Perception is Perception-Not Reality

Online Dating No Comments

This morning I received a message on OkCupid:
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After reading it I waited a few minutes to decide if I should reply because I could tell I was irritawpid-screenshot_2014-07-12-12-36-31.pngted at being called “strict” and “religious.” Those two words combined are particularly offensive to me, but as I mulled over a reply I decided it was possible he didn’t intend it to be an insult; merely an observation. As you can see, I replied (in the darker box).

And as you can also see, he replied. At this point I knew I was just going to be defending myself, so I’ve decided not to reply. I’ll address his reply after giving you some insight as to how he came to his conclusions about me.

In May I wrote about my decision to return to the “online dating scene.” When I started to fill out the information for a second time I was much more purposeful with the words and images I chose. It can be a challenge to achieve what feels like the “right” balance of wit, sincerity, and personal disclosure that will not only attract the fellas, but attract the type of guy in which I’m interested.

First you have to pick a username. I’d previously used my typical online handle, Sassy McGiggles, but didn’t feel it would convey the sincerity with which I was approaching this search. I remembered a verse from the Bible that talks about the value of a good woman. After trying many variations I was able to get a version of the verse to work (Proverbs 3:15). I knew the discerning eye would catch the reference but that it also wouldn’t come off as “Bible-thumping” as other options.

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So, without further ado, here are some screenshots of the content of my profile (I’m sure you’re overjoyed to have access):

I’m a wordy gal (as if you weren’t aware) so I tried really hard to whittle down the length of this profile compared to previous versions while still displaying my personality.

I think I’ve succeeded in displaying my personality, some interests, sense of humor, and some priorities. I’m not sure how much of this comes across as “strict religious beliefs”

There are thousands of questions you can answer to help the site’s system compare and rank how well you “match” with other users, but I’ll spare you of all of those. I can say I won’t  most of the questions based around sex because 1) I’m a public educator; 2) That’s a pretty personal subject that doesn’t need to be addressed before we even meet in person; and 3) Some of them are just pain weird and clearly submitted by people with specific fetishes.

I can only assume the user who sent the message this morning did some careful selection of which answers confirmed what he already thought about me. I’m pretty sure my position on equal marriage rights doesn’t fit within the box of many religious institutions, but that belief doesn’t impact his ability to get in my pants, so why would he pay attention to that?

I was 33 years old before I really thought about why it mattered to me to wait. I don’t regret most of my past sexual experiences, but I have learned more about myself through them. For my own peace of mind I’ll go ahead and tell you why I want to wait to have sex till I’m married again.
1) I’ve learned that I must have an emotional connection in order for it to be worth it. For me, if there’s no connection, then there’s no real trust, and if there’s no trust, then I’m inhibited. If you’re inhibited at your most intimate moments, then is it really a good experience? Not for me.
wpid-5d3ec82233f506015e7d64227aa94632.jpg2) Whomever my future husband turns out to be, I want him to know that I was thinking about and preparing my heart, mind, and body for him even before I knew how he was. There’s something meaningful, even sacred, within that idea for me. It’s my choice, and I hope it is seen as a way of honoring my future husband through purposeful consideration.

Most of you reading this know I’ve been married and have had one relationship since being divorced. Those aren’t things I address in my profile because I believe they don’t need to come up (much like questions about intimacy) before even meeting in person. Those experiences have influenced how I feel now about having sex before I’m (hopefully) married again.

Sure, I could send those details in a message to this guy, but honestly, if the thought of eventually worshipping with me at church while simultaneously not being able to immediately have sex with me make even the initial pursuit of Moi off-putting then I’m gonna guess we ain’t destined to be together, good buddy (while also making some assumptions about your character, but I won’t post that because it’s exactly what he did to me and I didn’t like it).

I guess I will end this by saying if you’re lucky enough to have found your “forever,” then don’t forget about those of us still looking. For most of us, we’re doing what we know to do. The dating game doesn’t get easier the longer you play it.

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