Dating: Sometimes It Has Nothing To Do With You

I think most of us when we approach someone we like and get turned down assume that there must be something wrong with us.  Maybe we shouldn’t have made that joke.  Or maybe our profile photo is awful.  Or they noticed our [insert physical insecurity here].

But often that’s not the case.

I closed down a match today because the guy said he can’t live without his cat.  That’s admirable.  He has another living being in his life that he cares a great deal for.  But, since I (a) am allergic to cats and (b) can’t really stand them at all, he wasn’t the guy for me.  It was nothing personal.

Unfortunately, you can’t say that on most dating sites.  You just ignore the communication or shut down the match without providing any feedback.  So, this guy is probably thinking it had to do with his age or his hairline or his taste in movies.  It didn’t.  He just wasn’t the right fit for me.

For anyone out there dating, I think it’s important to keep that in mind and not take it personal.

I had a friend just break up with a guy she’d been dating for a few months because their ideas of the appropriate amount of time to spend together were just too far apart to work.  She wanted one weekend day to herself, he thought showing up after work on Friday and not leaving until Monday morning was the way to go.  He’ll make a great husband for someone, just not my friend.

I almost shut down another match because he looks very much like someone I went to high school with.  I’m hoping he isn’t, but it was a real enough possibility that I wondered for a minute whether to keep that one going.  That had nothing to do with the guy (assuming he isn’t the guy I went to high school with).  He could’ve been perfect and if I’d decided he was who I thought he might be, I would’ve shut it down anyway.

All you need to know when someone stops communicating or doesn’t call back for that next date or otherwise doesn’t return your interest is that they weren’t the one for you.  Move on to the next person.  Because somewhere out there is the one for you.  You just have to keep going until you find them and you can’t let yourself get discouraged just because you found the wrong matches first.

(And, no, I would not recommend changing things about yourself to try to find someone.  If you want to change, fine.  If you do it out of insecurity about how others perceive you, that is not a good thing.  It will bite you in the ass someday.)

(Having said that, if you’re getting lots of rejection do have someone take a look at your profile photos.  It may just be an issue of how you’re presenting yourself.  Try to put your best foot forward.)

Wanta Love Me? Better Love My Dog

A friend e-mailed me yesterday and told me to check out Dear Abby’s column for the day.  It was full of advice from men to women on what not to do online dating.  I’ve chosen not to write about it, because my reaction was much like my reaction to the eHarmony blog post about profile pictures.  (As in, “Wow, assholes.”)

Although, I will say that I am now highly tempted to take a selfie in my bathroom mirror and post it on my dating profile to weed out all the guys who have been online dating so long that they’ve become judgmental jerks who accuse women of having no friends if they choose to take a selfie of themselves in the bathroom mirror rather than call a friend over to take a photo for them.

(Guess what?  Not all of us document every single social outing and not all of us feel that it’s so important to have the perfect profile photo that we would actually waste time spent with our friends having them photograph us.)

Pretty sure a nice guy trying online dating for the first time wouldn’t think like that and I’m happy to skip the guys who’ve been doing it for a decade.  (There are probably reasons why they have yet to find someone…)

Anyway.

One of the comments on there did prompt me to write this post.  Basically, the guy said he didn’t care if a woman loved her dog because he was dating her not the dog, so leave the dog out of it.

I beg to disagree.  I have a puppy that I love and adore and she is very much a part of my life and very much a part of dating me.

Why?

Well, let’s see…

Before I had the puppy I might sleep until 9:30 or so each morning.  Now?  She has me up at 5:45 most days, 6 at the latest.

Before I had the puppy I might not have any issue going out straight after work and staying out until two or three or four in the morning.  Now?  If I think I’m going to be gone for more than a couple of hours, I drop the pup off at daycare.  (Seriously.)  That means that a night out on the town that goes past 8:30 PM requires me to board her.  I don’t do it often.

Before I had the puppy I was willing to pick up and go anywhere with no notice.  Random road trip to Canada just because?  Sure, why not.  Last minute trip to the Olympics because a friend had an extra ticket?  Count me in.  Go live in Eastern Europe for a couple of months?  Okay.  Now?  If I can’t drive there, it’s a hard sell.  And even if I can, I have to think about the benefits to me versus the hardship on her.  Generally, if it’s going to be more than a few nights, she has to come with me and then that really limits what I can do once I’m there.

I treat having a dog a bit like I would having a human child.

I chose to take on my puppy.  I accepted responsibility for her and I take it seriously, which means any guy I date would have to do so as well.  It will affect everything from how long our first date is to whose place we stay at if it gets to that point to what we do together in terms of travel and meals and social events.

So, to that guy who posted about not caring about a woman’s dog because he’s not dating the dog he’s dating her?  I say “NEXT.  Move along, pal.  You are not the man for me and your advice is complete and utter crap for anyone like me.”

I want a guy who sees my dog and either has one of his own and thinks, “Yes, perfect fit.”  Or sees us and thinks, “I want to be a part of that.”

Pretty sure it works the same way with women that have kids.  If they have split custody, then, yeah, you can just date them, casually, on the weekends they don’t have their kids.  But if they’re a single mom raising a kid all alone, then you are dating them and their child.  That IS part of the deal.

Look, here’s the bottom-line truth about all of this: Most people looking to date aren’t looking to date you.  And you aren’t actually looking to date most of them.  They want casual, you want serious.  You want beer and french fries, they want champagne and steak.  You’re very image conscious, they think showers are over-rated.  Whatever it is, most people out there are not the ones for you, and there’s no point in trying to make them the ones for you.

I don’t like facial hair on men.  Am I going to tell every guy to shave off his facial hair before posting a profile photo?  Absolutely not, because I want to be able to eliminate guys who routinely have facial hair from my list of possibles.  What good does it do me if the guy doesn’t have facial hair in his photos, but shows up with a beard on our first date?

Instead of telling people to change to fit your view of what they should be, accept the fact that not everyone is what you want and move on to find someone who is the one for you.

 

Who Knew EHarmony Now Employs Complete Assholes?

A friend of mine recently joined eHarmony and she passed along this link:

Terrible Profile Photos and the Women Who Take Them

I’m not disagreeing with the advice in the post.  I completely agree that glamour shots and cat lady photos are not the way to go.  Nor is the party shot, group photo, or photo with some random dude.  Eye contact, good lighting, and a smile do in fact work the best for women on dating sites.

But, man, is the person who wrote that post coming off as an ass.  There’s a difference between being funny/sarcastic and just sounding like a jerk who doesn’t like women much.  Well, kudos to whoever wrote this because he crossed into jerk territory.  Nice contrast to the grandpa-like founder in all their commercials.

If you’d like a non-jerk set of suggestions for your profile photos, check out OKCupid’s posts instead:

Don’t Be Ugly By Accident or Your Looks and Your Inbox or The Mathematics of Beauty

Similar advice, but without the douchey attitude.

Okay, stepping off of my little soap box now.  But, seriously, if you’re a guy and dating, don’t sound like that anywhere the women you’re trying to contact can see.  And if you’re a dating website that wants new female members, you might wanta avoid that tone, too.  Just sayin’.

Why I Unfriend People on Facebook

I’ll admit it, I’m an unfriender.  While everyone else is connecting to their third cousin’s friend from Sunday school, I’m busy culling my list of FB friends.  I wasn’t always like that.  When I first joined the site I pretty much accepted a friend request from anyone I’d ever met–even one of my professors.

But then time passed and I watched how things worked and decided that I didn’t really care about how many friends I had on FB.  I cared more that my friends on FB were friends I wanted.  (Much like middle school…)  Now, interestingly enough, some of the people I didn’t think would last have and some of the ones I never thought I’d unfriend have gone by the wayside.

So, what are my top reasons for unfriending someone on FB?

1. They never post.  Anything.  Ever.  The only time the person shows up in my newsfeed is when some random person I don’t know tags them in a post with pictures of other people I don’t know, usually their children.  I think it’s great that FB can be used to keep someone up to date on what’s happening with their friends’ kids, but I don’t care about those nameless children, so if there’s not some other reason to stay friends with the person, I”m eventually going to unfriend them.

2. They post all the time about things I don’t care about.  I appreciate that people have political and social views that they want to share with others, but after the twentieth post in a week about, well, any political topic, I’m done.  Sometimes I’ll just hide the person from my newsfeed for a while to see if it blows over, but generally it doesn’t.

3. They post passive-aggressive drama posts often and I’m allowed to unfriend them.  (I have one that I can’t.)  You know what I’m talking about: “I hate when mean people are mean.” or “Well, at least I now know who my true friends are.”  If you can’t keep your drama between you and the people you have drama with, then we don’t need to be friends.

4. I can’t remember who they are.  Or, more likely, I remember that they’re that person I met that one time at that party and have never exchanged another message with.  I don’t like their posts.  They don’t like mine.  We are as much strangers on FB as we are off of it.

5. They’re on FB all the time but we never interact.  I see new posts by them, but none ever inspire me to comment or like them.  They never comment on my posts or like them either.  I know this person.  We went to college together or worked together for years, but I don’t know why I’m still in touch with them.

6. I’m not positive I actually know who this person is.  They have the name of someone I used to know and they sent me a friend request, but they’ve never posted anything that actually confirms they are who they say they are.

7.  It’s complicated and I finally figured out the way to uncomplicate the situation is to unfriend them.

8. They post mocking or  hateful posts often and I’m allowed to unfriend them.  (I have one I can’t.  Interestingly enough, not the same person as in 3.)  I don’t have much patience for people who hate other groups of people or who feel superior enough to mock a whole group of individuals.  I’m not above the occasional insult myself, but I try to limit my negativity to people I actually know.

9. They’re going through some serious personal drama that they’re talking about on FB and I don’t know them well enough to provide emotional support and I feel like a vulture continuing to watch the train wreck which is their life right now.

10. They are more appropriately a LinkedIn-type contact.  This includes former co-workers I don’t socialize with as well as former professors and classmates I never socialized with.  They don’t need to see my posts about my dog or the latest song lyric I liked.  They just need to know where to find me and what I’m up to professionally.

There are a few other one offs, but that covers the majority.  I have to say, it certainly makes being on FB a much more enjoyable experience than when I had all those other folks on there.