“If you don’t have an up-to-date passport, don’t contact me.”Lonely
From what I can gather from dating profile, single people sure love to travel. They post pictures of themselves at shrines, tiki bars and a wide variety of hotel entrances. Some learn to say “Where’s McDonalds?” in a foreign language. Others simply make the “Golden Arches” sign with their fingers. This is universally understood, except in countries where it means somebody stole your camel’s genitals.
Just like we had the “Age of Flight,” now it’s the “Age of Travel,” a requisite belief that anyone who travels is more fun than someone who stays home. Homebodies are wusses. They don’t have photos standing on a cliff in Santorini. All they have are pictures of their gardens and dogs. This doesn’t impress most singles, especially those who’ve actually been to Santorini.
Last year, she went to the North Pole. In a post card home, she admitted she couldn’t “get laid by an Eskimo.”
At least 80 percent of dating profiles say they love to travel. Lonely (above) won’t date anyone who isn’t ready to travel. She’s not kidding. Lonely hasn’t had a date since 2012. Last year, she went to the North Pole. In a post card home, she admitted she couldn’t “get laid by an Eskimo.”
Lonely falls into the category known as a “chameleon traveller.” They see people online climbing mountains or standing in a ceremonial pools, and figure everyone’s either in a sarong or hiking boots.
Scientists refer to them as “chameleon travellers” because they unwittingly mimic everyone else. This is called “pheromone-induced comparative lifestyle.”
Pheromones are known in the animal kingdom as the “social glue” that keeps them protected by moving in herds. Since we’re all animals at heart, we attune our social habits to others much the same way — especially when it comes to dating.
Essentially we do what we think others are doing. Back in the early 70s, we all went to discos because we thought everyone went to discos (actually, everyone did). Nobody questioned whether they liked disco or not. You dressed up, you danced. In a sense, it was the era of “no thought whatsoever,” which is why so many of us got engaged in the 70s.
Experts claim the “chameleon effect” is a reflex action. We can’t fight the subconscious impulse to imitate others, so we specialize instead.
Jump forward to today and social media. Facebook draws millions each day, all wanting to show how amazing their lives are. To the “chameleon” in all of us, we want the same thing. “I’m looking for someone with a career flexible enough to leave at any time,” Lonely wrote in her profile, before she realized people have lives, and Eskimos aren’t nearly as easy as she thought.
So what’s kept Lonely alone and disheartened besides Eskimos? Experts claim the “chameleon effect” is a reflex action. We can’t fight the subconscious impulse to imitate others, so we specialize instead.
“Specialized mimicry” is where we take one thing from someone else’s profile and make it our own. Since travel is so popular these days, it’s no surprise “I love to travel” tops the list of overused phrases on dating sites.
This is followed by “I’m not looking for the right one, I’m looking for the one that’s right for me.” You may think it’s cute, but it’s so over-used. It’s worse than trying to make it with an Eskimo who’d rather go fishing.
When you make travel your specialty, you join 80 percent of online daters saying the same thing. Lonely isn’t lonely for want of trying. She’s lonely because nobody sees anything different (except she can’t get an Eskimo). It’s a funny transcript of her life, but it’s still escaping loneliness by going to some faraway destination. Frankly, it’s how the French Foreign Legion got started.
In fact, psychologists now believe mimicking could be what keeps us alone. Since we can’t fight the subconscious impulse to imitate others, we never distinguish ourselves. A study at University College London showed that 33.3 percent of respondents came to a “draw” in rock-paper-scissors (which gives you some idea what universities are researching these days).
It’s a funny transcript of her life, but it’s still escaping loneliness in some faraway destination. Frankly, it’s how the French Foreign Legion got started.
Difference is obviously the only way to stand out from the crowd. That means fighting the impulse to imitate others. We may not be wired that way, but we can change our wiring. I call it a cease-and-desist order for dating.
As hard as this may sound, it’s time to stop travelling (at least on your dating profile). Nobody’s looking for someone who loves to travel. And stop using phrases that make people gag. Try something original like this one: “Dating in your 40s is like trying to catch raindrops with a fork.”
I don’t know if that’s original or not, but I hadn’t heard it. Just like I hadn’t heard “You’d better look like your pictures, or you’re buying me drinks till you do.” That’s probably why ugly guys spend a lot of money at bars.
Keep in mind, profiles are clicked through, passed over, and ignored at a blinding rate. For that very reason, you can’t afford to mimic. You have to be memorable — and you have to care about being memorable.
They reach the “stale date,” but continue checking each day, believing the same action will have a different outcome (even Eskimos know that’s insanity).
People who say “Nobody reads profiles anymore” have nothing to base that on, other than nobody’s reading their profile. What’s worse, they see no point in changing. Dating sites are full of people who’ve been around for years. Their pictures stay the same, so do their profiles. They reach the “stale date,” but continue checking each day, believing the same action will have a different outcome (even Eskimos know that’s insanity).
I remember asking someone how we got so many dates back in the 70s. “Easy,” they said. “Nobody could hear us.” That’s the thing about social media today. Everyone can hear you. You’re judged on your words as much as your pictures. Being original isn’t just about standing out, it’s making yourself someone who isn’t passed over. That can only come from you.
Mimicking others won’t do it. Neither will showing pictures of you in Santorini. Everyone’s seen pictures of Santorini’s sunsets. But those aren’t your sunsets. They’re Greece’s sunsets. You can’t rely on the Greeks to make you interesting. Hell, even they don’t find Santorini interesting anymore.
Escaping reality doesn’t make you a potential partner or even a friend. It makes you a flight risk.
I know advice columnists suggest showing photos of you in exotic places. Consider this, though. Your pictures join thousands of other pictures, which join thousands of other profiles, all essentially telling people you spend a certain amount of time each year escaping.
If that’s all you are, forget saying, “If you don’t have an up-to-date passport, don’t contact me.” Nobody’s going to contact you. Escaping reality doesn’t make you a potential partner or even a friend. It makes you a flight risk.
Surely, you’re more than that. The trick is to find it before your profile goes stale—or you get turned down by another Eskimo.
Eskimos don’t like flight risks, either. And they’re pretty sure Santorini is a fish.
Robert Cormack is a satirist, novelist and blogger. His first novel “You Can Lead a Horse to Water (But You Can’t Make It Scuba Dive)” is available online and at most major bookstores. Check out Skyhorse Press or Simon and Schuster for more details.