To be clear, I am in no way ready or willing to try the spike-laden hamster wheel that is a long-term relationship again anytime soon. Having removed myself from a toxic vat of goo, I have no desire to wade back in. Besides, the whole friends with benefits thing isn’t a bad gig and I like having my own space. Hanging out with someone and then saying you can go home now is just my cup of tea. And I enjoy that cup of tea in my fortress of solitude, thank you very much. Honestly, I’m not sure I’ll ever want to share my space on a full-time basis again. It would have to be a true fellow weirdo and soulmate extraordinaire for me to give up my peace and quiet.
Now and then, though, I get an itch, a feeling like I’m missing something. My monkey brain decides that perhaps a round of “dating with purpose” would do the trick. Then I have another go at Bumble or Match. A quick foray into this world is all I need to remember that I’m not missing a damn thing. Putting pen to paper, I’ve come up with some quick mostly sorta accurate stats to share with you, my dear readers… in case, you ever feel the need to venture into the online dating world hell yourselves.
95% of male profiles have some version of “no drama please!” or “no baggage!” What the hell is no baggage? How am I supposed to take those weekend trips to the wine country you’re touting as your fave thing to do if I don’t have luggage? But seriously, what is baggage? Kids? An ex? A dog? A broken washing machine? WTF? We’re in our 40s and 50s and maybe 60s. We ALL have baggage at this point in our lives. If you’ve made it this far into life without baggage… well, I don’t think we have much to talk about anyway.
And no drama? That’s a vague request. What does that even mean? Is that a Gaslighting 101 way to say they don’t want women who know their own minds? I have clear boundaries and am not afraid to use them. Does that count as drama? Opinions, passionate political views, an ability and desire to speak up for myself, is this drama? What are we talking about here? I kinda get the idea they mean more than just no As the World Turns viewers allowed.
99% of men mention their height. In their profile blurb. Right alongside their favorite holidays and unexplained dislike of baggage and drama. They would have you think that it’s because women are interested in that particular statistic, but I’m not convinced. Admittedly, I’m still working this one out.
And the pictures they post! Okay, so this one isn’t a stat per se, but seriously, what are they trying to prove? Men are holding dead fish while wearing a ghoulish grin, kayaking, running (which makes me wonder, is something chasing them?), biking, hiking, mountain climbing, or the less-impressive alternative, indoor climbing. And, of course, the obligatory “hey, I clean up well” shot (wearing a tux or spiffy outfit). Their pictures look like stills from a Viagra commercial. I mean, I get it. They want people to know they’re active and whatnot. But, where is the photo of them bingeing Netflix or Hulu and stuffing a pizza in their face? You know, like real life? And if the Viagra-esque stills ARE their real life, then good grief. Who has that kind of energy? It’s exhausting just perusing their photos. Don’t even get me started on the dead fish. Oh, hey, here’s a stat I just made up calculated! 92% of men have a photo holding some kind of a dead fish somewhere in their online dating portfolio.
90% claim to be young at heart, but they look older than I am (I mean, we can see their photo, it’s right there). Or the poetic, old soul, young heart. Who are they trying to impress with this line? Do they think it makes them seem hip? A bit more palatable to the twenty-something age range they are secretly or not-so-secretly trying to entice? Quick question… we do still say hip, right?
You know how people will say “looking for a unicorn”? Some men call THEMSELVES a unicorn because they’re a “nice guy.” Haven’t we outgrown the tired motif that nice guys are rare? I’m not sure niceness qualifies one as a unicorn. This same unicorn is most likely a member of the 86% who are in open marriages that are doing just fine, thank you very much, looking for a side piece with no strings attached. While we’re on that topic, what about men who make a point of saying that they want a woman who gives and wants a lot of affection? Maybe it’s just me, but that just sounds like someone looking to get laid (someone should point them in the direction of Tinder). And I swear, 93% of men say their love language is touch. Go figure. Maybe I’m cynical, but… No, you know what? I am cynical. I’m not sure they created the world of dating apps with women like me in mind.
How about an app called “let’s get this over with” designed for people who occasionally need a reminder of why they are single? A place for people who’d rather binge Netflix with their animals on the couch than have to sift through a ridiculous montage of phony, celebratory bios that don’t mention how they chew with their mouth open or smoke menthol cigarettes like it’s the mid-90s.
This app would allow only photos of people in their pajamas, the rusty bike in the bushes that they never ride, or the sketchy spaghetti dish they make every Monday. Required for the bio would be a list of recently binged shows, favorite reads, and a multiple-choice question on how well they tip servers. Then, those of us who occasionally feel like we’re missing out on the dating world could scroll through and (without having to weed through ridiculously curated dating profiles) remind ourselves of why it’s better to avoid the apps in the first place.
Although now that I think about it, I could really get on board with that kind of a dating app. Those are my kind of people. Called it! My idea. No stealing. Okay… so how do you create an app? Anybody?