Tuesday, November 23, 2010

"Me in 98, but haven't changed much."

My friend M, no longer living in the Gulf but still in the Middle East, shared this match with me today. A twelve year old photo? Just add 40 pounds, some wrinkles, and move the hair from his head to his back.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Oh, and no mingers, please.

"I'm tall 6.1 slim build as i do a lot of running good looking and a civil and structural engineer currently living in dubai for the last two years,looking for someone who is outgoing confident,as a GSOH and will to give anything a go,my level of fittness [sic] is quite high as i did two did two marathons last month and a half marathon this month,so someone who is a least into some exercise would be nice.
i'm very easy going person sometimes to easy and have a GSOH,so lets see who turns up to the party,oh and no mingers please"
Oh, for the love of St. James. For those of you not familiar with the term minger, it means a physically undesirable, smelly or ugly person. It's a wonder this guy hasn't found love, online or otherwise.

The Scanned Profile Shot and Other Deceptions Related to Physical Appearance

It's 2010, y'all.  Nearly 2011!  Mobile phones tend to include a digital camera of sorts. Most people I know who can afford to pay for their online dating prescription can also afford a cheap and cheerful digital camera. So what gives with the scanned photos as a primary profile shot? Is this the last time you looked good? I got a few emails from a man who seemed quite nice, but his scanned profile shot looked like it was taken in 1989. The digital shot was so far away that I couldn't have picked him out of a crowd. While looks are not everything, it begs the question why people start off a potential date with a dishonest act.

Case in point: My first date from an online match came in May of 2009. While I didn't think much of him physically based on the photos, I thought it was worth giving it a shot. His emails suggested a well-spoken man who had seen much of the world. He was interesting, intelligent, and we seemed to have at least a few things in common.

Before I go further, I should mention that I'm not some goddess of perfection. Yes, yes, it's true. I'm sure this comes as a shock to most readers, but I'm no size 6 cheerleader. What I am, however, is honest. I would HATE to meet any man through one of these websites and have him feel like he was deceived. So while I greatly dislike telling match.com my body type (what's the difference between curvy, a few extra pounds, and average??), I do try and choose photos that accurately portray me. They include me in no makeup, me dressed up, me on a normal day, and there are at least 2 or 3 body shots.  The thought of arriving at Starbucks to have a man recoil in disgust absolutely appalls me, but I digress.

Getting back to my first adventure in online dating, why did Jowly (an unkind nickname, I know)have to put up photos of him 3 years old and about 30 pounds lighter?  Didn't he worry that we'd meet, and I'd notice? More importantly, wasn't he concerned that I would be put-off by the misrepresentation? We met, and while he was a very nice man, the initial untruth regarding his appearance had sufficiently put me off. It was made worse by the fact that he was in his early 40s and "...still trying to decide what [he'll] be when he grows up." He had also failed to mention that his career was working in a retail job. While the lack of a focused career was a let-down, I was more irked by the old photos. Are these the words of a shallow woman?

The Maltese Falcon Returns

The Falcon has been circling for a few months now; waiting for his opportunity to swoop in and console me. You see, he and I were a match made in virtual heaven. We met on one of the free websites available to online love-seekers last April or May. Initially, I was put off by his pretty-boy photos (not my type). He identified himself as a 'bad boy' (never a good sign for a man in his early 40s), so I wasn't even going to respond to his initial email. However, he persisted, requesting that I at least tell him that I was or was not interested. Fair point, after all, why should we abandon our good manners simply because we're online?

And so we began corresponding. He was located in a neigbouring city, and so it was many phone calls, texts, and online conversations before we actually met for coffee, which was followed by multiple coffee dates.  I was leary of him, but found his eccentricities rather charming. While he seemed quite attentive and keen (often phoning in the morning before work for a quick chat), I suspected his agenda was more sexual than anything else. In retrospect, the clues were obvious. Certainly sexual compatibility is important to most people as they search for their partner (be it online or in-person), but was it really necessary that The Falcon put that out there in the first phone call? Having left a horrendously unsatisfying marriage, I wondered if he could relate. So I let it slide and tried not to over-analyse what I perceived to be a preemptive conversation.

The transparent-me initiated a couple conversations reminding him that I'm really seeking something more long-term.  I have made this mistake a few times with men: Just because I state my intentions plainly, I expect them to act honourably. So, I asked The Falcon to remember what it was I wanted, and if he realised that our agendas were different, I suggested he remove himself from 'this' sooner rather than later. His response, admittedly odd, was something to the effect of: "Perhaps we should delay having sex." But I didn't push. After all, all the online dating tips provided by eHarmony, Match.com and a slew of other matchmaking websites tell us not to demand too much too soon. Certains things shouldn't be discussed so early on. The day after one of these 'statement of intentions' conversations, everything went back to normal. I couldn't believe that any man would spend so much time courting a woman just for sex. Naive, I know. I guess I haven't dated all that much in my lifetime.

So after a few weeks of talking and meeting, that fateful night came in which The Falcon and I consumated our mutual interest. The very next day and every day after that, I got the subtle brush-off. He was 'busy'. He had things to do. I gave him my foolish benefit of the doubt for about 5 days, and then let it go. Alas, I should have followed my gut instinct on him. And while my ego was bruised, I wasn't all that injured by this. We met for coffee once more, and I moved on to the next match without feeling the obligation to tell him off for being an ass. Revenge is a dish best served cold, no?

Five months have passed since The Falcon and I...can I even use the word "dated". No, I don't think I can. He has been on the periphery that whole time, though we have not seen each other face-to-face. Not one online chat has transpired in which he did not ask after the current state of whomever I had been out on a few dates with. "So how are things with ure man?" he often has asked (don't get me started on my distaste for people who use text speak all the time). I suppose I had considered cutting the Falcon out. In fact, I made myself invisible to him on MSN Messenger for a while. However, since I wasn't really interested in him, I considered punishing him a bit. After all, he was still interested in me on some level (read: sexual). I've never done that to a man. Don't hate on me for not taking the high road for the first time in my adult love life.

So the circling Falcon got his best shot at me when I was most vulnerable. I had been seeing a lovely northern European man for about a month. Things has moved rather quickly, and they ended rather suddenly. I don't think I realised how much I liked this 'match' (more on him later), so the end hit me rather hard. Enter the Falcon to show genuine concern. A "platonic" offer to make me dinner and cheer me up. The dinner never happened, and I suspect this was the result of my clarification that we were not going to have sex. At any rate, he came online to talk about why I wasn't myself (his interpretation). Apparently, he had confused my disinterest in him with love sickness. After all, it couldn't possibly be that I wasn't interested in him! I endured his crap advice, and found myself defending my former northern European as The Falcon went in for the kill. He accused the ex-northern European of using me. And that's when I unleased this following much-needed rant:

"You dish out interesting accusations about a man you don't know. what about your intentions? when you met me you knew exactly what i was looking for. We even had a conversation online many months ago in which I reminded you of what i was looking for and suggested that if what you and I wanted was not in line, that it was a good opportunity to remove yourself. BEFORE SEX. And yet, you pulled the classic BULLSHIT male stunt of keen until you got sex and then sudently unavailable and DO NOT tell me that you didn't do anything disingenous. You knew EXACTLY what I was after, and now you sit here and tell me that ex-northern European did me in?"
Damn, that felt good. The Falcon did not deny it, nor did he apologise. In fact, he simply ignored the rant. Pot, meet kettle.

The one thing I am most passionate about...

I have a goal to be financially indenpendant [sic] and to be able to work when I want doing what I want. I would like to build a solid future for my daughter so that she has the financial resources to cope with whatever life can throw at her. Nonetheless I want to teach her to make it on her own. I would be prepared to do anything to protect those I love but hope that I never have to take a life to do so - I would think that would be a heavy burden to bear.

After nearly twenty months of trolling a wide range of dating websites, it was ^^this^^, written by one of my 'matches' in Australia, that prompted me to start this blog. After all, how often does an online dating profile include the contemplation of taking another human's life in defense of one's family?  With a 500 character limit, the my future life partner chose his words carefully. Nothing says like "Consider me!" like a proclamation of one's willingness to kill others.

Watch this space...