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Can Dr. Pete Find True Love on Match.com?

Posted Aug 06 2009 10:25pm

Usually around the spring and summertime, my single clients tend to amp up their dating activity. Hope springs eternal and when the weather gets better people seem to want that "special someone" to do things with. Ten years ago it was almost unheard of to use the internet for dating. Now, however, if you are single and looking, people begin to wonder why you haven't tried Match.com, Eharmony, JDate, or even AdultFriendFinder.

When my clients use Match, they tend to go on a large number of dates very quickly, simply in part due to the colossal number of people who are registered and looking. Some of the encounters prove to be very good, according to the client. However when things don't turn into a second date - a common occurrence on mass dating sites - they don't know what, if anything, they did wrong. I've noticed two possible reasons for this:

1) Because Match deals with such massive volume, it's entirely possible that although a rendezvous went well, the other person may have found someone better suited for him/her in the days or even hours since the initial meeting. I had a client who literally needed an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of his romantic wheelings and dealings. Everyday he went on one lunch date, one Happy Hour date, then dinner with yet another person and, finally, a nightcap date with a fourth person. Twenty dates per work week with another 5-10 on the weekends. If one date went well, even very well, the guy had every intention of setting up another date. But by the time a day or so had past, he had another 4-8 women that could have been a better fit, leaving someone like my client out in the cold, even though she would be a fine partner. Some people find this approach untraditional, even reprehensible, but it is the reality of dating via such a popular website.

2) Sometimes dates go well, but that doesn't necessarily translate to one of the parties seeking out a second encounter (again, this is especially true due to point number one above). The sad reality accompanying this is that, for most, it's easier to say "that was great! I'll call you, or text you, or email you, or IM you, or show up at your office or the front step of your apartment, and we'll go out again," then it is to come out with the truth: "this was fun, but we just didn't click or you're not my type." For those of you who are completely honest in this regard, you should be applauded because you are in the minority. For many, the anxiety and discomfort of having to outright reject another is too much for the psyche to tolerate. Humans are notorious for taking the quick fix, the drug that will eliminate the distress. That means not coming out with the truth, even if it means long-term punishment (e.g., feeling guilty, needing to answer unwanted emails, being labeled a Douchebag or a Bitch, etc.). We'll often pass on going to the gym because it's a pain in the ass, even though it means decreased health over the medium and long-haul. The same is true for dating: it's faster, nicer and just good karma to be out with the lack of interest at the moment of truth, but many still pass and will just deal with the consequences later.

My socially aversive friend and colleague, Dr. Pete, is turning over a new leaf. Having recently completed his extracurricular training in Music Therapy, he has decided that he would like to meet a special lady. Someone who understands him, or at least can tolerate the fact that he might vomit into a potted plant when the waiter approaches him. And so even though I warned him about the above-mentioned perils, he insists on taking the plunge. Unfortunately Pete's skill is therapy, not writing. So in exchange for allowing me to use him as form of online Grand Rounds for social anxiety, I agreed to write a first draft of his Match.com profile.

Unlike most New York City shrinks, Pete is very nautically-minded. He enjoys yachting, sailing, water skiing, fishing, anything around boats and water. He even likes pirates! Therefore he insists on meeting a woman with similar tastes. That was his only requirement. Unfortunately, if you give me that much latitude, I'll take full advantage of it.

Here is my draft. I would strongly encourage you to add your thoughts and ideas in the Comments thread. We're talking about a man's search for love here, people! Lend a hand, won't you?

Match.Com Profile for Dr. Pete

Tagline: Be My Mate, Matey!

Ahoy Fair Maiden!

Be my ballast! Shipmaster with doctorate in the psychological arts seeks second in command for nautical fun. Other men profess to have the sexy cobbles of Blackheart or the facial pulchritude of Calico Jack; shun their nefarious claims! With me you'll experience all the wonders of both land and sea. If you're familiar with a gaff-topsail or how to measure our gross tonnage as we sail from port to port, look no further than this Aqua Master.

After we've docked our tug prepare to dine on the finest catches the city has to offer. We will start with Red Lobster as our premiere maritime-themed eating establishment and move our vessel along the Hudson as our bellies dictate. If you prefer landlubber fare, prepare for sumptuous steaks at Sizzler or mouth-watering Italian fare at SBarro! And make no mistake: come nightfall, our houseboat will certainly be a'rockin (insert sexually suggestive wink here). Believe you me, Comely Lass, this is one Captain you'll want to "Hook."

Note: Bonus points allotted for the fair sea creature who prefers to drink her grog in excess (i.e., the Viking way).

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