internet dating, eh?

17Aug09

So, I decided that I’m never going to meet someone if I don’t actually meet any new people. And I have a hard time meeting new people. So, I decided (ok, at the behest of the shrink, as well) to check out a few of the dating websites. I’m not really hoping for anything here, except maybe to meet some new people, and maybe make a few friends. And if I happen to really click with someone, that’d be nice, too.  I’d been thinking about it for a while, but have been putting it off, mainly because I’m broke. Also, as my mother so succinctly and accurately put it, I am “not a joiner.”

Here are my initial reactions, after spending Saturday evening filling out questionnaires and talking about myself altogether more than I’m comfortable with. (And please note the lameness of me spending Saturday evening filling out dating site questionnaires instead of actually out having a life. Yeah… yeah.)

eHarmony – Yeah… that shit is expensive. But I like it. The questions go on forever, but that kinda makes sense to me. and I like the set-up of their profiles and whatnot–I like that they ask specific questions instead of just giving you a blank box and saying “talk about what makes you *you*”. But, quite frankly, I can’t afford to shell out $250 up front to be able to see pictures of my “matches”.

match.com – Eh. I like it less, but it’s ok so far. They let me do a bit more than eharmony for free, but not much. On the other hand, they’re ten bucks cheaper per month, and let you pay by the month. I might actually pay for this one. Maybe. They keep trying to guilt me into paying for the service by telling me it’ll show people that I’m “serious about meeting someone.” And I was raised Catholic–guilt trips don’t work on me.

chemistry.comI haven’t formed much of an opinion of this one yet. It seems less popular, though. And I don’t think I like the setup as much as either of the previous two. They keep telling me I need to pay to do much of anything too, though. “Hey, lookit, Liz! This guy is interested in you! But you can’t see even what he looks like without shelling out twenty five bucks! Way to cockblock you, right?!” That gets annoying real quick. I might drop this one. I certainly can’t afford to pay for more than one site. I’m both cheap and broke. Also, I am not sure I get how they’re affiliated with match.com yet are still viable. It doesn’t make sense to me.

okcupid – Surprisingly, I like the free site the best so far. I like their set-up. It seems more laid back. It’s a little smart-assy, which I always appreciate. Plus, yanno, free. That’s always a bonus.

So, I am realizing that I need to do more than just join the sites and wait for the hotties to find me. This is the sticking point with me. I’ve always been, in the past, very reticent of putting myself out there. I readily admit to being both fairly oblivious and bad at meeting new people of any sort. I’m afraid of… lord, I don’t even know what I’m afraid of. Everything, really. So, it has dawned on me that I should and really need to be more proactive about this. Start winking at some of those hotties, or something.

That’s going to be the rub. Making myself do that. More proactive. Less scaredy-baby-wussy girl.

I’ll let you know how that works out. But probably not today. Give me a few to get used to the idea of accepting rejection from perfect strangers, first.



19 Responses to “internet dating, eh?”

  1. psssht, more like YOU will do the rejecting once the internet gets a peek at your hotness! the ratio of dudes to ladies is usually pretty high, so you can be choosy. hey, you could always check out casual encounters on craiglist….;)

  2. I am a total hottie (we call ourselves PerfectoMen but I wouldn’t expect you to know that).

    I will date you based on this one post.

    • is that the royal we? because if you actually are royalty, i’ll date you based on that fact. as long as you’re not the destitute sort of royalty.

  3. I met Mrs. SLW on an online dating site … it was a local one, not one of the big national ones. We chatted for hours online, she almost scared me away with mention of a daughter, I almost scared her away because I was seven years younger than her. We met at a coffee shop, talked for hours, wandered over to a Chinese place, talked for a few more hours, walked on the beach and sat in my apartment for more hours. Our first date was twelve hours long. She’s had me ever since then.

    The reason online dating works is that it is based on you talking to each other. Sure there’s a picture so you can verify the other party is the preferred gender and purdy enough to perk your interest, but from that point on it’s about conversation.

    • That’s kinda what I like about it, SLW. Or at least, think I’ll like about it. I much prefer to at least partially get to know a guy before I figure out if I want to date him or not. So that initial phase of emailing back and forth can really make or break it for me.

      And I’ve already had a couple… uh, winners.

  4. 7 Momo

    I’ve only tried Match and eHarmony, but out of the two, I liked Match a lot better. If you want to go to the free route with Match, you can have your profile for free and have your user name be your screen name and say that in your profile so you can start talking to people without paying. Other people are doing that too. I actually had success with Match – met some nice guys, dated one for about a year.

    eHarmony just took forever! You send questions back and forth and back and forth… but only like 4 or 5 and it just didn’t feel like I was really getting to know anyone. There was also some stipulation that I should be open to meeting any guy who met my criteria, even if they were super far away – I was looking more for dating in a city I wasn’t super familiar with, so long-distance wasn’t for me.

    I hope this wasn’t too long and rambling but was somewhat helpful. Best of luck!

  5. 8 TK

    Isn’t eHarmony the one that’s run by an Evangelical Christian minister and doesn’t allow gays? Just saying, you know, full disclosure and all.

    Best of luck, kiddo. Putting yourself out there ain’t easy, so kudos.

    • No shit, really? Well, if I hadn’t already been planning on quitting that one, that would change my mind right there.

  6. 10 sosumi

    I got kicked off of eH after responding to the following questions (response (e) is mine). True story.

    1. When in a relationship, how much personal space do you generally find you need?

    (a) I don’t have a great need for “personal space”. I like lots of together time.

    (b) I find my time spent working is enough personal time, the rest I like to spend with my partner.

    (c) As long as I can get one night a week to myself, my personal space needs are met.

    (d) When I’m with my partner I’m completely there, but I do need considerable time for personal reflection.

    (e) Other: I like to be with my partner when I’m horny, the rest of the time I like to hang out with my friends and get drunk.

    2. Which of the following scenarios would make you more nervous?

    (a) making a presentation to 500 people

    (b) a long car ride with a person you just met

    (c) talking about your deepest fears with your lover

    (d) meeting with the president of the company you work for

    (e) Other: having to cuddle with my partner for an extended period of time after we have sex.

    3. How much ongoing stress do you have in your life?

    (a) I have almost no stress in my life.

    (b) I have a small amount of ongoing stress.

    (c) I have a fairly high level of constant stress.

    (d) I have a very stressful life.

    (e) Other: Since I’m single, I have no stress in my life at all. I expect that will change if and when I ever become involved in a serious relationship with a woman.

    4. Are you a passionate person?

    (a) I’m an extremely passionate person, about everything!

    (b) With a little discussion, I can get passionate about many issues.

    (c) I have a couple of issues that raise my blood pressure.

    (d) I have opinions, but I don’t consider myself passionate about them.

    (e) Other: I’m passionate when I’m in the sack with a good looking babe, otherwise I’m pretty laid back.

  7. 11 SCG

    I went through the exact same thing about 7 years ago – I just bit the bullet, wrote a scathingly honest profile on Yahoo personals (didn’t even put up a picture) and met some amazing people. At the time I didn’t think there were any single guys my age without too much baggage, but I was pleasantly surprised. Steven is right about the talking thing – it was so important. After 2 weeks of instant messaging with a particularly interesting guy, we met in person and were married less than a year later! I couldn’t be happier with the results. Check out Yahoo Personals – it is much cheaper than some of those other places.

  8. 12 NotesonMyBathroomMirror

    I just wanted to throw a couple of things out there, as someone who has done a lot (i.e. 2 years) of internet dating and has used all of these sites before.

    1) Eharmony, while filled with the most relationship-minded people, can be very dangerous. You are quite right in that they definitely ask you revealing and intimate questions about yourself. But on the flip side, they reveal those intimate answers to other people; people who might not be worthy of that kind of trust. Case in point: I had a good friend who dated a guy off of Eharmony. She was immediately head over heels for this guy; she felt like he was completely on her wavelength with his tastes, his values and his expectations for a relationship. They immediately started to see each other seriously…and then things started to change. Come to find out, he didn’t approve of her profession (she was an actress), her lifestyle (living in the city), or how she spent her money. It was little stuff at first…things she had no problem acquiescing to because he was such a great guy. But before she knew it, she was giving up acting jobs, living at his house out in the suburbs away from all her friends, and giving him her money. In retrospect, it is glaringly apparent that he used the things she revealed in her EHarmony profile to make him appear like her perfect guy, just to lure her into a false sense of security so he could then force his will on her (and ultimately embezzle about $1000). I wish I could say this is the only time I encounter this on EHarmony, but I myself dated a few men from the site that definitely gave me the “controlling boyfriend” vibe…it’s just that I was on the lookout for it after my friend’s experience. Long story short, you should always be careful about what you put out there on the internet, but ESPECIALLY so in internet dating.

    2) The main complaint I hear about Match.com is that some men use it like a digital bar…and that is 100% true. Some men do use it like a digital bar…as do some ladies (such as me, but that is another set of stories all together). But here is the kicker…people meet their significant other in bars all the time. I know many people who have met, dated and married after exchanging inane small talk during a Friday night at a bar. I also know a number of people who have met, dated and married from Match.com. If you don’t want to be a member of the “digital bar” crowd, simply say so in your profile. If you mention, right from the jump, that you are looking for a serious relationship (as many users do), you will cut down on the number of people that message you right away. Of course, you won’t get as much free food, but you’re probably okay with that (just kidding fellas…I always offer to pay for my own meal and frequently go Dutch on my first dates).

    3) Chemistry.com…they measure the compatibility with someone based on the length of your middle finger. Think about that, and then decide if there is anyway a service like that could be worth $50.00 per month.

    4) OkCupid is hands down the most fun of any dating site…it also has the most weirdos, but that in and of itself is reason enough to keep jerkin’ around with it. I have met some of the coolest people I know from this site, most of whom I am still friends with. And if the weirdos bother you, OkCupid has a rather extensive set of email and IM filters that you can strengthen on your settings page…for instance, if you really don’t want to be emailed by that 56 year old guy in Ottawa anymore, you can restrict the age range that can message you, as well as the distance from your current zip code.

    Now that I have given you my opinion of your current options, might I throw a couple of other ideas out there for your consideration?

    1) Gk2gk.com also has some of the coolest kids on the internet just pokin’ around and seeing what sticks. I mean any site that asks you what your gaming system is and gives the Wii as one of your options for selection is someplace that simultaneously manages to take itself seriously and sarcastically at the same time. Plus, most of these people are serious about looking for “geek love”, not just some random dinner with a chick. Be prepared though; in my experience, correspondence will go on for a while before someone gets the guts to suggest a first date.

    2) Before you pay to join a generic site (when you can join generic OkCupid for free), might I suggest you try something more tailored to who you are? There are a number of great examples of sites and services that start by building off of things you already enjoy…and no, I’m not talking about SingleCatLovers.com (but I am not here to judge, so if that’s your thing…). For instance, it is clear you love to read; this is a great thing, but not something that is generally found on a lot of dating sites (Nine Match profiles out of ten list “the paper” or “the back of a cereal box” as the last thing the person read). Visit SingleBookLovers.com and read some of the profiles they have for the currently available men on their site. If you find even one that interests you, it is only $27 for the year to sign up and at the very least, you might find someone else to discuss great literature with. The same can be said for the Classical Music Lovers Exchange, the various vegan/animal rights niche sites out there, OutdoorRamblers.com, etc., etc. Long story short…you’re not generic, so don’t date generically.

    3)I have to somewhat sarcastically recommend Hurrydate.com. Make no mistake…this can quickly turn into a complete disaster. However, I have met three wonderful men from speed dating, one of which I am still friends with and all of which I probably could have been in a relationship with if “my light had been on”. The best way to do this is to go with a girlfriend, have a couple of the discounted drinks before the “dating” starts, and compare notes afterward.

    4) Finally, have you thought about just trying to meet new people, not necessarily meeting someone for a relationship? I see you are concerned you are not good at this, and that is totally fair, but if you have never tried it before, might I suggest Meetup.com? Besides the fact that they have many singles groups, these kids do some pretty awesome stuff. Last weekend, I was involved in a fifty person water balloon fight on the National Mall. If that is not a way to spend a Saturday, I don’t know what is.

    And that, as they say, is my two cents. Of course, after two years of this stuff, I am still single, so what the heck do I know! :)

    Sorry if I kind of hijacked your tread!

  9. 13 Shadows of Dakaron

    Well.

    All I’m gonna say is be very, very careful. I did the online dating thing for awhile. I had three profiles up; one at match, one at yahoo personals, and one at true. I also applied at eharmony and another one (can’t remember the name of it now). Eharmony rejected me (I know, unbelievable, huh?). I had the three profiles up for three years before I really started to get to know someone…over a year ago, I started dating the girl I was chatting with on match. A psycho redhead who believed her dog had as much importance as I did and believed that sex had to be equivalent to rape to be enjoyable. It took a lot of work to make her dump me. I did it that way because I was scared that if I dumped her, she’d stalk me and kill me and feed her to her dog.

    Soooo….to make a long story short…..just be very careful, and don’t be afraid to be picky. Yeah, a lot of people meet a good person online…but it’s also easier to pretend to be a good person.

    And don’t forget to venture away from your comfort zone. Just because the person has a common interest, or doesn’t like your interest, doesn’t mean they’re not meant to be someone you need to meet.

  10. 14 Sarah

    Hi, I saw a link to this on Pajiba and I just wanted to wish you best of luck!

    The pros I have seen with online dating is that you can you scope out “the market” so to speak and narrow down what you are interested in. OK Cupid can let you narrow your searches, and all their personality questions help see if you are reasonably compatible with people. Exchanging a lot of emails is a good way to screen someone before you meet them.

    The cons are that it’s still like “real life.” There are still skeezeballs, nice guys you aren’t attracted to, and guys you like but who don’t notice you.

    BUT it can lead to success. For what it’s worth, I went on my first date this weekend with an OK Cupid guy and we seem perfectly suited for one another! We hung out for 6 hours (not unlike someone else who commented earlier.) He lives 2 hours away, so we would have never met without the internets.

  11. 15 Linda

    I tried internet dating for the first time a few months ago – had 4 really nice dates with different guys, and am now in a relationship with the final date guy. And am super happy! So it can work:) I used RSVP.com – not sure if they have that in the US, I am in Oz.

  12. 16 dene

    I know someone who’s getting married in october with a lovely woman he met off Match! They actually seem pretty perfect for each other, though you would never think so by the way they look (He’s a super tall jewish boy and she’s a short Indian girl.)

    Also, one of my friends met her boyfriend off Nerve.com, which she said is kinda like an “alternative dating site.” Not sure about the fees though.

    Good luck!

  13. You could just use your blog for it. You’ve got enough readers. Where are you, anyway? If you’re in Chicago, do you want to get a cup of coffee?

  14. 18 Zeebedida

    Hi there!

    Like Sarah, I followed the link from Pajiba…
    Just to add my two cent now… I’m gay (but online dating differs only in the way that guys pretend to be girls and… urgh.), and I have had my share of psychos found on some sites. Online dating is somewhat obligatory when the dating pool is so… thin (10% of society, blablabla, women are crazy, even and especially when they’re married and curious…).

    As others said before me, the talking (and the proper use of grammar, which for me is a huge turn on) helps a LOT in deciding who you wanna meet in real life.
    Mrs Zeebedida caught me that way on meetic.com… 2 years and counting now! She was living 350 kms away, and finally moved in with me in Paris : a huge trust is needed, but it so worths it in the end.

    So be careful, and do sometimes (often) play hard to get : being the fake hunted is much more fun (and safe)!


  1. 1 the beginning of my adventures in internet dating « lizzie borden took her axe…

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