Preamble: this is a dating advice series from a formerly long-suffering comrade in the struggle. I’m out of the game for life but I’m offering up some hard-earned wisdom for those still grappling. (See bottom of this post for the legend, mission statement, and credentials.)
I would say about 97% of the female profiles I have read over the last decade of online dating have prominently displayed photos and stated an explicit preference for enjoying leisure time in the great outdoors and they want a fella who is about that life as well.
There are a lot of reasons for that preference. The air is cleaner. It takes you away from screens. It’s good exercise. There’s a preternatural affinity all mammals share for the outdoors (this is your dog when you say it’s time for a walk):
And there’s a mythological reason: it’s Mother Earth, not daddy planet, right?
(although he does look pretty cool in the depiction above)
Now I don’t read dude profiles. It could well be that 97% of guys shout their love for nature, too. But I’ve never heard any of my single male friends (and I do know some outdoorsy ones) talk about REI with the excitement that I’ve heard from nearly every woman I’ve dated and most of my female friends. I’m telling you right now that most of my lady friends would pass on front row seats for Hamilton on broadway if a big REI sale was that night. And to be fair, REI loves them back. It’s pushed several efforts to increase equality in the outdoor world and get more women exploring the great wide open, under the skies of blue.
And because I never heard this level of REI love from my male buddies, it got me to overthinking (which I LOVE). Based on my minutes of anthropology research (and I do fail an anthropology course in college as well), I always thought prehistoric humans had the men hunt and gather and the women handle the child rearing and other important tasks. If that’s the case why are so many of the ladies I’ve befriended and the ones I’ve bedded (and wanted to bed) so interested in hunting (not for game but being outdoorsy and hunting share a shit ton of overlap in their ven diagram)?
I did a bit more research and it turns out that there’s at least one study that shows prehistoric men and women shared all the tasks, regardless of their stereotypical male or female nature as characterized by society through the ages. Men started to force women to certain traditional gender roles only after the advent of agriculture.
So in a very real way, society has been holding women back from a natural urge. It’s easy to say women and men are treated equally now. It’s also incorrect. But to focus on this rant, you can see how restricting women to domestic roles prevents them from rampaging through the outback.
Great. Chicks like the outdoors and outdoorsy dudes for a bunch of ingrained social and cultural and instinctual reasons. Boooooooooooring. What’s this gotta do with dating.
When a woman riffs on her rock climbing passion, she probably admires or maybe even would like to emulate a lovely lady who looks like this:
(Fuck a six-pack – is that a friggin’ 10 pack? Respect)
And who wouldn’t want to look like her? She’s strong and brave and fit and gorgeous. I wouldn’t even have the temerity to talk to a woman like that in a dating context.
And, you can probably already see this coming, she sure as hell wouldn’t mind dating a dude who looks like this:
So, yeah, my advice to you is to start exercising, go on the paleo diet, and get a lot of tattoos. A few prominent scars from outdoor wounds would help, too.
This lady fantasy has not been kind to me. You know, because the lady I would be going out on a date with would fantasize for the dude above and he gets me:
I would never mention that I wasn’t the outdoor type in my profile. If I’m not looking to ever get a date, there are less extreme ways to guarantee it. Like saying I lost my penis in a war ambulance accident.
But I would put in a clause that I liked hiking. And it’s not that I dislike hiking entirely. I’m just an incredibly picky baby about my outdoor life. At the beach I wanna be roasting hot – I love the good, the bad, and the ugly about the beach. It can do no wrong. I don’t even need you to get my margarita order right.
But I don’t wanna be propelling any kind of watercraft with my own energy. Especially fucking kayaks. I am certain I would die if I ever got in a kayak because I would not be able to eject myself if the kayak flipped over. And that sure AF ain’t how I wanna go out. I also don’t like going out when it’s too hot or too cold. Basically, I can only go outside in Southern California. I also have no interest in hardcore camping. The most I would do is glamping.
I’m also terrified of woodland creatures like bugs, snakes, bears, wolves, raccoons, and yetis.
I can also deal with cookouts if there is enough shade and strong alcohol. And preferably drugs.
I lied about my outdoor activity and so should you. Pick the activity with the least skill and energy required in case she calls your bluff. Don’t say you’re a base jumper for fuck’s sake. That’s why hiking works for me. People don’t run in hikes. They stroll and stop often to ponder the beauty of nature and make empty promises about leaving their urban life for a cabin off the grid.
And while they’re doing that I’m trying to determine if my chest pain is the heart attack I’ve been waiting for all my life or I’m just cramped because any physical activity, even running one hundred feet, leaves me winded. I am not exaggerating.
Mankind has given me many names. Among my names is Dr. NoLove, House Foolsrush, Thirteenth of My Name, the Burnt, King of the Unlucks and the Last Men, Khal of the Cul-de-sac, Breaker of Mine Own Heart, Big Baby Deezus, Father of the Rejections, the One True Holy and Apostolic Dating Jesus (the photo below is my cousin Buddy – we have the same chin).
All of these rubrics are meaningless.
I am the state (of dating).
I am the one scrub with many faces.
I am the erring and the untruth and the dullness.
Your finite measures cannot contain me.
I am become dating, the destroyer of love.
The key master is here, in the days after this shell’s darkest hour, to pass on the lessons we have learned after 7,882 days (we have dated 200+ women dated in 22 years) in this desert. Like Hova, I have dated them so you wouldn’t have to.
Who am I to comment on dating?
- 22 years of dating (IRL and Online)
- Dating experience on three continents and seven major metropolitan areas
- Early online dating adopter (suffering since 1996)
- I’ve been on a date with 200+ unique, and all wonderful in their own way, women
- Produced a 90,000 word creative writing portfolio devoted to online dating trials and, well, trials
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outdoortype #lemonheads, #REI #outdoors %greatoutdoors, #fitness #rockclimbing #hunterGatherers #equality #happyHour #outdoorDating #prehistoric