Stupid Cupid

J'Mel-online-daterThe woman of my virtual dreams?

By J’Mel Davidson


I’ve mentioned before that I have a suggested word count that I’ve been advised to adhere to by my gorgeous boss. This is a good thing, because today’s topic could easily become book-length.

Hell, it still might. (Do people still read books? I don’t.)

So, online dating. Sigh.

I’ve been attempting it for more than a decade now, and I’ve been complaining about it for 10 years and 11 months.

According to the commercials, it works. But the commercials also say that Steak-Ums are hot and delicious, and I’ll be damned if a Steak-Um stays hot long enough for the journey from the skillet to the plate.

Perhaps it’s just me. I have no illusions. I mean, I’m sure there are worse men on the Internet getting a lot more attention than me. I’m sure they’re serial killers. If you pick a serial killer over me on the dating Internet, well, I’m not saying you deserve what you get. I’m simply saying that time makes fools of us all.

You be the judge: Here, here is my very short and concise “about me” section from my current dating profile:

Hello. I’m J’Mel. I hope to meet nice ladies on the computer!

I’d like to travel more. I’ve never been out of the country. Ireland would be nice.

I went to art school in Savannah, Ga.

Bogus Journey > Excellent Adventure

I’m very passionate about how much I don’t care about college football.

I have grey hair. I’m not dying it. I’m weary of people that care about that sort of thing.

I’m a guy in search of a gal that gets me.

Pretty straight forward, right? I avoided the novella most people choose to write in this space and got to the point. Nothing weird or offensive.

I list my love of the Smiths and Public Enemy, the fact that I write for a “fancy local magazine,” my love of sushi. Nothing insane. But it hasn’t worked.

I’m not here to speculate on why, though. That’s no fun. What’s fun is to talk about the repetitive cliches from all the women who chose to ignore my charming profile! And not just the bisexual pagan rock-climbers that the entire city is occupied by.

1. “I love to laugh.” Nine out of 10 ladies choose this way to express how open to fun they are, without realizing how goofy it is as a concept. Of course you love to laugh; everyone loves to laugh. If some lady posted that she hated to laugh, well…I’m assuming she’d be locked up because she’s probably a V.C. Andrews character.

2. “I like my pet.” I get it. People love their pets. If I could afford a pet and could make myself care to deal with the feces of another living thing, I’d probably have a picture of my pet on my dating profile as well. A Corgi. Corgis are awesome. But when you decide that the best way to net a potential mate is with five pictures of your pet and one picture of yourself, then you’re missing lots of points of this entire dating thing, and you’re clearly a sociopath.

3. “I’m only here for friends.” Then why, for the Love of Doom, are you on a dating site wasting everyone’s time, you genius? You’re the reason they have pizza and fries at the Chinese buffet.

4. “Real men ask women out.” This is a warning sign if there ever was one. Even more so than the “I don’t date black men” warning you occasionally bump into. And I can’t say I have an issue with you telling me up front that you don’t want a little chocolate in your life. I mean, I don’t date stupid women. Sigh. Where was I? Myself, I find it refreshing when a lady makes the first move. Lets me know she’s independent, knows what she wants, and goes for it.

5. “I hate filling these things out.” Well, hell. How many times have you done it?

So, there it is. A short list of things you may want to look into changing if you are a lady on the dating site. Not that I haven’t approached ladies who have been guilty of one or all of these crazy crimes. You know what they say about beggars.

As for me, I’ll quit computer dating again in a month, then three months later, I’ll start all over again. Because the Coyote has to chase the roadrunner. Charlie has to try to kick the football. J’Mel has to use the computer to endure more electronic rejection.

The cosmic ballet continues.

3 Responses to “Stupid Cupid”

  1. Bonnie says:

    I appreciate the ability to appreciate many of the ironies inherent in online dating profiles. I could provide a list myself.

    But you seem to be contradicting yourself in point 4 on multiple levels. You say “I find it refreshing when a lady makes the first move” as though this lady is “independent, knows what she wants, and goes for it.” That may or may not be true; it’s your opinion (that lady could be supremely impatient and insecure). Just as it is the lady’s opinion to say “Real men ask women out”. Neither is right or wrong, but this lady is saying something that she knows to be true for herself. That would mean she would qualify according to your “independent” list of qualities. She believes the man should ask the woman out. She’s not afraid to say it. In a world where women are constantly told to step out and ask the man out, it may even be a sign of a more independent, secure woman to wait on a man. So your point is contradictory – you want an independent woman, yet you don’t truly respect one who doesn’t believe the same thing as you. You are being judgmental while accusing someone else of being judgmental.

    Secondly, you say “I can’t say I have an issue with you telling me up front that you don’t want a little chocolate in your life.” Yet, you do have an issue. You follow that with “I mean, I don’t date stupid women.” Should I connect the two? Because they definitely seem connected. Don’t want to date black men=don’t want to date stupid women? Not an equal comparison at all. Just an indication of your bias against women who, again, are independent and fearless enough to say “this is who I am, whether you like it or not”. Not wanting to date a black man says nothing about the woman, other than she doesn’t want to date a black man. It doesn’t infer that she is racist or “stupid”. The only thing it infers is that YOU believe others are racist no matter what they say or do, so YOU are the judgmental one. Everyone has preferences. We are not attracted to every person on the planet, and that is a good thing. When you filled out your profile questionnaire, did you select you wanted to be contacted by men, women or both? I’m guessing just women because you are most likely only attracted to women. If you had no option to select only women and men began contacting you, would you be “stupid” to put in your profile: “I don’t date men”? Of course not. You would simply be making an independent, know what you want and go for it kind of statement.

    Snarky wit is nice, but only when it doesn’t make all the same self-contradictions that it proposes to critique.

  2. Natalie says:

    I came across your article quite literally within 15 minutes of having this exact same conversation with a male online-dating newbie. Having been single for about 6 years now, I’ve had experience with all of the various sites available. While, I can’t disagree with your gripes (and perhaps you had to keep them tame for your article) I will say that I would trade your experience for that of my own any day of the week. Women don’t respond to you? Try being a woman on one of these sites, and you might understand why.

    In my experience, men largely use internet dating websites as a virtual catalog of potential hook-ups. Regardless of what you put in your profile, every women I know who has used an online dating site has been solicited by some cretin using it more so along the lines of a call-girl service. Maybe it’s because internet porn is free and abundant. Maybe the anonymity of the internet gives creeps the gusto to say any damn thing they please to a woman. Maybe it’s because we live in a world where we don’t teach people how to behave anymore. I don’t really know where the disconnect came along, but it’s rampant. And don’t get me started on giving my number to a stranger. Even the ones who appear normal almost always have a picture of their junk ready to text to me- unsolicited, I might add. (Just a note, fellas: Why disappoint a lady right off the bat?)

    So I offer up this to improve your online dating experience (and I am speaking to all men, but using you as the example, here):

    1) Say something more than “Hi” in your first message. This isn’t Starbucks. We aren’t bumping into each other in the grocery store. I’m not going to be dazzled by your swagger as I might if we were to meet in a real-life situation. Give me something to go on. Messages should have questions in them. It’s lobbing the ball to the other’s court with the intention of a reply being sent back. Sending a “You’re hot” or “Hi, I’m J’Mel” does not invite conversation. Hi, J’Mel- why should I care? Give me a reason to care.

    2) If a woman is so bold to say she doesn’t date black men- well, that’s pretty rude, I admit, but move on. Ignore it. It all boils down to attraction. If she’s not attracted, she’s not attracted. Women can be d-bags without manners, too. Ignore them.

    3) For the love of PETE would you guys make up your minds about independent women? Not that it really matters to me, specifically, I do what I want. However, it goes against your very nature as a male animal for a woman to ask you out. You may like the boldness at first, but it throws off the balance of the universe when a woman has to be the pursuer. Grow a pair, and ask her out- or be alone. Life is about choices. Make one.

    4) I agree with the “I hate filling these things out” line. 9 times out of 10 a guy says “I hate talking about myself” and then writes a 5,000 word dissertation on his essence, or you get the “Just ask”. But as for what you put in your profile, maybe put a little more about you. You’re a journalist, so I’m sure you can think of something to draw me in all the while using concise paragraphs. See? You’re already ahead of the game. Your online profile is basically an advertisement. You wouldn’t buy a car that says, “Just ask me what you want to know,” but you also wouldn’t stick around for a 15 minute commercial about how the car was conceived.

    5) Be open to the possibility of meeting a great person, but also be cautious, and be selective. Success stories on these things are a crapshoot. Everyone knows someone who knows someone who met their soul mate on a dating website. People also claim to have seen Bigfoot and Chupacabre (and now that I think of it, that could have also come from dating online.) I’m not saying it’s impossible, but I’ll believe it when I see it. In the meantime, have fun.

    As for any ladies who may be reading this response, I offer up my best advice to you and I ask that you take it seriously:

    Never, and I do mean NEVER date a man who uses the word “snuggle” outside of telling you his favorite fabric softener. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

  3. Bonnie says:

    Good point 1 Natalie. I’m no longer striving to be a good conversationalist in messages unless the guy actually puts some effort in. It’s too tiresome. Why sign up, pay money, go through the process and then say nothing more than “Hey, how are you, have a good day” in your first few messages? No one wants to rush anything, but the point is really to get somewhere. In my failed relationships (granted, all of them have failed!) I had to take the lead on everything that involved any amount of effort. I’m never going back there.

    J’Mel, addressing your point 4 again, and Natalie’s point 3, I don’t think you realize that women today are ALWAYS taking the lead. And it DOES go against our nature and yours for us to do that. That doesn’t lead to a good relationship – it just leads to a man feeling like he has a ball and chain, and a woman feeling like she is mother to a grown man. A truly independent woman values her femininity and finds great security in NOT having to act like a man or mother one. If you want a good woman, you better darn sure ask her out and chase her – otherwise she will see you as weak and see no point in having you around. If you want a bitchy woman who won’t let you have poker night with the guys, then go ahead and wait for her to chase you. Think about what good you offer to an independent woman – because she sure as heck will be thinking it. The second she has to convince herself that you’re worth it (because you aren’t proving it on your own), you’ll be out like yesterday’s garbage.

    If you want to find a good woman, first start acting like a traditional man – taking the lead, opening doors, etc. Seriously. You say you don’t read books, why?! Men need to read books. Men need to know how to DO stuff. Men should be able to hold a conversation about intellectual topics. This is what good, mature women are attracted to. They like men who act like grown ups, not like teenage boys who bemoan reading books because it’s not cool. You could start by reading The Art of Manliness:

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