Gay Dating & A Blind Chicken
At the age of 54, I have found myself in a rather precarious position lately , entering into the world of dating again after the end of a long term relationship. Much to my dismay and chagrin, unless you have friends that know someone that they want to introduce you to, you are left to your own devices searching various internet dating sites to meet new people. Now while that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, being over 50 and gay isn’t the easiest thing either. I know and want to believe that there are other decent people out there wanting to meet a person to date, find companionship, and or hopefully find love again.
What I find perplexes me the most is this:
The old adage of “ First impressions…..” rings fairly true, and yet some of the profile photos I see on these dating sites are frightening! This is by no means a judgement on any one individual , but on a whole, as I have seen people wearing dirty clothing, unkempt, outdated photos from previous decades ( most identifiable by clothing, hairstyle, or items in the background ), bad selfies, or group photos not identifying whom the profile belongs to, and the infamous image so minute that you can’t tell age, gender, or species, all of which send up a red flag immediately!
I wonder do these people not have friends or a loved one that would tell them, i.e. Put on a clean shirt, maybe comb your hair, get a haircut, put your teeth in, wash your face, let me take a decent and current photo of you, and or help you write a profile? Maybe they don’t have anyone or the wherewithal , but it will affect them and not in a positive way.
Which brings me to the latter……
What are people thinking when giving themselves ridiculous monikers for their dating profiles? I’m not talking about obscure or cutesy titles, like Bunnyhop21, or WildMonkeyLove409, but rather pretty bad, and gross titles like CumGuzzler451, DirtyPigDaddy007, BarebackAssPlower,etc., all of which are fine if your on a sex site looking for that, but on a dating site where people are hopefully looking for a real relationship? Seriously???
What consenting adults do with one another is totally up to them, but does it ever occur to them they might be in the wrong venue or arena? I am not a prude by any stretch of the imagination! I’ve sown my share of wild oats , and although not dead by any means, finding someone that you have something in common with, interests, passions, goals, which ever, is far from just having sex or looking for instant gratification. That’s what Grindr and other sites are for, and again I’m not condemning anyone who chooses that, but I find that individuals who are looking for that on dating sites are setting themselves and others up for a whole can of worms……. Hmmmmm, maybe that didn’t sound right, but you know what I mean!
I say this not just from my viewpoint , but not long ago had an experience with a dear friend with this issue. He told me that he had tried a couple of dating sites, gone on a few dates and they all were horrible! When I questioned him about the details, he said that people were rude, people stood him up, and he even went so far to say that he went to meet a guy for coffee, and saw the guy but when he went up to him and introduced himself , the guy lied and said he had the wrong person! Feeling bad for my friend, and trying figure out what went amiss here, I asked him if I could see his profiles on a few of the sites he was on. It didn’t take but a minute and I knew exactly what was going on!
I said , “ Will!!! What were you thinking? This photo of you is 20 years old and you were at least 100lbs thinner!!! You had a full head of hair, now your balding and gray! Do you not see this as false advertising? You were setting someone’s expectations high, and then delivering low, and you really don’t see a problem with this? On top of this, you are setting yourself up for the disappointment and want to blame someone else for what ultimately is your own doing! He stared at me slack jawed and like a deer in the headlights. I said, “ I’m sorry for being so blunt and brutally honest, but if this situation had been reversed and you were expecting to see a person that looked like the photo they were advertising, and instead what showed up was someone who looked like that persons father or grandfather, how would you feel?”. He looked deflated and defeated, and I apologized if I hurt his feelings, but I wouldn’t be a real friend if I didn’t tell him the truth. His only retort was that he thought that it was a good photo of himself, to which I agreed it was….. Back in the day . I offered to help him update his photo and profile, but he passed and said he would think about it. Not long after that, he made the statement that he had decided to be celibate and not deal with all the complications of a relationship. It made me sad that he chose that instead of being honest with himself.
Which brings me full circle. I understand and know we all have our own perception of reality, but I truly wonder sometimes what separates that perception where some of us can agree on certain generalities like, the sky is blue, the grass is green, etc… and I do realize there are subtleties and nuances within.
What keeps going through my mind is that it does get harder to date as we get older, especially if we’ve been in long term relationships of any sort, but to complicate matters by not being honest with ourselves or others that we would like to attract. In know the saying “ Beauty is in the eye of the beholder “ stands true as well. What each one of us finds attractive is unique unto itself. From my own personal experiences, I have known several individuals in my life, that while initially I was not physically attracted to them, once I got to know them better and a formed some sort of friendship, they became some of the most beautiful people I have ever known, which then also developed into an attraction, mentally as well as physically. I am eternally grateful for those experiences.
So I will soldier on, and try to weed thru these dating sites, profiles, and occasional blind dates. What comes to mind is one of my fathers old sayings, “ Even a blind Chicken finds a kernel of corn! ”. God I only hope so!
I guess at the end of the day, none of us really wants to be alone. Whether we find love at the end of the rainbow, or have a companion to grow old with, most of it really is a sense of belonging.