Online Dating

Online dating is so weird.

You try to write up the book blurb for your life: A divorced mother of three, out on her own after a decade of marriage. She fills her days with cooking, knitting, and gardening. She finds comfort in faith and in family. Now, the time has come to seek new love. Who will she end up with? Is it the 41-year-old single dad who likes walks on the beach and the Bruins? Is it the 38-year-old old-fashioned gentleman who still likes to open doors for a lady? Is it the 33-year-old geek who watches Doctor Who and has a Weeping Angel statue as his profile pic? Or is it you?

The sites ask you questions.

“What is the first thing people notice about you?” Advice on writing a good profile says to avoid cliche answers, such as “my eyes,” “my hair,” or “my smile.” I stare at the question. What the heck do people notice first about me? I would have said my eyes, but I don’t want to be cliche. I skip it.

“Six things you can’t live without.” “Don’t make cracks like ‘oxygen’ or anything based on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs,” say the internet sages. I start thinking about things I can’t live without. There aren’t very many. Eventually I give in and add some nerd jokes. I move on.

“What was the last book you read?” I can tell I’m going to need to update this answer a lot. I answer honestly: Guy In Real Life, by Steve Brezenoff. It’s a YA novel about World of Warcraft, which is a bit embarrassing. Tomorrow, my answer will probably be a romance novel about cowboys, however, so I have to consider these things relatively. Maybe I should start cherry-picking more? In the last few weeks, I also read The Creation of Anne Boleyn, Torch Song, The Hanover Square Affair, And One Last Thing, SPQR: The King’s Gambit, The Twelve Clues of Christmas, and Agile Testing: How to Succeed in an Extreme Testing Environment. Is one of those better? I’ll just run with honesty. And orcs.

Then OKCupid has all of these questions, ranging from “Would you date someone with kids?” to “Do you believe in God?” to “Have you ever been in a master-slave relationship?” Fortunately, if you don’t answer any one of questions, it won’t show you anyone else’s answer to that question. I don’t answer that third question. In addition to your own answer, you can say which answers you will accept from a partner. This feels very strange to me, but I go through a lot of the questions.

And people message me!

Hey sexxy

hi.

Hi

r u a sexy mama? 🙂

Hi

trade pics??

whats up? Chat?

where r pics??

Hi there!

hi

The wit and charm is a bit overwhelming.

One Lothario sends a message saying, “I’m not what you’re looking for, but I wanted to say hi.” I should have just trusted him, but I click over to his profile. He’s looking for some “quality one-on-one time” with a nursing mother. I delete and block. And wash my hands.

Clearly, I am going to need to be the aggressor here, or else lower my standards a lot.

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