Per the request of several readers, I gave my thoughts on online dating yesterday. Soon after the post went up, the comments started rolling in, on the post and on Twitter. Many were cheering me on and vehemently agreeing. Many saw my point but didn't agree completely, so they offered their points of view. But most of them were mean-spirited and caused me to question why I'm putting myself through this.
Do I regret writing what I did? You betcha! And I'm willing to admit that, with no snark or satire. My blog persona is gone this time -- this is just transparent, vulnerable me. When I decided to take down the controversial post, I considered giving up blogging altogether. But, because I'm running on high emotions right now, instead I offer an apology in the form of the lessons I learned during the past 24 hours.
1. Guys in DC want girls to offer to pay the check. I never knew this until now. Even still, I just started not offering to pay -- kinda trying out something new. But I don't want any guy I go out with, gentleman or not, to feel like I don't appreciate his effort or time. So I'll never assume the guy is picking up the check again.
2. I'm not as strong as I thought I was. Blogging has been a nice outlet for me during these past couple of months, but it's turned into something that's more self-destructive than helpful. I was trying to be a few steps ahead of where I actually am right now. I thought I'd made more progress on the broken heart thing than I probably have. It still hurts too much, so I need to be more careful with it.
3. Blogging is a front, and sometimes I get carried away. It feels good to pretend to be someone else sometimes. I'm tired of being so sad, and blogging has been a way for me to feel alive again. I feel terrible for making anyone feel bad in the process, though. All the comments and tweets reeled me back in. Me having a little fun is not worth the expense of others' feelings.
4. People are googling me more than I realized. Within 24 hours, three guys I was talking to read my blog post and swiftly let me know how they felt about me. Not the post, but me. Based on the post. As much as I want people to get that this is just my online persona, not me, I can't expect them to. That's not fair at all. I've been fighting my mother on this point for five years, and I finally see that she was right. I was wrong.
5. Now I remember why I made a point about this not being a dating blog. Dating is a tumultuous topic. I think enough other people write about it that I don't need to throw my two cents out there. The truth is, I'm rooting for all of us Singletons to find a match. I don't want any of us to get hurt, but we will along the way. I wanted to give us -- at least my fellow lady Singletons -- a place to laugh about it, feel not so alone in what they were going through, and hopefully say, "Yes! Exactly!" when they read my point of view. I think I accomplished that with many of them, but again, it's not worth it if it's going to offend so many other people.
So, for those of you who actually like what I write on here, just give me a moment to breathe and get my bearings again. I got in way over my head this time, to the point where I didn't recognize my life anymore. It's too much for me to handle right now, but I'll be okay soon.
Editor's Note: After much prompting and encouragement by readers, friends, my mother and even one of the guys who dumped me, I decided to republish the controversial blog post. Read it here.