Tuesday, March 08, 2005
"You're Great, But I Don't Want to Date You"
Nope, that isn't the latest book from the Sex and the City writers. It's just the topic of this post, inspired by two posts from two separate bloggers on the blogroll... First up is P-Life, with his nice, well-intentioned words run afoul. He found a profile of a woman who seemed great but had four kids. P-Life, having decided that he doesn't want to go from having zero to four like that, wrote her to tell her that although he wouldn't date her because of her children, he thought she had some great things in her profile and he wishes her the best of luck. Her response was cordial. Way more so than I might have been, frankly. I have no doubt that he was well-intentioned. But I can tell you that in a sea of non-response that online dating can be, a message represents hope: and getting a message that says "I think you're great but I cannot date you" is pointless and annoying, even if the intentions were pure. Moving over to one of my fave L.A. girls (see you soon, chica!), Superjux tells the tale of a JDater who contacted her to tell her how great her profile is. (Think the Usual Suspects: "And then, like that--[whoosh]--he's gone.") I have to say that it would never occur to me, unless I already knew the person, to tell someone he had a great profile if I didn't want to get to know the person behind that profile. But apparently, there are guys who do this, and do this NOT to be jerks, but just to express appreciation. My point is that on JDate, or Frumster, or any other dating service, people are online looking for love and connection. For someone to initiate contact with you to say something nice about you seems like it should be totally fine; but for people who are looking for a meaningful connection and who are discouraged by the selection, it's adding insult to injury. In essence, that person (who has been me on more than one occasion) hears "You're great, but I wouldn't date you," which can be torture. They might even hear "I appreciate you for all that you are, but forget about dating guys who appreciate you and concentrate on someone who will treat you poorly." Or "you should totally run for Mayor of the Friend Zone, because you're livin' there and you ain't never comin' out." And so I offer you this. An open letter to the guys of online dating from some of its disgruntled women: Dear Boys, We have no doubt that you meant to be kind. Your intentions were as pure as the driven snow or as the High Priest's holiday garb right before Yom Kippur. But your words didn’t help us. It made us feel, again, like the perma-residents of the Friend Zone. Telling us that we are “great girls” or that you “love” our profiles, but still don’t want to date us is a unique form of torture. Because such responses are rare, every online dating response we receive is precious. When that response turns out to be a rejection, it wounds. If you really like us, set us up with a friend. Otherwise, keep your platonic admiration to yourselves. Wishing you all luck in finding what you're looking for, especially if for some reason it's not us, because we rock something fierce. If you liked our profiles, the live show's that much better. But we guess, now, because of some unknown set of parameters that you have deemed to be dealbreakers, you'll never know. And you'll just have to live with that. Cordially, The Fabulous Single Ladies of Internet Dating