Dating Advice For Nerds Redux

My story is probably not that much different from anyone else's. I was married to the same woman for 23 years and later in the marriage I came to realize that she suffers from histrionic personality disorder ("Drama Queen"). She refused to get help and it became intolerable, and that is why we're divorced.

For nearly the first ten years after the divorce, I simply immersed myself in my work and didn't think much about dating. I'm a geek, a professional software developer; I have a 25 year old autistic son who lives with me at home, and so I really don't have a lot of time for the dating or bar scene.
But in the last year or so I kind of woke up and came to realize that I really would like to find a life partner. Somebody I can love and be positive with, somebody to wake up with in the morning and have coffee with, to travel with, and so on. Now if you are in a position like mine (and I know many of my friends, both men and women, are indeed) then you basically have two choices:

1) You can try to find somebody on social media
2) You can use one of the online dating sites.

I started out with the social media route and quickly found out what I was doing wrong: I was "falling in love" with women who lived many states away. One of them was even married, although I didn't find out until later. This long-distance stuff usually doesn't work at all. I do know a few people that have endured it and finally gotten together, but in general, economies of distance and cost, plus the amount of time you have to wait until you get to see your partner in person again, make it a very bad choice for finding a mate. It also consumes a lot of your precious time.

The other option, the dating sites, is actually a pretty good one. My view, having tried several, is that the "for pay" sites are no better than the "free" sites. Match.com never produced as good results for me as, say, Pof.com - which consistently produces. What you want to do is make sure that your search is restricted to "easy driving distance" - say 25 or 50 miles. If you have written a good profile with plenty of photos, and a clear description of your dating goals, you should have no difficulty finding more prospective customers than you can possible handle. In my case, I've never had any difficulty attracting women, most often they approach me. But I also send messages out to women that I think might be good candidates.

The key thing is only to use the dating site for one purpose: to meet with somebody and have a coffee. That's all it takes because if there is any kind of chemistry there you'll know in the first five minutes. Sometimes after a couple of dates you (or the other person) will conclude that this person isn't for you. Excuse yourself graciously, do not dally, and go on to someone new.

The second thing is to manage your expectations and be realistic. So many people talk about getting "swept off my feet by Prince Charming" Bulshit! If you want to find the love of your life you must actively engage and really look for him or her. They simply are not going to magically "fall into your lap". You also need to understand what love is. Most of us mistake infatuation or "limerence" or "passion" for love. It's not, and unless it is soon accompanied by the deeper stages of love, it can disappear in the blink of an eye.

Popular culture has done us a great disservice in our understanding of romantic love. From a young age, we watch movies and read books that form the scripts of our adult relationships. But popular culture usually gets it wrong, often in the name of entertainment, and ends up confusing love with limerence, which is precisely what most of us do.

I'm having great success in my dating endeavors. I'm a lot more mature now, and when something doesn't work out, I don't fret or dwell on it. Sooner or later, I'll find her. You can too.