When did LinkedIn become an online dating site?!?!

Online dating typically leads to a great story or three, so when I ask the question, “When did LinkedIn become an online dating site?” I’m being sincere.

In my professional life, I tend to work on LinkedIn quite frequently as a networking tool; however, lately, I have been receiving email’s from men that send what seems to be legitimate invitations to “connect” and once we do, they email me seriously odd emails about my photo that I have posted. Which is odd because it’s not a sexually explicit photograph and it’s actually a selfie that I took of myself last year, if you want to be specific of its origin.

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Anyways….over the past year, I have received several email’s that I’ve shared among my friends and coworkers as humor. Men…you should know that if you send something this ridiculous, it will be shared…that is just human nature.

Recently, I’ve ended my current consulting engagement and have received no less than 3-4 emails in the past 3 weeks from random men asking me about my marital status, telling me that I’m attractive, or… I love this one, “you have the most beautiful eyes, face & lips.” Really?!

Well, as I was sitting there last night, drinking a cup of tea and following up on my email, I accepted a few invitations for connections on LinkedIn, not thinking anything odd about them, until later I read the following email from Scott:

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Date: December 2, 2013

Hello beautiful, staring at your lovely eyes for the past five minutes has been one of the most wonderful encounters i have had in quite a while, you make me think of the world like it is not gonna be a nice place to live in for the next 50 years without you in my life, your smile is like one of my best memories,i know this might sound hilarious but believe me its the truth i think you are the kind of woman i would want to wake up to see her beautiful face for the rest of my life, pardon me my name is scott

Ummm…. Well, let’s see Scott, first of all, “I sincerely thank you for the creepy email on Linked In and I do apologize that your next 50 years will be without me in your life. However, unfortunately,  I have met enough crazy people recently.”

Best wishes –

H

The photo of Scott was quite interesting as well, and it offered up some good banter between myself and some friends.

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No, I didn’t send this email; however, this morning, I got an email notification that my Match.com account (that I did not even know was still active) was automatically renewed. After an exhausting phone call, they wouldn’t refund my money (F-ck!). Therefore, I may be forced to try online dating again soon enough, if I don’t find love, well…maybe I’ll find a good story or three. With this being the case, maybe I am ready to try the whole online dating strategy once again in search of love…what is the worst thing that could happen?!?

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The irony is that since I wrote this story, I’ve received no less than 4 more..these are to become the sequels.

If it’s supposed to happen….It Will.

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Life is full of surprises….as you may, may not know that I have a long history of working in technology and consider myself somewhat of a nerd at times; however, when I’m working, I always have a difficult time with managing work/life balance. However, once I’m unemployed or on a break between contracts, I’m the most open to romance, happiest girl in the world…elated really and I guess that my energy is at its  best when I’m in search of my next big step.

It’s been a few months since my heart was ripped out, stomped on and made to feel like a dog’s chew toy. I am feeling much better health wise, as I’m back in Physical Therapy… I had a bad MRI last year, after limping and going through challenges of dealing with pain, numbness and etc. I was to learn that I have Spinal Stenosis (narrowing of my spinal canal), my L2-L5S1 are herniated, I have arthritis and slight scoliosis. As I was seeing, “The Diplomat”… I learned all of this and managed to go through 3 rounds of Spinal Epidural Injections (2 each time)…which are such fun. Imagine this, sitting on a gurney on your stomach in front of an X-ray while someone numbs your spine and back as they wait for the numbing to occur, they draw on your spine for entry points to stick a needle into the area’s between your discs to puncture the spinal area and first shoot a dye that they watch on the X-ray and then insert the steroids to try to help the injured area. The process while being numbed is frightening thinking that they’re working so closely on your spine, yet it’s oddly simple and complex at the same time. The pain is indifferent because I’m generally in a lot of pain and at the time, I was in a lot of pain. So, anything is worth trying to help ease the discomfort that I was in constantly.

As you can imagine, steroids manage to escalate your emotions, wreak havoc on your body, and you are only allowed so many during a specific time period because of the damage that could occur. Well, being alone living in NYC, living in a walk up, having no family, finding out that I had such issues that could result in worse issues…my mental state wasn’t the greatest. This man could’ve told me anything…I was not in a place to date anyone. It was clearly an emotional high to have him in my life…the one thing that I looked forward to, actually quite sad. My work life was dwindling, I felt as though I had a limited work/life balance, but would try to remain extremely driven and ensure that I was able to not only add value, but be able to deliver during this time, to not hinder my job as well.

I sought out a Therapist that specialized in working with people with illness and helping them manage the pain, then helping with their abilities through dreams, mental exercises in uplifting these issues. My only regret is not looking for him sooner.

At present, I realized that had I not been in such an ugly place mentally with my health, I never would have allowed such back/forth to happen in my personal life. I was a mess.

Since, I’ve been recovering, evolving, and gaining back my strength; my energy has been lifted… I took off on a vacation on my own for a week to Punta Cana, DR and loved it. My days were filled at the pool, near the beach and relaxing.

Why am I telling you this….as a result of working not only on myself mentally, but physically I am healing.

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I’ve not continued to online date recently; however, I’ve been on dates two Saturdays in a row without me leaving my apartment or doing anything different to be asked out.

Date #1 was with “The Name Changer”… haha. We ended up just meeting for drinks and having a few glasses of wine, catching up and realized that we are and will always be “just friends”. Nothing More.

Date #2…. Was a HUGE Surprise… It was with a man who I had met when I first moved to NYC and still had an apartment in St. Louis. We met online at Match.com, went on a great date, but due to timing…it just never worked out for us. We kept in touch and over the years, he would reach out and ask me out, but it just never happened. I’m not going to say too much about him, but after not seeing one another for 3 years, we had a great time together… It was a comfortable night, we talked, cuddled and kissed so much that I will smile thinking about him for the rest of my life. My friends keep asking me… “Are you going to see him again?”… My reply, “I don’t know… if he asks me out again, definitely. However, after everything that I’ve learned is that you cannot rush something or force it to happen. If it is meant to be, it will happen!”

He returned into my life for a purpose though and I think that all of the times that I have been talking to my angels and asking for Love, Passion, Kisses, Hand holding, hugs, and intimacy… they sent him to remind me what that felt like again. He taught me more in one night what I wanted and what I did not want. He reminded me that the “love” that I’d thought that I had with the guy I’d last dated aka “The Diplomat” was lacking the passion and sweetness that I yearned for.
Yes, we had sweet moments and he always told me that I was beautiful, but his actions did not always show this. He was always holding back and never gave me an entire evening talking & etc. There was always an end to the evening usually with me getting into a cab and crying myself back home. However bad it was in the end, I loved him, but it hurt me and he abandoned me without as much as a text goodbye.

However, Date #2 -The Dad, we can call him… He did. He met me at my train, hugged me, kissed me…took my bags, took me out, held my hand, watched me, he told me how happy he was to see me after 3 years and how much he’d thought about me over the years since and how many times that he’d wanted to call me. He held my hand, touched me and held me close, while we just sat on his patio talking and sharing stories…He’s shown me that I was worthy of love and that I could love someone again, my heart may have been hurt, but vulnerability is a beautiful thing, so is trusting someone with your heart….when they look you in the eye, take your hand and kiss you…. It is a promise. It may only be for the date, the night or a short time, but in the end… I will always know that he meant it.

I don’t know if I will see him again, but either way…I’m just going with it, letting go of everything, enjoying the ride and happy that it happened.

You see, sometimes you just need one person to remind you that you’re still capable of hope and open to love.

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One Day, someone will walk into your life…

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After the drama of being lied to by, “The Namechanger”, you can imagine my view on dating again, especially via online methods were skewed completely, as I had just managed to have one of those awful experiences where it becomes urban legend and you only hear in bar’s over too many drinks at a Happy Hour with your girlfriends…dating nightmares, men to be suspicious of and dating drama…haha.. all of them were me, in a nutshell. I was for a brief moment, calm…processing it, then I was indifferent, then I managed to get truly upset and started second guessing my own actions to have not noticed that I was being lied to in multiple areas.

Moving forward, we must change the rules:

  1. More than one photo is a must
  2. Proof of a real name on an email (yes, this too can be faked).
  3. Proof on where they work, live and etc. (Do some research on LinkedIn and etc.)
  4. Meet friends; ask more about their background, lifestyles and etc.

I continued to be “open” to online dating, and so walks in “The Good Guy”… He was such a good guy, that he still makes me laugh and smile when I think of him, but it was not good timing on my part, nor was I ready to date quite yet and even though I would want us to work out because I did enjoy his company, we just weren’t compatible.

He was one of those people who doesn’t own a TV and is very proud of the fact that he hasn’t watched a sitcom or owned a TV in over most of his life. I have a DVR and watch and record more series than he’s heard of, I keep my TV on all of the time, and even when working…I cannot live without watching my TV. I should tell you that I not only have a TV, I have a SMART TV with 3D, Internet and subscribe to HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, Amazon & Netflix and actively watch all of them.

He’s always in a triathlon, he is divorced, and he’s into outdoors to the extent that I’m not, but it all sounds amazingly exciting. I do Pilates, yoga and am not a runner. I surf on the sofa.

We had a few great dates and ultimately, after I returned from a trip to Cabo, he met me after running a triathlon, then plying in a tennis tournament, to walk The Met Museum with me, then drinks, and dinner. At the time, I was trying to battle a virus that I’d returned with from Cabo, which was making me extremely sick. Because he lived so far away, I did allow him to sleep over, but it was just sleep (seriously). Then, he woke me up at 6am, then at 7:30am wanting to go take a brisk walk along the river, find some coffee, croissants and etc. Mind you, I am not a morning person. So, this was not sealing the deal here. I need someone to coax me out of bed, fill me with coffee and then, send me on my way.

I wished on some level that I could be the girl who would be able to compliment him for who he was and yet, I knew I couldn’t. So it faded away and all ended with no more contact. I think that we’re still connected on some social media outlet, I did see him once while walking through Grand Central and he was speaking with someone else and didn’t see me, which was strange enough…who runs into anyone in Grand Central at rush hour?

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With this, I had kept my online dating profile up, but was about to take it down when I received an odd email that morning on my way to work on the Metro North train and read it… It read, “I wanted to reach out to you once again, as I never received any reply from my first email and there was no photo posted of me, as I need to be discreet with my job. However, I have a few up now and would like to meet you and learn more about you…. Cheers,”

Hmm… He was handsome, british (hmm..love the accent), my age..(hopefully, this was true), his online profile name had the word, “HONEST” in it (could this be a sign?), and so I replied something like, “Many apologies, I was about to remove my online profile when I saw this. However, I do not recall seeing an email from you before, but if there was not a photo attached, generally, I will erase it… Sorry? Heather”

He initiated a dialogue back and forth for the next week it seemed via chatting and email’s learning about one another and flirting innocently, maybe two weeks until he sent me one on a Saturday asking if I would like to meet him or available for a drink that week, preferably on Wednesday evening. I decided to accept, but had thought nothing much about it. As I’d resolved myself to no more piss poor dating scenario’s, all would be me as a guy going in as a drinking buddy…laughs and a good time, but not thinking about it being something romantic, as that would likely just break my heart again, or possibly just kill what hope that I had left inside me. At this point in my life, I had become a vulnerable, emotional woman and had found myself for the first time in my life wanting to find a partner.

In walks in, “The Diplomat…

Love The Way You Lie…

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And so the romance game begins…Rob goes back to The Upper West Side, where he lives…as I live on The Upper East Side. So, he’s conveniently just across the park, Central Park, that is.

I should preface that I’m 100% honest with him about who I am, my age, where I work, live, family and etc. I don’t crowd him, I let him make contact, and I go back to my life, continuing online with my dating profile because I am not assuming that there is anything more to the night with this new guy.

I make arrangements to meet another guy at a local bar nearby, who is a Corporate Attorney recently divorced, living in the suburbs, working in the city and has 3 small children. To be honest, I’m hesitant because of the children, but he’s determined and so, I agree to a drink. This guy’s name was something like “surfandsand” or something similar, I haven’t a good recollection.  When I get there, he is not there yet.. He texts me that he’s there, but at a table?! I’m like, “Come to the bar.. I’ve ordered a drink!” So, this is awkward, as a very large man shows up and he (again) does not resemble any of the photos that he has posted on his dating profile. These photos must have been 20 years old or something, or they were of a cousin, brother or some close friend. Odd. I am a big girl, I make the most of the situation, have some drinks, share an appetizer, share some stories and very nicely excuse myself and let him know that there is nothing that will happen between us, but I “thank him” for the drink.

Meanwhile, I have a crazy work week and Rob texts and calls me on both Sunday/Tuesday asking how I am and then, proceeds to ask me out on Thursday. I tell him that I actually have plans on Thursday night, and he tells me that is fine, he will meet me after/during my plans..and come over. Lol.

He ended up coming over early, after a long crazy day in the office and managed to buy us dinner takeout food, wine and we had a nice date on my sofa. Our date’s got more frequent, we saw one another 2-3 nights a w week and always a night during the weekend and a sleepover. Sometimes, 2 nights on the weekend.. a Friday or a Saturday and/or Sunday night. We end up just seeing one another, no one else and I’ve stopped online dating. It’s going so well and the best part is that it’s easy too. No drama, we’re spending a lot of time together and I’m happy. He referred to me as the most “unstalkerish” girl he’s dated..lol. I let him do all of the contact, unless I send him a follow-up.

We were in the hand holding, giving each other massages, climbing all over one another with both of us still stealing kisses as much as we could. We even spent many days lingering in bed cuddling..he was a cuddler and would bring his cuddling caravan over to cuddle with me all night and made me late to work and miss many trains, many days during this time…we had nicknames for one another, teased each other and laughed a lot. He even suggested that we take a trip together.

This went on for over 2 months…then, out of the blue, Rob told me that traveling to my place was tough now that he had moved to New Jersey?!? Imagine my response…First of all, when did you move? You’ve been with me every weekend? He said, just the other week to Weehawken, NJ and Upper East Side was tough to get to. He asked me to dinner Friday night, but wouldn’t be over until late, and would talk with me then. He arrived about 11pm and after a bottle of wine, I was in prime shape…

He confessed to me that he’d always lived in New Jersey, but he said Upper West Side because he did live there earlier in his years in the area. Since, moved to NJ. Dating NYC girls and living in NJ is tough.. Because we don’t generally want to commute to NJ and they know this, which is why men lie about this one item. However, that night, we ordered food, talked it out.. He told me he’s been lying about his age, and that he’s actually a few months older than I am, not 3 years younger. Then, when I asked about anything else. He said that was it.. He’d told me everything. When he left, all was good.. He showed me that his weekend when he was away was due to a side business that he ran, texted me photos of the show he was at and all the next night as a bit of proof to ease my mind.

I was deceived, but all was forgiven…or so, I thought.

The following week, I had a dinner, and gala to attend with a charity with friends and had told him that we’d be going to a rooftop after and to meet us. He’d been texting me while I was there and I didn’t notice a missed call from him until I was in a taxi on my way home to my apartment. There was no voicemail. So, I decided to call him back and to my surprise, I heard his voicemail that was transferred to his work voicemail.. With his voice, but using a DIFFERENT FIRST AND LAST NAME!!! As well as company and etc.

My stomach dropped, I got out of the taxi and vomited… Who in the hell had I been in a relationship with and sleeping with calling a different name the entire time in bed, introducing him to people and etc.?!?! I texted him the following:

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His response was that he didn’t know how to tell me, and basically everything had gotten out of hand in his responses on-line dating and he managed to really like me, not only physically, but my personality and didn’t know how to tell me. He’d supposedly had a bad experience before…OMG.

After a week of crying, feeling completely sick, after being with this man for 3 months…I was devastated by this situation. He continuously tried to make nice with me and apologize via text, phone and etc.
within about a week or 2, I finally gave in and let him come to my apartment and apologize to me in person. It was a bittersweet meeting, but I couldn’t trust him. I let him lead communication with me.. I met him one last time out and I left him in the bar as I turned in tears and caught a taxi home.

He texted me on occasion that he now was telling everyone the truth. No more lies, he realized what it did to me and I was the catalyst for him becoming honest. Lovely. He told me that he missed me.

After I met and dated others… we would remain in touch and tell one another of our current dating, but would leave it there.

Over a year later, we have become friends…somewhat, but never anything more. I didn’t know if I could recover again or trust after this episode..and it’s been over a year later and I still don’t have that innocent trust factor yet.

Let the Dating games begin…In the game, “Pin the tail on the Donkey.. Who is the Ass?”

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After a grueling few months of work, no dating, a 10 day holiday with my mother… I decided to put myself back out there on the market… not the job market, the dating market…

Do you remember playing, “Pin the tail on the Donkey” as a kid?  Online dating is kind of like that, but imagine a blend of Craigslist.com, Amazon.com & EBay.com without the review’s and it is a crapshoot on the photos.

My online dating rules  of mine have always been:

  1. They MUST have more than one photo. No excuses.
  2. Body shot photos are an automatic disqualification
  3. They must be local, must text, speak with and meet in a timely manner in a public place.
  4. People looking for pen pals or wanting to immediately send you dirty photos are automatically deleted/blocked.

So, I managed to post my profile, and the process begins… I get contacted by a guy who lives in NY, is within a few years of my age, yet younger, has 3 photos posted and seems cute. One of the photos is of his body clothed with a dog. We exchange emails, chat, text, and we even speak on the phone before he asked me out on a Friday night to meet. His name is Rob.

So, I end up meeting Rob at a local bar on my street, when I walk there.. I’m nervous because I hope that I will recognize him upon sight. Wishing for the best, I was walking up and I see a cute blonde guy smoking out front and he sees me, but doesn’t say anything…(damn). I keep walking into the long, dark bar and out of nowhere a guy that I never would’ve recognized as the guy in the photo. He greets me with a huge hug and “Hello Heather! ”Can I get you a drink?” Umm…WTF? Who is the guy in front of me?!

I’m still stifled and sitting there taking it all in, ask for a beer and staring at him trying to find a resemblance to the photo’s in the online dating ad. It’s not that he’s unattractive, but he’s not the same guy..Or the photos are old or something. He’s about 6ft tall, blonde hair, blue eyes, fit, and funny…he is telling me jokes and we start people watching because there is Karaoke at the bar where we meet and people are drunk, dancing everywhere, and it’s something of a show to watch. Hilarious…I finally let my guard down, but trying to figure out if I can leave.. There is no way out without getting by him. I cannot even go to the restroom and escape.. Ugh. I’m going with the attitude that, “I’m going to make the most of it!”….. “GO ALL IN or GO HOME!” and I couldn’t go home.. So, the adventure begins with Rob.

The evening ended up going really well, we actually ended up having a great time, he managed to talk his way back to my apartment and after much wine and conversation… slept over…ummm, yeah.. That too.

I woke up to having a man cuddling with me, kissing on me and asking me to lunch. I took his hand, kissed him back, and accepted his lunch invitation.

Let the games begin… In the game, “Pin the tail on the Donkey.. Who is the Ass?”

I’m like the Psychic that will guide you on your life, but can’t read my own cards…

 

 

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So, it’s confession time. At present, I’m a closet writer that used to write for a release, but was apparently trapped under a refrigerator for the past few years…while working in a Consulting role in technology and selling myself out to the lifestyle of 50-60hour work weeks, depending on online dating sites to help remind me that I needed to be “available” to date, and trying to keep up with my friends and having a social life outside of the office, while commuting almost 3hours/day back and forth. Damn…I’m tired. I’m currently unemployed, as my contract ended with tragedy to the project, which is sad, but I’m surviving, and interviewing for new positions, which itself is literally just like online dating and at present, I’m stifled by the similarities. I am a Technology Recruiter… so, I get it, but people ask me to stop by just to “see me in person” to “make sure I’m presentable”. Now, not going to name any places, but I’ve been working with a large Cosmetic’s company for the past 2 years…within start up’s and management consulting, high level communications companies…all in HR and TA… (Talent Acquisition) not “Tit’s and Ass”, but if I wasn’t presentable…I wouldn’t have been placed on the front line to attract candidates in the first place. So, it is what it is….I do the “dog and pony show… do a few tricks, fake the laughter, smile’s and try to make a connection… otherwise, I’m a master of the game.. And I know how it’s supposed to be played.” Too bad that this doesn’t necessarily transfer over to my dating life…I’m like the psychic that will guide you on your future, cards, life, how many children that you will have; however, I live in a trailer, 3 kids, divorced and barely making ends meet. I cannot read my own cards… lol. It’s like that as a Recruiter… I guide people on hiring decisions, but the funniest part is, I need to apply these principles to my dating life… walk away when my gut instinct tells me to. However, like I was telling my therapist…. I seem to have great intuition, I just manage to second guess it, keep going and end up in a comedy of errors with my dating life… So, I’m unemployed now and while I’m interviewing for new positions, I have found myself with time to write and capture my stories that my friend’s and my therapist have been telling me for years to write and capture of my days of living in New York City, especially the dating one’s to share with all… as they’re that good and amusing… bear with me, as I’m reminiscing through and trying to go back and write them to publish. May the road go on forever and the party never end…

Haha

Yeah. Fucking crystal ball

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