You look sweet. Why don’t you settle down with someone?

Unsolicited comments/advice from the peanut gallery today…

I was pretty irritated when I read this.  I couldn’t even unpack all the Feelings I had about it, because I couldn’t see through my annoyance, which was large and cloudy and yellow like I imagine sandstorms and Agent Orange to be.  Noxious and prickly and abrasive/poisonous to everyone within a 30 mile radius.  Also it bothers me that the things that fall out of the mouths/keyboards of strangers and into my ears/inbox can make me feel anything at all.

1. I don’t KNOW you.  Who ARE you?  What makes you at ALL qualified to comment on/question me about my status?

2. What are you implying with your so-called question?  There are all kinds of possible assumptions to be made, conclusions to be drawn.  There is something wrong with me that is not immediately obvious because I “look sweet.”  There is something wrong with me because I am So Old.  There is something wrong with being “single.”  People need to settle with other people.

3. Is this supposed to be some kind of backhanded compliment?

4. This is why I should disable my profile.  This is why I should disable my profile.  This is why…

You’d think I’d be a little thicker-skinned after all this time, but no, apparently not.  I also find that I am easily offended by these sorts of exchanges, and it’s likely – if I give this person the benefit of the doubt – that he didn’t intend to *be* offensive.  And maybe I don’t need to get all my feathers ruffled and be so DEfensive…  It’s possibly a sore point.

I am, I decided, single with a VENGEANCE.  When I look at the options and prospects that are available to me I sometimes feel really, super disheartened.  Like, “Men?  Ew.  Women?  Ew.  Human Beings?  Ew.”  They are not exactly rocking my socks in intelligence, conversation, looks, or anything else that would enhance their attractiveness.  I do not want to settle down with any of these people.

But I AM settled.  Or, you know, superficially settled.  I bought a house – it’s a SIGN!  I could sell said house and come unmoored, but I think not yet.  I have only just arrived.  I have settled with RABBITS.  I have settled ON rabbits.  They are very agreeable roommates (even when disabled and incontinent), and they don’t have anything to say about how I live my life (unless it involves trying to snuggle them – DISAPPROVE!).

1. “I don’t know you…”  And I’m not going to WANT to know you if you annoy me.  So, my advice for future messages – should you decide to send them, is as follows: Do NOT start out with “You look sweet.”  Bleh.  I think I’m still a zombie in one of my pictures.  I don’t know how sweet that is.  You should probably refrain from even MENTIONING my appearance.  If you want to be complimentary, try, “You’re so funny!”  Or “You’re so smart!”  (These may or may not be true, but I prefer to be flattered for my intelligence or sense of humor over Beauty or Cuteness.)  I’ll even take, “You’re so PROLIFIC!”  (But if you confuse “your” and “you’re” I’m going to notice.  And I’m going to judge.)  Do NOT then suggest that my status is some kind of red flag.  If you’re contacting me because I’m “single” and you’re looking doesn’t that sort of work in your favor?

Don’t lead with this kind of nonsense at all.  It would be better if you just said something weirdly surprising.

I did finally check out this person’s profile.  Mostly to decide whether it was worth sending any kind of response at all.  And discovered that he was from Australia (which is entirely peopled with criminals).  And decided he might have an interesting accent, which would SURELY make ANYTHING he said to me delightful.  i.e. I should not get so worked up over this.  Also, Australia is like no-chance-in-Hell-land because it’s waaaaaay over there and the likelihood that we are going to ever meet up is in the ballpark of never.  Or, if ever, SWEET!!!  I want to visit Australia.  Can I stay with you, or will you murder me in my sleep?

There’s not much to go on.  Not a blithering idiot, but…  Definitely a blundering man-person from Down Under.  We, perhaps, have Cultural Differences as well as Ideological ones.  But I like my pen pals a bit more verbose.

2. What does “settled” even mean?  Like happy in who you are and where you are and what you’re doing with your life?  If so, that’s me.  Right now.  Today.  This moment.  But that doesn’t stick.  And if you can’t face/handle change, then you’re screwed.  Settled gives you no assurances.  Life continues to happen whether you want it to or not.  Fall into the slipstream!

3. Probably, yes, you didn’t mean anything by this.  Or maybe no.  You like provoking people.  Way to find my buttons.  First try.

4. I can’t and don’t approach online dating as online dating.  I don’t want to date people.  I want to get to know them better before I even consider meeting them or deciding whether or not I am attracted to them.  I would rather not think about this at all right now. Unless, of course, I do…and there’s some kind of immediate connection.  That doesn’t happen all that often.  Well, it doesn’t happen as much when people message ME first.  It’s much more reliable when I’m the one making the selections and writing the first messages.  Remember woos?  Sometimes I am unwooable (oh, it is so sad, like the howling of the lonely puppy).

This is maybe not the best venue/method for finding friends, but I haven’t done so poorly over the years.  It’s just that using dating sites for purposes OTHER than dating/sex/srs relationships/SETTLING DOWN does not compute with a lot of my fellow users.  There are obvious reasons for that.  And sometimes I am more amenable and available than other times, and my Australian messager picked A BAD TIME for that and A BAD VEHICLE for his interest(?).

Yup.  So there’s that all hashed out.  I feel fine.  FINE.  🙂

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4 thoughts on “You look sweet. Why don’t you settle down with someone?

  1. Yeah, well. I think he was probably just trying to do his best to give you a compliment without actually having to ownership of actually having done (doing?) so.

    As a middle-aged single guy, I get the same sort of sentiment from many of those who only think they know me. I’m dreading this year’s union Christmas party because now that I’m Mr. President, my showing up stag becomes even more of an issue to those who insist that “a nice guy” like me should be coupled. Ugh.

    While I’m certainly not opposed to the idea of romance, they don’t understand that what I have failed to find is somebody I’m attracted to (this usually involves brunette librarians who live at least 400 miles away) who understands that I won’t always have time to call, won’t be hurt if I tell her I need some alone time to watch TV with my cat, and accepts that although I may be completely smitten with her, I am extremely uncomfortable committing to live under the same roof with another person for the rest of my life. Yeah, I know – good luck with all of that!

    Anyhow, you probably shouldn’t be so hard on the guy (even if he IS a criminal from the penal(snerk!) colony. I say stupid stuff all the time. He was probably just awkward and in love with the cute er, smart, funny, PROLIFIC! girl in the zombie pix.

    I know I am. :>

  2. Such a loaded question! I get similar comments and questions and usually use them to weed out those… potential suitors?

  3. I think Australia is about 10 years behind on realizing chauvinism isn’t cool anymore, so maybe that’s worth a grain of salt. Or maybe it’s a reason to avoid entirely. *shrug* You can always try to explain to him why it was a poor approach, but that’s setting yourself up for a weird dynamic that might be tricky to extricate yourself from without the BLOCK button.

  4. j9! I also usually ignore these sorts of messages.

    Oberon! I have a really low tolerance – developed after trying to have a lot of patience with some other people – for drama. I don’t think it’s worth my time to be the one who sets this person straight about why this approach is lame. Maybe someone else will do it. Also, I’d prefer to go back to New Zealand. Maybe I should try to get picked for that egg/chick monitoring project…

    thumerz! I don’t think any librarians – no matter their hair color or proximity to you – can live up to these lofty expectations. I would suggest visiting your local library, however. We are, as a species, quite fantastic to know. Also, statistics might show that we are extremely understanding about alone time and cat time.

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