Monday, April 26, 2010

Online Dating

It can be a real challenge: finding people to date. If you ask me, it's even harder for gay people because there are so far fewer of us. And trying to find an intellectual equal, an okay-looking gay male who's also into me - well, it hasn't happened yet. Okay, that's not exactly true. I've dated okay-looking guys, attractive guys who have been generally smarter than average, but ...I still kinda felt like I had to go out of my way to communicate with them...frequently. It's really exhausting, filtering my words for the benefit of others, and I probably do it much more than I should, but none of those guys would've tolerated me if I hadn't. I'd still be a virgin. There was always a point in the relationship when I felt that I could stop treading so carefully, ease up on the filtering, but as soon as that happened, every thing would implode, usually quite rapidly. I've had 3 more-than-dating guys, but only one of them could be characterized as a relationship relationship. All very different guys: none of them, or any of the other guys with whom I've gone on dates, would ever get along willingly.

A few weeks ago, I went on a date with a really nice guy. I was actually nervous, like 'going to play a concerto in front of 5,000 people' nervous. The date went well, even though my nervous flirting was probably a little over-the-top. We went to an okay Italian place, and then saw a movie at an independent theater. He and I had tons in common, so much so that after a while, I had to force myself to stop adding "me too!" kinda comments. A week later, however, he texted me saying that he was trying to focus on creating a relationship with someone he already knew. I wasn't offended - I could relate to that. Before I had gone out with Travis, I hadn't been on a date in a full year. I went almost my entire 20th year of life without seeing one person. I should probably note that I met Travis on a gay dating site. I was reluctant, as many people are, to try such a site. My first question is, what does it say about these people if they have to resort to a dating site? I assume many of them feel desperate just like me. And again, there are fewer of us, so it's a matter of practicality. I could settle for someone in town, but why settle if all I have to is sign up for an account with one of these sites? I've always had this intuition (or delusion) that I'm never going to find any soulmates close to home. Dating sites aren't too horrible after all. But I've noticed that the better you look shirtless on a particular site, the more friends you have. So yeah.

This last weekend, one of my cousins, who's in her forties, recommended a site that she uses, and I like it. It's also free, and it's really easy to use. I become so critical when I'm looking through guys' profiles though. The following things are deal breakers (à la 30 Rock):
  • smoker
  • anything in the job category other than "student"
  • doesn't want to have kids
  • more than one spelling mistake
  • overuse of quotations
  • anyone who talks too much about their art projects
  • their main activity is singing in a choir
  • their favorite music is "LADY GAGA!!!!!!!!!!!" (I like her, but not that much)
  • they "don't like drama"
  • they don't like "fems"
  • their favorite music is Lil Wayne
  • they haven't yet grasped the differences between their, there, and they're.
  • they're an aspiring tattoo artist 
  • they only listen to local bands
  • they're a manager...anywhere
  • they don't like to travel
  • they date men and women (just pick one)
  • they like to hunt or fish
  • they're married
  • they like to "watch the game"
  • they drink more than socially
  • they are "just looking for friends" (what are you doing on a dating site?)
Also a deal breaker if any of their pictures feature the following:
  •  thumb rings
  •  2 piercings (You get one. Choose wisely.)
  • Hollister
  • unflattering hair color
  • bathroom mirrors

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