Online dating has made me wonder about what I really want in people. I know the things I like, the things I put in my profile as my interests, the things that people are drawn to. I have interests, hobbies, jobs, and passions that make up a large part of my identity, and these are – for lack of a better word- the things I advertise about myself on online dating sites.
We all do this. When you are posting a profile on an online dating site you are an “athletic cross-country runner who enjoys cooking ethnic food and working with rescue dogs” or a “wine-sipping socialite who works with underpriviledged youth by day and designs a line of jewelry by night.” Our identities become inextricably wrapped up with our hobbies in a way that isn’t necessarily true, and that draws a certain type of people.
After about the 15th message about my particular hobby (brewing beer) I realized I wasn’t looking for a fellow beer snob, or even someone in love with the idea of beer in the way I was. I became – overnight- bored with the messages pronouncing their love for beer and asking me if I had tried their favorite brand of lager. I realized that what I wanted was not someone who shared the same hobbies, but someone who challenged me. Suddenly people who had only the same experiences as me became redundant and I began looking for dates with men whose hobbies were the opposite of mine.
It’s not that I’m not interested in dating someone with similar interests, and in fact I do prioritize people with whom I can share not only pleasant conversation but experiences and hobbies as well, but I realized that I am more than my hobbies, and being stuck on that one thing – whether brewing beer, rescuing dogs, rock climbing or wine tasting – was preventing me from really getting to know people. Sometimes opposing tastes can be a beautiful thing.