In an attempt to be a normal human, and to take 2014 by the horns (THE HORNS, people!) I decided to do something that might be a gigantic mistake.
NO, I didn’t dye my hair blonde. Don’t be absurd. I look terrible blonde. Tried it once, in grad school. I looked like I was wearing a terrible wig. I immediately went to a salon and had them fix it because it was too embarrassing to leave the house with. (Well, obviously I had to leave the house to go to the salon…I wore a hat.) Then I did it AGAIN years LATER but that time it was an accident. So I just dyed it back myself, because I was poor then. Anyway, in summation: I’m not a blonde, nor will I ever BE a blonde.
Nope. What I DID do is sign up for online dating.
See, here’s the thing: you don’t meet a lot of people hanging around your house. You meet your cat, and sometimes the old guy who lives downstairs and coughs a lot and Dad talked to him once and said “he’s just waiting to die, his wife’s dead and he’s so depressed” and I said, “how did you find all that out from talking to him for, like, five SECONDS?” and Dad said, “Well, I might have guessed parts of that.” You sometimes meet package deliverymen and Chinese food deliverymen and maintenance men. None of these people are really dating potential. This isn’t a porn. No one’s showing up at my door asking “Did anyone call for a PLUMBER?” and then bow-chicka-wow-wow music’s going to start. Also, ew, that’s how you get the clap.
So even though the last time I tried this online dating situation I had…well, let’s just say the worst luck ever…I decided to give it another go. It would be nice to date someone. Or maybe a few someones. See what happens. It is a thing that people do, right? This dating thing? Yes. Yes, it is.
So with the support of my friends, who were all “that is a very good idea! You do that! You will meet someone awesome!” I filled out pages and pages of questions and silly blurbs and whether I liked dogs or cats (WHY MUST I CHOOSE?) and how very, very much I love long walks on the beach and getting caught in the rain and laughing like those people in the online dating commercials while eating pasta by candlelight. Online dating commercials about meeting the love of your life on the internet can’t lie, right? RIGHT?
However! I have learned some things from the online dating site that I think are important for people to bear in mind when attempting to online date. And I thought, should I share them with the internet?
Well, what the hell else am I going to do with them? The cat doesn’t care. He’s napping at the moment. As he does.
THINGS YOU LEARN FROM ONLINE DATING
(Note: I’m not telling you WHAT site I signed up for; I think they’re all pretty much the same, other than you pay for some, and you don’t for others, and there’s one that hates the gays and athiests. Or at least it used to. I think I remember reading it grudgingly decided the gays and athiests had money to spend, too, and therefore changed things up a little bit.)
Many people can’t spell and make no attempt to do so. It’s not going to surprise you that I actually have it written in my profile that I’m a grammar nerd and there are extra points given to people that contact me that write well. Actual emails I’ve received on the site: “YOUR PRETY,” “what r u doin,” and “its cold in winter.” Yes, I realize that sometimes, a very good heart beats within the body of a person who cannot express themselves in their native language, but it still makes me cringe. Also, if your entire profile paragraph is an all-caps “TWO HEATS BEET AS ONE I AM LOKING FOR MY SOLEMATE” and you “flirt” with me (don’t ask, these sites are kind of ridiculous) I’m not replying to you. I’m not a cobbler. You’re going to have to keep looking for your solemate, my friend. All my best to you.
People can be very aggressive and persistent. One guy “flirted” and then “favorited” me and then sent me a message (which was “ANY LUCK HERE?” and that’s not at all off-putting) and we were not even a little compatable so I sent him one of the pre-written “no-thanks” responses and then the next time I signed on he immediately popped up as wanting to chat with me so I clicked the “I’m busy” button and seriously, dude? I feel like maybe you’re chasing me down the sidewalk. Down, boy. DOWN. (Also, why so interested, when I don’t meet any of your criteria? You wrote those damn criteria. If you hadn’t written you were only interested in young, young women and “no fatties” I MIGHT have replied, but since you did, I was all, “nope” and wrote you off as a dick.)
The particular site I signed up for doesn’t seem to understand how “matching” works. You put in your criteria (like, age and such) and the site’s supposed to send you daily matches, only my matches aren’t within my criteria, so either I’ve broken the site, or they don’t care what I like. Or maybe they know better than me. Do you think the site knows better than me, and I’d really love dating a 60-year-old with kids the same age as I am? I guess we could hit up the Golden Corral for the Senior Buffet. Thrifty!
People are either very vague or very specific in what they’re looking for. Some people don’t fill anything out, so you don’t know if you’d fit their criteria at all, and some people are all “I want a woman who’s 5’7, athletic and toned, with red hair, green eyes, 20 years younger than I am, liberal, only has a high school education, and has a cat.” This seems extremely limiting to me. Who is this person? And does she exist? I think you might have better luck contacting Warren to build you a Buffybot.
Apparently quite a few people don’t bother to read the information you took time to post. I get contacted by people regularly (that sounds braggy…please note that it’s not. These people are not anyone I want to hang with) and then I look at their profiles and the person they’re looking for is my exact opposite. Did you read my profile? Or did you just notice I’m female and live in your area? I’m confused.
Having conversations with these people is like pulling teeth. OK, anyone who emails me knows exactly what kind of emails I write. They look very much like one of my blog posts. I don’t know how to reply to an email of “yup” or “going to get food now.” How do you even answer that? You could start some sort of new conversation, like “let’s talk about your favorite cheeses” or something, but I’ve found in the past you’re not allowed to be kooky until the person’s known you for a while, or they think you’re insane and run off screaming. So apparently I’m in for a lot of back-and-forth of “Hi”/”Hi”/”How are you”/”Good”/”Weather’s nice today”/”Yes”/”How was work”/”Busy”/”Here too” and SINCERELY, I’m climbing the walls with boredom at this point.
Stop asking for more pictures. OK, I have pictures up on this site? But not, like, ALL the pictures. I’m undecided about whether or not I’m going to stay there, and also I find it creepy to put a billion photos on a dating site and then a stranger could see me at the grocery store and be all, “OMG, YOU ARE LOOKIN’ FOR LOVE ONLINE I RECOGNIZE YOU YO” or something. So people email me and their opening gambit is, “do you have more photos?” and what’s funny is, THEY hardly have any photos so I’m not sure if they want tit-shots or what the point here is. One guy was displeased and was all “I’m quitting the SITE” when I told him nope and one guy was all “OK, cool” but I’m pretty sure our conversation about dinner, weather, and such has come to a natural conclusion so we’ve broken up and I’ve already gone through the five stages of grief and I’ve come out the other side a better person for it.
What have we learned?
I’m very bad at this. I have been informed by a friend who does this on the regular I need to be more open-minded in order for this to work, and also maybe it would help if I lowered my standards a little. The former, probably. That would be better in a lot of aspects in my life. The latter…I don’t know. How can you force yourself to be attracted to someone? I’ve only had my mind changed twice, romantically, about someone (I mean, from my first impression to falling for them) in my life, and I’m kind of old. Maybe some people can become attracted to someone after some time and getting to know someone, but I’m weird about such things. I like the click. Everyone who’s important in my life, who’s been long-term important in my life, either romantically or on a friendship level: there’s been that click, where it’s like meeting someone you’ve known all along but have been separated from for whatever reason, and then you found them again. Is that naïve, waiting for that? Yeah, maybe. Is it likely I’ll get over that? Probably not, but I suppose anything can happen.
If anyone wants to tell me a., how to do this correctly, b., if there’s a dating site for internet geeks who like books and where people can SPELL, dammit, where I would be in high demand, or c., that they have a brother/cousin/male BFF I’d be perfect for, I’m down for all the advice. Comment it up, yo.
Stay tuned, jellybeans. WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT. Will Amy go on an actual out-of-the-house date with one of these people? Will she give up and delete her whole profile because the whole thing gives her the willies? Will she be psychokilled by an internet murderer? ONLY TIME WILL TELL.