Tuesday, June 19, 2012

My new Plenty of Fish profile

(Note: my previous Plenty of Fish profile is a few posts back. I have completely rewritten it).

Rant the second (for entertainment purposes only):

Is anyone else like me? The only thing that 95% of the search options I am presented with in trying to find a person I want to meet on PoF have in common is that I never, ever use them. Not once. I mean, forgive me if this offends anyone, but what kind of person actually searches for a mate based on the *pet* they own? Unless you're actually more interested in finding a dog (or such) to be with than a human - which sets off all sorts of red flags, for me - who the hell cares? Hell, I'm ALLERGIC to cats - my eyes puff up and itch, I can't breathe, I need to medicate myself to tolerate their presence, and I've even sneezed because of cat hair on a girlfriend's clothing, when she was in MY apartment, her cat miles away. Yet I would NEVER think to search for someone using the "no pets" filter. If I met someone who I really felt truly compatible with, and she owned a cat - so be it! The girl I'm going to be with for the rest of my life, I don't KNOW if she owns a pet, and nor do I care. Hell, I'd love it if she owned  aquaria filled with snails (like my favourite novelist, Patricia Highsmith, did), but I'm not going to LOOK for her based on that attribute, y’know?

Similarly, I never have yet searched for a possible partner (or rejected anyone) based on eye colour, height, religion, race, hair colour, zodiac sign (!), income level, "easygoingness," whether someone is "people dependent," or whether someone describes themselves as self-confident. My impression is that if someone sets out to describe themselves in a profile as “self-confident,” they are probably hiding massive insecurities (or else just came from a sales training seminar). I do not want to date the female equivalent of Dale Carnegie, folks, I really don’t; my measure of a person’s confidence comes from how they BEHAVE, not how they *say* they behave, and I’m fully prepared to find out about that for myself, without PoF creating a search function for it... I do not care if you have a high school diploma, bachelor's degree or an MA (this is not a job interview, this is LIFE; I've known some fascinating people who never finished high school, and total as$holes with PhDs). I do not care if you have a car, truck, bicycle, a Segway or a camel. I do not need to know if you own a mansion and a yacht. I do not understand why there is apparently a maximum height pre-set at seven feet tall; are the very, very tall unwelcome on PoF? Why do only people afflicted with giantism (there must be a few, since I've encountered a couple dwarfs) actually have to go into the menu and select "I don't care" to get the full range of height options? …and what if they are only looking for someone over seven feet tall, what then?

Admittedly, I can understand a few of these - searching by body type, for instance, or by the use of drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, or attitudes toward having children, fine.  Most of these search criteria, though - hell, there are some that I don’t even UNDERSTAND. Maybe I'm just some sort of moron, but I do not even know what the rather tortured phrase "average family centric" designates. Since I’m not a student of sociology, and have no clue what the current median for “family-centricity” is, perhaps an example would help. Is Michael Corleone an example of someone who might be "strongly family-centric?" What exactly would I be committing myself to if I described myself thus?

...And what about the profession thing? Sorry, but - this one's gotta be designed for women, right? Some of y’all have looked to see what doctors and lawyers were available, huh? (Not many, I’d guess!). Again, from my own point of view, I find the idea somewhat objectionable - a materialistic fantasy of how to find your partner, a way of searching based on money and security, not compatibility or love; maybe I'd feel differently if I were a doctor or lawyer, though. My own experience is that I’ve met people I cared about in all manner of jobs, side by side with people that disgusted me. But I mean, there's an option for searching for people who work in "real estate!" Do people who work in real estate really, really want to find other people who work in real estate to date, or is this for people with a real estate fetish, or something?

The fact is, assuming I actually ever do find a life mate - I haven’t yet - there is much that I do not yet know about her. I have no idea what her career is. I don't know what colour her skin or eyes or hair are, and have no feelings in advance on the matter. I have no idea what level of education she completed, because *I don't measure the value of a person that way,* and wouldn’t want to miss out on potentially meeting the “gal o’ my dreams” by setting the search criteria WRONG. For all I know about the woman I love, she could be an albino Jewish taxidermist who stands 7' 2" and practices Rastafarianism. I’m entirely open to this, depending on my chemistry with this person. On the other hand, I’m not about to SEARCH for someone based on such criteria, unless it’s really, really a slow night, and I’ve been smoking things I shouldn’t. (Does the "religion" search function even acknowledge Rastas, by the way?).

You know what I care about, what search preferences I'd actually use?

I’d like to know what kind of *books* people read - or if they read. I'd like to know what their desert island movies might be. I'd love to find out what kinds of music PoF women are passionate about - or even if they are passionate about music. It's not that I require you to have the SAME PASSIONS AS I DO, I'd just like to know that you have passions that aren't incompatible with mine - like, if you're really into UFC and 4X4ing, as a surprising number of PoF women are, you probably wouldn't want to date me, either! The "interests" function, where I should be able to seek out such things, is pretty much useless as it exists, since so few people get specific about their interests in it, and might describe them using any number of words, making searching for exact terms complicated. Searching for people who like "horror movies" or "punk," for instance - both of which have I done - will only find me women if they've put THOSE EXACT WORDS (as opposed to "scary movies" or "punk rock") in their "interests" field. Sometimes people DO get that specific - I once dated a woman solely on the basis of her listing "Ingmar Bergman" as an interest - but mostly doing very specific searches doesn't net me much. Can we find a way to make it a little easier to find people who have the same basic passions as we do, as opposed to categorizing us by our income levels? ... because I would rather be with a broke fan of Fassbinder than a stinking rich enthusiast for the Transformers series.

...and hell, while we’re at it, how about some filters about divisive social issues, like, say, attitudes towards GAY MARRIAGE? Because I’d be happy to forever filter out people who think same-sex unions are sinful and a threat to family values (“go back to Calgary!”). And why isn’t there an option about something as fundamental and divisive as *attitudes towards eating meat?* Because you know, omnivorous as I am, even I know with certainty that Ted Nugent doesn't want to be dating a raw food vegan, and vice-versa...

...and so it goes. Not only have I still not found what I’m looking for, but there’s no way I can even narrow it down much based on the options I’m being presented, here. There could be someone out there who shares several passions with me, who I'd be a perfect match with, but it's highly unlikely I'd be able to find her. At least I can keep myself entertained by writing these... I'll be 50 and single, at this rate...

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