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dating Feature Article
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I'm Looking for
by Ian McNeice
I have a real difficulty with the subject of 'The One' at the moment because I
am hearing the phrase mentioned daily yet I think it really has got out of
control. I think we are mostly guilty of secretly setting our sights on the
perfect person for a relationship and acknowledging anything at all resembling
second-best as simply not acceptable at all. In fact we probably discount most
people we meet without a second glance. No chemistry! Well not acceptable for us
anyway - that's because we are special. The trouble with this contemporary
outlook is that it is based on a completely unrealistic set of expectations with
goalposts that move by the day (or second - Ed.!).
Let is say that you are 30 and you have had two or three relationships
previously. You have a semi decent career that is providing you with a
reasonable lifestyle. You have a good set of friends, certain financial
independence and a wide and varied set of ideals and tastes that are
sophisticated and intelligent. You know what you are about and you know where
you may be going. Okay great. So the problem is that you are looking for 'The
One'. You are looking for the person who will compliment your lifestyle, your
outlook, will be able to bring something to your already hectic lifestyle but
will never ever ask you to compromise.
You are in charge of your own destiny and you don't need to compromise so why
should you. After all if he is The One, it will all fall into place perfectly.
Well you are in for a nasty shock my friends. Life isn't perfect, just switch on
the news and look. Marriage isn't perfect as anyone married 40 years+ will
happily relate. Everything in life needs working at, and everything in life
comes with catches and hitches. There are a couple of key words I will come back
to - 'compliment' and 'compromise'.
The problem is our current generations are growing up with expectations that are
far exceeding availability. You are looking for the perfect man or woman, you
are looking for that 'one' special person and yet amazingly it appears that
those who are so selective appear to have heavily overvalued their own
'relationship wealth'. Who says that they have so much to offer. Who says that
they are truly nice people who deserve someone. I constantly encounter the word
'compliment' on the profiles of my own dating sites. Women in particular are
adept at stating that they are very choosey, that they can be difficult, that
they don't suffer fools gladly and that they are very specific as to who they
are looking for.
Ask people to describe their perfect mate and they struggle. I have seen a lot
of pseudo-spiritual comments lately particularly from women when describing
their ideal partner. Think of phrases such as "soul mate" and how often they are
used (see below). Its almost like there is a cerebral match that is not defined
in physical terms that allows some form of 'communion' or 'union' between 'two
souls' at an intellectual and emotional level. Many women friends have said that
there needs to be a deep 'connection' or 'chemistry' between them and their
partner. Nothing definite there then.
I asked a friend how she defined "The One' and this is what she said:
"The one is a meeting of two minds, bodies and souls, whereby both persons find
themselves drawn to each others auras. We want to find the text book mate -
everlasting love - our spiritual ideal. As women, we can be easily kneaded like
dough and can be molded as we still have this feminine desire to be needed and
loved. We love men's eyes because eyes are the gateway to your soul, piercing
This statement is extremely interesting not only because of the spiritual
notions expressed in a woman's definition of The One but also because she states
that women still have a desire to be wanted by men. This leads me to think
therefore that a man is still expected to act like a man.
Another girlfriend expressed this view about The One:
"mind you, we have a lot more to lose which is why we harp on about the 'one'.
Well, you know about the biological clock, well we have to invest time to find
out about a guy to see if he worth our while."
Ah, now things are becoming clearer. Women are looking for the perfect man to
make a commitment with because they would like to start a family and don't want
to risk getting it wrong. This makes much more sense. To this end I admire the
search for a spiritual match and can see its fundamental existence may be
critical. Well, except for one thing:
You may remember in a previous article that I tested this spiritual connection
and its primary importance out. I simply registered with a well known Internet
dating agency and posted my profile with my photo. My profile was genuine and
kind and loving and gentle but had a lot added about soul mates and partnerships
etc. I am an average to quite good looking guy and received a few matches and
emails and messages along the way. After a few months I then altered the photo
on the profile from my own to one of a male catalogue model. In the space of one
week I had around 180 email, offers of a date and letters with some women almost
throwing themselves at me. What horrified me though was that some of these women
had already seen this profile with a different photo and ignored it and more
importantly the women who got in touch talked about how "spiritually alike" we
were and how I appeared to be "their ideal soul mate".
They didn't know me, we had never chatted to me yet they thought I was ideal.
These girls had clearly read my profile but the fact was, over 180 women were
simply swayed by the way I looked. It had nothing to do with my personality and
outlook or any of the details about me whatsoever. Yet to them I was The One. It
doesn't feel good to be found out does it! So consequently I have come to the
conclusion that many women are indeed searching for "The One". They are looking
for that spiritual connection - as long as you are gorgeous and handsome and
have a great career.
It is not fair to be too critical of this state of play because I believe the
concept of 'The One' has been borne out of a modern liberation of women where
they are now able to pick and choose exactly who they want to be with. No woman
has to 'make do' anymore and society has evolved and rightly so. The main
contention I have is that it is as ruthlessly shallow and misguided as men have
ever been accused of in the past. Women do want a good looking man who is in
shape. They do want someone who is fun and sexy and a good career and they do
want a man who understands commitment and responsibility. But whether they in
fact find him is another matter altogether.
I am often told by girlfriends that 'I am happier single than accepting second
best'. What is second best? Second best appears to be everything that isn't
perfect in the eyes of the beholder. Maybe that means I am second best and if so
maybe I should start to feel I have issues! One friend told me this week that
she was willing to lower her sights ever so slightly as she gets older but in
general she would not be lowering her standards.
Again it ties in with 'the One' who epitomizes all the characteristics of the
ideal man. When setting a precedent of standards in dating, people set
themselves up to be constantly let down. It is unlikely in the short term that
anyone will match their checklist because however great the date has just been,
there may be someone waiting who is even better, who is 'the One'. Dating is a
chemical reaction. It isn't about checklists, it isn't about computer date
matching, it isn't about predetermined ideas about people. It is about
communication and intellect and physical chemistry and instant emotions.
The truth is, we are beginning to have a dangerously lonely generation of
Thirty-Something women with few partners and absolutely no willingness to
compromise. You can blame men all you like, but seeking perfection doesn't
guarantee happiness either. The issue ultimately is how these maturing
generations will deal with lack of children in their early 40's after leaving
things too late. How will they deal with a half lifetime of being single. How
will they deal with the fact that their looks are fading and their attitudes
have simply left them isolated and unmarried. What we are about to get in my
opinion is a potentially troubled generation of people in their 40's and 50's
who are still single and who have lost their sense of reality about
IMPORTANT dating NEWS ARTICLES
Dating service settles lawsuit (Kansas City Star)
An Overland Park dating service has agreed to pay $215,000 to settle allegations that it violated consumer protection laws.
He Said/She Said: Dating services (News 8 Austin)
Looking for love in the personal ads may be a thing of the past. Dating services and online sites now make the process easier and in some cases more fun.
Dating Service Agrees To Pay Back Customers Great Expectations To Pay $215K (The Kansas City Channel)
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- A Johnson County dating service will pay up. Last year, the state of Kansas sued Great Expectations in Overland Park for violating the Consumer Protection Act.
Dating Service Agrees To Pay Back Customers (KMBC TheKansasCityChannel.com via Yahoo! News)
Last year, the state of Kansas sued Great Expectations in Overland Park for violating the Consumer Protection Act.
Alleged offenses tied to online dating fell 9.2% in 2004 (Kyodo via Yahoo! Asia News)
_ The number of alleged offenses related to online dating, including murder and child pornography, fell 9.2 percent in 2004 from the previous year to 1,582, while the number of victims younger than 18 in these cases dropped 15.1 percent to 1,085, the National Police Agency said in a report released Thursday.
Dating and Rating Website for People Tired of Monthly Fees (PR Web via Yahoo! News)
(PRWEB) February 17, 2005 -- Shane Coffey the creator of UrateUdate.com got divorced on May 5, 2004. He Started looking for that perfect someone on the dating sites and realized a few things.
Website and E-Book Solves the Puzzle of Understanding Interracial Society Dating (PR Web)
One of the most difficult aspects of interracial dating is under-standing exactly why some members of our 21st century society still seem stuck in the Dark Ages when it comes to the personal, romantic relationships of adults. [PRWEB Feb 17, 2005]
Meet a real-life 'Hitch' (USATODAY.com via Yahoo! News)
Real-life date coach David Coleman sees plenty of parallels between Will Smith's character in the new movie Hitch and his own career helping others find love. Coleman says he has called himself "The Dating Doctor" since 1985.
Landlord sentenced to jail for code violations (Omaha World-Herald)
A Fremont man was sentenced to 60 days in jail Thursday for failure to take care of an empty building he owns in Omaha. Jack Jensen was sentenced in Douglas County Court for failure to rectify a number of safety code violations dating back three years, City Prosecutor Marty Conboy said.
Hitch fills the ramantic comedy niche (Washington State University Daily Evergreen)
Frustrated about dating, especially on Valentines Day? Call the Date Doctor. Hitch, starring Will Smith as the title character, proved there isn t a better time of year than V-day by raking more than $43 million at the box office last weekend.