Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Match Game

Over the past year I found myself wading into treacherous waters, something that instills more fear than facing major surgery or pursuing a publishing career -- I started dating again!!!

This may not sound too traumatic until you realize that I’m middle-aged and it isn’t as easy to meet women as it used to be. Come to think of it, it was never all that easy for me when I was younger. I never cared for the bar scene and some of the women my friends fixed me up with usually had issues that explained why they were single.

Have you seen the TV commercials for Match.com? They paint a very nice picture, with attractive couples laughing and making eyes at each other over a romantic dinner and a glass of wine. Sounds tempting, right? Apparently I thought so, because I took out a membership. It’s been an interesting experience. I’ve met some nice women through that site, and I’m currently spending quality time with one of them. Some of the others, though…

One woman showed interest in my profile, sent me a wink (that’s the online equivalent of sending someone a drink) so we e-mailed for a while and discovered we had a lot in common. Just when I thought things had progressed to the I’d-like-to-meet-you-in-person phase, she wrote that she wasn’t interested in meeting anyone right now. Why did she take out a paid membership if she didn’t want to meet someone? Isn’t that the point?

Then there was one who responded too quickly to my initial e-mail, sending me a form letter reply. Around paragraph two, it all became clear. She went on about how tough it was since her husband left her and her two kids, she was having trouble paying the rent, and if poor little Bubba didn’t get some new shoes pretty soon he wouldn’t be able to go to school. She also mentioned that she enjoyed spa treatments and expensive jewelry. Can anyone say “sugar daddy?”

We won’t even discuss the ones whose profile pictures were probably taken twenty years ago, or what their concept of “average build” means (translation: we ain’t talking Miss Universe). Nor will I digress on the women who stated that they enjoyed regular exercise, only to find out that meant walking to the ‘fridge for another beer.

The one that took first prize for most outrageous was an exotic-looking young woman who singled me out. Her e-mail was the most poorly written thing I’ve ever read, but this line was the kicker – “I willink to cross many ocean for right man.” Hmm…are we thinking Ukrainian mail-order bride? And no, I did not respond.

If any of you ever finds yourself in this position, allow me to offer a few suggestions from the man’s perspective. Use a current profile pic. Also, post one! I’ve gotten hits from women who didn’t bother posting their mug shot, and I didn’t respond. If someone sends you an e-mail showing interest but you don’t feel the same, be nice enough to reply and say so. That’s basic common courtesy. We would rather know instead of wondering “Why hasn’t that hottie responded to my message?” Newsflash, ladies – sometimes us guys don’t get subtle hints.

Above all, be honest about what you’re looking for. If you don’t care for men who smoke or take the occasional drink, say so. It’s less painful that way. Also, be up front about what you’re looking for in a relationship. If it’s for casual dating, fine. If you’re looking for someone to forge a long-term relationship with, that’s okay, too.

But please don’t say you’re looking for your soul mate when all you’re after is his wallet. To paraphrase, “I not willink to cross many ocean for that type woman!”

Tim Smith is an award-winning, bestselling author whose books range from romantic mystery/thrillers to contemporary erotic romance. His website is www.timsmithauthor.com.


Tina Donahue said...

Aw god, Tim, how awful this sounds.

I've seen the ads on TV. The one that struck me the most was the blonde woman whose daughter said she had to be pretending to be such a bad dancer. That poor woman looked desperate to me. 'Like me, like me, pull-ease like me!' seemed to ooze out of her pores.

And the one with the old guy who sits between the young couples while they're on their dates - yuck. Those commercials make my skin crawl. The old guy makes me want to hurl.

I really can't see how these dating services work out. Everyone I've ever been interested in was someone I was with a lot (school or work) and we found we liked each other and things took off from there.

Hope you find the woman of your dreams. You should join some romance groups (lots of women there). At least both of you would have writing in common. :)

Fiona McGier said...

And repeat after me, "If she's an EX, there was a reason we broke up!" Never a good idea to give it another try, when the first one was disastrous! Words to live, and hopefully avoid pain, by. That only works in romance novels...

That being said, you have a great sense of humor and seem like a decent sort of man...just the kind most women SAY they're looking for. Good luck to you!

jean hart stewart said...

Very interesting indeed. I've been trying to persuade my daughter to try such a site, but now it sounds awfully risky. Good luck to you,,I think you deserve it...