Online Dating: A Nashville Woman’s Perspective

Women’s biggest fear in online dating is that they will be harmed in some way, that they aren’t safe. Men’s biggest fear in online dating is that their date will be fat.

~astute observation made by someone whose name I cannot recall

In the interest of fairness regarding Wednesday’s post, my last bout of online dating resulted in dates with five very nice gentlemen. It didn’t seem that any of them cared about my fat although one of them did dump me right after he asked for a second date.  It was my favorite way to get dumped, though!  He explained that he had a great time, that he wanted to do it again, and asked if he was tall enough for me.  I enthusiastically replied with all positive answers and then a few days later when I texted him, he wrote back, “Oh.  Hey, girl.”

If ever I find myself on the dumpee end of a budding one-date relationship, I’m using that! “Oh. Hey, dude”.  Effective, ain’t it?

Y’all, I don’t even know why I thought I wanted to date men right now. I feel like I’m an amazing person, not in an ego way, but in the way that I’ve worked hard to have a nice life, a good attitude, joy, and peace. That makes me pretty special, at least to me, because I’m as close to the person I want to be as I’ll ever get. Then something gets squirrely and I find myself hopeful with a dash of wild hair and hop online to peruse my selections, like in a grocery store aisle.  Most of what I see is a huge disappointment.  I mean, I’m always going to select Vlasic pickles over some generic wimpy-looking pickle, but at least in Kroger there are entire shelves devoted to the many variants of the Vlasic pickle and I can make my selections accordingly. In Nashville, the men selections are becoming increasingly the same, the wimpy-looking generic pickle, and those generic pickles are a pretty pathetic substitute for my really nice life full of joy and peace and contentment.

I’d like to paint a picture for those of you who have never online dated but are curious about it. I feel like doing some quick math here will demonstrate my point.

Conservatively speaking, I’ve swiped either yes or no on about 1,000 men. I’d say that 88.2% of those men’s profiles said one (not more) of the following:

  • *crickets*
  • I’m just me.
  • If you want to know anything, just ask.
  • I’m fluent in sarcasm.
  • I work hard and play hard.
  • I’m looking for my partner in crime.
  • Oh, and add five years to my age.
  • Facebook made my age younger than it really is and I can’t change it.
  • Looking for spontaneous and adventurous (note: this means hookup).

You are probably thinking, “I see nothing inherently wrong with any of those sentences.” I would agree except our reasonable math here will explain my dilemma.  88.2% of that 1,000 equals  882 men, which leaves 118 men who did not type out one of the above phrases.  Or non-phrases if we are being picky.  When you read the same phrases 882 times, you begin to see a pattern, and I’d venture to say it becomes tiresome after reading it the first 200 times.

Now, of those 1,000 men, roughly 60% of them are in Nashville to pursue some kind of career in music, or if not career, then at least fame. That means that they post country music rock star pictures of themselves on a mountain with their thumbs hooked in the pockets of their tight Buckle jeans and wearing hemp choker necklaces, usually with a hat of some sort pulled low over their eyes which are looking pensively off into the distance.  Actually, that’s picture one. Picture two involves the instrument or mic of their choice and also usually involves someone’s arm in the right-hand corner raised up with a lighter.  The amount of fame increases the amount of arms.  Note I said fame, not skill.  To continue our math, and to make it easy, let’s say that of those 118 men left who wrote more than one original complete sentence, 60% of them are pursuing some sort of music fame.  That is 71 men.

It is relevant to note here that I will never date a musician. I have a thousand reasons for that, not least of which is the significant other is so far down on the priority list, after fame and fans and instruments, and groupies, and roadies and so on, that there might as well not be a significant other.  So my pool of potentials now drops from 118 to 47.

Going back to our original numbers, I’d guess that 30% of the men online are either A) married (you can tell by the lack of photos or the lack of non-dog pictures) or B) in a polyamory relationship (most of them say their wives are okay with it, but call me skeptical.) I, for one, don’t share.  No thanks.  So using our math skillz, let’s say 30% of the remaining 47 men are not available for a single monogamous relationship.  That leaves us with 33 men.

Now we must factor out my dealbreakers:

  • If I can’t see your eyes, I swipe no
  • If your name is Fred, I swipe no
  • If you have used every available filter readily available to you so that all of your pictures have BEER THIRTY emblazoned on the bottom, I swipe no
  • If you are an atheist, I swipe no
  • If you say your children are your entire world, I swipe no because clearly there is no room for anyone else in your life
  • If you say that at 50 you are hopeful to still start a family, I swipe no

I forgot to add in the scammers, all of which claim to be military men who have been stationed in a foreign country, because everyone knows that all lonely, sad, single women are patriots who cannot wait to send their money to the Nicaraguan claiming to be Army in Lebanon. For the sake of easy math, let’s combine them in with all of the above and give that group a conservative percentage of 20.  That leaves me with 27 men from whom I can make my pickle selections, and 20 of them are terrified that their dates will be fat.  So I got seven, five of whom I had at least one date with.  And of those five, I am terribly afraid to report that not one of them is my person for one reason or another.  Every single one of them lovely, a Claussen at the very least, but not mine.  And typical for my experiences with online dating.

The funny part of me wants to say, “I’ll just move to Alaska where there are .2 women for every 100 men and I’ll be wildly popular!” But the real part of me wants to say, “You know what? I’m okay.  I’m happy.  I’ve worked hard to be this person and I like her. I like her friends.  I like her family, and mostly I like her life.  So thanks, generic pickle, but I’ll wait on my Vlasic because a squishy wimpy soggy pickle is no substitute for the real thing, and honestly, I’m pretty happy with this bowl of olives that is my current life right here in front of me that includes no pickle at all.”

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I Don’t Know Why I Get So Hopeful

I used to work with a man who always had a really great tan. He had pretty teeth, too, and he was tall and he did a bunch of rodeo riding in his spare time.  The first time I met him he wore the Wranglers that only true cowboys can pull off, a belt buckle he’d won from one of his rodeo gigs and some boots, the good kind, the shit-kicker kind.  I nearly passed out when we first came face-to-face because although I had talked on the business phone with him for years, and although I’d heard he was pretty, I was unprepared for all of that beauty housed in one man.  Watching him walk across the room towards me made my ovaries whimper and I’m pretty sure another whimper flew out of my mouth, but I said “excuse me” like I had just burped and I’m pretty sure he didn’t know.

During that meeting he called me “baby” once. I think it was an accident but I still remember it like it just happened.

A few years later, when Boss and I changed companies, hot cowboy moved to Nashville to work with us in our new office and I got to see him every day. At first I walked around the office with my stomach sucked in all the time and I coiffed my hair into spectacular perfection every morning.  After a few months, though, I realized that hot cowboy was still hot but only until he opened his mouth to say something and then somehow the hotness piggybacked out on his words and left him.  He was still cute but I no longer religiously engaged my core, and some days I put my hair in a ponytail.  That’s the thing about getting to know people.  The insides don’t always match the outsides.  He was good in motion if the motions you got to see were the cattle roping and the bowlegged swagger across a room, but he was no Dammit Todd.  The motions stopped there.

That year we had a big old project out in the desert, and I was slated to pick him up from the airport after he had flown out to Utah for an airport inspection. He had a cocktail or two on the ride home so was pretty free with his words, and he told me that his girlfriend thought I was pretty, that he did, too, and that perhaps we should try this thing out called a “threesome.”  After I finished wheezing with mirth, I said, “no thanks” and dropped him off at his car.  Nothing was ever said again and I was relieved.  I chalked it up to the alcohol and then made it a point to really pook my stomach out whilst walking around the office, and I wadded my hair in an unflattering mini-donut bun often.

Eventually Cowboy and I left that company and moved on to other life adventures. I fielded a couple of calls from Cowboy when he needed something related to the work we used to do, which was unique.  He also let me know that he married a woman who owns a ranch and I was pleased for him as his work was always just a means to feed and keep show ponies.  This was quite a few years ago and there was never again a whisper of suggestive talk, so I never worried about it again.

That’ll learn me.

This is a transcript of our last phone conversation, sometime last year.

Cowboy: Hey, Jimmie.

Jimmie: Hey, Cowboy! What’s up?

Cowboy: I’m in New Orleans, by myself, and its lonely here.

Jimmie: <cluing in right away, because I have gone down this road before with at least more than one online dater> That’s too bad.  You should call your wife.

Cowboy: She’s boring.

Jimmie: Then don’t be boring when you talk to her. I’ll talk to you later.

Cowboy: Wait, I have a real question, an important one.

Jimmie: Yes?

Cowboy:  Why did we never have sex?

Jimmie: Cowboy, no.  I’m not talking about this with you.

Cowboy: But why didn’t we?  I always wanted to.

Jimmie: We worked together!  And now you are married, so later.

Cowboy: I’d still really like to see what you and I would be like.

Jimmie: *crickets*

Cowboy: It’s kind of hot to think about, right?

Jimmie: *crickets*

Cowboy: I’m kind of hot thinking about it right now, actually.  I’m going to take my pants-

Jimmie: <firmly presses end button on cell phone><blocks number>

Why is it that I forget these things? Why do I get hopeful that men will be different as time passes?  Why do I sign up for online dating, for crying out loud? It has never, not ever, been my best idea.

For you reading pleasure, below are some messages I received in my last go round of hopefulness.

Boy 1: Hey.

Jimmie: *crickets*

 

Boy 2: Hey.

Jimmie: *crickets*

 

Boy 3: Hey.

Jimmie: *crickets*

 

Boy 4: Hey, how r u?

Jimmie: <contemplates answering because thinking this is as good at its going to get but *crickets*>

 

Boy 5: wyd?

Jimmie: I don’t even rate a full sentence?

Boy 5: *crickets*

 

Boy 6: BBC?

Jimmie: What is BBC?

Boy 6: Big Black Co-

Jimmie: <firmly presses the delete key>

 

Boy 7: Have you ever made love all night long?

Jimmie: Did you read my profile?  Let’s level the playing field here.  I’m celibate until I get married.  Do you want to talk to me now?

Boy 7: *crickets*

 

Boy 8: Hey.

Jimmie: *crickets*

 

Boy 9: Hi. I like your profile.  How are you today?  Would you like to email?

Jimmie: Praise the Lord, yes!  I love full sentences!  This is so great!  Yes, how are you?!

Boy 9: blah, blah, blah, pretty, blah, blah, I like travel, poo-tee-weet, blargh

Jimmie: ditto

Boy 9: Before we go much further, I do have a question.  I don’t want to waste your time.  Do you like dominant men?

Jimmie: Dominant men?  Did you just step into the sex talk because I have to tell you, I’m celibate until I marry and if you can’t deal, we can stop this train right here.

Boy 9: No, this has nothing to do with sex. I’m just dominant in every way.

Jimmie: Like, for the Lord?  Like the head of the household thing?  I may not be getting this.

Boy 9: Well, I’ll give you an example.  If we are at a restaurant and you have to go to the bathroom, you’d ask my permission first.

Jimmie: <wheeze> Seriously?

Boy 9: Yes.

Jimmie: <wheeze> So if I needed shoes, I’d have to ask permission to buy them?

Boy 9: Yes.

Jimmie: <wheeze> <snort> <much eye rolling> I feel like you expect me to be flattered here because I seem “worthy,” but I think perhaps I’d be a little too spunky for you. I’ve lived alone a long time and I pretty much do what I want.  I don’t think I’d be able to never question a decision or live without having a voice or worry about my needs being met.

Boy 9: Those things can happen.

Jimmie: Successfully? Can your partner be successful in those things?

Boy 9: Not really.

Jimmie: Thanks, but no thanks. That is no life for me.

Boy 9:  I would be happy to train you.

Jimmie: <in the throes of apoplexy> <eye roll so hard it causes a sprain> No, thank you. I’m not interested.

Boy 9: If you change your mind, let me know.  It’s never to late to learn something new.

Y’all. To late.  TO late.  Oh, hell no.

Jimmie: Look, here’s how I see this going down.  You’d “instruct” me in something and you’d use improper grammar.  I can’t deal with that. I’d have no choice but correct you.  In turn I’m guessing you’d feel the need to “punish” me for speaking “without permission” and then I’m sorry, but I’d have no choice but to beat the shit out of you with a frying pan.  Those are my rules.  Do you think you can live with that?

This will shock you guys, truly, but this is what he said to me:

Boy 9: *crickets*

 

Somebody send me the link to this one when I sign up for some online dating thing next year. This one will work, too. Please and thank you.