Why would anyone publish their personal profile? (updated for 2020)
A daring young 54-year-old shares his OkCupid personal profile to overcome vulnerability and escape empty nest syndrome
I thought to myself, “I must be nuts” as I typed the web address of the popular singles site, “OkCupid.com”. I found that most of the personals there started with the raw basics separated by the all-important comma. So my profile started, “I am 53, Single, 6 foot 2 inch, white, male, speaks English, “se habla un poco español también”, blah, blah, blah. And that’s where it ends with most profiles written by men. I wanted to be different. I knew my photos would not suffice for my mission to actually find someone that’s a “right fit” for me. I had to write more, and well, be vulnerable. Nevertheless, I kept asking myself why was I writing a personal profile for a singles site anyway. I mean, what the heck was I going to say in a personal anyway, “Old guy looking for someone not revolted by old guys”. Sometimes it feels like people are overly concerned about age, and age differences. I don’t feel that’s important, and I also don’t feel old either.
“Love is the condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.”
— Robert A. Heinlein
At 53, after sending my daughter off to college, I was considering what life was going to be like as an “empty nester”. I have been single for more than just a few years, but I was focusing on being an effective single father. Now that I was alone at home, was my love life dead, or just beginning? So with Russian brides completely off the table, I set out to discover what my options were.
You make me want to be a better man
And after many iterations, I settled on the fact that I’m not good at marketing myself — at least for the purpose of dating. The whole time I kept thinking that I didn’t want to convince someone to like me with clever verbiage and cute puppy pictures. I wanted to find someone who might like me for who I really am — not some contrived notion of who I wish I was. I also had to stand out from all the shirtless “looking for hookups” profiles of men that I feel most intelligent women revile (or at least I think they do).
But how was I to know who I really am, and what to share or not to share? And that’s when it hit me! I’m a work in progress. I don’t have all the answers. I do not have all my shit together. I’m not perfect. Although I occasionally stop for directions, I sometimes get lost anyway. I am fairly comfortable in my own skin despite the long list of things I am working to improve. I am, for the most part, happy with who I am (whoever that is) and where I’m headed, some of it loosely planned.
Hey, you want to grab a beer?
If life’s a journey, is your passport ready?
I tend to enjoy a lot of movies that are travel-related. One of the movies that instantly makes me long for romance is “Lost in Translation”. There are a few moments in that movie that I connect with. One such moment is when Bob says to Charlotte, “Can you keep a secret? I’m trying to organize a prison break. We have to first get out of this bar, then the hotel, then the city, and then the country. Are you in or you out?” And Charlotte says, “I’m in”.
I so want to experience something that starts out like that.
So, are you in or are you out?
What follows is the latest rendition of my personal profile (updated)
Everybody is looking for the right person. I’m looking to be the right person for somebody.
I think my best quality is Emotional Intelligence (EQ). Everything is a work in progress, but at least I am actively working on improvements.
I’m looking forward to the next adventure whatever that might be. I know I could go it alone, but I’d rather have someone to share the journey with. Could that be you?
What I am looking for?
If you like deep conversations over craft beers — that’s a great place to start (or teach me about wine). If you enjoy spending time under the stars and camping, attending events, road trips, and travel… then perhaps we should meet. I enjoy simple things too; like going out with friends, exploring new restaurants, cafes, walking in the wild and listening to music. I like little bars, unique cafes, and exploring new places and small towns. I’m very open to learning about what makes you happy and adding those to my list as well.
For the last five years or so, I have been downsizing my life; editing out junk, and getting rid of things I don’t need. I just got rid of my car and bought a van to build into a campervan.
I’m exploring the new me and I am open to finding out who you are. Want to come along?
I make a living from just about anywhere so long as I have a connection to the internet. I’m an independent freelancer, writer, and a WordPress developer.
So, here I am. What were your other two wishes?
I can envision a love-filled adventure ahead, and I am open to sharing that with someone special. I have no idea what that will look like because I have not met you yet, and I don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow. When I say “someone special” I don’t mean “exceptional” or “superior”, I mean someone that is not striving to be someone they’re not. I mean, someone that is trying to be someone they want to be, despite what society says they should be. And you are at least half of what that masterpiece looks like. For me, I want to be the one that someday makes you say, “my life has profoundly changed since I met him”.
I want to find someone as imperfect as I am. I know life is made up of many variables and we are imperfect at dealing with them. We have problems, fears, and uncertainties that we are challenged with. That’s what I’d like to find someone who is not necessarily comfortable with who they are but accepts their imperfections and mine too.
I want to share the simple pleasures of living life with someone that values experiences over things and creating lasting memories together. And most importantly, being able to appreciate the little things like rain, the wind, laughing, walking in the forest, the quiet of the great outdoors, a star-filled night, a campfire, listening, a smile, sharing a cold beverage on a warm afternoon, and a warm beverage on a cold morning [again, commas are important apparently].
I’d like to find someone willing to go along for the journey — or lead the way — knowing that we might get lost, might be a flat tire we need to fix, and we could run out of gas in the middle of nowhere. But the views will be wonderful, and the moments in love, memorable. How do we get there? Well, let’s start by saying hello and go from there.
The best-laid plans
Perhaps I should have just ended the personal right there. But I went on.
I’m a proficient dreamer. Wait, I just spelled prolific wrong. I’m working on several projects, writing, planning road trips, and mapping out places I’d like to go. I would like to go on a road trip around the Western USA in a campervan someday. I am not sure how long that trip will be. I am open to sharing the trip with the right person. So ask yourself, “If I could go on a long road trip with an uncertain route to unplanned locations around the Western USA, would I find a way to go?”
I’m also planning to write more, start a couple of fun projects, and explore some interesting places in the next 5 years. I’d like to take a few trips to Thailand, India, Japan, and Spain. I’d also like to walk El Camino de Santiago someday in the next decade (probably in 2026)
I wonder how many people will Google, “El Camino de Santiago”.
To travel requires a lot of freedom. And for me, that means I still have a few things I need to accomplish before I embark on wild adventures full-time.
“Your heart is free. have the courage to follow it”
— Malcolm Wallace, from the movie Braveheart
I think travel should, “warm our hearts, wake our minds, and move our spirits”. Travel for the sake of an Instagram photo doesn’t entice me in the slightest. Here’s an article I wrote about traveling for the sake of eclipses:
7 Awesome Locations to Watch Incredible Solar Eclipses (2019 to 2028)
Where and when to view the best Total and Annular Solar Eclipses in the coming decade.
“To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other, and to feel. That is the purpose of life.”
― The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Lists, I am good at lists. But not good at brevity.
Good grief! At this point, I was thinking I was talking too much. The term TMI was echoing in my head. All of these photos of myself that I am not a fan of. And here I was about to share lists of things about me. I gave in because I wanted to give someone — anyone — a clear picture of who I was and whether we had anything in common. Or, at very least, that I wasn’t completely without anything interesting to share.
I suppose there are some things I think I am good at.
- Finding 4-leaf clovers (I found 9 so far)
- Making coffee
- Dad jokes
- Slapping together a website for a new business
- Making a campfire
- Eccentric, abstract, anecdotal humor and dad jokes
- Street Philosophy
- Getting up early in the morning
What I’m really NOT that good at
- Talking on the phone, Skype, or video chats
- Having my picture taken
- Greed. I’m not good at greed.
- Accepting compliments or gifts
- Being out in the hot sun for long periods
- Also dad jokes
Movies that have touched or moved me in some profound way
Ok, I admit that I like movies more than I probably should. I cry. I laugh. I dream. I can escape into a world carefully designed by a good script, a great director, and a talented group of actors that enjoy their work. Here are some of the movies I really, really like (and sometimes watch over and over again).
- The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
- The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
- Notting Hill
- Four Weddings and a Funeral
- The Lord of the Rings & The Hobbit Series
- Good Will Hunting
- The Way (about the Camino de Santiago)
- Dead Poets Society
- Take Me Home
- With Honors
- As Good as it Gets
- The Intouchables
Music that I have recently been in the mood for
Good music soothes my soul and brings out the best in me.
Recent additions to my playlists (some old some new):
- “A Girl, a Boy, and a Graveyard” by Jeremy Messersmith
- “Pink Moon” by Nick Drake
- “Ho Hey” by The Lumineers
- “A Bit of the Afters” by Thomas Newman
- “Into The Sun” by Sons Of The East
- “Avril 14th” by Aphex Twin
- “In your eyes” by Peter Gabriel
- “Hey Ya” by OutKast
- “Pictures of You” by The Cure
- “Take a Picture” by Filter
- “Angela” by The Lumineers
Random things I like to do or experience
- Watching the rain from a semi-dry place with hot coffee
- Exploring new Asian or Indian restaurants (or any kind of food)
- Tasting craft brews (or good rum) at 2–3 pubs within walking distance
- Skinny dipping in the tropics by moonlight
- Attending a dinner party with friends
- Exploring a new country
- Did I mention enjoying craft beers at a pub?
What’s just outside of my Comfort Zone
- Attending formal attire events
- Going out dancing for the sake of dancing
- Dressing up for fine dining
- Sporting events of any kind
- Nightclubbing at meat markets
All good personals must come to an end — sooner rather than later!
OkCupid is great if you want to expand on your profile or want full editorial control of the content. But I deleted the rest of my lists because I felt that I was going to frighten off people who might think I am a narcissist. So I ended with this…
If you read this whole thing and you’re deciding whether to message me, ask yourself, “what does your heart tell you?” [quote from Lord of the Rings]
Ideally, you’re the type of person that is perhaps shy or waiting for men to contact you, but after reading this says, “I just can’t pass this opportunity by” and sends me a brief hello. Even if it’s, “I don’t know what to say after reading your profile, but wanted to say hello”. Something. Because I don’t want to miss the opportunity to meet you either.
You should write me if…
- My personal profile doesn’t scare you away, and you appreciate the details
- You like to drink beer (I may have already mentioned beer)
- You are willing to be vulnerable and open to new things
- You have your passport ready or want one soon
And just like that, it was over. The writer in me said it had no rhyme or reason. The flow was off. It sounded narcissistic or sarcastic. I couldn’t figure out which exactly. But the whole personal seemed off somehow. And I didn’t dare share all those photos of myself with the public which would certainly open myself up to ridicule.
So I clicked ‘publish’.
“I would rather take my chance out there on the ocean, than to stay here and die on this shit hole island spending the rest of my life talking to a goddamn Volleyball!”
No, I am still single. And that’s ok with me (for now)
You might have been wondering if I got married or had some crazy story of finding love immediately after the personal was published. Yes, I really did publish it on OkCupid. But no, I didn’t all of a sudden meet the woman of my dreams. My personal profile is still there. Waiting for that courageous woman to whisk me off my feet.
What I discovered while writing my personal profile is that I wasn’t, as they say, ready for the whole dating scene. Nobody is ever “ready” for that. I learned a lot about myself and what I’d like to do with the rest of my life. I had a better idea of the type of person I might want to share life with. And I know now that I have to wait and see what the tide may bring.
There are a lot of lonely people out there. Everybody is looking for the right person. I’m looking to be the right person for somebody.