Random Quote

“..I’m no Stephen King. However it turns out I’m in really good company, as these days even Stephen King isn’t Stephen King.”
Dan M. Kalin

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

Random Quote

“I used to think the worst thing in life was to end up all alone, it’s not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people that make you feel all alone.”
Robin Williams

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Eudaemonia

“…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!

Virtue

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

What Do You Do?

Recently I was standing in line to board a flight, making small talk with those around me, and an earnest extrovert (who was doubtless in sales or marketing) asked me “What do you do?”. Oddly enough the question triggered a system failure in my brain, as it looped unsuccessfully in search of a correct or acceptable response. After a longish pause I muttered something about management consulting and continued on my way.

Later I considered why the question stumped me so. Part of the issue is I’ve never identified with things done merely to earn a living or for recreation. Being limited to something like that is faintly repulsive to me. I don’t mind the need of people to categorize/stereotype others, it’s merely a way for them to make sense of the world. In short, they’re building a model of who you are to guide them in further discussion. The problem I have is a simple answer will not always provide an accurate model. It generally doesn’t in my case.

So how should I answer the question?

Should I say;

    • I’m an international energy systems engineer?
    • I’m the founder of a gaming software company?
    • I’m an inventor?
    • I’m a technology product manager?
    • I’m a program manager for space systems?
    • I’m a book reviewer
    • I’m a publisher?
    • I’m an author?
    • I’m a management consultant?
    • I’m financially independent?
    • I’m a masters swimmer?
    • I’m retired?

An accurate answer requires much more than these simple statements, all of which are true but don’t get to the heart of the literal question. I wouldn’t be happy with any of these answers as my summation. Standing in line with strangers however requires a simple throwaway statement, one which conveys the balance of who you are without providing excessive detail. Better yet, the answer should provide the questioner nothing to engage (just in case they ARE in sales).

After a great deal of thought, I’ve come up with the response I’ll use going forward.

“Anything I choose.”

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay