dating

Online dating, chapter 16: the cilantro of OkCupid

You can’t sign up for OkCupid if you get offended easily. I’ve found that it’s more fun than eHarmony (by a long shot) and Match (for the most part), but there have definitely been some men and some conversations that get a big, fat NO faster than DSL could load the page.

I do appreciate the upfront honesty on OkCupid. From the polyamorous, to the crossdressers, to the sugar daddies, to those only looking for one-night-long relationships, to the doms, to men searching for cougars and the myriad other fetishes out there: most men, at least in my experience, haven’t beat around the bush.

This answer, coupled with a terrible, slightly frightening set of pictures, made NO super easy.

This answer was coupled with a terrible, slightly frightening set of pictures.

You know this is a dating site and not your diary, right dude?

You know this is a dating site and not your diary, right dude?

I don’t reply to everyone, and as soon as I’m tired of a conversation, I just don’t respond. It’s the equivalent of being in the middle of a conversation at a bar and just walking away – except not nearly as rude. I think.

asldkf

He hopes he can deadlift more than me. Probably can. I thought he was being cute, but subsequent messages made me realize he wasn’t. He was kinda weird.

Blocked.

Blocked.

I thanked him for his input, made a few changes to my profile, and blocked him.

I sincerely thanked him for his input, made a few changes to my profile, and blocked him.

Tempting... but blocked.

Tempting… but blocked.

I thought BBW meant "beautiful black woman". He meant beautiful BIG woman. Thanks. But no.

I thought BBW meant “beautiful black woman”. I dealt with a chubby chaser in Taiwan, and I’m not going through that again.

Well, I have a thing for (slightly) older men. Sorry, kiddo.

Well, I have a thing for men my age. Sorry, kiddo.

Ha!

“ha!”

I don’t “like” a profile if the guy only has angry pictures. Some of them look like they want to kill the camera. Profile pictures, and subsequent pictures on the site, tell me a lot, whether guys want them to or not. One guy had a picture of him in his Halloween costume as his primary profile picture; that would’ve been fine if he hadn’t been dressed as Bob from Fight Club. Until I looked through his profile, I thought he was more voluptuous than most women.

And, just to get this out of the way, body-part pictures are generally frowned upon in my world.

This was the least-angry picture of the bunch.

This was the least-angry picture of the bunch.

If we were to meet, would you look just like your profile picture? Better bring some sand, just in case I don't recognize you.

If we were to meet, would you look just like your profile picture? Better bring some sand, just in case I don’t recognize you.

Any guy who wears a vest and jeans in public is not my type.

His vest really brings out the color of the elevator buttons.

I think this might be 'shopped.

This might be my favorite profile picture on the entire site.

How are you even driving?

How is he even driving?

I do like going through the questions guys have answered to see how our answers match up. I’ve run into some profiles that are outstanding, and the pictures are great, and then their answers send me running for the hills.

Oh, honey.

Oh, honey.

Oooh, honey.

Oooh, honey.

There are a lot of great guys on OkCupid, and I’m talking to a few of them. Anyone who signs up for this site just has to be smart, picky, and willing to weed through the cilantro (which I find absolutely disgusting) to get to the good stuff.

Loved this message. Zero attraction to the sender, but his words made me smile.

Loved this message. Zero attraction to the sender, but he made my night.

Online dating, chapter 15: an eHarmony reject

In my match settings in eHarmony, I’ve selected California, Colorado, Oregon, Texas, and Washington as acceptable match locations. Since I was primarily getting ministers, I opened up my match preference to “Any Religion”, and set it as “Not at all important”, which meant religion shouldn’t be a factor at all. I have no ethnicity preference. Basically, I’m trying to cast the widest net possible, and in five states, there must be a few good men, right?

So I had zero matches on October 23rd?

So I had zero matches on October 23rd? And only three the following day? Sadness.

eHarmony sends me emails about specific men when we’re “highly compatible”.

Okay, cool. I'll check him out.

Okay, cool. I’ll check him out.

I take the bait.

Well then, nevermind.

Well then.

I’m at a loss. At this point my lack of matches, especially ones that are intriguing, can likely only be attributed either to the fact that I’d rather not date a man with kids, or to the fact that I’m an eHarmony Undateable.

Let’s be real. I’d have the same trouble on EquestrianSingles.com. Or FarmersOnly.com. Or OurTime.com. Or TrekPassions.com. Or VeggieDate.org. Or VampirePassions.com. All of which are legitimate dating websites you can visit right now if you want. eHarmony seems to appeal to a very specific market, and I’m not necessarily a member of that population.

asdlkf

Again, eHarmony’s design is beautiful, right down to their emails… except the pictures tend to be broken, even if the dudes’ profiles are full of pictures.

However. Google “eharmony stats”. The very top, numero uno spot on page one has a title of “eHarmony Ranks #1 for Most Online Marriages and Marital …”. (Marital what, eHarmony SEO consultant?) I can believe that a lot of people get married after meeting on eHarmony. Friends of mine have.

This then begs the question: what makes me different? Why, as a Christian, am I so wholly dissatisfied with eHarmony and its matches for me? I’d go back through and retake the personality quiz… if it let me. I’d go through and search profiles of available men and contact them… if it let me.

eHarmony asks hard-hitting questions like this one. I didn't actually answer it because really, what are those choices?

I deleted this question because really, what are those choices? This is not part of the infamous personality assessment – these are questions you answer and can compare how your match answered them, too.

On that note, since starting this post, I’ve received four messages from men on OkCupid, three of which I’m actually going to answer. Granted, I’ve had quite a few, uh, questionable messages from different men on OkCupid, but at least I’m having fun with it. At least I don’t feel undateable.

I’m glad other people are falling in love and getting married because of the service, but apparently I’m just not right for eHarmony. Too bad scientific matching and personality tests didn’t tell me to save my money and try something else.

Online dating, chapter 14: Rating the sites

As I worked on staff bios for our website redesign on Friday, I was answering questions over Gchat about my astrological sign and the age range of men I date. My three coworkers had created a profile for me on OkCupid, where one of them met her boyfriend.

I mean, why not?

Now that I’ve been around the online-dating block, I can give my opinions on Match, eHarmony, Christian Mingle, and OkCupid. I tried looking around for something like this when I was considering Match earlier this year, but I didn’t find a whole lot.

So here we go.

Match.com

How long I used it:
3 months earlier this year (roughly $64 of my life savings)

What it’s like:
It’s a bit like a laid-back cocktail party – structured, with everyone on good behavior.

Design and ease of use:
Eh. For one of the world’s most popular dating sites (and most expensive for me thus far), the website and app were pretty meh. I didn’t like the app much at all and rarely used it because it wasn’t entirely user-friendly. The website was a bit cluttered. Overall, its entire customer-facing platform could use some work.

And, as a content/copywriter, Match’s copywriting seemed to be written by someone with a severe lack of love for the AP Stylebook; there were punctuation errors and clichés everywhere. I even went onto their corporate website to see if they were hiring in the marketing department. They need me.

My thoughts on the menfolk:

Obviously it had its faults, but I enjoyed using Match. You do have to make sure you don’t contact anyone you’re not interested in, and that you’re brutal in your choices. I made the mistake of writing back to someone who wasn’t my type at all, just to thank him for a compliment, and Match started giving me matches more like him. Their algorithm is sensitive, apparently.

There was a great mix of men, some who deserved a little drool (like that fireman – hel-lo). I interacted a lot and had fun.

Would I do Match again? Probably, especially if I moved to another state. My most compatible match was a great guy who I emailed back and forth with, and I got legitimately excited every time I heard from him. And then he fell off the face of the earth. Bummer.

eHarmony

How long I’ve used it:
I used eHarmony for three months in Austin, and now I’m on it again here (for a scheduled three months). It broke the bank at $26.85 this time around. I don’t remember how much it cost way back when. Probably more around what Match cost.

What it’s like:
For me, it’s been like a black-tie affair held at a church, with everyone on holier-than-thou behavior.

Design and ease of use:
It’s beautiful. The profile pages emphasize photos, and all the information is laid out clearly. I’m a big fan. The app is also well done. You can tell eHarmony put money into their graphic design and user experience departments.

My thoughts on the menfolk:
I filled out the million-question personality test what… five years ago? And I can’t find a way to go through and make sure my answers are still the same. Even after redoing my match settings, I’m getting paired with men who are way, way not my type.

One guy, a hyper-conservative man who contradicts my views in his profile, was listed as a “highly compatible match”, and he emailed me five questions. Did he look at my profile? Did he see just how incredibly different we are? And not in a cute, potato/potahto way; in a we-won’t-be-on-speaking-terms-after-the-first-date way.

I may very well not be the right customer for eHarmony. Friends of mine have had wild success with eHarmony. Me? Nope. It’s been – dare I say it? – boring.

Christian Mingle

How long I used it:
One evening (“Browse for free!”) several months ago.

What it’s like:
If it’s a cocktail party, I never got out of the car – I looked in the window, then kept going.

Design and ease of use:
I remember thinking, “Oh, gosh. This is terrible.” I didn’t even try the app. The website is clunky and honestly feels kinda pointless when eHarmony is out there. I was on it for a few hours, then deleted my account and told it to forget I existed.

My thoughts on the menfolk:
Didn’t stay long enough to see.

Side note: I still hate that they use songs about loving God in their commercials. “Love Song for a Savior” by Jars of Clay is supposed to be about falling in love with God, not your newest match.

OkCupid

How long I’ve used it:
Since Friday night. And it’s free to look around and send messages – I haven’t ventured into the paid version (yet).

Lazy update: Last night I paid $20 (the most expensive plan, but I didn’t want to commit to any longer just yet) to use the paid version of the site for a month. More on that in a subsequent post.

What it’s like:
Where Match and eHarmony are the cocktail affairs, OkCupid is the bar where everyone’s just hanging out. Some are already drunk and absolute idiots, but there are quite a few cool people to talk to.

Design and ease of use:
OkCupid’s interface is no frills, but incredibly user friendly. Both the website and app are simple and laid out intuitively. Maybe my UX and graphic designer friends will disagree, but I’m a fan of OkCupid all around.

My thoughts on the menfolk:
People on OkCupid are far more active, and I’m having fun browsing, answering and sending messages. I’m having way more fun on OkCupid than I did on Match or so far with eHarmony. Yes, OkCupid has far more people looking for a one-night stand, but it’s easy to weed them out. Overall, I’m happy with OkCupid, and I’m shocked by that.

I’ve sent a number of messages to some guys who seem really great and have heard back from all of them. Just kidding: none of them have replied. Them’s the breaks, though, and if you don’t like rejection or being ignored, online dating definitely isn’t for you.

More on all my conversations in another post, including the 25-year-old who contacted me because he has “a thing for women that are older than me.” I never thought I’d feel like a cougar at 32.

Online dating, chapter 13: eHarmony. Again.

My last post was in July, and it was my final post about our trip (in April) to Taiwan. Since then I’ve been training for a half marathon, going to CrossFit three times a week, stressing out about my job, and freelancing like a madwoman.

Then came Saturday. I was bored, for some reason. I’d gotten a lot done around my apartment and was goofing off online. Then I landed on eHarmony. Then I discovered my old profile – from Austin — from 2009. And then I saw that it was $26.85 for three months. Compare that to $63.93 for three months over at Match.

Click. Click. Boom. I’m now on eHarmony. Again.

The first thing I noticed about EH is that the website design is beautiful. I was blown away by it. Compared to Match, EH is a UX/graphic designer’s dream. Match is a bunch of tabs and white space. And where the photos on Match seem like an afterthought, EH makes them important and easy to see.

On the desktop version, this is what men see when they first click on my profile. There's still some kinks I need to work out.

On the desktop version, this is what men see when they first click on my profile. There’re still some kinks I need to work out.

Good job, EH. Color me impressed.

Check out that sweet Photoshop action!

Check out that sweet Photoshop action!

I went through my old open-ended answers and redid most of them. For example:

“What is the most important quality that you are looking for in another person?”

(Hey, EH, since you only allow heterosexual matches, it’d be super simple to code that so it asked what I was looking for “in a man”. But that’s neither here nor there.)

With my answer, I wanted to make sure four elements were clear.

  1. I want to be with someone who loves to travel. This is fairly non-negotiable.
  2. He’s got to have a sense of humor. I need to laugh, and I don’t want to be the funniest one in the relationship. Since I’m not that funny, you’d think this would be a lot easier to find.
  3. I also want to date a man who can handle my independence and be strong enough to take care of me anyway. No pushovers and no, as my dad calls them, titty-babies. (He’s a shrink, so that qualifies as a technical term.)
  4. Finally, I really want to be with someone who will be active with me. Men who are active are sexy. I don’t care if you do CrossFit, surf, snowboard, go rockclimbing, or do triathlons. Meow.

There have been a few conversations so far, and I seem to be a minister magnet. In fact, most men I’m being matched with are passionate Christians who don’t really seem to agree with me that God has a sense of humor.

The first form of communication on EH is “5 closed-ended questions”. Five multiple-choice questions you choose from a list of 50 (estimate) to shoot to one another. From G, a guy who seemed cool until he told me to call him and sent over his phone number (nope):

Do you enjoy being alone?

How do you feel about relocating for a relationship?

When in a relationship, are you a jealous person?

How do you feel about premarital sex?

How would you assess your verbal intimacy skills?

To him, and the other two guys who contacted me, I replied with these questions:

Your idea of adventure is:

What kind of exercise do you prefer?

Realizing that labels are imperfect, do you consider yourself a dominant person in your personal life?

What’s your philosophy on travel?

What is your opinion on your mate having opposite sex friendships?

One guy told me his favorite exercise was taking walks. G’s idea of adventure was “HEY CALL ME!”. One guy asked if I’d be willing to relocate to Fort Worth to be with him.

I haven’t turned anyone down yet, even with some of the stupid answers I’ve gotten. But I’m not desperate, and I don’t have my wedding planned, and I don’t hear any clocks ticking. I’m not going to date someone if it’s going to waste my time and/or his. My Online Dating Miyagi, Meliana, tells me to be strict and careful, and since she married someone she met online, and she’s been married (and living in Hawaii, terrible life) for a while now, I trust her.

So here we go. Online dating. Again. I have until January 11, 2015, to become an “eHarmony Success Story”.

Online dating, chapter 12: Match stats

Match likes to send me statistics. As a number nerd, I rather like statistics, especially when they’re in an infographic. Like this one:

SIA_2014_Infographic

 

I don’t believe in love at first sight. This is especially true after I met Zachary Levi and he didn’t immediately fall in love with me; I was so sure our eyes would lock from across the theater, and he wouldn’t be able to rest until he met me and swept me off my feet… but no. Apparently not. Ergo: love at first sight is bunk.

The only thing he’s not allowed to talk about is politics. Debating is on my list of favorite things right after root canals, and no person in the history of ever can talk about politics without trying to prove that other opinions are wrong. He’s more than welcome to bring up religion or his exes, honestly; the way he talks about either of those topics will tell me a lot about him.

I definitely judge attire, not gonna lie, though I’m a fine one to talk with my jeans and Vans. A man in non-dad jeans, especially when it’s paired with a tailored blazer, just looks good. If he’s wearing Ed Hardy or anything bedazzled, peace out. He’s not allowed to sparkle more than me.

His car doesn’t matter so much as long as it’s not a hoarder’s paradise, although I do have a thing for men who drive SUVs and Ford trucks.

As for the tattoo judgment, I can’t say I’m surprised. I have two large tattoos, and if he has a problem with them, he doesn’t get to see them. Easy fix. Men who have ugly tats won’t get an immediate thumbs down, but I will say that there’s a sexy way to ink and a cover-that-up-immediately way. Random clip art thrown haphazardly on skin is just awkward.

In other news, has anyone else caught that new show on Bravo, “Online Dating Rituals of the American Male”? Like every other “reality” show, this one has to be scripted. Must be. There’s no way these people are that bad at dating… although my Dave & Buster’s date a few weeks ago would suggest otherwise.

I have a few ideas of things I want to try once I get back from Taiwan – rewrite my profile, send Match mail to a few guys who were immediate Yeses. That sort of thing. Until then, though, this blog will return to its originally-scheduled programming: I’m traveling, and I’m going to blog about it.

What a relief.

Online dating, chapter 11: Offline antics

Last week I was in New Orleans for a work conference. Man, was it awesome.

I struggle a bit when I flirt. When the conversation isn’t easy, I tend to lose interest quickly and want to give up. It’s cool if I make him laugh, but I don’t want to be the funny one, and he’s got to be confident.

Confidence is sexy. It’s true for both men and women, I think. A confident, smart man who can make me laugh is even sexier. Maybe that’s why I’m struggling so much with Match – it’s hard to gauge confidence in an online profile. Hence, flirting in New Orleans sounded fantastic.

Amend that: flirting in real life sounded fantastic.

My first opportunity came with a good looking guy at the hotel as we waited for the elevator to go downstairs. We chatted, it was awesome, and then I spotted the gold on his left hand.

And that’s basically how my week went. Chat someone up, and even get called baby at one point, but nothing. Bupkis.

There was one fellow attendee who really caught my attention; he had a deep, commanding voice, and I found myself with a little crush. Confidence: check. Smarts: check. Funny: check. Woo! Time to get my flirt on!

Of course he had a girlfriend. A serious one. Why wouldn’t he? Some lucky woman had already staked her flag in that country.

At this point, I don’t even remember what my flag looks like. I think it might have stripes.

There was another attendee who was known for being a flirt, but he never even introduced himself. While I prefer to be a bit more important than just a pulse or some specifically-placed fat, I didn’t even have to worry about it. He stayed as far away as he possibly could’ve. I was a little surprised, and my ego a bit bruised.

Another attendee clued me in: “Oh, it’s because you work with G. He won’t come near you.”

On one hand, that’s fantastic. The guys with me in New Orleans, G and B, were my coworkers and protectors. On the other hand, I couldn’t even flirt with the guy who’d flirt with anyone.

No flag, no country. Online and offline, it seems I kinda suck at this. Maybe I need to read more Cosmo.

Online dating, chapter 10: The Scientific Method… and math

Time to experiment.

I just changed my primary profile picture to see how that affects things – I’m using a shoulders-up picture of me wearing a hoodie; who doesn’t look cute in a hoodie? I wasn’t particularly fond of the picture I was using originally, but it was the most current photo I have of myself. Screw it. I’m going to use the picture I like instead of the more honest one.

460 profile views with that other picture. I’m going to reset the counter and see how this new one does.

Right now I show that I’m seeking men 30-35 within 25 miles of me. I’m 32 this summer… maybe I’ll tweak that range to, uh… 29 to… 40? Yeah, I’ll go with 40. And I’ll up the distance to 50 miles.

Does the “I have cats.” statement make me sound like a cat lady? Technically, my cat lives with my parents. So… I’m switching it to “I like but don’t have” cats. That’s safer.

If we’re going by the Scientific Method:

Question
Will tweaking my profile help me meet Mr. Awesome?

Hypothesis
Tweaking my profile won’t do a freakin’ thing. I live in Texas. My luck with men in Texas is approximately crap.

Predictions

    • In the next three weeks, I will receive fewer than 100 profile visits. This is probably good, actually, because I’m traveling for three out of the next four weeks.
    • Before my subscription is up for renewal, I’ll have 2 more dates.
    • I’ll probably be unsure about renewing, and might consider site-hopping.
    • The one guy I’m really interested in from this site will have either
      • fallen off the face of the planet, or
      • proven to be an idiot in awesome’s clothing

       

Fast forward three days. First of all, Match, your “You have 24 new matches” emails are misleading. There aren’t 24 new prospects for me to check out every day, there are nine, although I bet you’re counting the men you pit against one another for my click/affections. But that doesn’t make sense, either, because there are 20 men total in the “Who Do You Like” pairs, plus the nine matches…

Your emails are weird, Match.

Since adjusting my profile three days ago, I have 30 profile views, four men who Liked me, three 40-plus-year-olds (47, 47, 43 – and the 43-year-old looks like a young Danny Trejo) who want to chat, two emails from potential suitors, one wink, and one guy who liked one of my pictures.

NUMBERS!

Out of the bunch, there’s one guy who seems cool, but he lives way south of me. Like, way.

Now, for my NINE (that’s less than 24, Match – just FYI) matches. The first guy: “I thought I would throw some keywords that would describe what I like to do.” DUDE. KEYWORDS! HE DOES SEO!

That’s what people like to call “jumping to conclusions”, isn’t it?

I swear, “easy going”, “down to earth”, and “laid back” are the three phrases most used on this site. I guess calling oneself “uptight” or “anal retentive” isn’t going to get you any dates, but wow. More profiles say one of those three phrases than don’t.

“Just get to know me and see if you like….” Okay. Okay. Let me get on my soapbox. People who say that they don’t know what to say in their profile and that I should just email them, or get to know them, or get in touch with them to learn more – those people drive me nuts. You’re making me do all the work. I understand it’s hard to write a profile, but this just strikes me as lazy. /rant

Another note – don’t post pictures of multiple people, especially you and your siblings, and not tell me which one you are. That’s some While You Were Sleeping mess right there.

Several matches today who want their match to be Caucasian. No other ethnicities selected. Really, guys?

I have 13 maybes now. Who wants to go through them for me?

Online dating, chapter 9: Match-offs

In sending my handcrafted rejected emails and fiddling around, I’ve now convinced Match that I’m into the men I consider OHGOODNESSNO!s instead of, say, men I find attractive. No more goofing off, it seems. It’s time to get down to business.

Tonight I’ll go through the “Who Do You Like?” section that’s in the top-middle of the homepage when you log in. Match wants me to go through ten of these match ups, where they pit two profiles against each other, and I have to click on the profile I like better.

What if I don’t like either of them? “I’m interested in something more serious at this point in my life, so email me if you think my mom would like you. ;)” Oh, honey, your mom would probably love me. But based on your profile, you strike me as a mama’s boy.

OH! I can elect to Skip this round and reject them both. Thank goodness. On to the next.

“just be a good clean person and expect the same in return…cleaniness is important to me….and it goes a long way…likes to workout…healthy lifestyle….would be nice if habits neat and tidy..”

VERSUS

“A lot of people have told me that I’m “special” or “gifted”. I think they’re jealous that I can count to 10, or 20 with my shoes off, and even to 22 in the shower. (don’t ask)”

Contender number two has a great profile. I’m not entirely sold on his profile pictures, but I really like what he has to say… except for the fact that he wants a Slender or Athletic and Toned woman. He wouldn’t appreciate my curves, it seems. Eh. I’ll still pick him over Mr. Clean. Next.

Well, shoot. This round, I like both men. How can I game the system and like both of them? Wah. I can’t. Boo.

Next.

Wait… this round is weird. One of the pictures is of a woman.

The man’s profile, in its entirety: “just trying to see what this is all about never did this before looking to meet a nice lady with goals and aspirations in life who is single and doesn t talk to alot of men and has a job and pays bills”.

The woman’s header says, “30 year old Male Flower Mound, TX, USA Seeking women 49-64″, and the profile starts with, “I am looking for a man…”

Given this awful match-up, I would consider selecting the woman’s profile to prove just how little I like the man. However, Match seems to take every little move I make literally, and I can’t make any more thoughtless decisions. I’m hitting Skip on this one. Next round.

Whoa. This guy used 73 commas and one ellipses (at the end) in his first paragraph. In his second paragraph: “I couldn’t care less if women have breasts like fresh magnolias or withered figs, skin smooth as a peach or rough as sandpaper. I accord it an importance equal to zero whether they wake up with the breath of an aphrodisiac or the breath of an insecticide.”

Oh good grief.

Out of ten possible showdowns, I skipped six. No more of this nonsense; from here on out, I’m going to go through my matches and do my own searches. I don’t have time to waste on this ridiculousness.

Online dating, chapter 8: I can’t cringe any harder.

Remember the guy I was emailing at the end of my post about profiles?

Just so we’re on the same page, here’s our entire exchange, with no editing on my part, including the message I got from him this morning.

Wednesday, February 26
From: Dude
Subject: friendly hello
Message: I glanced at your profile and now I’m curious,If you could do anything in the world without the chance of failure what would you do

Wednesday, February 26
From: me
Subject: (blank, but Match populated it with:) Without a chance of
Message: Without a chance of failure – I’d volunteer as the Communications Manager on Mercy Ships for a year. I’d be great at the job, but I can’t do it because of the risk of financial failure.

I don’t think you’d be a big fan of mine. I’m not conservative (or liberal. I hate politics), and I’m not willing to convert to Mormonism. Just want to make sure that’s obvious.

Thursday, February 27
From: Dude
Subject: Without a chance of
Message: That does sound like an amazing job being apart of a cruise ship having new experiences every single day seeing new places and meeting amazing people that would be so great. I love to volunteer and give back as much as possible. Mormonism? I’m not a Mormon I love the lord and attend church. I also hate politics and not really into it all that much. Are you sure you didn’t mix my profile up with someone else?

So where was the last place you traveled?

Friday, March 7
From: Dude
Subject: Without a chance of
Message: What happened? I just realized that we were totally flowing and then our busy lives got in the way! You wanna hear something funny and embarrassing (can’t believe I’m telling you this)…I get this goofy smile on my face when I write messages to you. How dare you make me smile! I’m not sure why I’m smiling, I mean I wasn’t given an instruction manual on how to be human. Ok, I’ve said WAY too much, and it’s YOUR fault!

Hey, Dude, did you copy and paste that from 50 Shades of Grey?

Blocked.

Online dating, chapter 7: Eight truths

EIGHT!

Those hot guys from the commercials? Good luck finding them. You just found one? Read his profile. His personality rivals that of the evil frat guy in every teenybopper movie, doesn’t it? From what I’ve heard, the women are just as bad.

If you’re using online dating to find your soulmate, be ready to be in it for the long haul. And, for goodness’ sake, choose the right service – not all dating sites are created equal. More on that in a later post.

SEVEN!

It doesn’t matter if you’re the most awesome human being to ever grace the planet – people are still going to reject you for the most ridiculous stuff and go after someone else. That someone else might be the worst human to ever exist (in theory).

Don’t read number SIX! yet. Follow that link first; it’ll take five minutes.

SIX!

You will reject potential dates for the most ridiculous stuff and try to find someone else.

I struggled at first because, really, I don’t mind meeting men who already have kids… but. BUT. If he’s a father, I’d hope he’d be active in his kid’s life… which means gallivanting around the world and taking spontaneous road trips with me would likely be difficult.

I had to do it; I limited my matches to only men without children, but who wanted kids in the future.

Take nothing personally, and don’t feel guilty for rejecting people. The super-hot fireman whose pictures I showed to all my girlfriends, who everyone agreed was delicious (even my straight male friends did), isn’t interested in me. Fine. That guy who seems nice enough, but eh, and does absolutely nothing for me physically, is getting a no. And I’m not going to feel bad about it.

FIVE!

Guard your phone number, where you live, places you frequent, and other personal stuff like your life depends on it. You don’t need to be Facebook friends. C’mon – there are some crazies out there. It’s better to be overly cautious than risk a creeper.

Meliana told me to use an alias, which I would’ve done if I hadn’t used my nickname in my username. Oops. Next time I’ll be Trudy Lamas. Or Aimee N. Willoughby. Or Lana Kane.

FOUR!

From Meliana: Make the first date a casual coffee, not drinks, not dinner, not lunch, no expectations. Coffee is always casual and you can slip away easily if things don’t feel right. Why get all dressed up when you just want to talk? If it goes smoothly, next maybe do happy hour with friends. My friends loved meeting my “dates” and they also make good bodyguards. I’ve also made date “runs” with some friends that marathon train. Funny what you can learn about a guy when you’re running for 3-4 miles. If it doesn’t click, at least you got a good workout.

THREE!

Also from Meliana, and goes with number SIX!: Bring a printout of their profile and your conversations, highlighting interesting facts about the person. Think of it as a cheat sheet. You don’t have to bust it out during the date, but it is a good reference point. Write questions on it too. I used to bring a copy with me on all my dates and just talk. 15 minutes, 30 minutes. Never over an hour. If you want to keep talking, make a date to talk on the phone.

This woman’s married now. She knows what she’s talking about.

TWO!

I was feeling overwhelmed my first week at it. I had tons of Maybes and couldn’t make executive decisions. That Friday night, I took my laptop and went to my friend Mel’s house. I showed her and her husband the system, then basically set her loose on my Maybes.

She knows me, I trust her, and she knocked out a bunch of matches who weren’t right for me.

Find someone who knows you well, and ask them to help you go through matches every once and a while. It’s fun!

ONE!

Don’t put pressure on yourself. If you go into it thinking about what you’d name your future kids, you might be taking it a little too far. I saw one guy who seemed to be my perfect match. Like, whoa. I was super excited about our future together, and envisioned us climbing Kilimanjaro, and hiking Patagonia, riding camels past the pyramids, and all kinds of crazy wonderful adventures and we were going to live happily ever after!

He’s not interested. Whaaa?!?

That’s the way it goes. I probably won’t find anything more than friendship on Match, and that’s fine. I’ll keep trying, and we’ll see what happens, but no pressure. Aaand, I might try a different site, but that’s a story for another day.