I am no longer embarrassed to say I do online dating or to admit when asked how I met someone to say online. This doesn’t mean that I think online dating works for me, but our lives are so infused with the internet now that it is no longer an embarrassing confession.
I have an okcupid account and I have a love-hate relationship with it! I go on for a couple months, get overwhelmed and shut it down, decide to give it another try only to be discouraged by all my matches and give up again. I haven’t been actively on it for a few months now, but out of curiosity checked to see if I had any unread messages this morning; I had 8. Everything from “Hi” from a guy that’s cute but puts in no effort on his page or in his message to convey why he is more than just that, to a very lengthy and detailed first message that I always feel guilty if I don’t respond to after someone put in all that effort, even if he is a skinny, scrawny, unattractive ginger!
The thing I like about okcupid better than some other free sites, is that there are a billion questions you can answer and then it shows you your compatibility scores with other people based on answering questions the same/similar, so you aren’t wasting your time going off pictures alone and talking to someone you have NOTHING in common with. You can use these scores to easily let someone down who messages you but you’re like 5% compatible and 95% enemy or something. But – it is also why I hate the site! Maybe my tastes are all wrong? Maybe I’m too shallow? I try to be open minded, but I know what I’m attracted to, right? And it’s obviously not the same as what I’m compatible with! How do you tell someone you’re 98% compatible with and who has great, witty essays that you’d make great friends, but find him physically repulsive? Or maybe there is such a thing as being too compatible and I need to talk to guys around the 60-70% compatibility range? Oh, but then they tend to live way outside the city or list God as the #1 thing they can’t live without! Those closest to my compatibility tend to be; caucasian, skinny, atheist, live in Minneapolis, Edina, St. Louis Park or St. Paul, sarcastic, nerdy, have a job in engineering or something, kind of hipsterish with musical tastes I’ve never heard of, listen to The Current and MPR, don’t have kids or have one or two they have joint custody of, have traveled a lot, etc.
Most of my matches sound ok on paper, but I look at them and just can’t picture it! Maybe this is one of the dilemmas of online dating, is it hard to judge chemistry online? But, even back when I threw myself in all the way and went on lots of dates, there wasn’t a single person I had a spark with. There was one guy I was really comfortable with, and we both talked A LOT, I actually put some effort into that one but after 4 dates HE decided he didn’t have enough to offer me!? All the rest, not so much. They tend to look slightly better in person than I thought they would by their photographs, but that’s about it. Its awkward conversation over drinks, sometimes he inhales drink after drink sending up the red flags! Sometimes it ends with a hug good bye, knowing there is no way I’m interested enough for a second date.
I have never liked the whole dating multiple people at once thing anyways, so I think that is part of it. I’m a pretty open book, but it feels strange sharing bits and pieces of myself with more than one person – I would prefer to just concentrate all of my energy and the little bit of time I have on one person. Lastly, I know part of my hang up is that I already know who that one person is, and he’s not online!!! At least, not that I know of, I suppose he could have an account out there somewhere too – I wonder what our compatibility numbers would be????