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TAKING A LEAP

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TAKING A LEAP

Cindy Maddera

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You know it's kind of funny that so many of you think of me as fearless. I suppose in many ways I can be, but the world of online dating stops me dead in my tracks. Over the weekend, I discovered a free online dating site. I should have known by the name of the site what I was getting into, but I'm a bit clueless. OK...I'm a lot clueless. Before I could even upload a picture or a blurb about myself I had five messages and two "let's meet". The messages ranged from "hey sexy" to "baby, where you been all my life". And it just got worse after I uploaded a picture. The whole experience made feel like I was trapped on a surfboard surrounded by sharks. It also brought up a lot of feelings of guilt and shame. And did I mention fear? All the lessons on stranger danger have run in an endless loop in my brain since Saturday. Over and over and over. I am suspicious of all single men, like they have some sort of bad agenda. And this is the problem I have with online dating, though I'm sure it's a bit different for the not free sites. Still, I have some trust issues.

I've written this entry three times now because I don't know where it's going. But I'm always talking about being my authentic self and if I can't do that here, well then, I'm just a hypocrite. One of my biggest pet peeves of online dating is the lack of authenticity. So I just can't get away with that here. I've been leery of writing anything about my meager attempts to get myself out there "into the scene" because I feel a little bit ashamed of myself. I know this is silly. But I'm ashamed of how judgy I've become, not just to potential suitors, but to myself. I judge myself for feeling like it's weak to want a little companionship. Like I'm doing something wrong or against some law for wanting to go out and have dinner with a guy.

So I'm putting all of that shame, guilt and fear out there for the whole world to see. Because by admitting it and letting others know I have all of those things that I can let it go.