As an actively practising heterosexual woman (I date), I read what women and men have to say about dating. Craig’s List’s Rants and Raves section is either highly entertaining or deeply depressing, depending on your perspective. So are the personal listings sections. I read M4W and W4M, not the gay, miscellaneous, or casual sections, mainly because that’s what interests me. I may be missing more sane stuff on the M4M and W4W sections, but since they aren’t interested in me that way and vice-versa, it’s just not that entertaining.
But I’ll say this now: those of you who are straight (or bisexual, but currently seeking a straight relationship) in DC using the Internet (as exemplified by Craig’s List, but not limited thereto), listen to the great Chrissie Hynde (and she dedicated a performance of this to Ray Davies when she dumped him: Stop Your Sobbing.*
Why? Because singles in DC are a bunch of whiners. What do I mean? The universal complaint is “Why is it so hard to meet people?” This question presumes that the questioner is entitled to easy-to-enter relationships. Let’s look at that assumption. Most people have some sense of self-protection when seeking relationships with other people. If we assume that the people we meet have similar self-protective needs to our own, unless our own level of self-protection is abysmally low**
Here are some examples of whiners and some examples of whiners to be (I think these men and women will have future posts saying: “Why didn’t any nice man/woman respond! Why is everyone so shallow?” Oh, I don’t know. Why do you think?
“Nice gentleman . . . . PLEASE! ONLY RESPOND WITH RECENT PHOTO/S AND INFO or no response from me. Looking for a great single lady. . . .” But apparently not one with any need for privacy. Yes, all women are thrilled to send their pictures to whoever on the Internet. Yes, he posted his picture for all of us to see. That just shows that he doesn’t have much sense of privacy. I just hope when the women with pictures ask him to visit their websites, he doesn’t get all bent out of shape.
And doesn’t this one just grab you? “This is hard dude.
I am almost giving up to this.. just hit me any other resigned one so we will feel some companionship hahah..” Dude, I’m sure you’re going to get tons of emails from resigned women who feel they have so much in common with you. Like what?
Another person about to give up here: “I feel like giving up because of the responses I’ve received in my previous postings. I really wonder if there could possibly be a Gentleman out there that can read this ad, understand it, and respond appropriately?” Look, if they can’t read and respond they way that you’d like, it isn’t a conspiracy, and you don’t need to give up. That’s the damn search process. You’re supposedly in your fifties. Just delete the inappropriate responses and move on. Whining about it just makes you sound, well, whiny.
Bored – Need Help! – 40 makes you wonder. Why would anyone respond to all the people who say they’re bored? Read a darn book. We’re not here to give your life interest. If you bore yourself, what will you do to us? It’s hard enough to get away from that boring guy at the party. No need to approach him on the Internet. The other thing that totally fails to impress is the whole looking for a date for Saturday night at, uh, 7:39 on Saturday night. Your interesting date is already out doing something interesting, bored man. Also, you don’t need a date to go to a movie (although Juno is a good pick). Movies are pretty darn solitary.
Actually, a search for “bored” on the M4W list came up with 85 hits, over 18 (too boring to count, yes, that’s ironic) with “bored” in the headline. On the W4M list it came up with 16 hits, 4 with the word “bored” in the headline. Is boredom really something that draws people to you? I never knew that. Why not say “irritable” or “syphlitic”? I’d imagine that would work as well.
And here is someone who isn’t in business, no sirree: “Hi,
I am an attractive young blonde, with blue eyes that would like to go out for a drink but I am flat broke. I am looking for a nice guy who would like to meet me for drinks(on you) and help me with my financial situation (a donation). I am in Fairfax and would like to meet around here or nearby Fairfax. Please be the night in shining armor that will help undepress me because I am severely down and out.
Thanks!” And someone needs to tell here it’s already night. What she’s looking for is a knight. Or more honestly, a john. I think vice squad action is ludicrous, but please. Just say: “Let’s make a deal. Your money for my acquiesence.”
Now, I hope all of these people find what they want, safely and satisfactorily. Someone who will unbore them. Someone who will pay them. Someone who will give them exactly what they want. But everybody: making connections is not easy. People don’t want to meet uninteresting people. People don’t want to reveal too much until they know you. So stop acting as though you have some entitlement to meet the perfect person and anything other than perfection and ease in reaching that perfection is an affront. Your boredom, loneliness, neediness, anxiety, anger, and defensiveness aren’t going to draw people to you. Put some effort into evolving a vertebral structure and the ability to do the things you want whether or not you have someone accompanying you. Go to see Juno alone, you know? Whenever someone you like connects, appreciate it, and know, you’re just starting to get to know him or her.
Take either a Buddhist or Stoic approach. The good is hard to find, can’t be chased, and is impermanent. Appreciate it when you have it, but know the constants in this life are pain and suffering. Dating, like everything else in life, is no guarantee of anything coming your way.
*Rather mean of her, since he wrote the damn song, but hey, Chrissie Hynde can kick anyone’s ass and they should probably just say “Thank you” to her, just for making Brass in Pocket the song it is and was.
**”Oh, stranger I just met in a bar/at the library/over the Internet, sure you can have my work, cell, and home phone numbers. Here’s my address as well. Here’s where I work. Call any time. And here are pictures of me in revealing or no clothes. I can tell I can trust you. You told me I could.” If that doesn’t sound realistic to you, then why would making a connection be easy?