I have recently found myself “single”, as in, on the receiving end of the “I love you but I’m not in love with you” break up line. This marked the end of a lovely relationship, one that taught me that I was, indeed, capable of love, again, after a long, unfulfilling, loveless, and, admittedly, as far as the State of California is concerned, not technically dissolved, marriage.
With finding myself suddenly “single”, and quite lovable, I think, I decided to take several measures to look for the next candidate for “soul mate” or “love of my life”. One such measure included posting profiles on a handful of the “online” dating venues, particularly, the cheap ones that have iPhone apps. I am marketing myself not unlike I would for a job, or for selling some article of interest on eBay, let the bidding begin. Truthfully, I feel like chum, tossed into the sea to attract the sharks, let the feeding frenzy begin. It has been affirming, validating and overwhelming! And a little nauseating.
I started with a profile on Tinder and have met some lovely men, some I already knew and have become better acquainted with, others are new friends with whom I share lengthy conversations, mostly via text, on a regular basis, fostering a growing friendship, or, in some cases, the process for elimination. And a few upcoming dates.
For some reason, perhaps because I’d had a few too many craft beers on a long and merciless travel day, I decided, based on misinformation, that a profile on Blendr would be a good way to meet people while traveling through cities and airports. I believed Blendr worked like Grindr, and would allow me to see who, of potential interest, may be nearby and open to a drink and a conversation between cities. Nope. Blendr is like Tinder, but of an inferior quality both in platform and membership. When you think of “blenders”, as in the piece of kitchen equipage, you think of delicious, frosty beverages or nutritious, delicious and satisfying concoctions to be consumed in place of meals, or, perhaps, crepe batter, or a puree for a lovely soup. All good. But, from Blendr, the dating site, no such delight or satisfaction. Just a bad taste, more like the “Bass-O-Matic”. Blech.
I am a willing participant in this online feeding frenzy, so, what is it then, that I object to?
The subjectivity, the lack of objectivity, all of which requires me to objectify people to make hasty, but rather important, decisions.
based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or opinions
Subjectively, being presented with photos and, maybe, some narrative, about the “subject”, by the “subject”, makes the information subjective, cubed. I usually like to base larger life decisions, like deciding who I may want to spend a day, a meal, a glass of wine, or a significant portion, if not all of my life with, on more objective information; data, facts, my own observations, experiences, and studies. The subjective nature of these online dating sites requires the members to objectify people, based on subjective information. Right?
(of a person or their judgment) not influenced by personal feelings or opinions in considering and representing facts.
degrade to the status of a mere object.
I understand, given the nature of the venue, that there is really no other way to manage the presentation of members to one another for consideration. The information must be highly subjective, because it is self-authored. So, then, members must objectify people based on the subjective self-portrayal, then, with a decision to “proceed”, to begin to accrue more objective data.
With the subjective self-portrait being the first impression, and first impressions being everything on this forum, as in life, as a public service, for those of you interested in posting an online profile, whether on Tinder, or Blendr, or some other offering, may I provide some suggestions, based on what I consider some of my more subjective “requirements”. Following are some of the things that I object to, personally, from a purely subjective objectification of a subject (got that?):
- First, post at least one photo. Of yourself. It is near impossible to objectify someone without a picture. The more pictures, though, the better, preferably from this decade.
- Second, write something, however subjective, we are craving data out here, and no narrative tempts the conclusion that you are illiterate. If, indeed, you are illiterate, it would be helpful if you could enlist someone to communicate such on your profile. Literacy, actually, is a quality I quite prefer in a potential partner, whether for dinner, or for life.
- Use your words; U and ur are not words. Neither is R, or B. OK?
- A fair mastery of the English language is titillating. Proper usage, grammar and spelling are a huge plus, those squiggly lines usually mean something isn’t quite right. Ignoring the squiggly lines, to me, means you’re not quite right. Just saying.
- Fill out all of the information and answer all of the questions. The omission of information, especially really important stuff, leads me to believe there is something to hide, or that you have the attention span of a gnat. Neither is good, subjectively speaking, of course.
- Arrogance reeks.
- So does ignorance.
- If you are younger than my youngest child, I’m flattered, a little, but way more grossed out.
- If you are young enough that I could possibly have changed your diapers, as a babysitter, well, there has to be a line, somewhere, and that’s where I’ve drawn it.
- Assuming there is a photo, or, preferably, several photos, I look for:
- Teeth, preferably most of them, and nice teeth are a huge plus.
- Eyes; at least one photo looking right at the camera, and without sunglasses, is a really good start, the better to see you with. Mug shots are not considered an appropriate form.
- Lips; I like lips, what can I say?
- A smile that shows your teeth, between your lips, that reaches your eyes. Wowzers! Swipe right!
- Muscle tone, factoring in age, etc., show me you care, at least a little bit, about your health and self-esteem. I’m not looking for someone I’m going to have to nurse through the golden years of life, I’m going to be too busy living life with vitality.
- Big “X” – All of your pictures are with young, scantily clad women. I’m not chronologically young, nor will I be scantily clad, in your presence, if you find validation in accessorizing with jailbait, strippers, or college co-eds.
- Contradictions; “avid outdoorsman” as a caption to a selfie, pictured with an ice ax, on a snowy mountain, wearing blue jeans. Does not compute. Cotton kills, if you know what I mean, then you’ll know what I mean. If you don’t, may I just say, don’t stage photos, or wear cotton in the wilderness.
- On the narrative component of the profile, I subjectively consider:
- Answer the question about your relationship status and preferences (married, divorced, single, and monogamous versus open relationships versus swinger). Declining to state alludes to a certain willingness to be evasive, deceitful and, potentially, dishonest. These are not datable qualities, in my book, in case you were wondering. A “dash” for relationship means I’ll dash away to the next profile.
- I love passionate people, please, share your passions, but, keep in mind, if your passions sound like they’ll be obstacles to the quality or quantity of time you have available for dating or a relationship, perhaps you’d better reconsider your priorities. Examples of dangerous “passions” include:
- Professed “obsession” for sports teams. Fans are cool (no pun intended), but I’m not spending every weekend in front of the television for any team. Or for any man.
- Any reference to video games. Are you a player? Get real, because I am.
- Pets as being “the most important people in your life”. That would make me, then, the dog?
- Ten kids = um, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, and no.
- The “ex” is your best friend. Amicable is good. Best friend? Get over it or get back together. If you’re into threesomes, please refer to item number 1., above.
- In private, in app, messages, I object to:
- Requesting an email – who still does that? Email is for work, for access to social media sites (required for signing up, verification, and logging in) and for retail store discount programs. In other words, who reads, or responds to, emails? Not I. I kind of thought email went the way of the dodo with the advent of more “real time” communication applications and social media. Don’t be a dodo. Off you go to extinction, in the spam folder.
- Fessing up to omissions to profile information, like relationship status, employment, age, location, etc.
- Contradicting profile information, like relationship status, employment, age, location, etc.
- A grasp, usage, and command of the English language that differs in substance, and form, from your profile narrative is troubling. Did you hire someone to write your profile narrative? Did your six year old hack your account and is now communicating with me? Or did you suffer a severe and debilitating head injury since you joined the sight?
Let’s try to sum this up. If you want me to consider your profile on an online dating application, please be as complete, honest, accurate and genuine as possible in your subjective self-portrait and narrative. I will be using this as a basis for objectifying you. Sorry, can’t be helped. If I don’t object to anything I see, then we can get to know each other more objectively, and who knows, you may become the object of my desire!
That’s all for today’s subject!