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Valley Of Recycled Men

It’s no secret that I’ve joined Plenty Of Fish.

This whole adventure seems to be more social experiment, boredom-fighting, therapy session, life-coaching, myth-busting, professional baggage handling and job interview than actual romance, chemistry and budding love.

Plenty of Fish is starting to look like Chicken of the Sea, these days.

Let my junk yahoo email inbox tell it, and it seems like I’m swimming in men and interest.

But this site is more about quantity than quality or the stars just haven’t aligned.

I actually avoid men I’m very attracted to, because I’m certain I’m among many women who are attracted. And the attractive men are kind of mean when the kind of woman they aren’t interested in shows interest.

I also avoid men who already write like assholes talking about how great they are and how ripped they are or rich.

If you have photos with your shirt off, I don’t want to talk to you.

If you have photos of pit bulls, I don’t want to talk to you.

If you have photos of stacks of money, I don’t want to talk to you.

If you went nuts on instagram filters, I don’t want to talk to you.

If in none of your pictures, you don’t smile at least once, I don’t want to talk to you.

If you have specific requests about how equally fit your woman must be to you, I don’t want to talk to you.

If you drone on about how educated you are, I don’t want to talk to you.

If you have a one sentence profile or say, “Just ask me. We won’t have anything to talk about later,” I don’t want to talk to you.

If you talk about your mother or sisters a little too much…

Yeah. You make me nervous.

If you talk about how “trapped” your married friends are, that doesn’t inspire any faith in me that you are the marrying kind.

The craziest thing about POF is the recycled men factor.

I often think that among black folk in the DC, MD, VA area, while it is vast and wide, if you are between certain age groups, have a certain educational or socio-economic status, your friends will have dated the same man, once or twice.

And if you all are on Plenty Of Fish, it’s totally going to happen.

Case in point. Two ladies I know did date the same man from the site. The latter of the two didn’t like how touchy feely he was on the first date anyway, so by the time I warned her about the man with a very distinctive name and his inclination to lie about having children and being married, and his job, she said it was cool and he was cut off anyway.

It had been several months since the first friend had caught him in his web of lies and subsequently ripped him a new one and told him that he shouldn’t lie. Let the woman decide if she wants to deal with your baggage and really like who you are for you.

You’d think the man would learn his lesson. But instead he continues to shop the web, and lie to women. Why go through the dating? Why go through so much? This man is grown. In his 30s. But for whatever reason, he may be addicted to creating this alter image of himself, maybe the version he wish he could have been before he had a wife and child. But that kind of reckless behavior is cruel and unjust to women really looking for the real thing.

I had a date at a frozen yogurt spot Saturday, with a big-toothed gentleman, who loved to talk and ask me probing questions, I guess trying to keep up with my complicated journalistic mind. He was a traditionalist, who firmly held to gender roles, while often backtracking about wanting an independent woman. He was fixated on one of his best friend’s relationship, constantly using the word trapped. He conveniently scheduled our meeting an hour before he was to report to work nearby.

I told him he was way too invested in his friend’s marriage and he just needs to be honest, he doesn’t like his wife. His friend made the agreement to be in that relationship and they negotiated the terms. If from the outside to you, he looks like a trapped punk, who never has permission to hang out, and has to pick up children from day care. If this man feels this is what he has to do to keep his woman happy, guess what? He’s still married. He decided staying at home and not going out with his single friends was what he wanted to do, to keep the peace in his house. Is that right?

It depends on the man, and it depends on the precedent he set and the tone he set with his woman.

I have another date tonight after work.

Happy hour at one of the most notoriously clubbish, meat-markety TGI Friday’s in the region. The close second, which has probably taken the crown, is actually in my neighborhood. LOL.

Can’t say I’m looking forward to it, just because of the geography in relation to my job, but I don’t think I’ll be bored. I actually appreciated the fact that we didn’t have books long of conversation and that he just wanted to go out and meet me and see what was what.

So for his get-to-the-pointedness, I’m willing to meet this brotha for a mojito and some half-priced wings and keep it moving. I’m totally prepared to pay my own tab and bounce. Cash and carry.

I almost feel like I’m in the bird-in-the-hand mode.

I know I like Officer Cutie, (having a serious Olivia Pope gut moment about him) but I still don’t know enough to make me feel like he is going to be my next relationship, but I feel like there is a high possibility. And I’ve got to wait about three weeks before his visit. I’m very excited about the planning and I’m excited about seeing him.

But in the meantime, as I’ve often said, when I’m single, I’m single.

I’m not going to sit and twiddle my thumbs and wait. I do want to go out, see what’s out there, so if and when Officer Cutie arrests my heart, I’ll be all in and will have no doubt and back to my laser vision girlfriend ways.

Actually a good friend of mine said there will be true balance in the universe once I’ve snagged a steady boyfriend. I usually give myself a good breather between relationships, but according to my girl, this one has gone on for far too long.

But in my defense, my extended leave of absence from the relationship world was post an engagement. A broken engagement is the Zombie Apocalypse threat level red, of relationships. I’m sorry. It just is. You have to rebuild cities and towns, and make sure all of the Zombies are dead, and kill anything that even seems quasi-Zombie just in case.

That’s a huge thing to bounce back from and I needed adequate time to heal.

So here we go again.

Wish me luck.

Fingers crossed I don’t pick up any of my homegirls’ refuse along the way…

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