Thursday, January 21, 2016

Swipe Me

                I’m one of those guys that resorted to internet-based dating. I know it’s hard to believe that an incredible charmer like me had to resort to such methods to meet someone. Yet, it had to happen. I’ve been “on-line dating” for several years now and let me tell you, it’s failed; failed almost as badly as the old “meeting a girl in person” tactic.

                 I only bring this up now since several women I know have also started internet dating very recently and have already had a whole bunch of dates or meaningful contacts with guys who seem very sweet and almost amazingly earnest.  In some cases these women have had their profile up on one of these dating sites for less than a day before striking up a conversation, talking on the phone and then meeting up for a date with some guy. I mean, they’re not all winners. Some of the guys are downright ass hats. But from what I’ve been able to tell, these women, are pretty happy with their immediate results on these sites. The regular sites mind you, not the “hook-up” sites.

                 I’ve been on-line dating for over three years and I’ve had one date. One. A single, one time meeting, with a woman whom seemed to forget she was going on a date since she chose to show up in what amounted to work-out clothes, but somehow, worse. I, of course, being a sophisticated gentleman about town dressed it up, even wore a sport coat. Needless to say there wasn’t a second meet-up.  I don’t think I can legally call it a “date”.

                My profile on several prominent dating sites is funny, engaging, cute and positive. My photos are all of me, and show the various sides of my personality. There’s no shirtless macho pics, no “bro-time” pictures, no cats, dogs, tattoos, beards, cars, wads of cash, or adventure photos of me punching Godzilla with a Great White Shark. It’s just me, mostly wearing cardigan sweaters, looking sweet and attentive, and smiling my usual Irish wry smile.  I’m not overweight. I’m not Edward James Olmos. I look young, despite my age. I’m amazingly average. What they used to call, steadfast.

Yet my inboxes are empty. If I do get a message, it’s from a woman in China or the Philippines. If a woman does show interest I usually discover the profile of theirs is a fake, a duplicate or a down right catfish pretty quickly. I think what’s even worse is the messages I send to women I find appealing, attractive or even mildly interesting and I get no reply of any kind. I don’t even get a polite, “Thanks for your message but I’m into Safari Guides who wrestle Rhinos. Thanks!”  I could deal with that rejection far better than the nothingness I get in reply to my usually well thought out initial contact message.

It’s getting to the point of insanity; really, the doing the same thing over again and expecting different results.  I carefully seek out women I think are pretty, intelligent, likely passionate about their beliefs, funny, and thoughtful. They usually live fairly near-by too.  I hear nothing from them. Messages after messages to engaging and apparently intelligent women go constantly unheeded.  But CHineseTitty5000 has no problem sending me a, “Hi”, message from Hong Kong.  Her profile pictures will include her crushing a camel and stabbing a Whale through the heart. (Maybe I should start a long distance relationship with ChineseTitty5000?)

It just makes me a little bummed out for my gender and those like me trying to navigate this life and just hoping to meet that someone who compliments them just enough that every day doesn’t feel the same, or at least provides some comfort in light of the terror the world can throw. We want a counterpart to help each other remember what’s good, what fun is, and what’s important. That’s what I think we want.

I’m not looking for a supermodel. I’m not looking for a rocket scientist. Although a supermodel rocket scientist would be pretty kick-ass though I have to admit. (I’d probably always be way back on the list for her, 1. rockets, 2. modeling, 3-8. puppies and skiing, 9. Michael.) I am looking for normal. Normal in the sense that they have a good head on their shoulders, nice hair, good health, a sense of the absurd and of humor, moral, a little sarcastic, a little home-body-ish but not afraid to travel if the whim hits them. They don’t mind nights in or very casual nights out. I’m not a big traveler. I’ll admit it. I’d rather drive than fly. I just hate baggage and airports so much. You wouldn’t believe the number of single women out there that list, traveling the World, as their main objective.  Even if they have photos of themselves in Africa, petting a tiger while hugging an orphaned African child, they still are like, “let’s go traveling!” And all I can think is, “Shut-up, Not everyone has the financial security to gallivant all over the damn world and ski in Switzerland one week and then poke Indians in the eye with Slim-Jims the next”.  

As you can see I’m a little touched by the frustration internet-dating has wrought. The rejection on a mass, computerized scale is daunting. It’s a real blow to one’s self esteem, often. So you say to yourself, “Self, I’m off the websites, I’m going to see where the ladies hang out and I’m going to meet one!” So you put your App away, your laptop is closed and you venture off into the night and go to bars filled with dudes all looking for that one girl who is there without her boyfriend, sisters, book club, hiking group, breast-cancer support sessions, bachelorette party, drunken mean Goth friend, and who is generally amiable to speaking with a normal guy. She’s not there though. She’s at home, curled up watching Netflix and drinking white wine wondering why there aren’t any nice guys on-line tonight.

I’m tired. I’m so very tired of banging my head against the walls of trying to find a date that shares my ideals of intimacy, of romance, of mutual respect, acceptance and appreciation of high fashion. I mean, I like a woman that can crush a nice pair of heels and appropriate outfit; does that make me a bad person? No. I just know what I like.

I’ve tried to be what women want me to be. In the past I’ve made efforts to mold myself into someone I wasn’t necessarily intended to be and eventually the real me oozed out and wasn’t able to fit into the mold crafted for me. I know now that was a mistake and I’ve learned from it. I’ve been back to me for a long, lonely, time now.  Frankly, dating should be the furthest thing from my mind; I’ve got to get some financial security before I can go a-courtin’ effectively and with the intention of having something long-term. (Unless I meet that woman that wants to support my “art”. Wink-Wink).

Yet I’m still taunted by the main point of this piece, internet dating is Hell. Internet-dating, like all computerized dating, is too fast, too brief, too emotionless, and too swipe related. It’s almost impossible for the nice guys, the nice men, the nice graying haired, rapidly aging guys to rise above the superfluous profiles of Bro-Johnson and his ripped abs, classic Monte Carlo and Lake House for use in the summer, where his dad has a boat and the parties are Kick-ass! I mean, really, I should have my own Lake House and boat where my parties are kick ass at my age, but I don’t so, meh.

I guess I just needed to vent about the terrors of internet dating, for guys, for me. Women are mostly in the driver’s seat when it comes to whom they’ll decide to connect with on any particular dating site and much like the real world I just have to have a little more patience that she’s out there, just waiting to swipe right on my charming profile pic. I just have to accept it for a while longer, at least until I die alone, in a puddle of my own (Fill in the blank) __________.

Just kidding, don’t despair. Your favorite writer will be fine, Stephen King is happily married. And I think I’ll be okay too, eventually. Every once in a while we need to shake the “Lonelies” out from our fingers and re-adjust. Now, to get back to my bachelor pad and sit around in my underwear and watch TV, eat crap, and go to bed. Woo-Hoo life is spicy!

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