All winter long dating has little to no appeal to me. The cold seems to seep into all of my cells draining me of passion and energy. About all I want to do is curl up in a ball, in my cozy bed, and sleep until the snow melts away for good. Of course, I can’t entirely do this but I still practically hibernate. Few people see much of me in the winter. I’m entirely unmotivated to leave my apartment unless I have to. I especially won’t bother braving the cold to go out with a guy that I may or may not like.
Once I smell spring in the air, this starts changing. My craving for a male sidekick sets in. I instinctively begin hunting for a quality guy to hang out with. (I love my female friends but guys are really the best when you want to get out and have fun). Though winter won’t quite give up out here in Michigan, we’ve had enough spring-y days that the hunter in me has awoken.
Problem is that all the men I’ve been meeting fall into one of four categories: too young, too old, undereducated or married. Even if it weren’t for these disqualifiers, I haven’t met a single guy around here who I enjoy enough to want us to meet up outside of work. (Admittedly, I’m pretty selective about who I hang out with, whether they’re male or female – if we don’t really click, I don’t bother letting it be an option to have a relationship outside of work, unless I’m really bored). All winter just feeling like I had options, even benign ones, was enough. Now, I want more.
I’ve made multiple attempts over the last two years to find different environments, besides work, where I can meet some quality guys around my age (I’ve tried out like five different young adult church groups and frequently hang out at this trendy new café that has pretty high traffic). Nothing has been successful. It’s just not in my nature to completely give up on the hunt. As Judy says in “White Christmas,” “You know how honesty needs a little plus, well sometimes fate needs a little push.” I’ve decided that it’s about time I gave fate a little push. This is why, despite many reservations, I’m giving online dating a chance.
Alright, the decision wasn’t entirely this well thought out. It was kind of impulsive.
You may remember that I told you a little bit about this dating site, HowAboutWe.com, last year. I saw an ad for it on facebook that I just had to click on because it fascinated me. It’s marketed as a dating site that’s more like a social network where you post date ideas like statuses and find potential people to go out with you. How cool is that? I come up with potential dates all the time. I miss having a go-to guy that I could con into taking me out. I fell in love with the concept.
I signed up for free so I could poke around the site. It was terribly disappointing. Most of the people didn’t take advantage of its awesomeness at all. They treated it like any other dating site. (Tons of the guys on there just post boring things like “Let’s just talk and see where it goes from there.” Psh. Lame! Not interested). At the time, I also was turned off by the idea of going out with strangers (spending the last year talking to hundreds to thousands of strangers every weekend has really diminished this hang up). After satisfying my curiosity that day, I wrote off online dating.
I didn’t remember that my profile was still up until I recently started getting a number of emails from the site (I’m notorious for setting up online accounts that I never use but don’t bother to delete). For whatever reason, my profile began receiving a lot of attention. I got a string of messages throughout February letting me know that different men were “intrigued” by my date. Of course, that piqued my interest. I visited the site to check out these guy’s profiles but, annoyingly, I couldn’t see them without becoming a paid member. There was no way I was doing that! Still, after practically a year of silence, it felt like a nudge towards online dating.
After receiving yet another one of those emails, I set up a free account on the dating site Lucy uses. The next night, Heather convinced me to get on another dating site that she’s trying out.
I’ve had my profiles up for about two weeks now. I haven’t gone on any dates yet but I’ve messaged back and forth a little with a few men. I’m about ready to meet one and see if we get along as well in person as we do online.
I’m doing my best to keep an open mind but it’s hard. With an online format like this it’s too easy to go down the line and size these guys up quickly: Weirdo. Douche. Creep. Loser. Kid. Fitness Freak. Man’s Man. Etc. (All disqualifiers in my book). I’m doing my best not to just judge these men off of their profile pictures (though the pictures that people choose to put up can really say a lot about them). Men’s About Me sections and usernames play a big role in my assessment. I’m terribly inclined to immediately write off guys who say their primary interests are sports, exercise, or outdoorsy things (hiking, camping, fishing, hunting). I just can’t imagine having anything to talk about with these guys.
So far, the best thing about online dating is viewing people’s profiles. Some men’s pictures scream douche bag so loudly it’s hard not to laugh. Plenty of Fish offers an extra level of amusement because each person has to have a headline for their profile. Some of my favorites so far are “Cougar? No Thank You.” “Add to Cart.” “Is eating a sandwich. Oh wait, wrong site…” “I shower every day.” One of these days, I’m hoping to see a guy with the headline “Professional punner and proud of it.” I’d totally message that guy in a second.
Have you tried out online dating? What do you think of it? Do you think I’m judging these men’s profiles too harshly?