Friday, May 14, 2010

Back to the Dating Board

If I try online dating again, maybe I could be in a commercial and challenge one of those blissful couples to a literary trivia contest. (Hah! I would totally beat them.)

If I try online dating again, maybe I'll meet someone I could actually be with.

Or maybe I'll spend hours reading through profiles where people praise themselves in 500 words or less, read e-mails from guys whose word choice freaks me out, and then go on a series of bad dates that will subsequently make me swear off dating altogether and adopt a bunch of cats.

Except then I might die, because I'm allergic to cats. (Nothing against all you cat lovers out there, it's just that in addition to being allergic to cats, I'm also terrified of them. They can sense it too, because I've been scratched by almost every single one I've ever come across. Maybe they sense that I'm more of a dog person. Or maybe they truly are diabolical creatures who are plotting to claw me to death when their owners aren't looking.)

Last year I tried online dating for the first time. I wasn't even looking for my future boyfriend at that point; I just wanted to meet new people and go on dates. And I figured that if anything more were to happen (i.e., a relationship that would allow me to become one half of one of those happy couples), then great. If not, at the very least it'd be a good learning experience.

I ended up going on dates with several guys. I won't go into too much detail on what the dates were like, but let's just say that when I finally deleted my profile, I was relieved. After about six months of online dating, I decided to take a break so that I could study for my preliminary exam because the whole dating scene was just too time-consuming. And it felt good to be focused on my work again, because at least as a teacher and as a graduate student I never had to worry about getting an e-mail from some guy whose profile had the word "sex" on it at least fifteen times and contained a picture revealing nothing but his bare chest (and not even his face, either).

I don't regret doing online dating, because in a way I did get what I wanted; I did get to meet new guys and go on dates. But I think the worst part of online dating was the e-mails I'd get from creeps. The guys I did go out with weren't so weird (at least not in their e-mails), but it got to the point where I wasn't even excited anymore to get an e-mail from a new guy; I'd just brace myself before opening it because I knew I probably wouldn't be pleased with what I read. 

Several guys sent e-mails that only contained one line, which included their phone number. My strategy was generally to exchange at least three or four e-mails with a guy before we set up a date, so that we could at least write to each other for a couple weeks and find out more about each other before deciding to meet in person. It wasn't like we wrote long letters to each other, but I figured it was good to at least find out a little bit more about the guy before the actual date.

But some guys were way too eager to meet right away. One guy sent an e-mail with no information about himself other than his phone number (and his profile didn't have much info in it either, another red flag). When I didn't respond to his invitation to call him, he sent another e-mail a few hours later that read: OR STAY SINGLE FOREVER.

I mean, really? Whenever I think of e-mails like that it makes me reluctant to try online dating again. If any of you tried online dating, did you ever get bad e-mails like that, or am I just cursed?  I know that not all guys are like that. And one of the guys I met actually did win me over with his words, though unfortunately, he turned out to be better at writing interesting e-mails than making conversation in person. Even though I passed my prelims, my work schedule is still as busy as ever (it always is). But I figure I should give online dating at least one more try; this time I'll try a different site.

And then maybe I could challenge one of those couples from those online dating commercials to an arm-wrestling competition. I probably wouldn't win, but maybe I could distract them by reciting the slogans from the commercials.

Check out this hilarious video from College Humor; it's called "Web Site Story" and is a parody of West Side Story. It pokes fun at online dating and it also jokes about how everyone is online all the time.
Youtube won't let me embed the video in this post, but here's the link: Web Site Story.


  1. Dear Lord. Your post made me remember my own on-line dating days! AH! A friend of mine recently shared an online story: she got an email from a guy and in the first line it said: 'I am in the process of getting a divorce so I am 100 per cent available.' Grr-eat!

  2. Hi Talli,
    Wow, I can't believe someone would send an e-mail like the one that guy sent to your friend. I think that online daters should think of the first e-mail as something that should be reviewed before sending out, similar to how writers wouldn't send out a first draft to an agent.

  3. Oh no! I haven't tried online dating myself, but some of my friends have those commercial-like success stories from it, so I'm sad to hear your experience worked out the way it did.

    Although I'm not really surprised about the creepy, weirdos. There are so many out there just walking around - so I can only imagine how many more there are hiding behind the internets!

    Hopefully the next go 'round will work out better for you though! My fingers are crossed! Maybe the 2nd time's the charm? ^_^

  4. oh gosh! i've made a free trial page on eharmony or ( i really can't remember which) just to see what it was like. i don't think i could handle people acting like creeps just giving a phone number followed by a threat! haha, how creepy.
    ps-found your blog through 20sb :)

  5. Hi -B,
    Hopefully the second time will be the charm. I'm still a little reluctant to do it but I figure since Patti Stanger (the Millionaire Matchmaker) is out of my price range and would probably spend, like, an hour criticizing me, I'll have to give online dating at least one more try.

    Hi Sam,
    Fortunately, there weren't a lot of threatening e-mails like the one I described; I guess most guys are smart enough to realize that sending e-mails like that will pretty much guarantee that THEY'LL be single forever.

  6. Stay single forever? I guess that guy has a high opinion of himself. Or maybe he'll be the one in a state of perpetual bachelorhood!

    I think writers attract a wide variety of people in order to write about them so you should embrace all the odd, quirky and otherwise bizarre emails you get and use them to entertain us!

    Keep it up, we're reading!

  7. Hi notesfromnadir,
    Yes, I'm sure I'll get a few bizarre e-mails. I haven't officially signed up for another membership yet, but I'll probably blog about it when I do. Hopefully I'll get some interesting dates out of it.

  8. LOL Very interesting post! It's so funny to hear about the creeps. I'm sure it was a great experience though and very memorable too. hehe

  9. Hi Mary,
    Oh, the creepy guys were definitely memorable. So memorable that they make me wish that what happened in that movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (the Jim Carrey movie where they erased the guy's memories of his ex-girlfriend) could happen in real life.

  10. loved reading your blog. I haven't tried online dating and probably I would never will. The thought of dating a complete stranger is too creepy for me. I admire your courage for trying it.

  11. Hey, saw on 20something that you were new to blogging but by the looks of things you seem to have this down pat haha.

    I have to admit, the thought of doing online dating at some point has entered my thoughts. This post has kind of swayed me not to, but I like your optimism about not regretting it. Kind of sucks that there are still creepers out there when the whole point (at least in my opinion) is to bypass the creepiness of bars and such.

    I like this place and hope to read more!

  12. Hi janjan,
    Thanks for the compliment! Dating people I didn't know was scary for me at first, but online dating actually made it a little easier to get to know them. We were able to write to each other before meeting in person. That's why I didn't like the guys who didn't even want to bother with the writing part.

    Hi, Mr 0,
    If you do want to try online dating, you should, because there are at least a few nice people out there. It can get tough sometimes, though, because like you said, sometimes there are creepers out there. But on the other hand, despite the creeps, I actually don't regret online dating because I feel like I learned a lot from it.