The One In Which I Alienate The Other Half Of The Species

Photo Credit: Lani Barbitta

A popular book would have you believe that men and women are from separate planets. As a tomboy with some decidedly not-your-typical-female personality traits, I have a hard time buying into the concept completely; however, for the purposes of this particular post I shall (sigh) be wholly Venusian.

Why am I going on about men and women? Two words: Online Dating.

Gasp.

I know I said I would never stoop to such ludicrous measures but I’ve reached a point where, when my kids are gone to be with their father, I wish there was someone here with me. I haven’t even had a proper date (one emotional rebound that doesn’t count) in the 3+ years since my divorce. I know. Woe is me… blah, blah, blah; however, I don’t exactly get the opportunity to meet anyone in my day-to-day life. Stupid small town. I think every single man here is old enough to be my grandfather or attending one of the two colleges. What am I supposed to do… pick a redneck sugar daddy or snatch up a boy toy? So, curiosity, you know… that thing that killed the cat… got the best of me. Meow.

I created a couple profiles on two separate sites... virtually identical. Three, actually, and then a fourth, but I quickly deleted one account. That left me with two free accounts and one subscription account and I have learned a few things in the last two months.

Regarding the Martians…

> Not all of you are required to take a shirtless picture of yourself in front of a mirror with your camera phone. It’s true. I’m not saying I don’t enjoy the view, well… most of the time, but there isn’t anything decidedly appealing about that particular shot either.

> While we are discussing profile photographs… Dogs. Cars. Fish. Fine, your dog is cute. Whatever. Not all of us women are the sappy “Awwwwww, puppy!” types. A picture of you and a smokin’ hot car tells me you have no shame stopping on the street and taking a photo of you with a vehicle that is not your own. In regard to the fishing… sigh. What is it with you people and fishing? The casual fisherman… forgiven. You hardcore fisherman types make me want to run away screaming.

> Reasonable age gaps between adults matter little to me. Reasonable ones. Twenty years or more is a little excessive. That’s a personal preference, I realize, but let me put this in perspective for you. Were I to express interest in someone 20 years my junior… that boy would be sixteen years old. Ew. Twenty years older and that person is 56 which, depending on the person, may or may not matter to me. Let’s just say I wish the oldest person to visit my profile was just shy of sixty. Oh no. It’s an epidemic.

> Age aside, I have new appreciation for the term “Dirty Old Man”. Literally. It’s bad enough that men in their sixties are trolling through my profile instead of women closer to their age range but… MAN! Seriously. The
Nick Nolte Mugshot look is doing you no favors.

> You may not be the best speller on Earth and no one is asking you to compete in a Spelling Bee but there is a reason man created spell-check. Use it. Your ego won’t be compromised. I promise. Even if you choose not to use software to assist with this matter, at least make the very smallest bit of effort when it comes to spelling and grammar. Yes, we notice. And… text-speak should be banned unless you are actually sending a text… which you are not.

> A rather large number of you guys will come back to a woman’s profile (Ahem, mine.) over and over and over and over again… a couple times a day for weeks… and never send a message or a wink or a smile. What’s up with that? Do I intimidate you? But, if I didn’t message or wink or smile after witnessing your odd stalkerish behavior then you likely made a good call remaining silent.

Regarding this Venusian…

> I am a bit of an elitist. Okay, yes, I pretty much knew that already but it is no less true now than before this ridiculous venture.

> I can make the first move when I want to be forward but, truthfully, I do prefer to be asked out… courted. Wanted. In this I am all girlie.

> Nobody wants or expects honesty on dating sites despite the blithering dribble about truth they write in their profiles. No wonder everybody lies.

> Size matters. Particularly mine. I’m honest… to a fault apparently.

> I can write a profile that is interesting, attracts attention and actually gets read. Go figure(!) I wonder if there is market for having someone else write your online dating profile. Could I make money doing that for other people? How about all you guys who have issues with the spelling, punctuation and grammar? Dudes! I could so help you.

> I’m jaded. Okay, yes, I knew that too.

> I’ll email and flirt but if you ask for my number and I will likely bolt. I have to be guarded. Narcissism Alert! Guys tend to fall for me over the phone. Don’t ask me to explain it because I can’t.

> Despite meeting (not in person) some great guys, I have already disabled/deleted all my profiles. I can either begin paying for online dating in order to have a more rewarding (scoff) and interactive (I have
Twitter for that.) experience or my kids can eat. No brainer, that one.

Regarding the Method…

> When my profile clearly states that I am “full-figured” and a particular site keeps trying to match (ahem) me with men who clearly state they are looking for “thin”, “slender” or “athletic/fit” women then I want to stab the programmer in the back of the hand with the fork I just used to eat a giant piece of chocolate cake. Thanks for setting me up for failure, you bastard.

> If 99.9% of people are lying on their profiles and questions then how the hell is online dating effective… at all?

> I’m not going to discount the process completely. I’ve seen it succeed. It’s just not for me or, more accurately, I am not for it.

After a spell, a very long spell, I may revisit the online dating world. Someday.

“Someday. That's a dangerous word. It's really just a code for 'never'.” ~Knight and Day (Film, 2010)

9 comments:

  1. So you can tell who has simply viewed your profile? that is kind of freaky.

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  2. In some matters it's scary how similar we are in our thinking. I checked out one site once, answered a million questions (all the while thinking that this is definitely against the grain for me) and got it all set up and deleted it after a few days.

    It seemed insulting in some way to me or pathetic or creepy....something along those lines. haha

    But I guess ultimately the Jane Austin in us would say that bottom line...it's just not very romantic is it? =)

    Lis

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  3. Is it so unrealistic to expect at least a little romance?

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  4. There is no doubt in my mind. There is a man for you, one probably having exactly the same difficulty with dating sites. All I can share is my own experience, that after a lifetime of bad luck, stupidity or a toxic mixture of the two, I signed up to a dating site, aged 61. It's called Africa Introductions. An angel had introduced me to the African style of beauty and I was converted. Within 24 hours of putting up my profile I received a response from K in Jamaica and we took to one another instantly, and recognised true love. Oh, and I was crippled with a chronic condition at the time, which I had of course confessed on first communication. We've been married five years and feel that the manner of our meeting was irrelevant. My chronic disability was miraculously cured a couple of months after we got married. We were destined to meet and the dating site was the most convenient way for the angels to connect us.

    Mind you, we know another Englishman who married a Kenyan girl on that site. He went out to live there. They started a business based on her dressmaking. I don't know what went wrong but he was murdered. There is more to the story, of course.

    Perhaps the only helpful feature of my tale is to remind you that there is the entire world to choose from. Or be chosen from. Not by your future partner, but the angels, for they are the best matchmakers.

    I hope you know me well enough, Beth not to confuse this comment with that of some starry-eyed New Age believer with something to peddle.

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  5. Vincent ~ I know you speak with pure sincerity. Thank you. Love to you and your love.

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  6. Of the few online dating success stories I know of, I know they waded through a lot of bullshit to get there. I really don't think I could go about it that way either. Then again, I don't think I would have the courage to go about it at all.

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  7. Were I out there, I probably could have written essentially the same post.

    There's got to be a better way.

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  8. Dori ~ Well... I had not the courage to stay. I'm not losing sleep over it.

    Finn ~ There is. It's called a nunnery but I hear they are dreadfully out of fasion these days.

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"Stranger, if you passing meet me and desire to speak to me, why should you not speak to me? And why should I not speak to you?" ~Walt Whitman

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