” ‘Star Wars’ of course…”
Those were the first words my wife ever wrote to me. We met on match.com. The true story of how we met in this life in spite of three others being written on this blog as short stories that tell our love story in metaphor and historical “past life experiences” that my wife and I both share a kind of memory of (“How We Met”, “Foundation” and “Falling”).
I went looking for her as she was looking for me. We would later discover that we signed up on the same day… At around the same time.
I signed up for Match on a Monday, and immediately started looking for attractive women. I decided to sign up on that specific site because my ex-wife had met her new husband there very quickly… and while he isn’t my type at all… he certainly is hers. They appeared to be instantly far better for each other than I ever was for her over the 20 years we spent together… He finally got her to stop wanting me back, which was a relief as I had no intention of doing a u-turn with her and trying again.
So I went searching for “my person”. I spend the entire morning drudging through more women than I can count. First looking at pics, and then deciding if they were hot enough to put up with the “level of stupidity” my jaded soul could muster as a criticism of their incessantly bitchy profiles whining about all the things “real men” should and should not be. All of them local to Orlando FL (already a bad sign), all seeking love and their “perfect match” ranging from women that were audaciously asking for a fat dick and a fatter wallet to women seeking a pastor with the body of Ryan Reynolds.
I was instantly annoyed and feeling like I just wasted the money I spent to get the gold six month membership (I had planned to take quite a long time, and work my way through a couple disposable women first… on the advice of a close friend). However, on this site I was finding that every single profile had a deal breaker which I couldn’t even consider a date much less sleeping with these women. The sentence “What if I accidentally end up giving a conservative an orgasm?”… Something my buddies found hysterical (mainly because I meant it). The worst part of this online dating thing, was that all my matches seemed to have checked the box for “a minimum salary” requirement, and most even mentioned it in their profile. For the man they wanted, he had to look sexy, dress “well”. to me this means choking to death in collared shirts and wearing uncomfortable slacks and a blazer that never lasts me more than a couple days since one small move and I rip the sleeves off in the back… I hate suites… I think the inventor was trying to torture men who are in shape, while giving fat guys the ability to not look so stupidly fat. Even though I (in earnest) checked the highest income box the site allowed, I certainly didn’t want to find someone who was seeking a “minimum price” for their love and affection (I had made that mistake before).
By noon on monday morning I was already just about done with the site. I had read hundreds of profiles and all of them had began to frustrate me to the point of reading most of them in my head with a voice of an incessantly whining child… “I waaant a maaan, who knooooowws how to taaake caaaaare of himseeeeeeelf…” (I wish you could some how accent text to get that right level of nails on a chalkboard whine into it).
So I opened up my honest assessment matching profile, and I filled it out again from scratch. This time on the sliding scale of 0 (not important) to 10 (dealbreaker), I walked down the list of everything I wanted in their long drawn out “matching algorithm” questionnaire and ” personality test” i marked each-and-every-thing…
This narrowed down my international search quite a bit. At the time I was so frustrated with trying to find a person that would accept all of me, that I didn’t care where she was in the world, as long as she was perfect for me, so I opened the search algorithm to global english speaking women. “what should they be looking for” included with “salary… not important” marked as a must have. “love Dancing” also was a must… “artistic”… “Spiritual but not religious”… All of those “Dealbreakers”.
I pressed “search”… and in the entire world with an age gap of plus or minus two years my age. (So at the time I was seeking a woman thirty seven years old up to forty two…)… out of all the women in the world, this narrowed my search to three. Two 99% matches, and somehow a 100%. I didn’t bother to look where they were living. I dove into their profiles with high hopes.
The first profile was an attractive redheaded mural artist in california. I read her profile and about 1/3 of the way down I hit a dealbreaker the search algorithm didn’t pick up on, I remember something along the lines of “I am a fiercely independent person and must be allowed my space”… Nope… Sorry, I believe everyone should have the ability to do what they want, but I want a woman who can paint by my side, perfectly content with my presence in her creative environment.
I continued to the second… Somehow a religious nut worked her way in to my “spiritual but not religious”… Apparently she had marked this because she believed she was far more christian than most Christians. I began to lose hope… But with only three women to search for, I figured I might as well read the final one… and it was like being struck by lightning.
Before I ever saw a picture other than her profile (a pic that made her look a bit like Demi Moore in “GI Jane” but with a full head of dark chestnut hair)… I first skimmed her long profile in order to find words that stood out as “dealbreakers”… I found none… The only impression from that first readthrough was “this woman is tough as shit, honest, straight to the point… and probably from the tone of her profile she was about as fed up with the whiny little macho tools on match.com, as I was with the money grubbing whiny christian woman who were looking for their knight in shining armor to come save them from poverty (and willing to trade sex for it if they had to).”
I re-read her profile with intent. It was more a list of the bullshit she didn’t want from men, than a tell all tale of who she was. She wrote things like “you have to be okay with the fact that I turn heads… If you get jealous just walk away now”… or “I want someone to teach me to dance again… it’s not a dealbreaker, but you need to be able to, at the very least, live with the fact that I will go dance with or without you”. She was an artist… She painted murals, did photography, and made and refinished furniture which she mentioned she was turning into her own business.
She was crying out for a strong man to follow her on adventures. She was militantly independent. She was deliberately unable to have more children (as am I)… Most importantly she came off as completely pissed at every man who had ever lived who wasn’t me. I loved every word she wrote. In her list she described me… Saying she is attracted to the “strange, the unusual, and the colorful”. I believe she may have even snuck in a quote from the movie Labyrinth. So I decided she was going to be mine… Or rather… more earnestly, I decided that I wanted to be hers. Once I knew she was looking for me, and was the type of woman I was looking for, I allowed myself to view her photos…
That is pretty much all I can say… I was in awe, that someone this attractive could be so gruff, tough, and spew badassery down the entire Match.com profile page. So I allowed myself to hope… hope she would respond… hope we could at the very least meet to discover if this could go somewhere. So I prepared to fly myself to wherever this woman lived, and I checked to see how many miles I would be putting on my frequent flyer points…
8 miles??? That had to be a mistake. 100% matched and 8 miles away… A short trip up a 6 lane highway to her doorstep? My first thought was that this profile was someone catfishing me. Someone who had read my salary (which I did post just to drive away anyone who would be interested on that alone… I have a feeling a lot of women fill out the match.com profile with one box checked… $150K+). In spite of my near certainty that this woman had designed a profile to snag me, I chose to pursue it anyway… I took a deep breath and recited my mantra for entering into stressful situations
“Scars over Regrets”…
and I wrote to her… a brief hello; as GQ magazines 11 commandments for online dating suggested… I had studied up on the do-s and don’ts of online dating for days before I signed up. I had even gone back through and tuned my profile. Tips for men to make them more appealing and get more responses. I followed their checklist to a T. Funny enough, it’s the opposite of everything men want from women… Which is why so many men do this stupid shit on profiles.
- Don’t post any shirtless pics no matter how good you look
- Show activities you like to do
- I posted cosplay pics, fencing, etc…
- Make yourself appear human and vulnerable, if you have kids post pictures with them
- Don’t look at the camera in your profile pic… have it look like someone caught you in the middle of a fun activity.
- Make sure you are smiling or laughing in every picture
- Don’t post more than 5 photos (keep them wanting more)
- If you play and instrument post a picture of you playing it.
- In your profile be somewhat aloof and elusive as if you don’t really need to be here on this site.
- Do not say a word about what you want in a woman, just share who you are (they know what they are looking for, but if you post something about them even if they have that trait it will scare them off).
- Don’t show off or even show your wealth, you will attract the wrong women with these pictures.
- Keep your messages brief and to the point… with every response answer quickly and then turn the conversation back to her… make her the interesting person. Don’t brag, in fact “play down” your success and bolster her strengths that you are attracted to.
I know this may seem insincere to follow some magazines code to ensnare the perfect woman. However, from a psychological standpoint all these rules seemed to make a lot of sense for an online first impression. When you think about it, women are insanely vulnerable on these sites, especially those with kids (which was also a dealbreaker for me. I wrote somewhere in my relatively short profile about myself “flings are fun, but I want to be treated more like this is an audition for a husband and step-father… don’t worry though, I don’t intend to fall for you like a blind roofer”…
She was my 100%… the only one in the world that match could find for me. So I wrote her Simply “You seem to be looking for exactly me. I was wondering if you would like to get to know each other”
I checked back over and over again every couple hours, hoping to see that the message had been read. I already made my choice of who I wanted, I just had to see if I could somehow catch her attention… nope… not yet at least. So I sat patiently for a torturous day of tedium at the office, just waiting to see if “the One” would answer me.
I awoke the next day to a match.com notification (I guess she does match at night after putting the kids to sleep). I got no reply, but she did however add me to her “favorites”. I guessed that was progress. So I sent her another brief note that said something like “I noticed you put me on your favorites, I am interested in getting to know you better”.
Tuesday came and went… and I just about lost my mind… I spent the entire day logged in, and hitting refresh every 15 minutes. I sat outside in the smokers section of my work and just stared at the screen for hours… “answer me… answer me… answer me…” Hours went by… until the early afternoon… So I said “fuck-it, im calling Erdem”… My close friend and former manager working under me when I was running the global game engine team for my company… who was also a very skilled pickup artist, and just happened to have left my company to go manage the software that ran the matching algorithm on Match.com. I called him.
“how can I get this woman to respond”. Erdem ran our matching algorithm himself and said it was the first 100% he had ever seen. It means we answered every… single… question… exactly the same. He was pretty stunned knowing what a playboy I was, that I cared so much about this. I told him I had reached “fuck it” with women.
At this point in my life I had (while sitting alone in a hotel room for new years eve just a month prior) decided that I was either buying a mail-order bride, or finding the perfect woman on match.com. There would be no inbetween. Pay for sex forever, and then pay for her to shut up and leave me alone… or go all-in for love, find it or die trying. Then do everything in my power to show her every single day of her life that she is the most loved woman on earth, and keep her forever.
It was another good friend who suggested that my Karma and my sense of morality wouldn’t let me recover from the former, and so he formed a small facebook group, with a committee of my closest friends… which would be designed as “Grayjedi’s Brain” (he used my real name, but since this blog is anonymous… I am sticking with that). This committee he said had “sole control over my decision making process… because the russian hooker idea was…and I quote ‘the dumbest fucking idea you have ever had’ “. I submitted… I agreed that these few men, my closest friends that I chose to keep… would be allowed to help me decide what to do.
Erdem (a member of the decision making committee…) agreed that I should meet this woman. There was a minority report from the committee that stated “Gray Jedi should be the player his is, for at least 2 years… and have sex with as many women as possible while learning not to get attached” (but that has never been my style. So… with that in mind… My good friend the pick up artist instructor… Showed me how I could make sure that I was in the top left corner of her screen every… single… time she logged in. This had a price associated with it and required an upgrade to my account in order to then pay that price… but honestly, you can’t put a price on the perfect woman (nor should you).
“Interested” – she marked on Wednesday morning, and yet still didn’t respond to a single message I sent…
So… I kicked a few things… went and punched the heavy bag at the gym in frustration… and went back to the article in GQ Magazine to see what I had missed. I did find a segment that I thought could possibly help. “Always end each message with a question, in order to continue the conversation”. I used the “interested” status change to open the door for one final attempt at contact before i would go silent and just wait to see if she would answer me (or… stalk her… which my committee had unanimously agreed was beyond creepy… I used to hashtag a lot of my facebook and twitter statuses with #notcreepy… I have never been much for social norms).
I wrote to her… one last attempt… my third swing of the bat with 2 strikes and all my runners standing on bases waiting for a home run, in the bottom of the 9th… (I hate baseball, I have no idea why that metaphor jumped into my head just now).
“I saw you marked my profile as ‘interested’ so here goes… Ice breaker of the non polar bear variety… top 5 movies… go”
“Star Wars of Course…”
Those words kicked off the greatest love story of all my many lives on this planet. My path to enlightenment. My yellow brick road leading home. It was a path that brought me to word of the day… a path that gave me a tiny little speck of light in the darkness that my life had become. That cold, desolate, and lonely New Years Eve, as I sat through an 8 hour panic attack in a cheap motel. It was the “enter” sign to the doorway of a journey that will last the rest of my life… One thst I tread lightly attempting peace with every step.
It was both the first words of my new chapter… and as I said to my wife after our first weekend together in a beautiful hotel… It was the last sentence of a very long love story, that ended… the day we met.
Once you realize that all you really want in life is someone to walk with you by your side and allow and encourage you to be exactly the person you wish you could be… You don’t find love… Love finds you
“Star Wars… Of course”