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Someone’s doing this wrong. It may well be me.

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.

Yeah, I didn't even look this good. There might have been weeping, though.

Yeah, I didn’t even look this good. There might have been weeping, though.

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!

My new husband! Only a couple years younger than Dad, so they could be besties!

My new husband! Only a couple years younger than Dad, so they could be besties!

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.

There you go, boys, I found you your perfect match.

There you go, boys, I found you your perfect match.

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.

Sooooo booooooreddddd

Sooooo booooooreddddd

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.

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About lucysfootball

I'm not the girl with the most cake. Someday. SOMEDAY. View all posts by lucysfootball

49 responses to “Someone’s doing this wrong. It may well be me.

  • mfennvt

    Lower your standards? Ew. Just the thought makes me twitch. That’s so old school “But Amy, the boys won’t like you if you’re so picky/mean/uppity!”

    Like

  • cynthiaw

    You didn’t even mention what your DAD THINKS! Given the way that he feels about internet people, I thought for sure that there would be a section about how your dad thinks that you should delete the whole thing before you get ax murdered.

    Eh… I don’t think that you should lower your standards. I got told that a lot when I was younger and it wasn’t helpful. What WAS helpful was reasserting my standards and then hunting my husband down like a gazelle in the Serengeti. For reals – we were friends, but he was CLUELESS – I practically had to strip down and yell, I LIKE YOU, ALREADY. LIKE, LIKE YOU. But it’s all good – we will have been together for 20 years next Christmas.

    Not that that is helpful for you at all. Except – DON’T LOWER YOUR STANDARDS. Except MAYBE the grammar thing – I had to let that go. Not that he wrote hOw R U? or anything lame-o like that. I just had to help him learn some grammar rules – like the difference between less and fewer and on and about and when to use a semi-colon and stuff like that. And I STILL have to edit anything important that he sends out for work, but it’s better now because I only have to change one or two things in a document instead of 30. And it’s totally worth it because, despite his poor grammar education, he’s an awesome person and a great husband and he makes me LAUGH and LAUGH and LAUGH and that’s important.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Dad is as-yet unaware. If a date happens, I’ll tell him…but I figure there’s no reason to freak him out this early on in the game. He’s going to freak out enough when I tell him, anyway…might as well put it off for a while. Sigh.

      I’m trying to loosen up on the grammar, but there are some things I can’t let go. You’d be surprised at some of the things these people write in their profiles and think are ok. Also, everyone writes “I don’t want anyone that plays games.” Hell, who does? I think that’s just understood, guys. You can just leave that part out.

      Like

  • earthandink

    I did it once, and met a couple of seriously awful people that I didn’t like much, who were surprised at my age. (Note: they were my age, but wanting to date 15 years younger. Then write that! I don’t want people who want that. I put my real age in there. Hello!) Now, obviously, I’m a long way away from doing this again, what with medical stuff needing to be done and wanting to move across the country.

    But I would totally do it again. I think it’s good not to go out with people who seem creepy. Trust your instincts. Don’t lower your standards. You may not go out on many dates, but you might meet a good one.

    The other thing: meet up. When I move, I plan on joining meet up and doing lots of fun things and seeing if I make friends (and maybe a lurve connection) there.

    But for now, I’ll live vicariously through you.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Everyone wants to date someone so much younger than they are! What’s with that? I mean, I don’t want someone a billion years older or younger than me, but within 5 years either way – that seems ok, right? These men are all my age and want someone 18-22. Seriously, guys? STOP IT.

      You are more than welcome to live vicariously through me. I don’t know if we’re going to have much in the way of adventures, but you can definitely come along!

      Like

      • earthandink

        I know, right? I totally don’t understand wanting to be with someone really young. They won’t get your references. They won’t know your music. They won’t know what it was like before Ellen came out. (Different. Very different.) I seriously want someone in the 5 to 7 years in either direction area. Also, no offense to 18 year olds, I’ve known some wonderful 18 year olds, but they’re … well, kids! (I have a strict rule that I don’t date anyone I could have given birth to.)

        Like

        • lucysfootball

          Me, either. I don’t get really old OR really young. Really old reminds me of my dad, and listen, I adore my dad, but no thanks as a romantic possibility. And really young – well, I’m with you. If I could have birthed you, you’re not getting near my ladybits, kiddo.

          Like

  • ScorpionGlow

    Like you, I have no clue how they match you to the oddest characters that aren’t even in an age bracket that they’ve asked you about in terms of beginning age and cut-off point. If I wanted someone in his 50’s or 60’s, I could find one without a lot of effort. It’s extremely bizarre. I don’t know anyone who has had real success with it. I also agree about not posting too many photos. You have no real idea who is on the other side and what they’re truly like.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      I know a lot of people who’ve had success, but they must know some secret that I don’t. I should poll them or something.

      The photo thing is weird, right? I’m glad you agree. I just think putting up a million photos of myself up there seems a little too stalker-invitational.

      I think maybe I’ve said no to so many of their age-appropriate matches (that didn’t match other things – like, THEY weren’t looking for MY age range, etc.) they’re digging around the bottom of the barrel, match-wise, for me now. I’m going to start getting college kids and great-grandpas soon.

      Like

      • ScorpionGlow

        LOL. I have heard some absolute horror stories, one of which involved a murder, so I question a lot of what goes on via these sites.

        I definitely feel like posting a lot of photos is an invitation for trouble. No one wants to be approached by someone they do not know simply because they saw your photo on-line and now think it’s an invitation to be approached. It’s not.

        It’s amazing how so many men want to date children (18-25, and a 25 year old is probably smarter than them, so that won’t last!), but if I say no to someone six years older than me, I am “being a bitch”. No, I’m just being realistic. My boyfriend is two years older than me and honestly, I feel like that’s my cut-off. LOL.

        I’ve been in relationships with guys that were younger and I don’t see anything wrong with it, even if I did get asked if I was trolling frat parties for them. LOL. I did not appreciate the few 50+ guys that were sent my way. I’m still young enough to find that creepy. If you’re closer to my father’s age, I don’t need to be going out with you.

        Like

        • lucysfootball

          So far, nothing good’s come of this site…but I’m still hanging in there. We’ll see what happens.

          I do NOT want to date children. Or old men. Can’t I get someone within about 5 years, either way, of my age? That’s not too much to ask, is it? I mean, that’s a nice 10-year span. You’d think SOMEONE would fit in there? Sigh.

          Like

  • thelesbiannextdoor

    This probably doesn’t help much, since I am gay, but I met my wife online 10 years ago. She was miraculously on the site that does not allow gays, and I was on one that was exclusively gay. Not sure how we found each other, but we did! Good luck wading through the pool of crazies :)

    P.S. Even in the gay community we worry about axe murderers. When my co-worker told me she was worried about that when she heard we were meeting at my house for the first time, I told her, “Listen, I live on the second floor. When she pulls in, I’ll look out the window. If she takes an axe out of her backseat, I won’t let her in.” :)

    Like

    • thelesbiannextdoor

      oops! I meant to put a comma, not a period after first time…for the grammar nazi in you (and me!)

      Like

    • lucysfootball

      Aw, I love this story! And I love your answer to your coworker! And congratulations to you and your wife!

      I actually know quite a few people who’ve met, and are together successfully, through dating sites. One of my best friends has been with his boyfriend for…oh, six? seven? years now, and they met online. One of my other best friends is married to someone she met on Craig’s List (and I’ve met him! And I adore him!) I read a number of blogs written by people who are together with their people they’ve met online. So I know it’s possible…I just don’t know the HOW. I think I need to take some sort of class. Ooh, maybe one of those pick-up artist classes! I could wear a tall furry hat!

      Like

  • becomingcliche

    Yep. It’s reigning here. Going to get fud.

    I’m pretty sure the dating sites use the same recommendation algorithms as Goodreads.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      They DO use the same algorithms! You solved it!

      Today’s picks were actually not terrible, so maybe it’s learning. Who knows. Maybe it read my blog and knew I was mocking it.

      I are some fud earlyer and now I am watchng teevee. Where r yr pix? I WANT MORE PIX!

      Like

  • Samantha

    Please don’t get psycho-killer murdered. Please. :(

    I don’t think you should lower your standards, unless you have some like not deal-breaker ones that people aren’t fulfilling. But it doesn’t sound like that’s the case. Perseverance is best, I suppose? I wish you lots of luck!

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      I will do my best not to be psycho-killed. Let’s just say that Amy’s Dad doesn’t let Amy go anywhere without weaponry on her. (That’s totally not a lie.)

      I don’t have many deal-breakers. Hates animals is a deal-breaker. Mean to waitstaff is a deal-breaker.

      I’ll keep trying. Can’t hurt!

      Like

  • Andreas Heinakroon

    Seriously? You don’t find speliong errorrs atraktive? What kind off supper hi standars do u have?

    Like

  • Charleen

    Yeah, I don’t know about the whole lowering your standards thing. I mean… maybe don’t write someone off completely for using the wrong form of your? But when you don’t fit ANY criteria of the person contacting you, and they don’t fit ANY of yours… that’s not the sort of thing that can be overcome.

    I’m kind of glad I never really dated. I do occasionally wonder what my would be like had I not married my high school sweetheart… but I find it highly likely that I would have just ended up alone.

    Also, if there’s NOT a dating site for grammar nerds, there totally should be. There are dating sites for every other subset of the population, why not us?

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      I’m trying to be kind about the grammar situation. I mean, my dad can’t spell, and I love him to pieces. He’s one of the best people I know. I am more attracted to someone who’s a beautiful writer…but I might need to get over that. I can accept that.

      But I totally agree. If they’re looking for a short, skinny, outdoorsy, uneducated chick, why are they contacting me? It’s all very confusing.

      I haven’t dated much. Mostly because I’m terrible at it and I give up. That’s probably not a good trait, right?

      I was informed of a geeky dating site today. I’m TOTALLY checking it out soon. Can’t hurt!

      Like

  • ravinj

    After the Buffybot comment, I think I’m in like with you. How do you feel about polyamorous relationships? :b

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Hee! That’s an awesome compliment. I’m always happy to meet a fellow Buffyite. Let me get back to you on the relationship – I’m thinking it’s a DEFINITE possibility, considering the luck (well, lack thereof) I’m having on Ye Olde Dating Site…

      Like

  • innyganker

    If it makes you feel any better I went through the same thing and I think I know which site you are using. It took over a year of weirdos and perverts popping up every time I was online and a few even creepier coffees with people but it did eventually work. I am now married to a man I met online. I did have to open my mind a bit since he was on the other side of the planet when he contacted me. I thought it would be interesting to have a pen pal from a different culture and it just grew from there.

    That said, yep, they want boobie pics and sometimes more. I only had head shots and got that “more pics?” messages all the time. I told them if they wanted to see a full body shot (with clothes of course) they would have to not be creepy and see me in person. Good luck wading through some of the “finest” men the interwebs has to offer!

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Aw, yay! That’s a very good story! I like success stories. That gives me hope. Even though you had to deal with weirdos. (Sorry you had to deal with weirdos!)

      Seriously, WHAT DO THEY WANT WITH ALL THOSE PICS. Wait, don’t tell me. I don’t even want to know. I have a very active imagination, and…no. I don’t even want to know.

      Like

  • Corvidae in the Fields

    “‘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.”

    ?

    If you do happen find the dating website that takes grammar into consideration, let your audience know. Would you, please?

    Like

  • grrgoyl

    I had almost given up on you ever updating again, so YAY YOU’RE BACK.

    Whereas I agree online dating is probably your best shot to meet someone with your busy schedule and all, UGH, what a swamp to wade through. I think any prospective suitors should just read your blog. I feel like I’ve known you for years just from doing that. Your writing seems to illustrate your personality very well (unless it’s a gross misrepresentation, in which case bravo for coming off so genuine).

    My favorite sex advice columnist, Dan Savage, says we don’t have one soulmate but rather many. He also says there are hardly any 10’s, just people we’re willing to round up to 10 from a 7 or 8. This makes a lot of sense to me. Lower your standards? Maybe, but not too much. Being lonely is better than ending up with someone who drives you crazy but you’re afraid to admit it. Dan also calls that “the price of admission” as to whether or not you’re willing to pay it. Also a “false bill of goods” if you hide all kinds of flaws until later. He has a snappy term for almost everything relationship-related.

    And I agree, emailing in text speech is not a good first impression. It makes you come off either unintelligent or lazy, and neither of those are a good look. (It’s too bad you aren’t bi; I have a friend who insists on correcting her iPhone’s predictive text errors, even though I’ve assured her again and again that I can deduce what she meant from context. It bothers her that much to look dumb. You’d get along famously!)

    Good luck. I hope you aren’t averse to sharing individual encounters, which I’m sure would be hugely entertaining with your trademark hilarity. Not that I’m laughing at your plight. Or maybe I am :)

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Oh, I’ll be back here and there. Sometimes more often than others, I suppose.

      Nope, this is my real personality. Well, once you get to know me. I don’t start out all loud and run-on-sentencey. I’m a little quiet at first with new people. Not a misrepresentation at all. (I don’t know how people do that! That always impresses me! How do they keep blog-them and real-them straight?)

      I actually thought of putting a link to my blog on the profile. Then I read through some of the profiles and thought, do I really want these people reading my blog? *shudder* But if I meet someone I like, I’ll totally let them know I blog. And they have to behave themselves, or they’ll get a terrible blog nickname like The Groper or something.

      I don’t know what I think about the soulmate thing. Some days I think there could be many; some days I think maybe there’s one that’s the best fit. Depends on my mood. I agree about there being no perfect 10s, but I think someone can SEEM like a perfect 10 to you, which is good enough. I’m very good at being alone. I’m very seldom lonely. I’m pretty secure in my own company.

      I TOTALLY correct my iPhone’s errors! All the time! They drive me insane! Aw, I love your friend. Unfortunately, not in a romantic way, but in a kindred-spirits way? Yup.

      Oh, if there’s anything worth sharing, I’ll be sharing it. Don’t worry about that. What else would I do with the stories?

      Like

  • awkwardkayla

    I’ve tried the whole dating site scenario and there’s some guys that are really nice but other guys that are pigs. I like your blog.

    Like

  • AreYouFinishedYet

    Great giggles to start off the morning. At least you have a great sense of humor about the whole thing. I’m starting to think humor can get you through an awful lot of things. Good luck!! For what it’s worth, I know quite a few people who have found amazing relationships via online dating…and all of them are married now. So it can happen :)

    Like

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