I remember a time when meeting someone who was just as damaged was a bit of a relief. Everyone walking…
It was a shot in the dark. I sent her a mildly flirtatious email and crossed my fingers. To my surprise, she responded back in kind. Something seemed a little off though. I have found that when women that attractive respond back with that much enthusiasm it usually means they’re a guy. Which, if you didn’t know, is extremely prevalent in the seedy online hookup channels. I have been the victim of attempted catfishing more times than I can count and the dead giveaway is someone using pictures of extremely attractive women who come on sexually aggressive right off the bat. I’m sure it has happened like once in 1997 in some small town in Oregon but for the overwhelming majority of players in the day to day online hook up scene, well, it’s pretty much the biggest red flag you will come across.
Which brings me back to thinking she was a guy so I asked her to send me a picture of her face while holding up one finger. This will evoke one of three responses:
1. Uh, well that’s weird. Why do you want that?
2. Sure, I understand that people are catfished every day.
3. HELL NO! What? Don’t you believe me?!
The third being the obvious giveaway. I mean, anyone can lift pictures from an easy “hot girls” google search and make a fake profile and I suppose someone could take the time to photoshop a finger into a stolen picture but hey, if you’re willing to put in that much effort, sure, I guess I’ll play along with your little fantasy. But she sent me a picture right away holding up one finger next to her beautiful face. I was beyond shocked that she found me just as sexually attractive. She was absolutely magnificent. The kind of beauty that you almost don’t want to touch because it looks so flawless it should be hung on the walls of museums. On top of it all, she volunteered at a local animal shelter and was a lawyer at a very prestigious firm. And she agreed to meet me in her car behind my apartment building at 4am. That was our first hello.
We had sex and afterward we talked until I noticed the sun begin to brighten the sky through the foggy windows. I was fascinated with everything about her from her intelligence, to her accomplishments, to her sexual freedom, to her looks and her body. Immediately afterward, we dated exclusively for three and a half years.
I met another by flirting on Myspace. We had a friend in common so I took another shot in the dark. Our first hello was supposed to be a one night stand that turned into another three year relationship. I helped her kids with her school work and cooked dinner for our little family almost every night.
I met another stranger for drinks then she gave me a blow job in the alley behind the bar. I ended up dating her for two years and took vacations with her family.
I met a gorgeous woman who had graduated early from college with honors. She was a star athlete, was active in her church choir, was the only person who joined a sorority for the philanthropic aspect, drove home for family dinner every sunday, always had a bright smile on her face and wore conservative and preppy clothes. She ended up betraying my trust and fucking one of my best friends.
I read something the other day that said how no one will find prince charming on Tinder. It said, “How can you possibly expect to meet anyone of any substance on online dating sites? Everything is about hooking up these days.”
Now the first issue I have with that sentence is the fact that the writer clearly doesn’t understand that we are in the middle of a new sexual revolution. More people these days are stepping away from that bullshit guilt that society imposed upon us and women, especially. More people are beginning to understand that exploring our sexuality is a valid and important step in our emotional evolution. Our culture is finally catching up with the rest of the world and accepting our sexuality and learning to become not only comfortable in expressing ourselves, but that confidence comes with finding ownership of our sexuality. Just because people are having sex right away doesn’t mean that people are shallow. While it can be, the only true indicator is that there are two consenting adults coming to terms with their inherent desires. But what makes a shallow person is in how they communicate, manipulate, and coerce. Shallow people are selfish people. They are scared people who don’t know how, and are terrified of communicating their desires. Whether that is to be loved or knowing how to effectively love someone else – learning to express a desire without the expense of another’s happiness is paramount in any relationship we will ever have.
But really what I’m getting at is the fact that compatibility is unpredictable. We fool ourselves into thinking we truly know what we want until someone comes into our life and causes us to throw our checklist out the window. People of “substance” aren’t just found in “nice” and “traditional” settings. Shit, my mom met my father where they worked at a respectable hospital but that didn’t prevent him from being a physically and sexually abusive sociopath of a felon, now did it? And just because you meet someone at four in the morning to hook up in a car doesn’t negate their compassion, their accomplishments, or what they put back out into the world. And just because you drunkenly met someone when the closing time lights came on doesn’t mean that they aren’t someone to be taken seriously. Good people are everywhere. Churches, schools, and universities – all of them have churned out equal amounts of rapists, sexists, and narcissistic pigs as swingers clubs, orgies, and ice cream socials. You are just as likely to meet a good person in line at the local grocery store as you are on a singles cruise or in the back room of a dungeon sex party. There is no one place to meet someone better than any other place because where you meet someone is absolutely irrelevant. But how you meet someone is.
How did they treat you when you walked through the door?
Did they ask about what makes you happy?
Did they tell you something that made them feel vulnerable?
Were they honest and forthcoming with their lives?
Were they concerned with making you laugh?
Are they articulate with their feelings and desires?
These are the aspects of a personality that will begin to determine a true level of compatibility which is the road to a potentially happy relationship. Oh, and you should never take anyone seriously who is willing to write off “where” you meet someone. Because clearly they have no clue where to begin. Happiness and compatibility follow their own frustrating and confusing trajectory and the last thing that is an indicator of your compatibility is where you are standing when they walk into your life.