I’m so thoroughly confused by the “expert” dating advisors out there these days. While we’ve always had the articles in Cosmopolitan, preaching to us about the ten surefire ways to get him to drool over us and what to never say or do on the first date (I’ve done them all), it seems like the search for love has taken over our TV’s, internet and, well, our lives.
We see the commercials for dating websites all the time and, many of us have actually used them. For those of you who haven’t been following the blog, I found love online myself. And it started off as a joke. I signed up just looking for entertaining material for this blog. What I found was the father of my soon-to-be-born child! (For more on this, click here!) There are free sites, pay-sites, religious based sites, sites for women who want to date rich men only, sites based on fetishes, etc. Let’s face it, there is an ass out there for every seat, right? And now, there are people and companies out there to “help” us write our profiles and create this persona to present to our perspective daters that’s assured to get us success. But what is success?
Most online dating advisors will give pretty similar advice: don’t be negative; talk about what you do want, not what you don’t want; keep your options broad – don’t limit yourself too much based on what you think you want but, rather, give people a chance. And these advisors will boast that these tactics have earned themselves and many others hundreds of dates. Which is great news, for those just looking to go out on a lot of dates. And, let’s be honest, there are a lot of people trolling these sites who are looking for just that. But what about for those of us who are truly seeking quality as opposed to quantity? Receiving thousands of email responses from people who don’t fit our desires isn’t exciting, it’s nothing more than exhausting!
When I first started out, I tried the whole broaden-my-horizons approach. I made my profile humorous so that it would stand out and show that I’m funny rather than just saying it. I mean everyone thinks they’re funny right? But how about proving it? And that worked to my advantage. But I was getting hundreds of emails from people who could barely speak the English language, who thought “Hey Sexy” was an acceptable approach, and, my personal favorite, the shirtless-photo-in-the-mirror guys. I’m sorry, but there was no way I was going out with any of these guys. My time is way too valuable for that! And so, I made some changes to my profile. While I kept the humor and positivity about myself and life in general, I added some conditions at the bottom. Namely that I won’t respond to anyone with shirtless pics, who calls me baby, sexy, etc. as a greeting, who can not spell (or at least use spell check). I’m not a bitch, I just know what I want. And I wasn’t interested in wasting my time.
While my inbox may have received a few less messages, the ones that I did get were definitely more along what I was looking for. And most people told me that they respected my honesty and straight forward nature. That’s just me, I speak my mind, I know what I want and I go after it. And I want someone who appreciates and respects that about me. So why would I present myself as anything less? I’m sorry but I just don’t believe in hiding who we are until we get them on the hook. The more honest we are about ourselves from the very beginning, the more likely we will find a relationship that will succeed. And I’ve done just that. Without going on hundreds of dates as these advisors will brag about. I went on two. The very second man that I agreed to meet in person is now making breakfast in the kitchen while I lay in bed with my laptop and my ever expanding belly – pregnant with our child. I guess that says something for honesty being the best policy!
Now, we have that new “reality” TV show, Miss Advised. I have kept trying to talk myself into watching it for research purposes but, seriously? Have you seen these commercials? These women are a mess! They haven’t been on dates themselves in years and admit to dating men who are completely wrong for them. We’re supposed to take dating advice from them because…why? And yet, this is how they make their living! I can not for the life of me understand why anyone would pay money to someone to help them find true love after having seen this show.
I’m not an expert. I’m just a woman with a lot of opinions and an inability to keep them to myself who happened to be successful in finding love. Maybe what worked for me won’t work for everyone. But my advice to anyone who’s interested? Be yourself. That’s the only way to find someone who’s going to love you for being exactly who you are. None of us are perfect, we all have our flaws. And, if we’re lucky, we’ll find someone who loves us because of those flaws, not in spite of them. I spent my first date with CC drunk, both of us forgetting to pay the bill and apparently talking about many things that you’re just not supposed to talk about on a first date (aka being less than conservative in college, etc.). And yet, it worked for me. Find what works for you. But never, never, let anyone convince you to be anyone other than who you are!
“Don’t go changing To try and please me You never let me down before…I don’t want clever conversation I never want to work that hard I just want someone That I can talk to I want you just the way you are” ~ Billy Joel, Just The Way You Are