Have you heard the pop song, “6-2” by Marie Miller, with the refrain “Lord, I don’t care what he looks like”? The Daughter and I laughed about it when we first heard it, as the singer goes on to ask God for her ideal man, which changes as the song unfolds.
Last week, I ventured into the world of online dating for the second time. I chickened out the first time after accepting a 30-day free trial offer. With the Daughter’s help, I carefully crafted my online profile, trying to sound intelligent and witty. Besides an essay, I was asked to describe myself and my preferences, which you can opt out of by selecting “No preference.” Well, you know me, I have plenty of preferences and made clear what they are. I even indicated what would be a “deal breaker” (eg., smoking). Despite all this, within 12 hours of posting my profile, my inbox was flooded with “likes,” “favorites,” and “winks” (don’t ask—I don’t get it, either). I found that I was “matched” with men who didn’t match me in any way, shape, or form. Not only were they from more than 50 miles away, but I didn’t match what they were looking for in a date.
For example, the very first match I got was for a man in Manhattan (NY, not Kansas). He sounded very interesting, a professional in the world of the “theater arts” with an “advanced degree.” But 200 miles is a little far for my first foray into what is, essentially, a blind date negotiated by strangers and computers. More improbable matches followed, so I did what most of you might have done, I took it down after less than 24 hours.
Last weekend, after speaking with several mature, sophisticated friends who found their admirable spouses through online dating, I decided that I might have been too impatient. They told me it takes six months or so to weed through the unsuitable and sometimes downright creepy people.
This time I paid for one of the “better quality” services, thinking the internet gods would be more selective, but, alas, it continues to be a nightmare. Yet again, in the first 12 hours after my profile appeared, I was bombarded by likes, instant messages, emails, and those pesky winks. In the first 24 hours, a man, who did not fit my profile preferences, not only asked me out for a drink but sent a follow-up the next day commenting that he had driven through my community and thought of me and demanded that I respond or click the “Not Interested” button. Guess which option I chose?
Actually, I have no dating experience. A smart-mouthed teenager, I didn’t have a single date until my senior year in high school. Yep, I was Sweet Sixteen and never kissed. A male classmate told me, “Oh, sure, lots of guys think you’re cute, but you’re such a— such a lady that they’re afraid you won’t go out with them.” All those Seventeen magazine articles about good manners and the right clothes hadn’t helped at all.
And then, out of the blue, one guy was impressed by my smart-mouthed remarks in our Sociology class, where we both challenged the teacher’s theories. That guy turned out to be seriously smart and kind, with an intense focus on where he was going in life, a love of music, theater, and art, not too shabby to look at, with great manners and even an appreciation for — ME!!! Knowing a good man when I saw him, I asked him out, latched on, and never looked back. I don’t think he ever knew what hit him!
Since then, I have learned a lot about men. They are all perfectly happy to be 12-year old boys, emotionally. They may excel at surgery, weld intricate pipes, command ships, or create the latest information technology, but, at heart, they never got past the age of 12. Their bikes now come from Harley, and their toys are more expensive and dangerous, but they remain boys. They buy expensive seats at sporting events and concerts instead of performing, but they live vicariously through their favorite athletes, action heroes, and rock stars. The most immature still think women in men’s magazines haven’t been airbrushed, or, even worse, they simply don’t care. I don’t know any real women striving to be Barbie (except the ones I see on reality television), so these guys will be waiting a lonnnng time.
I bring this wisdom to my current online dating experience. When asked to describe their perfect match, I actually saw a man say “a C-cup is a bonus, a D is a definite match.” OMG! Do you understand why I’m frightened? It’s unnerving that he thinks that the woman in my tasteful, ladylike profile picture is waiting for him to call. Oh, wait! He’s not a thinker. He gets the big red X.
Most of the divorced men want a woman who will “appreciate” them, who are “kind,” “patient,” and “calm.” WHOA! You work out those issues before you talk to me again. I ain’t that woman. Then, there are several Mr. “I can’t wait to spend time snuggling with you.” Ewwww! On a first meeting? In a public place? Get a dog, buddy! Better yet, get a therapist.
Or, how about, my late wife was “a real stunner, turned heads wherever she went, but I don’t expect I’ll find that again.” Oh, really? Well, since it’s impossible to compete with that, let’s not try.
Of the many men who have “favorited” [sic] my photo, I sent an email to one who sounded witty and compassionate and had some very similar life experiences. I guess he is not as confident as my high school boyfriend, because I’ve not heard back. OK. Works for me. Maybe I just scared the 12-year old boy in him.
Sadly, I’ve also seen widowers who detail how they cared for their late wives in hospice. It tears at my heartstrings, so I say a little prayer for them and move on. Either they aren’t ready to date, or they’re manipulative. Finally, my least favorite are the 62-year old men, in poor physical shape, who want a women under the age of 50. I look at my 62-year old self and think, “You’d be darn lucky to have me!”
This could be my dating dilemma. The Daughter says I should consider if a man is worthy of me before responding. Seems a little arrogant, but I think that’s the same advice that I’ve given her. I’m not looking for a lifetime commitment. I’d just like to have dinner or go to a movie with a sane, intelligent, adult male, not a 12-year old boy. I guess, I’ll just have to be patient. I enjoy being with my daughter, mother, sister, and girlfriends. Stay tuned. As the song says, “Lord, take your sweet, sweet time.” So, who am I to complain? Life is good (mostly). Soli Deo Gloria!