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…)
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.
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.