I thought. She was well entitled to believe that something could come from this because they had locked lips.

But it was her failure to reflect on their relationship to understand that such a scenario was always a minuscule event in a wider picture. She assumed that that one kiss had started an entire illicit relationship between her man and the woman from work, and she just wasn’t ready to accept that perhaps, just maybe, it was an unfortunate event that happened by accident. It could happen to any of us.

Becoming the unfaithful one

Anyone can fall prey to such accidents, given the circumstances and chances of timing. No one’s a saint and no one’s a winner if you really weigh the circumstances.

But as the American actor Henry Winkler once said, “assumptions are the termites of relationships.” They eat at you and your partner, and in the end, just like a termite loves to grind down on wood, the termite assumption eats at the tree you and your partner have grown together.

When is it cheating?

In today’s world, it seems that everything shared between a partner and a friend of the opposite gender is cheating. Absurd, right? Wrong.

You will be surprised at a number of cases where relationships have ended over the most minuscule of things. With respect to sexual infidelity, cheating is only cheating if, ladies, you happen to walk into your room to find some butt naked chick playing with your fella’s nuts (and I’m not talking about food here).

Alternatively, cheating is only cheating if men, you happen to find your lady with her panties in a twist with another man. Well, unless you’re talking about emotional affairs.

Anything is remotely possible today. Think back about my friend, his example is exactly what is killing the average American relationship of a twenty or thirty-something-year-old. We, as humans, are drawn in by our assumptions of situations without allowing ourselves to reflect on the positives. Sounds familiar?

But I hear you saying out loud ‘what could be positive from my partner kissing someone else?’

Well firstly, it’s not as if they slept with them. They didn’t share a night of passion that they would normally have shared with you. Secondly, if you know about it, either they have told you themselves or you’ve found out yourself, but that doesn’t mean they are going to do it again.

If they do, then, of course, it’s cheating in a relationship. But what if it happened in the heat of the moment, a onetime thing? It really could happen to any of us!

Defining cheating in love

The definition of cheating in a relationship is changing with the times. Most relationships end when either one of the individuals involved does the unthinkable. They cheat.

In the U.S. alone, one in three marriages now ends in divorce, and a lot is put down to infidelity issues. In a recent national survey, twenty-two percent of married men have strayed at least once during their married lives, while fourteen percent of married women have had affairs at least once during their married lives. And that’s the number of people that confessed to their deed! Can you even begin to think of the number of secret affairs going on right this minute?

During the 1950’s and 1960’s, cheating was seen as a pass-time. Both genders could openly do more things and people, but today is different.

With the techno-advanced twenty-first century, all forms of communication are a blessing to us. We text, email, have mobiles and interact much more. Socially, we are freer in more ways than ever before, but in trying to be a free spirit like a character out of a Paulo Coelho book, we cause ourselves harm too. The more we interact, the more problems we get into, and more temptations we come across.

So what is cheating?

When one talks about cheating in a relationship, some may think of a lover banging someone else. But as I said, times have changed. Flirting, kissing, cyber-sex, text-sex, email-sex, facebook-sex, even looking at the opposite sex is considering cheating! Forgive me, maybe I just won’t look at the beauty the next time it passes me by.

Seriously though, because people have different opinions about what’s considered cheating, it’s up to you and your partner to decide what the “ground rules” are for the relationship.

What constitutes an act of infidelity varies between and within cultures and depends also on the type of relationship that exists between people. Even within an open relationship, infidelity may arise if a partner in the relationship acts outside of the understood boundaries of the relationship.

Many people agree that there are six basic qualities to healthy, loving relationships. Respect, trust, honesty, fairness, equality, and good communication. Everyone is different when it comes to dating rules, so people should sit down with their partners and agree on what counts as cheating in their relationships.

Discussing these details, however uncomfortable they may seem, is actually the best way to create boundaries in love and avoid cheating in a relationship.