I've spoken with many single women about the topic of finding a mate through an online dating site, and all of us, myself included, flinch at the idea. However, that hasn't stopped us from dipping a toe into the pool in spite of the fact that we see the pool as beneath us and more than likely filled with gamey, weird and predictably shady results.
What's fundamentally wrong with online dating services is that despite how much room you've got in a comment box to explain your wonderfulness, you really can't show who you are, nor can you really know another person from what they've written -- even if they've delivered a fairly well fleshed-out user profile. And being that we're not all one hundred percent wonderful, what we tend to write about when explaining our less than wonderful traits usually ends up looking like, "I'm just a regular, flawed person. Warts and all." Something soft and self-accepting.
But, who knows what those warts really are, though? Are they a manifestation of a murderous personality? Some unspeakable act of heinousness? Are those "flaws" an inability to tolerate snoring -- or are they much, much worse? Is what's not mentioned in an online dating profile enough to make another person want to burrow in a fallout shelter for the rest of their life?
Oh sure, we like to present ourselves as perhaps a tiny bit better than "just a down to earth kinda guy or girl," to seem humble and approachable, but what if we really know ourselves to be rich vessels of fabulousness? Or maybe, fabulousness with sprinklings of average?
Because that's how I think of myself; 90 percent the most incredible person you'll ever know in your life, and 10 percent everything you'd never want in a woman. A man may see it differently, in fact, I'm sure I'd be viewed as a 50-50, or maybe even less in my favor. Whatever it may be, what you'll be reading below is my real-life attempt at creating a suitable profile for an online dating site. This essay is going to count as my one big venture into the world of trying to get a date.
Before you read on: I can only be brutally honest with my depictions of who I really am, and it is perhaps for this reason alone that I rarely find anyone who wants to date me. I fly no false colors. So, here we go. Date Dori if you dare.
Who I am: I'm Dori. I'm 54, a mother; I'm a real New Yorker who now lives in Florida. I'm a genius, I can do more shit than most people. My kid lives with me and yeah, she does come first. I look like my picture, kinda pretty -- I don't look my age. I'm not overweight but I ain't slim. I'm very soft and feminine, but I am a New Yorker, so there's a toughness to me that is, well, superior to all other forms of life. No, I'm just kidding. I'm a kidder.
(That's where I lose the first tier of men.)
What I do: I am a creative. I create compulsively, it's all I do. I spend a lot of time alone and I love it that way. I'm an essayist, a novelist, a humorist and a painter. I sell my paintings. This is how I make money.
(That is where the second tier considers staying on, but then leaves anyway.)
What I'm looking for in life: Financial security, first. (Tier #3 just shut their computers.) Artistic fulfillment. Perhaps a mate to hang out with, go to movies, snuggle, eat. I love to be taken out, wined and dined.
What I'm looking for in a mate: Well, I'm het so, I'm looking for a man. I'm kinda thinking an artsy hippy type, maybe a pirate-ish type-o-guy? He could be any age or race, I don't really have a preference. I just like nice people -- that's a pre-requisite. Kindness above all -- because I'm a really kind person myself.
(Tier four perks up...)
Oh, and he has to be willing to fork over some cash, 'cause this life is too hard to afford all by my lonesome.
(Just lost tier four.)
What I really want is someone who isn't scared of me. Someone who doesn't flee as soon as they see I can create a lot of things. Someone who doesn't run and hide just because I have a low voice. I really want a guy who isn't terrified of a strong woman, because guess what? There's more to strong women than strength. Some of us are even vulnerable creatures, with issues and neuroses and even moments of genuine weakness. I just want a guy who sees me as the cool chick I am, as opposed to a threat to his masculinity.
What I'm not into in a guy: Any kind of religious push. Do your thing, just don't involve me. I do not want a wimp either. I want a guy who can take care of things when necessary. I'm not asking you to buy me a new car, but please, at least pick up the tab at the restaurant. So, if you're cheap, unable to make a decision or obsessed with religion -- I'm not your babe.
I'm not into enabling your psychosis. If you're crazy, just, bye. I don't mind a small amount of freak, but I really have to pass on a burden of lunatic, thank you.
What I don't want: Heavy sex. I just don't care that much about having a sexually charged relationship. I'm really into cuddling and kissing but I have to be honest -- sex isn't ever going to be the goal for me. If you can deal with that, then you truly are my dream prince. But if sex is the goal for you, I'm not your girl. What we can do with our minds -- now that's sexy. Actual consummation is a bit of a let down for me, so if you're willing to lessen the importance of sex and focus more on the amazingly brilliant romantic friendship we could have, then I might be someone you'd want to get to know.
Oh, and I can't cook either. I mean, really. Can't even make Jell-o without screwing it up.
(Talking to an empty room now.)
Well, since I've got the floor to myself now, I might as well tell you that I'm the best friend any person could ever have in a lifetime. I've got very little patience for bad behavior, so I will bolt if I feel you've betrayed the friendship. On the other hand, I am loyal to a fault. If you're good to me, you will know what being adored is all about, for I am truly the most dedicated partner anyone could ever ask for. I will be there for you in sickness and in health. I will be so proud to know you always, and I will never let you down. And I will love you like you've never known love before. I'm that good.
If I haven't revealed enough about me for you to get a sense of who I really am, then have at the 46 essays I've written for The Huffington Post. Or the 20+ essays I've written for ParentDish. Or YourTango. Or my personal blog, Don't Shoot The Messenger.
But that's not good enough, right? Because I can't make Jell-o. Damn, I knew it!
Well, if you don't need Jell-o and you're an artsy pirate hippy with a free spirit and a little loose change that you're just dying to spend on an absolutely fascinating woman of substance -- you know where to reach me. Write me a fantastic letter telling me all about your incredible self. You're not going to find me on an online dating site, because that just reduces me to nothing, as it does you. So, treat this essay as my experimental entry into the world of dating. Shall we dance?
This is as me as it gets, kids.