In this heady and dynamic world of social networking, online dating and cyber chat, this question looms large in front of me …….why and how do we determine the connections we make?
How we make potentially romantic contacts is of course different to those we make for business or other social reasons ….. or is it?
Most online dating sites offer you the choice of either posting a profile photograph or not, but when I tested both options for myself I got around eighty per cent less interest without a snap as opposed to with. It was actually a man who advised me to try removing my photo but the sad truth soon emerged that when a woman is post-forty, men expect the worst. I’m sorry guys, but you do …. So the moral here is …. middle-aged daters need to validate their applications with some sort of evidence that they won’t frighten small children and horses, especially if they are female.
I’ve already talked about how when browsing men’s profiles that don’t have pictures, I’ve been automatically suspicious. No matter how “nice” someone is online, if on meeting them they turn out to look like something that could be towing the British army’s tank division single handedly, I will lose interest pretty quickly. Call me shallow, but there it is…
I’m Debsylee, and I’m an attracto-holic.
When we get a way down the dating line the cracks often begin to appear, of that there is no doubt. Take Mr Bunched Up as my most recent example of this; perfectly presentable (thanks to his relentless gym regime as he was keen to point out … ) but the personality of a giraffe on acid soon negated any good work he had done in the body shop. So whilst attractiveness might get you a second interview, it’s not necessarily going to secure the position of significant other …
In socio-business situations it’s slightly less obvious, but the basic model is the same. As a single girl I’d have to admit to having two types of contacts, those (male and female) who are married/attached and therefore kept well away from any flirtatious activities, and those attractive males who aren’t married or attached …. they go into a mental file labelled “Let’s not rule it out”. That’s not to say I would necessarily start plotting a takeover manoeuvre, but on a good day with a fair wind … Who knows?
Physical attraction, therefore, seems to be the number one motivating factor that determines whether communication is pursued with significant interest initially … or not. If the interest grows with the onset of emotional, spiritual and mental attraction too, then you’re on very fertile ground and you’d better prepare for all possible outcomes. Just in case.
I’ve pursued contact with a couple of men that really should have been parked when an alarm sounded but because I was visually hooked and the mental pairing was progressing well too, I chose to ignore the siren and battle on regardless.
Cat in the Hat is a perfect example. He was a substantial number of years older than me, but very learned, great with words and had a fabulous American accent. I was without doubt in the latter stages of “liking too much”. So when he chose to impart the information that he was going to have a “surgical procedure” that would involve some pumpage in – ahem – intimate moments, I chose to brush it off as unimportant.
Now, sane, rational and clear-thinking Debsy would scream “you what???” at that prospect but no, not the case for the newly mesmerised and smitten Debsy. My one remaining slightly concerned and clear-thinking brain cell chose to discuss it with Mr Distant Cynic, who after composing himself mentioned that a fit and healthy woman in her forties would soon tire of mechanics in the bedroom … I maintained that true love would see us through. How deluded was I? More on Cat in the Hat on another day. Needless to say the relationship was soon a deflated version of it’s former self (not as the result of any test-drives, I should add …)
One lady commented to me some time ago that being very beautiful can be a curse; it can attract the wrong sort of attention. I can see why that would be … beauty can act like a magnet, attracting people from every direction. If the attractor has a well-honed selection process to eliminate all the ne’er-do-wells and retain the gems, then all well and good. But you can only imagine the number of times you might have to fall flat on your face to get that system operating well, without sentiment or emotion.
When all is said and done we remain a species that acts first on the visual; we might like to think we’ve evolved but the truth is that the progress has been negligible.