You know outside of peeing your name in the snow and maybe blowjobs, I’ve come to the conclusion that it must suck to be a man. (Pun intended) Not only are you guided by your hormones at a very young age, but you are born into this club that has certain societal guidelines that you never signed up for.
Rejection from a Woman.
I’ve always felt that it took a lot of guts for a man to place his ego on the sideline and approach a woman – a stranger, never knowing for certain if she was going to laugh in his face, or warmly embrace his intentions. Waaaay back in the day when I actually ventured into bars and nightclubs (think dinosaurs as your bouncers, and drinks served in hollowed out gourds, served by Cavemen) I felt for those men that would have to venture up to a total stranger, and ask her to dance. I made sure I was always uber polite if I felt I had to turn someone down. But even then, I don’t think I grasped anything other than my mother taught me to be polite, even when I didn’t feel like it.
Not being a guy, you never realize the possibility that the tables could turn on you. I am not one to make a first move, or ask a guy to dance. Certainly not a stranger, that I have no clue of his interest level in me.
Don’t get me wrong. I think I have a pretty good sense of self. I feel a decent amount of self-confidence, although I will admit to dips and peaks from time to time. I can be pretty aggressive, but again – almost only when I have received a very green light.
But online dating, is a beast of a completely different color. You can’t make eye contact across a room. You can’t send a signal that shows possible interest. The mating dance, becomes something different. You are alone in a dark box, and no one can see you, and you have to try and sell yourself. To another person in a different box in the dark, who cannot hear your vocal inflections, or see anything outside of an image or two you have provided him. Heaven help those of us who are not photogenic.
Ultimately? You can only put yourself out there like a lazy worm on a hook and hope you come across in your writing style enough to appear to be attractive, intelligent, witty, perverse, flirty, — whatever adjective based intention you have, — and wait.
Are you reaching the audience you hope to? Kind of hard to tell. I can say that even when those whose profile is nowhere near what I have interest in approach me per say, I never leave them hanging, and I am never rude. Assuming they were polite to begin with. The 21 year olds that simply say, “Sup?” … I don’t think their egos will be hurt at my lack of response.
I decided to take a slightly different approach to things recently. Instead of sitting there waiting, I would give my destiny a tiny little nudge. I would, from time to time, be The Approacher. (I feel like I should have a theme song with a title like that) I would take the initiative and make first contact. Not in every case mind you. But in enough that if this experiment of sorts fails, I can say I tried all of the avenues afforded me.
Oh good Lord, it’s probably the closest I’ve ever felt to being male without the appendage. Trying to figure out what to say, to make yourself a little more wittier than the average bear. It’s a hell of a lot of fucking pressure. Then, when you come up with something that is better than “Nice profile”. Something that shows you actually read the person’s profile – and you get crickets.
Ouch. Ouch. OUCH!
Of course with all my bravado, it is still a little safer doing this thru the confines of the internet. I am not seeing judgment in their eyes, or a lack of interest in their body language. The worst that can happen is silence. – Wait, no I guess the worst that could happen would be formal rejection. In silence you can imagine a horrible accident that cost them all of their fingers, and although they might be dying to respond to you, their little nubs won’t permit them to type back. 😉
So the silence. I’ve felt it now. I wanted to respond after a day or so of nothing, that I wasn’t really that interested, but the stupid site said we’d make a terrific couple, and who am I to argue with the algorithms of science, and just forget it, pretend I never said anything, I think you’re funny looking anyway, and I have no interesting hiking or rock climbing. Yes, I turn into a hurt 13 year old when I’m hurt. For about 30 seconds.
How do men do this? Do they have a little teflon in their DNA that allows their ego to be spared the indignity of being ignored? I mean this is something they start off dealing with as early as middle school dances, when their identities are still pretty fragile.
I on the other hand have had years to toughen up the ego, and yet the slightest lack of communication from a total stranger — well it doesn’t freak me out, but yeah it sets the ego back a few notches.
But I am resilient, which is maybe what I have in common with men. Maybe it’s the getting up and brushing yourself off, and reminding yourself that life is about choices, and as a wise rocker once said, “You can’t always get what ya want ….”
Or maybe it’s the simple notion that maybe, just perhaps, this time the result will be successful.
I AM an optimist.