More Adventures With The Single Life: Internet Dating
Yes, that’s right, internet dating. Internet dating seems to be the way of the modern world, or at least it is here in New York. I made one pass at it about four years ago when The Ex and I were on the outs, and while nothing much happened aside from my receiving an enormous stuffed penguin on a first date, I gave it another try following my receipt of independent verification that there is indeed life after The Ex.
Between my earlier and more recent experiences, I’ve now perused four different sites. Boys, I have news for you. Many of you badly need help with your profiles. Here’s the big secret: even if you’re thinking ridiculous things about how you’ll only date redheads or women above 5’9” or women more than ten years younger than you are, you shouldn’t say so in your profile. You would think this would go without saying, but in this age of letting everything hang out on the internet, plenty of people seem to have parted company with the concept of common sense.
One particularly funny thing is all the guys who have profiles that clearly exclude dating anyone like me on any number of points and then have contacted me anyway. One guy listed himself in his byline as an artist looking for blonde women… and then e-mailed me. Suffice it to say that as I am multiracial I am most definitely not blonde. And gentlemen, if you are planning to make up to a woman online, you might want to first make sure that your profile does not say you will not date women of her race. The number of winks or e-mails I’ve received from men whose profiles indicate that they won’t date someone of one or more of my races has been really impressive. Am I supposed to be touched that they’re willing to make an exception for me? Rule number one: no dating guys who won’t date people of my race. (I have to admit, I find it somewhat creepy even when men limit their match profiles to races that include mine. Possibly this is because I’m multiracial myself and I wouldn’t have existed if my parents thought that way, but really, modern adults in a multicultural city like New York really think that way?)
Rule number two? No dating any man who a) won’t date any woman anywhere near his own age, or b) is older than 28 and is still willing to date 18 year olds. Hey, I have nothing against age 18 – I personally enjoyed it very much, and sometimes people are shockingly mature at 18. (I was not one of those people, but I know they exist.) But any guy who is 35, or God forbid, 45, and still interested in dating 18 year olds, is looking for something that I’m not interested in supplying. And really, if you’re not comfortable with women with the same amount of life experience that you have, I have to wonder about the dynamics of any relationship that I could possibly get into with you.
Rule number three? If you are e-mailing me from 3000 miles away, you are barking up the wrong tree. Hey, I have nothing against the long-distance relationship, but let’s be reasonable. I might be willing to try something at that distance with someone I actually know, but with a total stranger? Hard to have one of those neutral-ground coffee dates at that distance.
Then, there are the little individual insanities, the things that make a profile an obvious no but are too unique to give rise to an actual rule. I was matched with one guy, for example, whose bio was a single sentence in which he managed to use some form of the word “commit” three times. While committed relationships are certainly great, the main effect of that bio was to make me think that he needed to be committed. Preferably to an institution with some sort of 24-hour oversight.
One guy, no joke, listed the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the arcane rules pursuant to which federal courts operate and by far the most painful of the first-year law school courses, as a book that he had recently enjoyed reading. Granted, I have never been in love with the law and certainly never loved civil procedure, but is he kidding? I consulted with my other female friends who are attorneys for an objective opinion on this. Their collective response was “Dear God, no!” He looked like a nice enough guy, but my God.
Another guy was looking for a “well rounded woman” whose well-rounded qualities apparently focused on being able to “work, cook, clean.” Business women are nice “only if she understands that her family comes first not her job.” He also specified (all in caps) that he was a very needy person. Uh-huh. I’ll be calling him any second now. The capper was that he ended the profile by saying “You ask yourself why you are still single? Look at my profile and you’ll surely understand.” Truer words were never spoken, my friend.
Okay, I realize that many people are lacking in common sense to a degree that horrifies even me, the least sensible member of my family, and maybe my legal background makes me more sensitive to presentation issues, but lordy. Guys, if you’re not good at this stuff, GET SOMEONE TO READ IT FOR YOU. Preferably a woman. Assuming you know any. And ladies, don’t get depressed. At least they’re good for a laugh!