Online Dating

Cindy Bumble

One of the strangest experiences I’ve encountered online dating is the curious case of Cindy Bumble. Her profile says she is tall, to which I am partial, and purportedly a nurse practitioner living in Denver (certain to have a brain). All good from a cursory review, it doesn’t take much thought to swipe right and move on. I like Bumble’s approach, in the event of a match the woman has 24 hours to initiate the conversation. Saves a ton of time for men, I can’t begin to tally the number of custom missives I’ve sent on other services without a reply of any kind. Cindy sends a thoughtful message, asking questions and providing additional detail about herself.

I read her message, sat down and wrote a response to her questions as well as asking a few more of my own. I signed off with my full name. I do this for several reasons, first is that the potential match can do some background due diligence if they prefer and to demonstrate my honest intent. More on this shortly.

After several weeks of online conversation, we decide to meet up in person. Even though we both play pickleball, she is not willing to meet up in her vicinity and reluctant to drive all the way to mine. Eventually we decide to do a happy hour instead at a location in the middle.

The first thing I notice about her is that she has had significant plastic surgery to her face. The set of her bosom compared to the rest of her frame suggests she has done work there as well. My innate prejudice suggests women who do that are insecure, unhappy, and will always be doing more in an attempt to forestall the inevitable. Give me a woman who embraces her age, with wrinkles on her face as a testament to a lifetime of smiles and laughter. Our conversation seems to gain momentum however and I try to overlook those things.

The date goes well enough, and we both head home in falling snow with a promise to check in upon safe arrival home. A nice touch, no matter who is involved.

Over the next couple of weeks, we talked often through the holidays. At some point, I realized I didn’t know her last name or the city she lived in. When dating someone like that, I add them to my contacts with the name given and the last name being the service where I met them. In this case, she was Cindy Bumble in my contacts. I considered and thought she might have had bad online experiences or it might just be an oversight. Regardless I resolved to bring the matter up when next we were in person.

Our next date was a reprise of the first, Cindy said she liked the place and wanted to go back. The weather was marginally better and I was seated early to wait for her late arrival. Again, I was taken by her surgical “enhancement”, in particular the face which had clearly had been treated with Botox, lips which had been plumped, and a face that barely moved when she spoke.

“So, Cindy, two dates in I would like to update my contact to something other than Cindy Bumble. What’s your last name?” I asked after our first glass of wine.

“You never gave me your last name,” Cindy said quickly and brought her phone up as though she was going through my texts to confirm it.

“I gave my full name in my very first message to you,” I replied.

She spent the next few minutes searching her phone, as I watched sipping my second glass of wine. She eventually changed the subject and we went off in a different conversational direction. Finishing up the evening, I walked her to her car and kissed her good night. It wasn’t an instant connection, but I’ve had worse first kisses. But on the way home, I realized she hadn’t answered my question.

Not only that, but she had engaged in the classic diversionary tactic of accusing the questioner of the same thing. I had been managed. My only interest now was why?

My daughter, who is also in the dating world recently, is a good resource for explaining the vagaries of feminine behavior. I outlined the situation to her and asked why a person would act in the ways described.

She confirmed a couple of points, Cindy’s reluctance to do things close to her home, the things she had mentioned about work, and so forth.

“This one is easy, Dad. Cindy is married or otherwise attached. If you knew her name, you’d be able to figure it out. She doesn’t want to potentially be seen with you close to home. Also, her first name might not be Cindy. You could always do a reverse search on her phone number if you’re curious.”

“No need for that,” I said quickly.

I sat there stunned. Of course, it is obvious, but I didn’t go there as a possibility. I had already decided not to continue with Cindy, based on the diversion tactics, but this extra data piled onto a done deal.

So good bye to Cindy Bumble, I barely knew you!

Image by Erika Wittlieb

Dating Epiphany

One thing I’ve noticed about the online dating scene is that I learn something with every encounter. Some things are about the world in general, and others specifically apply to me.

A woman, I met online, brought up the topic of philosophy and religion. On the dating applications I have always found it difficult to answer the “Religion” question due to all of the options not being fully applicable. I’ve tended to say I’m agnostic, which doesn’t really answer the question for someone to whom it matters. The Christians all assume I can be brought back into their fold, when the only reason I don’t say “Atheist” is that I can’t prove the negative. All of the choices are inadequate to fully describe my views. After I explained that in some length, she took the conversation in a different direction by asking how I lived my life.

I responded that what matters most are the things you do, rather than what you say. What you say you’ll do and what you actually do should be in complete accord. How you treat people in general, being consistently ethical regardless of with whom you are dealing. It hadn’t escaped my notice over the years that religious belief certainly doesn’t make its practitioners ethical, in spite of the common assertion that religion is necessary to “teach” ethics or morality.  I’ve also noticed something I call “Tribal Ethics” where the members of a specific creed treat other members ethically, but are free to treat outsiders however they wish without moral consequence. I would consider that to be unethical myself.

I’m also fairly steady-state when it comes to emotional issues. If life throws a curve-ball, you deal with it and move on without bemoaning it for the next few years. It doesn’t mean a lack of emotion (which is conflated today as a sign of stoicism) it simply means you feel negative emotions at the time, deal with it as best you can and move onward without further complaint.

When it comes to how I interface with the larger world, I don’t require magical thinking to explain my place. If I act poorly, I don’t have the luxury of blaming “The Devil” for it – it’s me that’s the asshole. If I don’t understand something, I don’t make up something supernatural to explain or justify it.

After listening to all of this, she tells me I’m a Stoic from a philosophical standpoint. I remembered a few things from college philosophy, but needed to refresh what I knew before I could agree.

First I learned Stoicism is applied philosophy rather than a religion. It builds off of man’s technological understanding of the universe without the need for an activist “god” to fill the empty space. The Stoic applies force of will towards behavioral goals such as courage, justice, moderation, and wisdom. As with any philosophy, the practitioner will not always live up to the ideal, but the goals are fairly straightforward. The Stoic learns then applies, and repeats this cycle endlessly. Self actualization before it was a 20th century thing. Again it fits my behavioral model.

What is the reward? Not heaven or paradise in a magical setting, but a life well-lived and admirable. Meeting death without fear or bewailing fate. Seriously, what more can anyone ask? In a practical sense, I was to witness soon thereafter that Stoics can also be hypocritical, but then I think all humans share in that failing to some degree. It doesn’t mean you can’t work on it.

So now when it comes to any questions regarding religion, I’ll use the term “Stoic” as my choice. Whether the world understands the term or not is irrelevant. It’s a more thoughtful and truthful answer than the alternatives provided.

A Stoic take on lying, as an example:

“By lying, we deny others a view of the world as it is. Our dishonesty not only influences the choices they make, it often determines the choices they can make—and in ways we cannot always predict. Every lie is a direct assault upon the autonomy of those we lie to.”
Sam Harris

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Online Dating

Many online profiles start with something like “My friends describe me as…”

What we’d rather know is “My ex-lovers describe me as…” Just keeping it real.


A woman sends me a message and leads with the line.. “My favorite quote for conjuring a visual – dead head sticker on a Cadillac .”

OK, Eagles reference, but surely I can come up with a visual quote too. In response I sent, “..barroom eyes shine vacancy, to see her you’ve got to look hard..”

I think she’s still running, haven’t heard from her since. 😉 This boy knows how to clear a room!


Came across a great profile; she’s attractive, athletic, and had a checklist of things she’s looking for in a match.

“My ideal lifelong partner has the following attributes : Sense of humor, (life is too short and perversely complex not to have one), mischievous, confident, honest, intelligent, cultured, emotionally supportive, and financially independent. (Gentleman, am I asking for too much?)”

Reading through the list, I’m getting all excited, since I’m checking off all the boxes.. until I read the last requirement. Gentlemen! Sadly I’m unqualified for the title. I will say however, as a gentleman-nought, no you aren’t asking for too much. 😉

Image by Erika Wittlieb

Online Dating

When a woman, no matter how attractive she is, starts her dating profile with something along the lines her faith is very important to her, Jesus is her navigator, etc. I give them a hard pass. They already have a man in their life and I’m not into threesomes.


One woman’s profile read, “I always curate my appearance, home, and cuisine to provide a suitable style..” My advice to all prospective matches, run away as fast as you can, because if you get involved with this woman, she will be curating you into a “suitable style” as well.



What it says: “Looking for a trustworthy man”
What it means: “My last relationship was with a cheater”

What it says: Favorite trait for a partner – kindness
What it means: “Don’t be critical of anything I do”

What it says: “Looking for a partner on my worldwide adventures”
What it means: “I’m looking for someone to fund my worldwide adventures.”

As is only fair, here are excerpts from my own profile examined the same way.

What it says: “Intellectually nimble athletic women are irresistible.”
What it means: “Looking for women who are fit and witty.”

What it says: “Humor is very important…”
What it means: “Don’t be triggered by humor and actually have a sense of humor”

What it says: “Unpretentious”
What it means: “I wore suits every day for 30 years, not wearing one for Sunday dinner.”

What it says: “Musical interests wide-ranging  and there is always music playing at my house.”
What it means: “Our musical interests need to be compatible.”

What it says: “Grew up in So. California, traveled and worked most of the world..”
What it means: “I know which places I don’t ever want to return to as well as those I do.”

What it says: “Tonsil cancer survivor in complete remission.”
What it means: “Keep walking if that is a problem.”

What it says: “Myers-Briggs INTJ-A”
What it means: “The last thing I need is an extroverted emotionally hungry vampire sucking all the oxygen out of a room.”

What it says: “Children are fully launched, have houses and TVs of their own.”
What it means: “My money and time are my own without external factors.”

Image by Erika Wittlieb

Online Dating

I’ve been struck by the similar nature of local profiles, almost as if the women had all attended the same seminar on how to build an online dating profile. In fairness, maybe the male profiles are similar as well, I can’t really tell because I don’t get to easily see those.

In Colorado, the archetype profile has a photo of the woman holding a just-caught fish. The surface message is that she enjoys outdoor activities which a prospective match might enjoy. However, digging deeper, isn’t she really saying she has no problem holding onto something slimy and gross with her bare hands? Now that is definitely a positive quality for all the prospective males regardless of their sporting preferences!


Another commonality is the fact that most mature (age 45+) female profiles are looking for a man with a graduate degree, regardless of their own educational level. It makes sense from a hypergamy perspective, but completely ignores the potential relationship problems of mismatched educational levels. It’s possible that a woman with a high school degree reads extensively and can carry an informed conversation on a wide range of topics (being an autodidact is a good proxy for higher education). However it is not probable. This type of mismatch works best when both are young, as building a family together can enhance shared experiences. Mature male daters aren’t looking for a mature someone to build a family with, they already have one if it was wanted. No, mature male daters want someone for companionship in all of its forms. The sex can be spectacular, but sooner or later talking is going to be on the menu. Women with high school degrees seem to instinctively understand it too, as their profiles tend to spend more time on their sexual attraction attributes. Women with Masters or PhD degrees spend much less profile space on their sexual attraction, instead highlighting accomplishments and intellectual pursuits. Sexual attributes are part of what’s on the table, but they don’t lead with it.


One of the shared attributes of many educated liberal dating profiles is the reference to the fact they read the New York Times. In context, it’s usually stated where they are emphasizing their intellectual prowess.

“I believe virtually everything I read, and I think that is what makes me more of a selective human than someone who doesn’t believe anything.” David St. Hubbins – Spinal Tap

If they are truly intellectuals, they read from a wide range of perspectives – too many to cite within a profile. Citing a specific publication is mere virtue signaling, “Look what a dedicated liberal (or conservative) I am, you’d better be too.” As a selection criterion, it’s a valid distinction but probably better expressed directly, “Not interested in Trumpers (or people who don’t support …)”

At the risk of being trite, I’ll cite one of my own sayings.

“I tend to doubt the virtue of those who signal it.” Dan M. Kalin


One woman expressed interest in a phone call, so we exchanged numbers for a chat later that evening. Her profile had a long rambling section about the things she was seeking and even more. I frankly confess to not having read it all (more than a thousand words). She had a PhD in some unspecified discipline (usually that means liberal arts), was Jewish, and owned a small business where she served as its CEO. First, if a person has a small business with less than 5 employees, calling themselves a CEO is ridiculous. Correctly they should be a President or Owner. Regardless, I decided to look up her business and it turns out her company helps children of well-heeled parents get into prestigious colleges by managing the application process. I had to smile remembering recent news stories about some issues in that vocation (e.g. Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin). I resolved to bring it up if it turned out she had a sense of humor.

We get on the phone, and it turns out she doesn’t have a sense of humor. She starts with, “I specifically stated in my profile that only Jewish men should message me. Are you Jewish?”

I stated I was not and apologized, saying I hadn’t noticed the requirement. In the meantime I pull up her profile and sure enough, buried at the end of her long screed is a sentence to that effect. I apologized again for wasting her time and wished her well on her search.

Then she backpedals, saying maybe we should continue talking since we were already on the phone. Fine, I had nothing else going on, it was during the lockdown of COVID – and we chatted pleasantly for a couple of hours.

I asked why she isn’t primarily searching on JDate rather than Match, if that is a critical issue. Her response was that the men on JDate, while Jewish, were also too nebbish. We didn’t remain in contact throughout the pandemic, but the conversation stayed with me. My profile stated I wasn’t looking for anyone too religious, so it wouldn’t have worked out regardless.

Takeaway, read the whole profile – no matter how tedious.

Image by Erika Wittlieb

Online Dating

During COVID, I met a lady at an online dating site and we seemed to hit it off with text messages so we exchanged telephone numbers. Her bio said she was a stockbroker, living in the Florida area where I resided at the time. So we arranged to have a phone conversation one Friday night.

The first thing she tells me is that she is currently in Los Angeles visiting her son. She sent some spectacular photos of the beach from her son’s penthouse apartment. Then she mentions her current job is walking dogs, as the stock brokerage business declined somewhat after she had lost her license. Her real vocation, however, is within the medical field, healing holistically through the use of special crystals.

“In fact,” she said, “You would be amazed at some of the famous people I’ve treated with my practice.”

Now, I’m thinking there can’t be that many of them if she is scraping by on dog-walking, but I’m always curious so I asked if I would have heard of any of them.

“An associate and I successfully treated a former President of the United States for a very personal issue.”

“Really? Not Jimmy Carter!” I said.

“No it was Bill Clinton. We helped straighten his curved penis into a better position through the healing power of our crystals.”

“Really? Did it involve more than a laying-on of your hands?” I asked with a slight giggle. I’m laughing at my own joke, which I thought was pretty good, but she fails to see any humor. We sputtered on for a few more minutes and finally said good night. Thank goodness she lost my number.


I met an attractive woman online, widow, who really was a rocket scientist. Having spent time in the commercial space business myself, she knew many of the same people I did. So as we’re comparing notes, we’ve lived in the same neighborhood for over a year and had never met. Now, I walk my dogs every day past her home and had never seen her during the entire year she had been there. Why? Because due to COVID, she had not left her house the entire time! She works remotely as a consultant to most of the commercial space firms and never left her house. At night, she couldn’t sleep much, so also volunteers as a resource for a suicide prevention hotline.

OK, no problem there from my perspective. A little odd, but when you get to a certain IQ level things do get odd from a normal perspective. I, on the other hand, left my house every day to walk dogs, do swimming workouts at the gym, and the usual grocery shop excursions. I’m not one to judge other people’s phobias for the most part; and the phobias or sleep patterns of attractive women even more so. It’s part of what makes them interesting.

We become friends on Facebook, start talking every evening, and seemed destined to at least go on a date or two after the pandemic dust cleared, until one fateful evening. I had even agreed to take care of her dogs in the event she passed away (as she had no living family).

“Dan, I’m privy to some classified data on COVID and things are about to get worse! You need to stop leaving your home so you’ll survive it!”

Swimming is my sanity and I am loath to forgo doing it as often as I can. Walking is my dog’s sanity, and she isn’t going to be amused if I stopped. Going to the grocery store was the only way to get the products I need at a reasonable price. As a retired person on a fixed income (I love saying that), it’s important to be mindful of wasteful spending. So I regretfully refused to hole up within my home.

She dumped me like a hot rock, which is probably for the best. As far as I know, she might still be sitting at home, worried about her exposure to contagion. I’d still take care of her dogs, though, if the situation arose as it’s not their fault Momma isn’t all there.


I had a short online dating acquaintance with a psychologist, we seemed to match up well conversationally until I made a major faux pas by being truthful. Her profile said she was spiritual, but I’m a coexist type when it comes to those types of belief systems. The particular platform where we met didn’t provide any options to explain my views other than “agnostic”. She asked for my views and I replied I didn’t have enough faith to be an atheist, but was probably closest to that view. I think I also mentioned something about not needing to engage in magical thinking when I don’t understand something about the universe.

She comes back with the verdict we weren’t  a match due to the issue. No big deal, it happens and is likely mutual. What was interesting is what she said next to support her views.

She cites the 1st Law of Thermodynamics to support her contentions about energy-based spiritual evolution. Aren’t liberal arts majors cute when they use hard science to support their faith-based spiritual views? Besides completely ignoring the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, which guts her thesis, it’s similar to a Bible-belt Christian using geologic data to support the Biblical account of the Flood.

Whew, many bullets dodged with this one!

Image by Erika Wittlieb


“…See you can’t please everyone,
so you got to please yourself…”
Ricky Nelson

In a fit of COVID-confinement boredom, I recently took advantage of a six month membership offer for a popular dating website. Anything but boring. Between Netflix, Starz, and this, my free time has pretty much evaporated.

It’s been a real education for me on a number of levels, having been out of the dating world for more than 23 years. The people watcher in me has had a field day reading all the profiles, which range from desperate appeals to unwarranted arrogance and mirrors I wouldn’t mind owning. The people I’ve corresponded with (pretty much all you can do in the current wait-for-my-vaccine environment) have largely been interesting, accomplished, and attractive; while some few are batshit crazy. Crazy has its own appeal, but you shouldn’t have doubts about waking up around them.

The author sees it as an opportunity to create character profiles for use in upcoming books. No names or attribution, just personalities and physical descriptions. Talk about a dual use upside! Heck, I might even sell a few books as potential dates kick tires and check my teeth.

I’m having way too much fun with this!

Wisdom From Mittens

I’m still laughing from something Maurice just told me and thought I would share.

“When you’re dating and get to see her bookshelf for the first time, take a few moments and read through the titles. If a full shelf consists of worn self-help and wisdom-of-dead-mystics titles, RUN! Don’t take time to scream, just run. You’ll thank me later.”
M. McNulty