Tuesday, November 20, 2012

I kissed (online) dating goodbye: Part 1

*That title may not make sense or be funny unless you were homeschooled, are a Duggar, or read anything by Elizabeth Elliot. If it doesn't/isn't, consider yourself blessed and add it to your list of things to be thankful for this week.

Let me set this up for you. It was a lonely Saturday night. I had been doing homework all day and was spending my evening bumming DVR'd episodes of Parenthood while crying into my sweat pants. Let's add some Ray LaMontagne and rainy weather for good measure. And let's also add everyone being busy and occupied and having babies and husbands. I'm sure there was chocolate in there too.

Do you see where this is going? Let's be clear. This is a judgement-free zone. And I'm practicing vulnerability by sharing this with you. So let's agree to laugh at all I'm about to share. No pity parties. No "bless your heart." No "awwwwww!" with puppy-dog sadness in your eyes.

Okay, so we've got a lonely night, some tears over a tv show...it's late...I'm feeling angry and yet motivated. And then I start hearing the voices of several friends who had been encouraging me to give online dating a try. So I give it a Russell Westbrook, "Why Not?" and set up a profile. (This is where I need to tell you that I don't even like the words "online" and "dating" much less the IDEA of it.  I need to tell you that I felt really conflicted about it. I need to tell you that I felt incredibly stupid and desperate and embarrassed.) So, blah blah blah, I set it up and paid the stupid fee, and told myself I would re-evaluate after 30 days. *Let's be clear. I was super safe and had a buddy who always knew when I was meeting someone, where I was going to be, and followed up to make sure I was still alive. I never gave my last name, the company I worked for, or any other type of identifying information.

So if you don't know how this works, you have a profile, you're matched with people and can review their profile, and then you can email them through the website if you're interested. It's basically a bunch of boxes you check and a couple of paragraphs you write about yourself and then photos. It all felt/read/looked very superficial and I hated that.

Here are some actual emails I got in my first 7 days of online dating: 
"How is your day? This is the start just give it a chance."
"I like your profile."
"I saw your profile and you sounded really interesting."
"I am wondering if you play an instrument? Is a music festival something you would enjoy? Do you like Oklahoma? Plan on staying?"
"You seem very interesting."
"Hi, you came up on my matches and I got a good laugh from your description of yourself."
"I like your hair."
"You have nice hair."
"Hi. You sound interesting."

Let me tell you what 9 out of 10 dudes put in their "About Me" section: 
"I'm a laid back/easy going guy...family oriented...I like to have a good time...I enjoy sports...I love going to the lake...I like to go out but I also enjoy staying in and watching a movie...I like traveling...I'm looking for my best friend who shares my interests...I don't do drama...I want someone who is funny and confident..." *Insert mirror pic or arm shot, picture next to dead animal, picture at the lake, picture with a beer in hand, picture grilling some type of meat, picture to prove I have friends, picture of me with my family to prove I'm close with my family, picture next to a girl to prove that girls like me, picture of me in a wedding to show I'm not afraid of commitment, picture of me with my dogs, picture of me on a beach/next to a mountain to prove I'm outdoorsy.

I'm sure you're really impressed at the detailed and not-at-all generic information you can learn about people from their profile. I know you're also shocked at the extremely clear and adult communication I received in that first week. I know for me, personally, I was wondering, "Where have you guys been all my life?!"

That's all for Part 1. I'll spill the beans now and tell you I did go on a few dates, I have deleted my profile, and I am not in a relationship. But there are some good laughs ahead so stay tuned.


The Madfarmer said...

Um. Yeah. Just so you know, it's not any better for the guys. It's different in a few ways, (for example, all girls are reading the Hunger Games, they like to both go out on the town and stay at home and just snuggle, and all they want in a guy is just want someone they can really trust.)

I laughed out loud at this title. I got it.

Abby said...

I can relate so much to this post. I have tried out Match & eHarmony...both profiles created after one too many glasses of wine. Needless to say, I didn't find the man of my dreams.

And don't even get me started on Christian Mingle. It was so bad, I quit checking it after less than a week. I wouldn't recommend that to anyone...unless of course they like super conservative guys posing with assault rifles and 45 yr olds using pickup lines like, "I can tell by your smile, you are a real woman of God." Ugh.

Kendra Thomson said...

ahhhhh...just have to laugh...and cringe...and nod. Sooooo been there. I can't wait to read future stories!