OK, so I've recently re-entered the dating world after a two year hiatus. Yea and huzzah. After a conversation at the gym last night with my closest friend, I decided I was going to periodically write about what it's really like to be out there as somebody other than a club hopping, under employed, vacuous 20-something. Should be good for a laugh, and, I figured why not something from a male perspective? After all, we've been bombarded with everything from Sex and the City to Vagina Monologues, so I figured the male perspective was underrepresented. Where to begin...
Well, if you're like me, and almost everybody you know is married, and are folks you've known for years, any new social interaction as a result of their acquaintances is probably going to be nil. Married people tend to hang out with married people, and you probably already know all their friends and acquaintances anyways. Furthermore, if you work in an industry that is 95% men (like I do), meeting people through work is also a non-starter. So, where does that leave us? It leaves us with the tried and true "Just go out and live your life and you never know who you will meet", which is always the first and best ongoing option, and also with the good old digital age internet dating website, which is an easy way to jump start meeting people you may have never otherwise encountered. It's the latter I'm going to talk about today.
Have you ever looked at one of these sites? Not only is it enough to make you want to pretty much adopt a life of solitude and celibacy, but it also pretty much makes you fearful for the future survival of the human race. What you basically do is scan through a ton of photos of people in completely unrealistic daily activities (Look! Here's me white water rafting after I got back from my weekend in Vegas...had to cut the rafting trip short though because I had to be at my winery tour in Napa by 7!). Or there's multiple people with skydiving pictures. Seriously. Take a look. Also, lots of rock climbing, hiking, and boating. You may think this screams "See how interesting an adventurous I am?" , but what it really screams is "See how I constantly need to be entertained? Because if I sit still for one second I may have to have some sort of inner reflection....and that simply cannot happen!" I'm all for weekend getaways and such (I love going to San Francisco and the Central Coast), but if you need to be on the run 24-7, and spend every free second on an adventure, there's a name for that...it's called manic, and it's not appealing. Also, unless you have a helluva job of your own, you're also advertising that you expect somebody to fund this manic lifestyle for you. Unless you just retired at 35 from your lingerie modeling/stand up comedian/nuclear physicist job (i.e. ridiculously hot, funny and smart), I cannot imagine men lining up around the block volunteering to endorse their paychecks over to you.
Know what's even worse? The written profile. You will find a common theme. It will have lots of words such as these: "Not looking for players", "looking for a gentleman", "No liars", "No cheaters", "After a wild life looking to settle down", "Looking for somebody real", "Looking for a serious relationship only", etc. (and a multitude of these will be filled with syntax and spelling errors). Reading this sort of tripe will induce vomiting, so I suggest you keep a bucket nearby if you find yourself reading one some day. When a woman writes something like this, they might as well have just put it all in one encompassing sentence: "Well, I'm a low self esteem, dysfunctional wreck who has dated a non-stop stream of emotionally unavailable assholes who cheated on me like their life depended on it, and I personally have slept around a ton as well. If your somebody who I haven't slept with yet, drop me a line as I'm too worn out to successfully keep up with my trampy ways, and hopefully you'll settle on me." Yeah! I'll be right over sweetheart. Gag.
Then there's the one percent (and even that might be generous) who seem to be reasonably interesting, sane, and attractive (and age appropriate for me, which is 30+). But there's always a catch. Very often a woman in this age group (again, we'll use 35 as an example) who has actually made a successful career for herself will be childless (spent last ten years building up her career...to which I say kudos) and looking to start a family. They will state it in their profile: Want kids? "Definitely!" They need a reality check in that, generally speaking, a 35+ year old guy isn't looking to start a family. Who wants to be pushing 60 by the time your kids are out of the house? A guy in this age group is looking to share a life with somebody, not start a brand new one. If you haven't started a family by now, it probably isn't in the cards for you, you know? You're at an age when if you were to have kids, you'll need to start having them immediately. So, if you haven't already been with somebody for a period of time and are now ready to have kids, trust me, meeting a guy now who is looking to have a six month courtship and then proceed into immediate procreation is not likely, and if you do meet that guy, run. He's a nut job. If a 36 yr old guy is looking for a future potential mother to his children, he'll probably be aiming for a twenty something who is young enough to space out the heirs to the kingdom...not a 35 year old who will have to spend the next four years in a hell of non-stop pregnancy. Sorry. But there 'ya go.
So, as you can see, the pickings are slim for a whole host of reasons. Should be interesting.
OK, so there it is. Installment one of what it's really like to be a 42 year old guy looking to enter the dating pool again. I'll keep you all updated as things progress (or, if they don't progress, i.e., I just go ahead and go all Ted Kaczynski and become a hermit in a shack in the woods writing my manifesto and making pipe bombs). Luckily, I also have my friends to keep me entertained, as well as my guitars and music, the gym, a stack of good books, and a shelf full of high end whiskey (Makers 46, Black Bush, and Johnnie Walker Gold Label. Yum). Either way, my weekends will be filled.
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