My Experience

Online dating

At the urging of various friends and family members who’ve insisted that I need to “get over it” and start dating again, I posted a profile to (since deleted, before you go looking). Doing this made sense on some level because most of my time is tied up with children and words, and most of the women I’m meeting these days are cropping up on social media sites.

Creating my profile took maybe a half an hour. Soon enough, I was tossed into a digital meat market of nearly identical profiles punctuated here and there by second hand problems. It seems like most women on Match are “looking for their partner in crime”, “strong and independent”, and pretending to like football a hell of a lot more than most men I know.

Online dating sites still carry the reputation of being populated by weirdos. I pretty much ignored this stigma because I met the mother of my children on the Internet back in the 90’s when this concept was new and even more frowned upon.

Things certainly have changed, but not necessarily for the better.

For starters, we have people in their 30’s and 40’s taking throwback MySpace pictures like this:

I can take pictures with mirrors! Whee!

I can take pictures with mirrors! Whee! And no one will ever tell this is the staff bathroom!

Then, there’s the obligatory shot wherein one pretends (I hope!) to drive a car for no reason:

Low-Ride-Er... Rollin' in mah Honda deathtrap...

Rollin’ hard in mah Honda deathtrap… So GANGSTA!!

Let’s not forget the grotesque image of the potential dating candidate doing something random and weird to attempt to appear fun and interesting:

Carl's Jr. Commercial

Check out my personal Carl’s Jr. fish sandwich commercial! Gave me worms…

In my week on Match, I was stalked by women in their late 40’s, “winked at” by people who disappear off the site in the next twenty-four hours, shunned like Hester friggin’ Prynne for having two children at age 30, approached by someone trying to run an international gold scam (I swear I’m not making this up!), and stalked by a wannabe Russian mail-order bride that still e-mails me in broken English and writes as if she has known me for years and is passionately in love with me.

Additionally, I went on one date. Prior to doing this, I texted one of my best friends, who has been through a divorce and remarried, and told him I was having second thoughts about going. I explained that I felt like a traitor to my family. He explained to me in no uncertain terms that it was just a date and that I was being a sissy la-la.

So I went.

Being a paragon of chivalry in this postmodern world, I allowed my date to pick the time and place. I, of course, would pay for everything. I had to borrow a car because my Honda deathtrap is even less dateable than I am at present, and when I arrived at the scene, it was practically rained out. I ended up meeting my date in a cramped, smoky bar that was so loud we couldn’t hear ourselves talk.

In retrospect, this was the best part of the evening. Hands down.

So she and I get into my (my mom’s) chariot to get out of the rain. In the space between pulling out of the pub scene and finding a place to eat, I ask her some basic questions that weren’t addressed on her profile.

Like, for example, what she does for a living.

She refuses to answer this question, stating that this information is normally reserved for the third or fourth date. She’s a college graduate too, so I figured this would be small talk.

Weird, right?

At about this point, I notice that she is more nervous than I am. This seems odd to me as well, as this is the first time I’ve been on a date with anyone but my ex in nearly a decade, and my date has candidly told me that I am her 22nd guy. No, not 22 dates, she explains. Many more dates than that. 22 guys.

This is pretty much the only thing she’s willing to talk about other than a mutual teacher we had in high school (we went to different schools, but apparently he gets around) who she thought was hot. This same teacher, who I once looked up to, had an affair with a 17-year-old student despite being married and having two beautiful children.

My date thinks it’s strange that I, as a teacher, am bothered by this. She also thinks my profile is “unappealing” because I was honest about my personality and didn’t take pictures in a nice suit.

The coup de grace, of course, is when she pulls out a journal (manifesto?) of handwritten notes taken over every e-mail she’s received via in the past two years. She proudly shows me the number of views she’s had daily since creating her profile, which are scrawled in the margins.

“Check, please!”

So yeah, I lasted about a week on Match. It would have been nice to get a refund for the two+ months I paid for in advance, but the experience was invaluable. In addition to confirming for the umpteenth time that women are crazy, I learned that I’m just not ready to do this again.


Filed under Rants

10 responses to “My Experience

  1. Interesting account; sorry it didn’t work out.

    My profile got put onto recently by a friend (well, i think it was a joint effort with his wife who is also concerned about my single status). It was literary a picture in profile that i was not even aware had been taken, and looks like an old one. Anyway, it seems i’m being enticed to join (pay) with the number of views and ‘matches’, some of them rather attractive. Except they are seeing my good side from several years back, though deception is doubtless working both ways.

    Not sure how UK women compare with US, but there there is often that sense of urgency with the 30-something single female. One stated she doesn’t want men who waste her time. Fair enough, but it makes her seem impatient. I know the concept dating is different in the UK – it’s more than just a pre-relationship interview (often with many candidates), so maybe in Britain dates are more fraught because they are unconventional [to the normal way people get together here].

    But don’t be reluctant like i am. It’s just I’m still dealing with the possible rejection from an agent without setting myself up for another kind.


    • Good luck with the agent!

      I’m not worried about rejection, exactly. It’s more that I have enough issues in my life right now without bringing someone else (and her potential problems) into my mess. I hope for your sake that British women are more mature than their American counterparts. What I saw in my brief stint could be divided into three groups: women with too high of expectations, 30 and 40 year old teenagers, and full figured 20-somethings. I was also surprised by how many women were gun toting lunatics. Lol no thanks.


  2. Dude that was disturbing in everything except the pub. Never leave the pub!


  3. This was a fun post, I really enjoyed reading it. I actually met my husband on I guess these days the “online option” is simply one more potential way to meet a mate–other than the old school blind dates or worse, “at a bar.” It’s like anything else I guess–hit or miss. I liked your “profile” pictures, made me laugh. I’m also very sorry for your date…:)


  4. As a gay guy I found pretty cynicism-inducing too. I had a profile on OKCupid as well, which is a free site, and comparing the way people on each site write themselves up is pretty instructive. On it’s all about the sales pitch – every man on there is a career high-flyer who’s “interested in travel”, and he’ll have photos of himself either in a London flat with a view out into a tree-lined Victorian street, in some exotic location with a backpack, or doing some sort of high-cachet sport in expensive kit. On OKCupid, you pretty much have to filter out polyamorists looking for their next shag as a first pass, but beyond that people are much more willing to be themselves and it can be pretty interesting.

    But the overall lesson I took from it is that basically, the people who date online are still the ones who have to date online. There are the ones with no time because of children, the ones with genuine niche lifestyles for whom it saves time to be honest, the ones with unreasonable expectations, the ones who claim to have niche lifestyles but are actually just incredibly self-centred, the ones who really have no social skills and are looking for someone the same… basically, you get all the people who don’t just naturally meet someone through their own social circle. If you want my completely unasked-for advice, I think your friends are overvaluing the notion of romance for its own sake; I also think you’ll very probably meet someone the boring real-life way when you’re ready to be with someone again, on the grounds you appear to be an interesting individual!


    • It’s great to hear from you. Thanks for the vote of confidence. 🙂

      Things are definitely looking up. How have you been? I’ll have to check out your blog in the near future. I’ve been missing out on reading on these days. Maybe you’ll motivate me to actually get something done…


  5. I think in some respects the population reflects the “real world” population; the difference is that your real world experience usually insulates you from full-on exposure to the full spectrum of humanity for better and worse.

    I was on Match for about a week. I wrote a brutally honest but humorous profile, tacked up some very recent photos, and sat back to see what would happen. Oy vey. I got the full spectrum, and of course since 99% of that is entirely unappealing or downright weird or positively frightening, it was discouraging.

    But then I got this email from this one woman…which turned into a rapid fire exchange of good natured wry insults that was absolutely hysterical and captivating. We met in person and were off to the races. I was slapping myself for it happening so soon, having expected that I would have to spend 40 days and nights in the wilderness, paying penance, before anyone remotely sympatico might wander my way.

    I do think Felix is spot on. Match is for people who are in a niche or are time-challenged and are perfectly normal, just as much as it is for the socially challenged and awkward, and to be blunt, the downright pathetic.

    I know quite a few lovely couples who have Match to thank for bringing them together. I hope that with a bit more passage of time I can count myself among them.

    Thanks for recounting your experience with humor and perspective…it was a great read. I take it as a reminder that our first impressions of virtually anything often set our opinions, and count myself lucky that my first “date” turned out so well.


  6. OMG….I need to write about my POF experiences! Hilarious. I suppose that there must be some success on these sites…at least that’s what they claim! 🙂 Better luck in the real world! *Cheers*


  7. Jeff

    Good blog pike, I recently joined to expand my social circles and spice up my dating scenes since I recently moved to a new area. It is my first and most definitely my last foray into this zoo of a scene. Boy O boy, has it been an eye opener. I date a lot in the past using the old-fashioned way of meeting folks in person but the online dating really showed me just how wide a spectrum the variety of humanity can be . . . . and it ain’t pretty. I have met the lonely 35 year-olds who are single due to a shy/introverted personality, budding alcoholics, party girls who don’t know they are getting too old for their antics, and Walking Woundeds. Granted, I don’t think it’s’s fault that these girls are there, because I think people who are on there do tend to be the ones who are more awkward in real-life and aren’t as desirable. I think any decent-looking individual, whether male or female, most likely would benefit from looking for a mate the old-fashioned way rather than wasting time behind a computer screen looking at words when they really should be looking at live people.


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