a-lookin’ fer love in all the wrong places

So…. I’m making yet another foray into the online dating thing again.

I hadn’t checked in on my profile in a while but the other day I got a “so-and-so wants to meet you – click on this button to view his profile” alert email.

So I clicked and got sucked down the profile rabbit hole, because if you know what these sites are like, you will know that unless you pay for a subscription (which I refuse to do) you can’t figure out who liked you by merely clicking on a tab.

Instead they make you click through each photo and force you to like/dislike a person based on their photo before you can check out their profile, but the app only lets you view their profiles once you have both “liked” each other). It’s a colossal waste of time, in my opinion, and one that I don’t particularly feel like spending a whole lot of my potential X-Files rerun Netflix viewing time on… but…

it was hot, and I couldn’t sleep…

and I had my phone in my hand while I was lying in bed one night recently and I did…

and then the chat messages started.

I get them from twenty-somethings…. which I ignore… (I used to reply to them politely but no longer do)…

I get them from the scammers…. which I block… (I actually paid for a subscription at one point thinking that I’d get better prospects and ended up being targeted by a scammer before having the chance to interact with anyone else – I figured it out quickly enough, but still… it soured me immensely on the whole thing)…

I get them from people who are looking to score (which if they would have looked at my profile would have known that I have no interest in whatsoever)…

And then I get them from another type of guy… they SEEM nice at first but then, as the texting conversation continues, you realize that they are mostly sexually frustrated misogynists who are so embittered by their previous relationships with the female gender, and have such a skewed perception of what a relationship entails, that they leave you wondering whether there is any hope of meeting a decent, kind, man.

Now let’s be clear… I’m not what a large percentage of the men are looking for on these sites, exactly.

I don’t look like Sandra Bullock – I’m more of a Kathy Bates or Camryn Manheim or Queen Latifah, none of whom really fit the profile that many of the guys on these sites are looking for (i.e., “fit”, “slender” – actually they want middle aged equivalents of someone at least one, possibly two, decades younger). Most men on there have an idealized version of what they want; whatever they had before, even though they failed to thrive in it, they are now aiming to surpass because they get a do-over and figure they deserve better… they want a “package deal” – a flawless woman.

Oddly enough, many of these same guys are the ones who can’t see how far they have to go in regard to being able to cultivate a healthy relationship (or even how flawed they themselves are). Some of the things they share make my hair stand on end. And they are the first ones to be rude and belligerent to me.

I realize I’m no raving beauty…
nor am I wildly successful career-wise…
nor do I have all of my financial ducks in a row…
nor am I on par spiritually with the likes of the ascended masters…
nor do I look anything like Jane Fonda in a lycra leotard…
nor do I have rocket science or nobel prize caliber smarts.

I guess the only way one can appreciate me is by getting to know me and finding out which of these qualities I have and in which quantity they each manifest.

But I’m definitely not some puppet woman who is just this|far from being a Stepford Wife.

Also, for what it’s worth, I don’t have “issues with sexuality” just because I think it’s weird that I should offer up an answer within hours of meeting someone as to whether I think they would be a potential bedmate candidate (because, they admit, they don’t want to waste their time on getting to know me if there isn’t a rather immediate sexual payoff).

I mean…. whatever happened to courtship, wooing and the art of seduction? I think men are slipping on the whole courtship, wooing, seduction thing, if that’s what they think they are up to.

Also, I think they need to stop watching porn and thinking that it is illustrative of what good sex is. I liked porn better when it was campy because it wasn’t used as a how-to reference.

Statistics show that a whopping 75% of women don’t achieve orgasm through intercourse. If men want women to have sex with them, maybe they have to offer more of an incentive when the results are compared to those women are guaranteed to achieve through use of an electronic device (or, if that isn’t available, self-stimulus).

One of my friends (after reading this rant, because I initially posted it to my Facebook page) said that many men consider their chatting ministrations TO BE courtship, and that (in her humble opinion, on average) men are emotionally all twelve year olds. Well maybe that is so, if taking into account their fixation on the perfect female form being the equivalent of the underwear models from the Sears catalog of yore. (This section of the catalog was a huge hit with the boys of my fifth grade class.)

I’ve learned to be alone. I’ve learned to love to be alone. I like my own company. I don’t feel the need to absolutely have someone else in my life, especially if they don’t really care to partake of my company in a holistic sense. Life is too short to spend it in mediocre company.

I sometimes think dating sites are akin to searching for a needle in a haystack.

I’m sure people meet and that some matches are successful and have longevity. It seems like it becomes harder as we get older. Many men (as my friend alluded to) are in dire need of further emotional (and personal) development, even if they are not necessarily stuck at the twelve year mark.

While there are no doubt some fabulously wonderful women out there, I’ll bet perfection is still in short number. Women also demographically out-number the men, at least here in the Vancouver area.

Fabulous feels like a myth. No one is perfect… just “close enough” – going from good to possibly great, maybe occasionally at times even stellar… but not in all things, all the time. That would be too much to expect, but I think that it wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect good to great to stellar in the things that make the biggest impact on our personal happiness. And only we know what those are, if we really allow for a little honest self-inquiry.

For me, it would be nice to truly be in a partnership, if I decided to become half of a couple. I’d like someone to really give a shit about the things that are important to me. Not just to nod and say “sure” but to really get why I feel so passionate about the things I feel passionate about. I’d also still like to be with someone who wants to dream a mutual future with me. If I’m going to pair up.

My expectations aren’t that I’ll be dating some guy off the pages of GQ. They can’t all be as fabulously literate as, say, the Neil Gaimans of the world but it sure would be nice if the typos could truly be blamed on autocorrect fail and that there was a certain (higher rather than lower) level of emotional maturity and optimism regarding relationships.

You have the guys who profess in their profiles to want to worship a woman – that she is all that is missing in his life (sort of like the accent furniture piece for the living room). Seriously though – who could live up to that pedestal expectation, no matter how hot they looked or how smart they were?! How easy would it be to come crashing down from that heady height and go from hero to zero with one (very human but possibly very big) mistake?

Then there are the guys who want a Bo Derek equivalent only taller and smarter and nicer – a total female clone of what I am sure they most deludedly must imagine their inner-self counterparts to be – and no one ever measures up, not perfectly, because once again this idealized person can’t possibly exist outside of their imagination.

I hate to break it to the world, but there is no Soul Mate. Truly. Not the way in which we have been taught to believe a soul mate is. By that same token, everyone could be considered to BE a soul mate, because everyone is equally flawed, only in different ways. The sooner we recognize our own flaws, the better chance we have of having a successful partnering with another person. A relationship in which there are two people with similar weaknesses along with similar coping mechanisms and the inability to communicate appropriately – in a way that can lead to resolution of conflict – will always end up failing.

I’ve had coffee dates with men who have spent our whole time together bitching about their past ex, summarizing in horrible detail all of the mean things they were victims of – because they (clearly, isn’t it obvious?) had NO hand whatsoever in the culmination of the spectacular and tragic end result.

There are so many lonely people in this world. Eleanor Rigbys abound. Not because we don’t all deserve to rejoice in each other’s company, but rather because we are incapable of perceiving ourselves as we really are, incapable of exposing ourselves to others authentically and lose hope of ever finding those who really see us and like us anyway, reciprocally.

/rant

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