Wookin Pa Nub

The time has finally come when I feel the urge to expand my horizons and try to find someone to spend a Saturday night with who is not an immediate member of the family (directly or indirectly).

Yes, I think it might actually be time to try to date.

For me, this is one of the Seven Seals.  The Saints won the Super Bowl, the Yankees are in the World Series, and I’m moving outside of my immediate social circle.  See, I don’t “date”, I haven’t “dated” – at least, not since high school – but I have had a number of relationships that were more or less “serious”.  I’m over “serious”, but I’m also struck with the realization that I’m not sure how to not be “serious”.

That’s not going to stop me from trying, but you get what I’m saying.

However, there’s that whole “leaving the house and socializing” thing that I’m not so good at.  It’s not that I don’t go out – sometimes I do – but my walk-up-and-talk-to-people impulse seems to have gotten up and left.  What’s a geeky girl to do?  She turns to the potentially most efficient and cut-to-the-chase option available in this, our Electronic Age – online dating sites.

Before you cringe and/or throw rotten tomatoes at me, hear me out:

It really is efficient!  You can scan through profiles, look at pictures, chit-chat in relative anonymity, and breaking up is easy to do if there’s no chemistry.  “But how do you know if there’s chemistry if you haven’t met them yet?”  There just is, but even before that point, if Mr. HolyChristOnToastGorgeous has the IQ of a sad watermelon or Mr. DimplesToDieFor displays a deep obsession for Zionist conspiracy theory, the last thing you’d want to do is find out that you DO have chemistry in person because then it’s just awkward, messy and can lead to the dreaded drama.

I have, for many years, conceived of three Lists in my head.  There’s the Keeper list, the Fun list, and the Ball-Gag list.  The first two are pretty self-explanatory, but to get on the third one requires a guy to be unbearably hot, incredibly with his hands, relatively teachable, and either have a voice like Alvin or an attitude that is a complete buzzkill.  (Like the Zionist theorist.)  So, I try to stick to only considering people on the first two lists, but sometimes someone on the second list wants to move over to the first list, or someone from the first list turns out to only be really ready for the second list…

But that’s not really what my very slight ranting is about.

Being on online dating sites has reminded me of something that I knew, but I guess I had forgotten the full weight of, and that is that people lie without even realizing it.  How exactly are you going to cater to every need and treat someone like the princess/queen that she is if you are also fishing, camping, playing football, watching all sports, hiking, skiing, and playing international pro ping-pong?  If my profile says that I’m not into those things, maybe you shouldn’t worry with me.  I may be cute and all, but no amount of telling me how cute I am is going to erase the fact that we have nothing in common.

This actually comes back to a problem that I’ve had for a long time, and it is most exemplified in crappy romance movies.  A guy– Scratch that.  A person who will “do anything” and even “be anything” to get with the object of their affection is setting themselves up for failure.  Lying to appear more attractive to a specific person is really just going to lead to the inevitable bitter end, and you’ll have no one to blame but yourself.  When people advise “just be yourself”, it’s not some stupid platitude.  It’s really the only way to have any chance of a successful relationship.

And this brings us to yet another problem:  is someone ready to be themselves?  Or more to the point, is the “themselves” that they are right now ready to be in a relationship?  Just because you want a thing doesn’t make it good for you (soda pops as a great example), and I’m going to go out on a limb and say that if you want to blather about that bitch that dumped you or about how out of shape you are or about how unfair the world is or how much you hate your job car ex body hair eyes town world life, then maybe a relationship isn’t really what you need.  Here’s the number of a really good therapist, have fun with that.

I’m also starting to think that “please don’t try to change me” really means “I need someone to save me”.  This has been demonstrated a couple of times, so it’s only just a theory, but I may have to start building basic metrics for it.

Here are some things I’ve noticed and thought I would share if you want to be successful at online dating:

  • Post a picture, but please don’t try to look sexy in it.  That intense bedroom look you think you’re giving?  It makes you look constipated, stoned or like someone just tried to shove an icicle up your butt.  That’s not to say that you won’t get great results using it in person, but it’s an energy thing that does not translate well to photos.
  • Don’t post a picture of your junk, cans or ass.  That’s what’s called “free pr0n”, and just like in the videos, once someone has splooged their last, the interest is gone.  Also, you may think you’re advertising your assets, but what you’re really advertising are your ONLY assets.  You can’t expect someone to take you seriously in a relationship if their first and lasting impression of you is a smeared tattoo above your crack that once said “Daddy’s Little Girl”.  (Gods, I wish I was making this up…)
  • In these pictures, SMILE!  The serious look is serious.  A serious relationship, while serious, is also supposed to be fun.
  • Also, take some time to get pictures taken of yourself.  It’s tacky to show off your great style and charm in a montage of pictures with your (hopefully) former significant other cropped or photoshopped out.  (And, yes, we can always tell.)  You know what that says to us?  It says that you’re either a serial monogamous or lost yourself so completely in that relationship that you had no identity outside of its context, and that getting involved with you will be emotionally draining and ultimately exhausting.  That’s not something most healthy people sign up for.
  • When you list your hobbies, list things that you actually DO, not things that you think about doing or would maybe like to do.  You might want to one day go hiking at the Grand Canyon, but if your actual experience is sitting around watching movies and stuffing Cheetohs down your boxers (TM), then say that.  For all you know, Mr/Ms Right is all about Cheetoh spelunking.  You gotta put it out there.
  • We can tell when you’re posing.  Really.  And when you’re sucking in your gut.  Really really.
  • People read profiles.  Okay, not everyone reads profiles, but wouldn’t you want the person that you ultimately click with to not have skipped over you entirely because your “About Me” was all but empty?  You may be the greatest thing since cut cheese, but no one’s going to know that if you don’t give them a lead-in.  What you write does need to be honest and true, yes, but it’s also an ice-breaker, an opening statement to get them talking with you.
  • “I like long walks in the park” is automatically assumed to be a lie.  Even if you do like long walks in the park, don’t write that.  Surprise them with it later.
  • DON’T TAKE IT PERSONALLY.  If someone has started chatting with you and then just lost interest, that does not mean that the whole process is a failure.  It just means that the sparks didn’t fly, and that’s okay.  If someone steps over a line and gets offensive or aggressive or displays otherwise uncouth behavior, block them, don’t reply, whatever, but remember that they don’t know you – they know your online self, and chances are, they’re not even responding to you, they’re responding to their own wounds and scars that came long before the first email was exchanged.
  • This last one leads us to the next one: DON’T TAKE YOUR SHIT OUT ON STRANGERS.  Srsly.  I’m not the lady that stood you up at the prom, I’m not the guy that left you high and dry at the altar, I’m not the bitch that smashed your dishes (okay, maybe I was…), so don’t take out your rage at those other people on me or anyone else.  Work through that issue with them, or at least work through it before trying to deal with other people.

I’m just sayin’.

I’m sure there will be many more observations and words of wisdom as this process plays out.  And, no, I’m not going to tell you where I’m registered.  I know you, ya stalker.

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