357 (ostensibly) single guys sounds like a lot, eh? I conducted an online search on Plenty Of Fish to find gay men in the Vancouver area within a nine-year age range, my own age roughly in the middle.
I pump myself up before viewing the results. "Be open." I become as hopeful as when I blow a twenty on lottery tickets. You never know.
I scroll down. Many familiar thumbnail photos. Have I worn out my welcome on the website? Come on, stay positive! I click on a thumbnail to read the profile. Does confusing your and you're constitute grounds for dismissal? Would he be open to receiving Eats, Shoots& Leaves as a first date gift? (Yes, I know the book focuses on punctuation. It's a conversation starter.)
I move on. More clicking. All right, the stickler in me must be set aside. I don't need love notes from Mr. Right.
How is it that a thumbnail photo, when clicked and enlarged transforms into something less appealing? (It's like those trick mirrors in clothing store dressing rooms.) The icky thing about Plenty Of Fish is every time I click on someone's profile that person can find out by looking at the "Viewed Me" link after logging in. I get embarrassed by some of my clicking. Sorry! My mistake!
I am suspicious of the one-photo wonders. Doesn't everyone have one impossibly good shot? A lawyer with a great mug I communicated with a few months ago recently posted a second photo. Yech. There was almost no resemblance! (I feel better that he inexplicably ended the message exchange before the obligatory coffee date.)
It would be so much easier if I could say physical attraction isn't necessary. But it is. I've met some guys whom I knew I wasn't attracted to based on their photos and I've hoped that great conversation would create a connection. Sure, a couple of them were funny, interesting...but potential friends, not partners. And no matter what guys say, they're not searching online for another friend.
Click on. The profiles start to sound the same. Loyal, funny, successful,...the adjectives read like clichés. Everyone's a terrific catch, but the messages seem hollow. There are a few who go out on a limb to make each sentence witty. It feels contrived--and flat.
I tell myself again, "Be open," yet I am aware that the sentiment evaporated after the first few clicks. I browse some more and try to fake it. To be honest, there are some profiles that interest me. Problem is I already sent these guys a message and, for whatever reason, my photos, my words elicited repulsion, or at the very least, inaction.
357 single guys. The search is over. And note the lack of an exclamation mark ending the preceding sentence, all you Lynne Truss followers.
I'm not entirely deflated. When I head into town later, I'm buying a lottery ticket.