In the past few years, we have encountered a major addition to the dating scene: Online Dating Sites. Now this isn’t a commentary on how to use them, but after an occurrence that I personally experienced this weekend, I figured I would expose a common issue in regards to online dating. The ex-factor. So sit back with a Dos Equis, and get ready for a personal convo and Drinks with Jess.
Now I understand that sites such as POF, OkCupid and others are opening up a larger pool of hopefully prospective mates. However, it is inevitable that at some point, you will spot or have been seen by an ex or previous lover. This actually happened to me a few days ago, and my brain went into overdrive.
I am on a few sites, mostly for research purposes. I like meeting a woman when I’m out enjoying the day. However, on the off-shot that there is a good online candidate, I’ll take the opportunity to check them out. This is what started this week’s mind-blowing, answer-seeking, sleep deprived week. A nice and very beautiful woman contacted me via POF. It was great, we exchanged a few messages and since I’m ballsy, I called so we could actually have a conversation. All went well, and it turns out we were hitting the same spot for an event that very same weekend. Now, I received a lot of messages this particular weekend, so on Monday, I took the time to see who viewed my profile. Low and behold, the woman I dated for quite some time last year, showed up as viewing my profile. It’s obvious that she is new to the site, but seeing that she viewed my profile caused such chaos in my mind that it was unbearable. You see, I really loved this woman. I didn’t want things between us to turn out the way that they did, and I’ll spare you the details because I could probably write an entire book on this particular dating experience. But what I want to acknowledge today is some of the things that went through my mind and how to (or not to) react.
It really depends on the person. I have seen ex partners put their profile up, and I usually don’t view them. I’m not even curious to see how they’re doing. It’s not that I harbor anger or any other resentment towards them, or don’t want to see their face, it’s solely because I moved on and realized how little of a connection we had in the past. But this one… this one is different. And my mix of emotions exhibited the strangest ebb and flow of confusion, happiness, anger and sadness. But I’m not here to discuss my mood swings because no matter how chaotic your mind will get, it comes down to 3 basic questions, and we as humans want answers.
Why did she look at my profile, knowing that I’d see that she viewed it?
Knowing me, when I come across an ex’s profile, I only look at it if I miss them, truly care and possibly want to give it another shot. Because I know this about myself, and am always straight forward and honest, I have no problem admitting my intention or motivation behind my actions. With that being said, some people aren’t as kind or sincere. Some just want to check up on you or were curious when they saw your picture. Some want to pop up just when it has been enough time for you to have finally gotten your life back on track because they know it will screw with your head. Some people may really care about you and will want to contact you but out of fear, embarrassment or shame, they will just look and not engage in contact. No matter what the reason, this basic question will feed your curiosity, insecurities and quite frankly, drive you nuts. Please try not to indulge in this mental masturbation.
I wonder if she misses me/hates me/loves me?
This is something that you may always question, especially if you didn’t have closure. When things didn’t turn out the way we expect, sometimes we may think that we failed. So when their face pops up showing that they viewed your profile, this is the extension of the question above that will plague your mind. It needs to be understood, that if you are questioning this, maybe they are as well. They are also human. I still love the woman who viewed me, but I will never know her answer unless I wait for her to hopefully send me a message, or I message her first. Which leads us to:
What should I do?
Sometimes I’m stupid and jump the gun, but then again, why wait to do something that you want? How, if or when she responds, is something that you can’t control, you just have to accept. If you are nothing but angry and want to “rip her a new one,” DON’T contact her. Why open that door and make yourself look like a crazy person? If you haven’t gotten yourself to a point that you moved on with your life but are just holding on to the “dream,” DON’T contact her.
However, if you keep your life moving forward and are doing the things you want to or need to achieve, and if your feelings are still there, I say CONTACT her and keep it simple. I admit, I contacted her, with a simple “I saw you viewed me, I hope “life” is treating you well. I say “life” because I’m not going to say where she lives on this post. No matter if she is going to respond or not, I can be certain I made the attempt in a way that is non offensive and leave it at that.
So what this ex-factor, online experience has taught me is that no matter how big you make the dating pool, it’s still small enough of a world to keep connecting certain people. Hell, I found it funny when I got the list of top matches from the same site the next day and she was my #1 match. However, the questions above bring us to the conclusion that it really is about getting closure. And sometimes, you need to give yourself the closure that you’re seeking. With that, readers, close that bottle and join me next week for Drinks with Jess.
Jess is a dating coach, best selling author, and radio personality in Philadelphia. She provides the LGBTQ community with no-nonsense, straight forward advice to understanding your mind in order to navigate the complex dating scene and go after and get the people you desire.