I’m 26 years old – I’m officially inching towards my upper 20’s, and straddling the line between marriage and “torshideh” – any day now my mom is going to ask me to move in with her because I’m past my prime for a husband.
My parents are always hesitant to ask me about dating. They know I’m going to reply with that exasperated sigh and an annoyed “stop asking me stupid questions” response.
Part of me hates getting their hopes up if I am seeing someone and the other part hates hearing their obvious disappointment if I’m not seeing someone.
It’s a lose-lose situation.
Their voice drops three octaves lower and they say,
“So azizam, are you seeing any-vone?”
No. All men are douchebags. I hate the world. (totally kidding)
“Na dige, you have to be more open-minded. Vhite boys can be nice too.”
Well, there’s this really cute Arab guy at work…
My dad has been a lot more open lately about branching outside the Iranian community. He probably thinks that it’s going to be harder to find an Iranian man now that I’m 26 – so he’s moved past suggesting IranianPersonals.com and has inherited a solid stance favoring more websites like “Match.com and vatever else is out dere for my generation.”
I experimented with OkCupid once – purely for market research or so was my excuse (click here to read that post). I wanted to see what the excitement was about – my friends were trying it and liking it. So I created my profile and went on dates merely to get a good laugh and write about it. I know, what’s wrong with me?
OkCupid was a less serious dating website and that’s why I was comfortable to reopen that account and actually give it a shot. Plus, it could only help get my parents off my back if I said I’d tried it. So I edited my profile to highlight my obviously witty personality and began surfing their database of eligible bachelors.
I quickly learned that not everyone is single on this dating website and that even those who are single have expectations through the roof.
Women are often criticized for waiting for that non-existent “dream man/Prince Charming.” But men are guilty of the exact same thing.
For every profile, people have to answer this: “You should message me if…”
Their answers astounded me:
– “You should message me if… you’re anything like Mary from There’s Something About Mary – she’s cute, funny, and just a down girl.”
Are you serious? In order for you to respond to my message, I have to not only look like Cameron Diaz, but I should also have the same personality as a fictional character?
– “You should message me if… I am very active – I try to run everyday and go hiking or biking as often as I can. Furthermore, I have a moral dilemma against eating meat and am looking for a girl who eats vegan like I do.”
If you can’t even offer me kabob, then I’m clicking the “next” button.
– “You should message me if… you are an awesome girl – you like to read, cook, you’re active, you are highly motivated, clean freak, etc. bla bla bla bla bla bla.”
I’m all for being healthy, motivated, and all that shit. But isn’t there a line?
Are our expectations too ambitious? No one wants an alaaf (loser… loose translation), but are we basing our “needs” off something that doesn’t exist?
Are we really saying that if a person doesn’t fulfill our checklist then they are not worthy of our time? This goes for both men and women – we are so wrapped up in what our future partners should be like, we miss everything that is out there. He doesn’t have a six figure job at 25? NEXT. She doesn’t know how to ride a bike? NEXT.
Needless to say, my “serious” attempt at online dating didn’t exceed four days. I like meeting someone new and learning about them as time goes on. I hate that everything is just out there on a profile – what’s the point of a first date if all my questions are already answered?
Social media definitely has an increased presence in our lives, but can’t we leave a little something to mystery? (that doesn’t include sex).
And let me be clear – while I don’t think going on “OkCupid dates” is for me, I do encourage people to try online dating. You might as well see what’s out there so you can decide what works for you. Maybe Match is better?
TWEET AT ME: @FARRAH_JOON