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After a fairly traumatic breakup a friend suggested I start trying to 'look around again' to stir up my interest. Well, I can't say I was enthused about the idea...I wasn't quite 'over it' but I figured if I 'met' a nice guy

who caught my interest, then maybe things would change a little.Bear in mind, I had placed 'personals' before, but in a local Irish- American paper, where I met a now 'ex' boyfriend, who was a nice enough guy and with who I shared a few nice times. While that relationship didn't pan

out, it was not a terrible experience.

Well, I went ahead and placed an ad with one of the online services. They asked all the relevant information...what was I looking for looks wise, age wise, career wise, what did I like to do, did I have kids, did I want kids, what was I seeking in a person...etc.

I made an effort to answer as truthfully as I could, and I also posed a pretty nice and recent picture of me. I was very specific in what I wanted in some areas...for instance, I requested that the person be single or

divorced. I also requested that they have hair....I prefer guys with hair to those without. And I wanted someone no older than 48. I figured anyone older than that might not be open to perhaps wanting a child, and though I'm 43, I

still have hopes of having a baby or adopting if the situation was right.

Other than that, I was pretty easy going. I hoped to maybe meet someone in my home state, or fairly close by, but I wasn't ruling someone a bit farther out. I didn't much care about looks, or height, or weight. I didn't mind if they had kids, in fact, I liked the idea. I stated in my ad I

wasn't model thin, and didn't want anyone to expect me to be...I was happy with who I was/am.

Well, I got responses right away, all right. The first guy was nice enough, but told me he was married, and that he hoped I'd 'understand'. As I had been badly burned by two married men in the past who forgot to mention

they were married til I found out, I told him he might want to check into either counseling or a divorce lawyer before he checked out the personals again.

The next few guys seemed ok, and we exchanged information of a general sort. However, I didn't hear back from them. It shook my ego, especially after I had 'put myself out there." I began to wonder what about me they

didn't like...was it that I was a counselor, that I wasn't skinny? That I shared a home with my mom and sister (in NYC, the land of thousand dollar rent, this isn't unusual!) I didn't know! My ego was smarting... Then, I got

a guy who seemed nice, but demanding. I don't give out my phone number until I get to know someone well. This guy pleaded and pouted and just about tantrumed. He told me he couldn't type well, and he hoped I'd 'understand'.

I told him I wanted time to get to know someone over the 'net before talking to them via the phone. He replied really rudely, and that was the end of that.

Finally, I got a guy who seemed 'nice'. He was polite, pleasant, and seemed pretty 'together'. He said he had trouble meeting people because his job as a lighting tech caused him to work days and hours many women didn't

want to deal with. I gave this guy my phone #. He was supposed to call me when he came into the city and we'd have coffee and talk. That weekend my phone never rang and I haven't heard from him since.

What is it with this personal stuff? I don't believe that everyone out there trying to connect via the personals online is a jerk, but I'm beginning to wonder. What is going on?People have told me I'm wasting my time...but I did meet a now ex fiance online, though, granted not through the personals. Though that relationship didn't work out, either, I think it had potential to, if he'd

been all he'd said he was. Still, I did meet someone!

I spoke to a friend, recently, who is, like I, 45 and single. She admits to having trouble meeting guys, too. Neither of us enjoy bars, and though we live in one of the 'greatest cities in the world' we can't seem to

connect with single men who aren't neurotic, psychotic, or half our age...The other half of the coin for me has been getting men in their 50s and 60s, who tell me "I only date women up to the age of 45, because I enjoy 'younger' women. I tried to suggest to one 61 year old that I set him up with a friend, just turned 60. He was horrified. 'She's too old for me!" he exclaimed. "She probably has wrinkles!"

Ugh. I blocked him off my email list.

So I sit here, and I am still aching over my long lost lover. I am doing what is now fashionably termed as 'taking care of me." That means I'm trying to eat right, exercise, indulge myself in my favorite Starbucks frappicino occasionally, and concentrate on what I enjoy doing. But it hurts sometimes.

Still, as AOL tells me 'You've got mail! I figure there is always hope.....
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