I have become the worst kind of online dater. I have become the kind of woman men complain about on their profiles. I have become the kind of woman who doesn’t always respond to messages, who rules men out because they listen to country music, who won’t even consider a man because of his age or his weight or his haircut. And it’s only taken me three months.
I started out with really good intentions. I was going to approach this venture with a kind and open heart, with a measure of compassion, with a truly open mind. But I’m getting tired, people! I’m getting cranky!
I still respond to men who send me a sincere message, who indicate interest in my profile and who invite me to respond. But I’ve stopped responding to the guys who keep contacting me after I’ve politely said I’m not interested. And I’ve stopped responding to the ones who send a single word. How is one meant to respond to “Wow”? It could mean, “Wow, you’re beautiful!” But it could also mean “Wow, you’re crazy! You don’t really think any sane man is going to contact you with a profile like that!” And I still haven’t figured out how to respond to the ones that send messages that are either very badly written or written under the influence of a few too many beers. I still haven’t figured out how to respond to the one who attached pictures of himself posing with his shirt off in his bathroom mirror. (You have no idea how tempting it is to post those pictures here…)
But this week, I have stooped to a new low. It all started quite innocently. I was telling Kira, Queen of All the Internet Dating, about a recent date. When I started telling her about his complicated personal life, she said, “Oh, yeah! Nate. I dated him. Yeah, way too complicated. You don’t want to get involved with him.” I could have saved myself an entire (awkward) evening simply by checking with Kira before agreeing to the date!
And so later that night, I fired off an email to Kira with thumbnails of three men who had recently contacted me. The accompanying message was concise: “Have you dated any of these men?”
Her response was almost immediate: “Oh My God! Number One is the crazy Cat Man! Number Two is actually about eighty. I don’t recognize Number Three. You’re good to go with Three.”
Kira went out with the Crazy Cat man a few months ago, and her stories about her evening spent with the high-strung, cat-breeding, recovering crack addict were hilarious. But he was definitely a man to avoid.
And as for “Eighty,” I was getting tired of meeting men who had clearly lied about their age in their profile, some, I’m sure, by ten or fifteen years. I didn’t need to meet “Eighty” either.
“This is so great,” I told Kira. “You’re saving me so much time and energy! Hey, why don’t I send you Number Three’s profile and you can check him out too?”
“No way, sister! You have to pull some weight in the cooperative too. It’s your responsibility to go out with Number Three. If nothing else, we can add him to the Dating Cooperative data base.”
But I guess Kira’s right. And so we have formed The Saucy Sisters’ Dating Cooperative, the purpose of which is to streamline the dating process, by sharing relevant data on potential dates. I am delighted that Kira is involved in this project as she brings a wealth of experience, having been dating online for a couple of years now. But now that I’m up to “M is for Mike,” I guess I have a fair bit of data to contribute to the spreadsheets too.
Ideally, we would bring more women in our demographic into the Cooperative, creating a rich and evolving database. For ethical reasons, we would not just use this data to rule men out, but also to connect people who might be perfect for each other. I’ve met a lot of good guys, but they just haven’t been right for me. I would be delighted to be able to connect them with other women who might better appreciate their merits.
And so you must excuse me. I need to contact Number Three. I’ve got some data collecting to do.