Yesterday a co-worker came to me with a story all too familiar, but always conversation worthy. Yes, it was about the "D" word. That word that can bring even the strongest of people to their knees begging for reprieve. Dating.
After a couple weeks of exchanging flirts, winks, and text messages it was finally time to take things to the real world, face to face level. The plan was for his potential paramour to meet him at the restaurant lounge where he works in the evenings. She would bring a few of her girlfriends and they would all go out. As he finished his shift, he spotted the girls. Smiling confidently he wandered over to the girls. Drinks were drunk, conversations carried, and smiles smiled. My friend thought to himself, "Wow, she's even prettier than her picture!"
As he mentally patted himself on the back, his phone buzzed in his pocket. He smiled when he saw the girl smile and also saw her name on the caller ID. He opened the text message. "Hey! We're at Eighteenth. Are you still planning to meet?"
That's right kids. He'd been lubricating the wrong female. He made a polite retreat and made his way to the new location. Had the true prospect been as appealing as the mistaken one, perhaps the story would have had a happy ending. It does not. "Angie, she was 4 inches shorter, 10 years older, and 50 pounds heavier than her picture." he said.
The most common words spoken by people in dating hell": "I just want to find someone who loves me for who I am... someone who will see the real me." Yawn. Yeah yeah yeah. Who hasn't heard this? I've said it myself and I know quite a few people who have lamented this same thing. I'm not going to go digging for scientific evidence for what I'm about to say. I don't have to. It's my blog and I do what I want.
"Love at first sight" is based on physical attraction not real love. It is merely a reaction based on what your brain has been wired to find appealing.
The 2nd most common words spoken by daters is, "all the good ones are taken". This is often said when they become frustrated with the dating scene and the seemingly never ending search for love. The truth is that the internet and the explosion of online dating sites has expanded the dating pool exponentially. Even if you're not a social butterfly, you still need to mingle and online dating has provided an alternative to the crowded meat markets of yesteryear.
Imagine being able to browse through a list of potential dates without leaving the comfort of your own desk chair, bed, sofa, etc. Places like Match.com and eHarmony are to dating what eBay and other online retailers are to shopping. That's essentially what dating is anyway; Shopping. Now you can make your list, check the specs on potential purchases, and if you like you can try to schedule a test drive. You can do all of that without having to even put your pants on! Isn't that just convenient? Yes, yes, isn't it just...
Your selection has grown and the method of weeding out the "hell to the no" contestants has been simplified, but it still doesn't remove all barriers to finding that special someone. If you're serious about wanting a solid relationship, there are still a few things that you need to keep in mind when diving into the deep end of this dating pool.
There is a big difference between a professional or semi-professional photo and a camera phone/webcam photo. Stop taking pictures of yourself at impossible angles in order to make yourself look taller or thinner. The purpose is to actually MEET someone. If your love match walks past you multiple times with a searching look on his/her face, chances are that your picture isn't a very accurate depiction of you. The same goes for using old pictures. That picture of you at 25 is sexy, but you're almost 40. You might not think it makes a difference, but it does.
▪ Ladies, immediately stop taking pictures from over your head. One for perspective is fine, but the others should be taken at an angle known to mortal man, you know someone who doesn't have the ability to hover over you to get the same effect. You won't always be on your knees.... will you?
▪ Men, stop lifting your shirts and taking pictures of your abs. Seriously. Save that stuff for your partner once you've landed them. That pose is getting to be as ridiculous as duck lips. You've got abs. We get it. Be original. Show me your forearms or something. Show me a perspective shot of your hand in comparison to your wallet.
Don't pretend to be someone you're not. This includes all levels of things from your job to your habits. If you're not a doctor you'd better pray to God your date doesn't come to you with a medical problem or asking for a referral to one of your specialist friends. If you have $5 in the bank and claim to be a millionaire don't be alarmed if the other person expects you to pay. Don't say that you have a degree that you do not have. Like your career and hobbies, education can be a topic of interest to a potential suitor. Questions get asked. People expect answers.
Be what you expect to get back. When completing your profile, be honest about yourself, your characteristics, your likes, and your dislikes. The more honest you are about what you want, the better the odds are that you'll find someone who floats your boat, trips your trigger, and doesn't make you feel like you've settled.
If you can't follow those simple rules, then you don't actually want someone who loves you for who you really are. You want someone who loves you for who you pretend to be. If you need to lie about your job, stability, education, appearance, or anything else in order to land the date you should consider halting the search to find someone to love you until you have learned to love yourself.