Tag Archive: online dating


If you’ve never heard of this website, it’s a dating website. In order to join this website, you have to be voted in. Pretty much, you make a dating profile and then people look at it and go “holy crap, she’s ugly. I don’t like her.” After 48 hours, you’re either in or out.

As far as that, I know nothing. I was voted out. Despite being officially ugly, I feel like this system is a really great way to date online. Instead of months and months of rejection after rejection and no response, you only have to wait two days and then you know whether or not you had a chance in the first place. Yeah, it’s (supposedly) disappointing when you don’t get in, but you only have to be disappointed once and then you can go get a life.

As most people can tell you, I’m pretty fascinated by online dating. I met my boss on a dating website and I now get paid a lot to do something I love WHENEVER I WANT. Yeah, that’s right. I have the most flexible job you can have. [Apparently it’s worth mentioning that I work as a website administrator and content manager, not… something else. :P] Other than that, I’ve met a few people that are really interesting and people that are not so interesting. I’ve learned a lot about people and the way they portray themselves through different mediums. I’ve also learned a lot about my own personal preferences when it comes to dudes.

Online dating isn’t for everyone, but I do think that everyone (old enough) should go ahead and try it it, keeping in mind that they shouldn’t be too disappointed. Think of it as this funny, goofy thing that you’re doing and just relax. I’m a pretty relaxed person on there and I get so much attention on there that I have to stay off it for a while so that I don’t get overwhelmed.

The problem is that people get so uptight about dating that they forget that meeting new people and having fun are the main goals. Those people who are desperately seeking a girlfriend or boyfriend and want to get married and have a hundred babies are kind of scary, to be honest. Let things happen of their own accord.

And remember, you can still have a fulfilling life if you’re ugly like me. ;)

Cheers!

Crazy guy first.

I’ll be the first one to admit that this morning I was in a pretty black mood. A week and a half ago, I requested half a day off from work because I had a physical therapy appointment out of town at 9:30 am and was scheduled for work at 10:30 am. Unfortunately, the request was never processed, so I had to wake up at 8 after only 6 hours of sleep, drive thirty minutes away (without breakfast, mind you) for my appointment and then try to make a twenty minuted drive to work in ten minutes.

So, I was fifteen or twenty minutes late for work today and I yawned about a thousand times. Most of the people I normally work with have Wednesdays and Thursdays off, but I had taken yesterday off for another doctor’s appointment (that was rescheduled…. grrr), so I wasn’t working with any of my normal homies. Plus, people were being pretty unresponsive to my jokes, so… bad day. At lunch, I found two separate hairs in my salad, so I was feeling pretty nauseated.

Fortunately, about half an hour after I finished my lunch break, a guy came through my line who talked just about as fast as the major general off of Pirates of Penzance.

We had a brief conversation during which I just handed him his groceries and he bagged them the way he wanted them to be bagged. He then typed his debit card info into the swipe-y thing very dramatically and yelled a thanks over his shoulder at me as he rode his shopping cart like a scooter away into the crowd of people.

I swear, this guy was, like, forty-five with a mustache. Anyway, it put me in a pretty good mood for the rest of the day.

As for multitasking women, something a lot of people say is that women are actually capable of thinking about two different things at the same time whereas guys aren’t. I’m not sure to what extent this is true, but it has been connected with something I blogged about last week.

So, I was having an argument about religion with a dude on a dating website (I still can’t get over that a guy picked a fight with me on a dating website… like, why are you on there? I’m the least romantic person ever, but I don’t pick fights with people because I disagree with them….).

According to this guy, I needed to hand in my intelligence claim because I am religious. I DEFINITELY can’t be intelligent if I conform to an actual religious sect. SERIOUSLY. Who am I to make such OUTRAGEOUS claims?

I was almost tempted to be offended, but I just find the idea so hilarious. I just bet that this sort of thinking happens between other types of people, not just religious people versus nonreligious people. I’m talking elephants versus donkeys, etc.

Sometimes I see people on television who are science majors in college make fun of the humanities and say “she can’t be smart, she’s an English major.”

Anyway, someone I know from high school (female) was a little bit angry that I didn’t engage in the argument. She believes I could have told the guy off in some lasting way. She said that I could tell the guy off because he’s a guy.

To further her gender-based argument, she made a statement that I very nicely paraphrased, “It’s possible for me to be religious AND smart because I’m a girl and we can MULTITASK.”

I find this even more funny than the thought that I can’t be intelligent and believe in a higher power. This guy was arguing that “radical religious activity and belief” was responsible for the holocaust and 9/11. This is true, but the guy took it so far as to say that if we didn’t eradicate ALL religious notions and belief, then everyone was bound to become just as radical.

This, of course, is also ridiculous. The guy is saying that all religious people are inherently evil, never mind all the charity work that countless religious communities participate in with great cost to themselves… That’s not the point. The point is that my friend reminded me that those horrible things mentioned above were all instigated by men. Of course men think that intelligence and religious affiliation can’t coexist, they can’t entertain two ideas at once. Only a woman can be truly intelligent and religious at the same time.

Now, I don’t believe this. Not one bit. It was meant as a joke and I still find it funny. So should you, dear reader. The most brilliant men I’ve ever known were my religion teachers in high school… or else they were religious men all the same.

The two can coexist. I believe it wholeheartedly. I really hope that people don’t take religious prejudice so far as to think that anyone with a particular set of religious views is stupid. I have so many intelligent friends who have opposite beliefs to mine. I love them to death and I still think they’re smarter than I am.

I just wanted to say this again. I’ve blogged a lot about equality and acceptance. People need to say this more often. They need to hear it too. Those crazy old people who hate everyone based on differences that shouldn’t matter; I don’t want to say that they’re wrong, but they are.

It’s okay for them to hate actions and the things people do, but they should never keep digging to hate the beliefs that may have spurred on the action.

I really hate that Hitler hated so many people because they weren’t the same as he was. I don’t, however, hate that he believed in God very strongly. It may have been that belief that made him do the stuff he did, but that belief is not inherently bad.

I know that people are going to start hating on me for saying that, but think about it. If Hitler had been super lazy and not done all the stuff, no one would hate him so badly, no matter what he believed.

Hating what people believe in is stupid and pointless. It isn’t hurting you in any way shape or form. What does affect you is the actions of the person. Hate the actions.

I hate that this dude on the internet confronted me about my religion and said some VERY unkind things about me personally, everyone I associate with, and everyone that has beliefs remotely related to mine. I hate that he threw insults at me and tried to put a limit on my potential because of what I believe.

I don’t hate that he believes those things. I have best friends who believe some of the same things. They don’t believe in God or a god. They don’t believe in universal morals or consequences, as I do. I know a SUPER nice guy who doesn’t believe in organized religion.

None of that stuff matters to our friendships. It doesn’t physically or emotionally pain me that these guys don’t believe the things I do. The key is that they are nice to me. They’re polite, they don’t step on my beliefs, they don’t push their own beliefs at me and tell me that I have to accept them or else I’m not smart. I like being friends with them and I like that they are decent people.

I don’t want to say that what you believe doesn’t make you who you are, because it does. I’m just saying that what you believe doesn’t dictate (see what I did there?) how you affect people or what you do. You decide that on your own and what you choose to do is a HUGE part of who you are.

Stop judging people on what they believe. I’m not saying you can judge them by what they do either. Don’t judge people. Try to understand where they’re coming from. Sometimes their actions are connected to what they believe. Be careful to realize when this is the case. Try to understand where they’re coming from and forgive them if they aren’t perfect people. People aren’t jerks because of their religion, political views, profession, or interests. They’re jerks because they choose to be.

Choose NOT to be a jerk. Choose to affect people positively. Choose not to judge people by what they believe. Choose to understand. Choose to find the notion of the way people see each other and the world as humorous without judging them.

It’s your choice. No one else’s.

There are few things that I truly take seriously. Grammar, Virtual Villagers, Guitar Hero, among other things. I probably wouldn’t murder anyone over any of these things, but they often command my focus and effort completely.

Dating is not one of these things.

Obviously, I’ve dated so much that I can barely stand up straight without buckling underneath the weight of my immense knowledge. In other words, I’ve been on a total of five dates since I turned sixteen, a little more than two years ago, which sounds sad until you compare with my 22 year old “twin” brother, who hasn’t ever been on a date, or so he claims.

Because of my rather casual outlook on dating in my current situation, I thought it would be a brilliant idea to join a dating website (or two). At the time, I had recently(ish) turned eighteen, which is a requirement for most dating websites. I started this endeavor purely as a joke and wasn’t really expecting anything. After a few weeks, it turned into an experiment which has yielded some interesting results.

Being the highly scientific person that I am, we’ll do this properly.

Step one of the scientific method: Ask a question.

I guess the question sort of was, “Hey, why don’t I go on a dating site? It’ll be funny!” But the question really is, 1) Do guys on dating websites act differently than guys irl (if you’ll pardon my chatspeak) or on other social websites (in regard to myself)? and 2) Can I manage some sort of connection with people who are seemingly desperate for… something… I’m not sure what… without being sarcastic or offensive? I suppose the second question is just a sort of personal goal. If these people are truly desperate, then their hopes and dreams will be easily crushed. I don’t want  to be a dream crusher.

Step Two: Do background research.

This is where all those hours spent on the internet come in handy. I know how people interact on the internet outside of a dating website. I also know how they act irl… sort of.

Step Three: Construct a hypothesis.

My hypothesis is (or rather, was) that guys on dating websites would fall into two categories: extremely nice/polite, or extremely cocky. They are likely to be more open about their intentions and feelings and they will say many a cheesy cliche in order to impress me. My other hypothesis was that I, personally, would receive a lot of communications from these people because they are desperate and because they don’t know me, therefore they will prey upon me like something with teeth devours a tiny bunny… (Can you tell that I gave up on finding a clever metaphor)(If I were a bunny, I would be freaking awesome)

Step Four: Test your hypothesis by doing an experiment.

Basically, the experiment was to make myself a profile on a few websites and then see what happened. For each site, my success is measured by amount of messages received. One of the sites had a way to track who viewed your profile, but there’s this system that randomly chooses people who may or may not have anything in common with you and show your their profile. There was also this questionnaire thing you can do that will let you know, via percentage, how much of a “match” you are with someone else. I figured that this was all way too complicated to factor in (being as lazy as I am).

Each user I received a message from is ranked according to length of message conversation and quality of that conversation. They are ranked on a scale from one to five, one being boring or creepy and five being compelling.

Step Five: Analyze your data.

Obviously I’m not going to share names or anything because this is the internet and there’s a very slim chance that someone who I’ve talked to on one of those websites could be reading this and that would just be awkward.

Anyway. Data.

Plenty of Fish:

8 message conversations total

2, 3, 1, 1, 2, 5 3, 5

The problem with the people that I talked to on this website, was that most of them either immediately wanted to go on a date with me, which I can’t because my mom said no and because I don’t really want to go on dates with guys seven billion years older than me, or they outright tried to pay me for sex which was more comical than anything else, though it took me some awkward explaining to get out of.

The exceptions (those two little fives) were actually very compelling, however. One shared some of my same philosophies and love of big words, while the other shared my passion for exchanging large amounts of random information in a rambly sort of way. Not to mention they had actual interests besides desperately wanting to take me on a date.

Ok Cupid (I just feel it really weird to admit that I didn’t run screaming from these websites and their horrible names):

14 message conversations total

4, 2, 2, 5, 5, 1, 1, 1, 4, 5, 0, 4, 3, 5

I realize that a 0 is kind of against the parameters set, but SERIOUSLY. This goes beyond creepy. There are people who want to pay me for sex (though they were incredibly understanding about my refusal), and there are intensely desperate people…. and then there’s this guy. I literally feel unsafe, though he lives, like, 7000 miles away from me.

Anyway. I was much more pleased with this website than the other. The profiles were much more informative, the interface was easier to navigate, and the people were more awesome. It seems like there were more people with legitimately interesting personalities, though none of them really have exemplary grammar skills.  I’m not rushing off to marry any of them and I don’t think I’d be comfortable actually meeting them, but they are very nice people to talk to, though sometimes I find myself actually having to carry some weight in the conversation. I am not really very good at instigating conversation, but I’m okay at feeding the fire. The problem is that some of those people are brilliant conversation killers.

Step Six: Make a conclusion.

I was pretty much wrong, which isn’t a surprise. There were polite people and there were cocky people, but there were also interesting people and I can never have imagined them as individuals until I could see that they were.

I wasn’t really surprised about how many messages I got, though. The thing about the internet is that you can be pretty picky about what you show people and, though you may think you’re accurately portraying yourself, you can present yourself as a completely different person. I really hope that I portray myself accurately on the internet. As you can see, I always provide as much information as possible for the sake of clarity, but I still lack an appropriate mirror that I can use to describe myself accurately.

I don’t really know how other people see me, but I do know enough, by the way people treat me, to be able to tell the difference between the perceptions. In real life, because of my social status, because of my physical appearance and presence, because of my continuance, I know that I would never have come into contact with most of these people I have communicated with over the last month. The difference between judging a person based on a profile and judging a person based on what I listed above is that a profile contains information that is tailored toward making a person appealing, while the things apparent in real life are often subconscious and not totally controlled.

For different reasons, I have decided that making a deep connection with someone (not necessarily romantic) cannot be done easily on the internet. I won’t say it’s impossible because I’m sure someone out there has done it. A relationship can’t be built only on shared interests and ideas. There are many people I share such things with on those dating websites, but none of them really appeal to me in any way other than conversation buddies. A relationship is strengthened by communication and trust, but it’s built on sharing more than ideas.

It’s the sharing of activity and memories that makes a relationship. I’m not saying that if you spend all your time with your boyfriend or girlfriend you’ll suddenly have a fantastic relationship, but I know that I feel more strongly for people that I’ve shared experiences with than people that I’ve shared mere conversations with. Not only do I participate in planned activities with them, but I just spend time with them. We talk about things, yes, but it isn’t what we’re talking about that matters. It’s that we’re sharing something of ourselves. We’re giving more than just a few words on a screen.

We give something important to each other when we give our time and attention. It just seems more special to laugh about something with someone than it is to laugh at something someone wrote an hour ago.

What I’ve learned from this is that, while dating websites can be a useful way for people to start relationships, it’s in no one a place where one can build a relationship. It can be done, but only in ideal circumstances.

If you’ve read this far, then I congratulate you. This may be the longest blog post I’ve ever written, which is saying something. Basically, the advice I would give you if you want to use online dating is that if you want people to take a genuine interest in you, you need to have a good profile picture (because I judged the crap out of people just by their profile pictures) and you need to not sound like you’re trying to woo someone. Treat them like a person. Talk to them about things that you can both converse about or it’s going to be awkward, don’t be delusional about the nature of online relationships, and please don’t ask people questions about things that can be found on their profiles. Read the entire thing so that you don’t sound like a dork.