There are so many people looking for love out there on the Internet. Recently, a girlfriend of mine asked me to look through some of the usual suspects that she had saved as possible matches.
“What do you think he’s really saying?” she asked as we clicked through profile after profile.
To me, it quickly became apparent that there was a hidden code to the boilerplate list of likes.
“Must love music”
Translation: Prepare to listen to interminable hours of my obscure collection of French death metal. Plus my idea of dressing up is wearing a black concert tee shirt –the one without holes in it.
I have a difficult time with the word “must”, especially in the context of a dating profile. This is basically a personal advertisement about who you are–why begin with blanket ultimatums?
“Must have a sense of humor”
Translation: No one ever laughs at my jokes, which are usually hilariously crass and/or culturally insensitive. You, as my trophy date, are now expected to be that person who laughs at everything I say, proving that I really am funny.
There is only one Will Ferrell. Dude, you are not him. Move on.
“Must be h/w/p”
Translation: No matter that I haven’t run a mile since high school gym class, I’m looking for a woman who is 5’2, 90 pounds, and subsists on nothing but salad and the aroma of my double-decker cheeseburger.
Just because you posted pictures that were 10 years in the past did not magically repeal all those months of MacDonald’s living since then.
“Must love hiking”
Translation: This guy likes to sweat but shower, not so much. Whether or not he’s actually been out roughing it.
The funny thing is, everyone wants to be liked for who they are, with a few mutual interests that cement the attraction. This doesn’t mean your likes have to be identical, as long as there’s understanding to respect each other’s differences. If she doesn’t mind that once a month he wants to commune with nature for a weekend, chances are he’s pretty OK with going it alone or with some equally unwashed buddies.
Unless “hiking” is a euphemism for “homeless”. No one is OK with that.
“Must love dogs”
Translation: I have six pit bulls and a long lecture ready to go about the breed’s misrepresentation. Meanwhile, none of these dogs are spayed/neutered nor up to date on basic vaccines.
A person’s attitude about pets is as important as his/her opinion about children. You go into this date thinking, “Oh, I love dogs!” and walk away feeling like you took an ominous trip to the Future Yet to Come at the local animal shelter’s Death Row. A more honest statement would be, “I like dogs but I have no idea what to do with them.” If you love your pets, you ensure they have good care. Ditto children.
But people never seem to state what they really mean or what they really want.
Translation: My problems are the only ones that matter and will now become the center of your universe.
And how is it working out for you in Lonelyville, so far? Everyone past the age of 10 has some sort of baggage. It’s how you carry it that matters, not about finding someone else to carry it for you.
If I ever find myself trawling the muddy waters of Internet dating once again, I am going to write this for my personal profile:
“Woman, of questionable orientation, seeking partner for sex–sex in the kitchen, the middle of the night, sometimes the living room couch.
Quirks include the inability to close a drawer all the way and random gangs of dust bunnies created by loose, long hair. Up at 6 a.m. and snoring like an adorable Disney princess by 10 p.m.
Disposition is generally positive, more so when given caffeine.
Disclaimer: Withhold said caffeine at your own risk of bodily harm.
Must love chocolate cake.
Bonus Round: Will wash dishes for really good chocolate cake that has been procured for my exclusive enjoyment.
There, I think that says it all.
It boils down to what’s important to you, and once you know those things, all the other details are negotiable.
Good luck out there, and happy hunting!
Me, I’m off to go see a man about some chocolate cake… I heard a rumor it was just for me.