Dating as Performance Art

This month marks my four-year divorce anniversary. Although I’ve dated from time to time in the interim, for the most part since then I’ve been a single man. I can’t imagine why.


Being such a catch and all.

For most of that time I’ve maintained profiles on several dating sites, notably OkCupid and POF. I’m not entirely sure why, though. The results have been, shall we say, less than impressive.

This used to be a lot simpler. Back in 90s before I was married, what little dating I did was accomplished via online sources. There’s a perfectly good reason for that: I’m a writer. As such, given that online dating was (and still is) very much dependent on the written word, it played to my strengths. The fact I lacked any appreciable confidence in my abilities with the opposite sex until quite recently had a lot to do with it as well.

You’d think I’d be a wizened master at this by now, but it’s not the same anymore. I suppose I could frequent bars and try the “meat market” route, but that’s never been my bailiwick. Besides, for people like me who casually use terms like “bailiwick” …


… that’s not exactly a target-rich environment to begin with.
Image credit: Andy Kaufman

Why isn’t it the same? Well, because online dating isn’t just for self-important dorks like me anymore. It’s gone mainstream, which means in many ways it’s regressed to the lowest common denominator. Idjut galoots of both sexes who 15 years ago had no idea online dating even existed now clog up the Interwebz.

Accordingly straight women on OkCupid, POF and other sites are constantly bombarded with banal messages such as “hi” or “hey baby,” and/or some form of crude sexual innuendo. I empathize, really. If that happened to me I’d be jaded about the whole deal too. Frankly people who send such messages get what they deserve.


I’m not like that, though. I’m interested in, you know, actual conversation. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I’m not in it just to get laid. And I’m certainly not under any sort of delusion that I’m attractive to everybody. Honestly I’d much rather be told to piss off than be greeted with silence. Even so, silence is what I usually get.

Yet, on occasion I still get answers I truly didn’t want. In this example, the profile in question for some strange reason was “Written. Entirely. Like. This.”


Facepalm. Facepalm. Facepalm.
(click for larger image)

So like many of you, on several different occasions I’ve been fed up with online dating to the point of withdrawing from it for extended periods. Either that, or I use my profile space as a medium for absurdist performance art. At best, the latter gets me hate mail telling me how much of a loser I am.


HA! I love that!
Image credit: Process Media

Yes, I know I’m doing something wrong, but I remain unconvinced there’s anything resembling a correct method in the first place. Le sigh ….

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