brief snapshots in time. memories and thoughts. disorganized and random.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

real entertainment

As I sat out under the stars listening to two amazing musicians perform, watching everyone around me happily coupled, I realized what I really want.

Someone who will pack a picnic, bottle of wine, and a blanket. Someone who will be happy to just relax under the starry sky listening to amazing music.

Little did I know that the show would become eclipsed by my (non-existent) love life as the true entertainment of the evening.

My friends came over after the show and we sat in the backyard drinking more wine and beer. They were intrigued by the concept of meeting someone through the internet, as all met in college and have been happily married for, basically forever.

They insisted upon viewing the pictures I had chosen to represent myself to the world. Maybe that's being a bit presumptious, how about just to some of the single guys in the area. They insisted upon reading what I'd written. They insisted upon looking at possibilities for me.

They debated which photo should be my main one. Whether I was witty enough, or too witty. Whether I was too wordy, or needed to say more. Whether axe-murderer-look-alike #1 was the one for me.

It was very entertaining. For them.

I felt a bit dissected. I wanted to yell at them all to be quite. That they have no idea what it's like. That it's not fun and exciting. It's tedious, yet, apparently necessary.

That the last thing I want to do when I get home at night is spend another hour in front of a computer trying to meet someone. I want to meet him in my everyday life, doing the things I love.

That just doesn't seem to work.


Yoda said...

When I read a post like this, I have to wrestle with the opposing forces of support-and-encouragement for a friend and awareness of the unfortunate realities of online dating.

The harshest of the realities of online dating is that it broadens one's horizons to such a degree that it's hard not to think that the "perfect" person must be somewhere within reach. The search is so conveniently laid out that with a few clicks of the mouse, one might...just might...find someone better with just. ten. more. minutes. searching.

And there's the rub: There IS no perfect person. No matter where people live or what they do with their lives, they're all basically the same, have the same worries and concerns and doubts and fears and triumphs. That's not to say that these things don't come in varying combinations...but the years of online dating I've done have shown me that no matter how wide the net is cast, the catch is the same.

If perchance one DOES find that really rare, spectacularly compatible person, they live a thousand miles away and in spite of how appealing they are in e-mails and on the phone, then time spent with them in person is jarring, and no matter how real the intellectual connection was, one is invariably left wondering if it was there at one goes back to the search, because another list is there for the taking.

You can, however, turn an understanding of all this to your advantage.

If you recognize that people are all subject to the same fears, then understand that nearly every guy whose portrait you see is as worried about how he looks as you are about how you look in your portrait. If he has admitted to his friends that he's dating online, he's probably been subjected to the same scrutiny you were. (If he's lucky, he has...anyone would be lucky to have friends who care so much.) Even when you can't find anything in his text that indicates things-in-common, remember that you at least have THAT in common at the start.

Read for the quality of communication in a portrait, and not just for the interests a man lists. When you're in a relationship, you'll come to enjoy many activities you might never have imagined yourself doing. It's how you communicate with each other that will inspire you to broaden your horizons to include these things.

Reply to every man who writes, even if all you do is use the little macro "I don't think so" thingies. I'm sure I'm not the only one who spends an hour or more crafting each introductory e-mail, and it's very frustrating to get no response at all from someone listed as a 100% match with 24 of 25 "things in common". If a man has put forth some effort in his e-mail, he deserves the courtesy of a reply, even if the answer is, "No."

Lastly, don't put all your dating eggs in one basket, so to speak. If you're not meeting guys in your everyday life, then try to find something else to love that might offer opportunities to meet new people!


hubs said...

i was trying to say some of the same things as Kurt (in a much less eloquent way) when i commented a while back that "...we ALL have the job, packed calender, and high standards."