I’d like to order a date with extra cheese, please
I’d like a large pie with extra cheese, mushrooms, sausage, and broccoli. But make sure the cheese is covering the whole pizza because I don’t like baldness, and actually, why don’t you hold the sausage? I’d like someone who doesn’t eat meat. And while you’re there, make sure those mushrooms are well-educated, like maybe with a master’s or PhD. And as for the broccoli, can you make sure it’s a certain height because I only want it if it’s tall. Could I get that to go? Thanks.
Someone once told me that online dating was like ordering a pizza. At first I laughed at that analogy, then I cringed, and then I realized that he was right. We are all looking for that on-paper perfect mate. And since online dating sites give so much choice in the matter, we think it’s our right to have everything we’re looking for. Now, I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with wanting certain things, but what if someone out there looks good but doesn’t necessarily fit all of those objective criteria. What's a single in Philly to do? I’d venture to say – try ‘em out anyway.
When we walk into a bar or party and see someone we like, that man or woman doesn’t have a chart attached to his or her forehead full of credentials, stats, and dislikes. (Wouldn’t that be a pretty funny sight?!) We trust our instincts; we go with chemistry. But online, we have so much information that it’s almost too easy to discard someone simply because he is only 5’6 or she has a fondness for US Weekly rather than the latest issue of The Economist. (I’m not saying I know anyone like that. ;))
I was chatting with someone recently who met her boyfriend at a climbing wall. They had known each other for a while, and ironically enough, when they eventually started dating, he came up as one of her matches on OkCupid that week. She looked at his profile and said, “I would have never gone out with him after reading this.” I guess she thought she was in the mood for a Hawaiian pizza, but in reality, what she wanted was much simpler – plain cheese.
So, go ahead, order whatever you want for dinner tonight, but when it comes to dating, there’s no check-box order to place. Give people the benefit of the doubt because in the end after meeting in person, chemistry may trump all to give you the slice of your life.
Erika Ettin is the Founder of A Little Nudge, where she helps people navigate the world of online dating. Her services include: writing unique profiles to get you noticed, helping to choose your best profile pictures, writing one-of-a-kind emails to get someone’s attention, and planning dates. A Little Nudge has been featured in The Washington Post, NPR, Talk Philly, Good Day Philadelphia, JMag (JDate's online magazine), and Ask Men. Want to connect with Erika? Join her newsletter for updates and tips.