We don’t know each other. I should start out by saying I often write letters to strangers. Yours wasn’t a letter so much as an overture that, as far as I know, is your standard first move in that smoke and mirrors game we call online dating. You noticed I mentioned red wine which, funnily enough, is the least telling thing about my profile. Who doesn’t like red wine? It’s fine, at least you sent something. I rarely send the first message. Nobody wants to be even more vulnerable than they already have made themselves by putting up a very public advertisement of their singleness. Can we not just put our faces on flashing billboards and write “I’m lonely too!” with our number underneath. Don’t you find it a little sad that we can’t even admit between ourselves that we’re desperately casting our net into the… Net? No, we write confidently (and with as much humor as we can muster) a self-deprecating candy-coated profile speckled with pictures taken on our best day three years ago. I’m not being dismissive. I threw my hat in the ring near on two years ago and I’ll be damned if I’ll criticize any person for seeking out another warm body. In fact kudos to you and thank you for considering me based on my sparse profile and ample cleavage. Okay, that was a little dismissive, but I’m disillusioned, and your message in my inbox this morning just reminded me that I’m still single, and that the likelihood of you changing that is negligible at best.
If I could write an actual profile, it’d say this: I’m 24. I moved to California two years ago and miss home like crazy. I have friends who I adore. I’m tired of short-lived relationships with men who don’t want (or know how) to be in one. I try to be thoughtful and patient. I get silly when I’m happy. I struggle with my weight and my career choices to the point where sometimes I get caught in a cement block of anxiety. I rely on the people I’m close to for a lot of things, but you better believe I’ll be there in a heartbeat if they ask me for anything, and I hope they know that. I sing a lot secretly hope someone will walk by and ask me to be the lead in their band. I’m indecisive and impressionable, so if you’re going to change my mind do it responsibly. I write, and it’ll probably be about you when you make me crazy. I have a temper, and I’m fond of it. I have a loud laugh, I’m fond of that too. When I fantasize, it’s about living in a small house with lots of books and a vegetable garden. When I ask people how they are it isn’t a courtesy, so I expect them to answer me honestly. I’m tactfully blunt because if I don’t bring up awkward subjects I think about them obsessively. I’ll cook for you, but you should offer to bring ingredients. I want to hear from you every day because then I know you’re thinking about me, and I want you to be thinking about me because you can bet your ass I’m thinking about you. Most importantly, I want you to be very clear about how you feel about me and sometimes show it with flowers. I want you to think I’m worth your time and attention, and I’d love the crap out of you if you thought you were lucky to have me.
In an ideal world, you and I would be the success story that people tell their friends about when they mention they’re trying online dating. I’m not so optimistic. You see, when I fall in love, it’s with someone I met through a mutual friend, or at a bar with the guy who ordered a girly drink. And it isn’t because we’ve rated highly on tests that show where we’re similar. It’s something else. It’s that rare moment where you lock eyes with someone and catch a whiff of their cologne and get a flutter in your stomach because maybe, just maybe, they’re hoping you’re that person they’ve been looking for.
I hope you find that person too,