Saying never is a dangerous thing. It has been my experience that never turns into I'd rather not, which turns into maybe one day, which turns into oh, what the heck. It is true of most things in my life. "I will never smoke a cigarette." "I will never say the Mother of All Curse Words." "I will never make out with a dude that I don't know." Done, done, and - unfortunately - done. Such has also been the case with me and online dating. While it has become more socially acceptable to date online, it can not be denied that it is still a bit strange. Don't get me wrong - it can be a great thing, and I know several people who have met spouses and significant others though such venues, I just never thought that it would be for me. And after round three of the experience, I am still not convinced.
It all started two years ago. I had once again been smitten with a guy who definitely wasn't smitten with me (I could write a sad, sad book about my experiences with unrequited love), confessed the feelings, and been shut down. Or ignored, actually. Deciding that liking real life guys wasn't quite working out, I signed up for eHarmony, but only for one month. I went on one date from that experience, driving three hours to meet a guy who thought it was okay to touch me relentlessly on the first date. (Seriously, if I don't know you it is not cool to give me back rubs all night, nor straddle me from behind on a bar stool at a concert). After that date, I vowed to never go on eHarmony again.
There's that word again: never. Of course, I signed up for it about a year later, again only for a month, this time getting no dates and discovering that the only reason I was being matched with these people was because we shared religious beliefs. In a round about way, at least. There was not a single match who would have snagged my interest had I met him in the ways that people normally meet. Their slogan must be, "You're a Christian ... He's a Christian ... Perfect match!" Not so much, eHarm.
Fast forward another year or so to present time, and I've once again given in to the curiosity. This time I have chosen Match.com. Had I asked around before I joined, I might have discovered what I have found to be true - that it is eHarmony's Shady Cousin, and is used by many people as a hook-up tool. Nice. Just what I'm looking for. I will say that in the first month of my six-month subscription, I have been on more dates than I ever did with eHarmony. While they might not be the most exciting dates, I am at least hanging out with the opposite sex in a date-type setting. That makes me feel at least like I am moving forward and meeting new people, rather than wondering where the heck new guys are going to come from.
So far, out of the four guys I have gone out with, I would only go out with two of them again. Well, maybe two. One of them is either too busy or too disinterested to go on a third date. The other lives three hours away, which makes things a bit interesting. The first date I had was with a guy I had chatted with through the Match website for about twenty minutes, then met him for a drink the same night. The conversation was utterly painful, and he asked to kiss me on a crowded sidewalk outside of the bar after only two hours of talking. No thank you, sir. It will take more than one beer to make that a possibility. And probably not even then.
It seems that this website attracts men who fit into one of four categories: (1) The I just want to have fun's. (2) The I've been burned and think all women are crazy but I really need to get some's. (3) The I just got divorced's. (4) The I'm looking for a relationship but I am terrible at conversation's. There is a small fifth category, the I just might be normal's. But it is highly insignificant.
There are some very predictable things that these guys have on their profiles. For one, just about every one of them claims to be "Laid back and easy going." I guess that sounds better than, "I'm a bit of a high-strung, power-hungry control freak." Also, a lot of the guys "don't want any drama." Really? Because I absolutely thrive off of drama. I say, the more drama that I can have in a relationship, the better. By drama, do you mean, "I don't want a girl who wants to talk to me while I'm watching football"? Or maybe, "I don't want to talk about your feelings, so stop crying"? Good luck with your search, a-holes.
The absolute best thing that has happened to me on Match is that I've been contacted by a guy who is in prison. That's right. The slammer. The Big House. His picture is actually taken inside of the prison in his little prisoner outfit. Classy. And what sort of prison allows their inmates to date online? Shouldn't they be picking up trash on the side of the highway or something instead of picking up chicks online? Just sayin'.
I'm sure there will be more stories to tell in the next five months until my subscruption is up. If you have a story to share, I'd love to have some guest posts on the topic. Let me know if you'd like to contribute and make your own sad dating life a source of humor for someone else's day.