The Single Parent- Meeting Quality People
By Krisi Davis
In my previous article I shared my opinion that dating is best done while not simultaneously trying to be a single parent. I believe that the small percentage of one’s life that is their parenting career should be done with total dedication to the child/children. That having been said, I was recently asked where one that is interested in dating might meet someone.
Before I answer ‘where might one meet quality people’ let me give a full disclosure and release of liability statement. I know that plenty of people have met through various on-line resources, dating services, dating clubs etc…and that they are leading fulfilling lives together. I applaud them and the service through which they met. I find no fault whatsoever with any dating service, on-line resource, personal ad etc…or the service that they provide. There! Now, on to my answer…
I personally believe that I have a better chance meeting someone to date on E-Bay than I do on any dating site. Not because the dating site did anything wrong (*see disclaimer) but because the process is flawed. Let’s review this step by step.
First, in order to use the service one must create a profile. In this profile you will likely answer several questions designed to market you to the right candidates and vice-versa. You will answer these questions purely from your own perspective and since the intent to meet someone, so you’ll want to put your best foot forward. For example, the question “What do you like to do in your spare time” may be most honestly answered by saying “Spare time! I don’t have any spare time; I have a job, children, bills, family commitments- in my spare time I shower!” but that won’t sound too enticing so instead you answer with “In my spare time I like to take long walks on the beach, listen to opera and stare endlessly into the eyes of whoever I’m with”. The reality is that the long walks you’ve taken recently are down the aisles of whatever grocery store was in your path, the only opera you’ve listened to is when Barney features a classical piece and the only eyes you stare into are your own as you desperately try to insert the Visine for tired red eyes into your tired red eyes. Before you know it you will have created a profile of a facet of yourself, but not your real self. You likely didn’t lie, but let’s face it, the truth isn’t always glamorous and this profile is meant to net your soul mate.
Once the profile has been created you will move to the financial aspect- the decision! Will you subscribe monthly, annually or buy a lifetime membership to the service? Let me ask a question- if you are meeting your soul mate isn’t it probable that he will cross your path absent the $49.95 per month. How did soul mates connect prior to these services? How on earth did Joseph and Mary ever get together? Should you decide to invest in the service, you will proceed to the photograph and shopping portion of the experience.
Let’s discuss the photograph for a moment. All services that I researched for this article tells the subscriber that including a photograph of yourself increases your chances of landing a mate (date). So the search for a photograph that reveals your inner-self begins; and let’s face it, your inner-self weighs twenty pounds less and doesn’t have laugh lines. Once you’ve secured the perfect picture and posted it to your profile, you are ready to shop.
During the shopping portion of the matchmaking experience you will get to peruse other subscriber’s profiles and they will peruse yours. While you read other people’s attempts to promote themselves in the best possible light and browse shots of them you may decide to initiate contact. Contact will be made in a one-dimensional e-mail format and will continue until you either decide to meet, or move on.
The problem with one-dimensional communication is that it isn’t real. You are now engaging in communication that isn’t natural with someone whose profile may not be an accurate representation of their true self. Think for a moment about someone that you were involved with in the past; imagine what they may say about themselves in a profile. Now imagine how you might describe them to someone else. See the difference? I can think of one person who would say that he is funny, yet I would tell you that he is a bigoted buffoon and that none of his jokes are remotely funny. The only accurate profile would be the one written by a third party that knows the subject well- a parent, child or friend.
For the sake of illustration, let’s re-cap and go to the next step. You’ve created your profile (a glamorized version of yourself), met someone whose profile interested you, had some one-dimensional communication and now are meeting for the first time. One of several things will happen: you will like each other, you will realize that what one person deems attractive, outgoing and fun loving may not be the same as another’s but get to know each other anyway or the connection won’t be there and you’re back to the shopping experience because you’ve got $49.95 invested in this and now you’re in for a penny, in for a pound.
Here’s where I want to share an observation with you. If, after going through all of the steps you feel disappointed, abandoned and alone, this experience is not emotionally beneficial for you. The process that begins with an inflated at best, deceitful at worst, description of yourself; leads to meeting someone who wasn’t honest from the beginning and communicating with them in a way that you begin to fantasize about who they might be and what you might become together only to fall to pieces upon meeting is a negative, emotionally draining experience. If the time that you spent going through the process were spent with your children, developing your spirit, exercising, taking a class etc…instead of trying to find a picture and a profile that you believe will improve your life- imagine what might have been.
As I said during the disclosure portion of this piece, I believe that there are people that met through dating services, on-line resources and personal ads. I also believe that there are people that met at the car wash, veterinarian and emergency rooms that are also enjoying fulfilling relationships- but no one is paying $49.95 a month to sit at the car wash behind a photograph and an essay about themselves in hopes that someone will pick them.
Meeting a three dimensional quality person requires being a three dimensional quality person.