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  • Writer's pictureeschaden

Bot Dating???

I think it might be a thing...wait, hear me out.

So I get some commentary and well, “offers” from men on social media.  I mean, some of the offers are ridiculous, and others, well, let’s just say they are a hard pass.  However, there are times, that I have had an occasion to “meet” a perfectly lovely human being and make a connection.

I am always skeptical.  A L W A Y S!

Recently a man reached out and while his words were swoon worthy, I am pretty sure he is a bot.  I am pretty fucking sure that he does not exist in the real world.

But wow, his words and interest was next level.  Which is sad that a bot can make me feel things that most real men I know can’t.  What the fuck is that about?

I guess it is likely because they aren’t “real” so they lack all the real problems, issues, dramas, feelings and liabilities real men are plagued with...which makes the bots ever so enticing.

So I started thinking...

What would be so wrong with going along with the whole bot guy and just allowing that to unfold.  All my expectations of any kind of fruition are stifled so it kind of frees up the imagination.  I mean, anything is not really possible, which makes it feel far safer than actual real life dating.

I mean you get the dopamine hit, you get the “high” but without all that messy in person stuff.  Sure you aren’t going to ever have actual sex with this bot guy but hey, that may not be a bad thing either.  Actual men have proven to be a major disappointment in that arena, well, forever.

And so I will admit I went there...allowed this whole bot dating thing to just unfurl itself.  And for awhile I had myself pretty convinced that bot men were a whole lot more desirable than actual, in the flesh, kind of men.

Bot dating is a lot like online dating...the odds are good, and the goods are odd.  But that can kind of be said of all dating.  Most especially recovery related dating.

I don’t online date.  I mean I have in the past, and it was a mixed bag with diminishing returns.  Each time I logged on, I would find someone, and then get off (pun totally intended and I admit a bit crass, but funny) and then return again at some later point in time and find the online dating pool got more awful than the last time I did it.

What I came to learn was that I had a two week limit.  Here is my trajectory:

1. Tired of being alone, being bored in my bedroom and equally tired of my nightly date with...Netflix!  Get your mind out of the gutter.

2. I would succumb to the idea that Mr. Wonderful for Erin was right at that very moment, sitting in his bedroom alone, bored and tired of waiting for Ms. Wonderful and also tired of Netflix and chilling solo.

3. Online I’d go and then by the end of the evening I would have signed up with like three different sites.  I am an alcoholic and I do everything to exceptions.

4. I would get the high associated and highly intoxicating of “possibility” and the kind of amazing feeling you have when people want you.  The fact that they don’t actually likely want you, and they want about 30 other people while currently also kind of wanting you, is completely lost on me.

5. I find two or three that seem like good dating candidates and setup a meet and greet.

6. I continue to play the game, and all my free time is spent keeping up with the whole ridiculous swiping endeavor which really makes me feel more hollow, vapid and desperate with each and every swipe.

7. Meet and greets go well or badly, it really doesn’t matter at this point...I am well on my way to losing faith in all of humanity, which includes myself.

8. I realize that I hate all of this swiping and talking and sharing and realize that I don’t really mind this in real life so much but this excessive and endless possibility of the online world makes me horribly depressed.

9. I swear off forever, delete my account and swearing to God that I am never going to sign up again!

Well that was like three years ago...wait, I did have a little relapse on some dating/working out site a little while back.  My two week process was cut down to 2 hours.  Confirming once again that this just isn’t a good format for me.  Not hating on it for everyone, just not a good venue for me and I fucking know it.

But I haven’t sworn off forever.  I accept that there may come a time where I want/need a distraction from myself and online dating is perfect for that.  I also may become so desperate in my need for contact and connection that I succumb again. However, right now, I am very contentedly Netflixing and chilling with my damn self.

So I applied my new line of thinking about bot dating to my many, many experiences with online dating and landed here:  while bot dating seems like it would pay off more and be more exciting in the interim than real dating, it is likely going to land me in the same place with online dating.

What I really want, is a true, deep, meaningful and real connection with a man.  And while that scares me because my picker has not done the best job in the past, I know that my work is not with quantity it is about quality.  And I have done enough work on myself to know that the kind of love relationship I am ready for is not the kind that can be incarnated from some temporary online “connection”.  

For me, these online things are illusory, they provide the idea of a real relationship but then require things of all of us that none of us really have to give:  in exhaustible time searching for “the one” while wading through the masses of humanity.  Maybe this works for some people, I am not one of those people.  I am a writer and I want a story.  A good one.  The kind of story that launches amazing novels and legends.  And I really can’t settle for less.  And I am ok with living the rest of my life waiting for the story, and never getting it.  Being true to myself in my quest is better than settling for what online anything brings to me.

So I guess I have ruled out bot dating too.  Sorry random men on Instagram.  I just don’t want to spend my time giving you my time.  It isn’t that I am not interested, it is tempting, but I really would rather take my dog on a walk, write, read, work, work out, spend time with actual people in the real world developing intimate, caring relationships that are mutually supportive and heartfelt.

I have a great deal of doubt, doubt that increases exponentially every single day, that I will ever find the right guy for me.  And ironically, the more time I spend away from dating, the less interesting it feels to me.  My life is the best it has been in a very long time.  I am happy, content and fulfilled and right now it feels like that is perhaps the best I am ever going to get.  And while there will always be a part of me that longs for that soul connection with a man that I adore and adores me back, I am finally accepting that that just might not be in the cards for me.  And I have as much peace with that reality as I ever have, and way more than I thought possible.

I am not off the market, but I am also not on the market either.  I have kind of resigned to be honest.  After 44 years of dating, loving, ending and beginning, I am tired.  Tired of that hopeful delusion driving my life and telling me things are true when they are so very often not fucking true at all.  It was a painful but momentus occasion when I realized that I have broken my own heart far more often than any man ever did. Me.  Not him.  I signed up and set myself up for the ultimate demise that inevitably follows all dating for me.  And after 44 years, I think I have finally reached a place where I have just surrendered to the fact that maybe this whole romantic love thing just isn’t for me.  And I have found amazing peace with that realization.

So no online dating, no bot dating and the jury is out on the in person dating.  My standards have increased exponentially and I am no longer willing to take a swing at low hanging matter how hot and exciting they appear to be.  I think, perhaps,  I have finally realized that it was never the men that were the issue, it has been and remains an Erin issue.  It was me that colored and shape shifted those potential candidates into what I wanted them to be and then labeled them “low hanging fruit” when they let me down.

It is a very freeing thing when you realize that all of your dating debacles were your own fault.  It is fucking liberating.  So now I exist in this no man’s land quite literally.  Very sure that it has been my fault and responsibility all along...coupled with the very real fear that I lack the capacity to do it any differently.  I have learned, the hard way, that I can convince myself of anything really.  And so I have repeatedly.

I pray that you all are having an easier journey on the love and romance front.  I hope everyone finds their person who makes their life better, more fulfilling and fun.  Oh, and if you are in the Santa Barbara area on Valentine’s Day, come try our speed dating event.  Link is posted below.

I have never speed dated before so I cannot eliminate it just yet.  I will be working the event so not really planning on participating.  But it will be fun and new and something to look forward to...and perhaps it will be an event that brings the best of the online and in person together for an evening of intimate connection and authenticity.  Likely not, but contempt prior to investigation kept me in everlasting ignorance...

Come check our event out!

Now wouldn’t that be a fucking story!

This is for Stacy who was with me when I came up with this whole idea...thanks for listening to my crazy...always.

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