Profiles in Courage

            If
you’re single, or if you just have a few poor single fools, uh, friends, left
out there, you know that when it comes to dating, it’s brave new world.  For all my spiky jewelry and witty
sarcasm, I’ll be the first to admit, I’m a coward in this area.  If dating is a game, as so many
(obviously married) people like to refer to it, I’ve been happily warming the
bench with the lion from Oz and the little nose picker whose dad thought sports
would toughen him up.  I’ve written
before about how tough it is to send my writing out into the world and watch
the rejection letters come trickling back.  But as I said then, at least I could learn from those.  I could rewrite, revise, or, worse comes
to worse, start again.  When it’s
you you’re sending out into the world, it’s even scarier.  Short of undergoing more plastic
surgeries than the Barbie wanna-be featured on Inside Edition, I can’t rewrite
myself.  I can however rewrite my
profile–again, and again, and again–until my 4000 characters perfectly capture
my essence, or at least amuse another poor single fool taking a shot at online
dating.

            Truly,
these profiles are what make dating sites hilarious.  If you’ve never been on one, find a friend who is and spend
a few hours reading what people write on there.  It’s far better than Prozac, especially if you’re lucky
enough to be in a serious relationship. 
As a “female searching for males,” I can only view guys’
profiles, but there is plenty there to keep me amused.  For instance, I never knew how many
single men in the Massachusetts area enjoyed walking on the beach.  Really, I spend all summer on the
beaches of the Cape.  If there were
that many singles guys walking the coastline, they should be washing up at my
feet like dead horseshoe crabs in August. 
And then there is the plethora of men who love serious conversation,
which, as a woman, I define as conversation involving the sharing of values,
emotions, and/or desires.  As a
writer and just an all-around nosy person, I listen in on a lot of
conversations, and I grew up crashing my older brother’s parties and
eavesdropping on everyone I could. 
There were lots of heated conversations–usually concerning sports or
politics, and nearly always following heavy drinking, but other than the
occasional drunken, “I love you, man,” I wouldn’t have qualified any of them as
open outpourings of one’s soul.  It
seems being online, in an environment where the chance of your best friends
reading your profile and questioning your manliness is slim, makes guys
braver.  Sometimes, this is a good
thing.  I find it endearing when a
guy can admit to being a geek or liking to cuddle.  Other times these guys (and girls, I’m sure) would do better
to remember that someone is out there reading these profiles and trying to
glean a first impression.  It’s all
about marketing yourself–carefully. 
Saying you’re close to your family, great.  Admitting you’re a momma’s boy, not a turn on.  One attempt at a serious, sexy, or
thoughtful pose for a picture, intriguing.  Using the wink and finger gun pose in every picture (all of
which you clearly took of yourself), disturbing.

            Alright,
so I can only chide these people because I know my own profile is hideous.  No one can manage to write about
themselves and sound sincere, but not pompous; funny, but not obnoxious;
intelligent, but not bookish; and compassionate, but not sappy, all in one
paragraph.  So what you end up with
is something between a cliché Hallmark card and poorly executed stand-up
routine.  The best you can hope for
is that someone of the opposite sex will read your profile and chuckle, able to
read between the lines of the ridiculousness enough to catch of glimpse of who you
really are.  Most often, I’m
willing to give a guy the benefit of the doubt in hopes that a few good men will do
the same for me.  I may not be
called to the Kennedy Center anytime soon, but at least I’m willing to step up
to the plate, and I’m thankful for the brave souls of the other gender who are
willing to do the same.  Play ball!

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1 Comment

Filed under The Rest of Life

One response to “Profiles in Courage

  1. DON’T get me started! The worst is, when you see a profile that might have a couple of weird things, or a weird picture, and you send a message anyway, and you don’t hear back from the weirdo!

    Like

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