I’m going to be incredibly blunt in this post.
I do not like to date. Well, I guess I mean first-date, or date around. I know that I’m not the most experienced at this, but I’m telling you: it’s for the birds.
I do not like walking towards someone for the first time and having them wait awkwardly for me to approach. I don’t like wondering if I should hug them or shake their hand. I do not like realizing 10 minutes in that he sort of reminds me of my second uncle. The one with the bad teeth. I do not like to guess at whether or not I’m talking too much or too little. I do not like trying to get to know someone over food — first of all, nerves and hunger do not harmoniously exist within me, and secondly, I’m a messy eater to begin with. So, one might then ponder, WHY do all men pick Italian joints for a first date?? Anything with sauce is going to wind up in my hair. I promise. Anyway, whatever, it’s just not my favorite.
And then there’s the whole issue of meeting people to begin with. Bars (ew). Friends of single friends. Friends of your married friends (all two that are single). Online dating. Home Depot. The frozen food section of the grocery store.
What I’m quickly picking up on is that I’m not the only one who is rather maladroit at the whole gig. And maybe, just maybe, I’m not even bad at all — at least not by comparison.
Let’s take the online dating realm. Since joining, I’ve been inundated with some fabulously derpish/creepy messages. After just shy of a month on the site, I’ve decided it’s time to pack it in. Why? Because however entertaining the content of these messages may be, they beg the eternal question: WTF is wrong with the male population?
You just can’t take common sense for granted. Nah. Nope. Nada. Recently, I have died many a gnarly death from the secondhand embarrassment brought forth from digital attempts at socialization. Case in point, here are this last week’s top 10 examples of ways NOT to start an initial correspondence:
1. “I think I’m in love…”
2. “I was wondering if there is any chance you might like to have a romantic relationship. It can be a friends with benefits type to begin with, then once my work schedule clears up in a few months, I will actually have free time to fully date and progress things from there. At this time, it is better if I do not have the drama or stress of a typical relationship. I just want to have a lot of fun hanging out and fulfilling our desires, while we get to know each other.”
3. “I enjoyed reading your profile, especially the part about your spare time activity – writing. I do that quite a lot in the late hours of the evening, mostly as an antidote to the depression.”
4.”Hi, I’m Brian. I read your profile and wanted to say hello. Since you love the written word so much I thought I would share with you. I’m a hopeless romantic. I started to dabble in writing poetry. Here is something I wrote you might like:
I touch you with my words
As they wash across your body
Over your breasts, through your torso
Down your legs to the tips of your toes
They wrap around you to make your heart race
To keep your warm and make you feel safe
To give you hope
To make you dream
Of beautiful love and the most romantic things
Then one day it will be
And one day soon
It will be the most incredible thing
When you know someone truly loves you…….”
5. “Are you part banana? Because you’re a-peeling!” — tied with — “You’d better direct that beauty somewhere else, you’ll set the carpet on fire.”
6. “So, hypothetical question…if you were to be, let’s say, attracted to me…AND, let’s say attracted to my female friend…would you wanna make out with us? I promise we are not ugly and I have pictures.”
7. “Hey, i just wanted to tell you that you look straight gorgie <3”
8. “You could honestly have my heart without even trying. Your beauty dominates me.”
9. “Hello, I’m Chris. I’m 31 and I’m new to Arizona. I’m traveling to San Diego tomorrow and would love some company. Care to join me?”
10. “Why do all the charming women have a thing for Christ?”
I mean, I signed up for this, so I was ready for a bit of internettish creep, just not the heft of this dose. Even browsing on my own, I find myself more than slightly appalled. Let’s just briefly chat about some miscellaneous tips and points to ponder for men attempting to win over the opposite sex via the world wide web:
Do not refer to your canine as your “doggie”. Baby talk is not attractive.
Your webcam did not “give [you] a confused look”. That’s just your face.
No one cares that you can “bench press 290 pounds”. Cool story, bro. That’s, like, the weight of a newborn elephant.
I see that you all like to describe yourselves as “laid back” guys. What does that even mean?
Shirtless photographs are tacky. So are Droid selfies of your flexed biceps or your not-very-good tattoos. You might also double check that the photo doesn’t show your wedding ring. Just a thought.
If it says that I’m interested in a 28-38 age bracket, I could see you being 27 or 39 and messaging me anyway. But no, no, quite the contrary. You’re 53. Or 21. We have nothing in common, I promise.
If I list myself as Christian, and you list your favorite book as The God Delusion, I’m not sure why you’re messaging me and checking my profile 8 times a day.
Referring to me as “you gorgeous little girl” makes me want to vomit. Profusely. Please die.
Dear BigRob: Your message — “I take the visit with the lack of reply as an ‘I’m not interested’. Sorry to have bothered you, take care” — was really sweet. Despite your lol-able screen name, I hadn’t deleted your initial message (which you sent less than an hour ago). Thank you for the complimentary red flag. You represent the passive aggressive, repeat-message sending folks in all their charm. I tend to particularly want to reply to the repeat messages that begin with “Not to seem desperate, but…”
In short folks, the internet is the Louisiana swamp of dating: just as scummy as your local watering hole, only larger. And with more
I had initially intended to comment on all arenas of meeting new people — and the difficulties that arise for each — but frankly, I’m a little exhausted now, and if you’re still reading, you probably feel the same. So let’s just assume that you did in fact meet someone at the farmer’s market. Or you agreed to go out with your friend’s boss’s son. This is all hypothetical, of course, with no basis in my reality.
Anyhow, you go out and you have a nice time. Nothing earth shattering. You know before you sit down with him that this is not going anywhere – and it’s taking it’s sweet time. You are, at best, slightly resentful that the polite action is to sit through the planned activity. You listen to them tell you all about their sales department and the time they got food poisoning in Tiajuana (you don’t say…). You try to be a good listener, but you’re distracted by your self-induced restless leg syndrome and the (hypothetical, of course) regret that you’re not at home in your pajamas blogging and listening to your toddler boss his blankie around. You’re mostly paying attention, but you’re also mentally grading sophomore Sydney Aguilar’s metafictional narrative essay – it pays to have a photographic memory on dates like these. And then the check arrives and you insist on going Dutch, and he puts on his best wounded soldier face and pouts until you put your Visa away, and suddenly you’re ok with your beverage choice of water-with-lemon. He walks you to your car, you awkwardly side hug, drive away, and then, he goes and does it. The day-after text: “I really had an amazing/incredible/awesome time last night. Can I take you out again?”
It’s not him, it’s you. Clearly it’s not normal that you’d rather have spent the evening knitting beanies for next winter, drinking hot chamomile tea in June, and watching So You Think You Can Dance whilst racing to change loads of laundry during commercial breaks. He’s nice. He’s a gentleman. He wears Express polos and khakis like it’s his job. He’s successful. Hygienic. Smart. He’s great. It’s you. You suck.
At any rate, the right thing to do is to be up front, right? Just be straightforward?
No. No, that’s not what you should do. You should not be direct. Not unless you want a barrage of scorned backlash thrown in your face. Clearly, you should just ignore men until they get the hint, or play other fun games that I don’t know yet, but should probably learn. Because, you know, you don’t value your time, and you care that much.
Back to the gist: I hate dating. I was not built to be on the lookout. If this were the Hunger Games of dating, my picture would be up in the sky first. I’m just not a capable predator. We can safely assume that thirty years from now, I will not be a very good cougar.
I’m getting around to facing the obvious-to-everyone-else: this isn’t me, and I don’t need it. What’s meant to happen will happen, and in the mean time, my life of Dutch Bros. coffee, Sprouts shopping, and Carter-cuddling is more than enough to keep me a happy lady for, well, ever.