With the Click of a Mouse, Five Years Have Passed


Since my fifth wedding anniversary is next week, I thought I’d take this opportunity to focus on the beginning days that made history in our life together as a couple. Specifically though—how our respective online dating profiles faired in each other’s eyes.

For those who have not read Living Out Loud yet (shame on you, BTW), you might not know that we decided to marry two years to the day, hour and minute of the day we first met. There were a number of reasons for that decision:

  1. It was the only day of significance to either of us—it’s the day that changed our lives.
  2. The date for our marriage was numerically symbolic to us.
  3. Ironically, the time slot was not up to us, but, in the end, we actually sealed our vows with a kiss at the exact moment we first laid non-cyber-eyes on each other.
  4. The date chosen would also save me from having to remember more than one date. Regardless of how much of a ridiculously, hopeless romantic I am, I struggle with remembering birthdays or anniversaries (which is why I had the respective dates engraved on each of my three wedding rings).

“Three wedding rings? What are you talking about Veronica?”

Seriously. You need to go and read my book. Sigh…

There was an article in the paper the other day about how to make your online dating profile and photo a winner; which prompted a conversation between my man and me. Well, not so much a conversation, as me grilling him and dissecting his every thought from seven years ago.

It’s funny though, after all these years, it’s the first time I ever really asked him about it. The interrogation of my beloved occurred over coffee after breakfast yesterday, and went something like this:

“Do you remember what my main profile photo was?”

“Yes, it was a photo of you with your hand over your mouth and a coy ‘oopsie’ look on your face.”

“What did you think when you saw it?”

“Cute.”

“Did it bother you that there were no full body shots of me? Did you think I was hiding something like a few of the other women you previously met?”

“No. I figured that, since you went into so much detail in your profile, you weren’t going to lie about that.”

“What did you think about the content of my profile?” I continued.

“I thought, ‘Wow. That’s thorough.’”

“In a bad way?”

“No. Not in a bad way. It really gave me a good understanding of you. But it also made me think that you’d never reply to my message.”

“Why?”

“Because I was just a blue-collar guy and you were a professional.”

“Did it say something to make you feel as though you were beneath me?”

“No, not at all. It was just my own insecurities. Which is why I also didn’t think you’d want to see me again after our first date.”

He has told me many times over the years of his insecurities surrounding our first meeting, but I never knew it stemmed back to when he first read my profile. I too had my insecurities the day we met. He was so freakin’ gorgeous, that I never imagined he’d ever want to be with someone as non-beautiful as me. I pray that I never, ever forget the moment I first laid eyes on him. My gawd. Just thinking about it now makes me grin like a silly schoolgirl. Then again, looking at him on any given day still makes my tummy do flip-flops. Except during his wintertime full-beard rebellion… it’s like he walking around wearing a furry balaclava—I hate it! If he does it again this year, I think I’ll grow out my beard and moustache too and see how he likes it. Don’t tempt me… I am in my forties, you know… I could do it if I wanted to!

Anyhoo, let’s get away from how our respective facial hair will tickle one another when we kiss… back to the harp music to take me back to our beginning days.

Now that we know how my profile came across to him, how did his do in my eyes?

I hated his.

Is that harsh?

His photos were totally unappealing, and the body of his profile was crap. The only thing in his favor was the mandatory descriptions we all have to fill out when we sign up—he was the right age, height, astrological sign, didn’t want more kids, and lived in close proximity to me.

So why did I meet him if I felt his profile was a loser? Well, whenever a man contacted me, even if I didn’t feel that their write-up was good, I assumed that they read something in mine to make them believe we could be compatible. I was willing to give them a chance based on that. In my husband’s case though, although I was trying to step away from the cyber-scene for a while, plain and simple—I was a coward and just wanted to make him go away. Our written conversations did not flow as they had for me with other men, so I just wanted us to meet so he’d realize we were not compatible, and then he’d be the bad guy by not calling me again. Little did I know…

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I don’t think there’s a tried and true science to creating an online profile, but there are a lot of great points to follow. I suggest that, before, you create your profile do a search of do’s and don’ts and then, ultimately, do what feels right for you. Although my profile had some don’ts (too long and no full-body photos), it was the right representation for me. Here are my two biggest pet peeves:

  1. No photo. Physical attraction sometimes matters, but if you are not photogenic, get creative so that you aren’t cast aside because you react like Chandler on Friends the moment a camera is pointed at you. Quite honestly, if that’s the case, have a friend follow you around and take some candid shots. Some of my favorite photos of me are when I don’t know the photo was taken.
  2. Take some time to actually write a decent description of yourself. None of that “if you want to know more about me, just ask” crap. That is a cop-out and freaking annoying. Give us the Coles notes so that we have a little to go on. Life is busy, none of us have time to engage in a week of written banter for every person that “winks” at them.
  3. Oh, that’s another thing—don’t freakin’ “wink” at someone if you are interested. Man-up (or woman-up) and send them a bloody message. There’s a woman at work who obviously has a nervous tick and winks at me every day when she says hello. Does it mean she plans to corner me in the handicap stall of the bathroom for an illicit office encounter? No. No it doesn’t. Winks mean nothing.

I personally believe that the most important part of online dating is:

Go into it knowing what your non-negotiables are.

Ultimately, that is what is going to matter in the end—not the photos, not the life story, not the proximity of your houses—it’s actually all on you.

You don’t need to go on a thousand dates. But you need be open minded that change might be good “donkey.”

Through it all, you need to be real with yourself.

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