I took a stab at online dating recently. Time has come to silence all the well-meaning encouragers in the business of grief-healing and moving forward in life. I got on a dating website that prides itself with layers of inquisition and digging deeper so you find that most fitting mate to match you on deeper levels than you ever thought possible, or at least at apparent 55% level of compatibility. I say this because after answering the endless quiz of 700 something questions, I have not seen anyone whom my answers matched with higher than 55%. Am I to assume inevitability and settle on someone with whom I share 55% of opinions, ideas or values. Am I expected to compromise on the remaining 45%, or settle and fill it with some(1)thing else?
Given that for 15 years I had an amazing, deep, intimate marriage, friendship and connection with another soul, whom I called and who called me “the love of my life”, you would think my expectations of topping that would be higher than divine and unlikely to find, after all, he was one of those amazing guys who raised the bar so high it would take a very special man to ever top that, yet I laid my hopes down on dig deep questionnaires and few carefully selected, arguably best angled head shots and a multilayer-ed set of filters to strain through just the right cocktail of qualities to assure highest level of my satisfaction. I sat there for a while, answering endless ice breakers, hoping for a spark of something, somewhere, but nothing ever got further than deep digging questions and answers, or lists of makes and breaks, which by the way seem to indirectly depict the list of everyone’s issues or past bad experiences.
Most men who sent me ice breakers, when I asked them what they thought about soul-mates, said they would just be happy to find a lover and a friend, or with work any person can eventually become your soul-mate. This left me feeling sad and disappointed. Doesn’t anyone believe in finding true, deep, all involving, unconditional love, or am I nuts to expect that at the age of 44, when most people I am likely to meet already have failed marriages, have been disappointed or betrayed, scared or hurt in some way, my percentage of chance for finding great matching love again, is at meager 55% level. I call that lowered expectations, but I don’t understand why, why not increase them even higher by expecting and giving more to people, opening more, what could ever be wrong with that? Is everyone’s heart and mind only about half way open? Don’t answer that, it was a rhetorical, I know, it’s the fear of disappointment and rejection, of course. No one wants more pain, more anguish, more rejection. I get it, but at 55% expectations level, you are likely to get just that, at least that is how I feel.
I am not a believer in hard work to make love happen. I am one of those people who is in love with natural, organic, passionate love and who believes in it and its infinite powers to move hearts, mountains, even planets, to create art, ideas, revolutions and new life. It is one of the most important things to me in life. Giving and receiving copious amounts of love, openly, sincerely and unselfishly, for everything and everyone I care about, it is my inner juice, and blood flow, it gives me air and nutrition and I cannot live, breathe or do without it. Since most people are frightened into shutting down their nerve endings and padding up their heart chambers, I am left to perpetually self-create, bottle as much of it as I possibly can and self-apply until warmer days.
But I was curious to see what kind of man I would meet at that mediocre expectation level, so I decided to take a peek. My litmus test was going to be how much his answers make me laugh, because that is one thing that 99% of men claim in their profiles is that they do, make their friends laugh. I tried to find a profile that actually made me laugh, but everyone seemed so insanely proper and serious it was nauseating. Thousands of kind, sweet, generous, genuine, funny men, who love their family, everyone is not in the least jealous or possessive or dominant, and I actually asked these things, everyone is adventurous and fit, open to new experiences, yada-yada, yawn-yawn, they all sound perfect, but no one made me laugh or stood out in any way, and I feel terrible actually saying that, but I was bored and unmoved with 99% of profiles I was seeing, not because these men were boring but because they were not letting themselves be creative and authentic, many even sounded like job resumes, which I am sure is a result of lack of imagination or effort.
So I made my own profile stand out by saying some unlikely things in hopes to attract that funny guy who gets me. I figured, someone out there will get my sense of humor and possibly say something equally as unfitting. By saying counter-intuitive things, I was also hoping to weed out all the dogmatic, unimaginative and loaded with baggage ones. …. So finally, one man made me laugh with one line in his profile, it had to do with peanut butter. He looked decent and was the only one that made it passed all the carefully scientifically formulated filters and value matching methods, so I decided it was time to meet him for coffee.
We met at a very busy place, I hardly recognized him in person, it’s so weird how different a person can look from their picture, especially when there are only 2-3 pictures to see. We said hello and proceeded to order coffee. In first few seconds it was clear to both of us that not only there was no mutual attraction, but there was mutual repulsion instead. While we waited for coffee and made small talk I kept thinking how is it possible to dislike one another so strongly that we both knew that our meeting will be as brief and as terminal as our cup of coffee.
But despite obvious, immediate dislike of each other, we gave it the proper time due, had our coffee and had a very interesting conversation. I learned some things from this man and am not in the slightest sorry I met my 55% match. He gave me an insanely interesting marriage and life story which I found so fascinating, I am burning with desire to write about, he showed me how incredibly dark and pessimistic a person could be in just their left foot and how repelled by my optimism and sunshiny outlook in life someone could feel, and as much as this man possibly inner cursed the time he spent talking to me which in his mind, he was never getting back, I was internally salivating at the juiciness of his story, the opportunity for hearing another perspective, for seeing another angle, and feeling another side of what I had the sweet abundance of in life.
It was a precious experience, I am so glad I had it, but now I’m off to see what lies in the 90th percentile.
Categories: Love and Lore
Tags: attraction, connection, conversation, dating, digging deeper, divorce, fear of rejection, gratitude, grief, healing, humor, laugh, love, lowered expectations, men, moving forward, online dating, passion, raised expetcations, relationships, repulsion, soul-mates