Within hours of signing up on the dating site, I was getting winked at, messaged, and “liked” by a pretty wide variety of men. I have to say, it is slightly overwhelming. You want to be open to love, in any form it should take, but it is easy to get sucked into the “is he my type?” thoughts. I once had a co-worker who used to entertain me with various horror stories from her own online adventures. She made a comment that has stuck with me ever since. She said, that with so many options out there, people (men and women both) become the ultimate critics. They easily dismiss potential matches due to the slightest perceived “flaw,” with the thought that there could be someone even just a little bit better out there. He has too many tattoos..she has a crooked smile..he has a bad haircut. There is a problem that arises when we are given too many options. A person can overlook the “right” match in their search for the “what if?”
And so, I would read through profiles, trying to get an idea of the person behind the picture. It began to occur to me, that certain descriptions were starting to show up over and over again. Were these men really “laid back and loving life?” or were they writing what they thought women wanted to hear?
What I discovered:
I’m a simple guy
I love trying new things
I live life to the fullest
I love to laugh
I’m a genuinely nice guy
That awkward moment would come weeks later when I was given a new set of daily matches. Staring back at me on the screen, with a 97% compatibility, was my ex. Aw crap…
Once I got over my initial shock at seeing him on a dating website (last I had heard, he and “She Who Must Not Be Named” were still together), I satisfied my curiosity, perused through his profile and came to another important conclusion. Men lie. On his profile he lied about everything, his job, having a degree, being a surfer, I mean literally everything on there. I wish there was some sort of comment section where people could write in notes about the other members. “Went on a date with this girl and she was talking about our future childrens’ names after 30 min. Stay away!!” or “Used to be engaged to this guy, he cheated on me the whole 7 years we were together, and doesn’t know how to tell the truth.” or “Went on a date with this girl…her picture was from senior year of high school..run!” My conclusion after this awkward moment was that it would be smart to try to take these profiles with a grain of salt. Or perhaps an ocean full of it.
In case you were wondering, (I know I know, you’re there at your computer shouting “just get to the damn point Julia!”) here is my final thought on the matter. People can become the very best version of themselves through words on a screen, they can put up their very best pictures and talk about all of their interesting hobbies and amazing qualities. But the thing is it’s IMPOSSIBLE to truly know who someone is unless you take that LEAP, go on that DATE, open up your HEART again and again..hoping that with each disappointment and hurt, you get closer to finding your PERSON. In the end, that’s all you can do. A quote from my favorite book:
“And when you get down to it, Lily, that is the only purpose grand enough for a human life. Not just to love but to persist in love.”
― Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees