To start, a disclaimer: I like the outdoors. I do. I am not agoraphobic or anything. I like to take walks and look at the ocean, and I think trees are beautiful. But faced with the choice of an afternoon of rock climbing or seeing an exhibit at a museum, I choose the museum. I love to travel, but I prefer hotels (even motels) to sleeping in a tent. I can enjoy camping, but I don’t own “gear” and only go when I have a friend who plans and coordinates the trip.
So that being said, if someone forced me to choose a label (between indoorsy and outdoorsy), I would have to go with indoorsy. And yet, I would never volunteer that information to anyone—especially to a potential date. Can you imagine? “I just love the indoors…”
So why do I feel the need to hide my true nature? Well, if I have learned anything from online dating it is this: single men LOVE the outdoors. It is really important to them. How do I know this? I would say 90% of men’s profiles address it (unscientific number). In fact, it is so prevalent that it got me thinking…what is the deal with needing to let potential dates know how outdoorsy you are?
Second disclaimer: There is nothing wrong with being outdoorsy. I know people whose love for hiking and camping runs deep, and I celebrate and support their passion. Spending lots of time outdoors implies a healthy lifestyle, and I am in awe of people with that kind of commitment and drive.
But here is where I get suspicious. Do all these men claiming to be so outdoorsy really fit the description? I mean, most of us have lives and jobs and family that limit the amount of free time we have, right? Most of us are indoorsy by circumstance if not by choice.
So I came up with a few theories as to why claiming the outdoorsy title is so important:
1. The guy is truly passionate about camping, hiking, traversing, etc. and feels it is in his best interest to warn potential dates that all their weekends will be spent mountain biking or fly fishing. (In other words, these are the people that truly warrant the title.)
2. Outdoorsy = code for I am looking for a healthy woman = code for I want my future wife to be skinny. (I get it. Heath is important. And physical attraction is important too. But I know from personal experience that you can be indoorsy and still “healthy.”)
3.One trend I have noticed in single men (especially the never-been-married in their 30’s types) is the fear of a domestic life. The life of a no-family-responsibilities single person can be very social and very fun. So while they want to get married, there is still the fear of a monotonous “I never get to do anything fun anymore” life.
4. Marketing yourself on an online dating profile is a painful process, and saying you are outdoorsy sounds really good, and hey, you did go camping last summer.
Like I said before, I don’t have anything against the outdoorsy type. If the guy is truly outdoorsy (see number 1 above), we are likely not a match, and I appreciate him giving me the proper ability to make that judgment call. Really, that is all I ask for—a little more information and clarity to help guide the courtship process.
I guess this means I need to lead by example and come clean on my indoorsy ways. I might as well say I love watching television all day while knitting with my cats. (Heh, heh, just kidding…I don’t have any cats.)