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Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
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61 Responses

  1. Flora
    Flora June 28, 2011 at 10:55 am |

    If we went on as many dates with people we’d met offline, it would be just as depressing as online dating. The only difference is that online dating encourages you to try people you wouldn’t otherwise.

  2. Jessica Isabel
    Jessica Isabel June 28, 2011 at 10:57 am |

    I’m also doing the online dating circuit (OKC) and I have to say, I agree with you Jill. It’s easy to weed out obvious undesirables with a full profile, photos, and match questions. It’s much harder to ascertain that kind of information from someone you meet in a coffee shop. That being said, what you can’t weed out is social awkwardness. A lot of people (not the majority) who seek out online dating do so because they have serious issues communicating and/or having functional in-person relationships with others. Again, I am not saying the majority, but there are a ton of awkward turtles running around OKC. It takes time (and a few bad experiences) to learn to tell the signs.

  3. Comrade Kevin
    Comrade Kevin June 28, 2011 at 11:00 am |

    I have always had mixed experiences with online dating. The most success I have found is through the old fashioned way, either the two of us inhabiting the same network of friends or being introduced by a mutual friend.

    I do not envy you, my friend, but I do wish you the best of luck.

  4. Clarissa
    Clarissa June 28, 2011 at 11:04 am |

    Actually, there is a surplus of available men, both in online dating and non-Internet dating. For every response a man gets to his Internet dating profile, a woman gets 60+ responses.

    I recently blogged about how the only thing a woman can post on her Internet dating profile that is guaranteed to scare all potential male dates away is “I’m not looking for anything serious.” We are being constantly told by silly TV shows and unintelligent articles in New York Times that women are desperate to commit while men are reluctant. This hasn’t been the case since the eighties when this trend was observed and analyzed in Backlash by Susan Faludi. Nowadays, men are very eager to find a woman who will agree to a stable relationship while women are a lot less interested.

  5. Ismone
    Ismone June 28, 2011 at 11:08 am |

    Yeah, I don’t think it is that bad. I am one of those 30’s women, and while I don’t get as much attention as I did when I was younger, I was able to go on plenty of dates, mostly with same-age, slightly older, or even (gasp!) younger men.

    Meeting people for those who want to be in a couple can be frustrating, but a lot of us are still single. And I haven’t really had a dramatically bad online dating experience. Possibly because of the judgmental bitch thing. :)

  6. anna
    anna June 28, 2011 at 11:15 am |

    “he wanted to marry a woman so he could have a house in the suburbs and two kids and a golden retriever (and he wanted it soon)”

    Was this before same-sex marriage and adoption was legal, then? Not that it makes sense either way really.

  7. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub June 28, 2011 at 11:23 am |

    I did the online dating thing for a while. I noticed that men 15 years older than me and men 15 years younger than me were interested in me (the younger men tended to be open to dating in their age group, younger, or older). Men my age–kinda few and far between. Which was funny. (I also noted that the older men tended to not want to date women their own age. A few made comments in their emails to me that they’d been on the site for a year or more without much luck.)

    BUT–I can’t say I had any bad experiences when I met people. More often than not, there wasn’t any chemistry, but I never came away from coffee, drinks, or a quick bite to eat thinking, “I want my two hours back.” With one exception, nothing came of the dates, but they were fun–no nightmare stories.

    Also: I was amazed at how many people would complain about their exes on their profiles, complain about the available dating pool on their profiles, or generally act like whiny, negative douchebags on their profiles. I would never want to discourage that, however–it saves me the trouble of wasting an evening dealing with it in person. Heh.

  8. Jadey
    Jadey June 28, 2011 at 11:23 am |

    I set up a profile on one site and filled it with all the information I felt would attract people I would want to know and repulse people I wouldn’t want to know (such as “fat-positive”, “social justice-y” and “total nerd”). Every once in a while I get a message from someone who’s interested, and it’s pretty easy to figure out who I want to reply to from there. So far I’ve met up with four people, all of whom have been nice and three of whom I want to keep hanging out with (#4 was nice, but there was no click whatsoever). I’d say that’s a pretty good result! For me that kind of dating is awesome because it gives me structure and removes the uncomfortableness of trying to figure out if a person is even remotely interested in me or is just being nice because we have class together/sat next to each other on the bus/live on the same street/yada yada. Yay for transparency!

  9. Nahida
    Nahida June 28, 2011 at 11:24 am |

    I have no interest in dating right now (online or otherwise) but I am SO TEMPTED to make a profile for myself on an online dating site just for amusement.

  10. Ellie
    Ellie June 28, 2011 at 11:29 am |

    Jessica Isabel:
    That being said, what you can’t weed out is social awkwardness. A lot of people (not the majority) who seek out online dating do so because they have serious issues communicating and/or having functional in-person relationships with others.

    THIS THIS THIS. I try not to view it as a dealbreaker, but I’ve met a few people online who are perfect for me on paper, and then there’s nothing resembling a spark between us in real life, and try as I might I can’t even make it kind of click on a no-pressure friendship level.

    There are lots of people I’ve met online for whom this is not the case, but meeting people offline usually weeds these individuals out; there’s definitely a different pool of potential partners online than out and about.

  11. glitterary
    glitterary June 28, 2011 at 11:30 am |

    My internet dating experiences have been pretty shiny. Last year I found myself in a situation where I wanted a fling, or friends-with-benefits type situation, and internet dating allowed me to delineate exactly what I wanted without it being awkward. I met a guy who was just perfect for what I wanted at the time, and now he’s moved on but we’re still friends. Looking for the same thing offline has been more difficult, though not impossible.

    Clarissa:
    We are being constantly told by silly TV shows and unintelligent articles in New York Times that women are desperate to commit while men are reluctant. This hasn’t been the case since the eighties when this trend was observed and analyzed in Backlash by Susan Faludi. Nowadays, men are very eager to find a woman who will agree to a stable relationship while women are a lot less interested.

    This! The chap I’m seeing now is okay with keeping things casual, but much readier than I am to say he’d like a real relationship in the near future. Though there are still men who won’t believe a woman can just want casual sex; I told a chap what I was after and he couldn’t wrap his head around friends with benefits not being a relationship by stealth. Your loss, dumbass. You could’ve had unlimited no-strings sex, but your paranoia ruined it for you.

  12. Andie
    Andie June 28, 2011 at 11:32 am |

    DATING is depressing, online or off. /cynical

    Honestly though, I’ve been on and off POF (cause I’m a tightwad and won’t use a paid site) for a few years now, and I’d say my experiences have been 90% positive.. I’ve met a few guys I’ve clicked with (including one I dated for about a year), a few who were really cool but no chemistry whom I am still friends with, and two weirdos (one of whom I’m still friends with, in spite of myself)

    I’m always wary of putting down that I’m looking for a relationship, because I find that that brings the guys who want you to be their girlfriend before you even get to know them. So I generally always say that I’m open to a relationship, but not looking to jump in head-first.

    I do agree that online dating makes it easier to avoid dudes that you really wouldn’t have anything in common with and there are a lot of red flags I look for in a profile before I message someone.

    I will say though, I get tired of emails that just say “Your cute” because I always want to answer “My cute what?”

  13. Yonmei
    Yonmei June 28, 2011 at 11:34 am |

    The worst thing about online dating is the sheer volume of men who think “lesbian” means “woman who might be into kinky sex with me”. Of course good sites find ways in which you can mass-block those guys, but…

    Then there’s the men who for one reason or another pose as lesbians with stolen photographs and fake bios. Good online dating sites weed out the obvious ones. But as the recent Tom MacMaster / Bill Graber romance demonstrates, you can’t get them all – all you can do is hope that, as they’re always absolutely unwilling to meet in person or speak on the phone, that by default they mostly end up having online-only relationships with each other.

    But, once you’ve cleared all the men out of the way, I found that the really awful thing about online dating was the way in which so many women were striving to put their “best side” forward: I mean they were anxious to tell me that they were gainfully employed, had a good sense of humour, were friendly and nice… enjoyed the cinema, long walks on the beach, sunsets… and while all of these things are good things, I kept thinking “Oh my God, you sound so boring!”

    And then I got an email from someone who’d read my profile and wanted to let me know that the only good Watson in Jeremy Brett’s Sherlock Holmes was the first one. And we emailed back and forth for a few days and I kept looking forward to her messages because they made me smile. And then I suggested we meet, and she said “what about tonight?” and we met, and we talked for hours, and that was last August, and she still makes me smile.

    I’d never have found her without an online dating site, even though she lives relatively nearby. So no: online dating. Not depressing.

    Not once you clean the guys out of the pool, anyway.

  14. Jadey
    Jadey June 28, 2011 at 11:49 am |

    Funny, social awkwardness is one of those things I look for. Providing we match up in other ways, I’m generally much more comfortable with someone who really gets how uncomfortable socializing can be.

  15. Ashley
    Ashley June 28, 2011 at 11:51 am |

    I dabbled in online dating when I was 19-21. I lived in a very rural area and had no car, and I only went to a couple of college classes a week. So I just wasn’t meeting very many people at all. I found going online as a better way to meet people in my area that I normally wouldn’t encounter in person otherwise. For the most part, it was a positive experience. I met a couple of great guys, but unfortunately most of the men I talked to were still in school and although I hung out with a few of them, they were all doing all kinds of interning, relocating for school and job offers so nothing serious could come from it due to geographical distance issues. And the fact that I had no transportation didn’t help either.

  16. gretel
    gretel June 28, 2011 at 11:55 am |

    The were a few things that depressed me about my online dating experiences, namely the lies people included so that they wouldn’t be filtered out of someone’s search results. For instance: their height. I’m a 5’10” female. If you say you are 5’10” in your profile and then ask me on a date, I am going to notice that you are actually 5’7″. I’ve been in a relationship with a 5’6″ guy for 5 years now, so I obviously don’t have a height requirement when dating, but it makes you realize how many people do.

  17. MacaroniGalaxy
    MacaroniGalaxy June 28, 2011 at 12:03 pm |

    Well for me (a male in his mid 20s, mind you), I can’t complain too much about my online dating experience.

    The worst part (if you can even call it that), was that it took perhaps a little more effort than I’d like. A few years and messages to 700+ women before I got a date.

    However, I think that’s a relatively minor complaint. The process worked and I’ve met someone who actually seems to enjoy my company quite a bit. Overall, it’s been a very positive experience for me.

  18. Ashley
    Ashley June 28, 2011 at 12:04 pm |

    gretel:
    The were a few things that depressed me about my online dating experiences, namely the lies people included so that they wouldn’t be filtered out of someone’s search results. For instance: their height. I’m a 5’10″ female. If you say you are 5’10″ in your profile and then ask me on a date, I am going to notice that you are actually 5’7″. I’ve been in a relationship with a 5’6″ guy for 5 years now, so I obviously don’t have a height requirement when dating, but it makes you realize how many people do.

    Yeah that reminds me of the few frogs I also encountered. I remember meeting this one guy who’s profile said he made a lot more than he actually did. It also said he was attending Indiana University, but he just lived on campus for the parties, wasn’t actually enrolled in classes though.

    Another guy was listed as living with roommate, but that roommate was his mom. I met another fellow that took me to a frat party as a date (I know) and asked me to not tell his buddie that we met online.

  19. Sid
    Sid June 28, 2011 at 12:11 pm |

    Online dating was fabulous for me! I mean, I met my husband (who is a few years younger than me *GASP*) on OKCupid, but I also went on a TON of first dates. It was just so much easier to weed out the guys I knew for a fact would be incompatible than it would have been at a bar. I would KNOW that he was a guy who would put “no fat chicks” on his profile. I would KNOW that his email address was “LordPeenus69@hotmail.com” before I accepted a gin and tonic.

    But on a soapboxy note, dating is only depressing if you view it as something you can fail at, and I don’t believe that dating is one of those things. Are you on a date? CONGRATULATIONS! You have succeeded at dating. Is it a bad date? Great! Then it’s a story! Is it a meh date? Eh, you got a drink or dinner or wevs instead of staying at home and watching tv. Is it a good date? HUZZAH!

    Now, if your goal is to get laid, then you can fail. Or if your goal is to get married, then you can fail. But dating doesn’t have to be about either of those. My goal was always to see if I clicked with the other person. Either we would, or we wouldn’t, but not clicking isn’t the end of the world because there are a majillion other people out there I COULD click with, and best to move on and find them.

  20. groggette
    groggette June 28, 2011 at 12:12 pm |

    There have of course been some duds but online dating for the most part has been worlds better for me than randomly meeting someone (although I’m currently starting the dating process with someone mutual friends decided to set me up with so now I get to see how the friends’ set up goes). Online I can be clear that I’m not interested in marriage, like casual sex, am NOT monogamous, am a little bit kinky, and am very progressive. Those things are important to me and interested parties will know that upfront before they ever decide to message or respond to me. Anecdotally, I’m still friends (and occasional FWBs) with several people I met online, while offline I’ve had the bf who flipped after we broke up and started harrassing me with texts and phone calls, and the bf before him who lied to me throughout the relationship and still found a way to cheat even though we were in a completely open relationship.

    Yonmei: The worst thing about online dating is the sheer volume of men who think “lesbian” means “woman who might be into kinky sex with me”.

    Oh if only that didn’t happen offline as well :(

  21. Nobody
    Nobody June 28, 2011 at 12:13 pm |

    the only good Watson in Jeremy Brett’s Sherlock Holmes was the first one.

    Word.

  22. Valerie
    Valerie June 28, 2011 at 12:14 pm |

    There’s being picky in order to find someone you actually like, and then there’s buying into shitty Sex and the City/Disney ideology or other borish crap that leads women to believe that we are all princesses and deserve to be treated as such, expecting the most elaborate of garbage for men to “prove” their love and if the men don’t do intensely crazy shit that outside of a Manhattan-set romcom with multiple layers of misunderstanding and a less-than-attractive-but-good-for-comedic-value best friend/coworker, would actually suggest something that borders stalking behaviour and extreme emotional instabilitiy on the man’s part. I think that a lot of the flack that women get for being “so picky” is really less about choosing wisely based on commonalities (and no, a guy being willing to cater to your princess whims and you having princess whims doesn’t count) and more about a man’s (rightful) unwillingness to act as some chivalrous dream machine pulling questionable stunts to distract the leading lady from figuring out if she actually likes the dude, or if she just likes his money and all the things he buys for her.

    Unrelated; technically I met my partner on the internet. It wasn’t a dating site, and we were introduced through a mutual friend, but the first three months of what turned into the best relationship I’ve ever had (and that I never thought possible) developed entirely online. NO REGRETS!

    Also, Tom N. Haverford’s favourite movie is books! The ‘N’ stands for Nerd. Watch out for that, ladies.

  23. Becky
    Becky June 28, 2011 at 12:15 pm |

    I met my husband on okcupid. He’s the only person from that site who I met up with in person, but I did have some interesting online conversations with people I met there as well. There were some creeps, but nothing worse than I encountered going about my day to day life as a young single woman (and nothing as bad as what I encountered at the club scene – the nice thing about screening for dates online is the creeps can’t actually grope you).

    I definitely noticed a surplus of men, but then, I was 23. I could see how the ratios could change as women get older and find that men their age are still chasing women in their 20s.

  24. zuzu
    zuzu June 28, 2011 at 12:21 pm |

    MacaroniGalaxy: The worst part (if you can even call it that), was that it took perhaps a little more effort than I’d like. A few years and messages to 700+ women before I got a date.

    Were you sending the same message to all 700 women? Because spam doesn’t get many responses.

    I’m doing the internet dating thing on and off. I’ve met a few weirdoes, but I can usually screen them out before I even respond. I do love the ones who try to talk you out of very clearly stated dealbreakers in your profile: for example, I have a profile which says that I will laugh in your face if you tell me you’re a libertarian. And I just got a message from a guy who wants to argue the point with me. Even though I’ve made it quite clear that I do not respect that worldview.

    In any event, his scraggly facial hair would have disqualified him. I’d have been obsessing about how patchy it was all evening. MAKE A DECISION.

    OH! And if I may bitch a bit about photos: guys, it is completely not sexy to have a picture of you with your old girlfriend with her face blurred out on your profile. If you can’t find a good picture of you by yourself, TAKE ONE.

  25. A straight lady
    A straight lady June 28, 2011 at 12:29 pm |

    Data point: I moved to DC 5 years ago and did online dating on and off during that period. I have dabbled in Match, eHarmony(blech), Chemistry, and OKCupid. I also dated guys I met offline, and one that I met at speed dating. At times I went months and months without seeking or going on dates, but I always eventually wanted to try again. Last fall I met someone great on Match, and we are planning on moving in together soon. Honestly, I’ve never been happier.

    Here are the practices that worked for me: (1) If you communicate with someone interesting try to meet up as soon as possible. You can waste a lot of time emailing with somone you have no in-person chemistry with. Get to that first coffee date right away. For this reason eHarmony and Chemistry, which require different steps of “guided communication” were really frustrating for me.

    (2) Don’t misrepresent your looks in your photos. My approach has been to post tons of pics of varying levels of attractiveness. The last thing you want is someont to meet you and be disappointed.

    (3) If you are unsure about someone, give them a couple of chances. Meeting strangers is awkward and anxiety producing, and it’s tough for some people to put their best foot forward at first. On the other hand, as soon as you know the person is a “no” don’t drag it out. I have definitely ended things in the middle of a date when it was clear we were incompatible.

    (4) If you find yourself becoming exhausted by the process, take a break and suspend your site memberships. Dating can really take a lot out of you, and if you’re in a bad head space you probably need a break.

    (5) But, on the other hand, realize that dating isn’t always the most fun activity and you may have to force yourself at certain points. Before I went on the first-meeting date with my current boyfriend I was lying on bed moaning about how I didn’t want to go to my roommate. It’s not always easy to get motivated to go meet a stranger, but obviously I’m glad I did in this case. Recognize that for most people, dating will involve spending some time outside your comfort zone.

    Good luck and try to have some fun!

  26. MacaroniGalaxy
    MacaroniGalaxy June 28, 2011 at 12:56 pm |

    zuzu: Were you sending the same message to all 700 women?Because spam doesn’t get many responses.

    Ha, course not! I’m not *that* stupid. That’s really common sense. I made a point of reading profiles, and spend a couple minutes writing/checking messages. Granted a few ones with really wonky grammar made it out there when I was in a rush, but generally speaking I think my message were decent enough.

    Like I said, it was a minor complaint. Ultimately I got a date out of it and thats what really counts, right?

  27. Amarantha
    Amarantha June 28, 2011 at 1:17 pm |

    I too met my spouse on OKC. He was the first person I met up with that I met online. I also made friends with a couple that we are still friends with through OKC–the husband was new to the area, wanted to throw a housewarming party, and invited random people who seemed cool from the Internets. Overall, positive experience. I haven’t ever done the “blind date” thing so I have no comparison, but i would still say it’s in general easier to just date people who are friends/in your social circle, because you know you’ll have chemistry. Now that we’re out of college, that’s tough though.

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  29. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub June 28, 2011 at 1:31 pm |

    Valerie, I’ve seen men be picky in some really superficial and ridiculous ways as well. They only want to go for women 15-20 years younger than them (and then wonder why they aren’t having that much success), they expect gorgeous women, yet they aren’t conventionally attractive themselves. They want “low maintenance” women who aren’t superficial but also say they want women who dress up, wear heels and makeup, and go all out in the looks department. (Guess what? THAT TAKES MAINTENANCE.) I screened out one man because he demanded to know why I didn’t include his age group in my age range, and lectured me on my narrow-mindedness (you’ve gotta stop somewhere, and I cast a pretty wide net either way when it came to age), yet he wouldn’t consider someone who was his age or even a few years younger.

    And really–it’s very off putting to be the target of a rom-com stunt when you’ve said that you’re not interested (or even when you are interested). It’s not just women who buy into that–I’ve had to deal with men (online and offline) who refused to accept the no and who thought that if they gave me gifts I didn’t ask for and pulled dramatic stunts I never said I wanted, I’d either want to date them or I’d be obligated to.

    Zuzu, about the photo thing–my three pet peeves were:

    1) Baseball caps. They kill the sexy.
    2) Baseball caps AND sunglasses? You are not in Witness Protection. Seriously, I showed my face, you show me yours.
    3) Please use an up-to-date photo, not one that’s 10 years old.

  30. Andie
    Andie June 28, 2011 at 1:57 pm |

    Sheelzebub:

    1) Baseball caps.They kill the sexy.
    2) Baseball caps AND sunglasses? You are not in Witness Protection.Seriously, I showed my face, you show me yours.
    3) Please use an up-to-date photo, not one that’s 10 years old.

    Mine are:

    Shirtless pics. All they really say to me is “I have nothing more to offer than well-defined pectoral muscles”

    Pics that feature guy clearly drunk, especially if you are simulating sex with a blow up sheep (yeah, really happened). I know they are supposed to say “Fun, easy going, good sense of humour” but to me they usually scream alcoholic who will likely embarass you in public.

    Tattoo pictures: I have nothing against tattoos, in fact I am fond of them. But for some reason, people who post pics of their tattoos in dating profiles bug me.

  31. groggette
    groggette June 28, 2011 at 4:00 pm |

    Andie: Tattoo pictures: I have nothing against tattoos, in fact I am fond of them. But for some reason, people who post pics of their tattoos in dating profiles bug me.

    *kicks dirt* aw man, guess we’ll never date :p

    My profile pic for a long time was me drinking out of a toilet turned water fountain. Not sure what it said about me, but I fucking loved that picture.

  32. GumbyAnne
    GumbyAnne June 28, 2011 at 5:58 pm |

    I enjoy online dating (use mostly OKC) because of what several people above have said: you can mercilessly eliminate people from consideration before getting into it in the first place and without explaining yourself. If I don’t want to date someone short or someone who has kids or libertarians, I can dodge them right off the bat and I don’t have to go to the trouble of rejecting them to their face.

    It is funny to me how many responses I get from people who clearly have only just skimmed or not read my profile at all. For example, I make a joke on there about how I probably sound like a monster, but I really don’t like animals very much (I know, I know! I’m terrible!). I actually got a guy who sent me a message that we must have so much in comon because he loves animals too! He just scans profiles for keywords and has copy-and-paste responses to send out, apparently.

    Also, I state clearly on my profile that I deal with abortion at my job on a daily basis, and that if a potential match has anything other than positive feelings about that, don’t even bother messaging me, as I have no patience for any type of angst about my job or my values. I can’t believe how many messages I get that seem interesting until I go check their match questions and find that they have some gross anti-choice answers. Bah! So disappointing!

  33. GumbyAnne
    GumbyAnne June 28, 2011 at 6:04 pm |

    On the other hand, I have also had a few men message me to say “I know I am out of the age/region/qualities you are looking for, but I just wanted to say thanks and keep fighting the good fight at your (abortion) job” or related things… those messages actually lift my spirits quite a bit, these days :)

  34. Lasciel
    Lasciel June 28, 2011 at 6:15 pm |

    Clarissa:
    Actually, there is a surplus of available men, both in online dating and non-Internet dating. For every response a man gets to his Internet dating profile, a woman gets 60+ responses.

    And you take this to mean there’s a surplus of men? I think it’s because guys will sit there and mail the same message “hey baby you’re really cute blah blah blah” to about 60 women, whereas most women will read the profiles and pick out just a few guys they are really interested in, and email them.

    From what I’ve heard from most females I know that go on OKC or other dating sites, that’s how it goes. One even asked a guy why he had completely ignored her profile (not interested in males, only message me if you like such and such) and bothered hitting on her. The answer? He just messaged as many women as possible because he knew most of them wouldn’t be interested.

  35. Jenae
    Jenae June 28, 2011 at 6:30 pm |

    I met my partner online. We are both kinky and lived in fairly small towns, so it worked for us. But yeah, there are a lot of creeps and women especially have to be careful to screen out the players, meet in public places, etc etc. But I think that’s true of regular dating as well (and adding kink to the mix creates an ~extra special layer~ of fuckery).

  36. ekey3
    ekey3 June 28, 2011 at 7:08 pm |

    My #1 tip for guys looking for girls on dating sites (as a girl, and speaking from my three month experience on OkCupid):

    Try to avoid putting the word “KILLER” in your profile name. Yes, even if you spell it “KILLA.”

  37. Miriam
    Miriam June 28, 2011 at 8:08 pm |

    I definitely agree. I do a lot of weeding-out on OKC. Here’s part of my profile:

    “And just to keep us all from wasting our time, here’s a quick guide to help you figure out if maybe you shouldn’t bother messaging me at all: Do you drink and party a lot? Do you have conservative politics? Do you think it’s a woman’s fault if she gets raped? Did you just read my favorite books section and realize you haven’t picked up a book for fun since your parents bought you a Dr. Seuss gift set in first grade? Do you consider yourself a “pretty chill guy?” If you answered yes to any of the above, do yourself a favor and check out one of the other lovely ladies on OKC. :)”

    Of course, representatives from the aforementioned groups still do message me, but I just ignore them.

  38. zuzu
    zuzu June 28, 2011 at 8:28 pm |

    Ooh, Miriam, I’m so stealing that.

    Ok, here’s a new wrinkle: I just checked out the profile of a guy who checked me out on OKC, and he’s a law student. The problem? I now teach at a law school. And there aren’t more than a couple in this town. So he could be one of my students next year.

    I’m not sure how I feel about my students seeing my dating profile (it’s PG rated). Or if I’m going to run into this dude on campus and wonder if he recognizes me from there.

  39. Dominique
    Dominique June 28, 2011 at 9:34 pm |

    GumbyAnne:
    If I don’t want to date someone short or someone who has kids or libertarians, I can dodge them right off the bat…

    Word. I don’t want to date anyone with libertarians either!

    What put me off Internet dating was the lies. I found two categories: appearance (where there were no pictures or the pictures were misleading) and achievement, aka, job, skills, etc. Now, I’ve dated guys in the past who were not exactly Alexander the Great, and in some cases were unemployed, so the self-aggrandizing bullcrap was really not appreciated. And it’s self-defeating to post pictures that don’t reflect what you look like, since if I am superficial, I will judge you anyway, but you will have wasted your time as well as mine; and if I’m not superficial, you’re insulting my intelligence and showing me you’re deceitful.

  40. GumbyAnnne
    GumbyAnnne June 28, 2011 at 11:11 pm |

    Having a whole crop of libertarians is definitely worse than having a few kids. Kids are too young and innocent to quote Ayn Rand.

  41. glitterary
    glitterary June 29, 2011 at 1:34 am |

    @zuzu’s comment (36) just reminded me of my actual worst online dating experience. A guy in his late 50s, who I had never seen before, messaged me, starting with “You know how you should be careful what you put online, because your mum might see? Well, I’m not your mum, but I do know who you are, [glitterary's full real name].” Turns out I’d used the same p
    ic on my OKC profile as on Academia.edu, and he’d recognised me from the other site

    I think he was just giving me a friendly heads up, but my blood ran cold for a few minutes. He did ask me to dinner, he claimed non-romantically, but his field is only tangentially relevant to mine, and I was freaked out. So I thanked him for pointing it out and deleted any publically available photos from my OKC site. Lesson learned…

  42. glitterary
    glitterary June 29, 2011 at 1:38 am |

    Oops, forgot to say–the man’s age is relevant because he was about 30 years outside the range I’d said I was interested in. I’m sure he wasn’t being creepy, but the tone of his message could be read different ways, and in my shocked state I went with TOTAL STALKER.

  43. Daisy
    Daisy June 29, 2011 at 11:58 am |

    Miriam:
    I definitely agree. I do a lot of weeding-out on OKC. Here’s part of my profile:

    “And just to keep us all from wasting our time, here’s a quick guide to help you figure out if maybe you shouldn’t bother messaging me at all: Do you drink and party a lot? Do you have conservative politics? Do you think it’s a woman’s fault if she gets raped? Did you just read my favorite books section and realize you haven’t picked up a book for fun since your parents bought you a Dr. Seuss gift set in first grade? Do you consider yourself a “pretty chill guy?” If you answered yes to any of the above, do yourself a favor and check out one of the other lovely ladies on OKC. :)”

    Of course, representatives from the aforementioned groups still do message me, but I just ignore them.

    I really want to steal this, it’s perfect!

  44. Sam
    Sam June 29, 2011 at 1:23 pm |

    Haha,

    just signed up for OK Cupid to see for myself what this is all about and, no kidding, the first girl they recommend is a female friend of mine (whom I met totally offline)…

  45. Kathleen
    Kathleen June 29, 2011 at 2:15 pm |

    glitterary — I think you are being way too generous to that guy. That’s creepy as hell.

  46. Kathleen
    Kathleen June 29, 2011 at 2:23 pm |

    just to check for tone — I’m not admonishing you, at all. He put you in a really yucky position and tried to make it seem like it was *your* fault (which it was not). But if he tries to continue a “friendly” “advice-dispensing” correspondence, I’d advise either never responding or letting him know you’ve told people you trust about his contacting you because it made you feel unsafe. If he comes back with “oh, what a valuable lesson FOR YOU” again, I’d either not respond or tell him you now consider his behavior to be escalating in its threatening nature. Don’t let him position himself as your pal, he really really is not. I mean, I just think listen to that creeped-out feeling and react accordingly with no apologies.

  47. MacaroniGalaxy
    MacaroniGalaxy June 29, 2011 at 4:44 pm |

    Sam:
    Haha,

    just signed up for OK Cupid to see for myself what this is all about and, no kidding, the first girl they recommend is a female friend of mine (whom I met totally offline)…

    Ha, yeah. One time my roommate showed up, on the list. Her reaction was pretty priceless. You’d think someone had thrown a rabid badger at her something.

    I also ran into a friend who had made an account as a part of a bet that she’d only get creepy messages from old guys and nothing else. I forgot to ask how that worked out..

  48. peggyluwho
    peggyluwho June 29, 2011 at 8:08 pm |

    OKC keeps populating my match list with co-workers, which is totally The Awkward. I’ve had a variety of very strange experiences dating from there, and one that was just horrific.

    Some of the messages are just hilarious. My favorite was one line only: “Why are you so beautiful?!!!!!?” (Yes, that was a question mark, five exclamation points, and a question mark. Exactly.) I responded with something like “I’m not really sure. I’ve been trying to figure it out.”

    I’ve been trying to stalk, er, uh, I mean, flirt with a cute guy on there the last couple of days. Not sure it’s working.

    But I really want to know – Can there really be this many rock climbing, motorcycle riding surfers who love to hike, cook, and play guitar in the bay area?

  49. Andie
    Andie June 29, 2011 at 8:15 pm |

    I keep seeing my ex-husband’s current wife’s baby-daddy on POF. He keeps changing his main pic and screen name, so I keep going ‘hmm.. who’s this?’ and then “aww hell. Him AGAIN. Crap.”

  50. John
    John June 29, 2011 at 8:34 pm |

    After reading these comments I’m seriously glad I gave up dating. I’m 44 and haven’t dated since my 30’s with no intention to ever do so again. I’m very well educated. I’ve traveled the world. I have substantial savings and no debt. I’m satisfied with my looks and I’m in great shape. But, initially at least, I’m one of those socially awkward guys. I can read a woman’s face as she dismisses me as a bore after about 15 seconds. May you find your quick wit and “razor-sharp repartee”. I have come to love solitude and a quiet, contemplative life.

  51. Sam Worcester
    Sam Worcester June 29, 2011 at 9:43 pm |

    Hmm,
    Yes I agree that men can have a hard time believing that women may want the same thing as men when it comes to sex. Anyways are you still in this mode of thinking, I would be interested…

    glitterary:
    My internet dating experiences have been pretty shiny. Last year I found myself in a situation where I wanted a fling, or friends-with-benefits type situation, and internet dating allowed me to delineate exactly what I wanted without it being awkward. I met a guy who was just perfect for what I wanted at the time, and now he’s moved on but we’re still friends. Looking for the same thing offline has been more difficult, though not impossible.

    This! The chap I’m seeing now is okay with keeping things casual, but much readier than I am to say he’d like a real relationship in the near future. Though there are still men who won’t believe a woman can just want casual sex; I told a chap what I was after and he couldn’t wrap his head around friends with benefits not being a relationship by stealth. Your loss, dumbass. You could’ve had unlimited no-strings sex, but your paranoia ruined it for you.

  52. Alan
    Alan June 30, 2011 at 5:39 pm |

    If I lived in your neck of the woods I’d want to date you. I’d love to hang out with a women who doesn’t get squeamish from eating bone marrow–it also adds great flavor to vegetables.

  53. DouglasG
    DouglasG June 30, 2011 at 10:20 pm |

    I have also Retired From Romance, and the ratio of evidence that makes me glad about to evidnece that makes me consider rethinking the issue runs at about 10:1.

    I like Ms Jill’s point about getting to be a judgemental b*. I wish I’d had a good deal of such reinforcement when I was in the early dating stages. I’d have spared myself dating assorted people just to prove I wasn’t biphobic or harboring some sort of presumed prejudice.

  54. Moises
    Moises July 2, 2011 at 4:56 am |

    Jessica Isabel: A lot of people (not the majority) who seek out online dating do so because they have serious issues communicating and/or having functional in-person relationships with others. Again, I am not saying the majority, but there are a ton of awkward turtles running around OKC. It takes time (and a few bad experiences) to learn to tell the signs.

    Gee, it must be terrible to really connect with a guy who shares your interests, has no glaring dealbreaker flaws, is strongly literate, etc etc and then find out he has Asperger’s or something.

    I guess all I’m really saying here is if you, like, can’t give an hour of your time to someone who struggles with social conventions, possibly for reasons beyond their control, maybe you could say so on your profile? Forgive me if I’m making an unwarranted assumption, but it sounds like you’re not being clear about the fact that you’re looking for someone who’s confident in new social situations, etc. If I’m right, I’m curious as to whether it’s occurred to anyone who’s having this problem to just say that’s what they’re looking for up front. Is it that ability privilege prevents neurotypicals from seeing that this is an attribute some people are born without the capacity to ever obtain, and that it would save everyone a lot of trouble to be up front about the fact that they’re not the one for those people?

    Jadey: Funny, social awkwardness is one of those things I look for. Providing we match up in other ways, I’m generally much more comfortable with someone who really gets how uncomfortable socializing can be.

    Free tonight? Hang on, I gotta find someone to feed all these cats and make sure my XBox doesn’t get lonely.

  55. Yonmei
    Yonmei July 2, 2011 at 5:48 am |

    Moises, I am perfectly capable of dismissing very nice women as not right for me merely because they sound boring in their emails and I think of spending an entire evening in their company and I decide I’d rather stay home and wash my hair and listen to Lord Peter Wimsey on BBC iPlayer.

    Getting to date someone is a privilege, not a right. Acting as if women who intend to turn down the privilege of dating you sight unseen are taking your basic rights, just makes you sound like a jerkwad. And believe me, there are way more women who will refuse to date you because you sound like a jerkwad than because you have Aspergers.

  56. Happily Single
    Happily Single July 2, 2011 at 2:56 pm |

    John: After reading these comments I’m seriously glad I gave up dating. I’m 44 and haven’t dated since my 30′s with no intention to ever do so again. I’m very well educated. I’ve traveled the world. I have substantial savings and no debt. I’m satisfied with my looks and I’m in great shape. But, initially at least, I’m one of those socially awkward guys. I can read a woman’s face as she dismisses me as a bore after about 15 seconds. May you find your quick wit and “razor-sharp repartee”. I have come to love solitude and a quiet, contemplative life.

    That describes me as well. I am a financially secure professional with two graduate degrees. I enjoy world travel and physical fitness, and I am actively envolved in charity work. Even though I am often in the public eye, I am a bit shy on dates. I gave up on dating about ten years ago. I can think of a long list of activities (reading a book, exploring a foreign country, competing in sports, listening to music while drinking wine, etc.) that are far more pleasurable than dating.

  57. Jessica Isabel
    Jessica Isabel July 5, 2011 at 10:53 am |

    @Moises

    Sharing my interests and being literate doesn’t mean a thing. All that means is that on paper we have some things we may be able to talk about. That is if you are capable of having a conversation. I’m very clear on my profile: Seeking confident, fun people who like meeting new people and are comfortable in their own skin. I didn’t mention Asperger’s, you did, so how about you don’t make assumptions about who I dismiss. I don’t have to justify why I would like to be able to have a functioning conversation with someone in order to date them.

  58. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub July 5, 2011 at 11:08 am |

    Folks, let’s not forget that socially awkward women exist too, there are women who have ASD, and women get rejected. The way some commenters go on in these threads, you’d think that women were gregarious and all super hot conventionally-attractive models who reject shy, socially awkward guys.

    So if you’re going to berate the bitches for having the gall to ask for things in a fucking dating profile you cannot deliver, maybe you could be so big as to acknowledge that socially awkward women exist? That women with ASD exist? And you know, stop with the erasing bullshit.

  59. peggyluwho
    peggyluwho July 20, 2011 at 11:33 pm |

    gretel:
    The were a few things that depressed me about my online dating experiences, namely the lies people included so that they wouldn’t be filtered out of someone’s search results. For instance: their height. I’m a 5’10″ female. If you say you are 5’10″ in your profile and then ask me on a date, I am going to notice that you are actually 5’7″. I’ve been in a relationship with a 5’6″ guy for 5 years now, so I obviously don’t have a height requirement when dating, but it makes you realize how many people do.

    I just had my first experience like this. I’m not tall myself, just 5’4″, so almost everyone is taller than me, and it sticks out when someone is shorter than me. Met this guy on OKC, and his profile said he was 5’6″. He could not possibly be any taller than 5’3″. I don’t care how tall he is, except that since it was a blatant lie, I couldn’t stop thinking about it the whole time. If I had been wearing anything other than ballet flats, like even my thick soled running shoes, I would have been towering over him. And the first thing that popped in my head was “OMG, this is just like that comment on Feministe!”

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