If you ever have a sneaking suspicion that you are not living an authentic life that makes you happy, and want to check this out, I know a way.
Log into and check your last online dating profile. And if you don’t have one? Write one. Don’t think about it, do it quickly without thinking too much and do the best you can.
Then (and this is the fun bit) analyse it and see how honest you were.
So, you might ask, what I am doing, rooting around in the ‘Last Chance Saloon’ of the dating world?
Well, in an effort to achieve at least some of my goals this year, I have decided to give internet dating one more try <groan>, so I have just logged onto the last website I was registered on, reviewed my old summary, and found myself asking ‘Who is this bitch?’
Firstly, I am of course anonymous (hey, I love a good nom de plume) but I stand by that having once being stalked to my workplace by someone very high up in radio, whom, after having been rebuffed, googled me, realised he knew some very senior people at my work, then implied to me that he had influence over them, and indirectly, my career, so perhaps we should meet up after all.
Creepy, creepy, creepy. So, suffice to say, that ain’t changing.
I’d also put myself down as five years younger than I actually am; ironic seeing as one of my ‘dislikes’ is ‘people who lie’ 🙂 .
Why? If I recall, my rationale was that any woman over 50 will not get any hits (which to be fair, is probably true) and anyway, I reasoned at the time, I don’t look my age. That may or may not be the case, but already, I’m changing stuff about myself to make myself acceptable to people I haven’t even met yet. Not good.
My photos were, however, relatively up to date and not 10 years old (like some people’s I could mention), but obviously the most flattering I could find, i.e. none showing me in profile which I hate. The main shot is one is of me at a work function, champagne in hand, wearing a grey suit dress looking very corporate indeed, clearly indicating how much I was bought into that whole ‘job title = identity’ malarkey.
I hated work functions so why am I smiling? Then I remember that I was hammered from having been on the bubbles for 3 hours without any food in my stomach, and was chatting up this ginormous bloke who owned the club instead of making small talk with my clients. Whoops.
Back to the profile; I’ve been pretty honest about my height, weight, colour of eyes etc. (what’s the point of lying about stuff like that?), but it’s the ‘About Me’ section that is the most tellling.
It reads something like this:
‘Slim, independent, attractive, professional woman living and working in the Capital seeks Batman to her Robin. I work in Film/Marketing/Media, love my job, have a great social life with lots of friends, but am missing the icing on the cake in the form of like minded, professional, solvent alpha male soul mate for drinks, movies, dancing and maybe more!’
What an absolute pile of crap. I hated my job, was too knackered to go out with my friends, so my social life sucked. I was on all kinds of medication to get me though the day, but selling myself as this oh-so-together, spin-tastic go getter who loved her Blackberry more than her Rampant Rabbit (I was also too tired to even use that for the most part).
So the thing I hated the most about my life was the thing I used as my key selling point to prospective partners. WTF?
I then go onto specifics re what I would like in a potential partner; I want funny, clever, in shape, solvent, generous, masculine, authoritative, sensitive, smoke free, spiritual, reliable, faithful, yada, yada, yada…
Who did I think I was exactly? It’s as if I think I have access to some kind of ‘Build a Bear’ technology, and can create the ideal man, and that nothing else would do. In hindsight, I’m amazed anyone actually bothered to contact me at all.
Also note the term ‘alpha male’. God you would think after years of dating big, muscle bound, chest-thumping, emotionally autistic dickheads that I might have learned something wouldn’t you? Unfortunately for me, this is what has always floated my boat physically speaking, along with the odd rangy but super charismatic sexy bastard who would occasionally saunter into my life like Clint Eastwood circa 1972 (but with more attitude), and ironically, fuck with my head ten times more than he ever did with my body.
So why was I still looking for more of the same? Is having someone hot more important than meeting a soul mate and best friend? Evidentially it was at that time. But now? Not so much.
When I look at this profile I marvel at how much I have changed; OK not totally for the better, but I certainly bear no relation to that highly groomed (but drunken) exec with long red nails, a politicians smile and a packet of beta blockers in her bag.
So, I can see I’m going to have to start from scratch.
But how honest can I be?
‘Slim, burnt out, once attractive woman living on a shoestring in the Capital seeks Rachet to her McMurphy. I don’t work, have an almost non existent social life with a few trusted friends, but am missing the icing on the cake in the form of a like minded, tolerant alpha male soul mate to watch Real Housewives with, keep me calm in social situations, and, if you’re lucky, try and jump start my sexuality and see if my taking ‘scary man juice’ has moistened my muffin yet.’
Hmm. Maybe not.
Something in the middle perhaps?
After about an hour and a half, I’m done.
I’ve updated my photos to shots that are more recent and reflect my new lifestyle; well, I’ve taken out the work snaps anyway…
My ‘About Me’ reads something like this:
‘Slim, independent, attractive female woman who has left corporate life and exploring new avenues seeks fun, attractive guy for high jinks and adventures. If my change in lifestyle puts you off/scares you/makes you think you have to pay for everything, then you’re probably not the man for me, whatever I end up doing. If however this intrigues you and/or makes no difference to your interest in me whatsoever, perhaps we can grab a coffee, chew the fat and see if we can put the world to rights?’
I’m quite jocular and bantering in the rest of the profile as that is how I am when I’m in a good place, and I have limited my relationship choice to ‘Just Friends’ for now, as that’s all I’m ready for, as I would have to share a bit more about myself and my condition if I was to see someone seriously, as that’s only fair to them.
So whilst I might be wasting my time and have lost 90 minutes of my life that I’ll never get back doing this, I’m proud of myself for finally letting go of everything that incorporates and connects me to my old identity, and have finally come out as a 51 year old writer/trainee yoga teacher who is still feeling her way in the world.
And if they give a damn? They can ‘Take Me Baby or Leave Me’.