by Lisa Barnard
I’m turning 30 in a few months, and I recently realized I’m now at the age I made a lot of promises about in the past. One of those promises was that if I was still single at 30, I’d try online dating. I’ve had an onslaught of terrible dating experiences in the last year (including someone who turned out to be a drug dealer, someone who was mad I didn’t want to come hang out at his bedbug-infested apartment, and a commitment-phobe friend who constantly appears to be doing an uncanny Jekyll and Hyde impression). I am also at the age where apparently I better hurry up if I want kids. So, I signed up for Match.com. You know, to meet some normal guys. (Wow.)
There’s no end to what I could write about my experiences on Match.com, and I’ve only been on the site for a week. (My favorite is probably the guy whose opening line was, “Hey baby u r cute n sexy, come cuddle w me by my fireplace.” Sounds great, what’s the address?!) But there is one issue in particular I’d like to take up.
Did you know that 99% of the guys on Match.com are adventure travelers? It seems dubious to me too, but let’s continue as if it’s true. The majority of guys on the site go on and on about all of the outdoor adventure activity they do, including mountain climbing, ziplining, white water rafting, bungee jumping, parasailing, sky diving, someone even talked about alligator wrestling. And of course they love traveling and frequent all these crazy places like Iceland and Belize and Egypt and Greece and the rainforests or whatever. They are outdoors all the time, playing every sport that was ever invented, including some you’ve never heard of (sled hockey?), and they work out 5+ times a week.
I live in North Carolina, 3 hours away from the mountains and 3 hours away from the beach. These guys say they are ambitious and have pretty good jobs where they are making average salaries. How exactly are they ziplining regularly? And where? And how are they getting time off from work to travel all the time, at age 30? And with what money? I don’t buy it.
But that’s not even what bothers me. The real kicker here is the type of girl they are all looking for. Now on my profile, I checked off the box saying that I want someone who wants kids and who’s single (… why I have to specify this troubles me). And I wrote out by hand that I am looking for an easy-going, honest, passionate guy. Are those the type of characteristics these guys are looking for? Not even close.
She has to be beautiful and adventurous and also love adventure sports like ziplining and whatever the hell, and she also has to love to travel. She has to be open to trying anything (I’m assuming this means sexual positions) and be outgoing and extroverted and like to go out but also like to stay in. She has to be a great conversationalist, smart, witty, funny, and “not get embarrassed easily.” (Why are we specifying this? Again, troubled.) She has to be into sports – playing sports and watching sports – and be able to kick back with the guys. She also has to be ambitious, be smart and successful, be educated and have a great job, be family-oriented, be career-driven, want to have (and, unspoken, take care of) kids, knows how to take care of herself (I can only assume this means that she’s thin and has highlights and gets manicures), be outdoorsy, like to be outside all the time (these are apparently two different things), like to camp and hike, be “active” and work out frequently, did I mention beautiful?, like all different kinds of foods and be willing to try – AND LIKE, GODDAMNIT – any kind of exotic food, not be pessimistic or complain, be loyal and honest, not be self-conscious about anything (… you’re helping), know who she is and what she wants, and, my ultimate favorite, ACCEPT ME FOR WHO I AM.
Wow you guys. This is a joke, right? Do you sincerely think you can find all of this in one person? Have you considered the fact that you are on Match.com because this is what you’re holding out for?! First of all, these guys check off “slender” as the body type for their match… they rarely check off “athletic and toned.” But you want someone who does these adventure sports and plays sports too and works out every day? Huh? And how are you going to find someone who is career-driven and is family-oriented and is beautiful who also has time to play sports as an adult and like hike around all the time and wrestle alligators? What? I do know girls who do that kind of stuff, but believe me most of them do not meet all these other criteria, including having the hot model appearance you desire.
But also, think hard – DO YOU REALLY WANT THIS? I don’t think you want this type of girl, if she even exists, because then she’d be too intimidating and you’d feel like she was overshadowing you and better than you at the things you do, and lord knows that would be a problem.
So I offer this plea to the guys of Match.com. Refocus. Look for a girl who doesn’t mind that you (apparently) want to go off ziplining, but who might want to lay in the sunshine and read a book while you do. (To work on that tan you demand, obviously.) Or pick, say, two of the major things you’re looking for. Like, she has to be adventurous and beautiful, but it’s okay if she’s a waitress. You know? Be a little more realistic. I’m not saying let go of your dreams. But get a grip. Everyone is not Angelina Jolie. (Not that you’d be into her, since she’s athletic and toned and probably doesn’t have time for parachuting with all those babies in tow.)
It’s this bad, and I haven’t even been on a date yet. Good lord. Clearly I’m going to be single forever.
Read the rest of S&R’s ongoing online dating series.