Blog by Yessica Maher, los Angeles Native.

She explores life after marriage, starting a career in her late 30's, relationships, breaking cycles of abuse, online dating, self care, fertility and depression. 

It's all over the place, but so is living. 

The Commodification of Affection

This should be a rant about paying to meet someone. It's not. Dating sites have a service to perform.  I get it. Life is all a varying shade of prostitution if you choose to see it that way. For example, I give you words and you pay me in views and likes. I think I make off like a bandit, because I believe I've expanded your perception, and no one ever tells me differently.  I also don't get a lot of feedback, and that's okay. I've been chatting with men I'm meeting on Match.com. No one blog worthy has gotten my attention. There are no Obsessive Observations of My Latest Crush Because He Was Hot (and so fun to watch). I'm consistently generally insulted once we really start talking past hello and how is your day going. That's when I'm objectified and used for a fantasy I was never invited to, because I would have declined the invitation.

There are a large amount of men sharing pictures of their cars or talking about how successful they are and it feels rude to say I don't care, so they blather on while I flip channels or brainstorm my next rant or blog post. I don't care about what someone else drives. Their car isn't registered in my name and I'm not on their insurance.  I will not have to worry about parking it or washing it, or filling up the tank and checking oil.

I have a car. I love it. I got it on my own and there is so much pleasure in reliable brakes, tires that aren't bald, and working seat belts. My car is registered in my name and I make the payments on my lease. I don't really care what someone else is driving. It's not status.  A car is the worst possible investment a person can make because outside of transportation, it depreciates the minute you drive it off a lot.  It's about freedom and independence to me and I won't find that in someone else's car.

The job thing gets me too. I understand an identity formed around a job title or profit margins, but I'm not offering their next career move. I'd rather see them offer a hot meal to the person sitting outside the restaurant we go to because it's something I would do.  I will listen to someone talk about work, but it's for their benefit, and not mine. I carried babies for wealthy couples and couples that were comfortable.  I never once expected their wealth was a reflection of mine, and a child grew in my body for them.

You can buy me dinner but if you expect me to accept anything more than an amazing date after I've just met you, I'm not the one for you.

I love the many places being travelled to.  It's awesome.  I have young children and shared custody.  At this point, my ideas of travel are short jaunts that won't take more than a weekend.  I'm good with small escapes.  I have a life here, and won't be travelling to every distant land.

I'm a single mom. My kids are my world and even if I forgive my ex, I don't want him back but we are still legally married, even if we only communicate through terse emails on a website. I'm not in a hurry to share someone new with my world. Not my kids, or my family. I want to meet someone to spend free time with and look forward to talking to. I want to meet someone smarter than me that will challenge me on an intellectual level. I want to see amazing leadership qualities because on some level, I like the idea of following a strong man into a new life that I have yet to imagine.  Think Aladdin and Jasmine.  She had to trust him first.

I learned long ago that love isn't a game and if you're playing then there are no winners.   Finding several men interested in my looks alone was easy enough when I was an adolescent and if the requests for sex over a phone line I've gotten in the last few days are any indication, it likely still is.  (Side note, your endowment can't scare this mother because I've walked around with a crowning child.) I'm not really looking for love as much as companionship, but I'm not closing my eyes either.  I'm looking for a person who can change my mood with a single random text. I'm looking for someone to share a meal with and converse with about silly things and major life.

Testing, 1, 2, 3

Dating in Bold Audacity