Paula Rosenberg Freelance Writer: Online Portfolio

Information on NYC based Writer, Paula Rosenberg

Viewshound Personal Essay: Online Dating

with 3 comments

Here is my essay on my adventures in online dating.  It was published in the humor section of Viewshound.

Viewshound Essay on Online Dating

(Please note Viewshound’s website was closed in January of 2012, the link no longer works, but you can read the article as it appeared below)

Online dating: Outside of the box

I’ve had an on/off relationship with online dating sites over the years. I partially blame my lack of success on the sites’ questionnaires.

By Paula Rosenberg – Sunday 20 Nov 2011

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I have a number of close friends who have met there spouse or significant other through an online dating site. I often wonder how they did it. They tell me they just got lucky, but I secretly think they just know the secrets to the universe and aren’t sharing them with me. That or maybe they’re just savvier at finding true love on the World Wide Web than I am.

I have to admit I’m a fair-weather friend when it comes to online dating. It’s not that I haven’t tried. Over the past few years I’ve had memberships to a number of different types of sites. I’ve tried services where they match you up according to a questionnaire you fill out when you join. I’ve joined websites where you simply fill out a profile and browse other members’ pages on your own. I’ve even tried religiously affiliated dating hubs on the internet. In every situation I seem to have the same problem: I get matched or contacted by men who seem to be the complete opposite of what I believe I clearly articulated I was looking for.

Some devotees of internet dating have told me that’s part of the game; that I have to weed through a number of wrong fits before finding Mr. Right. That might be the case, however I think there’s a flaw with the profile system on most of these sites. I often find myself forced to check off boxes that don’t really give an accurate portrait of who I am. I also find that sometimes they don’t have a box for me and I end up having to click on something that isn’t correct at all.

In primary school we were encouraged to think outside of the box, but when it comes to online dating I think you are in for a lot of mismatches if they don’t have a box that fits you. Here are some of the boxes I’ve encountered on various dating sites and the responses I wish I could check off:

Employment

When the options are: ‘Full Time’, ‘Part Time’, ‘Student’, or ‘Unemployed’– My real answer: I’m a full time graduate student on a fellowship, I work part time for a special events company, and I work steadily as a freelance writer. But many people interpret freelance to be code for unemployed. Being a student in itself could be considered working, but how many hours I’m putting in at my two paying jobs in a given week varies. Sometimes deciphering how to fill out online dating site questionnaires seems like a full time career too.

Body Type

When the options are: ‘Skinny’, ‘Athletic’, ‘Average’, ‘Curvy’, ‘A Few Extra Pounds’, or ‘Big and Beautiful’– My real answer: Well I used to be Big and Beautiful, but then I lost weight. Does that make me not beautiful anymore? I notice beautiful isn’t in any of the other descriptors. I guess I have a few extra pounds I’d like to lose, but who doesn’t. So that makes me average right? I sometimes appear curvy, when I wear outfits that give me an hourglass shape. I run for six miles every other day so does that make me athletic? I am not, have never been, nor will ever be skinny. Can there be an option to check off the one box that doesn’t apply to me? That might be easier.

Religion

This seems like a straightforward question yet for me this too becomes complicated. I can answer Jewish, but in reality I feel like my answer should be: It depends on who you’re speaking too. I consider myself Jewish. I was raised Catholic in an interfaith household, but converted to Judaism as an adult. My mother is not Jewish and in Judaism it is the female who passes down the religion. I had a Conservative conversion, so Conservative, Reform, and Reconstructionist Jews think of me as Jewish, but Orthodox Jews do not. This is where I should really have a blank box to write in my answer. It would be: Harry Potter fans I’m basically a Mudblood…or a Halfblood, depending on who you’re talking to.

Children

I get infuriated when there is no ‘maybe’ or ‘don’t know’ option. A surprising number of sites only have the following choices: ‘Yes’, ‘No’, ‘Already Have Them’-my real answer: I have no idea. Why can’t I just focus on meeting someone nice and seeing if we’re meant to be together before bringing our hypothetical children or lack thereof into the mix? I feel like its wrong for me to check yes or no if you have definite feelings one way or the other, because I don’t.

Geez I can’t even commit to checking of a box! Perhaps it’s a sign that I shouldn’t have kids, or maybe I just shouldn’t date online anymore.

Article category: Humor
Article tags: Questioneers, Profiles, online dating
Disclaimer: the views of the author are not those of ViewsHound or Publisha Limited.
Copyright © Paula Rosenberg, all rights reserved. License this in the Content Store.
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Written by paularosenberg

November 26, 2011 at 9:51 pm

3 Responses

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  1. I did eventually meet my wife online but that was after years of meeting crazy people who were literally missing body parts.

    Rob, The Mainland

    Rob Rubin

    November 26, 2011 at 9:54 pm

    • Oh my Rob it sounds like you have some great stories. Please tell me that you have those published somewhere.

      paularosenberg

      November 26, 2011 at 10:02 pm

  2. Well, most of these sites are lousy… have a friend who had met his “loved one” over a dating site, and repented it over time… never ever trust these sites, IMHO

    AriRambles

    November 27, 2011 at 2:58 am


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