Since taking a break from online dating, I’ve had an epiphany.
I need to meet more guys I actually have things in common with.
The reality is that I live in a small sized, very outdoorsy city where a huge segment of the population is into “CHFK” (Camping, Hiking, Fishing & Kayaking.) Most of the online dating profiles I’ve come across feature a guys posing in boats, in scuba gear or clutching a large salmon in their hands (like a bear.) Welcome to dating in Canada. Although I love spending time outdoors, being active and living a healthy lifestyle, I would never describe myself as “outdoorsy.” As my friend Kate recently pointed out, I have very “urban” interests. I love red lipstick, dressing up, wearing heels and being wined & dined. Jerk Chicken and Arroz Con Pollo are comfort foods to me. I read like a fiend, watch films in other languages, love underground house music, obsess over R&B new and old, and most days would much rather be at a concert watching an obscure hip-hop group than in a kayak. Most importantly, I prefer my salmon on my plate, rather than in the clutches of my date’s hands. You can take the girl out of Toronto, but it’s much harder to take Toronto out of the girl.
Whenever something falls through with one of the guys I’ve been dating, my Mom is always quick to point out,
“It’s understandable, you didn’t really have that much in common.”
Which of course makes me get defensive.
“Mom, of course we had stuff in common.”
“I don’t know…stuff! Like, I don’t know…eating. We both liked eating!”
Could my Mom be right?!
Although I like to think I’ve been really picky with the people I have chosen to go out with recently, the truth is I haven’t. I mean, not really. When I was online dating, I never even searched under common interests. I’d just base my dating decisions on whether I thought the guy was hot, had good spelling and didn’t look like a potential Dateline predator.
The irony is, being able to search under common interests is what actually makes dating sites like eHarmony so awesome. Instead of trying your luck at a bar or an event, you can actually tailor your searches to find people that you’re not only attracted to, but that you have common interests with. Maybe if I had taken advantage of this, I wouldn’t have made out with that guy whose entire music collection consisted of 12 “Now That’s What I Call Music!” compilation CD’s or ended up dating Fitness Guy, who confessed to me: “I’m not really into music at all. I mean, it’s nice in the background at a restaurant or something.”
I once dated a guy that I had so much in common with it was crazy. I’d never met anyone before who felt as passionately (if not more so) about the things that I was passionate about. We’d spend whole days in bed listening to music, making love and talking for hours. Our favourite songs stopped being just songs, but rather extensions of our feelings for each other. I remember the day he told me,
“I’ve never met anyone like you. You’re like the female version of myself. You’re my other half, my soulmate”
The feeling was mutual. We were in love. This is why it felt like I was being stabbed in the heart when I found out he wasn’t the person I thought he was, that he had been lying to me and sleeping with someone else on the side. The experience was so intense that it took me a long time to recover afterward. Is it possible that I’ve been purposely dating people I could never have that kind of connection with because I’m afraid of ending up in the same situation again?
I remember coming across this one awesome online dating profile back in December. The guy was cute, worked in online media and he also really liked author Douglas Coupland. However, when it came to music, he wrote all about his passion for rock and punk, adding at the end of his profile,
“If you don’t live and breathe rock & roll, we’re probably not going to get along. Rock is a huge part of my life and if it isn’t part of yours, you probably don’t want to message me”
I was disappointed but I had to respect the guy for really owning the heck out of who he is. It must have worked for him because when I checked back a week later he’d removed his profile.
I’m thinking maybe that’s what I need to do. I need to figuratively “Live and Breathe the Rock & Roll.” Instead of catering to other people’s interests, I should just put it all out there, own it and hope that the laws of attraction work in my favour. Or at the very least, start using the “interest search” feature when I start online dating again.
After all, it’s only fear until you face it.