So I’m going to follow up that incredibly insightful and deep like the ocean post with a more light-hearted essay about dating. (Should there be hyphens in “deep like the ocean”? Should there be hyphens in “light-hearted”? Eh, who cares.)
Here’s one area in my life where I consistently struggle with that whole balance and patience thing. It’s not that I’m dying to get into a relationship or anything, but it’s fun to have someone to be able to hang with regularly. I’ve recently jumped back into the world of online dating, and just like before, it’s proving to be a lot more wasted effort than success. I’m learning all the time that I am too damn picky. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not even entertaining the idea of changing that particular quality about myself, but seriously. I will rule your profile out based on your photos or your spelling or the fact that you’ve never read a book. The problem with this is that I’d probably give you about 74% more of a chance if we met first in real life, because I probably wouldn’t know those things about you, but doing it online pretty much begs particularity. It’s not that I feel like I’m too good for everyone or anything like that. I just have no desire to put the energy into people that I don’t totally dig from the start, and unfortunately my analytical inclination leads to more no’s than yes’s.
Online dating allows you to sort of refine the field and allows you to sort of choose who you want to talk with and meet. I said sort of. Problem is, people have the freedom to talk themselves up and also alternatively, unintentionally undershoot themselves when creating a profile. A really great guy might be overlooked because of awful pictures (and lets face it, how many guys actually have good photos of themselves?) A really shitty guy might be sought after because he is interested in cool stuff like wakeboarding and cooking, but is hiding the fact that he’s full of himself and unable to commit. You just never know. The difficult part is determining who to give a chance. I get a lot of messages (because let’s face it, I’m awesome, and really, why am I single?) and if I gave each person that messages me a chance, I’d never have time to do anything but date and keep up with people. (Helloooooo stuck up, conceited Jessica!!) But really, I’m not at all interested in giving it that much effort.
I’ve gone on a handful of dates now, all of which have left me wanting. The person is always too this or too that. Too country or too hipster or not talkative enough or emotionally unavailable. I’m a pretty balanced gal, and is it too damn much to ask for a guy who has a little bit of everything going on? I know these men exist. I have friends that are them.Someone who likes to play outside and get his hands dirty and can fix my car if I need him to, but can clean up and look sharp in dress clothes for a night out and maybe a cool show? Someone who doesn’t wear affliction t-shirts or gel their hair? Someone who doesn’t have stupid tattoos they regret from when they were 18? Someone who is successful and established doing something they love but not big-headed because of it? Someone who likes to travel, but can be content where they are at in the in-betweens? Someone who is physically active and fit and attractive? Someone who enjoys trying all kinds of foods and doesn’t order chicken strips on the first date and use a 20% off coupon? (I’m all about coupons, but the first date…please don’t even take me to a restaurant that accepts coupons on a first date…). Someone who isn’t going to be turned off by my CrossFit calloused hands or my muscles or the fact that I don’t wash my hair and style it every day? Someone who can appreciate a good beer? Someone who knows good music but doesn’t mind when I wanna crank up Justin Timberlake? Someone who has a car and a home he prides himself in? Someone attractive who takes care to be hygienic but isn’t prissy and is still a man? A man? Someone who understands my dry sarcasm and my awkward clumsiness? Someone who can make me laugh? Someone who gives good back rubs and kisses well and knows how to make a woman feel good? Maybe someone who can cook right alongside me, keep up with me (or kick my ass) at the gym, spontaneously suggests roadtrips, appreciates how insanely cool I am, and makes an effort to make me feel important on a regular basis? Yeah, I know that’s a lot to ask for, but I’m not gonna settle for anything less.
Sometimes I think I should just stop putting in the effort to do this and just let prince charming magically fall in my lap, but I don’t think that’s necessarily the solution. I think the solution is to keep an open mind and to be patient and not have expectations. Dating is a good learning experience, and I may never find the man I described above, but as long as I’m not constantly setting myself up for disappointment with all of my expectations and just appreciating people for who they are…..and patiently awaiting the day when it clicks, I think this journey will be fruitful. And hell, I’m sure I’ll have fun stories from it if nothing else…like last night when I rubbed jalapenos in my eye cooking for someone I had just met. ;)
And since this post needs a photo, here is one of my newest drink of choice:
And now, I’m off to meet yet another and drink a green beer. Happy St. Pats.