[Editor’s Note: Joel Murphy is searching for the meaning of life, so today we bring you another special guest column by confessed hipster Nicole Alexandria.]
The first line of my internet dating profile says: “I’m kind of a cunt.”
As I’ve learned over the years, dating is more or less the most ridiculous thing ever, and it seemed appropriate to start off just as absurd. I go on to state how periodically I sit at work and research how difficult it would be to steal a boat and run an illegal riverboat gambling operation. I’d name the boat the “Mint Julep” and have burlesque shows once a month. And how I spend a lot of time thinking how it sucks that now that I’m old enough to afford it, I’m too old to go to space camp. And how I’m usually pretty good at out drinking people.
I get at least 10 messages a day.
Dating is so much more defined in your late twenties then it ever was in the 10+ or so years I’ve been dating. There are two distinct types of daters the older you get: those who are ready to settle down, and those who are not. Dating has far less to do with you and who you are then it does with preconceived notions of what the other person wants. Who you are as a person really has no bearing on anything unless it matches the other person’s agenda.
Those who are ready to settle have a very distinct list of criteria. Whether it be an adequate career, lack of baggage, huge wallets or child bearing hips, much more then I can ever remember you will be judge based on a specific set of questions on the very first date. What kind of job you have and what music you like seem to be the most predominate basis of how people judge you are. To be a contrarian, instead of copying and pasting my iTunes playlist, I listed about 50 books in mine because I’d rather be judged on liking Rushdie’s Satanic Verses over periodically enjoying a Black Eyed Peas song while jogging.
Playing into this theory, often when I am on a first date and it becomes apparent that I am being critiqued on my answered to cookie cutter questions, I start asking a list of my own. Typically I start with what type of liquor do you like. I’ve discovered that much like how you can judge people irrationally on their like of Dave Matthews Band, you can do the same with alcohol preferences. Usually I don’t get along with vodka drinkers as I find their love of flavoring to be amateurish, which is an indication of their character as a whole. Those who can bear a stomach full of whiskey or gin is more my cup of tea. Tequila drinkers are obviously crazy and need to be avoided at all costs. Is there any real merit to my hypothesis? Absolutely not. It’s completely stupid and childish. But so is labeling me on my love of indie movies, or that my favorite color is green, or my super liberal day job of social worker.
The other type of dater isn’t ready to settle down. Which is fine and perfectly dandy. Except at this age they are seasoned enough to know to hide that fact from you. It kills me every time. You go out and talk for hours. You both have a great time. The chemistry is seemingly great. And you never hear from them again …
Time for the giant loophole!
At any age, if you are deemed attractive enough, you could basically have nothing in common with someone and the other person will disregard everything they thought they wanted for the love of tits (or ass if it’s their preference). You can do crazy things like say you’re kind of a cunt and still average about 10 messages a day on a stupid dating website.
(I wouldn’t ever write anywhere that I was attractive because in all honesty I think I’m somewhere in the middle, but if you want to appraise for yourself, check the archives of this site’s Just Friends section. I’m there twice.)
The same great lists of criteria people have will be disregarded as magically those judgmental people think they can change you. One of my more less than pleasant dates in recent history was with a starch republican with whom I spent two hours arguing over politics after he voiced his concerns with dating a liberal. It started with me more or less defending my day job as a social worker, which more times than not depends on that pesky thing where people pay their taxes. Although I attempted to change the subject several times, he continued until I conceded out of boredom in his attack of my ideals as it was very clear we had nothing in common. He misunderstood my surrender, and was surprised that I never returned his calls or text messages.
Moreover, those who aren’t ready to settle will still be not ready to settle. But if you use my past three relationships as a guide, if deemed attractive/awesome enough they’ll stick around for several months just until things are about to get serious and then flee. A weird side effect of this is they also try to keep you as a friend. In a mind boggling way it’s flattering. It’s like being deemed worthy and important enough to be kept around by a wild stallion, but it’s just not ultimately in the capacity you want.
So in conclusion, dating is the suck. It doesn’t get better with age. All you can hope for is maybe finding the right one someday to take you away from all this mess.
But when you break it all down, I’m not terribly surprised I’m still single.
After all, I am kind of a cunt.