One of the things I had to learn in life that has been instrumental in building me as a human being has been the ability to tell people when something bothers me at the time of it bothering me. Often times I find myself or others will hold in these things until they boil over which never ends well for anyone. Being able to say “Hey, I know you had no ill intent with your comment, but it bothered me and here are the reasons why. Perhaps in the future you could be mindful that this has history with me and while I do not feel you need to censor yourself around me, when it comes to this specific thing, it would be great if you could approach it will care”
This sometimes backfires. I often get told:
“Well how can I be myself around you?”
“Now I have to censor my way of speaking?”
“I am an honest person and will always tell you what i am thinking”
To the last one, I love honesty, and I would never want someone to feel hindered in their ability to talk to me honestly, but I think there is a difference between honesty and understanding another person’s life experiences and feelings due to them. Being courteous of how you phrase something so not to trigger a bad experience or past moment is important. However I have always found those boundaries are hard to explain and even harder to express in the moment.
But, with work, I have gotten pretty good at it. And, let me tell you, it has helped me so much in my relationships. First if the person is open to hearing why the thing they said may have made me uncomfortable that is a great start. Second if they broach it in a different way the next time it may come up, allowing them to still be open and honest, but not invasive on my own personal “space” it is truly a magical moment. To be aware of how what you say can affect others is so important, especially in the age of inflectionaless texts.
So, while I am not some poor snowflake that will crumble, there are things from my experiences in life that will make my brain go “EEEEKKK” and can affect my entire mood. But if someone is aware of those, and I make a conscious effort to inform them, as they will have no way of knowing as we get to know each other, I feel like we can grow together, being mindful of each others triggers and past experiences that are not specific to one another but can still make one another uncomfortable. So that freedom to speak up at the moment is so important to me and it is important that others do it with me too. I cannot dodge every mine laid down in the field by past experiences, relationships, etc. Eventually I will hit one. And as unintentional as it may be, as I have no intention to cause harm or discomfort, letting me know, or I letting you know when you hit one, can help two people really move forward in the communication that truly builds a relationship, friendship, or amicable human interaction.
We all have some baggage. We all have bad experiences. But we also don’t know these things when we are new to one another. Exploration is part of getting to know someone, so if both people approach it with this attitude, I find those “oops” moments to be something less of a “FUCK THIS IS NEVER GOING TO WORK” and more of a “My bad, learned, noted, will broach differently next time”. This isn’t censorship, this is compassion and understanding of a fellow human.
So please feel free to step on all my mines. Just know I have learned over time, to let you know at the time of explosion, what just happened, why it happened, what it makes me feel like, and how I would prefer we approach it in the future. And if you have a suggestion of your own as well, please feel free to chime in and I will do the same for you! Afterall, even though with all the left and right swipes of people we can bring in and out of our lives, we are both getting to know one another for the first time uniquely.
If we hold onto to too many of our past experiences and judge others upon them without speaking up, just looking at them as “oh man they are about to step on that moment in my life, they must be just like the last person who placed it” the other person has no chance in hell to ever navigate the “minefield” of “experiences”. So please help me navigate and I will you so that even if we do happen to stumble, we know and can grow as humans, as two people together, and become stronger because of it.
So as important as it is to be mindful of others and how they feel. Being able to express your own comforts and discomforts is equally important.
Something I truly believe in is this: I am not your ex, but if you go into the relationship assuming I very likely could be, I stand no chance to be a unique person that grows with you as an individual. It is like gambling at that point and the house holds all the cards. This also lets you know a lot about how open a person is to actually meeting someone new or if they need to do some self healing exploration first.
There is a big difference between “pissed off” and a rant made for myself with the intent of another reading it. I don’t know if I am just an old man now and my writing because I wrote it over the last decade is aging poorly, but people seem to think when I write I am angry… and in the day and age of overly enthusiastic yoga masters that live at the beach and other exotic locations, doing nothing but smiling, perhaps the Instagram generation would see anything with a strong opinion as angry.
Over inflection to allow for comedic relief and enjoyment from the reader is all over my work. Just like in real life, my use of sarcasm and sardonic humor. Not dissimilar to telling a fable over a fire. There is no angst or anger in my writing. I am usually laughing out loud during the writing sessions depending on the topic.
But on the other hand it doesn’t surprise me at all that it would be read differently specially in the social climate of 2018. Where people have forgotten debate is OK. And it isn’t always yelling. And sometimes things are not black and white. I am someone who jokes and laughs at about everything. I have a tattoo that says “and go the fools among” on my arm for a reason. I prefer to see the world that way rather than just wallowing in self pity over the crap I cannot change.
Modern dating is fantastic if people knew how to use it properly. But alas, 98% of the population prefers to follow the road traveled to get to Point B from A. So finding someone who uses it in a unique way is often hard to find. And before you get upset that I am putting people into a bubble of generic, scroll through profiles, count the words: “sarcasm, travel, family, friends, and iPhone” Everyone is a fucking professional rock climber, with 1 million frequent flier miles, with stock in lulu lemon and sunsets.(even this sentence would sound jaded, so why don’t you read it like a stand up comedian going on a hilarious rant, because obviously I am awesome like that)
Tell me something I don’t know already, and I get interested. Tell me your day wasn’t “Good, thanks” or that more than “nothing much” is up and you have my attention. So while yes I do think bringing a flower to a date is quite nice, I do not believe we have to go back in time to get he most out of the world in front of us. But we do need to embrace things out of our comfort zone to allow these apps to work.
Online dating has a major catch. I call it the “Oh and one more thing”. This will probably be the name of my book or the next stand up comedy routine. These are the things you will not find out about a person until you are
A: About to centimeters away from their vagina. (before sex)
B: They are laying on you naked afterwards. (after sex)
C: You just won’t find out until you have had at least a month of dates. (lots of sex)
It doesn’t matter how many correspondents you have enjoyed with the person, how many texts have been exchanged, how many facetime calls you have done. These are the things where you are sitting there thinking, “Oh, this is nice, I wonder what she is doing tomorrow….” Then bam, they start saying, “OH AND ONE MORE THING”.
Now before I get into the heavy ones, let’s talk about the normal things you can expect to experience on online dating before even getting to the OOMT’s. (Yes that is the abbreviation I have created for it)
First you have the normal “white lies”.
Profile: I am 20, see my amazing awesome modeling pictures?
Reality: I was 20, 20 years ago, when I posted those pictures, 20 years before that.
This can break off into I am “athletic, skinny, fit, etc”
The weirdest part about this one is, do you think I am going to like you more or less if you told me your actual age? Because you tell me when we meet. So why are we bullshitting and setting up the meeting on a lie?
Now you have the subtle ones:
Profile: I like traveling, people who are sarcastic, long walks on the beach, love dogs, have a kid, and kitty cats.
Or it is a little more subtle…
Profile: Photo on their profile of them at a Gwar concert doing shots and in the background is a tiny child holding up a sign that says Mom and an arrow pointing at them.
And lastly before we get into the “OOMT” ones expect many people to have these following reasons for being on online dating:
I wanted an ego boost.
I just broke up with an ex, in no way am I ready to date, but I signed up because I didn’t know what else to do.
Feels inadequate for some reason.
Friend made them do it.
Wants to fuck.
One thing you will never have to worry about finding out later:
“I am a vegan”
Usually followed by, “but this doesn’t mean you have to be one and I can eat anywhere.” Which is a blatant lie, unless of course you don’t eat pizza, hamburgers, or are a Vegan as well. But don’t worry they will make sure to hold that Vegan status up in the air like Rafiki did to Simba over the cliff.
Ok, now here are the OOMT’s I have encountered in my time with Online Dating:
Setup: We had a beautiful day of talking, laying in the park, having dinner, maybe some drinks, and we go back to her place fall asleep together without having sex. Wake up the next day, go sunbathing on their rooftop, walk around NYC for a little and head back to get take out. So what do you think would happen next after such a nice two day excurtion, if you guessed sex, you are correct.
OOMT: So I am about a hair length away from consummating this wonderful extended date as she leans into my ear and whispers, “Oh by the way, I have herpes”. To which my penis retracts into my throat and I am not sure what to do as I am suspended only by my now wobbling muscles. I get up, sit on the side of the bed, I ask “uhm, can you explain this more to me…” and they say “most guys don’t mind”. Yup. The infamous, get him to think with his dick so he doesn’t make an educated decision on whether or not he wants to engage in this. While this is one of those situations where I am not upset with the person because an STD sucks and I am not sure when the best time is to tell someone, I definitely know it isn’t when you are about a centimeter away from her vagina.
Setup: Meet at the bar, sit down for drinks, they say they are hungry and begin to order an extraordinary amount of food. Which at first seems awesome, because they are comfortable eating infront of you and just being comfortable.. However…
OOMT: After the order is placed they say, “I am just looking for a friend right now” the catch, and usually not verbally said, “that will buy me dinner”.
Setup: You meet a very nice person. You get along extremely well. Shit you even have a connection that feels out of this world good. You can see in her eyes she likes you back, the conversation is fantastic, everything is just going well. Around the second or third date you go to kiss her.
OOMT: She pulls away and says, “I currently live with my ex boyfriend because it makes sense monetarily, I just broke up with a guy who broke my heart, but we still text regularly, and I am just not emotionally available for someone in my life right now.” SO WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU DOING ON A DATING SITE?! You can break this one into a two parter as well, where you meet someone and they say they live with their ex and it is over, but if they find out about you, they will flip the fuck out and ruin the others life. To which they will hold you accountable for it and daemonize you regardless of the time you spent together.
Setup: You have had a few dates and are at the point where they come over to have sex. You begin to kiss and get naked and start sexing…
OOMT: They have a traumatic past with rape and submission to the point where all of a sudden this person is pushing at you, squirming, and saying no very loudly. You jump off because you are now scared shitless that you hurt them, read the signs wrong, or did something wrong. You ask if they are OK, they say yes, sorry, and to keep going, so you try one more time and are met with the exact same reaction. You get up, take your condom, immediately flush it down the toilet because at this point you don’t know what the fuck is happening, come back into the room, they are smoking a cigarette at the window. You sit down next to them and ask, what just happened? Are you OK? They look at you with a confused look on their face and say, “What? I thought you were done.” To which you then explain what just happened and they say, no that didn’t happen. You ask them kindly to leave, they then tell you about their rape fantasy due to past trauma which they basically were blacking out not remembering the moment for the time being. At this point you let them sober up and walk them to their car, not sure what the hell to think and trying to figure out how to change your address.
Setup: You meet someone who you believe is kind and you would like to spend more time with. You end up spending a good amount of your time getting to know them and growing your connection. Then…
OOMT: You find out they are self medicating for severe bipolar disorder and don’t believe in doctors to help because they have their shit together. On top of that they are only a vegan because it allows them to foster their eating disorder. Ultimately leading to them sitting in your bathtub telling you they are afraid of your moving boxes and threatening to kill themselves, so when you call the cops, you are shocked when confronted by someone with a badge how all of a sudden they are coherent and no longer afraid of your moving boxes, leading you to only one logical next move… ask the police to stay while she gathers her stuff and leaves.
Setup: You fall madly in love with someone who says they used to have a problem with drugs but they fixed it. Knowing little about addiction of this magnitude you take them on face value.
OOMT: Eventually they look up what an overdose of vicodin is and take triple the dose before coming over to your house where you have to hold them in the shower, call a hotline, and almost call a hospital. In my case this eventually lead to me learning a lot more about addiction, how she was an EMT but could only function if she took morphine, eventually helping her check into rehab, and realizing I was no longer able to be a part of her life because she needed to change so much that I didn’t even really know her anymore. All while being cheated on with her ex drug dealer boyfriend and so many other wonderful moments. Honestly though this one was one of the most amazing moments for me because I learned a lot about the subject and people in general.
Setup: You have gone on a few dates with someone and everything has been pretty great. You ask her to dinner again and she accepts. You meet at her place and suggest a few places. She says OK to your first choice of Thai food.
OOMT: As you walk into the restaurant she loudly says, this place smells like they eat cats here. She is overtly rude to the waiter for no reason, she coffs at the two languages on the menu and emotes loudly via huffs and puffs about how everything sounds horrible and she hates these people’s food. You realize, holy shit, this girl is racist. You ask if she wants to leave as you are secretly apologizing to the staff around you while she isn’t looking and she insists that you should stay since you are already there. Her food comes, probably with a side of spit, takes one bite and goes, “wow this is really good”.
Setup: You are on your 3rd or 4th week of dating and you go to a restaurant. The check comes, you ask her if she wouldn’t mind splitting it after carrying the bill for the previous dates.
OOMT: Her face goes blank, she slaps her card on the table, she stops talking to you for remainder of the dinner. As you are walking her home, you try to figure out what the hell just happened and finally get out of her, “I have never had to split a dinner with any of my previous dates or boyfriends, I don’t know how to react to this. It’s fine… it’s fine… ” But it is not fine. Now let me be clear sure I could pay for all the dinners, but I want a partner in everything in my life, not just the romance, but the mental parts, the financial parts, the partnership of life. I don’t see it as a disconnect from chivalry but a realistic approach to a sustainable relationship.
Money has always been something I have loved and hated, had lots of it, had very little of it. So to me it is just something you work on together, and when it is assumed immediately that as the guy you are supposed to support everything it is a turn off to what i see as an unbalanced relationship this day and age.
Setup: You go over to a girl you have been seeing for a bit’s house to watch a movie. She gives you her laptop to pick a netflix movie while she freshens up. As you are browsing Netflix you see the other open tabs on her laptop.
And then you combine everything you just experienced into one:
Setup: You meet someone, everything is going really well, you have great chemistry, conversation, interactions. You have some really great sex. As she lays on you afterwards and you are in your happy place thinking, this she be nice to continue to get to know more about and the awkward parts are out of the way, she says
OOMT: “Oh by the way, I have a sugar daddy. I fuck him 1 or 2 times a week and he pays for everything for me, bills, expenses, etc. I don’t plan on stopping.” Then on top of that she says, “I don’t really want a relationship and don’t see you as someone I would marry because you won’t financially support me and you want an equal relationship monetarily, but I think we would make great partners until that time comes when I want that.” Meanwhile you are butt ass naked, her on top of you, unable to move because you don’t know how to react to everything you were just hit with, and stay quiet for majority of the evening before she leaves. Now thinking, why would I want to share my life with you for an extended period of time, knowing I am not the person you are looking for, thus wasting my time, just for some sex?
Do I want to spend time getting to know you, knowing I am not your money maker? Do I want to share my experiences and life with you knowing I will eventually have to retell it to the person I actually want to end up with afterwards?
Setup: You meet someone, you have a wonderful time. You date quite a few times. You obviously have sex at some point. Eventually it doesn’t work out and you end it.
OOMT: You get a text at 1am saying “I am pregnant”. Now this from a person who if they broke their nail would send you 50 texts throughout the day about said nail, you have a feeling this is some fucked up vindictive way to get back at you for ending the relationship. But you sit there for weeks with a pit in your stomach wondering if they will call or say more or if you should just wait it out. Wanting to do the right thing regardless, you are stuck feeling the worst you will ever feel. Spoiler: it was a vindictive lie.
Setup: You have a fantastic conversation via text and email before meeting. You find their textul wit and intelligence fascinating and you are looking forward to meeting in person.
So these are just some of the “Oh and one more thing” moments I have experienced. I am never prepared for them. I never see them coming and I consider myself a pretty intuitive person. But unfortunately online dating has become this place where people use it as the last bastion of internet anonymity. Thinking that if they either play off your hormones or “relationship status” they can drop things on you that are absolutely relationship changing tidbits of information. So whether they made the profile for an ego boost, a low sense of self confidence, believing online dating is a place where they can be what their profile says they are, or the infamous OOMT, you are stuck looking at your ceiling, uncomfortable and questioning why the fuck you are still on these apps. And since most dating is done through apps these days, if you will actually find someone who uses the app for the same reasons you do: because it is a wonderful way to meet people if you don’t feel like frequenting a bar that smells like piss and regret every night, it could be quite pleasant. For now though, I continue to stare at my ceiling in disbelief.
Tell me what conversation you can have on Tinder, OkCupid, or any dating app that is going to tell you more than an in person meeting?
If you have established the person is not a serial killer through sharing social media or other such mediums, why must there be some made up “online dating” etiquette to make everybody feel vindicated that they “followed the rules”.
Fuck your rules.
Your rules end up with a date with someone who you don’t like the smell of, has bad breath, a voice of a tiny rodent, and a horrible sense of self. And guess what? They just happened to be an amazing writer. Those twitter sized bite size faux texts on your dating app sure did save you time…
ONLINE DATING IS AND ALWAYS WILL BE AS SIMPLE AS:
“Finding the other person attractive”
“Seeing if there might be some similar likes/dislikes”
And that IS IT. And hey guess what… that is NO DIFFERENT THAN MEETING IN PUBLIC PLACES. For all of you who think online dating is inorganic, the only inorganic thing is the amount of choice and ease of approach. In person you have to get up the nerve to say hello, online you hit enter and never look back. In person you get to see the person, mind you with more depth perception and being able to compare them to yourself and see a 3D version of them, but the attraction is what makes you want to say hi, not their amazing ability for “sarcasm”. Shit an in person meet might not even get to number 2. It might just be getting the number and setting up a time to meet, AGAIN… IN PERSON…
You HAVE to meet, there are too many mitigating circumstances that go into dating and meeting someone for you to be able to make an educated decision or even know anything about the other person without it. But if you want to harp on the fact that X amount of messages were or weren’t sent, you want to go back to texting nothing of consequence, and making snap judgement without knowing a damn thing about the person, go ahead, but please for fucks sake stop swiping right on me.
How do you get the exposure to an online dating profile in a sea of hundreds of thousands without sacrificing integrity and a sense of self? When my dad met his wife via online dating there was a much smaller pool of people who knew what online dating was. Now it is normal for a profile to start with “My friend made me make this profile” Or “I figured, since so many of my friends use this, I would try it out”.
Now no matter what I write here, I feel like I am holding a loaded gun and it scares me. I find self proclaimed “people gurus” often have the least idea of what a person is truly feeling. I call it being observant. Would it be so bad to fall into a mold of just being a “creative person” and taking the risk of writing this article? Or is the gun going to go off in my pocket for my own dating life?
We Control Our Content
Like many others I have googled “best dating profile”. And I kept coming up with the same conclusion over and over: Be anything but yourself. Uhmm… to which I think, we don’t have to dumb down our profiles. We control what is the “norm” when the content is driven by the users. Like life we have a choice to change, but it requires all of us. We want quick information, we want truth and honesty in profiles, we want an insight to those on these dating sites to cut out the bar hopping annoyance; so why not do it? Instead we wonder why, in a world of bite sized information, we feel ill informed on our dates, why they turn out to be a game of potluck when technology is giving us a way to make faster connections. We may like our news and coffee quick, but we all yearn for a “love” of some sort that lasts; are we all willing to put in the effort? Why can’t we just be ourselves? I have come to the conclusion that we have told ourselves we can’t. We have literally said, “I am too lazy, I do not accept, I will fill this out later”. We have accepted dating sites in their current form as “the way it is” instead of “what we want!”
I really enjoyed reading through your profile actually, it shows you are a mulch-dimensional person; unlike most profiles (and messages) on this website. Although, I do fall under my own criticism, I kept mine short and quite to the surface for “shits and giggles”. “ -Okcupid User
“Hello there 🙂 It was a treat to read your profile…you have a lot too say and you seem like a big thinker which is hot in my book lol. I can’t say I’ve invested as much in mine but you have me thinking I should lol.” – OKCupid User
We are setting the standards low for these sites by not actually putting in effort. Do we not realize we are the “customer” in this case.
Instead of following some “guide book” we can choose to be whatever we want and the site, in order to maintain its monetary worth has to adjust to us, not the other way around!
We are so caught up on instant gratification and the idea that we can have the “winning” profile that we forget to be ourselves, at all of the places, a dating site. The place to potentially find someone for the rest of our lives, like my father did. We are compromising on our own happy ending.
We have accepted the fact that OKCupid is turning our dating into highschool crushes. “Check Yes or No if you ‘like’ me”. Popular kids are marked by a red mark under their message box saying they “reply selectively and then the rest have orange or green.
I felt compelled to message you (despite the ominous red message saying you “reply very selectively.”) – OKCupid User
The site plays on humanities yearn for the “chase”, even if the excitement fizzles out after we actually get to know the other person. Get rated highly often, well OKCupid will now show you to more people who also are considered “attractive”.
P.S. Did you know OkCupid scales their subscription model depending on your age, sex, and location? It can range from 4.95 to 29.95. The younger and more “desirable” demographic you fit into, the lower the price. You can game this system as well, by changing your age and sex to that before purchasing the A-List.
Breaking the “Code”
It is programmed social interaction in 1’s and 0’s. So of course there are tons of “how to game the system” articles. Someone wrote the code, so it makes sense that someone else figured it out.
I have this plethora of information I have gathered, not because I am seeking to write a self help book, a “Rules of Engagement” book, or even boost my ego. I feel a deep desire to publish this article about my experience because, finally in a world oversaturated with online dating profiles, inundated google search results for “dating guidelines” consisting of compromises that go against the very definition (mutual concession), I have found a way to be myself 100%. But how can I talk about this publicly without being considered someone who has “manipulated the system” or worse yet, the people who I am interacting with? How do I tell people about this amazing feeling I have now, that I have validated my ability to be me without pulling the trigger on my own hard work? Especially because I still am looking for that person that makes an article like this obsolete in my life. A person who makes me shut down a dating profile for good. I am actually looking for the means to an end, to create a beautiful beginning; naturally, organically, and somewhat digitalized.
I have read, watched, listened to so many of the “how I hacked online dating”. Each has their own formula, statistical analytics, and long winded explanations.(My right brained personality can’t even open excel without wanting to rip out my eyes) But at the end of the day, would I be meeting people who really just wanted a guy who was “sarcastic and humorous with a side of manliness” or would I meet people I could truly connect with? How can I maintain my integrity and personality and follow all these “rules”? The truth is, for me, I can’t. I want to be able to go on that first date and know I can be 100% myself and I won’t feel upset or empty afterwards because I was portraying someone else’s ideal man, the “norm” of bar hopping, and “sarcasm/humor”.
“Most dating advice exists to “solve” this grey area for people. Say this line. Text her this. Call him this many times. Wear that. Much of it gets exceedingly analytical, to the point where some men and women actually spend more time analyzing behaviors than actually, you know, behaving. Frustration with this grey area also drives many people to unnecessary manipulation, drama and game-playing. “ – Mark Manson
Sure I have used some of the statistics to my advantage. OkCupid being the weapon of choice, has released many breakdowns of what people on their site are attracted to, photo and profile etiquette, and subsequent articles published about the best practices for the site. But it made me cringe when I would look at the “top” profiles listed in these articles. If one more person told me to keep my profile short, I was going to scream. I have a lot to say dammit!
“Far too many people are looking for the right person, instead of trying to be the right person.”
HDR Black and White main photo(for that “manliness” appeal which I address in my profile to make sure there is no deviation from WHO I am**)
a dress shirt(for that classy approach)
a cat(luckily I own two and love them unconditionally, although only one makes for a good model)
combined with a self deprecating joke caption.
I follow up this piece of the puzzle with a very straight forward blurb in my profile that let’s me still be myself even though I succumb to the “statistics”.
**“If you are looking for the guy who is mysterious, I may not be your choice, not because I am not good at keeping the intrigue going, keeping you on your toes, or being a “man”, but because I choose communication over fighting down the road over notions of “who I am with you” and “who I am with myself”. I can dress nice, I can grow a beard, I can also shave and look like a total bum. I am great with my hands, but also text faster than a jack rabbit, doing what jack rabbits do quickly. Perception really. Your wants at the time of reading this and my perception of what I want. Does that mean if we agree with each others profiles it is inception? *epic music here*”
The rest of my photos are snippets of who I am, I include pictures I think I look good in(always followed by a caption that is not serious) and then my goofy side(followed by a caption that is serious). Playing off the contrasts of oneself.
The only photo that even uses a formula is my profile photo in black and white. The rest are just as many different variations of myself that I can provide. We have good days, bad days, exciting and boring days. So I want to show all of that. I want to be transparent.
I have tried many many iterations of my profile, from a casual 1 line response, a ridiculously stupid humor only profile, to one where I tell all. Each got different types of responses, but none were even remotely personal. The less I wrote the more I got approached, but that approach often fizzled out before the first meet. I felt as if I was compromising myself by catering to the “percentages”.
The problem with all of my profiles is the length, it is said by every article about online dating statistics that a long profile is a death sentence.
I refused to believe you couldn’t write a long profile if you had something of interest or passionate to say. The problem is to get someone to actually read it. I found that if I put a disclaimer up front saying:
“My profile is long, if you are pressed on time you can skip it”
…was the tiny piece to the puzzle that made it OK. It allows those who don’t want to read it to just message me, that I am approachable, and feel as though looking at the pictures is a good enough start, but it also gives off the feeling of a challenge or accomplishment to those who might slog through my stream of consciousness.
“I actually read your entire profile…” -OKCupid User
Then it becomes difficult, how do you validate someone reading a small novel that is your “profile”? How do you not come across as too jaded or make the other person feel as though you are too good for them or have nothing left to offer? How do you convince a world addicted to 140 character limits that 500 words isn’t the finale of my personality?
“I read through your profile, and there were moment that I thought … “hmmm… This guy is a little too honest.” … Then I thought, “I use to be that honest… When did that become a bad thing?” “ -OKCupid User
This is what I thought, why can’t I be honest? Why can’t I be the un-abated version of me? I wanted the first conversations to not come as a shock as I clumsily fumble my way through the “getting to know” process. I wanted people to already understand I was not the perfect one liner, but someone who would blindly feel around to get to the deeper stuff, unafraid to humble myself or admit to it not working out. (and trust me this isn’t something you just inherently know how to do, but with some effort you can learn)
I look at an “About Me” as a place to really talk about me, not just pepper with ideas my mother has told me about myself, although those are nice too. Although, again, statistically improper:
“2) Don’t make your “About Me” opening section so long that even your mother would find it boring.“
One rule of thumb: If someone has to scroll down more than twice to get to the end of it, it’s way too fucking long. Give people an overview of who you are and what you care about. You don’t need to go into how much you’d love to find a man/woman to be your “partner in crime” (shudder) and everything you’re looking for in a relationship. Your objective at this stage is to find someone you can stand and who can stand you; don’t jump the gun. You can bore people with your hopes and dreams for love later.
Also, avoid listing adjectives to describe yourself such as the mundane “attractive,” “intelligent” or “funny” (see above). This is standard advice for writing that you’ve probably heard: Show, don’t tell. If you describe what you’re like and what you’re doing with your life, people reading your profile can see for themselves that you’re attractive, smart or funny. (Or not.)”
I mean I am not going to write a book, but I find self awareness to be sexy, so why not try my own hand at it as well? So I use the about me to give the general idea. But you need more than empty words on a website to show your true passion for your “idea” of yourself. This is where the section “What am I doing with my life” helped significantly.
My occupation as a photographer carries all sorts of stigmas, the most popular being:
“ I feel like you probably meet a lot of really beautiful people through your photography, so it amazes me that you are even on an online dating site. “ – OKCupid user
My own business model has been refined over and over again to try to break free of that, so I decided why not literally take the work I put into my mission statement for my photography and copy paste it here? Is it personal and exposing, sure! But if I am putting so much effort into my job, why can’t I do the same with my love life? It is many years of work and the blunt truth. It also shows passion, which I and apparently many others find sexy. So instead of looking at me as the guy who looks at “hot girls” all day, it shows that I am on a dating site, so obviously I am not trying to date my work and looking for something real here..
Add onto that, that passion doesn’t always pay the bills, hopefully the people I will attract, will understand I am doing what I love and all others need not apply. I will lose the “wallstreet” types here but I am trying to ease the blow of my work so later on, I don’t have to defend my career choice, and instead share it and be supported for it. I had the high paying job, sports car, beautiful apartment, and feeling of “making it”, but it didn’t make me happy or fulfilled.
My work section is a topic for many to intro themselves to me with, it plays into those who put an emphasis on work over the other sections of the profile provided, but again it is 100% me, no compromise needed.
Being yourself is OK, the validation:
Instead of breaking down every aspect of my profile, since honestly it has been written over time and is extremely stream of consciousness, let me explain why I feel it has been validated, against all odds, statistics, and google results.
“Hi 🙂 so I saw that you “liked” me and after enjoying your (very detailed) 🙂 profile I thought I would send a message rather than just a like back. Since you were so thorough in your descriptions I’ll just go ahead and put my truths out there too.
I love photography but the only class I’ve ever taken was my freshman year of college and only camera I have is my iPhone but still try to capture the special people, places and things I see that I know I’ll want to remember forever.
So I think that’s a lot for a first hello 🙂 especially since it’s 4am! I’ll let you digest and get back to me.
And thank you, your openness allowed for mine in return. It’s very much appreciated as it’s such a rarity now a days in life and especially in the online dating world :)” – OKCupid User
The technical “trick”
(Image representative of an hour during a 24 hour period)
You can rate people on OkCupid from 1-5 stars. Clicking the 5 star sends an email saying you like them, if they like you back it starts the conversation via a “You like each other” canned message. It removes your need for an opener and you know they are “interested” for the first convo at least.
5 Starring everyone isn’t as dumb as it sounds, it is sort of like being your own wingman(woman). You have to talk to everyone in order to finally catch the eye of the person you really want to talk to. But the reaction I could have never predicted.
“I must say, I initially “liked” you because of your cool profile pictures (…and, you have a cat in your main one…I mean, that’s kinda unfair…). Then, I read your absolutely refreshingly honest and interesting profile (yes, I read it all), and, though I rarely message people, I felt compelled to message you (despite the ominous red message saying you “reply very selectively.”)” – OKCupid User
I “like” you
The “like” button has a lot of mind fuckery power attached to it, when in turn if the site exposed people to one another in a more organic way such as a real life encounter, there would be more people seeing these kinds of interactions. But for now it is basically throwing empty promises at the wall, hoping someone will walk by in time to catch it. It feels degrading. It has the “celebrity effect”, where you are creating a bigger pool of “views” in order to catch the eye of someone who mixes well with you, but also having to not take the “fame” to your head and act better than other.
“Engaging, thorough, and much foresight = your profile… It’s overwhelming, yet a relief! Finally, someone on this site says it ‘as it is!’” -Okcupid User
“Hello there 🙂 It was a treat to read your profile…you have a lot too say and you seem like a big thinker which is hot in my book lol. I can’t say I’ve invested as much in mine but you have me thinking I should lol.” -Okcupid User
But if they knew the site did it automatically, would the “like” still make them respond? Would we once again fall into the idea that a long profile = dating suicide even though it is clear from the responses I have gotten we truly want more from these dating sites?
“Hello! I read your profile (twice…alright, three times actually haha!) and really enjoyed what you had to say! I appreciate the honesty and detail you put into your writing. That is so rare!” -Okcupid User
I’ve gotten some of the kindest heartfelt replies and messages from being myself; A kid at heart, a thinker, and a goofball stumbling over my words in person.
You get out what you put in
“I don’t write long messages usually but I thought you seemed worth the energy.” -OKCupid User
We apply this theory to our day jobs and so many other aspects of life, but because we have “labeled” online dating as a fo-pa, joke, or don’t fully understand it yet, I feel like we still are not completely ready to use it to make true connections. Can we truly be OK with a slightly digitized way of meeting when we still hardly know how to do it in person? We are happier feeling like we can carry around the “trophies” or “abundance of choice” in our pockets via our smartphones, than actually thinking beyond the instant gratification or validation of our egos.
Directly from an article that turned me on to the 5 star “trick” in the first place:
“It’s easy to see how the attention could become addictive, so I ask James: When does it end?
“I don’t know,” he says. He describes himself as “romantic,” but, like a lot of people who log on and see thousands of singles within a mile of their Zip Code, he’s not really stressed about the end. “A lot of us want the best: the best job, the best apartment, the best significant other,” he says. And in his case, that might mean being the best bachelor as well—someone with the best stories of dating adventures to tell. In fact, he can’t stop thinking about this one incredible woman he met recently; they danced until two in the morning. Then he tells me about another beautiful, smart woman who fed him meat loaf at three in the morning. And then there was that woman with …”
Not only can online dating become almost addicting with the “choices” it can work the opposite way by us fearing the other person’s choices as well. Dating can be intimidating.. with all the different dates we go on, it feels like a rush to the metaphorical finish line of “pulling full attention”. So we work hard to get it, but do we compromise just being ourselves for the “win”? – http://lostintxtlation.tumblr.com/post/91546586723/intimi-dating
I am online for dating because I believe in the idea that technology can help us to skip some of the less desirable parts of “meeting” and truly make great connections. If we don’t invest some time into an honest profile, aren’t we just showing our faces for a physical attraction and then drudging through figuring out what in the profile was real and a boasted version of self? How does this differ than going to a bar? We have so much more control over our “self” on these sites than we admit to and I feel like it is time we start acting on it. Putting in the same effort we do with our jobs, passions, and careers into our love life as well. Eventually we have to meet face to face with the person we start talking to to really get a feel for a good match, so why waste time with “white lies”.
If I ever find someone who truly believes in this too, I think the entire date, interaction, and experience will be much more enjoyable to both people. But remember, I don’t love you….
Hey I just met you, and this is crazy, “I don’t love you”… txt me maybe? This is what present day society seems to defend harder than “I love you”.
Scenario: You meet someone, you have a good night, and now you are presented with a conundrum… do you use technology to enhance the ability to reflect on the moments you just had, using the time away from one another to use as time to know each other more through the wonderful noninvasive form of messaging… or do you get lost in their past memories on facebook ignoring the ones you just had… or even worse are you forced into a situation of who can hold off from responding the quickest to messages we all know are read immediately or at the quickest convenience. We are secretly defending our “dislike” for one another than our possible “like”. We are being punished for what used to be a legitimate way of decompressing from a date: reveling in the glow of the night the next day. There is a reason songs like “Maria” from West Side Story were written. It is because on a good date, we hear music, and we don’t want to stop singing about it. We are not in love, we are in like, and it is really fun to share that feeling rather than feeling as if it will expose our “true intentions” to love them by the end of the day…
“Trying something completely different here. I am going to stray from the long profile, just gonna express it how it is; if there is an attraction, let’s meetup and take it from there. I can write a TON here, (request my old profile if you dare lol), but then I find there is too much “Type A” or “Type B” stereotyping without inflection, voice, and just plain getting to know one another organically. I have multiple parts to who I am, as I hope you do too and would rather get to know you via conversation to portray those. So anything beyond this point is just fluff, if you liked my pictures, in my opinion.. but feel free to wander.”
The reason for this is because online dating isn’t organic, not in the slightest, but I think that is OK, as long as we accept it for what it is and skip the bullshit inorganic parts of it and try our hand at meeting if there is an attraction. I mean if I thought you were attractive in person I would talk to you right away, not text you for days until we met again. I mean how much time do you want to invest into someone who might be super attractive but pheromones are just off and you can’t stand the smell of one another?
A dating profile or online dating “resume” as I like to call it, can never summate the stuff in your head. I want to find someone who understands the idea of discussion. The idea that if I say something weird, I don’t have to dive into the ditch I just dug, but be able to continue the conversation to other parts of the plot to see if there is another hole we can fall into together. The idea that living through someones past or stalking someones profile after a date is not giving your own mind the ability to breath and enjoy the moment you just created. Oversaturating your mind with their life not the moment you just had together.
We prefer to open up with questions that are shallow, but have a proven record of working.
“Did you get into any trouble last weekend?”
“Have any trouble planned for this weekend?”
This is how we open. Our first encounter is based on a very general idea of sparking conversation but we do it in a way that is trivial. “So how did you and X meet” Oh well I asked her what kinda trouble she was getting into and she told me “lots”. Then we got a drink and boned… wow…
I am a bit old school when I think about it in terms of asking someone to be my girlfriend or date, I believe since we only get one chance to do this with someone, it should be memorable. I like to let things happen organically, but I also like the grand gestures as well.
Organic or not if two people are open to something it can work. Problem is as you most people see it as “an experiment". I think what that truly means however is “fear of the unknown”. Online dating isn’t any more awkward than meeting in a bar. It all stems on one thing, actually meeting. These back and forths mean nothing until you hear my voice, see my face, and actually get a gut feeling for someone rather than an educated guess. I have strong opinions about online dating and I believe that is healthy. Because in actuality if someone found love from it, they would not turn it down.
In the end we have to meet. Meeting is the only way to really know if the kind messages, sexy profile photos, or short or long profile are true to life. Being honest before hand is awesome and helps us to know if we want to spend our precious time with another person and online dating helps with this, especially for those of us with busy schedules. But it falls short with the amount of ways we can communicate prior to meeting. The first step to meeting is often exchanging numbers and texting. So we move away from the convenience of a keyboard where we can type many more words per minute, to a tiny screen in which we usually send texts of little to no consequence as fillers until we meet. Watching the little chat bubble pop up and down as the other person perfects their three word text to not feel too overbearing or interested.
“One of writing’s traditional advantages over speech is the time it affords you to collect your thoughts. This time empowers you to calculate your words’ effects on their reader. Rather than blurting out “YOU’RE SO HOT,” you pen a pleasing phrase: “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?”
Text and instant messages, however, are eroding this advantage. We don’t correspond over text and instant messages, like we do in letters; we chat in quick informal exchanges, like we do face-to-face. One of the underpinnings of spoken conversation is what’s known in linguistics as turn-taking. “We need some way of determining when someone else’s turn is over and ours can begin”.
The most common-sense workaround, of course, is to prepare your thoughts mentally before you begin typing them. That sounds easy enough, but some of us actually use writing as a way of working out our thoughts, not simply recording them after they’re fully formed. If nothing else we don’t consider the words blurted out of our mouths a finality but something that can be correct as can a word be spell checked after the entire paper has been written.”
The world isn’t ready for online dating if you ask me. It is a place to go after a breakup or to get recognition when you feel you have a flaw. It is made up of tutorials created by those who have written the same self help guides to sitting in a cubicle. The amount of messages that tell me mine is refreshing but theirs is “still a work in process” is proof enough in my eyes.
I will admit, I fell victim to the “OKRebound” after a bad breakup. I, as they like to call it, “serial dated”. A few dates a week to the point where I was showering just to go back out. It was vindicating and empty. But even when I explained it to people I met, they seemed to get it and accept it as a form of acceptable behavior. It was surreal. Actually the more my phone buzzed on the table with OKCupid notifications the more likely they would “be interested in me” without me having to say a word. It was a fucked up reverse psychology thing. I got over it pretty fast however. That isn’t what I wanted. And if someone else was going to like me more because of the “likes” I had, it was not a good indicator.
I wish I could express to people how online dating has as much potential as we allow it to and right now we aren’t allowing it more than a drunken nights dare or “I was bored so I made this profile… Oops did I post a shot of my ass in a bikini… Oh and I like long walks on the beach and sacrasm and the extra attention” *breaks computer screen*
“The Law of “Fuck Yes or No” states that when you want to get involved with someone new, in whatever capacity, they must inspire you to say “Fuck Yes” in order for you to proceed with them.
The Law of “Fuck Yes or No” also states that when you want to get involved with someone new, in whatever capacity, THEY must respond with a “Fuck Yes” in order for you to proceed with them.” – http://markmanson.net/fuck-yes/
Being online, is sort of like a gamification of dating to people.
“Haha I’m over it I just use it as a form of entertainment now just cuz I think what people say is funny I haven’t actually “used” it for what it’s for for a long time hAha you?” – OKCupid User
OkCupid’s Most Desirable
I got this message a month or two back. I was dumbfounded.
I knew the quantity of messages I was getting was not normal, but it was strange to get a message like this. It helped to validate that I could have a profile true to self and be considered desirable but it was a short lived moment when you compare it to who was actually picked to do the interview. I did not end up being used because they found someone who was much more TV worthy than I was, talking about how he uses “smileys” and “swiping techniques”, bragging about his lack of honest profile, how he lies on dates, and his general need to fuck as many people as he can through manipulation. You can watch that entire interview here: http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/video/online-dating-secrets-desirable-24753151
I warn you though, I almost shut down my profile after watching this. It literally made me furious with humanity for letting someone like this exist, let alone thrive.
Why I still have a profile
Why am I on here? Because I believe there are other people who trust in a convenience like this and will use it the way they want versus how a YouTube video or article in the Huffington post tells you how to. And they will be genuine and accept it for what it is, an online meeting system in which you allow to match you with others and then go from there. Because it is convenient, not a bar that smells like piss and regret, a place you don’t want to be, or are too busy to be.
Because out of all the people I have met I have learned many things about online dating, more than I ever thought I wanted to know, and sadly these things show me how much people fall into to groups or patterns. I can change my profile picture to attract a specific nationality or put emphasis on a certain part of my profile for a specific type of personality. But it is when I go out on a date and those formulas and structures get blown out of the water and I am no longer giving my thesis or biography to the person across the table but talking to them because it is enjoyable, but mostly when I become scared… Scared that conversations break all conventions and preconceived notions Leaving me in a spot of vulnerability to want to share all but not knowing… Just feeling the need to do it anyway, that is what I date for. That 1 out of 100(that is different for every person) that will truly make me feel the the possibility of love and having to put every ounce of myself out on the table to make sure I give it my all regardless of the outcome. To open my heart I must be open to the idea of heart break. That is how I approach dating even if I start to see patterns or stereotypes or formulas for successful or unsuccessful dating profiles, first dates, and the like. Because in the end no matter what the formula is and what you think you know when you find the person right for you, the reason it is a magical moment is because you are no longer running on rails but off course, enjoying and living a moment.
But even if we go on a successful date we are still littered with obstacles to overcome.
It is so incredibly complicated getting to the second date these days. The rules of “3 days before a call” have long been muddied, if not completely forgotten. Now you are faced with the dilemma of liking an Instagram photo, responding to a Facebook post, texting an indifferent message once every day or two so not to seem too interested but still interested enough until schedules line up. The balancing act of texts between multiple dates, hoping you don’t message the wrong person the wrong response, timing your texts so not to be assumed you are overbearing.
All these unspoken “rules”, impossible to master without literally not giving a shit, because texts are usually two or three lines of nothing of consequence. So you sit there looking at your time stamps and read recipes wondering if the other person:
Someone actually suggested, after reading the article above, an app that allows you to further disconnect from your date to the online ether by having the app follow up on dates you have been on so you can let the person know without actually talking to them if you wish to go on a second date or not. I guarantee this becomes a reality and more reasons to feel completely disconnected from the person you are meeting or just met.
The OK in Cupid
I believe online dating is incomplete. It, by the very nature of humanity, is an iteration… constantly evolving to what we define it as. To say I have the answers or know where to go from here would be a farce. Whether online dating is just a way to get “experience” a so called practice date, or it will eventually evolve into a place where we don’t hide behind whatever semblance of online anonymity we are holding onto and finally realize how important we are to one another. Ultimately I just want to be able to find someone to come home to, to be real with… “the one person for me” is better than the girl of my dreams, she is real. So for now I say OK to being myself. I say OK to breaking the “online dating rules”. I say OK to OKcupid, where I am actually looking for something organic, in this inorganic clusterfuck that is online dating, because in the end, it is me I have to be OK with. And if you have two people who are just OK, you have two people in a better place than the “perfect online dating profile” you have something real, explosive, difficult, frustrating, exciting, and explorable. That there is the very inexplicable definition of love, which to me is the perfect beginning, because love is not enough...
It’s funny I was just talking about a “sense of adventure” with a friend. We determined that I do indeed have one(golf clap), but I consider my time very important these days and find myself less inclined to be adventurous with random people. I would rather people I really enjoy the company of be the ones I give my spare time to and then opt to be stranded on an island with. I could leave a situation but I would prefer to not have to worry about leaving, but camping out for awhile. While this contradicts the word “adventure”, it makes the actual adventure itself so much more fun, rather than just the preconceived notion.
I suffer from some sort of social anxiety, which is ironic since I am literally a social butterfly by nature. I graduated as a theatre major because I could see nothing else for my in my life than interacting with others and putting myself out there for all to see. I was making myself “google-able” before it even existed. It is my default to be expressive and outloud. I thrive the more people are around me and the more people I can put on a show for.
But along the way, my brain changed, my comfort changed, my chemistry changed. I developed the need to know if there was a bathroom where I was going, not because I need to use it but because it signifies the comforts I have in my own home. It represents the “safety-blanket” of a space I have made my own. And at first it was debilitating. I felt like I would never be able to be myself again and I was a broken fragment of myself, but over time I learned it, I adapted to it, and I conquered some of it. It will be a constant struggle but I am OK with it as long as I am learning and evolving with it.
I wasn’t always like this, shit I was always the first one out the door and last one in. I would jump before you could even suggest it. I used to consider my time wasted if I wasn’t out and about even if that meant me not enjoying my evening. One day it clicked that happiness isn’t about being out all the time but doing what feels good at the time you want it. Watch a movie instead of driving around a parking lot or going to the bar or vice versa. But forcing it to happen was my downfall back when. It is that “holiday” pressure. Let’s get blasted because it is New Years, always ended up in the toilet. Not my idea of how to start the New Year. I would rather just go anyday I feel like it. tangeeennttt…
So dating can often be a scary thing… First dates are not scary to me whatsoever, however. I know I can hold my own, I know I will be myself, I know if they don’t accept me for me, then it wasn’t meant to be.(mind you I am still learning how to self preserve) Sure I will be upset if they are a beautiful person and I don’t understand why they don’t like me back, but I can’t control that, I can’t be in everyone’s head(as much as I try by expressions and tonality). I am one of those people who would choose insanity, while being able to hear every thought of every person than to be naive and sane.
But ultimately I make sure I am the best version of myself that I can be, that includes telling people about my shitty day or good day when asked. I don’t have the mind space to have different personalities for people or situations. Sure I know what is socially acceptable behavior or not, but I choose to be the same “version” of myself to the best of my ability in every case.
On some of these dates I have been on I feel like I need to be more careful who I get stuck with and when. Because I think a lot of my anxiety is not about being in control but lack of control. I under estimate my own ability to leave a situation that doesn’t make me happy. I am slowly learning to navigate that. Instead of going to a happy place, I am facing it more head on and learning when I am going because I just don’t want to be somewhere or if I am trying to escape myself. I often feel like I will disappoint someone if I say no. Learning to balance my yes’s and no’s is still a struggle.
I am learning how to tell someone I would like to get to know them before doing some crazy adventure. Seems to be an online dating thing where your first message has to “amaze them” or your first date has to be “an adventure”.. if I met you in person it would be different because I could get a feel for you, but online, I want to at least meet you before the crazy fun begins! I blame this on the idea that online dating overloads you with so many options you are looking for someone to “best” the other person.
So online dating has taught me something new, I have to be really critical of people’s faces. God, Tristan, you are so shallow!
Wait let me explain… So an online dating profile is comprised of 10 or so images of the person. First factor in: The person picked the photos they think best portray who they are, then take into consideration that you have different angles, lighting, and no actual three dimensional view of their face in these photos.
Let me first disclaimer this with: the beauty of these photos is obviously subjective to who is looking, what they like, what attracts them to another human being, and so forth. No one is being called out for being ugly, just for not fitting what I or another may be looking for or find attractive.
Ok now with that out of the way, let’s say you see one image you absolutely love. And you go, WOW. This person is gorgeous, I want to know more about her! Then you swipe to the right and see image 2, you brush it off because it doesn’t have the same effect but her ass looks great, swipe, swipe, swipe, swipe, same reaction but to different parts of her, except the face… But you don’t care, you know she is “gorgeous” in photo one and fits the physical criteria you have set. Wrong. You have become fixated on what you want the person to look like, not the overall.
I am a victim of this. Whether you have 3 images or 100, you can literally get so consumed by one shot that really plays to what you are looking for that you ignore the other images. You are not looking at the whole picture. I am a photographer, I understand angles, lighting, and makeup… yet even I find myself having to remind myself to look at the images together. If I am attracted to 10% of her face in photos, this is not going to work. When you meet in person you are going to essentially put together all those photos like a 3D printer would, piecing together a real person not a flat image.
It is so important to like 90% or more of someone’s face in their photos because they portray a complete picture of this person. They show their good and bad sides whether intentional or not. If you can feel connection from the bad sides and the good, the real life meet is going to blow your mind. You are going to be sitting there waiting for them to walk into whatever place you are meeting, and when they finally do, you are going to forget how to be cool and how to keep it together as you oogle them. Their eyes now having shine to them, their skin complexion, their hair motion… everything turns into a beautiful moving image, what people before online dating would have called real life.
I used to be so fixated on making sure someone took care of their body, wasn’t out of shape, and presented themselves truthfully, but I was so focused on that, I would often overlook the face. The face is the part that stays as you age, the eyes don’t change, the lips don’t change, etc. This is the most important part of the body(other than your mind, haters)! The part you see when you kiss, the part you see when you wake up, the part you look at while talking about your day, the part you wanna smoosh when they are being a doofus. (I do have a two face theory as well if you are interested: http://lostintxtlation.tumblr.com/post/74653633662/the-two-face-theory )
Don’t get me wrong I still think it is important to take care of your physical as much as you take care of your mental state of health, but the face is something we can literally forget about when it comes to online dating and seeing image after image of people, flicking through them like a deck of cards. You become numb to the details. But if I can offer any advice, it is that if you don’t feel with almost 100% confidence that you are attracted to someone’s face, don’t go on the date, delete the match. Sure you might have gotten along really well as friends, and sure someones mind and personality truly do makeup for more than 70% of attraction, and it is true, I have experienced the process of getting to know someone more and finding them more attractive the more I knew, but the face is so important, it tells so much of the story. So don’t sell yourself short. Even when I have felt that deeper connection with someone, I always loved their face in every photo, in person, and in general. The rest of the body be damned.
With online dating this is even more important because when you don’t have the ability to assess them through your sunglasses on the subway, understand the dimensions, feel that strange “connection” or “attraction” first hand, see them part their hair to the side of their face, and are just skimming through a bunch of “headshots” never getting to see them act or a reel, you really need to make sure you want to kiss them every day, for the rest of your life. I know, crazy talk, but I honestly believe it. This shit isn’t organic, so embrace it and perhaps you will have a better chance of not feeling disappointed by yourself for casting your own smoke and mirrors, just to get to the “date”. It is OK to say no and it is OK to be picky. There is something for everyone when it comes to what attracts us, so make sure you are looking for the right things. That is what I am trying to do, stumbling as I go, but learning each time I stumble. And just so I feel better about writing this outloud, no I am not “trying to hard”, I am literally just writing outloud how my brain works. This is me, for better or worse, I will think about forever after before I even meet someone, but I don’t go into it expecting a fairy tale ending, I let myself be, and through being, I take a step at a time, with many educated jumps ahead of me.
This girl messaged me on OkCupid and I was actually really looking forward to meeting her from what she said in response to a message I guess I sent a month back saying “You need more smiles”,
“I just saw this message. You sent it in May and it is now July.. That probably means that you are no longer single. Your profile is probably a dead entity taking up virtual space — just like mine. Anyway I read your novel. You’ve got sass and I like that. But specifically sass with a purpose. Purposeful sass if you will. Like there’s something going on in your mind. You know how many people seem to have nothing going on in their minds? A bunch of people walking around who are already dead on the inside. Anyway if you are not in something serious, engaged, married, if OKCupid has not yet fulfilled your wildest dreams we should talk more.
No emotion in my face girl”
So one would assume from this message, the back and forth would be a LOT of fun, as well she would not be into social norms that make you have to disassociate with normal thought process in order to “game each other” into wanting to talk more, rather than just talking in a flow of thoughts and ideas.
So I sent her a message back, started slow, one paragraph (that is hard for me!)
She wrote back 2, and asked for me to tell her something she didn’t know. So I wrote back 4 paragraphs.
4 days go by, nothing..
I don’t check that site often so I ran across it and pinged her, “Hey did I lose ya?”
She writes back no, we should meet. I am like ok cool.
Number given. 3 days go by nothing.
I message her again asking what’s up. I do however break that message into two as my thought process is not always succinct. Figure why not. I am not giving her a ring, I am asking about making plans.
It seems like these “Hey are you alive” messages are the only way for her to respond as she replies almost immediately and says, let’s me Friday.
Ok, cool. (OR SHOULD I SAY HOTTEST DAY OF THE YEAR!) So I suggest the place and we are a GO!
I always leave a bit early for meeting people. I like to be on time, but heat, traffic, and friday rush hour =’s me being 30 minutes late. I messaged early to say I was stuck in traffic and would be late, I rushed in the subway, ran a few stairs, ya know the “give it effort while trying not to melt in 107 degree weather for the first date”.
So I get out of the subway and immediately call her phone to say I am here and apologize once again. She says she went into the store close by and will be down in like 10 minutes, I was like thats cool, she is probably checking out or some shit. Least I can do is wait for her to finish up whatever she was doing to pass time while I was trying to get there.
So somehow I chose Columbus Circle, the CENTER OF “wind”. Wind hits the center monument/fountain from 3 or 4 different directions at once, making the heat actually very bearable and comfortable. The fountains spraying a mist of lovely water in your face as well. I was watching couples who just went into the fountains laying out on one another, thinking to myself, man too bad this is a first date, that is a fucking great idea, and honestly my ideal date. Comfortable soaked, relaxing, and just talking. Ahh so much fun to see, the ballet street performers, the skate boarders, the annoying “camera man” shooting his light bar of 50000 LEDS in our faces for each jump, the crazy guy, the hipsters, the drunk, the tourists snapping shots of everything, the older guys wanting to be part of the younger kids fun helping them up after each jump… I digress. But why am I digressing? I look at my phone….
I got there at 8. It is now 8:30.
What would YOU think?
I thought I was being stood up. I also considered perhaps I was being punished for being late? I mean does it take 30 minutes to do whatever the fuck she was doing?
8:40 I text, because I am always weary of sending “too many texts” before I meet someone, since there is some unwritten etiquette about that, that I really just don’t get.
My phone rings. “Where are you?”
“At the statue… like we said… where are you?”
“I am there, I don’t see you. “
I spot her: “Neon orange dress with polka dots?” (not gonna touch this one)
I wave, she sees me, we hang up.
I ask her, “so uhmmm did you wait 30 minutes to get me back for being late? hehe” (in my sarcastic tone, YAY BEING IN PERSON AND TALKING, no one can misunderstand me now!)
She looks at me and this is where I realize things are about to go REALLY BADLY, he mouth is moving, but her eyes and face are making no facial expressions. NOTHING, no movement, just stuck, like they just finished collagen injections.
**Eyes to Tristan’s Brain… FUCK**
She says, “Oh I was talking with friends I used to work with in there.” No expression, no apology, no nothing.
I am still staring at her like an alien waiting for ANY expression, burning her skin with my eyes popping out of my skull trying to see any indicator if she is actually a person. I am probably pushing my head forward too.
So I say, “Good call on the statue, at least it was cool here. I almost feel stupid to leave it in this weather…”
wait for a response of any sort… nothing… dead pan face, diverting eyes, making me feel like some sort of disfigured being.
“Ok, well I know a really good frozen yogurt place right here I figured we could grab some and then head over to (I forget the name of Lincoln center, so I tell her) the place where they have the ballet, oh what’s the name of that place again..?”
nothing. long pause as she begins to walk. Me wondering where the fuck she is going.
Her, “let’s go into the park and sit on a rock.”
**Ears to Tristan’s Brain… “let’s go get mugged in central park at night with Minny Mouse and myself as the aryan race white kid” FUCK**
Her, “Frozen yogurt is too fattening.” “I am on a diet, I haven’t really been taking care of myself like I should since my ex fiance and I separated.” “I am doing yoga now” “Frozen yogurt has too much sugar”. (You had to hear it, see her, and understand that Frozen Yogurt on the hottest day in the entire YEAR was NOT going to ruin ANY “diet” she was on.) ALL DEAD FACE, EYES JUTTING EVERYWHERE, NO EXPRESSION.
“So that didn’t take long, not even 30 seconds in and we are talking about your ex fiance eh? I was gonna avoid that topic so not to get ya on it”
“How many times have you been engaged?”
Oh and by the way we are now walking into the park, down a hill. And she says REALLY LOUD, “You lied on your profile”. And I am now just not even sure what is happening, I feel like I am being attacked by a pug dog with no teeth and made of marshmallows. The constant barrage of “WTF” moments coming out of an expressionless entity next to me, me just thinking the whole time, WHAT THE FUCK is wrong with me and why do I do dating sites, people are on it who are obviously broken and not there because they think it is convenient. My brain is literally chanting it like a mantra at this point because I want to go home. “You lied about your height, you ARE NOT 5’10!”
Now, normally I wouldn’t get upset if someone said I wasn’t the height the DOCTORS SAY I AM. But she literally was yelling at me, in a way where she obviously thought very highly of herself for cracking someone online dating site code of “guys who lie about their height”. Which btw apparently IS A THING!!! lol.
So I am now just looking at her saying, “are you serious?”
“You lied, you are not 5’10”
I assess the situation, look at her height compared to mine, see she is eye level with me, so I assume she is also 5’10, I say, “How tall are you?”
She says “5’7 and I am taller than you.”
Now I am just dumbfounded. Unless I am shrinking, I am not under 5’7. I look down at the street, and notice I am on the decline of an uneven road. I walk around her, say, “How about now? Still lying?”
She does the no expression darting eyes to every corner of the globe thing, and I think she mumbles “lying” “every guy lies about it on there” or some shit.
Now I am pissed, and offer to take a break from our lovely walk into shady central, to perhaps go get a measuring tape. I mean how else do you argue against it?
I try to change subjects as she brushes her hand against me by accident, I say, “Wanna hold hands already!?” To which she says,
“Oh that is just my ring” to which I look at and see a giant monstrosity on her finger. “I have been engaged so many times I need something there to keep my mind off of all the relationships.”
SO SHE PUTS A GIANT PAPERWEIGHT THERE TO CLEAR HER MIND OF IT…………………………… I don’t say it a lot or ever for that matter but FML.
Now we are back at my original question before I almost got thrown off the ride for not being the “right height”.
“How many Fiances have you had?”
I am like, you already had 3?
She says she had 1 at 17, 1 at 18 and another that lasted 8 years that just ended six months ago. She tells me that she grew up in the south, and that is the way things are, but she no longer believes in it.
We change subjects and we get on the subject of bad OkCupid dates, and me saying most people use it as a hookup or to mask having an STD. To which she asks me to tell her a story of one, so I do.
I won’t get into the details, but let’s just say a girl one time, waited till the very last second, of something that should NOT BE held off until the last second one time to tell me she had herpes. Which BTW, I prefaced with “Tested, Clean, Don’t have an STD”. And the minute I said the word herpes, this girl about faced, and started walking in high gear BACK UP THE FUCKING HILL.. no joke.. mumbling “No thanks” “You can catch it by talking to someone, kissing, touching….” and some other indiscernible jumbled freak out. So I catch up with her after not understanding what the HELL just happened.
I tell her, “This happened like 3 years ago, I do not have herpes, I get tested on a regular basis, and I do NOT sleep around.”
To which she says, “Oh you are one of those people!?”
To which I don’t even know what the fuck to say, one of what people? RESPONSIBLE!?!?
She continues her speed walk up the hill, to which I say, “So are you completely serious right now? Are you walking away? Is this over?”
“You sent me 4 emails before we even met!” EYES DARTING ALL OVER THE FUCKING GLOBE AGAIN, FACE DEADPAN AS ALWAYS!
So now I am starting to put the pieces together. She was freaking out about this before we even met.
So I say, “And?”
“That just seems excessive no?”
To which I say some diatribe about social norms and emails not meaning marriage or anything other than me talking and sharing and ultimately leading to us finally meeting.
I actually was getting pretty angry now, and dug into her with something or another, basically saying how she was being fucking ridiculous and if she didn’t tell me what the fuck was up I was going to walk, and she could continue power walking away. Something about how I should be the one walking away with the crazy she was giving off.
Eventually she turned around, and we began to walk to the rocks again.. Why I didn’t walk right then is beyond me, I guess I was intrigued by this now, and wanted more story to tell? As we are walking on the “height altering hill AGAIN” she said:
“I used to talk to my ex fiance 1-3 times a day, and we emailed, and talked on the phone, and.. and… ya know what he said at the end of the relationship?”
“He said, he had no idea who I was. That just goes to show there is a WHOLE lot of me to get to know. I am not an easy book to read, and am very complex.” **Dead Pan face as usual**
Lifting my jaw off the floor, unsure how to answer anyone who says they are in a relationship for 8 years and brags about their OWN FIANCE not knowing them after the entire 8 years… their fiance who probably pissed says a generic line such as “I don’t even know who you are” and it is taken as being complex, not even being taken into account. At this point I realize this “complex person” has pretty much just showed me all their cards in about 10 minutes of knowing them, and they think they are so complex… if crazy, closed off, and not in tune with their own emotions is complex, than MAN they had it to a science!
She even said at some point that night, that she was so in touch with her emotions and opening emotionally to people that she often takes things so personally that she has trouble getting over it, and it hinders her from talking and expressing her feelings. To which I thought… isn’t that the opposite of opening yourself up and being ready or good and bad? I mean me personally I open myself up like a book to good and bad in order to get to the truth faster, and am lucky to have a very strong ability to rebound back from the bad shit that hits. But she is telling me she is so in tune with her emotions that if her and her ex fiance fought, they would often close off to one another, because they were so emotionally distressed from it… So because at this point I just need more punishment, I ask why it ended, to which I am told he had anger issues. To which I probe more, and find out that means punching walls next to her head. Which is no joke. But it kinda makes more sense now. This girl has no idea what her emotions are, her face showing it perfectly. FUCKING SMILE PLEASE!!!
And she was in an abusive relationship, to which she assumes she was hurting the guy for staying in it even when she was no longer happy. Dude was throwing punches, I think he can deal.
This was classic “beaten wife syndrome” for lack of a better term. And it was fucking scary.
I am not even quite sure how to explain the end of it, we sat on rocks for 45 mintues before she said, “I have to meet my friend, the one who has herpes”. (remember the disease which she thought she would catch from me because I had known someone with it?) To which I am like… Oh so it is not actually a date then… And since at that point I had been talkin to myself most of the time just to not have to listen to her anymore, when she said “but I don’t have to go right away, I am actually enjoying our conversation”(Apparently she warmed up to me?) I was like oh nooooo we should start walking.. Left her saying something along the lines of “well you can email me since we know how you feel about that” lol. Walked away and danced a bit to be free. Stopped back home after a fiasco with broken down buses, grabbed an amazing gelato or twenty. And just savored every spoonful, feeling spite for her “diet” each delicious spoonful.
And thus concludes my 45 minute OKCupid “date”….
P.S. I made her laugh ONCE the whole night, with some deadpan, perfectly timed joke, that was really morbid. Go me. lol
P.P.S. My Profile now has a HUGE disclaimer:
Dead serious: If you are offended by more than one message in succession to communicate or have a conversation, please kindly fuck off this does NOT mean I want to fuck you, marry you, or any other crazy you came up with. For fucks sake people, I spent a lot of my summers growing up in Zurich where we talk the way we are on the day we say it. We don’t sugar coat shitty days and we don’t wait with baited breath for good ones. We are ourselves 99% of the time. We don’t think it is crazy to share or be excited to meet someone. Feel free to waste your time elsewhere. I value mine. Seriously tired of the closed off, judgmental people on this site. Stop trying to pin your own reservations or shit relationship experiences on me. Whatever backward social norm it is that you follow for time between messaging another person can seriously kiss my ass. Thank you kindly. I workout, eat healthy, enjoy frozen yogurt on a hot ass night, the outdoors, don’t do drugs, don’t have an std, am above average looking, am actually 5’10, drink very little, never cheated, and listen as well as have opinions. I won’t settle for mediocre. Hopefully I have scared off at least 90% of you at this point. And for the last 10% if you are here because you are socially inept, use this for any other reason other than convenience, including just wanting to date multiple people and fuck them, I am not the person you want to go on a date with, I am loud, boisterous, and love conversation.
So I haven’t written a note in awhile so I will now share with you my DATING profile 😛 I have since modified it quite a bit, because turns out the less I write, the more people tell me how interesting what I have to say is. Plus this was a bit much haha, it scares me a little and makes me sound like a schizophrenic.
I’ve decided to write this like my thought process, a stream of consciousness. As well I think I will be brutally honest(like I ever have a choice haha, you will learn haha and 😛 = my tone of voice, but we will get there!)
I am extremely passionate about the world. I love to be a part of it, analyzing it, figuring it out, being frustrated that I can’t always get the answer. But I will fight tooth and nail to find out or talk my way into an answer! 🙂 Shit I think I am passionate about being passionate… and when I am not, it shows clear as day 😛
I will 99 out of a 100 times be more inclined to sit on my bed with the person I am dating talking about shit that turns into debate and pushing the mind than I will be to go to a club, find a living social deal of the week(although I just learned about this and shit there are some good ones!), go to a movie, insert common “night out” here.
I think being able to walk down the street and being on the same wavelength of what grabs your attention is important. It is the difference between, OMG LOOK THERE LOOK THERE LOOK THERE, and HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHA wtf was he wearing?!?!?!
I understand NYC is a city of don’t look up but I believe even though I too do not look up, seeing the people and the environment of social euphoria breaths a certain life into my spirit. I took that for granted when I moved to California after living out there for 5 years and moved back to NYC for the social/cultural inspiration I grew up with. So YES I will point out the street performer that I think is amazing, and yes I will talk about the people I see that strike my fancy, or the conversation I overhear from the person on the subway next to me, I still get motivated by them as part of this walking canvas NY.
So now that I am in the city of passionate people, I want to explore the places familiar and unfamiliar with someone I can hold in my arms, to make the experiences different and feel like the first time all over again.
My user name is my real name, why you may ask, well I guess I thought xxxtristanswashboardabsofsteelxxx was a bit melodramatic, or perhaps it is because I am comfortable being me, a confident mess : ) Shit google it, you might learn something about how I really have NO walls whatsoever and prefer to put the information out there then leave it up to interpretation or gossip.
I have so many interests, I am not a cookie cutter, I like to try it all. I want to be peeled back like an onion, and I will even help you peel back the pieces to speed up the process, I have always believed in getting to know someone without reservation or thought of “I could get hurt” because honestly, how many times can you go into a situation like meeting someone new with those ideals and not miss out on what could be or waste time on what shouldn’t be because of caution. Damn straight I am OK with being hurt, that is the risk to finding the perfect match isn’t it? (yes hopeful romantic here haha) If we all strive for Money, Careers, and Love, why is it that Love always gets the stepchild treatment when it comes to the effort we put into it. Why are we so afraid to go after it as if someone just offered us a million dollars to jump eyes closed into a once in a lifetime opportunity. Because I KNOW people will fight tooth and nail for their goals in life, so why not put that same effort into a relationship : )
I do NOT have all my life goals together, my career, my head, they are not clear, they are in process, scary, anxiety inducing spurts of extremes, and I think that is OK. I have a different opinion on the “knowing yourself” before you can meet someone else. Albeit I respect who I am and don’t really have walls to life, and really am always me 24 / 7(with some help here and there to remember) but I thought a lot about that idea and I came up with, I believe we will find ourselves till the day we die because the days leading up to death define us, as well as the people we meet. So if we didn’t look while we were also finding ourselves it would be too late. I believe it isn’t how people interact doing different things but how they are with each other at the moments infront of them.
A year ago to the day I left a very good job in terms of “job standards” to pursue my passions and to fill the emptiness in me that I would call ultimate happiness. It was hard and continues to be. I am not your 100k+ a year guy anymore, nor do I prioritize that. If I wanted money to be the deciding factor I would have stayed put, but it turns out money really cannot buy you happiness, only a SHIT TON can lol. (no I don’t expect you to buy me dinner, I have heard of that a lot of here.. really? COME ON… sigh, men)
The last thing I want people to know, is I believe that people judge on snippets like these too often, when in turn these are just small layers of who we are, and to me the cool part of this is that we can talk about it after we write our blurbs. It allows us to see past the MOMENT that this was written and know the person as a whole 🙂
What I’m doing with my life
I am a Director / Photographer / Videographer / Daydreamer
My Energy, how fast I reply to you on here or email or whatever… kinda plugged in at the hip, and lack of pictures of me in a bar with a drink held out to the camera. 😛 Oh and emoticons.
First thing people don’t usually notice is that I TOO get sad, depressed, scared, freaked out, lonely, hurt, etc.
Favorite books, movies, shows, music, and food
I think we can get there in conversation 😛 Cause we all like food movies music and books.. well maybe not books… but movie adaptations of books? 😛
Although I DO watch a TON of movies. I LOVE movies. I also love watching entire seasons of TV shows in a day 🙂 It is like a REALLY LONG movie then.
The six things I could never do without
Family… they are a huge support line for me and I them. And I will probably want you to meet one of the 100 of my sisters sooner than later, I also don’t think meeting parents is weird on a second date haha, they are my friends.
Music… I love all types of music, but I think I like music that feels like the world around you the most, for instance a single piano on a winter day.
The Internet… Since this is the seventh one, I guess I could drop it in the apocalypse, but then I couldn’t use google to prove people wrong grrr. Ooo but then people couldn’t use google to prove ME wrong… I think I like this apocalypse world!!
I spend a lot of time thinking about
People, relationships, romance, my career, life, yadda yadda. And I actually write about a lot of it too, ask me I’ll show ya haha.
The day, no use in thinking too much into the future or the past. I like to not miss what is in front of me.
Thinking about that first moment when you are with someone you find special and they say your name, I dunno why it just rings out. 🙂
On a typical Friday night I am
Oh hell, I don’t have a typical Friday night.
Maybe I am doing some sort of shoot…
Walking around exploring the city, because honestly combine the endless nooks and crannies plus people watching, and you have yourself a fun night.
sitting on my ass…
Friday isn’t “Friday” to me.
The most private thing I’m willing to admit
Lemme put it this way, “walls” are for buildings, not people. I will talk about anything at any time. So ask away. And I’m serious too. I like to skip the bullshit of trying to make the perfect first impression because then you end up getting to know someone else other than yourself.
For instance I have some strange obsession with the color pink and when i can get away with it, try to own those things or live vicariously through the person I am with haha.
You should message me if
You think txting is NOT a good way to start the getting to know you process. I am lost in txtlation 😛 I talk in a way that makes me me, and my face tells a story, and I look forward to reading yours as well.
But seriously, if you are open to yourself and can be open with me, because I want to get to know you not based on finding the perfect outfit for a first date, and then canceling because you can’t, but on the person you are every day 🙂 I mean when you are old and I am sitting by you in a rocking chair yelling at the kids across the street or the fish in the ocean (depends on where we retire) do you think I give a shit what you wore the first time I met you? 🙂
Although, I will remember haha. I am weird like that.
And this part may come off with a bad flavor. But I spend time to keep my body healthy so I would hope you do too although not a deciding factor but an important one.
If you thought out of the 10 picture slots a good choice was one of you with a drink in your hand in a bar, trust me we won’t get along 😛 Not because I don’t enjoy a drink, but because I prioritize it differently. I will never be a “insert day” Funday kinda person 🙂
You thought what I wrote was too much to read but read it anyway.
My name is Tristan and I am a photographer/director and hopeful romantic. I am here sharing my writing, a journal entry to myself with the intent of others reading it. I talk in a very open stream of consciousness. Feel free to get lost.