My friend Mariana recently emailed me a link to a NY Times article about online dating. It discussed a somewhat alarming (to me anyway) trend in online dating – a lack of chivalry, and occasionally downright cruelty in the world of cyberdating. I found this sort of unsettling because I can see some of this in my latest travels through the dating sites. Luckily, not the cruel part. I do at least have the ability to “read between the lines” of a profile to get the sense of whether a man is a gentleman or not. I think lots of other women can’t or don’t do this.
As the Times article goes on to say, we find ourselves and who we’re looking for in a mate reduced to a series of check boxes…what religions are you willing to date? What hair color do you want in a date? What body type? What kinds of movies, food, clothing, vacations, body type, eye color, blah-blah-blah MUST you have in your ideal mate. Given that, most dating profiles get little to no response because…they have brown eyes, not blue? Or they don’t like to go kayaking on the weekends? Apparently, this is the case. Profiles get no response or, worse, a negative response. The anonymity of the web tends to make many of us forget our manners.
After a two and half year break from online dating I’m now finding that profiles I read are getting longer and more specific about the minutia of details that must be had in a date. Impossible standards for even the most casual of coffee dates.
Depressing to ponder this trend. Of course, since I’m known to be nauseatingly upbeat and Pollyanna-ish (my friends tell me this all the time…while rolling their eyes in patient exasperation) I am going to try to beat this trend. You see, I read another article awhile back (sorry I don’t have a link to it as I’ve forgotten where I read it) that explained how profiles that said very little about the person tended to get more response as they were more intriguing….AH! MYSTERY!! I’m betting that something as old-fashioned and un-trendy as a little mystery just might turn the tables. Because after all isn’t that what dating…I mean actually physically going out with someone and having a conversation is about? Getting to know each other slowly, finding those similarities and differences that make us each unique?
I’m going to whittle my profile down to a few interesting points and details and then, well…I’ll let you know what happens.