This morning on a whim I decided to check out plentyoffish.com after being constantly bombarded by their ads on Facebook. Dating sites, diet pills, and get rich quick schemes are all I ever seem to get, in fact. It's kind of creepy how the internet knows I'm single, overweight, and poor and wants to a) rub it in my face and b) make money off of my misery. But a friend actually recommended plentyoffish, claiming to have known people who've had success with it. So I idly typed it into my browser this fine Saturday morning.
I refused to actually sign up and get a profile, not wanting to commit even to a website (my commitment-phobia could be a problem when it comes to actual dating). I figured I should check out my options before I sold my soul and e-mail address. This got me thinking about my requirements in a potential mate.
2. Straight (This has been a problem for me in the past, since despite my bevy of fabulous friends, my gaydar is often broken)
3. Interested in dating, not just friends with potential (my other kryptonite. Most people say it's better to be friends first, but who, when, and how does one decide to cross the line? And what if that ruins the friendship? It's a valid concern. If you're dating from the start, you don't lose anything if it goes sour).
4. Non-Smoker (Smoking makes me literally vomit. I think I'm allergic. Plus I don't want him to die, or smell bad, and I would rather not catch the second-hand black lung).
5. Taller than me. (This may seem completely arbitrary, a socially constructed ideal, and probably cuts me off from a world of kickass men who happen to fall short of 5'8''. But that's just how I roll.)
6. Preferably older than me, or at least not younger. (Another socially constructed ideal, since I know plenty of wonderful, happy couples in which the woman is older. But it's a fact that women mature faster than men, and therefore often want different things in life. However I can be flexible on this issue if the guy is unusually mature and/or awesome.)
7. Employed. (But only because I won't be in about two weeks. It would be nice to have a sugar daddy until I get back on my feet. Wow, that's a terrible image. I apologize. But I'm not picky as to profession or salary)
8. Good hygiene, a regular doer of laundry. (Is it too much to ask that he be clean?)
9. Must love movies, (otherwise we'll have nothing to say to each other. Fact.)
10. Must not mind that I'm packing quite a bit o' junk in the trunk. (In fact, I'd be cool if he were also not in great shape.)
Bonus points for being Canadian and/or Jewish. If he's a Canadian Jew (now that Seth Rogen is off the market), we're headed for Vegas after the first date.
I really don't think that's too much to ask. I know most women have a huuuuge list that comprises their ideal man. And sure I have some more preferences (college educated, sense of humor, or at least likes my sense of humor, likes board games but lets me win occasionally). But this list is pretty much the baseline of what I'm looking for.
Judging by what plentyoffish had to offer, I'm not so sure I'm going to find that anytime soon. At least not in L.A. Because what most L.A. guys seem to be looking for is one-night-stands or future former model/actress/porn star trophy wives. I don't begrudge them that. But it does make finding one's soulmate a bit tricky if you are a different kind of fabulous (no self-pity here!)
This toe-dip into the pool of online dating has made me realize that the system does have its pros and cons. It's nice to know from the start what each of you is looking for. As opposed to the unrequited friendship, or the 'tell-em-what-they-wanna-hear hook-up.' It also makes sense to weed out the people you would meet organically but discover a major deal-breaker ten dates in. And if you don't really go to places often where you would meet a potential man-candy, that also makes dating difficult. So it's definitely a good idea. But online dating does still have a major stigma attached. The idea that there must be something wrong with you if you can't find a date in real life. (Some of us would rather stay home and watch the Exorcist on a Friday night than go clubbing in some obnoxious, cold, slutty Halloween costume, ok! And who meets their soulmate at a loud, sweaty, crappy music-playing club, anyway?)
It's not that I'm looking for a soulmate right now. In fact the idea of going out on a first date, let alone an internet blind date, terrifies me. Especially since I so don't have my own s#@! together, so how can I expect a man to have his? But it would be nice every once in a while to actually go out with someone and do the whole dinner and a movie thing. Which I've never actually done. The few encounters I've had that could be considered dating have all been awkward and disappointing in their own, unique ways. So I'll keep plentyoffish in the back of my mind, seeing as I'm only 23 and shouldn't give up on finding someone who meets my requirements and more, who also happens to think I'm pretty swell.
UPDATE!!! I forgot to add that I can't handle Jesus Freaks. Having faith and being spiritual is just fine, but Psycho Born Agains, Orthodox Jews, Full-On Muslims, Straight-Up Mormons, and religious extremists of any kind need not apply. That's just a fundamental dealbreaker.