being single / dating

Hope is Not a Thing With a Potter’s Wheel

I wish I could find the guy lounging in front of his sports car attractive. I wish I could look past the fact that a 32-year old man cannot write a complete sentence. I wish I could find a man’s collection of erotica interesting. If I could, this whole thing—dating in the social media era—would be so much less frustrating and I’d probably even be married by now. But I just can’t. I have no desire to get to know any of these people.

I don’t want to know the man who wrote, “I am passionate about the kindness of strangers. Great books, strolling in Paris on a brisk morning, singing, dancing, a Chopin waltz, fine French wine, viewing art. Handsome interiors – antiques mixed with the modern. Women with exceptional style, including well cut dresses, low heeled over-the-knee boots. Oak trees, freesias, the bay of Rio de Janeiro. Sense and sensibility.”

Nor do I want to meet the one who decided to share, “I have a new born daughter with a very distant and uncomfortable relationship with her insecure mother, whom is requesting that I stay away for awhile. This is one of the reasons I’m pursuing (this internet dating site), hopefully one day it will help her too…if she ever becomes open enough.”

The man who said he couldn’t live without “the smell of life everyday”? Nope. Not interested.

And also the guy who wrote this gem: “Things I can’t live without: pets, pals, positive attitude, another P word comes to mind.” Let me think about it….no. Every day and twice on Sundays. No, no, no.

And I don’t want to get to know “Individuating” who is trolling the internet at 3:41 A.M. wondering what I’m up to. I don’t want to know the man who can’t live without the scent of a woman or the man who considers kissing a necessary food group. I certainly have no interest in the one who said, “I love the sound of my lover’s heart” nor the one who likened women to pies, saying, “The mix in any individual is so rich, it’s hard to pick just one. A pumpkin pie has all kinds of flavors in it, some stronger, some more subtle. A mince pie can be just as complex. Either one can make a great dessert.”

And would someone please tell these people that the self-portrait taken via cell phone in a dismal 1970s-inspired dingy bathroom with a dirty shirt on the toilet is not the best profile picture?

It doesn’t matter the dating site, it’s all the same. And I’ve tried them all. But I think I feel worse prostituting myself on these sites than I do sitting home alone on a Saturday night eating ice cream from the carton while watching The Proposal. And this is why I’ve been very selective about whom I will meet and have only been on a handful of dates. Because I always come back to Jill and that night at the bar. I can’t deceive myself, and I won’t trick myself into settling. If I see a picture and think “gross”, then match closed. If some guy writes about his potter’s wheel or about how he likes early mornings when there is still dew on the grass and he can hear the birds singing over the traffic noise, match closed. I want to date the guy who’s at a bar drinking a beer while watching the Ohio State-Michigan game—because he went to Ohio State or Michigan. And I’m pretty sure that guy doesn’t have a potter’s wheel and couldn’t care less about the dew and the birds. And unfortunately he’s probably not on any of these internet sites either and is sitting at home watching the game just like I am.

And that’s probably why that Datsun prophecy turned out so wrong, leaving me as a singleton while Jill rode off into the sunset of married life. But I have one thing that she doesn’t: hope. It’s still possible for me to find some kind of wonderful, that movie-screen first kiss with a boy that I truly like, that boy that I go out with not out of desperation but out of desire. And it’s this hope that I cling to like a life raft in stormy waters as I navigate the world of dating in the social media era.

It’s not fun, but I’m “out there” and hope is all I have.

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