Tag Archives: relationships

Online daters: please, read your own profile

So here’s the topic of my post today – online daters who seem to not even know what their own profiles say. I recently got back into online dating. I’ve used several sites over the years, both the paid and unpaid sites. I’ve encountered so many profiles for which the owner seems to be clueless about what their own profile says. This is not a good way to make a first impression, assuming you’re looking for an actual relationship and not just a hook-up for the night.

Case in point, today I received an email from a guy who said he’d looked at my profile, found me attractive, thought we had some things in common and that he hoped to hear back from me. So I took a look at his profile. One of the first things that caught my eye was that he was a “cigar aficionado”. In the section of my profile where l list what I’m looking for, the smoking section is tagged “no way”.

That tells me that either he didn’t look at my profile very carefully, or he’s hoping that’s something I’m willing to compromise on. Since his email was worded nicely, albeit with several careless grammar errors, I decided to send him an actual reply instead of clicking on the generic, no-thanks button.

I thanked him for his email but said that I’m not interested in dating anyone who smokes. Turns out that maybe not only did he not look at my profile very carefully, but he doesn’t seem to know what his own profile says. I got a reply almost immediately in which he said, “I do not smoke. Last time I did I was on a cruise six years ago. And that was a cigar.”

Several questions start running through my mind, like – then why did you tag yourself as a “cigar aficionado”…if that’s inaccurate, what else on your profile is not true…is he trying to separate a cigar from ‘smoking’ (the way his comment was worded seemed a little strange to me)?

Normally, I would just not even reply back. But today I was feeling a little feisty. So after closing the email so I could move on, I opened it again, knowing I was going against my better judgment in doing so. But I was rather annoyed. So I sent one more reply, saying, “Okay, well your profile says you’re a cigar aficionado, so that’s what I was going off.”

I thought that would be the end of it, or that possibly he’d reply saying he hadn’t realized that was still there and that he was going to take it off since he isn’t a cigar aficionado. But no. Instead he replies again saying, “Sweet. Sorry for the confusion.” And then goes on to ask me what part of town I live in. As if the problem was solved. No mystery – he’s a cigar aficionado that doesn’t smoke.

I’m left wondering if he knows what ‘aficionado’ means, whether he actually smokes, and how serious is he? I didn’t reply this time.

If you don’t smoke, then why in the world would you want to put that on your profile? Or anything else for that matter? Although I get why people exaggerate about things like how often they visit the gym or read a book. Those are things that might impress someone. But in today’s American society, bragging about smoking isn’t generally something you do to impress people. So I find it odd that someone who doesn’t smoke would purposefully say they do.

Also, while I’m at it, please, take a minute and proofread your profiles. It’s like a resume, but instead of it being for a job that you’re probably not planning to stay at for the rest of your life, it’s for a person that you’re hoping to spend the rest of your life with. I’m not saying it needs to be completely error proof. Everyone makes mistakes and most of us have a weak spot or two in grammar (it’s commas for me). But if your profile is filled with all kinds of careless errors, it sends a message – that maybe you aren’t taking your search seriously, or that you aren’t who you say you are. If I see someone’s profile says they have a master’s degree or a PhD and yet their profile reads like it was written by someone with a seventh-grade education, I’ll close it out and move on, feeling like something just isn’t right. I also won’t acknowledge a profile that doesn’t include a picture. But that’s a topic for another day.

What bugs you about online dating? Any suggestions to make the process better?

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A different way of thinking about ‘good-enough’

I’ve been struggling the past few weeks with my singleness and string of failed relationships. Yet again, things are off with the guy I’ve been seeing on-and-off for the past nearly four years. I’m familiar with the saying about the common denominator in all your relationships is you. So I’ve been looking back, searching for common threads among various ex-boyfriends.

I realized that for a long time, like many women, I struggled with self-esteem issues (and admit to still working on that today). I’ve chalked up some of the exes to me not being confident enough to date guys more on my level in terms of education, upbringing, career and lifestyle. That much is clear from this distance. But then I met someone I thought was out of my league. I figured it was time I aimed higher, and hey, what could I lose? If it didn’t work out, I’d just have to add one more ex-boyfriend to the list. Time to be brave and make a change.

To give a little background, we met through an online dating site and emailed/talked for a few weeks before we actually met. And when we did meet – he was everything I thought I wanted. I felt swept off my feet and was totally into him. I was so excited and happy that I’d decided to take a chance. I thought I was finally getting the guy I deserved.

But things were just not working out. He was dealing with a lot when we met – terminally ill family member, unhappy at work. So I kept making excuses for him to myself. Yet we continued to have relationship-ending arguments. And then we’d somehow make our way back to each other, after weeks or months. I convinced myself that it must be a sign that we were meant to be and just needed to figure out a way to make things work because at the end of the day, we loved each other.

However, the last breakup seemed more final. And actually, that’s just what I said to him, that this was the final goodbye. At some point, enough has to be enough. I know it takes two to make or break a relationship, so I’m not placing all the blame on either of us. We both contributed to the demise of our relationship over the years.

That brings me to the point of today’s post. I’ve been doing a lot of soul-searching the past couple of weeks. And today, something occurred to me. One of those ‘light-bulb’ moments, if you will.

I realized that maybe I’d been looking at it all wrong. We’re taught from a young age not to settle for ‘good-enough’ when it comes to choosing a partner (and many other things in life too, but I’m just talking about relationships today). I’d always understood that and knew I wanted something more, something special. But now I’m thinking maybe I actually do want ‘good-enough’ after all, just in a different sense. Meaning, not someone who just ticks off certain boxes, but someone who, in an elevated sense, is good enough for me.

I can recall stories my mother told me about how her mother told her that the man who one day would become her husband and my father was a really great guy and that she better not let him go. Thankfully, she listened to that advice. That’s what I want. Someone who treats me so well that everyone important in my life notices and thinks I’m lucky. Not because I need them to notice, but because it means that he’s treating me the way I deserve to be treated. That’s the key.

I also realized that this is what my now-ex had in me. I can recall several people either saying to him while I was standing there or him recalling the conversation to me later that I was really good for him, good to him, it was obvious from looking at me how I felt about him, etc. And I know these things were all true. I really did love him. (And I still do care for him. Things didn’t work out for us, but I still wish him well and hope that we both find the right person for us.) The way I felt about him, the way I treated him, was unlike how I’d felt or treated anyone else that I’d dated in my whole life.

But I didn’t get that in return. Looking back, in nearly four years, not once did a family member, friend or coworker say anything along the lines of, I better hold on to him, what a great guy, and so forth. Sure, I got comments that he’s really good looking, dresses great, is funny, and has huge muscles. But those are all things on the surface. Like maybe my friends were just searching for something nice to say. Maybe that was what was missing in our relationship – something deeper.

I realized I haven’t had that yet – a guy that is just really, really good to me, the way my father was to my mother, and the way some of my friends are to their spouses. And I want that. Someone who is not ‘good-enough’, but who is ‘good-enough-for-me’. Sure, I aimed higher with my last boyfriend, but not high enough. I need to dig deeper. And I plan on doing so. If the next guy doesn’t want to treat me the way I deserve to be treated, and if I don’t feel the calling to be really good to him in return, then I need to be ready to move on and continue my search. I’m not giving up hope yet!