12 September 2012

A Public Service Announcement -- Part XI

[The Announcement continues below with Part XI:]

11.) Quo Vadis

The direction one can go depends, as I’ve said, on their attitudes. Everybody makes conscious decisions on how to interact with others, and sites on the Internet are clearly no exception. There are after all many ways to skin the metaphorical cat, or so the old maxim goes.

So, with this in mind, let’s start with some base considerations that we can cull from the previous ten parts.

First and foremost: each of you chose to put up a profile and decide what we’re going to put up on it. Nobody actually forced you on pain of injury or death to actually join any of these dating sites and post profiles and information about yourself.

Thus in doing so, you made certain decisions to showcase certain things about yourself, and to follow certain patterns in communicating with men on these sites. You’ve also decided to complain about guys who tend to go towards certain things you’ve put on your profile, such as pictures showing off your boobs and arse, or how you’re a party-girl with a penchant for tattoos and piercings in odd places all over your body.

Obviously, if you’re doing quite a few of the things that I articulated in the previous ten parts and are still single, you’re obviously doing something wrong, and by that I mean: “the things you’re doing aren’t returning the results you’re intending.” This would then imply that some soul-searching is in order. You definitely need to be honest about what you truly want, and set reasonable standards and expectations (and no, expecting to get a clone of a popular movie star when you’re 80 pounds overweight with three kids from two different men is NOT reasonable).

Yes, it might be painful to realise that you’re not as attractive or romantically desirable as you currently think you are. Perhaps you really are asking for far too much in exchange for offering not a lot yourself. In any case, it’s reasonable to think that you’ll determine that at least one of two paths will be necessary:

  1. You need to make yourself more physically, emotionally, and sexually attractive to the classes of men that you really want, or
  2. You will need to come to terms with the facts that:
    1. In reality, you’re not as attractive as other women (meaning, as I’ve said in Part III, your true “market value” is lower than what you’re trying to advertise it as)
    2. Your range is broadly speaking going to consist of average men, and that
    3. You need to cultivate a pleasant personality and perhaps social and domestic skills to attract and sustain a solid relationship with such men.

This is much the same way as how we learn when we’re growing up that not everyone’s going to be an astronaut, movie star, pro athlete, or the President. It is a basic fact of life—some people will simply be “better” than us. We can choose to either: accept it for what it is and play the game of life with the cards we’ve been dealt to the best of our abilities, or we can bury our heads in the proverbial sand and remain in total denial.

There are also the biological considerations to keep in mind. For example, men and women differ greatly in how long they can maintain attractiveness to wide swaths of the opposite sex. Generally, men tend to last longer, particularly if they’ve been successful. Most women on the other hand generally have only their teens, twenties, and the first couple years of their thirties to work with before they’re passed over en masse for younger (and presumably more nubile) women by the men. Given that such women typically reach the peak of their fertility (and are thus most likely to bear their first offspring with the fewest complications) in their early twenties, and that their attractiveness is often tied to fertility, this makes sense.

Next, there’s the issue of being on an online-dating site in the first place. Even in modern Western cultures, men are still largely expected to make the first move and pursue women. Granted, the society has changed and the additions of both written laws and unwritten rules in social interaction has attempted to bring some modicum of civil order to social interactions—and dating is no exception. Even so, a majority of women have little problems actually meeting men in the so-called “traditional” manners out in public (and no, I’m not just referring to bars and nightclubs). 

All in all, where you go from this point forward is going to depend on how you conduct yourself. The obvious first step would be to evaluate what sites you’re currently using. And while free sites (such as OkCupid, DateHookup, and PlentyOfFish) all have their own pros-and-cons, remember that you do get what you pay for. Of course, pay sites like Match and eHarmony have their own specific issues (which is another topic for another day). What I’m saying is that you might want to vet the sites first, because some of them have poor reputations, or are probably not what you’d be looking for.

For example, PlentyOfFish has taken quite a bad rap for its poor website maintenance and security practices, and its allegedly-liberal use of fake profiles (some accuse the site’s owners of setting up many of them for the purposes of inflating membership numbers and ad revenue). OkCupid has been criticised for supposedly being turned into merely a “gateway” property in the wake of the site’s 2011 buyout by InterActive Corp (who own the paid sites Match and Chemistry). Some people would say that as a result, sites like PlentyOfFish and OkCupid are now little more than the online equivalent of the “filthy truck-stop restroom,” full of creepy and desperate people but I of course will leave such judgements to you.

So, after you’ve figured out where you want to focus your attention online, the second key is that you really need to be honest with yourself not just in what you want in a man, but also what you expect and what you offer in return. As I’ve said in previous parts, this is fundamental because any sort of lasting relationship—be it for romance or commerce is never one-sided. Both sides must continually give-and-take for any sort of endurance to be possible.  And while you’re at it, make that known in your profile.

Next would be how you address the men who do approach you—yes, you’ll probably still get the much-loathed emails from chronically-horny men who just want to get their dicks wet and married men looking to cheat on their wives. Amidst all of that though, there probably will be some decent messages from guys who aren’t going to drool at the pics of your body or your perceived sexual prowess. Perhaps it might be useful to focus on these messages and ensure that all guys who send such messages at least get an honest reply back even if you’re not physically attracted to them on first sight.

Then, consider broadening your horizons. Perhaps there are a few guys who are of average looks, or maybe they’re of a shorter height, or maybe they’re still in school and ever the “broke college student.” Yea, they might not get you romantically or sexually excited right off the bat, but they may be decent life-long friends. And who knows? You might find that as you interact with some of these men that the chemistry that you seem to crave might actually develop. This isn’t to say that physical attraction isn’t important, but that said physical attraction might not be instantaneously obvious. 

Perhaps then, you might find exactly what you’re looking for. As they say, one finds when they’re not looking. Take it as you will…

Go back to Part X

Go to Part XII

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