You didn’t fall for her because she likes “movies, hiking, wine and hangin’ with friends;” you didn’t realize you loved her because she thought a restaurant’s vegetarian option turned out great.
It’s cool that she’s down to go to shows and art openings and that she tolerates your idiosyncrasies. But when she rolled her eyes at some Jude-Law’s-understudy-in-Mr-Ripley-looking asshole crossing the street and was like “oh, man, what an asshole,” you knew this was going to work out.
For me, the most difficult thing about dating sites is the “About Me” section. Like, I know the stuff I like and I know what surface-level versions of those things are probably most relatable. And I certainly wouldn’t want to come off like a misanthrope any sooner than I have to. So what’s the harm in listing dumb-downed versions of my interests?
The harm is this: the things you like aren’t as important as the things you don’t when you’re trying to meet someone and make it last. A more telling way to match-up, match-up, match-up with your next special someone would be for those sites to include a section for your aversions. And, moreover, to make that section the definitive one in whatever advanced metrics they’re running behind the scenes.
This is not to say that having mutual positive or neutral interests isn’t fulfilling or meaningful, but that the emphasis should be put elsewhere. Wouldn’t you like a fuller picture than simply the ever engaged, fun-seeking, casual-adventure-junkie whose mind is constantly flung wide open and likes just curling up with a good book at the end of the day?
I’d much rather know that
- Not only would my date want to do something neutral and, I’d say interesting and even positive, like go to see a prominent political figure speak at a college, but…
- In the event that said political figure is controversial, and controversial to the point that we are, in fact, barred entrance via an association with the protesting throngs outside, that my date still get a kick out of standing back and making fun of the frothy-mouthed undergradding: including, but not limited to, a mock-water-boarding and self-zealous professors irresponsibly egging on the proceedings and co-signing borderline racist, absolutely misogynist renderings of the political figure strewn across the parking lot in front of the hosting college’s gym.
You know, hypothetically. But that’s what I’d want to know.
And I get that there’s basically no way to measure or predict that. I mean, sites could offer scenarios and your reactions to them (maybe that’s what you pay Match.com for?), but ultimately you just have to go out and experience things with that person to fully grasp how compatible your annoyances are. You have to see that Jude-Law-looking asshole; you have to have your original point of interest derailed by liberal arts pseudo-anarchists. More things you experience together will be a drag than not, but that doesn’t have to be because of one another. Imagine never having to be deflated by “I don’t know, he seems nice,” after correctly diagnosing that some guy who sucks “suck.” You get down on one knee immediately, friend!
I don’t think it’s what you like, or even what you’re like that really bonds two people. Instead it’s what you don’t like and what you aren’t like provide a stronger cohesive. You won’t always be able to go hiking or skiing or to the movies or a concert via time or energy or finances or whatever else. But you’ll always be able to fall back on the compatibility of your reactions.
So maybe we should trade the open-mindedness for “easily consumed by my opinions,” the fun seeking for “I’ll make the best of a bad situation by mocking and generalizing it,” and the curling up with a good book for “I’ll hate-watch Netflix with you until we both pass out.”