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Finding a Match

July 10, 2021 (691 words)

Much to my surprise and dismay, my long-running marriage unraveled over the last few years, and is ending in divorce. The decision is mutual, the lawyers are working out the details, and the decree should be finalized in a few months.

I wish the dear woman with whom I raised four children nothing but the best in the years ahead. She is the one who became disenchanted with our relationship several years ago. I hope she is able to find a measure of peace moving forward, and a modicum of happiness.

But since I am too young to die, I have decided to try and see if there is a female out there who might be receptive to my overtures, and who might, in turn, be persuaded to give a hoot about me. While, you know, I still have a little tread left on my tires.

Which let’s face it, is not going to be easy. At this age all of us former boys and girls have developed some quirks, and have become more than a little set in our ways.

For those of you whose long-term marriages are still intact, let me be the first to inform you the only way to meet new people these days is through an internet dating site. It’s both a valuable public service, and the weirdest thing you could possibly imagine.

Trying to determine potential romantic compatibility with a total stranger based on nothing more than a few pictures and a brief summary description of that individual’s likes and wants… Really, it’s an impossible task.

There are a lot of attractive women in this world, and it turns out many of them happen to be on the internet at the present time, looking for a new and improved partner. Every single one of them enjoys music, has a great sense of humor and likes to laugh, is comfortable dressing up for a night out or staying home and cuddling on the couch, is devoted to their family and friends, loves their job, is very active and outdoorsy, and is an avid traveler. Every single one of them, without exception.

And these women are all looking for an ambitious man who is successful and knows what he wants in life. But the ideal candidate should also be courteous, suitably humble, emotionally intelligent, and a good communicator.

This is not meant to be sarcastic or disparaging. Only to point out the difficulty of conveying one’s personality or any insight into one’s essential nature with a few keystrokes. And don’t forget, I’m having the very same issues with my own presentation on these sites. As one lady confessed to the world at large: “If we are meant to be together, I hope you won’t let my inability to write a catchy profile stand in the way of our meeting.” I agree with her sentiment wholeheartedly. But what else do we have to go on?

In scrolling through the pictures and profiles of dozens of lovely hopefuls, you find yourself making snap decisions that defy logic. And you become downright embarrassed at the arbitrariness of these little judgements. This woman is dismissed from consideration for being too short, while another gets set aside for being too tall. There are the too young, and the too old. Those who strike you as a bit too artsy, or not artsy enough. Way too blue blood, or way too blue collar.

After a while your head is spinning. You have to back away from the screen for a deep, cleansing breath and force yourself to return to the day’s regular activities.

Physical attractiveness is the first criteria we all use to gauge initial interest. Yet we all know that will only take a relationship so far. Whether a sense of sympatico can develop once the thrill of physical excitement dissipates a little, and the two of you come back down to earth again, is anybody’s guess. The phrase “trying to find a needle in a haystack” comes to mind.

So please wish me luck. And yes, I’m open to a blind date, if you know someone you think I might like.

Robert J. Cavanaugh, Jr
July 10, 2021

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