Dating nice men

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Why do I not respond politely to every message, even the ones I’m not interested in? Once we make it out of the safe cocoon of the Internet and into the real world I’m better about aligning my actions with my values.

Why do I alternate between playing the damsel and the playing the demanding entitled a**hole? Out here, at a bar or restaurant, I work really hard to make sure that you know we are equals participating in a traditionally unequal transaction.

You will peruse profiles and find a few women who aren’t posing in a bathroom with their stomachs exposed.

You will look for things in common in their profile (they like Scrabble too! You will send them a note, carefully crafted to show interest and attention to detail. The next one will, but she spells “you” as “u” and you will let the conversation stall.

This is not the behavior I would expect of a feminist, sex-positive 21st century lady. Why would I put myself through the rollercoaster of the drafting, the editing, the sending, the waiting, the hoping, the checking, and the sighing in disappointment when the fact of my gender (and let’s be real; that’s really all it is) means the attention comes to me?

It’s not behavior I’m particularly proud of either. Why don’t I reach out to the dudes with the funny handles and good taste in books, the ones who post pictures with goofy faces and like tacos almost as much as I like tacos? I wish the evidence pointed to something else, something egalitarian and modern, but when I get real with my own online dating M. I’ve sent messages to guys before, sure, but the ratio is small. This is not how I want this work, but I condone it with my inaction.

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You will put on some mascara, plunge out into the snow, meet a stranger, and after an hour of slightly stilted conversation, he will grab the check.But every day, when I log into the dating site of my choice, I play the passive role, the receiver of attention, the awaiter of messages.I go to my inbox and see who wants to talk to me and then I choose to whom I’ll respond.The Internet could be the great democratizer, the great playing field-leveler.After all, we each have only the 500-word text boxes and crappy jpegs and clever (not so clever) user names to show for ourselves. Maybe in this environment where we are safely sequestered behind screens, we can get past some of the lingering gender-based “rules” that dominate the “How to Catch a Man” playbooks of yore.

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