I'm sitting cross-legged on my therapist's couch 4 months after my husband's announcement that he wants a divorce when my therapist informs me that he thinks I should start dating again.
I had told myself and others that I was going to take time off to concentrate on myself for once. Between a husband and three boys, I didn't know who I was anymore. I just wanted to hang out with my girlfriends, drink martinis like a fish, and let the hair grow long on my legs if I wanted. I had even gone so far as to announce to my friends that I was going to take a full year off from any kind of relationship.
Read more here.
Since I’ve been buried in schoolwork for the past three weeks I haven’t had time to log on to match.com and check my Daily 5 like I should. For anyone unfamiliar with match.com, the Daily 5 are the profiles of five men (or women, depending on your gender) that are selected by match.com and sent to a person’s profile each day. You choose from three buttons: yes, maybe, and no, depending on whether you’re interested in meeting the prospects or no.
Match.com has not been a very productive venue for me and my online dating adventures lately. I’m not sure why this is exactly. Perhaps I’m not logged in enough. I just can’t stand the idea of looking like I’m online all the time like that. Who wants someone who looks like they’re logged onto an online dating site 24/7? I have a life, and to keep myself signed into match.com or Plentyoffish seems like it would look, well, desperate, or worse, skeazy. It’s just my personal preference, but it may be one of the factors contributing to the fact that I’m not getting many dates from match.com.
The other factor is that I find reading men’s profiles extraordinarily boring and it takes a lot of effort for me to send an email to any of them. (Despite the fact that I don’t like to make the first move, I have to send at least 5 emails to new men each month in order to qualify for match.com’s 6 month guarantee.) This brings me back to my Daily 5.
Everyday, 5 new profiles arrive. Everyday, 5 profiles look and sound the same. A while back, fellow blogger, Zak, wrote about things girls should say in their profiles, and he made some really good suggestions. After reading his post, I made changes to my own profile, and recently, one of the best compliments I received was when a man told me that my profile was different from most of the other profiles he had read.
Similar rewrites of men’s profiles would help the banal experience of online dating immensely, and would make those men who took the time to write a unique profile stand out from the pack. I’ve taken the following quotes from some actual online dating profiles on match.com, and here are some thoughts on this subject from my own experience:
- “I’m a social guy.” This shows up a lot in men’s profiles. What does this mean exactly? Does this mean that the man is a party animal? Is he good at business networking? A shameless flirt who will be out every night? Telling women that you are a social guy tells them nothing. If a man is going to write about being “social,” it would be better to describe what types of social situations he enjoys. Does he enjoy black tie events or does he love finding a good hole-in-the-wall kind of place that he can escape to with his friends?
- “I’m a really easy-going guy.” Yes, and supposedly so are about 95% of the other guys online. This has got to be the most over-used line in online dating profiles. Here again, I don’t know what this line means exactly, but what I have found is that the more a man insists that he’s easy-going (or drama-free or not a player) the more uptight (drama-prone or philandering) he seems to be. Skip this one. If it exists in your profile, take it out.
- “I like going out for dinner, and trying new places.” Really? Who doesn’t? Do you go out because you don’t have a clue how to cook a meal for yourself? What types of new places do you want to try? Do you like Indian food? Can’t stand Italian? These are things a woman is going to want to know, especially, for example, if she loves Italian food. What is it about new experiences that you like?
- “I love a good movie.” Rather than saying that you love a good movie, it would be better to write about your favorite movie genres or your favorite movies and what it was about them that made them your favorites.
- “I’m ambitious and work hard.” This is great to know, but it is a VERY over-used line. It’s better to write specifically about your work and what you’re passionate about, because one person’s idea of ambition will be different from another’s. First of all, working hard does not necessarily equal results, and second, a woman could interpret this as, “I’m a workaholic.” Workaholism is not really a plus when trying to find a mate.
- “Hi there. Thanks for looking at my profile.” This sounds pathetic. Don’t thank women for reading your profile. If a woman is really interested in finding a man, she SHOULD be reading your profile. Save your “thank you” for right after the first date or the day after. Not enough people in today’s world say thank you when they should. I’m a big believer in saying please and thank you, but thanking women for looking at your profile does not add anything of substance, and it makes you sound a little woosy.
- “I love the great outdoors.” Apparently, all of the men who live is Seattle love the great outdoors. It makes sense, I suppose. Seattle is a great place to live if you love the great outdoors. Unfortunately, in Seattle, this not a differentiator. Does this mean that I’ll be dragged on a death march up Mount Rainier, or that you have an extensive repertoire of campfire recipes and will be able to perfectly roast me a marshmallow? What do you like to do in the outdoors? Do you go sailing? Do you ski? Have you won any competitions? Do you know how to tie flies? WHAT? Don’t just say that you like the great outdoors. I like the outdoors too, but it usually involves inviting my friends over for BBQ and sitting in my backyard with a glass of wine.
- Don’t be angry in your profile. This shows up in all sorts of ways. It’s usually just an undercurrent of bitterness that weaves its way through the profile. If you find yourself writing about all of the things you DON’T want in a woman in a resentful, bitchy way, check it. This never sounds good, it’s a total turn-off, and any woman who is remotely attracted to your anger, is not a healthy one.
So, there’s a theme here, right? Be specific. When the first lines of your online dating profile sound like everyone else’s, your potential match will just look through the pictures and move on. That means your pictures better be DAMN good!
On that note, make sure that your photos are current. You don’t want to end up like the Italian Meatball. Photos should be current and should vary between headshots and photos showing your physique. If you are bald, take the fucking baseball cap off! You’re not fooling anyone. Don’t show 15 photos where you’re wearing cargo shorts, a t-shirt, a baseball cap, crew socks, and tennis shoes. This seems to be the uniform of men in their thirties and forties. Show yourself in some casual shots, but also show that you can clean up well.
Finally, if you are seriously trying to find a nice woman, DO NOT take a picture of yourself shirtless in the bathroom mirror with your cell phone. I delete every profile that has a shirtless man in it. (This alone might explain why I’m not getting any dates from match.com. Anthony Weiner’s habit of taking self portraits is really not that unique.) The thing is, the message this sends is that the man is more interested in meaningless sex than in actually finding a woman for a long-term relationship. If that’s your thing, great, but then don’t expect the caliber of the women you’re meeting to be particularly high.
Now, I need to go peruse my Daily 5. I’ll skim the first two sentences, and if that doesn’t catch my attention, I’ll just scroll through the pictures.
From what I can tell, Man #13 is a rabid sports fan. He emailed me a couple of days before our date excited about the fact that he was going to be The Twelfth Man. He, therefore, would be wearing blue.
Yeah, well, no.
I had to email him back and break the news to him that since there was still 48 hours between his email and our date, I would be doing what serial daters do. I’d be going on a date. That would make him lucky #13!
I asked him how he felt about that. I mean, nobody should HAVE to be #13, should they? If hotels can eliminate the 13th floor or the 13th room, then there should be some leeway for allowing him to be #14. I actually told him I’d be willing to provide a horror story of online dating lore, and would be willing to take my total number of dates to #101 if my readers insisted that I was cheating them out of a date by giving him an out.
But, Man #13 emailed back, and said, “I am not remotely superstitious so being number 13 I embrace, embrace I say!!! I will be the floor that does not exist in buildings.”
That’s the spirit! Go get ‘em tiger!
Man #13 is another one of the guys I had in my stash from my initial Craigslist ad back in March, and I had really been looking forward to meeting him. We had been emailing back and forth sporadically for the past month. A month passed, and finally, we were able to get our schedules in sync and have a date. We went to EMP to see the Nirvana exhibit. Awesome!
Museums and art galleries generally make good dates. These settings give two people a place where they’re not just sitting there interviewing each other. (Another reason I detest the coffee date.) You can discuss the exhibit while also finding out about one another. Then, if you find you really click, you can go have a coffee, a drink, or maybe even dinner. The drawback, however, is you may not get to see as much of the exhibit as you would like. I realized halfway through my date with Man #13 that I have usually gone to art museums and other exhibits alone. I’m one of these people who can spend HOURS in a museum. Yes, hours. Since Man #13 and I were talking the whole time we were there, I now feel like I need to go back again to see the exhibit. Good stuff there though, from what I can tell.
But let’s get to the real deal, shall we? There is one key point I want to make about Man #13, and the reason for the title of this post. In addition to the Nirvana reference, Come as You Are refers to the fact that Man #13 would never show up on my dating radar if I was using “my list.” Yeah, that’s right, my list. To put it more bluntly, Man #13 is not my “type.”
Since I’m trying to date 100 men, I’ve ditched my list. And, you want to know what? I am meeting some very interesting people.
Ok, well wait a minute. Maybe I haven’t completely ditched my list. After my Battling the Blues post, ElderBaud suggested that I try to figure some things out about what exactly it was about The Blues Man that I was so attracted to, and I had to confess that I had started a data table of my dates. I’m tracking things like height, weight, personality attributes, ethnicity, profession, and education level. For example, when I ran a probability plot of the heights of the dates I have had so far, it turns out that the mean height of my dates is 6′-1″ tall with a standard deviation of 3.033 inches. This outcome totally makes sense, of course, since I am 5′-10″, and I think I am getting closer to actually nailing down the exact measurement where a man is not “tall enough to ride the ride.”
But I digress. Let’s get back to the discussion of my list.
Aside from my data collection, let’s just say that I have become more lenient with my dating requirements. My type of guy is usually a clean-shaven professional with dark hair and dark eyes and a sense of humor. Ethnicity does not matter as much to me, but as past history indicates, I tend to fall for Latin men. Man #13 did not fit any of these descriptors. His blonde, well mostly white, hair falls to his shoulders and is longer than mine. He has a full beard. He does not have piercing dark eyes. He is not particularly funny, although he is a published author, so I did enjoy his intelligence and insights.
So you see, Man #13 would normally be one of the men I would easily dismiss if he came up as a “Meet me” on Plentyoffish or as one of my Daily 5 on Match.com. (The Daily 5 are the profiles of five individuals that are sent to you each day on Match.com. They are selected for you based on your search criteria, your list, which actually means Man #13 would not normally even show up there.)
All of this is to say that despite not being my “type,” I found myself somewhat attracted to Man #13. Do you know what it was? He was 6′-1″ tall and about 210 pounds. He was my physical type. (According to my statistics.)
Turns out that since Man #13 likes to go dancing, his type needs to be “easy to spin.” I’m too tall to be easy to spin. I would probably make a good tango partner though.