Since I haven't been having much success with match.com, I decided to sign up for a free membership on plentyoffish.com. I've only been on the site for a couple of days now. Due to all of the guys' pictures that I've seen so far, I now think of this site as being home to guys whose personal motto is "I THINK I'm too sexy for my shirt, but I should really put on a couple of sweaters."
Plentyoffish is a dating site that I haven't tried before. I had heard that the Millionaire Matchmaker, Patti Stanger, found her current boyfriend on this site (though I couldn't help wondering why she turned to an online dating site to find a guy when she is a professional matchmaker). I liked Patti's no-nonsense attitude towards her millionaire clients, most of whom were not as good-looking as they thought they were and only wanted to date women who were twenty years younger than them. I thought since it worked for her, maybe it would work for me.
One thing I've noticed is that a lot of the guys on that site are apparently allergic to clothing. Actually, in the FAQ section on the site, it says, "Only females can send private images. This feature was removed for men because of nudity." (I'm not making this up, though I wish I was.)
On match.com, chemistry.com, eharmony, and okcupid, most of the guys wrote detailed descriptions of themselves and what they were looking for. I always thought that descriptions that were too short (or profiles that didn't include any descriptions at all) were red flags; it made me think that the guys were only on the site for one thing or didn't bother to put much effort into making themselves look good to potential dates. I know it's difficult to describe yourself, but I think you should write at least a paragraph.
On Plentyoffish.com, there are some profiles where the guys wrote detailed descriptions of themselves. But the majority of the profiles have very short descriptions that are usually only two to four lines long. One of them wrote, "I'm not going to write a book. If you want to know anything, just ask me." And that's all he wrote.
Another guy wrote, "I really like sports. Go White Sox!" And that was it. Seriously.
Other guys' descriptions were a little too detailed. One guy made a point of assuring potential matches that his "man parts" (his words, not mine) were functioning properly. Another guy wrote that he was looking for a woman with a high sex drive. One guy wrote, "I don't want to date BIG GIRLS. So if you're hefty, please don't e-mail me." I mean, really?
On sites like match.com and okcupid you can "wink" at someone to let him know that you're interested, though I always send an e-mail. On plentyoffish, if you don't want to send an e-mail, you can "send a flirt" (which isn't even grammatically correct, but WHATEVER), or you can click on the "Meet Me" option. This is where the site shows you a series of pictures (though you have to click on the guys' screennames in order to see their profiles) and asks you if you want to meet the person in the picture; you have to click on "Yes," No", or "Maybe". If you click on "Yes", then plentyoffish will let that person know that you want to meet him. So basically, you can base your decision on whether or not you want to meet someone solely on what he looks like in his pictures.
According to plentyoffish, dozens of men want to meet me. That's definitely flattering, but I don't want to meet them. Some of them are too young (22 or 23). Others live in different states, and I'd really prefer to meet someone who's a local. If I were to go on a date with someone who lived out of state, I'd feel obligated to spend a lot of time with him, because he traveled all that way to see me. But what if we didn't like each other? That would be several hours of awkwardness as opposed to just a casual coffee date with someone who lives in the city.
Although the "Meet Me" option does bug me because it bases dating decisions on physical appearance, and it REALLY bugs me that I keep seeing the line "I'm looking for someone who's in shape" again and again in guys' profiles, I have to admit that looks matter to me too. In fact, one thing I like about this site is that unlike the other dating sites I've been on, you have to put pictures of yourself in your profile in order to e-mail other people. When I looked at the pictures of the guys who wanted to meet me (though I read their profiles too), I couldn't help cringing at most of them. The fact that I'm apparently only attractive to guys that I'm not attracted to depressed me. Looks aren't the ONLY thing that matter to me. Personality, shared interests, and similar values are more important. But I have to be at least a LITTLE attracted to the person that I'm dating.
So far, then, I'm less than pleased with plentyoffish. I think I'm only going to stay on the site for a week or two, just to see if I can meet someone nice. If not, then I'll just cancel my membership, because I don't have time to maintain two online dating memberships at the same time.
Several of you have suggested that I write a book about my online dating experiences. That's a good idea. I've actually filled up more than one notebook with my descriptions of the dates I've been on, the guys I've communicated with, the weird profiles I've seen, and my observations of the differences among the dating sites. So I already have plenty of material. (I'm a little tempted to join zoosk.com sometime in the future, just so I can write about it.) As I said to one fellow blogger, my consolation prize from all of this is that even if I don't end up with the right guy, at least I could end up with a novel.
What about you? Why do you think that some guys don't write much about themselves (or anything at all) in their profiles? Do you think that an online dating site with no pictures at all (but with the requirement that the members write detailed descriptions of themselves) would work? I'm not sure I would join it, but I'd be interested in reading the profiles.
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