For those of us who have reached our forties and managed to remain single, the Kafkaesque world of online dating is often the only practical venue left for us to seek intelligent life with complimentary naughty bits. The last time I had the wherewithal to wade into the swamp of internet dating was in late 2015. If I remember correctly, I went on a few dates with women who did indeed possess the requisite naughty bits but were depressingly lacking in intellect or anything else to stimulate my above-the-waist imagination.
An odd side-effect of being essentially single for years at a stretch is that my former envy of those involved in “healthy” relationships or marriages has transformed into something that more closely resembles pity. I have been privy to one or both sides of my friends’ boy-girl fights more often than I can possibly recount and of course, being the neutral party in these situations, I find that people in relationships are the worst possible advertisements for the act of being in a relationship. He said this, she said that, he checked her phone, she spied on his Facebook feed, and on and on and on. It’s like having front row seats to the world’s most boring and passive-aggressive boxing match. Even the “good times”, when described by these same people, seem to always have an undercurrent of desperation. In my opinion, this has much to do with the fact that I don’t believe humans were meant to be eternally monogamous creatures but we’ve inundated our animal urges with so much idealistic romanticism in that direction that we feel a natural growing apart is somehow a failure. So we stubbornly live out our lives hand in hand with someone we’d just as soon push off a cliff. On this particular subject, when I say “we”, I mean “you”, just to be clear. I haven’t engaged in such masochism for quite some time and don’t intend ever to do so again.
But those of us who are happily single do get bored sometimes, and so we take to the dating sites in the hopes that we will meet someone that may be at least temporarily compatible with our lives of stubborn independence. For the record, I have had a couple of long-term (by my short-attention-span standards) relationships that began on Match.com or some related site, but those were very much the exception and not the rule. But here’s my biggest personal handicap when it comes to constructing an online dating profile: I am completely incapable of advertising myself, of talking myself up to attract a potential mate. When I read the profiles of other guys who seem to have no qualms about doing this, I actually cringe in embarrassment for them. The online equivalent of a peacock strutting about with its plumage on full display isn’t a graceful mating dance; it’s a sad public broadcast of a poorly hidden inferiority complex. What will follow is the text of my last online dating profile. I saved it all this time because I thought it was clever, albeit enormously ineffective. After reading it, I’m sure you’ll understand why my inbox never overfloweth-ed.
Choose your own adventure! It occurs to me that I’ve been limiting the potential success of my online profile by targeting a very specific demographic of women in the approach that I use. In the interest of broadening my horizons and keeping myself open to more than one specific “type” of potential mate, I have crafted several different introductory statements, all of which can be found below, conveniently numbered and labeled. Feel free to choose the one that best speaks your language, or if you’re a more complex and nuanced individual, mix and match until you find the perfect combination that’s just right:
- The “straightforward” approach: I am a man who knows what he wants and isn’t afraid to pursue it. I am looking for a woman who is ambitious, confident, fun and adventurous to compliment my busy and fulfilling life. If this sounds like you, please drop me a line (must have photo!)
- The “new-agey spiritual” approach: I seek a sensitive soul who shares my love of animals, meditation and self-help manuals. I have a wellspring of love and compassion to share with the right woman (and the world!). If you like tofu, nature hikes, and sign all of your e-mails with the word “Namaste”, please drop me a line.
- The “nervous laughter even when typing” approach: I’m new to this online dating thing, so please bear with me. LOL! I’m not really sure what I’m looking for, but a friend told me this might be fun. LOL! I love sports (go Cowboys! LOL!) and dancing (but I’m not that good! LOL!). If I sound like your kind of guy, please drop me a line! LOL!
- The “dark, bitter and jaded” approach: I don’t know why I’m on this stupid site. I couldn’t decide between dating and hanging myself from the rafters of my attic with a self-fashioned noose, but since I can’t find a suitable length of rope, here I am. Drop me a line. Don’t drop me a line. I don’t care. We’re all gonna die someday, anyway.
- The “stating the obvious” approach (combined with the “acting humble by claiming that my friends had to point out my attributes or I would never have known” approach): My friends say that I’m friendly, funny, outgoing and kind, and I am looking for the same. I love to laugh! Would like to meet a woman who is financially secure, not a drug addict, and fun to be with. I am not into games, liars or cheaters! If you’re looking for the same qualities, please drop me a line.
- The “I am going to cram every dating site cliche into one paragraph” approach: I am a guy who lives life to the fullest! I always see my glass as half full, not half empty. I work hard and play harder! I am looking for my soul mate and won’t settle for less. If you’d like to hear more of my astounding lack of creativity, drop me a line!
- And finally, the “too lazy to formulate full sentences” approach: ‘Sup? Lookin’ for sumpin’. Whatev. Hit me up.
I hope I’ve covered all the bases. If none of the above approaches appeal to you, let me know and I’ll try to accommodate your needs, you precious bundle of fascinating uniqueness.