Monday, May 18, 2015

Online Dating Illusion

Ironically, I read two different blogs in one week about how online dating creates the myth of excess and turns online daters into people who can never be satisfied. How you might wonder? Most dating sites work very hard to give you the feeling that dozens, maybe even hundreds of people are out there, ready to date you. This is so much better than dating your best friend’s second cousin whose wife divorced him to pursue a mime career.

Online dating offers us a smorgasbord of dating hopefuls, which is quite different from dating decent, but uncharismatic individuals. It is certainly better than reconsidering former relationships. 

Depending on the website, some will let you specify the height, body type, eye, and hair color, along with religion and income. Instead of finding someone within your socio-economic bracket, it becomes more of a Weird Science project where you create your ideal person.

This illusion causes many participants to drop perfectly acceptable individuals under the belief there is someone better out there. Why waste time on a decent, ordinary person. Surely Captain America or Wonder Woman is right around the corners. Dating website advertising features attractive couples gazing at each other in a besotted manner. Any member who isn’t in such a relationship assumes it is right around the corner.

The result is a failure to create and maintain a long-term relationship. The seemingly endless choices make people anxious to experience all the flavors of the dating world.  Okay, what’s wrong with this attitude? Does anyone out there understand advertising? Ads present things as people want them to be, not as they are. This would explain middle school boys dousing themselves in Axe cologne hoping to attract the female of their choice. Instead, the girls gasp for breath as they hurry past the cologne-soaked Romeos.

A few things you should remember about online dating.

·         Advertising shows only happy outcomes. You’ll meet some people who are jerks. A few won’t even show. Others you’ll wish didn’t show.

·         Not every profile you get is an active member.

·         Most likes, winks, or pokes do not result in a date.

·         The person you’re chatting with is flirting with several other people too.

·         Due to technology, people often disappear without a word.

·         25-38% of people online are married. It depends on the site.

·         People lie online. The neural surgeon with his own plane may actually be a security guard.

Why mention these things? For one reason only. If you meet a person online that you like and are compatible with, cherish him or her. You are the commercial! Unfortunately, statistics shows that dating can be a bit like gambling. The small dating jackpot isn’t enough. Many feel like they can do a better. In the end, they may wish they stopped when they were ahead.

I consider myself very blessed to meet my own sweetie. I didn’t have the desire to keep dating to see if there was anyone better out there. After dating for about three years, I knew there wasn’t. A few people will never accept that Mr. Perfect isn’t right around the corner.

We are all imperfect individuals. Why we feel as if we merit perfection boggles my mind. Having said all of this, don’t keep dating someone who doesn’t click with you. Just be careful you don’t toss away someone wonderful in an effort to date all the dates available to you, acting similar to a dieter in a candy store. The dieter gets indigestion, which passes faster than regret.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

The Attractiveness Spectrum

Whom we view as attractive changes for various reasons. When I was in junior high, the guys were obsessed with the girls who developed the most. With advertising featuring cleavage-baring models, it is easy for women to think cup size is all that matters to a male.  Dr. Joyce Brothers, psychologist, pointed out in her book, What Every Woman Should Know about Men, is that developing boys are insecure about their sexual identity and tend toward the obviously developed female because she makes him feel more masculine. Grown men who feel confident in who they are don’t date by cup size, boys do. Age doesn’t always make the boy either.

Life journeys change opinions too. A popular song described an unemployed bad boy as the singer’s next mistake. Women with children and careers are so over unemployed or underemployed men. They have enough going on in their life, than to deal with one more child. A career, financial stability, and willingness to go to more family-centric events ups a man’s attractiveness quota.

Single fathers place intelligence on the top of the list of characteristics they want for a future wife and stepmother. Face it; they already have one child to raise. Instead of a high maintenance diva or a brainless bimbo, the single dad needs someone who can think for herself and be a good role model. He also wants someone whose friends are kid-friendly. In other words, he doesn’t want scantily-dressed females with a fouler mouth than most sailors hanging out around his children. Such a woman might have been fun in college, but tastes change.

What we need colors how attractive we find someone.  Men with money are natural babe magnets. The obvious reason is they represent the life women are accustomed to or the life they believe they deserve. Although, many people think money is an end-all, it isn’t. Many rich people are immensely unhappy because they obsess on their money and what they perceive as people trying to take it from them. Often they have no clue how to have fun.

Being fun is a precious commodity. Steve Irwin’s widow, Terri, was inconsolable after his death. When asked what was so special about her husband, she replied that he made life fun. This was obvious from his shows. Who wouldn’t want to be with someone fun as opposed to someone who took himself and life too seriously? Never mind the conspiracy theorists or the embittered folks who are sure they’re being shafted, somber Steve can be a buzz kill too.

 Along with being intelligent and fun, adaptability is very attractive, especially if you have a first responder-type job or children.  Everyone knows at least one person that everything has to be a certain way and if it isn’t he or she melts down. This is not a person who will understand work emergencies. An unexpected crisis at work is a deliberate smack in the face. A sick child or child-related event is a devious plan perpetrated by the child.

If you believe all the hundred of media images, then you’d believe that only perfect people can find love. Only size two women and men with six-pack abs are deserving of a relationship. Not true. While the buffed guy might be the go-to character in rom-coms, he isn’t in real life. A great deal of gym time, diet, and personal adoration go into creating the eye-popping body. Most women prefer men with love handles as opposed to their ripped brethren. The simple reason is the ordinary man spends more time with them. The body-obsessed males often make dates feel insecure about their own bodies.

Surely men prefer thin women to those not so thin? Right? It depends on what you consider thin. A UK woman, Yvette Castor, developed two different dating profiles using photos from when she was a size ten and a size eighteen using the same personal information. Even though Yvette is a beautiful, curvy woman, she chose to use photos that gave her a double chin in the eighteen profile. She discovered the thinner profile received more interest. No surprise there, but what did surprise her was how much interest her large profile received. Even more surprising were the types of men that clicked on the larger Yvette. For the most part, they were well spoken, ordinary men with jobs, rather like those who clicked on the thin Yvette. Here’s the link to read the full article.

Often the feature that makes people appealing is confidence. Yvette freely admits that as a bigger woman she is more confident than when she was younger. People who are okay with themselves are naturally more striking. At a racetrack, I witnessed this phenomenon when the top jockeys finished for the day and waded into the crowd of people. Several women attempted to engage the men’s attention. A couple of taller women snagged the jockeys as they moved into the restaurant area. Of course, the women could have already been their wives or girlfriends.

The commercial world makes millions keeping us insecure about our looks, our car, even our job.  In the end, an intelligent person, who can adapt easily to situations and occasionally laugh about it, and accepts him or herself is much more attractive than a super model. Probably one of the most overlooked but desired characteristics is how interested the same person is in you.

It’s not an impossible list. Sure, you’ll meet men who want a single digit size woman. There will still be females who list six foot or taller men only need to apply. That’s their issue, not yours. These poor deluded individuals expect a soulmate to come in a specific package, which means they’ll have plenty of alone time to reconsider.