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The second anniversary of my dissolution decree is coming up next month, and I have not started dating yet.  I think I’m ready.  I just haven’t met anyone.  My friends tell me to try online dating, but I’m very skeptical about the whole thing.

I did casually “meet” a man online.  We both follow a particular group page, and we both jokingly commented on a strand.  After which, he sent me a friend request.  Shortly after that we began texting daily.

It has been fun!  I won’t lie, I’ve looked forward to morning greetings, “Good Morning, Beautiful Lady.”  The attention has been nice.

It seems we have everything in common.  Our goals, belief systems, likes and dislikes, even activities we are both currently actively pursuing….all right in line with each other.

There’s just one little thing.  And, it’s a big thing.

I Facestalked him.  I felt horrible doing it.  I truly did.  I knew I was invading his privacy.  But, we all know that everyone is watching us on Facebook.  Isn’t that part of its allure?  We’re all the stars of our own little shows?  We fool ourselves into thinking that everyone really cares what we’re feeling at any given moment, what our opinion is on yoga pants, and what our dinner looks like.

Some of his friends are, well, they look a bit like prostitutes.  One of his recently added friends is an incredibly sexy young woman from Bangkok who was born the year he graduated high school.  It seems they have no mutual friends and no common interests as far as pages they follow.

He and I are both pro 2nd amendment types.  The pages I follow and like are political and military groups.  The ones he follows are sexy women holding guns and bows.  One supposedly former police officer is a gorgeous Asian woman whose cover photo is her in a skin-tight dress–so tight you can see her butt crack–bent over a sofa and holding a pistol.

The warning signs are flashing all over the screen.

So, with my balloon popped, I took off my rose-colored glasses and started asking him some rather pointed questions.  Why did he get a divorce?  Is he close to his brother?  Was there a custody battle?  What exactly does he do for a living?  I didn’t understand it when he initially told me.

As the last few weeks have unraveled, so has the mystery of who this man is.

He’s been divorced for five years and is still living with his brother, with whom he has nothing in common, because it allows him to not have to work as much.  This is so he can be there for his daughter.

He sent me a picture of camouflage yoga shorts and asked me if I’d wear them if he bought them for me.  And, he indicated that he expects me to work out with him.

I’ll be 50 years old this year and have given birth seven times.  Trust me, no one wants to see me in yoga shorts!

My abuser owned a gym before we met and continued to work out every day of his life.  That was his priority.  And, he used his strength against me to wound me.  He forced me to work out with heavy weights, which caused damage to my body.  Just the other day my 8-year-old asked why my right tibia protrudes so badly.  That injury occurred because I was told I was fat and gross just weeks after giving birth to him.  I was forced to do leg extensions with a ridiculously heavy weight and tore the ligament.  It never healed right.

I have no desire to ever lift weights again.  Especially under the guidance of a man!

I work myself sick, and I don’t advocate it.  I’m sick again right now.  No one should be this exhausted 24/7.  No one should shoulder so many heavy burdens.  But, I do it because I believe my hard work will pay off someday.  I do it because I believe I’m setting a good example for my kids.  There is honor in work of all kinds.

I question a man who says that other men need lessons in good old-fashioned hard work, yet chooses to live in another man’s house so he admittedly doesn’t have to work full-time.

I question a man who says he believes in God and believes women should be treated with respect, yet follows sex laden pages covered in degrading photos.

I’ve learned a lot from meeting this man online.  I’ve learned that I am ready to meet someone.  This being the lone wolf business is getting old.  I’ve learned that I have a very, very long list of nonnegotiables.  And, I’ve learned that, perhaps, online dating isn’t such a bad idea.  People display who they are for the world to see.  If you want to look with your eyes wide open, you can really get to know someone very quickly by observing their online activity.  No more wasting time getting to know someone slowly over months as they hide things masterfully from you.  No more getting emotionally involved only to be let down once the truth comes out.  And, I’ve learned that I know exactly what I want in a man.  And, it isn’t this guy.