online dating hell

10 posts

OkStupid: One Girl’s Descent into Dating Madness

Most messages received on OkCupid rarely go beyond the inane, but there are those that so violently violate the laws of space, time, and reason that the beg to be shared. These are their stories.

OkCupid is a scary place – you have to contend with hipsters, sad old men, and people you suspect are suffering from a thought disorder. It’s this last group that usually sends the most hilarious (and often terrifying) messages to my inbox. Continue reading

The Tale of the Man Who Refuses to Take a Hint

About a year ago, I decided to give online dating a shot. One of my girlfriends has been utilizing it, and though not all of her dates were winners, she seemed to be having fun. I thought, “What the hell?” I didn’t put much effort into my profile because, really, I wasn’t expecting much. Continue reading

Online Dating Profiles for Dummies

Hello!  You must be new here.  I bet you’ve never tried online dating before.  Of course you haven’t—who is really that desperate?  Well, not you.  Except now, maybe you’re feeling a little lonely and, after all, everyone uses online dating these days!  No shame in it, my friend.  So let’s get started.

Perhaps you should mention this right away.  Nothing says, “I’m not desperate” like starting off your profile with something meant to emphasize how very Not Desperate you are.  There are a few ways to accomplish this:

1)    “I’m not really sure how to write one of these profile thingies, so here goes!”

2)    “I am new to town and just looking to meet some new people to hang out with!  It’s not like I’m here because I can’t get a date because I totally can!  People definitely do not think I am weird and socially awkward in person.  That is not why I am using an online dating site.  What is wrong with you that you think this way?  Do you want to meet for drinks later?  You have a pretty smile.  Just as friends?  Oh, okay.”

Next, you are going to want to tell your prospective partners how totally laid-back and down-to-earth you are.  No one wants someone who is high-strung!  Have you ever heard the bachelor tell the camera how much he adores that girl because she is so high-maintenance and a total space cadet?  Obviously not.  So please, tell the audience that you are laid back.  You enjoy “chilling.”  Chillaxing, maybe even, if you are looking for a partner who is down with The Slang!  Got the 411 all up in herr!  This is perhaps a good place to insert an “LOL” or an emoticon, preferably 🙂 or 😉 but definitely not 😛 because we want to save that wily tongue for at least the fifth date.  We are classy like that.  I mean, if you were looking for casual sex, you’d use Craigslist, amirite?!  No matter that you did try Craigslist and failed to get any responses that did not come from prostitutes or spambots, but it’s not like you’re going to put that in your dating profile.  You should probably leave that out.

Next, you need to inform your prospective partner that you love to travel.  This makes you sound exotic and exciting, even if you’ve only ever been to Davenport.  They have a different kind of grocery store there that is not the Piggly Wiggly so that makes it something of a foreign land.  This brings us to eating, which is also an approved topic.  You will imply that you will eat pretty much anything, even though in reality you subsist on Diet Coke, fudgesicles and bourbon.  You do not want to scare people away by telling them anything that might be remotely close to the truth, after all.  This is also a good time to bring up your love of cooking.  Well, of course you love cooking!  You watch Paula Deen pretty much every day while partaking in a light snack of Apple Jacks interspersed with bong rips.  Thus, you have a love of cooking.  Note that you have not actually said, “I love to cook and am good at it.”  You are therefore not lying.  Legalese is your friend.

Now is also not a good time to mention that you live in your parents’ basement and spend your days playing World of Warcraft between shifts at Chick-Fil-A.  You should make a vague mention of your job in sales, which you love because you just adore working with people.  Again, you’re not exactly lying, and everyone loves a people-lover.  There are no antisocial people on dating websites, that’s for sure.  And if there are, you definitely want to weed them out.

You should probably take a minute now to go put some more Easy Mac in the microwave and take a little break.  We’re getting down to the nitty-gritty and you’re going to need sustenance.  Also, your little brother will be home soon and he will probably eat that last packet if you don’t get to it first, and Mom isn’t going grocery shopping for like another four days or something.

I almost forgot; please include that you love sarcasm.  Everyone loves a sarcastic bitch/sonofabitch.  A dry, mocking voice just has that je ne sais quoi that makes the panties drop.  So make sure you throw that one in there.  And you have a good sense of humor.  Not like all of those other super unfunny people out in Online Dating Land.  They are definitely not writing, “I have a sarcastic sense of humor” on their profiles.  This is truly virgin ground.  Oh, and about that virginity.  You should probably write something like, “I’m looking for someone to just hang out with” rather than “please at least give me a hand job—after all, I plan to buy you at least two Miller Lites and that shit ain’t cheap!”  Women and men like a little mystery.  In this vein, send messages that are one-word only, such as, “Sup.”  This is a subtle and effective way to demonstrate your interest, and, generally speaking, bitches be loving the “sup.”  It conveys everything and yet, nothing at all.  Mystery.

If you want good responses, you have to have a good profile!  After all, people primarily read the text that accompanies profiles.  They most definitely do not just flip through photos looking for the one girl with tons of eyeliner and pouty duck-lips and conspicuous tattoos and bangs that pretty much cover her face but maybe she kind of looks like Zooey Deschanel from that angle?  No, people use online dating because they like to read the text. Which is why you’re here with me, marinating in my sage advice like a chicken cutlet in some ginger and soy sauce.  You’ll thank me later.

Five Lessons I Learned from OKCupid

It’s that time again.  Another day, another fizzled out semi-relationship with a guy who smelled delightfully of cigars and sweetly came up with clever nicknames for me.  And so I reactivated my OKCupid profile last week.  This got me to thinking about my previous forays into online dating, and I have provided a few select ones here so that you might laugh at me from the comfort of your strong, enduring marriages and partnerships or your basement apartments filled with cats.

I have been on many terrible dates.  Punishing dates.  But every bad one is an opportunity to learn and do better next time, no?  For the Marrieds and Coupled Ups here and various others who have managed to avoid the Seventh Circle of Hell known as, I have provided a list of things that should make you feel infinitely better about yourselves.  And for the rest of you who suffer through endless OKCupid emails about your Quiver Matches (isn’t that some kind of Christian superbaby cult?) and messages from people who were never taught about the sanctity of the shift key, I want to give you some pointers and let you to know that you are not alone.  Except–wait, you are!  Otherwise you would not be online dating.

In any case, here is what I learned from a year of perpetual bad dates:

1.  A sex shop is not an acceptable venue for a first date.  This gentleman seemed quite promising!  He charmed me with his jokes and his South Side Irish strawberry-blond hair.  We could have ginger babies! This is my mother’s fondest wish—that I someday produce spawn that will be inevitably haunted by comments from evil 7th grade girls about how oh my God I can’t believe you don’t tan! and drunken twentysomething dudes desperate to know if the curtains match the drapes.

We got along swimmingly.  In any case, the subject turned to online dating.  If there is one thing I have learned from online dating, it is that men love to talk about the other men that women meet through online dating.  I cannot explain this, but virtually every man I have been on a date with has desperately wanted to know what other men who do online dating are like.  In any case, I mentioned that one of the first messages I received when I signed up was from a guy who described his love for his Fleshlight in his profile.  And this South Side Irish man claimed to have no knowledge of what this “Fleshlight” thing could be, so, being the teacher that I am, I kindly explained it to him.  Somehow this explanation led to the mention of a nearby sex toy emporium, which led to joking about visiting this sinful haven of carnal pleasure, which, two very large beers later, turned into an actual trip.  Shockingly, this relationship did not work out.  If there is one thing that Cosmo didn’t warn me about, it’s that dates that begin in a sex shop rarely end in a meaningful, satisfying relationship.

2.  Do not date men who think it is sexy to tell you that they would like to tie you up and rape you in front of your family.  It took me far longer than it should have to figure out that this fellow was an unmedicated psychopath.  Luckily, after the family-rape comment, I told him that he should perhaps never speak to me again or ever try to contact me or I would report his freaky ass to the police, and he listened.  This is also true: he had a tally next to his bed.  You know, a tally. On the wall.  In Sharpie.  He also drank all of the alcohol I had in my apartment–including the mysterious bottle that a friend brought back from China that no one else would touch.  Looking back, there were a lot of red flags with this one.

3.  Do not judge unless this person totally merits judgment.  Get out your gavels, because you are all going to judge me for this.  (I am also listening to Coldplay right now.  Judge away!)  This fellow and I did not speak on the phone before our date, but we exchanged many flirtatious emails.  He seemed so nice!  Worked in education!  We met for a drink, which became two drinks when I realized that he was unable to finish a sentence because of his severe stutter.  It seemed terribly unfair to judge someone because of a speech impediment, so I tried my best to ignore it and just focus on what he was saying.  This is where this story could take a heartwarming turn, where I learned that it was what was on the inside that counted, not the speech impediment!  But this was no after school special.  I soon realized that he worked in a part-time job, lived with his parents, and spoke with an inexplicable Jersey accent.  And not in a funny/ironic way.  In a bad way.  A very bad way.

4.  Do not be fooled by sexy accents.  This sexy British guy had such a sexy British accent!  He insisted on adding me as a Facebook friend after a couple of dates, which seemed weird at the time but, hello!  Sexy accents cover a multitude of sins!  And we discovered that we had the same birthday.  It was fate!  Except that he was screwing some other girl the whole time he was seeing me.  I discovered this when he posted photos from a trip they took together on Facebook.  Some people think that a British accent makes you sound smarter.  But do not be mistaken: a British accent does not actually make you any smarter. Especially when it comes to things like hiding your ladyfriends from one another on Facebook.  In a moment of near-instant karma, a couple of days later, his other girlfriend went snooping through his phone, found text messages from me and dumped his cheating ass.

5.  Last but not least, do not meet a man at his apartment on the second date.  This guy did improv and (because I was trying very hard not to judge– not all improv actors are self-important and insufferable!) seemed nice at first.  We had ice cream.  It was okay!  He was not too creepy, though his bug eyes did sort of weird me out.  I agreed to a second date, and I met him at his place.  He answered the door in nothing but a towel.  I could not get out of there fast enough.

I have learned a lot of lessons through online dating.  Don’t be blinded by accents or the promise of ginger babies!  Avoid improv actors at all costs!  Don’t go to sex shops on the first date!  Wait until at least the third date for that.

I’m sure I missed a few things here.  What lessons have you learned from online dating?

They’re all gonna laugh at me

Earlier this week, I wrote about my somewhat random decision to reactivate one of my dating profiles.

Am I currently one of the featured profiles on the site? Yes.

Am I receiving so many responses that I haven’t had time to reply to them all? No.

Have the messages/flirts I’ve sent been responded to with hot n’ heavy promises of a good time? No.

Thus, my results are pretty much mirroring the experiences I’ve encountered previously. That made me sad, but then thanks to the fabulous Miss Anita Manbadly, I shrugged off the negative feelings and decided to have fun.

What came out of that? Why, this funtastic video that I’ve added to my profile!

Who is Planteater?!? from Random Citizen on Vimeo.

Also, I now laugh at profiles. Not in a bitter way, but more in a “Wow, you really think you’re better than me?” sort of way. Here I am contacting you to chat you up, but I’m not good enough? Fool, you’re on a dating site!

My favorites are the ones by older guys who are on a site where most of the females are a good decade or two younger. Oh yeah, Daddy, you go ahead and ignore someone who’s actually interested in older men for those 20-somethings who don’t want to deal with your saggy balls.

So, I may not have boys beating down my door anytime soon, I’m choosing to see this as another learning experience instead of feeling completely sorry for myself.

I’ll still scowl at those fucking lucky trolls in love, though.

Chasing the Unicorn

Earlier this week, I reactivated one of my dating profiles after several months of being off the dating grid. In the hopes of having a fresh start, I created a new username, uploaded new photos, wrote some new “witty” copy, and put together a quick video with additional information on yours truly.

So far, I’ve not received any flirts/winks/happy-smiley-faces. I’ve sent a couple of flirts to a few guys, but didn’t hear back. After seeing some cuties on the site, I sent brief e-mails asking the guys about something mentioned in their profile. No response.

In the back of my mind, I know this is a test of my patience, yet it kills me. Having my e-mail open in a tab for most of the day, I admit I get a little excited at the hopes that when I click over, it will be an e-mail from someone on the site. I figure I have another week before that optimism wears off.

Recently, one of my gay friends went through my roster of talents and asked why I wasn’t married. I simply shrugged my shoulders. It’s not as if I haven’t asked myself that internally. And I don’t even necessarily want to get married.

This is why I can't have nice thingsI’ll readily admit that I’m not hot, nor am I everyone’s cup of tea. Still, I can’t help but get angry when I see two trolls in love while I’m commuting to/from work. Fucking lucky trolls in love.

But I digress…

Anyone else out there playing around in the dating puddle? What tips can you offer in maintaining one’s sanity?

Adventures with algorithms

Technology is wondrous. It allows us to make animated kitten gifs in mere minutes. It allows us to experience the raw brutal pleasure of German pornography. It allows us to steal music with a level of efficiency not matched since the time your town’s high school dropout kid plowed his El Camino through the front doors of Best Buy at 3 in the morning.

One thing it seems to really suck at, though, is determining the romantic compatibility of two human beings. In that respect, technology is nearly as bad as actual human beings.

Today, for shits and giggles, I decided to to do a “reverse match” search on of people who say they’re looking for someone like me. Match immediately tried to flatter me with sheer quantity. 1,622 results! I’m more desired than Jon Hamm wrapped in cupcake icing and bacon!

Once that immediate hit of ego-satisfying euphoria wore off, however, I took a closer look.

Here’s the entire profile of my third result:

About my life and what I’m looking for

im 5ft even redbone thick wit it 4tatts 2 gold teeth spotaneous outgoing silly at times good sense of humor easy to get along wit but just dnt rub me the wrong way then you will see that pisces side of me

I want to laugh at this awful dating profile, but I can’t! According to Match’s super high-tech algorithm, we should be a perfect match. This says more about me than her. I guess at this point the only question left to ask is….

What flavor of 4Loko should I bring on our first date? Is “purple” too fancy?