A Truth Universally Acknowledged

Success! by Samuel Waller 1881

I’ve decided to nickname my dating app Mrs. Bennet. She is so concerned about finding a match, bless her digital heart, she notifies me the moment a man trots his chaise and four towards my profile.

“Infomatiker Freiberufler 49 has visited your profile!” Mrs. Bennet squeals. “Send him an answer now! Don’t leave him waiting, Keri!”

Mrs. Bennet is a persistent, overbearing mother. She reminds me constantly of my age and works herself into a frenzy when men move into the neighborhood. Her greatest goal in life is to marry-off all of her daughters.

I’m not that desperate, Mrs. Bennet.

Based on the previous fiasco of sending seedy schoolgirl notes to a potential suitor, I no longer answer messages unless I have time to proofread them. I also like to carefully read a man’s profile and ask him specific questions based on what he wrote.

Along with preventing miscommunication, waiting to reply weeds out guys who are too impatient — and to successfully date me, a man must have a LOT of patience. I also reject this idea that because I’m 47, I’ve nothing better to do than to snag a husband. There is a “truth universally acknowleged” that a single woman of middle age must be in want of a husband. Wrinkles are increasing, body parts are sagging, and middle-aged women have to strike while the iron is still relatively hot. This assumption makes my blood boil.

I have my kids, my dog, my books, my friends, my health, my job; I can find sex if I want it. Romantic love would be a nice addition, but it’s not the driving force of my existence. A relationship does not somehow give my life meaning.

It was gorgeous outside the other day, so after my normal routine of walking the dog and having coffee, I sat out in the sun to read. I could hear Mrs. Bennet pinging me throughout the day, but I ignored her pleas. I could hear her frantic voice, “Keri! Someone liked your profile! For god’s sake answer him!!”

When the sun went down, I went back inside to see what Mrs. Bennet had been fussing about:

08:53 Leitender Angestellter 48 liked my profile. Mrs. Bennet urged me to respond “right away” with a message.

08:54 Leitender Angestellter 48 liked the characteristics I used to describe myself. Mrs. Bennet pleaded I “answer quickly” with a personal message — and to give him a compliment.

08:55 Leitender Angestellter 48 sent me a ‘smile,’ and said my profile was pleasant. Mrs. Bennet implored me to smile back at him.

11:26 Leitender Angestellter 48 sent one word in a message to me:

schade (*shah-duh)

Which basically means, “Too bad.”

Mrs. Bennet begged me to respond.

14:35 Leitender Angestellter 48 terminated contact because we weren’t “suited for each other.” I had to agree.

Mrs. Bennet’s heart was broken.

Apparently this man had an entire relationship with me, from love at first sight to breakup, while I was busy on the balcony with the Brothers Karamazov.

You might ask, “What if the shoe is on the other foot?”

If I message someone, it’s actually a good sign if they don’t respond right away. Someone I barely know shouldn’t prioritize me over whatever life he has. For me, it’s a positive thing when a guy has friends and activities apart from a possible love interest. It shows that he, like me, is willing to wait for something good. I also don’t want to be with a guy who would ignore the moment he’s in (hanging out with friends or hiking in the mountains) to answer a message from a stranger. I’m willing to give freedom in a relationship because I want freedom too. I want a life that is broader than the scope of a single man. Likewise, his life shouldn’t revolve entirely around me — it’s too much gravity for me to bear.

It doesn’t mean a love interest is not a priority. However, in the past, I’ve made my relationship my entire world, only to have it explode, and I found myself floating alone through the atmosphere with the debris. In the next universe, I want to grow my friendships and continue to pursue interests that may have little to do with the guy I’m dating. I want to have common interests too, but space is important to me, and it should be important to my partner.

Poor Mrs. Bennett. Suitors keep driving past Longbourn, while I sit inside reading a good book. Occasionally, I’ll peek out the window and even step outside. I’m not Mrs. Bennet’s favorite daughter, but I just might be the one to find something real.

I’m worth the wait.

American expat in Germany, formerly conservative homeschool mom now navigating widowhood; runner, writer, Crossfitter, trying to figure **it out

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