Sunday, July 08, 2007

The Fish In the Sea

Apparently, all your advice worked because I've been getting winked at and emailed at a steady pace on You all are internet dating geniuses. Since starting last week, I think I've been winked at about 15 times and received emails from approximately 20 different potential suitors. That's about 35 points of contact with the male species that I would otherwise not have had, had I not joined Match. Sounds positive, right? Not so much.

The problem, as it turned out, was not with the bait, but with the types of fish swimming about in the New York dating sea. Among the multitudes of short, balding, unfit, and uninteresting men, I've also encountered the following subspecies of male: the "Looking for a Babe," "Looking for 18 year olds even though I'm 35," "Brainiacs are Turn Offs," "Public Displays of Affection are Turn Offs," "Looking for an [insert race or religion of choice] Woman Only," "Unable to Write in Complete Sentences," "No College or Other Degree," and "Power and Money Are Turn Offs" type of male.

Admittedly there's a built-in level of superficiality in internet dating. So much depends upon the picture that you or a potential suitor decides to toss out into the ether. I'm as guilty as the next person of judging people based on their pictures. If someone has chosen a weird picture where they look slightly demonic, massively dorky, or, for example, are wearing acid-washed jeans up to well above their belly button with a skin-tight white shirt tucked into the aforementioned jeans while standing in an aggressive body builder pose, I assume we would not make a good match and delete them. Match has a feature that allows you to delete a member forever so they never come up again as a possible choice once you've given them the boot. So far, it's my favorite thing about Match.

Similarly, I give most males shorter than 6 feet or lacking a college education the boot. There's no question that there are many fantastic men who are shorter than 6 feet and/or who lack a college education. However, I know from experience that (a) men often lie about their height so even the ones who say they are 6 feet could be slightly below that and (b) I like tall men. Short men make me feel like an ogress. Admittedly, that's my issue, but I'm comfortable with it and it's not going anywhere, so I'm just going to go with it. I also know from experience that I tend to have more in common with and more to talk about with someone who's at least college educated. I like being intellectually stimulated.

Moving on to men who don't get booted out automatically by my basic criteria. Anyone who says they don't like brainiacs or public displays of affection makes me a little suspicious. Do they not like smart women? As far as PDA, I agree that you should get a room for intense displays of affection, but see nothing wrong with hugs, hand holding, snuggling and kissing in public. That's kind of what love looks like to me, and anyone who's afraid of that makes me wonder. As for the men who are uncomfortable with money and power, well, I've got both of them so that probably wouldn't be a good fit. For the men who want "babes" (read: arm candy and/or sex) or 18 year olds, for obvious reasons, I don't spare them a second glance.

That's the pool of fish with which I'm dealing.
The situation, in short, is bleak.

I had thought the situation might be taking a turn for the better when a 36 year old doctor with an interesting profile and handsome picture began emailing me today. However, after an email or two of pleasantries, he wrote me to see if I would be interested in a "flirtatious phone conversation" and/or a walk with hand holding and "a kiss or two."

Was I just propositioned for phone sex? Even if it wasn't a phone sex proposition, who asks someone to go on a walk with them with the expectation that there will be a kiss or two? I haven't even met the guy, and I most certainly am not going to be holding hands with him on the first date handing out kisses like stamps. Giving him the benefit of the doubt, I guess it's possible that I totally misread his email, and that in fact he was simply trying to be sweetly flirtatious... However, now I'm in a quandary because any response I make will have to somehow address his improper invitation for kisses. I suppose I could just respond and say, "Let's meet for a drink." But should I do that? Agree to go on a date with someone who may have ineptly propositioned me for phone sex?

I'm thinking... no.
Although you can't tell from this post, I actually haven't been spending all that much time contemplating the bleakness of internet dating.
Instead, I've been thinking about this. Not good, Buttercup. Not good at all.


Gypsy said...

From what I understand, you have to wade through a lot of frogs to find a prince online. It is possible, though.

And I understand your requirements. PDA is a must for me -- I'm affectionate! But college educated, surprisingly, is not. I have a graduate degree but Lancelot has only an AOS in culinary arts. He's still one of the smartest most interesting men I know.

Sparky Duck said...

Ignore the phone sex dude.

since I dont know what you look like, or how tall etc, I would say just be careful with your 6 foot rule. I am 5'10, so I breathe at 6 feet, but I listed 5'10 because i know I aint 6 feet. Now 5'7 is lying.

But, look at it this way, Mrs Duck, either fibbed or put in the wrong info at her profile and said she was 4'10 when she is more like 4'7. if I did not have a slight wiggle range below 5 feet, we would have never met.

Greg said...

So you're looking for Westley and getting nothing but Vizzini's? In real life Buttercup actual ends up with Spicoli. You're a logical person right? You have to be. Why does a prince need the Internet when the world is in front of him? Unless it's a fractured fairytale and when you kiss the prince he turns into a frog.

I love technology, but cringe at this online dating thing (though I do like reading about other's experiences with it). You deny yourself so much that I'm sure you can remember if you think about your last longer relationship. There is an excitement about the initial face-to-face contact that cannot be replaced. Even when it doesn't work out, those encounters will always be in your memory. That's the kind of thing that makes your drummer intriguing. I guess some people just luck out with the online or put-an-ad-in-the-paper thing. Or maybe that suits their personality type better. And maybe they don't really have the experience of those odd liaisons after midnight so they don't actually know what they are missing. I really can't say. When I think about Buttercup years from now thinking back to the time she first met Westley, I think about her looking into his eyes and seeing something nobody else sees. A smiley face or whatever is winking at you from a computer screen, not so much.

Complete sentences? Overrated. Fragments. Pure beauty. Invokes, conjures, commands. Pulls imagination out from under the mundane.

Send a note back to your doctor and ask him what is the best cure for crabs.

Bubbles said...

I have a theory that the majority of guys don't actually read the profile and only look at the picture. I also put that I was looking for someone who graduated from college, and the majority of responses I got did not. I also got an obscene number of responses from the religious right, when everything that I wrote made it clear that we would have nothing in common. Strangely, many of those who seem to have the least in common would e-mail me and say "it looks like we have a lot in common." Apparently, being a carbon-based life form counted... I put the best picture of me I had on line, and I think that was a big mistake. I quit doing the I may try again at some point (with the ugliest picture of me this time-- that way I will be a pleasent surprise when we meet).

Lisa said...

The online dating thing can be, alternately, entertaining, annoying, and perhaps a bit scary. But there are good guys out there. I've been with one of them for nearly two years now. :-)

Best of luck, and oh, stop thinking about the ex, that just leads nowhere but trouble.