Oh, lord. You know how sometimes you come across an online dating profile where it's so painfully apparent why the dude is still single? Not the guys who say they want "huge juicy tits and a fine ass," but the creepy ones whose too-earnest profiles give you what a high-school friend of mine called "the ringles"—that the tingly feeling you get when something is really retarded.
A reader sent in such a profile from Match.com, and at first we hesitated to post it. Yesterday someone commented that a post reminded her of the old Onion Headline, "Romantic-Comedy Behavior Gets Real-Life Man Arrested," and this is similar—the guy clearly has seen way too many movies and has some clichéd weird idea of what women want. If we had feelings, we might feel for him. Except we don't, and also this man appears to be a colossal douche. So without further ado, Meet "TheGoodDr."
After a few emails and a phone conversation or two, you decide to meet TheGoodDr in person and you've picked out the perfect spot. You choose an off-the-beaten-path ethnic restaurant where the colorful sights, complex smells and rich flavors are both unfamiliar and strangely comforting. You've always preferred to meet someone for the first time in a restaurant that is low-key and quiet enough that you can actually hear each other speak. Even though you arrive 10 minutes early, you spot TheGoodDr waiting at the bar, striking up conversation with one of the waiters about the history and authenticity of the restaurant and its cuisine.
The first thing you notice about TheGoodDr is his smile, both captivating and confident. Well-dressed with a lightly tan face and a relaxed posture betraying his muscular triathlete's body, you catch yourself thinking that he looks a lot better in person than in his pictures. You also notice that here is a man who does not look his age. Regular exercise, a good diet and positive outlook on life have infused him with the liveliness and vigor of someone five years his junior. Despite his youthful looks, his beautiful green and gold eyes reveal a wisdom and understanding well beyond his years.
You both sit at a quiet candlelit table, selecting something obscure from the menu, ordering the fruit-flavored martini of the month and joking that neither of you can pronounce anything you've ordered. Unlike many of the blind dates you've been on, which have ended up feeling more like an interview than a date, you find the conversation to be relaxed and free-flowing, and by the end of the night you have the distinct feeling that you've known this guy for a while. While you have a good deal in common on a superficial level, you feel that there is something about him that resonates with you on a much deeper level. Here is a genuinely good guy, and while he is clearly bright, ambitious, and multi-faceted, he is also well-mannered, easy-going and humble.
Conversation inevitably flows to employment and education. A decade of higher education, three graduate degrees and a doctorate from the top program in his field might fill the average man with the impulse to exhibit his erudition in an obnoxious way, but there is no trace of hubris in TheGoodDr's speech or mannerisms. Growing up in a small town, he tells stories about gardening, working at a farmer's market with his parents, and the beauty of a New England Autumn. When he speaks about his family and his hometown, you can sense a genuine warmth in his eyes. You can tell that despite his academic background, he is a "people person" who is most at home teaching or working with his hands.
Intelligence is very important to him; not necessarily the kind that is measured by length of time in school, but the kind that is measured by creativity, inquisitiveness and insight. You both share a love of travel and you swap stories of far-away lands and long-forgotten memories.
One comment that he made while you share a decadent triple-chocolate dessert stays in your mind. He believes strongly happiness is something that a person chooses. Like the rich chocolate dessert, here is a man who is complex, layered, and yet surprisingly simple. TheGoodDr is irrepressibly optimistic, and seems to lead a charmed life (by choice, he tells you) in which only good things happen to him. Lots of guys you have met seem to fit very neatly into a box or category, but that doesn't appear to be the case with this one. You catch yourself wondering how someone with so many divergent interests and activities could reconcile everything together. As if reading your mind, he answers "I do what I love and I love what I do."
When the check comes you remark that the restaurant gave you an 80% discount on your dinner. "It turns out one of the waiters is a former student of mine," he laughs. Smiling, you catch yourself thinking, "Now this is the guy I've been looking for."