Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Don't disqualify yourself

I met a friend of a friend recently who was pretty down on herself, for a variety of reasons. She figured no guys were going to want her because she's "too tall" for most guys, has put on a few pounds, and is both unemployed and broke. In her mind, she's neither physically attractive nor an appealing partner. I looked at the same woman and saw someone with a nice face, a great brain and an excellent education, sanity, and no serious complications. But her putative virtues are not the point. I tried (without much success) to convince her that she'd be plenty interesting enough for any guy with whom she hit it off. The point is that far and away the most important attribute of any potential partner is the rapport that they have with you.

One of the problems with internet dating is that it tends to be superficial. There are a lot of profiles out there, and wishful thinkers might imagine that they can satisfy their long laundry lists of requirements with someone who will also happen to be their soulmate. And people don't have much time, so in sifting through profiles they go for the ones that grab their attention. There is no question that the pretty, the handsome, the wealthy, and the fit will get more hits than others will.

So what are the others to do? What they are not to do is disqualify themselves. If somebody's not interested in you (whether or not you're an "other"), that's their prerogative, but there's no need for you to decide that on their behalf. Give yourself an opportunity.

Also, don't be in a rush. If you don't fascinate someone with superficialities, you might have to modify your tactics. Instead of pressing for dinner or even for a cup of coffee, you can find something in their profile to discuss, and start up a correspondence. If a rapport develops, you'll start to become more and more interesting to your correspondent, and laundry list items will begin to drop away.

Sometimes dating is a drag, but with a bit of perspective and patience, you can improve your chances and have a better time doing it. All you need is one good partner to make all of the bumps and bruises worthwhile...