The Dating CV
|Interior with a Girl Drawing (1935), featuring the youthful mistress and muse Marie-Therese Walter, with whom Pablo Picasso had an eight-year affair behind the back of his wife, Russian dancer Olga Khokhlova
M today talks about her new found adventure in the online dating world - she has just signed up for a dating website together with another girlfriend, who, according to M, is a 5'10" intelligent beauty in her 30s (I assume) in search of a boyfriend. She has asked me a number of times before making a final decision to give internet dating a shot. Been there done that. I told her that she will definitely get dates at some point, but whether she will get a boyfriend will depend on her luck - just like whether you will hit the next Mark Six jackpot.
That has gotten me to think about the dating CV. Whether you are in Hong Kong to New York, single men and women do aggressively search for dates online, just as aggressive as they are when it comes to the job situation. Many sign up for a few dating websites at once, double-book themselves in one night or fill their entire social calendar introducing themselves to potential soul mates. There's nothing awkward with meeting strangers from the internet, but what I find the most awkward is composing an attractive resume.
In all these dating website, there's always a page asking you questions about your dating history and a blank space for you to "talk about yourself" in 250 to 500 words.
Those standard questions aren't that difficult, as they are mostly multiple choices: looking for men/ women; single/ divorced; kids/ no kids; smoker/ non-smoker; drinker/ non-drinker; plus education level, income level, jobs, religion, etc. To make yourself sound datable, you just know what to choose - if you are looking for someone younger, choose single (most young men are dumb and they'd like to be with someone appears to be innocent); for a more mature market, pick divorced (translation: you've made mistakes in the past, you've learnt your lesson, and so next time you will do your best). Always go for non-smoker, just quit smoking when the deal is closed. Pick social drinker - you don't want your date to see you as a boring nun, but never reveal the truth even if you are a superb drinker who can still walk the straight line after an eight-hour night out in Lan Kwai Fong. If you are a woman, just say you are a university graduate and don't reveal your income - you want your potential dates to know that you are smart and is capable of an intelligent conversation but not at all threatening. Kids? Definitely a no. If you really do have kids, say that they don't live with you.
Now that the multiple choices are sorted, here comes the most difficult part: the blank space.
This is a strikingly important passage about yourself - it's a summary of your dating CV to catch the eyes of date-searchers before they click on your photo to check your multiple choice answers in your detailed profile page.
In a cover letter of your job application, you would describe your enthusiasm about the job, sell your skills and experience and what kind of contribution you can make to your potential employer. But in the cover letter of your date seeking form, you can't make yourself sound too enthusiastic - your potential date might think you are too desperate and think that you might be one of those very sticky men/ women. You certainly don't have any skills to sell - if you had any you wouldn't still be looking for someone online. Never disclose your dating experience in detail till you really get to know the person - if you do then you are just going to scare people off. Who would want to go out with a serial dater and cheater like Pablo Picasso? Boasting your contribution? Are you going to say shit like "I'm going to make your life better?" You are not placing an ad in the counselling service page.
So what's left to say? I really don't know. I wish someone could shed a light on this big question. After all looking for a partner is so much more difficult than getting a job.