A friend once told me that the best thing about marriage was you didn't have to deal with dating. I used to think he was nuts. At least until I started dating again. Now dating ranks right up there with going to the dentist.
When you are married, it seems like everyone you run into is single and enjoying the dating life. They all seem happy to tell you stories of their latest conquests and all the fun they are having and even the happiest of married men can't help but be a little bit jealous.
As I was thrust back in the dating pool, I realized really quickly that dating wasn't what was advertised. I was completely out of my element. I had been married for so long that when I hit the dating scene, it was like a monkey from the zoo being released in the city. Wide eyes and no clue what to do next except jump in a tree and hide.
First I had to decide what type I was looking for. I decided to scan Maxim's 100 Sexiest Women list and narrowed it down to 40 but only a couple were even interested. And they discovered pretty fast I wasn't George Clooney. Who said Hollywood starlets are dumb?
I made up my mind that I had better broaden my search a little more to pretty, friendly and someone that actually likes me. I eventually weeded that down to friendly and then to breathing. I'm trying to decide if that's a requirement.
You look at women differently when you are single than when you are married. When you are married and a woman walks by you notice her (ahem) beauty. When you're single the first thing you notice is whether or not they are wearing a wedding ring. If not then they are just my type, available. I'm certainly not going to be one of those classy guys who chase married women. I've been on the other side of that equation.
Once I decided what I wanted, I was ready to go out and find all these single women I had heard so much about. Only I didn't know where to go. So I turned to the Internet. Internet shopping made Christmas so much easier, I was hoping it would do the same for dating.
Internet dating is like applying for a job. You basically fill out your resume, slap a picture on it and hope someone takes notice. When they do, you are asked a series of questions, just like a job interview.
"Yes, I was married for 13 years and during that time I was responsible for feeding the dogs and taking out the trash... Why no kids? We never tried but don't worry, all my parts are in working order."
Once you answer the questions, the woman then decides if you are worthy of a probationary date. But the only problem with this process is by the time you get to the first date there is nothing left to talk about.
"Why yes, as I said in my initial interview, I enjoy going to the lake, the color blue and I refuse to eat mushrooms."
When Internet dating didn't yield any long-term results I decided to venture out to the world of meeting girls at bars. Smoky rooms, alcohol and bad decisions, what could go wrong there?
The hardest thing is approaching the women with something to say. Once you spot that ringless finger, it isn't easy to walk up to them and say something like "Do you believe in love at first sight or should I walk past again?" Sometimes you see another ringless finger and sometimes it's a booby trap.
When that didn't pan out I looked to my friends for help. All those single people enjoying the dating life all of a sudden couldn't think of anyone else that was single. And when they did it was something scary.
"You should meet this cute girl I know."
"Really, what's she like?"
"She is really nice. The only thing is she still lives with her parents and has a disease where she is afraid to leave the house."
I have actually met a lot of great women during my time dating. Only a few need to be committed to the mental hospital. But you can't hold being crazy against them. A little bit longer in the dating jungle, I might be headed there too.
That's why I've decided to stay single. Well, unless anybody knows anyone who is single. I have a resume ready.