An Opinionated Daddy's View of Life

Monday, August 8, 2011

lim·it·ing: serving to restrict or restrain; restrictive; confining.

The following comment was posted on a website I often visit:

Submitted by (user ID redacted to protect his/her privacy) on Fri, 2011-08-05 20:48

I read these profiles from men in their 50s, 60s and 70s, with their preferred age for perspective partner to be 21 - 35? Not to be judgmental, but what does a 50 year old have in common with a 20 year old?

It seems to me that many of the profiles that I read are very limiting.
I'd like a man that cares and treats me with respect, has my back, calls when he says that he will. And isn't afraid of communication, and intimacy.
In the meantime, I continue to enjoy my life, friends, and family.
And hope that someday soon, our paths will cross.

If you've read any of my writings before, you know how frustrated I get when people feel it appropriate to dictate to others to whom it is they should be attracted. Don't get me wrong, I can be as judgmental as the next guy, some might argue even more so, but not about this. It seems a waste of time, energy and effort to spend time railing against other users because of their stated 'limits'.

As you may know, I met my last beau (we spent a delightful 2.5 years together) on Daddyhunt. He was 24 and I was 46 when we met. Despite this huge gap in ages, this was the healthiest, happiest, most successful relationship in which I've ever found myself. It only ended because he left to move across the country, to a place he'd always hankered to live for graduate school. At the end, we were happier, more content, and more comfortable with each other than ever. Oddly, we seemed to have a lot in common, despite the huge age gap. Was he my 'type', no, not exactly (he is hairy and has a beard, neither of which, for example, are big favorites of mine.) Is he a unique fellow, unique enough to make the age gap almost unimportant, yes. Might I have missed out on this great relationship had I not been willing to 'flex' a bit in my tastes, sure. But one of the reasons it worked so well was that there was when we met (and remained until the end) one thing: attraction. He was attracted to me, and I to him. Would he have been attracted to me if I was a tall, skinny, smooth guy in my 20's? No. Would I have been attracted to him had he been a stocky, hairy bear in his 50s or 60s? No. But there is 'flexing' and flexing. So if by 'limiting', the writer meant that people limit themselves by expressing a desire to make connections (sexual, romantic, social, etc.) with someone to whom they are attracted, I have to politely and respectfully disagree.

I think it is perfectly reasonable for the profiles on dating/hook-up sites to be 'limiting'. The difference between a friendship and a romance is some level of attraction. Dating websites exist so that members can be specific, upfront, and direct about what they want. If not, what is the point of writing profiles and posting pictures? In the case of those sites which cater to intergenerational dating, what is the point of identifying as either a 'daddy' or a 'hunter'? One doesn't go to a Toyota website shopping for a station wagon, if one is really okay buying a Chevy convertible. I agree that some people have unrealistic expectations, some being so unrealistic as to prevent any connections at all. I also believe that people tend to have a broader 'range' of tastes than they often express in their profiles. I must respectfully disagree, however, that by stating a preference one is 'limiting' oneself. My young man was actually dating someone his own age when we met. They were good friends and had much in common, some would say that was an ideal situation to make a relationship flourish. But, there was zero passion. My young man was online one day on a 'daddy/hunter' site. I'd seen him online before and always been curious (despite the fur and the beard, he had a beautiful smile), so I sent him a message. He responded immediately, telling me he'd viewed me many times, but hadn't wanted to respond because he didn't think he met my stated 'criteria' (that, a form of self-limiting, which if you've read me before you also realized I find frustrating.) We chatted, arranged to meet, and BANG, immediate attraction which quickly developed into love. People don't form romantic relationships with others because they are nice, or smart, or the 'right' type of person. They form romantic relationships with people to whom they find themselves attracted, those other qualities enhancing the relationship, making it more likely to work. Attraction comes in many forms, part physical and part other more intangible stuff. It's true, relationships often do work best and tend to last longer when people have things in common. But if it was only the 'intangible' stuff that mattered and not the physical, dating in all forms would be completely different. Like it or not, good or bad, right or wrong, gay society has developed a common set of 'standards' for what dictates attractiveness. People visit sites which cater to those wishing to 'limit' themselves in some way or other. That is for what such websites exist. They are designed for people with complimentary attractions to make social connections. So it doesn't bother me at all to see guys posting what they seek and that what they seek tends to mirror that common set of standards. It does bother me, however, that so many users on these sites seem to think they can dictate to others how to think or act, or that by their shear will they can change the nature of human attraction. To me, that is purely a waste of time and energy. Wouldn't their time be better spent punching up their profiles, or perhaps looking for the profiles of others with whom there might be some sort of 'spark'? I think so.

At least, that is what THIS DADDY thinks.