Thursday, August 7, 2014

Adventures in Online Dating: A Rant

I’ve recently reentered the world of online dating (after about a 10 year absence), and having not made it past the initial message stage, am again skeptical this will work for me.  Am I too fussy? Maybe.  Ten years ago I wasn’t getting any messages, now I’m getting lots but they’re not “quality” ones. 

First of all, many of the guys don’t even bother to write a profile of themselves but just put “send a message” in that space.  Who am I sending a message to and why would I do so just on the basis of a photo (if indeed they’ve included that)? Besides the missing profile, all the info you get is a half dozen questions (do you like to cook? read? go to theater?), only maybe answered, which while interesting do not constitute a way to learn about someone’s character or personality. 

Most of the messages I’ve gotten from remotely interesting men are just that—remote.  Iowa, California, Michigan, Indiana. My profile says I specifically am looking for someone in my area. They often urge me not to be put off by the long distance, that they’ll move for love, but I just can’t see putting the effort in on these. I have a friend who found a true love online, but he’s several states away so they’ve decided to keep an open relationship, and she’s still dating online to find more geographically desirable partners. 

She, some 10 years younger than I, is having a whole different experience online dating than I am, by the way.  Her latest message came from a 19-year old who complimented her on not looking as old as she is.  She’s getting guys with professions like exotic dancer and librarian (the latter’s the one I was jealous of, though she sure enjoyed the former, too), while I’m getting, well, guys with professions like dump truck driver.  Fortunately said driver was also out of state so I could rationalize I wasn’t engaging with him because of that.  One dating site also thought I’d be a good match for a cross dresser; but I got no message from him, sparing me thinking of a response.   

Based on my non-online dating experience in the years since I’ve divorced, I’m also looking for a man who doesn’t have young children, especially if they live with him. Don’t get me wrong, I love kids.  But children should be the number one priority of a single dad and if they’re not, I can’t respect him.  And if they are, he doesn’t have enough time and space in his life for me or is looking for a second mommy for them, and I’m done with that period in my life.  So bring on the men with 20+ year olds making their way in the world, or older kids who’ve made them a grandparent, but I’m gun shy on dads with younger children.

I’m also not interested in guys whose profiles are full of spelling and grammar errors. (E.g., they “do not take things for granite”…)  I’m looking for someone who’s my intellectual equal, and his being articulate is a turn-on.  Plus I think half of those butchered entries aren’t because the guys can’t really spell or write but because they’re too lazy to do anything but throw down a stream of consciousness rant without going back and, oh, I don’t know, putting the apostrophes in contractions.

To be fair, if I were a certain kind of woman I’d be a better match for some guys the site has offered up as matches.  “Outdoorsy” is the key word, and the tell tale signs are photos hiking cross country, white water rafting, rock climbing, and other nature-based pursuits.  Sorry, but my idea of camping is staying at a nice motel and while I enjoy walking, it’s not with a backpack across rocky terrain.  Guys seem to be able to tell this from my profile so none have sent me messages yet asking me to go paragliding. 

What does this leave me with?  I want a compassionate, intelligent, articulate man with a good sense of humor, and good chemistry.  I’m not asking too much, am I?  This online dating may still not be for me, but I’ll keep trying for at least a while.