Sage Thoughts

Pondering with purpose…




I come to you as a middle aged, married American woman. My original dating history spanned the late 80’s and early 90’s as PCs were just coming into their own and the internet was a fledgling communication device used mostly by geeky guys I knew who had Apple computers. It was message boards and forums… my how this has evolved.

I am no stranger to online dating. In fact after my divorce from the husband I acquired through traditional methods I met my future husband on Internet Relay Chat in 1996. This fact turned heads and many people did not understand. Only about ½ or less of the population was online back then.  We are currently married with children and living the American dream.

The internet, the access, the ability to be plugged in no matter where we are these days is  totally mind blowing. Is it healthy to be receiving texts from someone who is on the throne? We have become a society that is never alone. It seems all boundaries have gone out the window with the complete immersion of ourselves in this culture.

It is a blessing and a curse. Through these now common place means of communication we are now able to meet people who never would have crossed our paths in the “old” days. The pool of selection has widened to an unbelievable scope. With so many ponds to fish in… OKC, POF and I’m sure you know many more than I do, I’m old and married after all, how can anyone possibly focus?

The immediate gratification and validation you get when you get a message on your phone, your blackberry, your Ipod, your yahoo, your AIM, one or all of your email accounts is a rush and a thrill. It is easy to become addicted to all that New Relationship Energy (NRE).

It used to be said, again back in the old days, that women are like buses, one comes along every 20 minutes. Well now it seems here in the 21st century women and men come along every 5 minutes. Again I have to wonder how do we focus.

We meet people, pretty often and regularly. Some there is a chemistry with others not. The ones who are common, don’t move you much,  are easy, you catch and release. But what about the ones that get inside, that touch you just right, that you seem to have a connection and chemistry with. What do you do with those? How can you focus for more than a week when you are being constantly bombarded by new potential best things that ever walked into your life?

I have seen this phenomenon first hand. At first I thought it was my marital status, then I started to wonder if hey maybe I am just an intense short term thing to most people, a flash in the pan of the psyche so to speak. But I have just come to the realization that it is not me. It is the culture and it is the nature of people. The forever chasing the brass ring, the grass is always greener, maybe I am missing something if I am relating just with this person. It is the nature of us, both men and women to want the best, to seek the best, to always be looking for more. Never satisfied, never able to satisfy. I guess it keeps us on our toes, gives us a reason.

So along these lines of thought then I have to voice my concern for marriage. I have to admit that I am not the staunchest defender of the vow of marriage. I believe people choose to be together and they can choose the terms of that togetherness. It comes in all flavors and styles and none are more right than the other. We are bound, for life, but we must continue to grow in ourselves no matter what avenue that takes.

That said I am wondering if marriage will become extinct in the 21st century. Or will it mutate to incorporate the changing needs of a hyperactive, multitasking population of human spirits who are generally restless. What if you meet that person, the rightness you have searched for, the one who compels you to say I DO. What do you do with all the ponds? Do you roll up the piers, pull the plugs. Do you close down your accounts, your yahoo goes silent? What happens? How do you transition from a fun-loving adventure seeking single- most -wanted man/woman alive, to the lover of just one special heart and soul.

This was always hard enough. As proven by the sheer number of people who do not and can not remain faithful. But how do you get past this when temptation is only a click away. How do you slow down the hamster wheel of the search and focus only on one. And without the ability to do this, do your relationships risk becoming superficial flings, nothing more deep than a passing in the night every now and then. A meeting of the minds for a few brief minutes between instant messages?

I have gotten to know many men in my time online. Some deeply. I worry about them and their 1 week cyclic attention spans. I worry about the women who they date and the turmoil in all these hearts who are out there looking for a clue. And I guess my biggest worry is for my 2 sons. This is the world that my little boys will be growing up into. How do I help them learn to focus, learn to look into a woman’s heart, one woman at a time to find the one they want to be with long term. How do I teach them about the distractions and the dangers and the difficulty dispersing all that energy can cause in their lives. The constant roller coaster of emotions, hopes too high, rejections too low, over and over again on a weekly basis. It is more than a loving soul should have to bear. It has to be destructive in its own way. Do you feel jaded before your time? Will my sons be jaded before they find someone worth it?

The internet itself is addicting. The dating scene is addicting too. I guess like with all other addictions to guide them,  I have to make sure they have good self esteem and they know the pitfalls. Maybe that is why I was drawn explore dating and social networking sites. To learn the pitfalls first hand. My head understands it all, but my heart just refuses to catch up. In that respect I will one day communicate my lessons learned here to my sons.

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