It's My Search Party, and I'll Be Picky If I Want To

I’ve been told on more than one occasion that the reason for my seemingly permanent state of singlehood is that I’m too picky.  When you’ve been through as many failed attempts at relationships as I have, you really start to figure out what you want.  And even more so – what you don’t want.  To those of you who say that looking for certain things in a partner is too picky, my question to you is:  What’s the alternative?  I believe the word for it is settling, and this girl will truly be a perpetual bachelorette before marrying someone who is just ‘right on paper.’  There is a reason my divorce attorney BFF is slammed at work, and has perpetual job security. 

And  what’s more… the same people who tell me I’m too picky are the same people who demanded I try online dating.  Clearly, they’ve never had to try it.  If they had, they’d  know the very first step is to “pick” the qualities that you want in the opposite (or same) sex.   Honestly I’m not asking for that much!  I will not, under any circumstances, date a smoker.  And to all the guys out there like my dear friend J: “I only smoke when I drink” means YOU ARE A SMOKER.  So don’t even bother typing an email.  If Derek Jeter himself got down on one knee and proposed to me while holding a cigarette, I would say no.  Anyone who knows me is laughing at that, but saying to themselves “she’s not kidding.”  Next, I specified that I wanted a guy between 5’10 and 6’3.  Ok- maybe I have an Eva Longoria complex… so what?  I also asked that my prospective dates don’t already have children, and have at least a bachelor’s degree.  I unchecked some of the stricter religions, put in a 10 year age rage, and 15 mile radius.  That’s it. 

I would say 75% of the emails I receive come from men with children, Napoleon complexes, no concept of age limits, or who answer "I'll tell you later" to the education question.  I’ve gotten some reinforcement in my belief that the problem isn’t me though... it's them.  This pool of guys that, even given the above criteria, just isn’t cutting it.  A good friend of mine has been on the site for about a year now.   As soon as she found out I was on it too, I began to get texts from her like the following:

“I can’t handle all the bad grammar, spelling, and abbreviations!  Aaaggghhh!”

“I got this email from a cop: ‘wow u r so getting handcuffed for not writing me back! :)'
Well, that’s definitely not going to entice me to…”

“My membership is almost up.  I’m deciding whether or not to renew.  Maybe I will just for entertainments sake!” 

Yes, my friend.  We might as well be entertained, because we are going to be single forever…