Profile, 2

30 May

Having spent the weekend in careful analysis of dating profiles (which I like to think of as a sex resume: it has a lot in common with real resumes. You can’t talk about any number of things that you, as a prospective romantic partner, might want to know about. Much in the same way that it’s bad form to, say, demand six figures on your resume, it’s also bad form to, say, establish butt sex or clapping breasts as deal breakers on your profile), I went to work. My goals were to establish myself as masculine but not threatening, sensitive but not ineffectual, and unusual but not freakish.

I wrote six hundred words leading in with a careful, measured discussion of my beard, uploaded a photo of myself with a grey kitten on my head, and sat down to wait.

The next morning, I had three emails waiting for me. During the rest of the week, I got six more. None of these interactions amounted to anything, but they were useful as distractions from what was really bothering me: Rachel, Polly, and continued unemployment. Each of these topics was something I needed to hide from anyone new. Another rule of internet dating, especially at the beginning of an acquaintanceship, is that while you should not lie, never under any circumstances should you tell the complete truth. Tests, remember? You can only fail them.

And we, they and I, failed them with panache.

Ann, a child of Iranian immigrants, excited me with what I interpreted to be her wit and charm. Realistically, she excited me with her willingness to talk to me. Her profile boasted of higher education and extensive travel. (Travel is something that people use as a proxy for actual personality, but I didn’t mind. There’s a reason I bring up my stay in Japan so often.) She studied social work in graduate school.

Incidentally—a significant plurality, something like 40%, of the women who have initiated contact with me rather than vice versa have been social workers. Clearly that means something, but I can’t figure out what.

Her photos, smiling headshots only, depicted a young woman with a bright and warm personality. What they did not depict was a torso of deal-breaking girth.

We met for dinner at a restaurant called the Blue Danube. It had several virtues. It sported a remarkably wide variety of greasy diner food and a drop ceiling decorated with tiles that had been painted individually by local artists. Most importantly, it was modestly priced and located at the end of my street, so the walk was comfortable the date economically feasible. I wore a thrift store sport coat over a silkscreened t-shirt (a look that continued to be reasonably fancy in 2007).

As soon as we met, I knew it would go nowhere. She was too big.

A few weeks ago, I implied a level of shallowness in the faceless masses of women for excluding shorter men from their dating pool. I stand by that assessment, but here is another rule of internet dating: men are fucking shallow.

Often we tell ourselves (by which I mean I tell myself, but I project the behavior onto other people in order to make it more bearable) that our motives are purer than they are; that it doesn’t matter what a person looks like as long as they have a good heart.

This is untrue.

Particularly in relationships, this is untrue. While a good heart is important, someone’s good heart is not what you plan to become naked and sweaty with. And while I have occasionally been attracted to large people, they have been the exception rather than the rule.

If you are uninterested in someone, but you feel bad about your reasons for not being interested in that person, the best course of action is to make that person uninterested in you. It is an effective technique.

I spend the entire date talking about Polly.


Leave a Reply


  1. this

    June 9, 2010 at 9:38 pm

    The halo effect should wash your conscience clean. It’s not shallow to be attracted to attractive people because they appear to be better people.

  2. Dan

    June 9, 2010 at 11:05 pm

    I have a pretty well-developed talent for guilt, regardless of whether it’s actually warranted.

  3. Bernie

    June 13, 2010 at 11:35 am

    you have such a good imigination … i like how you call the Blue Danube a restaurant! I lied to you the other night, i had only looked at your blog before. It’s really good, honest!

  4. Dan

    June 13, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    The Blue Danube is restaurant-ish. And thanks for the compliments. I’ve always had a soft spot for women who lie to me. :)