This is eerily similar to internet dating, because a lot of people aren't nearly as interesting as they describe themselves. Which isn't so bad, because you're obviously on the website to attract people. And the competition is fierce on there, so you gotta be awesome. Sometimes, however, you meet someone, and the expectations may be a little high, so that doesn't work out. I'm, of course, putting myself in this category. I certainly seem to fall short of everyone's expectations. Or something.
It can also be equated (as pointed out by a very astute friend) to a job interview. When I pointed out that I keep interviewing, and am still unemployed, she said, "So, what's next?" I replied, "Temp jobs?"
But in reality, internet dating is very similar to job hunting, and sometimes, for whatever reason, you just aren't the right fit for the job. Or the guy who interviewed just before you got it. Or they hired an internal candidate (a.k.a. an ex). But after awhile, you sort of have to wonder if it's just bad timing, or you need to work on your interview skills, or you need to reconsider the kinds of jobs you're looking for. Naturally, we all want our dream job, right? With great benefits and a big paycheck. Of course. But it can't happen for everyone, can it?
Recently, I met a woman who I liked on a personal level, but had a rather poor gum-to-tooth ratio, shall we say. Not necessarily a deal-breaker, but that was the reality. Anyway, I had met her once for coffee lunch-break, and once on a Sunday afternoon for skeeball, so I had asked her out on an actual date, because she definitely seemed into it (she had emailed me the previous day saying simply, "Hope you had a good weekend." Nothing else. I know as grand romantic gestures go, that's not a huge thing, but it at least indicated interest.) The response I received:
I think I'm realizing that despite how (truly) dateable you are, after much "but he's a great guy!" debates with myself, I'm getting more of a friends vibe. Unfortunately. That said, I did have a great time spending time, but I want to be honest about where I'm coming from. That said, if I see you on campus you can bet that I'm going to smile and wave, because I really am glad I had the opportunity to meet you.So, while I'm great and (truly) dateable, apparently I'm not the right candidate for this job. Or the last twelve or so jobs I've applied to, because this response is pretty typical in my dating history. Now, my female friends all say that this email is nice and good and honest. They think this because (I don't want to generalize here) they like to wear make-up and dress up nice and have a clean house whenever company is coming over. So they appreciate the nicely-dressed, well put-together response. I, ever the realist, see it as the same old horseshit. Not that this girl wasn't telling the truth, because I'm sure she was, and if I'm being honest with myself, I can't say I wouldn't have been writing a similar email somewhere in the not-too-distant future. But I was at least willing to go on that real date.
So, I'm not angry or bitter or anything (although it's weird that she claims she feels a friends-vibe, and then says if she happens to pass me on the street some day, she'll smile and wave. Thanks, buddy.), but I am disappointed because when you take off the make-up and the nice clothes, this email is the same as all the rest of the ones I've gotten from so many nameless, long-forgotten women who knew me for a matter of hours and decided that, even though I'm great, I'm not the one. I'd rather she just think I'm a dick and be done with it than be great and for whatever unknowable reason not be suitable for her. I mean, she says I'm "dateable," and yet she won't date me. Hell, I know plenty of men that I would consider "ridiculously undateable" if I were a woman, and they're goddamn married.
So, this brings me back to my brilliant "Dream Job" analogy. Honestly, the best candidate may not be out there. Maybe they have another job that they're happy at, or they didn't see the posting. Maybe that lightening bolt ain't coming. Maybe you have to hire who does apply and make it work, even if they're not quite as dynamic as their resume (of if they're Back to the Future III). I'm not saying people should settle, but let me put it this way; I haven't loved every job I've ever had, but I was always happy to have it. Sometimes, you need to hire someone and see if they can handle the job. But you'll never know if you don't give them a try.