483: Online Dating

download (1) I understand that you have an 87 % chance of meeting a psychopath on an online dating site, and that 93% of statistics are made up on the spot. Given that constraint, I believe that I am firmly in both the majority and the minority of that equation. The 87% of weirdos are definitely out there. I met one guy who wanted to exchange photos – of unmentionable body parts. Ummm…..NO, thanks just the same.

I also met one guy who pledged undying love and exclusivity to me….in the first e-mail, in about six pages of flowery, verbose, over-the-top text. Then, a few days later, as he is offering to give up his idyllic existence in another state about 800 miles distant from me and move to be with me, I discovered that he had an alternate profile on the same dating site, just a different name and persona. The first iteration of him was the preppy, family oriented guy, complete with fetching photo in front of the decorated Christmas tree. The second iteration was the consummate bad boy, muscle shirt, shades, tattoo prominently displayed. Made me wonder if he was conducting experimental research at the graduate level into the psychology of women who join online dating sites.

See, people want to be paired. We all want that intimate, emotional and spiritual connection (not to mention the physical connection) with another like-minded person (usually of the opposite sex, but hey, I’m not judging) who does not freak us out too much on a daily basis. Most of us have been around the track in face-to-face, traditional relationships, and have found that meeting and dating process to be somewhat lacking (!), not to mention extraordinarily time-consuming.  HAS to be a better way, right? For me, the better way included being far, far away at my new job in Kazakhstan when I joined the site and started getting responses.

I figured my previous two marriages were mostly based on the hormones/pheromones of physical attraction (not that you could have told me that at the time), so I figured, THIS time, I would meet someone via text, and communicate that way to see if we had similar goals, interests, morals, and values, where the whole physical attraction thing was conspicuously absent to gum up the works and shut off what little common sense I possess in the first place. Figured it was worth a try – doing things the same way was obviously not working, so a change in tactics was in order.

So, I clicked on an advertisement featuring a man/woman/other who was fairly attractive, and decided to take the online dating plunge. Some sites, from what I am told, have an extensive questionnaire designed to better weed out those individuals you would run screaming from on the public street if you met them face to face. Kinda reminds me of the Purity Test http://www.puritytest.net/test/500/. The purity test is an EYE-OPENER,  and let’s just say, I scored fairly poorly for someone who actually is not into bodily waste as a sex object. I am NOT kidding…..absolutely and totally boggles the mind, some of those questions. Opened up whole vistas that you just can’t mentally un-see, ya know?

Some sites, like the one I joined, simply ask you to self-promote. Marketing yourself is difficult, because let’s face it, it’s just bragging. Period. How do you brag about yourself and make it sound humble and attractive? Yeah – see what I mean? Still, I tried to be honest about my intentions, mostly honorable ones…mostly. I included some photos that actually looked like me…you know, the FLATTERING ones that still actually managed to look like me.

As I got flirts, invitations for contact and other messages, I added bits to my profile to more accurately indicate what I was NOT looking for. Pretty much men with extremely suggestive nicknames such as stallion4U or longhotrod fit into that category, as well as anyone without the self-confidence to post a photo. You could be a little green man from Mars, I just don’t know.

I mentioned that, along with the 87%, I also found the 13%. Yes, they do exist, Virginia. One sharp individual asked me a question that led me to do some serious introspective thinking, and he made me realize I had been intellectually dishonest with myself. I had some work to do on that one, and I “came clean,” and owned up to my mistake.  Another one might, just possibly could, hopefully is, I believe, be the one. We are taking it slowly and discussing every topic under the sun, delving and exploring each other in pretty much perfect safety, if you don’t count the scary business of opening up to another human being as being unsafe.

See – all of us want that intimate relationship – without having actually to get intimate, confess to our faults and flaws, and generally bare our souls. That is scary, and he/she/it might not like me if I bare all, because not everything has been lipo-suctioned (or exercised) into shape.

But, guess what?

You are not gonna get there (where you want to be) if you don’t go there.

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