Miriam Feder home


New Series! The Blessed Disappointment and Post 2

like a hole in my head sqThis is the second post in a new series, The Blessed Disappointment. Why blessed? Aren’t disappointments usually, uh, disappointing? Well, in the world of online dating (and not unique to that world, I might add) any little trait that reveals itself as a negative to you, the dater, helps you sort the datee. (I’m talking about things like missed dates, rude-stupid-clumsy remarks, smells, tastes, etc., not Mr. Goodbar-type behavior.) Get it out there now before I commit to that double latte (yes I usually buy my own coffee–not because I’m a beacon of independence, but because I can’t abide the idea that a full cup of coffee isn’t met with instantaneous payment. A cup of coffee is serious business, not only to me, but to those people behind me in line. Any sort of awkward discussion or delay in presentation of payment is unacceptable. So if you want to buy me a cup of coffee, thanks, and have your card ready.)

OK Cupid provides its clients a bank of questions to choose, willy nilly, to answer or ignore as they like. Based on your answers, OKC posts strange calculations of percentage friend and enemy with each other client, even those who don’t meet basic requirements. For example, I am a woman seeking a man. Yet if I roll over to the women’s profiles, I still get a frenemy ratio on each straight woman I see. These numbers are slightly helpful when applied to someone of the right group and weirdly impenetrable.

The slightly helpful side of these questions: it might be nice to know what sort of logic, math, spelling, ethics, and sexual-religious-grooming preferences a potential date might have. To this end, a couple of the OK Cupid questions seem important. A few of the questions even seem poised to provide insight (they elude me just now.) But I’ve heard that big data digestion reveals there’s a triple threat in the endless questions answered by The Two of Us (the tab I click on if I want to know about this guy’s answers to questions.) Apparently, when answers to this triumverate match between two love-hunters, they spell more likelihood of a successful match (whatever that means. I think we can safely agree that success is probably something north of the gag reflex and south of I love you: a) forever; b) for awhile; or c) for the duration of this cup of coffee.)

So what questions are the best forecasters of a successful match? 1) Do you like horror movies? Question number two is Have you ever traveled around another country alone? And question three is “wouldn’t it be fun to chuck it all and go live on a sailboat?” I’m trying to think what is the progression of these questions. Let me take a stab at it: 1) Do you like to be scared by fake strange things happening in familiar places? 2) Do you want to try out possibly strange things happening in unfamiliar places (like reality?) 3) Do you want to throw away everything familiar to encounter real danger in real time without a net, while cramped, stinky and covered in sunscreen?

The analysis says a match on all of these—whether yes or no on any given question—seems to coincide with that all-elusive undefined success. Also remember, this is REALLY BIG DATA. No breakdowns for age—and my answers at pushing-60 are probably going to look a lot different from even me at 27, especially on question 3. (At 27 I was pretty desperate to get out of the miserable law firm I was part of, but not chuck-it-all and live with some dude on a sailboat in the Pacific-desperate, although I knew people who were and did. Also, there are relatively few of us geezers in the pool, a lamentation for another day.)

You folks who have been loyal-to-occasional readers know I travel alone to other countries as often as possible. Perhaps you didn’t know I don’t like horror movies and I’m not looking for anyone who’s likely to chuck it all and live on a sailboat. I just had coffee with that guy and it was a good reminder. The fifties (mine) are a decade of practicality.

One question answered by many men looking for women that I think might be informative is “rate your overall confidence,” with choices: Very very high; Higher than average; Average; and Eeyore. On a man’s profile, it’s pretty clear that “very very high” will usually translate into “asshole.” We’ve all known him. We probably have to pass him at least once a day. Yet it doesn’t surprise me that a man will answer that way, despite this common knowledge and conclusion on the part of the female love-hunters. If you’re an asshole, it won’t occur to you that women in their fifties are tired of assholes.(The fifties are also a decade in which to swear off assholes in all walks of life. There will be more about assholes in these commentaries, believe me. It’s a rich vein.)

I’d think on a scale of women, the self-rating of Very very high confidence sounds like someone I’d happily serve with on a non-profit board committee (and gladly let her do all the work.) But I doubt that self-designation is a good marketing tactic for her either.

Funny, I have NO problem with men answering that they believe they are smarter than most people. That is, unless they follow it up with a few gross spelling and or usage mistakes. Yes, my heart belongs to Daddy.

Personally I like to know-before-I-go that Mr. Coffee isn’t into pets on the bed, a supreme duty to God, teaching creationism in schools and slapping women around. If you’re seeking any of these guys, more for you, sweetie.

Useful? “Yes” answers to questions about willingness to date folks with STDs reminds me to ask a lot of questions. “How frequently do you get into conflicts with authority figures” is a new favorite of mine. Even an immature dude should be over that by 30. You do have to scan the answers to questions and decide how many grains of salt to apply. Believe me, we’ll all have plenty of questions. I just don’t want to forget to listen to all the answers—including those unspoken. Any one of them might contain the blessed disappointment.