Monday, June 21, 2010

Now You Read Them, Now You Don't

I'm out of town right now, and I won't be back in Chicago until the first week of July. So I can't go out on dates with anyone until I go back. But I still have Internet access, so I'm still able to communicate with potential dates, at least.

When I was on okcupid last year, I met and dated several guys. But there were at least six or seven other guys who I never met in person, because they would disappear after sending me one or two e-mails. I could never figure out why. Did they meet other women that they liked better? Did they change their minds about meeting me? Did they just chicken out about meeting in person?

One guy who disappeared after the first e-mail was really cute; he was a filmmaker and he sent me an e-mail with a link to his MySpace page. What was on it? Information about his newest film, which he wrote and starred in; the film was about a guy who wrote stories about stick figures and orgies. And in the film clips on his page, there was the guy, having orgies with various girls. It wasn't a porno; it was actually being marketed as a romantic comedy. (And of course, I e-mailed him back BEFORE I watched those film clips.) And I just sat there in front of my computer, struck speechless before I quickly turned off the Internet and ran away screaming.

There was also this other guy on okcupid who e-mailed me first. He must have sent me about ten or twelve e-mails, but then he suddenly stopped. I tried e-mailing him, but he never responded. I never found out why. And a year later he's still on the site. In my last e-mails to him, I tried to get him to agree to meet me in person. Meeting in person is the point of online dating, right? Sure, first dates can sometimes be awkward and nervewracking, and at the end of some of them you may or may not feel the urge to dunk your face in a big bowl of chocolate and seriously consider moving to Antarctica. But if you do end up meeting someone you like, it's worth it.

But I could never get this guy to agree on a time and place to meet. He kept saying, "Oh, we'll meet up eventually. In the meantime we can just chat online." Did he have a girlfriend, or a wife? Was he perhaps a gigolo, and was afraid that his rich "girlfriend" would stop buying him designer clothes and fancy cars if he went out on a date with me? Was he just not ready to meet in person? And if that was the case, why didn't he just say so?

On eharmony, you go through three phases of communication: Get to know each other (which is a short multiple choice "quiz"), Must Haves and Can't Stands, and Learn more about each other (which is a series of "open-ended" questions). Then the fourth phase is when you send each other regular e-mails. Eharmony also has a "Close Match" option, where you can choose to block communication with someone. What sucks, though, is that it'll show up on your own page if someone chooses to block you.

When a guy suddenly broke off communication with me on okcupid, I thought maybe it was because I wrote something he didn't like in one of my e-mails. But on eharmony, at least six guys have stopped communicating with me before we even got to the third or fourth phase. What am I doing wrong? Is it because on the "Get to Know Each Other" quiz, I put down that I'd rather see a popular new movie than go to a sporting event on a Saturday night? I'd go to a game with a guy, except I wouldn't be much company because I'd be too busy silently adding to my list of why I hate sports. (Reason #78: Fans with beer breath) But I didn't write that in my answers, though.

I got to the third phase of communication with one guy, and then all of a sudden he chose the "Close Match" option. Was it because he saw that I'd updated my profile? I did that was because I hadn't heard from him in more than three days, and he'd always responded fairly quickly before. Did he get mad because he thought I was communicating with other guys?

I will admit that I've communicated with more than one guy at the same time.  I might as well increase my chances of meeting someone, and it's okay as long as I'm not in an exclusive relationship with anyone. And it wouldn't bother me if the guy was communicating with other women, because again, we're not even in an exclusive relationship at that point.

I wonder if my age (29) has something to do with it. It seems that a lot of the guys prefer younger women; when I was on I got many e-mails from guys in their 40s and 50s. Do they think that because I'm almost 30 that I'm going to show up for the first date in a wedding dress? Please. I wouldn't do anything like that until AT LEAST the fifth date.

Or is it because I wrote "Maybe" in the "Wants Kids" section? A lot of the guys near my age wrote "Yes" in the "Wants Kids" section. It's not like I'm totally opposed to being a mom. I admire anyone who is a parent. When I was 19 I didn't want to become one, but I figured it was because I was still a teenager and that I'd figure it out when I got older. But now, ten years later, I'm still not sure I want to have children.

I admit I do that "awwww" thing when I see a cute baby. But the truth is, little kids make me nervous. Somehow I feel like when I'm around them that they're WATCHING me (cue scary music: DA DA DUNNNH), kind of like those evil kids watched the adults in that movie Village of the Damned (and yes, I know kids aren't evil; I'm just paranoid). I didn't even baby-sit when I was a teenager; I was afraid that I might accidentally drop something on the kid or that I might drop the kid and then the parents would sue me or get me sent to prison and then I'd never become President. But if I do become pregnant someday, then of course I'll do everything possible to be a great parent. But right now, I want to do other things. (And yes, I know that my biological clock is ticking.)

But it's still frustrating when a guy ends communication with no explanation. If we had actually gone on a date already, I'd just think he wasn't that into me. But if we haven't even met yet, then what gives? And what's the rent like in Antarctica?

Nothing personal against little kids, but wouldn't YOU get just a little freaked out after watching a movie like this one?


  1. LOL I gave you an award on my blog today :)

  2. haha! yes, those kids in that movie are freaky! and a little reminiscent of the scandinavian section of 'it's a small world'.

    i'm guessing one of the most annoying things about online dating is the abrupt non-responding, which your post highlighted really well.

  3. Who knows? Honestly, thete's no rhyme or reason to the dating things sometimes.

    Stick finger orgies? Yikes!

  4. Hi Karen,
    Thanks for the award! Happy dance! :)

    Hi mi,
    Gee, and I used to like "it's a small world!" I'll have to look for that next time. The non-responding thing can get annoying, especially because there's no explanation for it.

    Hi Talli,
    You're right; there is no rhyme or reason sometimes. Hopefully I'll be able to figure it out eventually.

  5. Try not to get demoralized. Easy for me to say, right?

    My cousin and friend had issues with these sites. Some people never stop surfing for new people. It's the idea that someone "better" is always on the horizon, if they haven't found out much about the person or people they're contacting now. It's like window shopping for some people. And I'm sure some do have girlfriends and wives, so they e-mail for some excitement, but don't plan to go any further than that.

    But I also know people who met from a dating service and got married. So it happens.

    Hope you're doing something good out of town.

  6. Hi Theresa,
    Those guys who disappear probably are holding out for something better. But I think if they're going to disappear like that, then I deserve someone better than them. :)

  7. LOL – that is a scary picture! As for the Guided Communication stages in eHarmony, it’s actually designed to be a process of elimination. As you go through the stages, it’s common for either person to end communication. However, if there are no glaring deal-breakers, we encourage people to ask for clarification on their matches’ answers.

    As for the matches who close communication, they are actually using the system properly. In the context of eHarmony, it’s considered courteous to give matches a sense of closure rather than just disappearing. Here’s an article on eHarmony Etiquette:

    And it’s great that you’re communicating with more than one match at a time – that’s also recommended. It’s just a getting-to-know-you process. Let me know if you have any questions at

  8. It's hard not to take it personally or wonder why guys just disappear w/ no explanation, but there are always reasons. Usually the reason is they can get scared that a "relationship" is going to happen & they don't want to lose their "freedom" as they'll want to keep scouring those dating sites looking for Ms. Perfect. Let's face it, a lot of guys are simply overgrown boys.

    I agree w/ you a 100% -- it they're going to disappear you do deserve better.

  9. Hi notesfromnadir,
    You're right; a lot of guys are boys, sighhh. I'll admit that I can be immature sometimes, but not when it comes to dating (or at least I hope not). And it's irritating enough when guys I've already dated will disappear and then call me weeks later, as if they expected me to be waiting for them the whole time (I wasn't). So I'm not going to put up with it for guys I haven't even met yet either.