Friday, October 02, 2015

Adventures in Online Dating: "Yikes" Edition; or, From the "How Not To Proceed" file

I've been writing quite a bit about this stuff, but it's on my mind, because suddenly I'm communicating with a bunch of guys and going out on a number of dates.

Setting aside the "isn't this a gas" aspect of having crazy or funny stories to tell, the communications I get increasingly remind me that for some people, online dating creates a scenario in which reading someone's dating profile leads to wish fulfillment fantasies that usually (if not always) bear no relationship to reality.  It can be a dangerous game - you interact with someone online and build them up in your mind before you've met them, filling in the gaps in what you know about them with what you want those gaps to be, and then you've become infatuated with a unicorn.  A phantom.  A reverie.  And it never ends well.

This is why I approach it extremely cautiously, assuming nothing, expecting the worst.  When I go on a first date, I'm hopeful, but I expect nothing.  That way I can be pleasantly surprised if he isn't a total troll.

It's also why, if I'm making the first move and reaching out to a guy after reading his profile, I am the embodiment of chill.  An initial message will never be any more provocative than, "Hey SoAndSo, you have an great profile. I dig your picture on the summit of Longs Peak. And I'm also a huge Michael Chabon fan - what's your favorite book of his?  Cheers, W."

Friendly, indicative that I've paid attention and actually read his profile, but casual and breezy enough that I don't come off like a crazy-ass stalker type.

Which is why it's a little bit alarming - and a lot sad - when I receive this message from a 61-year-old guy (well outside my stated age range).  I've excerpted portions of it, but beyond that, I've left the language and punctuation intact:
our words are defination of what is inside us , from your words i have a positive feelings about you, you will bring out the best in me, i see us together for ever , i dont speak when i am not sure, we have a lot of people who's words cant holds waters but for me my words are my bounds, we have to commit to each other and give in everything that we make us strike a spark and live happily.  ... I know what my heart tells me and I am not in a rush, i saw a lot of other people here but my instincts tells me you are a great, good hearted and the best woman any man can have as a mate. We're all human and not perfect but you appear to be different from the heart. Since i've spent the night dreaming about you, i want to spend the day cuddling up with you. 
A)  What. The. Fuck.

B)  Oh, honey.  No.  Just no.

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