Dating in Cyberspace by Thea Thaxton is a collection of five short stories about dating in Cyberspace. Readers should note that this was published in 2012; the speed of evolution of the internet makes the technology referenced in this short novel nearly obsolete. That is OK, however, because this is really an account of one woman’s experience with dating online. It is an examination of human behavior and different perceptions. Technology allows for different forms of display of behavior, but the basics of social interaction remain the same. Jealousy, who has the power in a relationship, different views of etiquette, resentment, anger, and disgust; all typical human behaviors play out on a new platform.
I was attracted to this book because of one of my earlier reviews. I posted a review of We’re not Sixteen Anymore https://ron877.com/2019/03/05/mature-romance/#more-5731 about a mature woman of sixty who returned to the dating scene after the death of her husband. In this work of fiction, Thea Thaxton writes from the perspective of a forty-year-old divorcee. I was looking for similarities and contrasts. The most obvious contrast was in language use. I believe both are safe to read at work, but the language used in this work is more direct. The contrast was one that I could easily predict. The similarities, or possibly several similarities that can be grouped in one phrase, were subtle. I could not see the similarity until I read the five short character portraits.
Dating in Cyberspace #1 Mr. Smart ***** Prior to meeting Mr. Smart, Thaxton writes about Daniel, the husband she divorced. Why did she divorce him? He didn’t appreciate her. He never said, by word or a thoughtful gift, that he loved her. I wonder how that was expressed in court documents. After a brief introduction, we get to Mr. Smart. Why was he not suitable? Through hilarious phone conversations (he made her laugh) the very intelligent Mr. Smart demonstrated knowledge of absolutely everything. He lectured her. At a breakfast meeting, she was able to say only five words in fifteen minutes. He had no questions for Thea. Next.
Dating in Cyberspace #2 Mr. Nuclear ***** Theo and Mr. Nuclear exchanged several emails. They seemed perfect for each other but due to the distance between them, they decided to meet at a Mall situated one-half way between them. Red flags appeared immediately at the meeting. Mr. Nuclear was several years older than evident in his picture. A description of his terrible breath is colorfully described. After the meal, Mr. Nuclear relaxed by picking his nose. True, it was with a handkerchief, but it was still nose-picking. But the biggest negative factor was that Mr. Nuclear was a physical clone of the ex-husband of a friend. I learned that there is some sort of code between women about that. Next.
Dating in Cyberspace #3 Mr. Geologist ***** This should have clicked for Thea. She was also interested in mineralogy. It was a few other things that turned her off this one. As the email exchanges threatened to morph into a face-to-face meeting, Mr. Geologist had a confession to make; he had been to Thailand to further his surgeries that would complete his transfer to becoming a woman. And he was a lesbian. Next.
Dating in Cyberspace #4 Mr. Rocket Man ***** Mr. Rocket Man sounded good through email exchanges. He sounded almost too good. He first claimed that he was an actual rocket scientist but had given it up to go sailing around the world. His poetry was beautiful and the ponytail in his profile picture was appealing. Like an earlier prospect, he asked no questions. It was as if he were looking for a sounding board for his stories. Thea began to find holes in his stories. Some things he claimed just couldn’t have happened. Mr. Rocket man broke off contact after Thea related some of her past with ex-husband Daniel. Mr. Rocket Man claimed to want no part of a threesome. Next.
Dating in Cyberspace #5 Mr. Professor ***** Mr. Professor should have been Mr. Right. Everything worked while they were physically together. E-mails between them were good until they weren’t. Somewhere for reasons unknown to Thea, Mr. Professor thought that the physical distance between them was too great, the time necessary to cross that distance was too much, and that they should end their relationship. Next.
Having finished the novel, I found my similarity between the two novels. In each one, the woman decided what she wanted as if she were going shopping. And that is what the women were doing. When shopping, we don’t negotiate with the products being purchased, we just discard them and move on to a better fitting product. Human relationships require compromises between the “buyer” and “seller.” In both novels I reviewed, there was no compromise between the women and their romantic prospects. It was their way or the highway. I feel there is nothing wrong with that although the consequence of flying solo must be accepted.
The notes I have made above (1-5) are not spoilers for this novel. There are a lot more adventures reported by Thea and many, many more interesting observations on relationships. This is a short, pleasant read and the reader can decide whether this is a work of fiction or one of creative non-fiction. Either way, I gave this novel a five Amazon star rating. It is available on Amazon for USD 0.99 or can be read free with a Kindle Unlimited subscription.