Photo Credit: Caitlin Mellor Photography
DENISE’S ADVENTURES IN ONLINE DATING LAND
…or, HOW FAR DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE WILL I CHOOSE TO GO?
At the end of December, after a 3 month whirlwind courtship that began on Facebook, I declined an invitation to be the financial donor in a romance scam :) Then, I made the very uncharacteristic move of signing up for a one month membership on an online dating sight. At this point, those of you who know me well are probably double checking to make sure that this post is actually from me! I’ve been on my own for several years now, and the decision to step into the rabbit hole of online dating was not an easy one for me. I had to get past my own judgements and antiquated ideas of the “right” way to meet a potential partner. And I had to get beyond a comment one of my daughters had made several years ago about online dating being the last refuge of the truly desperate!
I had been thinking on and off in the last year that it would be an amazing gift to have a partner in my life again. It is such an honour to have a witness to your life and to be able to be the witness and support in another’s life. And I felt like I had unpacked enough of my own baggage to be able to enter clearly into a new relationship. Then along came “Michael” (most likely not his real name). He told me all the things I wanted to hear and for the first time in my life I truly opened my heart up wide to love. That heart opening shed light on all the baggage I had unknowingly hidden under the bed for years. And so, the truth is that even though the connection from Facebook turned out to be a scam, I am eternally grateful for the gifts of awareness the encounter bestowed on me. Because of “Michael”, I have been unpacking and releasing the remnants of the old suitcases of “self-doubt”, “fear of intimacy”, “distorted body image”, “protective wall around my heart”, “fear of men”. Baggage I would not have known still existed without him as the catalyst. In his own way he has helped me to pave the way for the next great love of my life, by showing me all of the barriers I had put up to prevent myself from recognizing, and welcoming that love with open arms, when it arrives.
If life is a mirror for me, and I truly believe that it is, then I must ask myself some difficult questions if I’m going to walk my talk: What is the romance scam mirroring back to me; What was my part in the dance; Where am I seeking external validation for Truths about me that I am not acknowledging within myself; Where am I not being 100% authentic in my life? I don’t have all the answers yet, but I’m totally willing and open to receive them as they come to me. And I have faith that they will come…in God’s timing…not Denise’s timing!
What I’m most excited about in all of this is that I did not allow my disappointment to close my heart again. I continue to say “Yes!” to life, in all its messiness and seeming imperfection, and I say “Yes!” to love. So…how far down the rabbit hole will I choose to go? The answer is: All the way. As Helen Keller once said, “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”