Sometime around the end of August, I was bored one day and decided to randomly sign up for an online dating site. I am not entirely sure why. I don’t think I was looking for a “boyfriend”, but I thought it would get me out doing things in the city. And it would probably be fun, at least.
I had a few friends who had signed up for this site in the past and had a good experience, so why not? My one friend had just been telling me about an online dating blitz she had been on where she scheduled something ridiculous like six dates in one weekend. So I was like “I could totally do that!” (no I can’t. I didn’t have that many in one weekend, but in the beginning I did have about five in four days and it was extremely stressful. Never again.)
Technically I have never really “dated” before, so I was intrigued to see how the whole online thing worked. I knew it had the potential to be super awkward, but I am a pretty outgoing person and I feel like I can talk to pretty much anyone. So I thought I would be able to counteract any awkwardness that might crop up.
I kept very very quiet about any references to dating on here, because at the time I was seriously job-hunting and I didn’t think writing about my adventures in dating would seem very professional if a potential employer happened to find my blog. I feel like enough time has passed now though that it is safe for me to talk about.
Anyway, so I perfected my profile, which was an awkward thing to write, let me tell you. That may seem weird, since I have a blog where I basically write about myself all the time, but describing yourself is awkward.
Pretty much. But I think my profile was pretty good and got at least my personality across, so I chose a couple of photos and signed on up. I got something ridiculous like 200 messages in three days (I am sure it’s only because I’m female), which was overwhelming. I made my profile private pretty quickly after that because I just couldn’t take going through all the messages. Reading them all was like a job. Also, I cannot be a serial dater. I just don’t have it in me.
So of all the messages I received, I would say only about 20 guys seemed potentially “datable”, and after a few messages back and forth I was able to whittle that number down even further. I had a pretty thorough screening process. Any message that said only “hey,” “what’s up,” “sup,” “hi, how r u?”, or any variation of only “hello, how are you?” did not get a response from me. I like to be won with words and I felt like I put enough in my profile that you could get a decent sense of my personality, so anything less than four words was not going to cut it.
I was also not a fan of people asking me out in their first message to me. Yes, I know the whole point of signing up for an online dating site is that probably you are actually going to go out on a date, but I was a little wary about the whole thing and I would prefer to have a few conversations before I just jumped right in to the job interview-type awkwardness that is a first date.
I also had a few people ask me in their first message if I would like to be Facebook friends. No, thank you, I would not. Facebook is reserved for actual friends of mine, and not potential internet weirdos who may or may not want to murder me and then wear my skin. I wasn’t even ready to tell them my first name.
It’s certainly not Facebook.
Speaking of weirdos, you know what’s full of weirdos? The internet. I had so many random bizarre messages, and looking back I so wish I saved them!
But I remember a few.
One guy sent me this picture:
Which appears to be of a man on his knees holding out a credit card to a lady. The man who sent this asked if I was “into that” and if I would like to be his “princess.” Uh, no thanks, weird.
In another guy’s first message he said “Hey, nice calves. We should get those in some heels out on a date.” I did not respond (obviously), so a few days later he wrote “Hey there, I think you have great calves. Maybe I could see them in a pair of heels on a date?”
Um, I heard you the first time buddy. I didn’t respond because that’s creepy. I also don’t wear heels all that often because I am already tall. This also seemed a little too “It puts the lotion on Its skin” to me. He got blocked and deleted.
One seemingly normal guy messaged me and then I looked at his profile and saw that for his ideal first date he wrote that he would like to gaze romantically into his date’s eyes while sitting on a beach at sunset. He seemed funny in the rest of his profile, so I thought he was probably kidding about that and it would be safe to joke around with him about it. So I told him I thought the beach-sunset-eye-gazing thing was cheesy (because it is), and I probably wouldn’t be able to gaze all romantically into his eyes without laughing. He got all offended and told me I shouldn’t make fun of people in my first message to them. I told him I disagreed and actually I PREFER it when people make fun of me in their first message to me. He told me not to contact him again, and then he amended his profile to include “I don’t know if I would ACTUALLY like to do that on a first date, I just said that to keep people who don’t understand romance away from me.”
Don’t understand romance? Oh I understand romance, my friend, but that is CHEESY with a capital C and a capital HEESY. That is “I enjoy long walks on the beach…” kind of cheesy.
I also got quite a few messages asking me something along the lines of “Why is someone like you on this site?” And I am not sure what good can come from asking this question. I guess online dating can be considered shady (not completely unwarranted), but I know quite a few people who have met their lovers online and have eventually gotten married, and they are normal, attractive people who I would consider to be a good catch. Are you suggesting that I am at least moderately normal and attractive so I should be able to snag a man in real life? Or are you suggesting that something must be wrong with me if I have to “resort” to online dating?
Either way, I don’t see how that question is supposed to be complimentary.
At my age, I think it’s hard to meet people if the traditional avenues are out for you (school, work, etc.) That leaves through friends and bar. I have a lot of friends but I know all of the friends of most of my friends. And bar? When I am at the bar I like to have fun with my friends, put glasses and beards on people, possibly entangle dolls into the beards, and make them play fake plastic saxophones (and possibly drink from them). I am not looking to pick up. I have a really hard time with that because I just find it awkward. I really don’t know how to actually talk to people in a bar setting if I don’t know them.
Anyway, I got some weird messages, is what I am getting at. I did have a few great ones too, but those aren’t as fun to write about. Also, in browsing the profiles of the men who would send me messages, I noticed a few trends:
1. Most people are borderline illiterate.
So many misspellings and grammatical errors it made me sad for our planet. I even said in my profile that I love proper spelling and grammar so if you write me a message that says “your beautiful” I will probably not be responding. Still, countless people wrote me messages messing up their your/you’re, there/they’re/their, then/than. Or spelling countless things wrong. No. Dislike.
Let’s not though, because I prefer this:
But is is rare.
2. Everyone is a world traveler. Seriously. Everyone looooves to travel, and they love to rave on about all the places they’ve been and how much they love to travel, and bonus points if you also love to travel.
I get it, I get it. You travel, therefore you must be worldly and cultured. Good for you.
3. Everyone is down-to-earth, laid-back, easy going, has a good sense of humour, is fun-loving, loves life, loves to laugh, and uses various other generic descriptive (yet undescriptive) phrases to describe themselves.
PROVE IT. If you have a good sense of humour, BE FUNNY. Just saying you have a good sense of humour does not equal having a good sense of humour. Examples please! And down-to-earth, what does that even mean? I feel like people say that because they heard it somewhere and just thought it would sound good.
4. I have never seen so many bathroom mirror pics, self-portraits, and shirtless men.
But my very favourite are the introspective photos where the subject is looking away from the camera all brooding and pondering life, when clearly he is taking the photo himself. Bonus points if he is shirtless and scratching his chin.
Also, if all of your photos are self-portraits, I am just going to go ahead and assume you have no one who will take a picture for you, and therefore you have no friends.
And GEEZ, I was originally going to talk about a few of the dates I actually went on, but then I started rambling on about everything else and now this is too long. So, to be continued next week. With cartoons. Because a few weirdos slipped through the cracks in my screening, and I definitely have a few stories…
Have a great weekend!