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  • Writer's picturepamradtkerussell

Playing the Odds with Online Dating

I gave up playing Candy Crush after discovering online dating.

More dopamine hits, more oxytocin, and so much more entertaining.

It’s like playing the odds at a casino. The house will likely win, but you get free drinks while you're playing.

On the online apps, there are photos of guys with fish, dead animals, boats and dressed in their football gear. Dozens with motorcycles. Hundreds in bathroom mirrors and at the gym. Lots of men from foreign countries who want a god-fearing woman (several from Mississippi who want the same, interestingly.)

For me, it's not just about a man's physical features, it’s also about what they are wearing, what they are doing and where they are. Too perfect means not real, but also, no thank you to the 72-year-old with missing teeth.

Over the past year, I have chatted up dozens of men and have dated several. There was not a single instance in which I thought even briefly one of these men would be my next husband, or even a serious boyfriend.

I’ve dated a tattooed, pierced and dreadlocked chef, a few buttoned-up lawyers, a bass-playing, herbal-tea growing recovering alcoholic, and EVEN Republicans! Why? Because I could.

And while I haven’t met the love of my life, I have met many interesting men who I am still friends with. I enjoy sitting across the table from strangers and learning about them. It’s oddly through these experiences I have become more open and accepting of myself and others because I realized we aren’t all working from the same script.

It also helps to have low expectations. I generally, successfully, weed out the douchebags before I ever meet them. I can tell by their choice of words. I am not turned off when someone writes “your” instead of “you’re”, but consistent poor grammar or misspellings are a guarantee I won’t be able to connect with someone. I can also tell by their lack of words. I just can’t get interested in a guy who texts “Hey baby” once a day.

My number one requirement, though, is that they have a sense of humor, followed closely by intelligence. I have often said something I thought was funny or interesting only to be met with a puzzled silence even after I explain it to them.

Oh well, their loss – that is unless they are really hot. Hotness trumps humor (at least for the first date, after that, humor and a good spirit wins.)

I think I may have hit a jackpot of sorts.

Who is to say these brief human interactions and connections are any less valuable than longer-term relationships? I learn something with every exchange – even if it’s not to date a man who describes himself as a "wizard."

And that, my friends, is much more entertaining than Candy Crush.

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