There’s something about my appearance that betrays my personality. This may be a good thing. This may be like nature’s way of helping me set a trap for unwitting
victims friends. But it also creates awkward situations as I have to explain, or demonstrate, that I’m not just who they think I am.
I don’t know if it’s my dimples, brown eyes, or red curly hair but people have a tendency to look at me and see a soft, pliable, doormat. It’s true that I’m a relatively gentle, nice, empathetic person. I’m also no fool who can be a typical fiery redhead, especially in the defense of others.
The first time I realized people perceived me very differently than how I actually am was a Psychology class in college. The professor tagged us with commands of how others were supposed to treat us. We couldn’t see our own tags, so the exercise was to see how we altered our behaviors based on how we were treated. The professor tagged me with “ask my opinion” because he believed that I would become self conscious. Instead, I LOVED it! I couldn’t wait to give my opinion about everything and be queen bee.
What the professor didn’t count on (and he confessed I reacted differently than he thought I would) is that I’m actually a pretty opinionated and very strong person. If I seem reserved, it is often me holding back so that I don’t just steam-roller everyone.
My experiences with online dating has really amplified this disconnect. Every once in a while I like to dabble in the online dating because I’ve actually met some really nice people. They didn’t turn into lifelong mates, but who cares? Dating a nice guy for a while isn’t too bad and I’m happily single so I’m OK if things don’t end in marriage.
However, the few exceptions aside, online dating is generally not a great solution for me because I seem to attract men that you may have last seen on America’s Most Wanted.
Recently, I was “liked” and “winked at” by a man who looked like he came from Hollywood central casting for the part of “murderer.” It wasn’t the sleeve tats, the tattoo around his neck, or even the undershirt he wore in his profile picture (you know, the best picture you have to attract people to your profile). I don’t have a problem with any of those. In fact, in the name of research, I looked through a lot of pictures of Joe Manganiello but he doesn’t have any tattoos. To be thorough, I looked at a LOT of pictures but still no tattoos.
So clearly, the undershirt can look just fine on someone (to be fair, they look fine on guys with Joe’s physique, just like hip-hugger skinny jeans look fine on super-models, not me). However, my guy also had the most threatening, dead-eye stare I’ve ever seen. It wasn’t just that picture either. He had more pictures in his profile and in each one, including the one with the jaunty baseball hat at a game, he had the exact same, dead-eye glower. The word sniper kept popping into my head. I don’t dare share his picture here with you because I would just rather not make anyone that scary-looking angry. I did share his picture with a friend who immediately agreed. It didn’t help that he mentioned that he missed the company of a woman. It wasn’t the company of a good woman he missed, just a woman.
My favorite was the man who reached out to me with a shirtless profile picture in what I think he believed was a sexy, come-hither pose in his favorite recliner. It might have been kind of sexy if I found men 20 years older than me, with bigger breasts than mine, sexy. In case you think I’m being mean, I should mention that he was very specific about the size of breasts he wanted on his woman so he brought up the subject first.
What really captured my attention about his profile is that immediately below that picture, he specified that he wants a woman who knows how to dress for the occasion. I don’t know what the occasion is and what his expectation would be but I’m guessing he’s OK with casual since he didn’t even put on a shirt for his profile picture. If I was still on the fence, the requirement that his ideal woman be reserved and be able to turn him on in an instant, pretty much sealed the deal.
Dude, I’m not the woman for you. I’m not going to sit around and wait until you feel like being turned on and I’ll dress however I want for occasions.
These are only a couple of responses I’ve gotten. Most of the time they ask for someone who will comply, take care of them, and “be their companion.”
I don’t know what it is about me that makes them think I’d apply for the job description they are providing. Do I really have to “warn” them that I have strong opinions, I’m a feminist and get angry when I see double standards, and I’m very independent, I don’t need anything from them?
Actually, I avoid interacting with them. Except that one guy that said he couldn’t believe someone as cute as me was so liberal. When I read his profile, that wanted another submissive, conservative woman, I told him to back. away. slowly.
I don’t fool everyone every time. I did have the father of a friend meet me and immediately told my friend that while I was nice, that I was shouldn’t be crossed. I loved him a little bit.
So here’s to the 3D woman who is gentle, likes to knit and read, and who will crush you like a bug if you like to oppress or hurt others. Only the best need apply.