“All that traveling is intimidating” said Kati. “You don’t need to list so many books,” said Brian, a cousin who has recently posted his profile online. […]
So I edited the profile, changing my politics to “middle of the road,” cutting back on the books and deleting my love of Paris. And thus began the dumbing-down of the Anne I presented online.
But how true.
Today’s except comes from “Matchless” by Anne Beckley Coleman. Although Coleman didn’t begin her adventures in online dating until her mid-fifties, she lives in Kennett Square (which is vaguely nearby… I think) so I decided to take a look at her memoir in the hopes that:
A) She’s cool
B) She lives happily ever after
C) She’ll let me interview her someday and we’ll be able to swap online dating horror stories (although the more of these serial-dating memoirs I read, the more I realize just how lucky I was but that’s another subject for another day…)
Getting back to the matter at hand, I was relieved, then pissed, then extremely pissed to learn that Coleman, like me, felt the need to “dumb” herself down in order to attract a man.
At the risk of sounding like a total snob, I’ve been doing this for years. It sucks, but I’ve learned the hard way that guys are easily intimidated and things like “I went to grad school in London” or “I’ve backpacked across Europe” or “I love Dostoyevsky” are an instant turn off.
No matter that I’m proud of these things, no matter that these things make me who I am and go a long way to explaining all of my various quirks (ie. the fact that I woke up at 4:00am to watch Will and Kate tie the knot earlier this year)—these things have to go.
In fact, so far as online dating is concerned, I’m actually grateful that my income is that of your average starving artist or else we’d really be in trouble!
I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been on a date and have felt compelled to exchange a ten-cent vocabulary word for a five (and as a great fan of words of big words I can’t actually spell, this kills me). I pretend to be impressed by guys who have travelled to California or Colorado all the while thinking, “Please don’t ask me my favorite city, PLEASE don’t ask me my favorite city, because if you do, I’m going to say Florence and we both know its downhill from there.”
It’s quite sad when you think about it, which was why it was such a relief to discover that I didn’t have to dumb myself down around Date #7, but Date #7 is a rare exception.
So, for all of my female readers out there: have you ever been told you’re intimidating? Why? And if so, what did you do about it?
And gentlemen, don’t think you’re off the hook here. I’d like to hear your thoughts: what gives? This is 2011! Is it a pride thing? Or some secret of the male psyche to which we women are not privy?
Finally, have you survived a sticky situation of your own? If so, share your story for a chance to win one of two $150 gift certificates to a department store of YOUR CHOICE, courtesy of Mitchum and their new Love Thy Pits campaign! To enter, simply comment here on my blog or here on my Facebook page between now and August 10th– no purchase necessary. Winners will be announced on August 11th.