Luv Doc: Square Pegs
You have to allow people the space to build the walls that make them feel safe
Dear Luv Doc,
I am a recently divorced, middle-aged, white male and am back on the dating scene after nearly two decades in mothballs. I have tried several of the online dating services, but the women on them always seem to be more interested in ticking off a list of prerequisites than actually spending the time to get to know me. Like a lot of people my age, I am damaged goods. I had a rather ugly divorce that I caused. I am not particularly financially well-to-do. I am more into experiences than possessions. I just want to live an interesting life and share it with someone who is happy and healthy. Maybe Austin is the wrong city for that, but if not here, where?
– Dad Bod
I am going to crawl out on a rhetorical limb here and say that Austin is a really great place to have a lot of wonderful, enriching, fulfilling experiences – even if you are a middle-aged, white male and shoulder the burden of having the world at your fingertips. In fact, I would argue that there is no better place in the world for you to be right now, even if you're broke and emotionally scarred.
The New Austin was built on the neurotic slag of the broke and the emotionally scarred. Where do you think all of this great music comes from? People who have their shit together? No, sir. Michael Dell might have created a computer manufacturing empire; John Paul DeJoria might have totally crushed it in hair care and mediocre tequila; and Tito Beveridge might have shown the world how to turn a penchant for moonshining into a marketing empire, but none of those motherfuckers have ever created something as beautiful as "To Live Is to Fly," although it truly wouldn't surprise me if Tito turned out to be Townes' ghostwriter. That dude just reeks of spiritual weight.
And yes, dating sites are like, 90% bullshit – especially for square pegs like yourself – but you have to allow people the space to build the walls that make them feel safe. So maybe you're hitting about 35% on most women's dating profile prerequisites. Hell, for all I know, you're down around 15%. It doesn't matter. Everybody has to play the odds they're dealt. You are right for somebody. Maybe only like 35% right, or maybe 100% right 35% of the time. And maybe you're not right for dating sites at all. Maybe you're that interesting dude at the end of the bar who knows how to tie a cherry stem into a knot with his tongue. Maybe you're the nerdy dude who hangs out at the garden store and gives unsolicited advice on dealing with spider mites. Doesn't matter. You have something to offer. Own that shit.
Feeling defeated about meeting someone just because it seems strange or difficult is just ridiculous – as ridiculous as killing yourself because you're depressed about dying someday (much love to all you suicidal types out there, but your reasoning is totally fakakta). You want to live an interesting life? Here's your fucking opportunity! Here is your chance to transform into the very best version of yourself – the guy you can't imagine any woman wouldn't want, and it looks like, given your success with online dating sites, you might have plenty of time on your hands.