Thanks to social media, we can now condense anything we want to into 140 characters. If you can’t, then you really can’t stay relevant. This idea overflows into the online dating profile. How do we capture someone’s attention in a short span but also try to convey a little bit about what we are?
Some of us don’t even try, there is nothing in the profile. We are hoping our shirtless pic showing off our abs will grab every guy’s attention. No guilt trip, I do it too. My last profile pic was when I was at my skinniest in a pair of very small briefs. My present one is me in another pair of skimpy underwear doing a one-legged wheel. It’s a double whammy: I’m almost naked, showing off a great bod (at least the filter and angle give that impression), and doing something most guys can’t do. Thanks to Tinder, you can have multiple pictures. Most of mine are me in weird yoga poses that showcase my body and strength. They are great conversation starters, but really I’m after the attention, luring the cute guy in.
After the pictures, you can use the space to tell guys about yourself. Like all things online, there is a character or word limit. What to put is always tricky. How do you come across as intriguing but not crazy? I got a hard-worker award back in kindergarten, I didn’t scream the time I crushed my finger in the door when I was 12, I grew out of my acne phase by the time I was 16, I graduated from college and was told “You is smart, you is kind, you is important.” I mean the possibilities are endless.
I learned a few staples that can get guys talking. Boxers or Briefs is always a fun question. Mentioning what kind of alcohol you like helps, especially if it’s tequila. Nobody believes anyone who says “Not Looking.” I usually use too many exclamation points, but I’ve always done that. I once maxed out a Facebook status with the amount I use. I like to get just a tad sassy too, gotta show that ‘tude.
At the end of the day, does our profile really mean anything? We can put anything we want there. Aren’t we after the same thing? For the most part we fall into the two camps of “I want it right now” or “I want a relationship.”
All of this leads me to say, here’s what I want to say:
Dear Future Husband,
I’m crazy. I’ll put that out there first. I can tell you that 100 times before we even meet and you won’t believe me. After the first 5 minutes you’ll realize I am crazy. I don’t have a filter. I speak my mind, without being rude, but I sure as heck will tell you about the embarrassing story this morning where I put my hair gel on my face thinking it was moisturizer. About how 5 minutes before we met I was giving my friend Cara sex advice.
I just kind of speak what comes to mind. I’m not doing it to impress you or even to try to be an interesting person, I just want to give you the real me right up front. You’ll find it out sooner or later, so better to spare us both the heartbreak and throw you right into it. If you can handle it, then we have a chance; if you can’t, then it’s good to know right now.
Not every guy wants to be thrown to the wolves right off the bat. I personally like it. I excel the best when that happens to me. I know some of you will be turned off by it, but that’s all right. I’d rather be myself rather than trying to be someone else just to impress you.
If you can get over the fact that I am crazy (did I mention my friends will vouch for this too), then you’ll see me. The real me. The guy who is caring, loyal, remembers random dates, memorizes your favorite drink, knows your favorite dessert and bakes it from scratch so you can have the best.
I’m the guy you do want to bring home to your mom. I’m respectful, I get along with almost everyone, and I’m great with kids. I know how to get down and dirty to help with the cleaning. I’ll come help you fix the flat tire on the side of the road at 4AM. I’m there through thick and thin.
When you can get past the crazy, and the fact I can’t put all this in my profile, you’ll see that hopefully I’m worth it.
The truth is, wouldn’t most of us say that, or something similar? When we find that right person, we go head over heels for them. The hard, outer shell goes away. Our walls melt. Everything we swore we would never do, we are now doing for that person. The awesome boyfriend within rises to the top and we show that we are truly amazing people.
While you may be nodding your head, going “yes, yes, I want someone to know the real me,” we don’t really change our tactics, do we? We are still on Grindr, which in reality is just a hook up app, we keep swiping right, and while Tinder has a little bit more redeeming quality to it, it still can lead us down that spiral of just looking for sex. It also doesn’t stop us from just talking to the hot guys on the app too. Or refusing to give someone a shot at a second date.
We really do have the attention span of a gold fish, and that’s all the time we give to a guy to capture our attention. I always dreamed of running into my future husband at the local bakery and we start talking because we can’t decide which gluten-free vegan cupcake to buy from the days selection. Even with that dream in my head, I still can’t get off Grindr or Tinder, and I wonder why nothing has changed. Maybe it’s time to stop looking at my phone, and start looking at the guy in front of me who’s trying to figure out which cupcake to buy.
— photo credit: Willard via Flickr, cc.
MATTHEW DAVID HAYS is a budding writer, currently living in Michigan. Matt loves to stay active and keep his mind engaged. You can usually find him at the local yoga studio or at happy hour.