Dating (Again) in the 21st Century

Editor’s Note: Who is the wisest of them all? Who is more dedicated to your pleasure than anyone on earth? Who can help you when you’re going online for the first time to find love; or when your lover’s children hate you; or when you want to strangle your husband? Why, the Love Goddess, of course. She promises nothing less than celestial wisdom, heavenly sex, divine dating. Read on …

We’ve talked about the two parts of a profile — the self-presentation (the sales pitch) and the request (whom you’d like to meet). The two parts should have the same feel and tone, as in a story. And, like a good story, your profile should convey something idiosyncratic, quirky, about you — not just words that could apply to any woman on the planet. So overkill (“gorgeous, sexy, body that won’t quit”) on your part or (“six-pack abs”) on his part sound so hollow, describing as they do anyone of any age and size and sensibility who happens to be a gym rat. Ditto for “lively” and “perky” and “fun” about you and “handsome” and “likes music” and “sensitive” about him — again, generic ideas that describe no one (imagine a novelist building a character that way!). And no knee-jerk earnestness. No “soulful woman” with “passionate nature” here. If it’s a kind of cool guy who can dance and knows his way around New York and listens to jazz that you want to meet, say so with some oomph. “You’ve been known to Lindy to Wes Montgomery.” “You liked the Russian Tea Room before it was redone.” Or, “You miss Bradley’s.”

A way to get closer to character is to pretend you’re not you but a good friend of yours, hoping to fix [BOLD]you[BOLD] up with a lovely man, and groping to describe the depth and delight of you. So maybe, to continue the jazz theme, “curvy and petite, studied jazz piano in hopes of sounding like Herbie Hancock.” Or, “gave up dancing but still have a dancer’s legs.” Or “just discovered that Bekka Bramlett sounds exactly like her mother, Bonnie, who is my favorite rock singer.” Someone out there will write back, “I was at the Shrine Auditorium when Delaney and Bonnie played with Eric Clapton.” (If he does, will you call me?) 

Question and edit each word and phrase. Remove all the usual suspects, like “seeking a mate.” You’re not. You’re seeking a date. (Who thinks of himself as a “mate,” anyway, and who wants to think of this as a merger rather than a mere potential shared bottle of merlot?) I know I’m hammering on this, but it’s worth it: You may think you want a rich, successful guy but you’ll never meet him by icily announcing, “Crave master of the universe who lives in Greenwich, got out of the market early and looks like Clint Eastwood” — but  you can suggest that you appreciate certain inclinations in such a man: “You take pride, secretly, in the details of all that you do and have done — from your appearance to your work life to your family life.” It’s not his money and fame per se you’re interested in and appealing to; it’s how he defines it and how he feels about it. (Unless, of course, I’m wrong. And you have the stomach and the wit for the crass route: “Rich woman looking for rich man.”  It goes against this goddess’s romantic sensibilities, but it’s been known to yield combined wealth.) 

Speaking of sensibilities, kill the emotional clichés. “Rainy summer nights” and “moonlight walks,” like “caring” and “loving” and “special” will yield just what they should yield: EST grads and gurus, both of whom have a virtual lineup of caring, loving and special women in their drumming and yoga classes and would love you to join them. But, “must own cute raincoat: will be using it a lot,” might get a game guy who writes back, “It’s a Burberry, I think, but old” — someone you might actually enjoy the rain with.           


Like all savvy goddesses, the Love Goddess has her own blog, which can be visited by clicking here.

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