READ THE PROFILE: A Brief Treatise on Online Dating, and, Here We Go Again
“So, do you work for an airline?”
The question this 67-year-old man asked me hung in my face.
Why would you ask that when my profile clearly states that I’m a Fortune 100 consultant, a prize-winning author/journalist and an international adventure traveler?
In all the years that I’ve been putting up profiles to meet people via the Internet, I have found very few who bother to read the carefully-constructed written description.
When said profile states VERY clearly that I prefer younger men, athletes who share my deep and lifelong commitment to health, then reaching out to me if you don’t fit those parameters is a tad insulting. I am, as I sit here this morning, getting another round of several hundred likes and hearts from folks on Zoosk who are in terrible, awful shape, who do not fit what I clearly state I want, and by doing so, telegraph how little they respect my preferences.
One of them said just now: “White men are your enemy.” This from a 71-year-old man in Texas.
Really? Honestly? My enemy?
This, gentlemen, is why you are alone.
As I am currently in Bali, I might point to the thousands upon thousands of much older men who move to Southeast Asia, dump their wives and take up with lovely brown-skinned teenagers who are younger than their granddaughters. Similarly there are spots in the world where older women can find teen-aged boys for precisely the same reasons. All they have to do is sit alone on a public beach in Zanzibar and they will be swarmed with muscled young Masai men on the prowl for a towel. The word “pedophile” comes to mind, but that’s just me. Doesn’t make me right, and it does make me opinionated. I think there’s a difference between a preference and a pervert, which has a great deal to do with curbing one’s urges. As long as there are places in the world which will cater to anything for someone with money, and there are people desperate enough to do whatever it takes to get that money, well, there you are. Again, that’s just an opinion.
Those of us who are single, and who like a certain type, have reasons for that preference. Many of the men I am interested in indicate an age range which is much younger than I am. However, what I have found over the years is that sometimes, those very same people- who are forever surprised to find someone of my vintage in my kind of shape and with my attitude about life — are quite happy to meet. One of them was a love for ten years. Another, for eight. Age is something we judge folks by, initially, and sometimes an outlier is deeply attractive. All you can do is try.
However if a profile clearly states that they are ONLY interested in younger women, why on earth would I reach out to them? That only underscores how selfish I am, and how heedless I am to their stated desires.
Last night I began a lively conversation with a 45 year old man who thinks I’m gorgeous. Whether that goes anywhere or becomes anything is anyone’s guess. The point is that putting yourself out into the River of Life is what creates a discussion. If you take preferences too personally your nose is going to get bent out of joint. If you lie about your age or your weight or your physical health, you’re going to get rejected. Deservedly so, to my mind.
We are all of us largely visual folks. A photo is going to drive traffic. However, a large number of us also put in the time to write up a description, and that offers many clues to who we are and what we like. My long time experience is that men look at the photos above and instantly reach out. They rarely bother to read what I want. What I prefer.
Then, when I point out that they are, ahem, not what I’m seeking, they are offended, pissed off, defensive, and often go on the attack. Sometimes they get vicious, and I get them dumped off the system. Rightfully so. If they’ve done it to me, they’ve done it to others and will do it again.
All of which would have been easily avoided had they bothered to invest the time to acknowledge what I prefer. What others prefer. Which is our perfect right.
Which clearly doesn’t matter to them. This goes for women who impose themselves on men who have no interest in their body types, their ages, lifestyles or preferences, then get bitter and spiteful when rejected.
Shame on all of us who do such things. Life is tough enough, and it is bloody well difficult as it is when we are looking for company, not to have some righteous jerk castigate us for our preferences. Grow. The. Hell. UP, ladies and gentlemen.
The enormous and unreasonable ego need to be gorgeous to all people is just that: unreasonable. There are plenty of folks who think that Gisele (married to Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady) is unattractive. Plenty of folks who do not find George Clooney handsome. Plenty of folks who find my muscles offensive. Plenty of folks who think I am way too skinny. That at this age I should be at home making cookies for the grandkids (which I don’t possess).
Those opinions are their perfect right. However to lambaste me or anyone else with said opinions says a great deal about an ugliness that lives within, rather than the recognition of your and my right to live, express, exercise, be in this life as we wish — preferably without doing damage to others.
Whether we are male or female or other, the lack of respect that is implicit in ignoring or attacking someone’s desires and preferences is how we lead with our need, not our regard for others.
In the extraordinary variety that is our collective humanity, there are going to be people perfect for you and me. Those who like a little extra padding. Love the dignity of grey hair. Are more fond of the recliner than Red Rocks, where my friends and I want to run stairs. People who love cats as much as you do, people who hanker after a Harley ride. In that vastness there is probably going to be someone who picks up your dance card eventually….
but not if you spew the Universe with bile, anger, bitterness and resentment. Ultimately, if you and I are spending time alone, it’s because we need to be with ourselves. When we experience that alone time as the gift it truly is, then perhaps we may draw someone to ourselves who appreciates us for who we are, not some grossly unfair fantasy of “shoulds.”
There is a good deal of feedback out there online, some of it worthwhile and a great deal of it wholly unnecessary. I can’t speak for anyone else but I value that which guides me to grow. If I need to be alone for a while, lick my various wounds and tend to whatever personal work that is necessary for me to move forward, then so be it. That’s a gift.
If the Universe deems me worthy of good company, then that will likely happen. That’s also a gift.
Ultimately, simply to be in life is a gift.
And that is love enough, for now.