I've been keeping a secret. Actually, a few secrets, but only one that I'm ready to fess up to.
I joined Match.com a few weeks ago.
Mostly out of curiosity. Not the least little bit out of desperation. I am not desperate.
And I always thought online dating sites were for desperate women. Until one of my girlfriends (who will remain nameless) joined eHarmony a while back. I thought, "She's not desperate. Why the hell would she do that?!" And then she explained why. She wanted the distraction. She wanted to meet new people. And let's face it, we're too old to be picking up guys in bars.
So she had a couple of dates, nothing big. And I figured I really had nothing to lose by signing up and surfing around.
[Here's where mom and dad scream "YOU DIDN'T GIVE ANYONE YOUR ADDRESS, DID YOU?! NO ONE KNOWS WHERE YOU LIVE, RIGHT?? No, no one has my address.]
And I have to say, it's been an intersting experience. I haven't met anyone in person, only emails and a couple of phone calls. I've been winked at by some freaky men (one of which lives in New Zealand. Talk about expensive dates!) and gotten some emails that read like form letters - "Hi. I like your profile. We have many things in common. If you would like to meet me, please call me. 999-999-9999. Thank you, [name]". Actually, I got the same email from the same guy twice. Guess he hasn't figured out a system yet to keep the ladies straight.
I'm not looking for a boyfriend, and don't even really know if I could bring myself to go out to dinner with a perfect stranger, but again, I have all of this single time on my hands, so I might as well have fun with it. I feel like it's research. I am a journalist and it's my duty to try out this stuff and report back to you. I take my job very seriously.
So a few notes about what I've learned so far:
Never make plans with someone you've haven't spoken to on the phone.
Yes, they're funny in their emails. They have good grammar and know how to punctuate. They're perfect on paper. Then you hear their voice and the first thing that comes to mind is "axe murderer". Crap. Too late to just hang up the phone. That would be rude. So you send an email two days later saying "Um, I'm going to have to cancel that plan. Something just isn't sitting right with me, maybe I'm not ready to actually meet people. So sorry. Bu-bye."
Men who list "assertiveness" as a turn-on are lying.
On Match you can see who looks at your profile. So if someone looks at my profile, and I think they're cute, I'll send them a quick couple sentence email. Casual, funny, simple.
I've emailed seven men, all of which had listed assertiveness from a woman a turn-on. And not one of them has responded. Now, I'm not naive - it could just be that they thought I was pretty and were hoping for some bikini pics (of which there are none, thankyouverymuch). But come on, not one of those seven guys found me even remotely interesting enough to email back? Really? Hmph.
It's okay to say "Not Interested".
Match has this fabulous little feature. It's a link that says "Not Interested". You click the link and this message pops up that says "We've let loppy425 [or whatever stupid name he's chosen] you're not interested." Why, thank you so much, Match! Whew! Now I don't have to email him and say, "Um, is that your ex-wife in the photo with you on the beach? Why would you do that?" Yes, really. Which leads me to....
Some people are just stupid.
Yes, you knew this. But it just blows my mind when they're so obviously stupid. Even with the website itself trying to coach them.
When you upload photos, Match has these little tips. One of which is don't use photos with someone of the opposite sex in them, unless it's obviously a group event or something. It turns your potential Match off immediately. And boy howdy, does it ever. One guy emailed me and was very nice. Seemed normal (they all do for the first 10 seconds). Divorced. So, I went to his profile and looked at his pictures. There's a photo of him, in a nice white button down shirt, with a lei around his neck, at sunset, with a very attractive woman, lei around her neck, and she's in a white dress.
Um. Sister? Best friend? Step-mother?
I don't think so.
How in the hell are you expecting to meet women when you've posted a photo of you and your now ex-wife at what appears to be your tropical wedding?! And if it's not your ex-wife at what appears to be your tropical wedding, I already have it in my head that it is and thus, have quickly clicked that fabulous "Not Interested" link. I could have emailed him back asking him point blank what he was thinking, but why? The link is so much easier.
Don't fall for the guy with the rock hard body.
Because what kind of guy, with a rock hard body, actually has the gall to post a picture of said rock hard body on a dating site? My gut tells me he probably will not be someone I want to spend an evening with......well........um. Okay, maybe an evening, but that's ALL and it's too much of a hassel to avoid their calls afterwards.
Where was I?
Ah yes. The rock hard body guy. I don't email these guys. I just save their photo and use it as my desktop photo.
Oh, I kid.
I apparently have a type.
Who knew? Not many people know about Match. Couple of girlfriends. And my folks (I tell them this stuff so that I can hear my dad say, "Your daughter is NUTS!"). I show my girlfriends pics of guys I think are cute, or that I've emailed. And they all agree that I have a type. Curly hair, tall (6'0 and up is best), slender. And if there's a beard, oh HELLO!
But they also have to be clever in their writing. If I find myself chuckling when I read their profile, they get big points. But some are so drab. "I'm very intelligent and my friends say I'm a nice guy. I guess I'm just looking for someone to connect with and have a good time with. My interests include reading, watching films, and spending time with friends."
Wha...? Did you say something?
Have you seen Singles? One of my very quotes from that movie is from a guy who has responded to Debbie Hunt's video for a dating service. They're showing clips of the guys, and one of them is uber creepy, and he just says, "I am very, very, very lonely."
I've seen a few of those on Match. And they keep looking at my profile. But I have been talking to a nice boy (yes, boy - 27) who just moved here a few months ago from Beaumont, Texas and plays guitar. So we talk about cowboy chords and Sonic. I do love their cherrylimades. There's been talk of maybe meeting for coffee, but no plan yet.
So when my membership is up in a couple of weeks, I think I'll just let it expire. I can say been there, done that. Woohoo.
And thus, another thrilling adventure that I share with you, dear reader.
I wonder what's next?