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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

308

Why Aren't We on OKCupid?

Previously: The Magic Mike Pie.

Ann Friedman is unemployed and single. When she gets home after consuming too many adult beverages on a weeknight, she likes to search for vintage sunglasses on Etsy.



308 Comments / Post A Comment

terrific

Guysssssssss, OKCupid can be awesome! (Somehow I've become the Resident OkCupid Defender and I'm okay with that.)

terrific

@terrific (But there are sooo many soul patches and 50-year-olds it is true.)

Steph

@terrific I'm totally an OKCupid defender too. I spent a couple years on it and met a whole bunch of interesting guys (I met my fiance on the internet too- via twitter). Everyone in my friend group thought it was weird at first but before you knew it I couldn't log on without getting awkwardly matched up with one of my guy friends.
The key is a stringent pre-screening process before meeting!

Emby

@terrific I think people just give it a hard time 'cuz it's an easy target. Personally, I had fantastic success on OKCupid. I met a lot of interesting people and had a few nice relationships with some of them.

From a guy's perspective, I noticed a couple things:
1.) I didn't have to wade through all the skeevy assholes that women do in order to find quality potential dates, so I assume the process is just much more frustrating and time-consuming for women. For those who are unwilling to dig through all the horrendous, oft-sexist, occasionally-terrifying crap to go on a date, I don't blame them for opting out.
2.) Being a non-asshole guy who wrote personalized messages and wasn't creepy, I was able to do pretty well for myself, I think. Several responses I received started off with some variation of, "Wow, thanks for actually responding to something in my profile and asking me about myself."
3.) Once you find someone with whom you think you might have a connection, take things offline as soon as possible and go on an actual date.
4.) I cannot stress point #3 enough.

special_boots

@Steph That IS the key! Fuck all those dudes who are like "two messages then drinks." Nuh uh. STRINGENT pre-screening.

I've been on six OkC dates -- rather, six FIRST dates via OkC, not counting later dates with those same dudes. They were all fine. One of them I ended up dating for seven months and he was/is great. Another one I made out with on Friday. Further bulletins as events warrant.

alpacasloth

@terrific I will defend it with you! I am celebrating a 5 year anniversary this year with my OKC bf. I finally told my parents last month how we met. All my friends knew all along but I somehow "forgot" to mention to my parents that we met online. I told them, and they shrugged their shoulders.

special_boots

@Emby As a lady, I have stuck vigorously to the exact opposite of point #3 and I believe that's been key to my success.

Steph

@special_boots Excellent work! do keep us updated.

Emby

@special_boots Iiiiiiiiinteresting. See, in my experience, message chains that lingered on and on had a tendency to just sort of... peter out? Like, there's only so much I want to chat back and forth before I want to just start having that conversation in person.

So at what point did you decide that it was time for an actual date?

ETA: by "chat" I mean message. That OKC chat function is the devil.

terrific

@Emby @special_boots I also agree on the "waiting" (but not too long!) thing. With my boyfriend, it was something like 3 weeks after first contact that we finally met. But that was because he took a trip overseas in the middle, otherwise it would have been 1.5 weeks. I had no desire to go on a ton of first dates. I'm super awkward. I wanted the chance to suss out whether or not I thought it would at least MAYBE work beforehand. My boyfriend was the second OKC date I went on! (And hopefully the last!)

Emby

@terrific @special_boots Could also be selection bias mayhaps? I think the women I was attracted to and vice versa just preferred to get to the actual date part as soon as possible to figure out whether it would work. But everyone's different and everyone looks for different things in partners, so that probably goes with this, as well! In which case, I rescind the universality of my Pt. 3 above!

special_boots

@Emby Oh yeah. Another key is turning off the chat feature and ignoring all messages from dudes who are like SO WHEN CAN WE CHAT.

I agree with your point about conversations eventually petering out. I guess the thing is sometimes they just... don't. And I'm not really trying to play a numbers game, so I'm not in a rush?

Of course you have to meet someone before you can really know if there's an attraction... that said, there was one dude where we were talking so much for so long (eventually via email because that's so much easier) that I was almost reluctant to meet him because I was enjoying our conversations SO much. That's the guy who -- surprise! -- I ended up dating for seven months, after I finally did meet him.

The runner-up in terms of conversational enjoyment was a dude I was conversing with for a while last year but then we never ended up meeting because we both left the site. Then we were both on it again this year, and started talking again, and STILL enjoyed the conversing and still hadn't met. He'd meanwhile moved to NYC (I live in DC), but I liked talking to him so much that I eventually found a time to meet him, when I was up there visiting friends last weekend. And we totally made out, which was the first time I have ever made out on a first date! It might've been all the beer, but still.

Point just being... My best dates thus far have been with the people with whom the conversations were so good they never petered out at all. When the conversation does peter out, I generally figure I can't have been that thrilled about the dude anyway. And maybe I would have been thrilled if I had met him in person... but so far, the longer and more interesting the pre-date conversation, the better the dates I've had. There's been a basically perfect correlation there. It's not science, but it's working pretty well for me.

melis

Personally I'm holding out for the Awl dating site Logan promised us.

melis

/I'm saving myself for Choire/Balk's future gay baby

melis

/willing to date any commenter whose number is lower than mine and whose last name begins with a W

Emby

@special_boots All excellent points, and I'm glad things have worked out well with those dudes! And well done on the NYCer. Enjoy ;)

I think it probably comes down to whether people are good at keeping conversations going online or not.

eiffeldesigns

@Emby I'm with you on the messaging back and forth thing. I'd rather just meet and see if there is some chemistry. But my success rate is very varied.

Maybe I should try the other way around. Who knows. Maybe it's all just a crapshoot.

special_boots

@Emby To be fair, that's a quality I value very highly in a boyfriend.

WaityKatie

@Emby I used to be a "meet up right away" person i/r/t online dates, but I've noticed lately (on okc, as a matter of fact!) that all the guys are really into that strategy now. To the point where they do not want to talk to you AT ALL, do not want to know anything about you or have any convo...it's one message and then "let's meet up." AND I have noticed that the guys I have met that way have all been horrible horrible people. So I think there has got to be some kind of middle path, where I can screen for the horribles but not get trapped in a months long thing of telling my life story to someone I'm not going to be attracted to when we finally meet. I mean, I don't have time to screw around all day on (non-Hairpin) websites either (that would take away from my Haipin time) but...I don't like meeting the mean horrible assholes! What to do...

Emby

@WaityKatie Yeah, middle ground is good, I think. And I really didn't mean to suggest that it should be, like, one message and then meet up, just that as soon as you think you might get along nicely with that person--whether that's after 5 messages or 50--take it offline. Which seems obvious, since that's the entire point of the site, but early in my OKC days, I had a tendency to let those things ramble on and on, even if I knew I already liked the person, and sometimes those just fizzled out after a while. Maybe that's just the learning curve.

Super Nintendo Chalmers

@WaityKatie Oh god, the whole let's meet up right now thing is such a red flag for me. Especially since I like to be at least semi-thoughtful in my replies. It's a little disconcerting to have someone immediately be all "Whatever, here's my number."

chevyvan

@WaityKatie This was my OKC strategy: no more than 4 or 5 (on each side) messages back and forth. Then if the guy suggested going out at any point, I'd say, "Sure, here's my number: XXX-XXX-XXXX. Call me and we'll make plans to meet up." If they didn't suggest going out, I'd just start ignoring until they dropped off the face of the earth or got the hint that they should ask to meet up. I'd say about 50% actually called. (Aside: I don't want to be on of those "Guys today..." people, but GUYS TODAY NEVER TALK ON THE PHONE, ONLY TEXT.) If it's a good phone conversation, I have determined that I can probably hang with them for at least 90 minutes at a bar or coffee shop or what-have-you. Then we go out.

My boyfriend is an OkCupid find and a really great guy and we had such a good phone conversation that we decided to skip the coffee date and go to dinner for our first date.

Atheist Watermelon

@chevyvan my problem with OK cupid now is that I just don't have a "turn me on immediately with your gorgeous looks/ charm/ wittiness" button anymore. (I used to. I think it's broken.) I just really need to get to know someone for a while before I'm able to find them attractive...? and the problem with messaging endlessly is the potential lack of chemistry, but I seemingly don't have chemistry with anyone anymore anyway, and omg my brain I just can't. Plus I feel super guilty about not moving faster with stuff (my problem, I want therapy but am super broke so am... saving up?) and have mostly only gotten messages from the LET'S MEET UP IMMEDIATELY guys.

I give up. I hate dating. I may have said this before. It's fine. I like cats.

sevanetta

@Emby I think it's key to get offline and meet. I had long bouts of online dating, and all the emailing got to me the last time, so I stopped contacting people and just contacted people who initiated. One thing I liked about my now-bf was that we just had one chat online and he suggested we meet up for something simple, I was soooooo tired of endless emails!

sognodisonno

@Emby Agreed about chat! I was very glad the day I realized I could turn it off. I was never signing on to that site because I wanted to chat with a stranger in real time. Maybe I would consider using it with someone I had already exchanged message with, but mostly I find the whole idea of it obnoxious.

Amphora

@sevanetta A strategy my serial-OKC-dater friend has used with great success is to message a little bit, then have a phone conversation before meeting in person. I wish I'd taken her advice the time I ended up doing ALL the talking on a date with a super quiet boy who just stared at me like a scared kitten. The only time I've ever lied to get out of a date early.

Statham

@terrific I think OKCupid gets picked on a lot because, well, it's free. So, any jerkwad with the internet can access it and message you.

I went on OKCupid last year for a bit, and I had to deal with my fair share of creepers. But, this made for some pretty fun jokes with my friends, because they would always ask what weird messages I got lately.

I also found that if I put a question for dudes to answer in my profile, things instantly became less awkward for us both. Like, I asked what their plan was for the upcoming zombie apocalypse at one point, and I got some excellent answers. Immediately the dudes didn't have to worry about saying something stupid to open, and I could tell who had read my profile and a bit about what kind of person they were.

I did have a decent 6 month relationship out of it, and a few dates with dudes who were gay but are blissfully unaware of that fact.

I'd consider doing it again.

The Frozen Head of Dorothy Zbornak

@melis I got a W for ya right here.

Amphora

@Statham The question is a great idea (as a girl who's into shy/quiet guys). My husband's first OKC message to me (which I have saved) was three sentences: said hello, complimented me on something I'm proud of, and left things open-ended. Low pressure.

Statham

@Amphora Thanks! I've gotten some really clever answers too, which makes things more entertaining for me. And if I got sick of a question, I just came up with a new one. :D

Koko Goldstein

@terrific I will be that person to chime in and say: getting married in October, we met on OkCupid. Ding!

SarahP

Another OKCupid supporter--I met my husband on OKCupid a little more than 4 years ago! And except for the guys who sent clearly copied-and-pasted messages, and the guys asking me to sign onto chat even though I started in my profile that I would not chat, I had only good experiences.

@Statham I never had a question in my profile, but when I messaged people, I always commented on and asked about something in their profile. I feel like this showed that I actually read their profile AND that I was interested in their interests--and gave them something to say about them.

packedsuitcase

@Statham I wish I'd thought of that tactic when I was on Match. Uggggggh, Match. Did horrible things to my self-esteem, and I quit after a month because it was making me basically live in my cranky pants, which went from super horrible starched pants to cozy as yoga pants (which is when I knew I had a problem). Swore off dating guys from my country, and wouldn't you know it, I left the country on vacation and met Dudefriend.

fondue with cheddar

@terrific Hey, don't knock 50-year-olds! My boyfriend's 51 (13 years older than me) and he's the best boyfriend ever.

I never had relationship success on OKC, but I did find 3 hot young 20-somethings to bang when I separated from my husband, and I also found a hot long-term FWB.

mynamebackwards

@Koko Goldstein got married in may and met on okcupid. wooot!

liznieve

@jen325
ditto re: 50-year-olds... mine is 52 (23 years difference). I guess, though, there are maybe a higher rate of skeeves in their 50s than in their 20s?

WaityKatie

@liznieve I just feel like, with a lot of the 50 year olds, the ONLY reason they are writing me is that I am in my 30's. And a lot of them have requested age ranges that only go up to like 45, despite the fact that they are in their 50's. I am so not ok with guys who will only date women substantially younger than they are. Whereas, if it just so happens that you have an age difference, but you really like each other, I think that's perfectly fine. Unfortunately I have had to narrow my age range beyond what I would actually consider because of the elderly creepers on the site. If you say you'll date up to 49, you get tons of messages from 65 year olds.

terrific

@jen325 @liznieve You're right! I shouldn't be hard on 50-year-olds. I think what people are referring to are the ones that say "Do you want an older man to teach you the ways of the world? You've been a bad little girl, haven't you?" etcetera. Which most decent 50-year-olds do not do!

themegnapkin

@WaityKatie as another lady in her 30s, as bad are the 22-year olds who message me asking if I like to date younger men. . . Yes, I do, but not you, mister.

fondue with cheddar

@liznieve @WaityKatie @terrific You're right, there are a lot who try to only date younger women, and that's creepy. When I was on there I would always check the age range for that reason. Then again, maybe I'm not one to judge because my age range extended much younger than older. In my defense, I think I may have narrowed it for the same reason. And I was just looking to get laid / boost my confidence after my husband left me for another woman (it worked!)

Statham

@packedsuitcase I was actually debating match.com, but I always feared paying for something that might not work out. Especially since it's kind of expensive.

I am sorry it blew for you. :{ I figure with OkCupid at least I'm not paying for it, so if I quit I'm only out time that I'd have spent browsing some other mindless website.

Statham

@WaityKatie Yes! That really bothers me too. I haven't had too many experiences with guys much older than me contacting me, but I have seen guys on there who are older who will only date women much younger than them. That kind of bothers me.

I also have only had one guy who was younger than I wanted to date pursue me...but I'm not that old to begin with. So. Yeah. We went on a date, and the first thing he said to me was, "Well, I need to confess, I can't get it up with a woman." Quickest date of my life.

fondue with cheddar

@Statham I know people who have had success with match.com, but because they have to pay for it they go in spurts, because when they're not having good luck they feel like they're wasting their money. But my brother met his wife there and I have a friend who met his wife there, so there's that.

WaityKatie

@Statham I actually got in a fight once with a guy who contacted me about that. In his first message, he confessed to lying about his age in his profile - he said he was 41 but he was really 47 or something, and then he went into this long justification about how he needed to lie because he only wanted to date women "in my age group" (30's) and if he didn't lie we would all overlook him "unfairly" because he "looks and acts much younger than he is." I was just like, I don't really care about age, but nevertheless that is some shady BS, and he responded with another long diatribe about how is entitled to his preferences and he also doesn't want to date "fat women" and is entitled to screen for that as well. Yep, as you can imagine, I did not end up dating this person.

WaityKatie

@jen325 Re: match.com, I've tried it in the past and I really WANT it to be good, but when I have tried I haven't been able to find any guys who don't want the whole marriage/family/kids package and who aren't completely 100 percent "mainstream" in their culture tastes and beliefs, so...nobody for me. But if any of you tell me it's different now I would eagerly sign up and try again! Is it? I want to believe that it is.

themegnapkin

@Statham what did you even say to that?!!?!

fondue with cheddar

@WaityKatie One of my friends found match.com to be that way too (the marriage/family/kids part anyway), and she used it a year or two ago, so.

Statham

@WaityKatie Holy cow. That's terrible. I bet if he weren't such a dick about things, he'd meet a girl in her 30s who didn't mind dating him just by simply messaging women in their 30s and chatting with them like a normal person. Screening for weight is offensive, and it's something he should just keep to himself if he's going to do it, you know?

Statham

@themegnapkin I kind of glossed over it like it was no big deal and it happened to men all the time. Then we got ice cream, and he seemed far more interested in my outfit and things of that nature. So, I kind of got the idea that he might be gay and unaware of it. And I ended the date relatively quickly.

redheaded&crazy

I've had no luck with okcupid beyond a few second dates but I don't think it's the worst. my friends who have found relationships online all did it through plentyoffish but I just fucking hate the godawful layout on that website.

I'm in agreement with meet as soon as possible! What I like to do is message back and forth a very little bit and then give out my number asap and then text back and forth a bit before meeting as well.

I dunno, things like ability to communicate effectively on the phone and in person chemistry are important to me so the sooner i can find out if you have that or not, the sooner i can chop you out of my life and move on to the next poor fool. right??

liznieve

@jen325 @waitykatie
Yeah, totally agree... I mean, I think anyone dating anyone else solely for any superficial reason is creepy, age included.

fondue with cheddar

@liznieve One of the weirdest things about those dating sites is the fact that it asks you what you're looking for as far as height, weight, hair color, skin color, and all kinds of other things that really don't matter. Some things are very important, such as religion or desire to have kids, but saying you're looking for blonde or red-headed caucasian women with an athletic build and height between 5'4" and 5'7" is just...it's like you're shopping for a car, not looking for a person to spend time with. All I asked for on there were nonsmokers and occasional/nondrinkers who don't have kids. The rest is incidental.

sevanetta

@WaityKatie and everyone: I had to do the same as you, WaityKatie, I was 29 last year so I set my age limits from 28-40. Even doing that I would still get 22 and 55 year old guys contacting me. It pissed me off because I ticked an option 'wants children' and a 22 year old and a 55 year old are just not in that stage of life. They always contact you wanting you to be 'open' about age too, like YOU are the arsehole!!!!

The dumb thing is, of course age doesn't matter. My last ex was 13 years older than me (I was 28 and he was 41) and I have a bunch of girlfriends with similar age differences with their guys. Age doesn't matter, IF IT'S THE RIGHT PERSON AND YOU WANT THE SAME THINGS. /rant

sevanetta

@jen325 One of the things that bugged me most in the end was, I would find the profile of someone with similar interests, I would think he looked nice, AND he would have 'brown eyes' as a preference in his profile... I would think YES I'M IN, I should get a date here... and then they would send back the old 'sorry I don't think we have enough in common'. god.

Deborah Blancmange@facebook

@terrific
These 50 year olds that want to date much younger women make it discouraging for women their age to date online. There are very few men my age who are interested in women their age..and the ones that are can be less than stellar.
I stay away from OKC. Have been on twice, did date someone on and off for six months that I met there, then met someone on the now defunct Yahoo personals. Been with him for a while. :-)
Match...ew.

allendaniel

I like it. sound fresh@a

special_boots

All the more for me!

I mean... my friend... ?

SuperGogo

40% Keep finding that, even after 6-month breaks, the most interesting, attractive profiles belong to users I already sent a witty, original message to and heard nothing in return.

ana_banana

@SuperGogo Ha. I have, er, no idea what that's like.

Liz Derosier@facebook

@SuperGogo I'm currently being sucked back in after a year-long break and recently met up with a guy I really like (knock wood), but I also worked a line into my profile about how awkward I find the first messages to be because...so awkward. Hate those damn things...

ayo nicole

@SuperGogo My life. I'm glad they finally added something to profiles that tells you when you last messaged the person, because I read a lot of profiles smiling before I'm like, "...shit!"

WaityKatie

@ayo nicole Sometimes I have not even noticed that thing and have messaged them again anyway! *shameface*

PistolPackinMama

@SuperGogo Um. Like Ana_banana, I have noooo idea what you mean. At all. Ever. (all the time ha hah hahhh)

aphrabean

@SuperGogo My brief time on OKC ended because I kept being matched up with people I had already known, for years. Good on the algorithms for knowing what I look for in a friend, I guess? This is what happens when you live in the same smallish city for so long that you exhaust your dating pool.

sevanetta

@SuperGogo THIS WAS ME. It would go like this: I would get excited because I would see a profile of a normal-looking guy, he would say he was employed (I live in a regional area - all we want is a guy who is employed, emotionally stable/nice and doesn't look like a gremlin), we would have similar interests (usually reading and politics), I would contact him and excitedly say 'Hey, we have lots in common, want to chat?' and I would get 'Sorry, I don't think we have enough in common' back. and 6 months later, their profile would still be up and I would spend too much time thinking about cutting things I could say to them. This happened so often I developed a complex about it (obviously) and I decided in the end that it must be that they wanted someone who was blonde and blue eyed with big boobs (I'm short and small with brown hair and eyes).

sevanetta

@sevanetta to clarify: my complex was that all the guys with well-written, thoughtful profiles seemed to not want a girl with a well-written, thoughtful profile. Maybe it wasn't even a blonde/looks thing? Maybe they just wanted someone whose interests were 'shopping' and 'reading magazines'.

sevanetta

@sevanetta man, I sound like a horrible person, but I'm really not!!! I promise!!! gah

WaityKatie

@sevanetta It's not just you! I have thought the same thing on numerous occasions. And it's just confirmed when I have met some of these dude in person (in the distant past, when I got responses) and they have dated me for a while and then been like, "well, I just like simple and happy girls, sorry, let's be friends!" But I realize that all guys everywhere probably aren't like that. Just the ones I am lucky enough to encounter I guess. It's hard not to just be like "ok, world, I get it! I'm not dateable! Bye!"

sevanetta

@WaityKatie It's hard not to extrapolate to the entire guy population, isn't it? I mean I did find one guy in the end who wanted a smart, slightly anxious, too-serious girl with brown eyes. (ok, a lot anxious). but I swear to god... left-wing guys... do NOT want to go out with a girl with any thoughts! I was highly attractive to right wing (REALLY right wing) guys. They would always contact me and we'd go out and they'd make some awful comment about how people without money just make poor choices, and I would tell them about how I work with disadvantaged kids, and then they would wonder what my problem was.

WaityKatie

@sevanetta Yeah, the guy who probably liked me THE MOST of anyone I've ever dated was a straight-up hardcore professional libertarian. He was really into me but it was just awful, I found his beliefs so revolting and he really thought Ayn Rand was a good writer and a great person, and...he had, like, decorations in his apartment that were intended to make points about the evils of communism. Just NOT MY JAM. But god, nobody else has been that nice and interested in me ever, so...I guess it's the convent for me! The liberal guys I have found want someone to explain things to, and that's just really not my jam either. They say all the right things politically, but then they want a wifey at home with the babies and the floor scrubbing (but she should have an ivy league degree to help her with that, obvs.)

sevanetta

@WaityKatie yes! why do they want to mansplain everything to you? I swear to you, my now-bf is the only guy I ever met online dating who did NOT want to explain everything to me uninvited, and listened when I had something to say. he also happens to be the only one who could ever match me and sometimes best me in a discussion/debate (which was something I was hoping for). some of the right wing dudes were nice but I just lost all respect and therefore attraction to them the moment they open their mouth about how some people just bring it on themselves. the left wing dudes all seem to be scared of finding an equal who might call them on their smarts.

I think if you can ever find one (I know, finding one... ugh) who grew up with strong/smart women in his family, that helps. my nigel grew up with a strong feminist mother, grandmother and two younger sisters. he and his dad are very at ease with women who have opinions.

I'm now turning into one of those awful people who meet someone online and then can't stop talking about it! ugh! sorry! I just keep chatting to you about this and I hope that you will find a magical unicorn too. are you still thinking about moving interstate?

WaityKatie

@sevanetta Yeah, I think "smart" guys unfortunately often have a lot of their self esteem bound up in being smart...whereas smart girls generally have to spend our lives hiding and downplaying any smartness so as not to be considered ugly and gross. So if someone comes along being smart, the smart guys are threatened by it, whereas the smart girls are like, "yay! I can let the smartness out!" but then you do and they dump you and marry a happy simple blonde who wants babies. Not that I'm bitter.

Yes, I am still tryyyying to move but the job market is not cooperating exactly. Oh well, persevere. Back to the place I used to claim was the worst dating market on earth, before I discovered NYC.

sevanetta

@WaityKatie wow, thankyou for that explanation. I never could understand it before,

I want babies, but a disturbing majority of my exes have married happy, simple blondes who wanted babies. the variations are happy, simple brunettes who wanted babies, or happy, smart blondes who wanted babies and were known to rant against feminist ideas. lol

just hold on to the thought of moving. it took me 8 months of applying for jobs every weekend, a heap of interviews, plus polishing up my resume and interview skills. including lots of weekends where there were no suitable jobs to apply for.

I did find that there was a group of people who moved back to my area for similar reasons I did, so I would hope that you might experience the same dating pool effect once you got there. :fingers crossed for you:

MilesofMountains

@sevanetta I don't understand what's with this! I have dated a number of really liberal guys, and they've all been big on the mansplaining, and if you make the mistake of moving in with them they're adamant that it's not that cleaning is Women's Work...it's just that they're too busy with their important stuff so you'll have to scrub the bathroom again.

And now I'm dating a slightly-conservative, slightly-redneck guy who, when I go on an impassioned feminist/anti-racist rant will follow the debate up with "Wow. I've never even HEARD anyone with ideas like that. You're amazing." Why did I have to go to the boonies to find a guy who likes smart women?

sevanetta

@MilesofMountains Let's hear it for the men from rural areas!!! I moved interstate from a small city back to the small town where I grew up. my ex from here called himself a 'redneck environmentalist', he was a pistol-club-going farmer with a pretty even outlook on life. Someone had said to me 'you need a guy you won't be competing with', as I'm an office-worker type, and then I got with this guy. He was respectful of my views and didn't mansplain. The wonderful boyfriend I have now is a little more progressive in outlook, dresses like a metrosexual going to an art gallery and has a degree in film studies, but also spent years working on the family farm and still owns steel-capped boots 'because gumboots are crap'. Oh and both guys live/d alone and were/are much quicker to get to the housework than me! You are so right about the bathroom thing - all other lefty exes I had were 'too busy' to clean...

Litebrite Idea

@WaityKatie @sevanetta @MilesofMountains Yes! I've so been developing such a complex about this liberal, cultured, smart guy deep down wanting a pretty girl who will depend on him thing!! They *are* actually attracted to smart women, they just want to settle down with the ones who aren't quite as smart/talented as they are (or fake the "math is hard" kind of attitude to trick him--yes in the 2000s still--ugh!), clearly need them, will let them take the lead in/make decisions about *important matters*.

For the record, I have met both liberal and conservative guys who do appreciate me in part for my intellect--which I absolutely will not hide or downplay because I get incredibly bored and down if I don't use it. But the ones who I have enough in common with to sustain an LTR with keep ending up with these women (even when I am much blonder and/or equally or more fit no less) who leave me scratching my head, saying, "Really? I just don't get it..."

Anyway, I was worried that my best job prospects right now are in a few small cities and towns because I think I'm healing enough from the last snafus to date again and I'm in the age range of not much of a dating pool, but from what you're all saying, it sounds like a smaller area might be better! So thanks for the encouraging words!

WaityKatie

@Litebrite Idea I've never actually been able to put this into practice, but I do feel that guys who have "less professional" types of careers might have less invested in being THE SMARTEST PERSON IN THE ROOM, and therefore might be less threatened by a smart woman. I just...don't know how to meet these guys? I mean, dating online, you kind of put your interests out there, and I am usually drawn to those who have similar interests, and I don't really know how to do the dating thing any other way. (guys don't approach me ever "in real life," so that's kind of out). Blah, I don't know. The problem is that I really like being with someone who is smarter than I am, but they just don't like me if they suspect I'm nipping at their heels too closely, I guess. Or maybe I just have such a horrible personality that I just get rejected because of that, how would I really know, right? (I know certain commenters on here certainly think that, anyway).

Litebrite Idea

@WaityKatie My last two relationships (2-3 year-ish) were with guys who weren't in super-competitive careers. I sometimes felt like they liked me "in spite of" my intellect, though. And after the initial infatuation wore off and they weren't trying to impress me anymore, they didn't seem to care too much about/put much effort into leading interesting lives. My 6 month one before that was with pretty much a genius in a very different area from my expertise so no risk of competition!

Through work, school, travel, parties, community stuff, friends, I have *met* so many interesting guys who I consider to be my equals! But either they fit the profile above and/or do not want to stop doing the copious amounts of alcohol, drugs, flirting, sexing that *tends* to accompany the adventurous male view of an exciting life, and/or are not staying in one place long enough just like nomadic me. Except for those two awesome progressive smart guys who really liked me and I wasn't sure/ready/attracted enough/ about to move yet again, who are probably complaining about women like me and so karma maybe...

Litebrite Idea

@WaityKatie also I only get a hint of your personality here of course. But compared to the women that come to mind when I think of "horrible personalities" yours doesn't seem to fit the bill. And many of these women have ended up in one or more LTRs with relatively if not extremely attractive guys who are relatively successful (I don't move in high-powered circles!) One thing that might be true is that they are the sassy, bullying type which maybe the mean girl thing is attractive to guys when he is the one person they are nice to, because they have the power to melt the mean girl??

sevanetta

@Litebrite Idea Go for it! I can't recommend it enough. I was actually back here (in regional area) for nearly a year before I met my dude. I moved back because most of my friends in the city were coupled off, and I thought, at least if I move back here, I can look at lots of pretty trees, hills and the beach, I'm around my family if they need me (my friends are really important to me and I miss them, but I was worried about my parents' health) and more importantly, strangers here are just more chatty and friendly. So I thought even if I was on my own, I'd have lots of social interaction. The other thing to remember is, regardless of where you are, you will still develop the same number of relationships - you'll still have a couple of close friends, you'll still have a limit of 12 good friends, and you're still limited to about 150 relationships in your life total. Also, people who live in the small places get partnered up just like anywhere else. I had to mourn the idea that I had when younger, that I'd move to the city and just meet someone for the long term, but I got past that. My brother, who has lived here his whole life, met his now-wife on the same dating website that I met my boyfriend this year. And that was a few years ago, and they were a lot younger, so I always say they must have been the only two in their age group (19, 23), haha.

sevanetta

@WaityKatie You haven't got a horrible personality! I would hang out with you in person :) if I weren't in a different country... dammit I want an international pin up. I know they have them in Melbourne but that's 2000 k's from me!

WaityKatie

@sevanetta Thanks everyone. I just felt kind of dumb for ranting so much about how intimidated guys are by my smartness, when it's probably something else they hate about me. Who knows? There's just all the "the only common denominator in your failed relationships is YOU! YOU suck!" advice out there that sometimes I'm like, "Hey, maybe (probably) it is me." And it's true that horrible women get into relationships all the time. Maybe it's even an advantage to be horrible, and be a "challenge." But I think I am pretty challenging too, just in the wrong ways I guess. You have to be challenging and needy at the same time, and also want babies. HOORAY.

sevanetta

@WaityKatie I can't tell you how many times I have stared in the mirror, thinking 'But I'm basically ok-looking, aren't I? Surely I'm not THAT awful a person?', and then feeling worse because I felt so up myself, thinking I was pretty, smart and nice and why couldn't I find an average dude to be average with?

What has happened now is: both my dude and I are emotional/challenging people, so we think that we kind of karmically deserve each other to be difficult with, but we also each understand being a difficult personality. So we are more sympathetic to each other than past partners who would freak out when we would freak out.

I met so many dudes who didn't want kids! Why can't I send those dudes to you!

WaityKatie

@sevanetta Please do! I will pay the postage! I never meet guys who don't want kids. Even guys I'm not dating or trying to date, like my friend's husband, who claimed to not care that much about the kids issue for the first 10 years of their relationship, and then suddenly he had to have them and it was a dealbreaker. They have one and another on the way now. What a great fate to look forward to, being tricked into a relationship and then essentially forced to have two babies that you never wanted. Congratulations, how wonderful?

All the guys I have dated I think have never taken me seriously as "girlfriend material" and I always suspect that part of it is because the know I don't want kids. So not only am a a "bad woman," but I'm just some joke to screw around with until they're ready to settle down with a wifey. Who isn't going to be me obviously. Actually, the one libertarian dude who really liked me was ALSO the only one who didn't want kids....HMMMM I think I might have just had a breakthrough here!

Yeah, I'm really actually a lot happier when I'm not trying to date than when I am, but being alone and celibate doesn't make me happy either, SO THERE'S THAT.

I'm so ready for the weekend right now!

Katie Walsh

Sigh. I know I NEED to join, but it just seems SO TIME CONSUMING. I feel tired thinking about it.

terrific

@Katie Walsh Alcohol made joining go easier for me. And made my profile so much more interesting!

Katie Walsh

@terrific That sounds like a *terrific* idea. Gonna get tanked on Manhattans at home and make a profile. Soon?

melis

@Katie Walsh WELL HELLO

Emby

@melis And her number is so low!

melis

@Emby Don't think I didn't notice that right off, you ol' five-digit Bridget.

sognodisonno

@terrific Good advice! Wait until you're drunk and do it all impulsively--then you can clean if up later if you want...or not.

Emby

@melis I am the newest of the new. Green like spring and twice as fresh.

Statham

@Katie Walsh It's however much time you want to put into it. I didn't overthink my profile because that is the path to madness. I had fun with it, didn't take too long, and I didn't spend too much time on the website. I checked once a day, and I did fairly well. :D

Emby

Also, I've mentioned before, a few years I messaged back and forth several years ago with someone I met on OkCupid and although we never went out or met, we friended each other on facebook, and she posts stuff from The Hairpin all the time. Which makes me think she's ONE OF YOU.

Tuna Surprise

@Emby
You're a single dude? Why didn't you say so earlier???

atipofthehat

@Emby

The profile is coming from INSIDE THE PIN?

Emby

@Tuna Surprise Dude, yes. Single, no. I've got a lovely miss who calls me her beau.

Don
Don

@Emby I'm surprised you haven't bumped into a confirmed commenter or contributor(cough) on OKC yet.

Emby

@Don Well, I'm not on it anymore. And I don't think The Hairpin existed yet when I was on it. But if I was now, I would say there's a pretty damn good chance that at least a few of my interests would include 'Pinners :)

atipofthehat

@Tuna Surprise

Aren't you in London?

Danzig!

@Emby SMH at anybody who's never dated a 'Pinner via OKC

Emby

@Danzig! I NEVER HAD THE CHANCE I SWEAR I WOULD HONEST

leonstj

@Danzig! - Hah yeah, have def. dated 'pinner via okc.

The most liberating moment was when I realized the best way to do OKC was just to be absurdly, stupidly, ridiculously honest. Once i just wrote a long ramble describing how the relationship i was looking for would be - starting with awesome dates, then regular dates, then mostly watching the daily show while we eat dinners off the shitty dishes, cuz who wants to risk breaking the fancy ones.

It's really fun to just like, rock whatever shit is your instinct and ride it out.

melis

"PLEASE HAVE YOUR OWN KNIVES (THIS IS V. IMPORTANT)"

chevyvan

@leon.saintjean Agree about being super honest. I was on and off it for a while, and I didn't want to put too much of myself "out there" on my profile b/c I'm a private person and it feels weird. The newest profile I was using when I met my current boyfriend had some pictures of me at a political event that I cared a lot about. That is what encouraged my bf to write me, and the rest is history. Previously I had thought a picture like that might scare guys off, but I hadn't thought about the fact that it would attract the *right* guys.

bb
bb

@chevyvan Good call. I managed to find my long-term (I hope) partner via OKC, but I never had a ton of success and he told me later that he thought I seemed super reserved and "not much there" online (I asked him out) (and I don't think I'm actually like that). So maybe I should have been more open.

Danzig!

@leon.saintjean That's probably a good policy, tbh, but after years of being online it becomes easy to slip into your "best self" when communicating virtually.* I feel like it's something you have to do, at my age at least. I'd agree with Emby's #3 above for that very reason.

*I think this is something people do in general, but it's easier online.

Kneetoe

@Tuna Surprise:

Did mention that I'm a married dude?

remargaret

@Emby I don't have a girlfriend. I just know a girl who'd get really mad if she heard me say that.

Tuna Surprise

@Kneetoe
Did I mention I have the patience to wait out your marriage? I'll be in the south of France this weekend. You're welcome to join.

fondue with cheddar

@leon.saintjean Agreed, being super honest is good. I made sure to put in some things about myself that are bad, or at least that some people would think are bad. I definitely put my food issues in there because foodies have a hard time with me. And I think I put some of my obsessive-compulsive tendencies in there, too. I just tried looking up my profile for kicks, but I forget my username and I no longer have the same email address. I hate when email is your only recovery option.

Beaker

Hahaha this timing is perfect as I just joined yesterday.

There are SO MANY PEOPLE in this world and so many of them cannot spell. Or they are 50 year old dudes with soul patches. This is going to be an interesting adventure.

City_Dater

@Beaker

The "cannot spell" thing is always amazing. A guy trying to impress women can't take two seconds to proofread?
And don't get me started on dudes who send messages like "Whatz up?" or "How r u?" as if we are 14-year-old best friends exchanging texts.
It is time to delete my profile again; I'm getting sad just thinking about it.

eiffeldesigns

@Beaker Oh god. I know. I'll forgive a typo here and there- but occasionally there is just some out and out bad spelling.

And seriously- not just soul patches- what is up with the funky facial hair? Maybe it's just my area of Boston, but every dude has a freakin' hipster beard. Ugh.

Super Nintendo Chalmers

@Beaker For serious.

Also watch out for the guys who try to neg you. It's sort of cute they think that'll work.

My block button gets a healthy workout sometimes!

brista128

@Beaker No, it's not just Boston. A great number of OKC men in the midwest region also sport some form of AWFUL TERRIBLE FACIAL HAIR. Like goddamn, no more soul patches or AMISH BEARDS WTF. And don't even get me started on muttonchops. Or homebrewing HOW CAN THEY ALL HOMEBREW?

But I am pro-OKC, so long as you aren't dumb and aren't expecting too much. I found my boyfriend there and he does not homebrew or have weird facial hair. Maybe things have changed since I closed my account.

Super Nintendo Chalmers

@brista128 I always assume some of that is "did it once, now can put on OKC profile to seem well-rounded"

PistolPackinMama

@brista128 AMISH BEARDS! Or, as I call them, Pa Ingalls beards. Lots of Midwestern dudes rocking that look. But the funny thing is... I don't seem to see them on the street.

WTH?

Rock and Roll Ken Doll

@PistolPackinMama
They are at home they do not have jobs.

Faintly Macabre

@PistolPackinMama They're all at home, taking picture after picture after picture after picture of their carefully-tended beards with their webcams.

bb
bb

@brista128 Is "homebrewing" the new "practicing my guitar"? I never knew so many dudes played guitar till I went on OKC.

panquecito

@Beaker
Are you my friend who lives in Wisconsin?!

angelinha

@brista128 OMG and the CROCKPOTTING! Every boy in Boston apparently LOVES to "try different recipes in [his] crockpot." What? Crockpots are great, but what? Even if this is true why is this an interest you list on your dating profiles? Boys in Boston why are you all the sameeee

the angry little raincloud

@Beaker I don't remember the last time I dated a dude who did not play the guitar. (Well, actually, my last long-term boyfriend didn't, but since him. They all do.) I need to find me one of these homebrewers. I like beer better than music.

Tammy Pajamas

@angelinha That's super weird!!!

adorable-eggplant

@angelinha Oh man, I'm trying to convince my bf to get a crockpot, and he is sooo resistant. Maybe I should've lived in Boston? So much flavor.

Lenora Jane

@Beaker Boston is super weird! Also less than optimal on the OKC boy front.

Don
Don

@Lenora Jane Can we all stop hating on Boston please? It's not the worst!

Blackwatch Plaid

@Beaker <3 u Boston.

Lenora Jane

@Don <3 Boston! <3 Boston. But it is super weird! That said, the only other city I've ever lived in is Montreal so what do I know, everywhere is weird.

gin twin

I cannot get past the part where I have to describe myself. For some reason I find it paralyzing.

PistolPackinMama

@gin twin It is like a scrapbook! Or at least, I think it is like a scrap book. I love when people just make their profiles a lot about what they are up to. Not "my favorite book" but "I am reading now" or "this week for dinner I had..."

I dunno. Scrapbooks of an interesting life!

OhMarie

@gin twin Do you have a friend who can help you? I am an old married person and helping my friends with their internet dating profiles is one of my most favorite vicarious activities.

gin twin

@PistolPackinMama @OhMarie - Ahhhh thank you both! I will try both of these suggestions. I have to start talking to some new dudes so I can stop boning my ex, who has now been my ex for longer than he was my boyfriend and we're still boning? Yikes.

PistolPackinMama

@gin twin Yes. New dudes. You should doooooo eeeeeet!

packedsuitcase

@gin twin I was told that the old writing gem of "Show not tell" is best - a friend's husband put in his profile that he liked to take his medical skeleton and pose it in funny positions in his window to surprise people walking by. So he avoided the "quirky sense of humour" trap AND weeded out women that would be weirded out by a literal skeleton in his closet. Win-win!

PistolPackinMama

@packedsuitcase I WOULD TOTALLY DATE A GUY WHO POSED HIS SKELETON! YMCA POSE! Walk like an Egyptian... electric slide!

And yes. Show, not tell!

aliceandstuff

I used to have an account but I deleted it after that article here mentioned they are into STD shaming. Never had much luck on there anyway.

Yahtzii

You're In a Relationship, Why ARE You on OKCupid?
- Polyamorous (30%)
- Cheaters (10%)
- Stalkers (10%)
- Fake Account So You Can Just Look at People's Profiles, This Is Totally Different from Stalking, Why Are You Looking at Me Like That (50%)

atipofthehat

@Yahtzii

- Researching for a writing project (.01%)

narwhalsandwich

@Yahtzii I like to take the quizzes. I need to know which Greek goddess I am!

FromTheFuture

You forgot "because I'm in a great relationship with someone AWESOME I met on OKCupid!"

La-la LA

(Seriously though guys, I worked for it-- 10 years of internet dating... and on Nerve. NERVE, guys!)

WaityKatie

@FromTheFuture I miss Nerve.

MissMushkila

@FromTheFuture
I also fall into that category of the pie chart!

(although it took me like 8 months of internet dating - I did not find it horrible?)

FromTheFuture

@WaityKatie actually I do not miss Nerve and its Millennial AREN'T WE DEVIANT? AND SEXY... ALL THE TIME!! Atmosphere.

Most of all I do not AT ALL miss The Creeps. The hordes of serial-internet-dating creepers, some of whom I am still friends (one of their 12,000 friends-- all ladies) with on facebook just bc I refuse to give them the satisfaction of the de-friend.

I think I still have some credits on there though...

WaityKatie

@FromTheFuture Oh, maybe I was on it before the Millennials were. I'm more late-gen-X-I-don't-really-have-a-generation. I met way better people on there than on any other site...well, except craigslist. I met the best ones on craigslist! But this was a number of years ago. And now I just don't really get dates because, what? A size 12, 36 year old in NYC who isn't a Married Mommy? WHUT LOL etc.

FromTheFuture

@WaityKatie I meant it as in "its the year 2000 and isn't everything exciting in this new internet age!" Millennial. You know. Like Urban Fetch (HA!)

But your stats just basically described me, so I say to you: KEEP ON KEEPIN ON SISTER. You'll eventually find a nice divorced guy who got married way too young, too!

bb
bb

@FromTheFuture DITTO (la la la and nearly 10 years of online dating). Also, Nerve! It was good, then it got terrible or maybe it was that I moved to a smaller city. I was on it so early I got a bunch of free credits and never used them all.

@WaityKatie I'm your age and man am I glad for this post which makes me feel OK for not being young (fewer creepy messages online) vs. that almost-40 Married Mom one yesterday!!

WaityKatie

@FromTheFuture Ohhh I see. I was like "what? Nerve was for us Olds!"

WaityKatie

@bb I still get so many creepy messages though, almost exclusively creepy messages, to the point where, if I get a normal message I get so overexcited that I overlook all the clear red flags that are waving all over my computer screen and agree to meet sociopaths. Sigh.

bb
bb

@WaityKatie Yuck. Maybe you're hotter than I am (more creepy messages). Or maybe it's gotten worse or you live in a creepier city. That would turn me off too though. I should also note that basically all of the success I had in online dating was me initiating the exchange.

sevanetta

@WaityKatie that kept happening to me last year too

WaityKatie

@bb Oh no, I assure you that I am not "hot." It's not just creepy messages, but also just like one line or one word messages, like a whole message consisting of "hi" (not capitalized or punctuated). Or "check out my profile." So whenever I get one in actual sentences that seems to have maybe read my profile, I'm like "Oh my god I have to meet this one there might not be another one ever!"

The thing I really hate is that I NEVER get responses when I initiate. I keep trying periodically, because why not, but I can count on one hand the responses I've had and when they do respond it's usually a polite single-response followed by nothing. So I guess I like guys who are "out of my league" or whatever. I don't message the super-conventionally hot ones either, so I guess my league is pretty much sociopaths and illiterates. And this is why dating depresses me.

j p o@twitter

Just gonna leave this here: http://www.okcenemies.com/

Super Nintendo Chalmers

@j p o@twitter I love that site; it makes me so happy. Also the day one the OKC message I submitted made it onto The A(n)nals of Online Dating: http://www.annalsofonlinedating.com/post/23203461301/so-classy-i-use-a-solid-gold-vibrator

Diana

@j p o@twitter

PERFECTION

Shut it down, we're done here.

kitnen

I have observed the following on OKC:

1. The guys I met there wouldn't pay for anything. Maybe it was just the dozen or so guys I happened to go out with (MAYBE). But I can't help but draw the conclusion that guys who opt for a free site, instead of a paid one like Match.com, are cheapskates.

2. I am 31 years old and don't feel old. Apparently, I am old on OKC because several guys initiated conversation with me by commenting on the fact that I am "an older woman," that they hoped I was into "young guys" (when meanwhile they were like 28...c'mon), or they outright asked me if I was a "cougar."

3. The guys I met there ended up being genuinely crazy. Like one who flipped shit and accused me of "betraying" him because, after just five G-rated dates with him, I was still talking to other guys. Or the one who I had to dump about a hundred times and still kept showing up at my house. Or the one who requested my Facebook friendship so he could immediately use his status to make fun of me.

But I did meet one really good friend on that site. In all fairness.

Super Nintendo Chalmers

@kitnen I just turned 32 but wow I have definitely not gotten any of the "omg u so old" nonsense. That sounds...fun.

I'd say, for me, there was about a 30/70 split in terms of guys who totally insisted on paying versus when we just split the bill. The thing I've noticed in my time on OKC is how so many guys I go out with seem like they're not quite...ready? For a relationship. Like I've tried to make it work with a couple of dudes and just ended up planning EVERYTHING, which, I'm a super planner-type anyhow but I also tend to go by the rule of thumb that people who like you will act like they like you.

sevanetta

@kitnen and @EddieMcCandry: I noticed over time that guys on lower incomes, without fail, would at the least offer to buy me a drink, even if we split dinner. Guys on higher incomes were much less likely to offer to pay for dinner, or to even buy me a drink. (I also think that guys who decide on seeing you that they don't like you will also not offer to buy you a drink, which is pretty rich when they ask you out.) I never went out dating with the idea I was going to cut someone off if they wouldn't buy me dinner, I am not owed anything, but GUYS. Offer to buy her a drink. It's an easy thing to do to make the girl feel like you are happy to be there.

WaityKatie

@sevanetta My second most recent OKC date started with me walking into the bar to find the guy sitting at a table, asking "do we get our drinks at the bar?" and him responding, "uh, yes. And by WE I mean YOU. YOU get your drink at the bar." It only got better from there! I guess he was concerned about golddiggers trying to date him for his lucrative job at the Apple store. (he wasn't even a "genius" either...)

sevanetta

@WaityKatie dear god! and when you look back at it, you think 'Why did I not turn around and walk right out of that bar?'. But at the time, you just flinch a little, and determine to keep being nice.

My own favourite version of dates for this was the guy who, right after sitting down at a table with me, said 'Let's go get our drinks' and then I trailed confusedly behind him as he ordered a drink for himself, and then ordered his dinner and paid for himself (thoughtful! nice! - btw this guy was a doctor, a GP). seriously even if you weren't going to pay for my drink - you couldn't ask me what I wanted and order it? you are that socially inconsiderate? I mean, I buy my friends drinks!

seriously, I'm not a golddigger, I have my own money, it's about being considerate.

sevanetta

@WaityKatie PS Keep on, soldier, fight the good fight. Dating sux and I will not forget that now I'm a smug coupled! doing online dating for so long has continued to affect me... Awkward things happen after you meet someone after dating for years and giving up on meeting someone: his mum asks 'So who messaged who first, if I may ask?' and you accidentally spill your guts on how you had basically given up on meeting a normal man, even after you moved interstate because all your friends got married and had babies, and you thought you weren't that picky but maybe you were because you really just wanted to meet someone nice? and that is apparently picky nowadays? and anyway, he had apparently looked at your profile for 3 months before messaging you, which was great for him but you met some awful men in those previous three months... what was the question again? lol

eiffeldesigns

@sevanetta @kitnen @EddieMcCandr : Does it make me a bad feminist that I want the dude to offer to pay? I mean, in practice I'm happy to split, but I want the offer at least.

And I agree with the rich dude v. poor dude thing. I dated a line cook who probably made 1/3 or even a 1/4 of what I make every year. He insisted on paying every single time. To the point where he was trying to pay for a fancier dinner I had asked him out to where we were celebrating my raise. I told him, "No way, you aren't paying!" And he asked "Why?" And I had to say, "Babe, I'm a fucking lawyer, you're a line cook, and I asked you to this fancy fucking place. If I let you pay I'm a megabitch." And he let me pay.

Meanwhile. I went on a date with an even fancier lawyer than me. Partner and a very big firm. We are talking about someone who probably makes close to $400K a year. He did not even offer to buy me a fucking drink. And I went on a second date (where I suggested we do something cheap, because I'm a girl on a budget) to a local Chinese joint. We split the bill- where my dish was about 5 bucks less than his and he ordered two beers and I did not. So I paid for his fucking beers. Asshole.

**end rant**

sevanetta

@Kirs I have thought hard about the same thing, but then I think being single, admitting to being unhappy about it and actively looking for a partner made me a bad feminist too, so I gave up. Bad feminist club, right here!

What is with these dudes on high incomes??? I mean, you can go too far with wanting a guy to pay. I had a friend who said she had a rule for new guys: they had to pay for the first three dates. No way would I be into that.

I think it comes down to: deep down, everyone knows that if a guy likes a girl (wherever that leads to), most guys will offer to pay. If they don't really like you, they won't even offer to pay for a drink. That was my experience after lots of dating. so we want guys to offer to pay, at least, because if they don't... well is it a date? why did they ask? are we just friends then? you know.

My lovely Nigel makes less than I do, but we've talked about how we split things, and basically he (and I) think it's nice to trade off rather than be constantly trying to split our meal or whatever. Sometimes I pay for bigger/more expensive things (e.g. tickets for shows), but I consider it pretty equal because he often buys me a meal, or groceries, or if dinner was 70 and one of us has a 50, the other will find a 20. Even when he buys me a hot chocolate unexpectedly I love it. and if I paid for dinner last time, he pays the next time, etc. Basically, it's the thoughtfulness of it.

Super Nintendo Chalmers

@Kirs I have sort of a storied history with demanding to pay my own way, but everyone negotiates that question of feminist values vs. the general niceness of getting small gifts, such as drinks, from friendly people in their own way. Although, you know, my favorite thing for a first date at least is to trade rounds. It feels warmer than just splitting the bill at the end and doesn't give me wicked bad anxiety regarding traditional gender roles and paying.

WaityKatie

@sevanetta I have actually sort of had the opposite experience - the guys who never want to see me again always seem to insist upon paying. It's like a payment to get rid of me or something I guess, or maybe because they don't like me they're not worried about "setting up expectations" that they will always pay? I don't know. I always want and expect to pay my own way, but of the guys who have INSISTED on paying, the only pattern I can discern is that none of them ever called me again. (I guess it could also be that these are the more "traditional" guys who always pay for women and those guys don't tend to like me...who knows?)

sevanetta

@WaityKatie yes, maybe it is a trying to be polite thing in your case? or the more traditional thing.

whatever it is, let's think about other dudes who are more awesome than these idiots!!!

MissMushkila

Okay so has anyone had a problem with dating multiple fairly charming men on OKC, only to really fall for one, and then the others want to be friends? I know it doesn't sound like a problem, but it feels like one to me, as one of these cried at me on the phone about how he really fell for me and now wants to chill but is still sort of flirty. And, I don't think he's a sociopath, just sort of delusional regarding our friendship potential. Like, I do not think he actually wants to be my friend, I think he wants to torture himself by hanging out with me. (You know what I mean? when you like someone but they are with someone else so you pretend to be their friend but then you really go home and cry??? no, just me?)

I've been ignoring his phone calls and I feel TERRIBLE about it, but I also don't understand. If anyone ignored me the way I am him I would be like "see ya later asshole" - but he does not seem to be appropriately put off. Which I think supports the fact that he still likes me because I do not deserve that sort of slack. BUT REALLY.

Or am I just crazy and this is how friendship with someone you briefly dated works? I HAVE never been good at that. How do people do that?

ETA: Unrelated oversharing alert. I started with something and ended up with a letter to a lady or a dude instead - but please forgive me! I have questions!

bb
bb

@MissMushkila Online dating does probably naturally attract some people who are just lonely, or have boundary issues, or both? Either way, you do not owe anyone friendship if you are not into it!

Danzig!

@MissMushkila I see a lot of people entertaining the notion of using OKC for making friends and, well, more power to them if that works and I just don't know it, but like it or not the purpose of the site seems to be date-finding and I tend to assume that's what everyone is really there for. Anyone who isn't will soon be driven off by lecherously inquisitive messages. You can avoid that sort of thing by going to meetup.com, guys!

Okay real talk dispensation time - I am an awkward dude, I am thoroughly useless with regard to IRL courtship (I asked a woman if I could buy them a drink once in my life, and was politely turned down. That's the extent of my organic dating experience) and just started succesfully dating on OKC, at 25. There are toooooons of people like me on the site. A lot of those people are so lonely that they get tunnel vision and lose their perspective, becoming like hungry children. Dating becomes such a referendum on their self-worth that they can't treat it the way it ought to be treated, as a fun (if scary) activity that may or may not work out for you in any given instance no matter how hard you might want it to. The only way those people will learn that rejection isn't fatal is by being rejected and living through it.

So, don't feel terrible! You have absolutely nothing to feel terrible about and you owe absolutely nothing to this guy. Get rid of him, I say. It's really up to you if you want to be straight-up assertive with him and tell him in no uncertain terms how it is, or if you want to just block his ass out until he finally gets it. He might not give you a choice (doesn't sound like he's taken a hint so far, but he might be sensing your hesitation). He does not sound ready or capable for friendship and you KNOW he's just gonna be dropping drama bombs if you keep him around (he told you he fell for you and he knows you're seeing someone else exclusively, that's reason enough). If you really like the dude, give him until he at least starts dating other people before you grant his request for friendship. I'd just as soon drop him, though. He'll live. Send him a copy of Joan Didion's essay on self-respect, maybe he'll learn a thing.

ejcsanfran

Oh fuck off. I won't even be 48 until next month.

Mr. Kitty

I have an OKCupid question! I joined the site when I was 21 or 22, and answered all the questions back then. Now that I am 26 and single again, I enabled my account and updated my profile. BUT I'm pretty sure my answers to all the questions would be SO MUCH DIFFERENT now. Yet, you're matched up with people by the questions. When some hot guy messages me and it says we're 90% a match, I instantly think about him being a match with my 21 year old self and it turns me off.

Is there a way to fix this? You know, without creating a new profile? I just don't care enough to create a new profile.

PistolPackinMama

@Mr. Kitty You can reanswer them. Go click on that tab, or even look at your answers if you are looking at the "the two of you" tab on a person's profile. There will be a "re-answer this question" option.

eiffeldesigns

@Mr. Kitty You can reanswer all your questions.

bluewindgirl

@Mr. Kitty I was convinced all my 21 year-old's self's answers would need to be updated, but apparently I have not changed that dramatically? But I also never have chemistry with people I match really high with. I think I do not want what I think I want?

Mr. Kitty

@PistolPackinMama Oh snaps. Thanks!

Danzig!

@bluewindgirl Someone did some sort of study (service-y!) that found online "compatibility index" things have no correlation whatsoever on whether or not burgeoning relationships actually work, so. Just look for dealbreakers (ultaconservativism, etc) and avoid them!

adminslave

I know I have mentioned this before, but I had a lot of luck with OKCupid. I joined on a Monday, and had a date with my now boyfriend of 4 years that Saturday. As others have mentioned, the key is to be honest on your profile. I am a fairly sarcastic person, and balk at profiles asking stupid questions, and have very little pride in my job (soon to be ex-job, thank god!). When I was filling out my profile way back when, I finally stopped pretending to be perky and just made jokes, and if they asked me something I didn't want to answer ("tell us something about you nobody knows" etc.) I just made a bunch of obvious nonsense up. I was frankly amazed that a large percentage of the men that responded had actually freaking read my profile. I hear horror stories about OKCupid, but believe me, it can work, and it brought such a wonderful person into my life...

WaityKatie

@adminslave It works if you have a personality that people on there like...I mean, I am honest to a fault on my profile and it scares most everyone off. I say that I don't want kids and all the rest of it. Haven't yet met anyone who thought that was hot.

Amphora

@adminslave Yeah, my first OKCupid date is now my husband (to clarify, we didn't get "serious" until a couple years after we first dated and then moved to separate states). Other dates were much, much less successful.

adminslave

@WaityKatie I think it really depends on who's online, all it takes is one person to get you who you like. I said I didn't want kids (I've since changed my mind, but of my own accord). The kids thing was never an impediment, and probably would have only upset his mother (not my problem).

sevanetta

@adminslave I think the key is to be lucky. WaityKatie has a point. I did 3 rounds of online dating over 5 years. The second time, I dated for 10 months, then gave up, then got together with someone I'd known a long time; the third time, I dated for 10 months, gave up, left my profile up and then someone messaged me and we got together. He had spent about 3 months idly checking my profile every now and then and then he messaged me. My dude is an absolute keeper, but I can't believe the number of arseholes I talked to and went out on one or two dates with, while I was wondering where a lovely bloke would be!!!

bluewindgirl

I hiccup on and off OKC as I move through the cycles of: boredom/loneliness with a dash of acquisitiveness (reactivate OKC, idly online shop for dates, send no messages), cooler-than-thou idiocy (respond to no messages, for I am the untouchable ice queen), boredom/loneliness with a soupcon of desperation (send brief, quirky messages to all four profiles I have been casually stalking for a week), rage/despair (get no responses, swear off the internet forever) But I never delete, because my profile is a masterpiece of carefully crafted wordsmithery and I CANNOT waste it, even on principle. Besides, I always come crawling back.

Harriet Welch

@bluewindgirl SO MUCH! I spent for-freaking ever crafting a profile that (I thought) was witty, engaging and very obviously representative of my personality with plenty of conversation starters. I had a really on again off again relationship with OKC.
Then I met my husband. I wish I had stored mine somewhere before I deleted the whole thing. It could have been cool to look back at it and laugh at myself someday.
Moral of the story: keep that shit! I bet it is awesome.

Bgwee

@bluewindgirl This is the most apt description of my OKC experience that I have read! You may actually be me!

di
di

Can someone please tell me why all the Minneapolis OKC guys all CYCLE. I mean I understand that the outdoors is a big thing in MN, but HONESTLY. WHY DO THEY ALL LIKE CYCLING. GET A CAR.

vunder

@di I think like 108% of American single men are seriously into cycling, and like 92.8% of American non-single men. Men love that cycling shit. Seriously.

RNL
RNL

@di As far as I can tell, dating men in their late 20's-early 30's = listening to them talk about cycling and hoppy beer.

I get it. You like a good local IPA. Fantastic. Did I tell you how much I like a Marlborough Sauv Blanc? No. I didn't. Because I don't care you bore you. Yes, it's a nice bike, congratulations, do you want to talk about yoga?

Sorry, I'm still recovering from my last beer-and-cycling relationship. Now I just order whiskey and IPA, talk about my bike, and watch them fall at my feet. Sooooo easy! And boring!

the angry little raincloud

@vunder I went out with a guy who talked about squash (the game, not the fruit). Do you know how deathly boring squash is? How very little I care about squash? Squash squash squash. Ugh. But why did I listen to him ramble on about squash for so long? Period cunnilingus. Sigh.

MissMushkila

@di Apparently we are up there for most bicycle-friendly city? But I don't know. I like biking, I do - I even bought a road bike after my tank of a trek mountain bike was stolen. But...the men I lived with who biked in winter in MN I do not understand. That is fucking miserable. We lived on a bus line! Why?

adorable-eggplant

@di If I learned anything from Calvin & Hobbes, then, yes, this is true.

eiffeldesigns

@di It is not just Minneapolis. Every single dude in Boston is in love with his fucking bike. I've only been on two dates where the guy was not an avid biker.

@RobotsNeedLove And yes! Holy crap with the hoppy beers. DO. NOT. CARE. I will drink white wine, you will drink beer and we can still live happily ever after. True story.

Amphora

@Kirs I swear a few guys wrote me off after I told them on our first date that I didn't bike. I have nothing against YOU biking, just don't expect me to join you. I'll be following along in a nice warm cab.

di
di

This cycling shit has got to stop. And the guys who have Asian fetishes. And the ones that have no jobs 'cause they're trying to find themselves. Am I being picky? I'm picky.

Amphora

@di Oh god the Asian fetishes. They're always so unaware of how creepy they come off, not just to the girls they hit on but everyone around them! Instead they brag about it!

First year of college I had a Taiwanese friend who was just so put off by how all the American boys chased her. She was so shy and it just made it worse.

PistolPackinMama

@di YES I KNOW WHAT RIGHT? What is that? And the number of men who manage to get a reference to Minneapolis, Minnesota, and biking into their profiles. What? And I am all like... I like my grannie bike. I like biking to work. But this I BIKE BIKE BIKE BIKE ALL THE TIME BIKE stuff... And they seem to resent if you don't? But guess what dudes. I am not biking anywhere after dark in the winter in Minnesota. Sorry.

Also, Minnesota holla.

PistolPackinMama

@the angry little raincloud A totally different kind of squash.

Amphora

@PistolPackinMama In the winter!! It's like they expect you to be impressed with their hardcoreness or something. Really I'm like dude, you're not only cheap, you're reckless with your safety!

Super Nintendo Chalmers

@di Oh man, it's like that in DC too. So much cycling. And everyone is, like, some hardcore long-distance runner.

di
di

@Amphora It is seriously creepy. The second I see any mention of anything related to Asia, I nearly break my finger hitting the back button. Not that they would've passed the screening anyway since THEY ALL CYCLE.

di
di

@EddieMcCandry Apparently the male cycling is a nationwide pandemic.

PistolPackinMama

@di Oh, ladies of the internet. I felt so alone in my "biking-- it's kind of meh" thing. And here you are! Being just as unimpressed with guys who do crusty bike punk activities!

@di Someone needs to make a vaccine for that, because once you contract cycling, it seems to be chronic.

Super Nintendo Chalmers

@PistolPackinMama I was sort of trapped at the side of a long conversation at a bar this weekend where the bartender was rhapsodizing about fixies.

I just cannot with the fixies.

PistolPackinMama

@EddieMcCandry I have a 3 speed. But I call her Miss Marple and have a wicker basket and pretend I am an English Spinster Who Solves Crimes.

The best thing about a bike like that though? I have got some baller calf muscles.

Anyway. Yes. As you say. Fixies. Don't these people have to bike up hills ever? Answer- yes. The metro area is on hilly river bluffs, yo.

Amphora

@di Story time: my first college BF was half-asian and his dad had a Serious Asian fetish, like shipping a 19 year old Thai bride over to live with them type of fetish. It was a disaster, my BF was traumatized, the girl hated both of them and left after like two years. Now his dad just "vacations" there like six times a year. Never met a creepier man (he "congratulated" his son on "getting" me).

Amphora

@PistolPackinMama MISS MARPLE! That's amazing.

PistolPackinMama

@Amphora I am totally ready to solve crimes.

And your college BF's dad. You know dudes like that exist, of course. But meeting and dealing with one upfront... *shudder* Also... poor 19yo bride.

di
di

@Amphora Ugh that's so disgusting gag. Actually, I work at a company that does web development meaning that some of the employees are your stereotypical anime-watching guys and I seriously don't make eye contact with anyone when walking through certain parts of the building.

RNL
RNL

@di It's international. I'm in Vancouver.

I think it's a socially awkward egocentric self-involved male thing. There's a critical mass (heh) thing where they all do it and it has some kind of pseudo-moral veneer, and so it's ok to talk about it all the time and be really judgmental in the process. Like veganism. Bikes! Vegans! I like it all! But just because I'm not into it as much as you are does not mean I have no legitimate interests. Or friends. Or moral code. Or fitness.

Super Nintendo Chalmers

@RobotsNeedLove Yes! This! I have a thing about excessive Public Displays of Fitness.

Also there are the tweed rides. And the seersucker socials.

Blackwatch Plaid

@RobotsNeedLove I just read your comment to my bike-loving, beer-obsessed boyfriend. He's now huddled in the corner going "Shutupshutupshutup!" But he's lovable and doesn't ride a fixie, so I let him stay.

SuperGogo

@all I will take those homebrewing cyclists that you apparently don't want (??) off your hands, pleaseandthankyou.

hotdog

@SuperGogo I know, right? And with BEARDS.

RNL
RNL

@hotdog @SuperGogo

Wah it's just that I lost mine (ok, dumped for being stupid and kind of jerky, and then regretted dumping) and now I'm sad and bitter. Beard, tall, beer, bike, mostly pretty nice to me. What was I thinking? He did talk about bikes ad nauseum though. And had an extraordinarily limited concept of me having interests.

SuperGogo

@RobotsNeedLove I'm sorry. They can have all the nice-sounding attributes you can think of, but if they're utterly self-absorbed by their own stuff and utterly uninterested in you and your stuff, they're still juiceboxes. I'm not a stranger to these "looks good on paper" types either. *sigh*

kitnen

@di ha ha ha! The beer and cycling! Oh gawd, I am so tired of dating cyclist beer enthusiasts!!

PistolPackinMama

@kitnen Cycling beer enthusiasts who dumpster dive at Trader Joe's and because they don't own cars find ways to use yours, including making TJs a date destination and then make comments about how cars are bad for the environment.

Oh... wait, am I getting a bit specific there? I think that's more the individual and less the beer and cycling values.

Also, related to that person but not beer and cycling. Lies. When there is an inconsistent narrative, something is def. up.

Cat named Virtute

@PistolPackinMama Oh my god, guys, this explains so much about my high school boyfriend-turned friend-turned acquaintance after he was very rude to me and why despite his fixation with me, we never worked at all. Fixie. Homebrewing alternated with teetotling. Beard. Vegan. Talked about all these things ad nauseum. He also plays the tuba. I don't even know.

Yet his brother has half those things going on and manages to be awesome. Probably because he is quiet and snarky and hilarious and lets me talk and doesn't go on about his Things.

BOYS. Thank god I like girls too.

mintjulips

I’d like to take 30% from the 35 representing “So, we can say ‘No, what’s ok cupid?” and create a new category: “As if twenty-something women don't get propositioned enough."

staircases

I really resent the assumption that being on OKC is incompatible with being busy, smart and happy. I'm all 3 but it doesn't mean I don't have trouble meeting guys.

Lots of people use the internet to meet people these days, and lots of people are awkward about the imagined/real stigma associated. Choosing to perpetuate it is, at the very least, outdated.

sevanetta

@staircases Yep! I was busy, smart, and happy, but with most of my friends married off, working with a bunch of married women and just being older than 25, there were pretty much no chances left to meet blokes. I tried so many different interest classes, but whatever I was interested in tended to attract other single women, gay men or people my parents' age. Online dating at least showed me where all the single guys my age were.

Statham

@staircases I think online dating is convenient and is a reflection of how we socialize. 10-15 years ago, it may have held more of a stigma, but look at how people socially interact today. If you go out in public, how many people have their phones out to text/tweet/update their status/use a messaging app? In cafes, how many people are on their laptops messaging people that way?

And this isn't just teenagers. It's people in their 20s and 30s.

Plus, with the current economy, people aren't as willing to go out and spend money as they used to be. Back in the mid-90s, the economy didn't blow, so you could go out to a bar and hit on people there in the hopes you meet someone. Now it's even more financially savvy to not go out unless you know in advance you're going to meet someone.

Also, more people are going to college for a longer period of time to earn more advanced degrees, and they're focusing on their careers and being financially established before getting in "settling down" relationships.

More college = more time on a computer writing out a paper

It's only logical that more people would also be browsing a dating website to ensure a date while they work on a paper, even if only as a distraction.

Sorry if some of those sentences are jumbled. It's a little late here, and my brain is moving far faster than my fingers.

Harriet Welch

I met my husband on OKCupid :)
I did go on dates with some douchebags though. I figured I'd be doing that either way.
My favorite is one who after "reading" my profile (that started with "I love whiskey, tattoos and I say the word fuck a lot) went on a date, saw my tattoos and said "You should be more honest in your profile, I thought you were a nicer girl than that.

That guy is the reason why I thought my first date with my husband would suck. I made it for two hours before a friend's going away party at the same bar. I figured I'd be over it and have a funny story to share with my friends. I did it started "Once upon a time I was a total pessimistic douchebag..."

Harriet Welch

@Harriet Welch
P.S.
When I was on OKcupid and actively messaging, dating etc I was busy, smart and happy. I don't think your willingness to use OKCupid to date makes you bored, lazy or miserable.

Amphora

@Harriet Welch Me too high five! It's a great way to meet overworked and undersocialized grad students. Got to my first date with my husband and he had been up for something like 36 hours working. Somehow he didn't think it would be polite to cancel on me at the last minute for something as trivial as sleep.

Harriet Welch

@Amphora Are you married to my husband?! He would totally do that. He is super punctual and would never cancel anything due to severe sleep deprivation.
He's a lab manager and grad student who was working upwards of 90 hours a week before he met me.He often processes human samples, which are time sensitive, and on one of our dates he had been working for 30+ hours and got called BACK while we were smoking cigarettes in a hammock at 2am. I would NEVER have met him if we hadn't met online.
Also, according to his boss, diabetes is now my fault since my husband works less now.

Amphora

@Harriet Welch Haha, no, different field - no lab work required but he would sometimes be so preoccupied with a problem or proof that he could barely hold a conversation during a date. I'd be in the middle of a sentence and he'd grab a napkin and start writing mathematical symbols all over it.

It's true that a lot of people on OKCupid are either really busy with work or new to their area. He was also at a university that's pretty insular and separated from the rest of the city and fraternizing with townies was not easy.

Harriet Welch

@Amphora
So true!
We live in a university town and the average age is 23. I am the townie, he went to undergrad here and moved back. I dated all of the townies when I was in high school and everyone he knew here had moved away.
I know a bunch of people that are over 25 and under 35 who turned to online dating because we live in a small, college town. If you're grown and serious you probably aren't looking for frat house hookups and it's hard to find much else.

Amphora

@Harriet Welch The curse of the single academic! Then you end up just dating other academics, who then get jobs at other random college towns. That's how I ended up in Newark for two terrifying years.

totallyunoriginal

Oh, OkCupid....

I met my boyfriend through that site. We've been together for almost 3 years and he's the best. But I still cringe when people ask us how we met.

Also, OkCupid kept trying to match me with my ex. Clearly we're not a good match if he's my EX and the reminder of his existence made me want to throw things at my computer screen on a regular basis.

Also, I met someone on OkCupid who seemed awesome until I gave him my phone number. Then he immediately sent me pictures of his penis. Fail.

Amphora

@totallyunoriginal it's pretty sad when it matches you highest with two of your guy friends with whom you have long ago settled the should-we-try-dating question.

Definitely took me a couple years before I approached trying to explain how I met my husband to my parents. Made sure they REALLY liked him first.

Sandy Conley@facebook

I just realized, I haven't dated anyone that I *haven't* met on the computer since 1996! I don't think I remember how to flirt in person anymore. And the last three serious relationships I've had, I met on OKC. I was totally okay with that...but I remember flirting. I liked it. Maybe I'm missing something.

Josh is like Germany Ambitious and Misunderstood

I'm shockingly getting better at it? Either I've become better looking or everyone's standards have suddenly dropped

muralgirl

Okay, can I ask for advice? I sent a short message to an attractive dude. A few hours later, I got an email saying he "rated me 4 or 5 stars." But he never responded to the message. What is this? Why did he do that? Should I write to him again? I think the answer is probably not, but this is a small town, and he's one of the very few actually attractive local men on there, and I keep seeing his profile and thinking, "WTF dude?"

Super Nintendo Chalmers

@muralgirl Give it a day or two if you haven't already? Some people take a while to write back. The rating thing is hella weird. If you think he looks really promising, I'd take the direct approach and shoot him a single "Dude, WTF"-type message.

I used to get messages from dudes who'd never contacted me that were all "So and so added you to his favorites and wants you to know." Creeped me out SO MUCH. I know it's just uber wimpy and passive messaging-without-a-message stuff but it always seemed a little stalkery.

PistolPackinMama

@muralgirl Yeah... "sooo, four or five stars but no conversation? What is that?"

I'd be inclined to let it go, because I dunno. He might be attractive, but you are awesome, too, and why should you chase affection?

muralgirl

@PistolPackinMama True true. I'm just bored. But you make a good point.

Anyway, it's been like 3 weeks. Probably past the expiration date for a "wtf" message anyway. But really, wtf.

Statham

@muralgirl I think it's up to you. I guess if the area you live in is small enough where you might run into him, then sending him a wtf message might be awkward.

BUT if you're pretty sure you'll never see this dude, send him another message. Like, who cares if he thinks it was uncool to do, because he's the friggin' weirdo who 4 starred you without sending a message. Amirite?

Maybe a message that's not a "wtf" but something more humorous. Like, turn him being a total oddjob 4 starrer into something you joke about.

Genghis Khat

@muralgirl I sent a dude a message that said "You favorited me but didn't say hello, wtf?" And then we banged for 9 months.

muralgirl

@Statham You all make good points. I probably won't run into him accidentally. I'll try to think of something clever. Like, "4 or 5 stars isn't good enough to message, apparently, but is it good enough to make out with?" No, that's probably not right . . .

adorable-eggplant

@muralgirl I'd like to jump in and suggest 100% zero snark, because as a lady who was on okc (maybe it's different for guys) I used to get wtf messages all the time, mostly, "wtf, you looked and my profile and didn't see something you liked?" or "wtf, you haven't written back yet?" (dudes from the past I was working multiple jobs, so chill). The only ones I responded to were the genuinely nice, considerate ones, like, "hey, I have some genuine interest in you, but I know it's a zoo out there, plus you've probably got a lot going on in meatspace, but..." The negative/teasing messages just made me feel bad about myself for a minute (or day) and left me with no desire to respond. So, um, tone. :)

Statham

@muralgirl I second adorable-eggplant's idea of no snark, because it makes you come across as rude and aggressive instead of joking. Her line there is actually really good too. :D

adorable-eggplant

@Statham Thanks! Although I'd rethink meatspace, if I were sending it to somebody I wasn't completely sure would get the reference. Favorite books are Vurt and Burning Chrome? Then you're golden. Otherwise, maybe go for 'in real life' or 'out there in analog land' (um, for the steampunk gentleman?)

peahen

@muralgirl Yep, the no-snark method has worked for me when conversations seem to die out. "Hey, I bet school/work/whatever is keeping you super busy right now, but I'd still be up for grabbing a drink..."

Statham

@adorable-eggplant Good point. Meatspace might also be mistaken as a remark about genitals since it involves the word "meat".

Buffy Summers

Is there really still a stigma against online dating?

Maybe it is just living in DC but seriously everyone I know uses OkCupid (everyone single, that is). And all my now-coupled DC friends met their current SO through OkCupid. I don't know- if you are single and living in the District, it just seems a little strange NOT to be online dating... like, how do people meet otherwise?

I've had varied success with it (currently am succeeding- yay!- after a looooong period of shitty dates), but certainly the practice of meeting a lot of random people was worth it, but mostly for the hilarious stories.

Super Nintendo Chalmers

@StoneFox My DC experience has been the same as yours! Although, to be honest, I avoid the dudes whose profiles make it clear that they're still sort of on the fence about the whole enterprise? It's like: you're here same as the rest of us and you should really look into just owning that.

Statham

@StoneFox I think it depends on who you talk to. Most of my friends are find with online dating. My one friend is getting married to a guy she met online this October. (They met playing Team Fortress.)

I do have one friend who makes cracks about it, but his track record is nothing to boast about.

1. He is more often single than not.
2. He is not getting any.
3. Every single girl he has dated has been crazy.

Buffy Summers

@EddieMcCandry Agreed re: owning it.. mostly it just seems really disingenuous and insecure.

Also, at first I put a lot of stock into profiles displaying either sharp wit and/or exactly matching music/films/books tastes.. but now, not so much. Too much written wit generally set up unrealistic expectations for in-person wit which could not be met (haha tongue twister). And matching tastes? Really, really unimportant in the grand scheme.

Amphora

@StoneFox There certainly used to be. My cousin got married to a man she met online in 1998 and the whole family was like WTF is this new-fangled BS?

It being Wisconsin, the groom's cake was a life-sized computer carved out of cheddar cheese with two hearts on the screen. DELICIOUS!

Buffy Summers

@Amphora UMMM that is amazing! I am totally appropriating all my favorite regional treats for my future wedding- Pittsburgh cookie table, Wisconsin cheese computer...

Amphora

@StoneFox It's like a butter sculpture but easier to eat!

PistolPackinMama

@Amphora BUTTER SCULPTURE!

Also, along with "Lube Pamphlet" "Cheese Computer" would make a terrific Nom de Pin.

Buffy Summers

@Statham Yeah, I'm just a little shocked that people still feel like they need to make up a fake story instead of saying they met online.. Like is it really better to say you met at a bar? Does anyone really care about those stories anyway?!

Also- I love your avatar. Love Statham. Dated a guy who looked like Statham actually! And- full circle- we met at a bar.. Really!

Amphora

@PistolPackinMama It's one of the many reasons to love midwestern culture. You too can grow up to sculpt the likenesses of beauty queens out of butter!

@StoneFox My mom has only recently come around to the idea that people on the internet are NOT all robots and perverts. I gave her some story about "friend of a friend" to avoid being grilled on cyber-danger.

hahahaha, ja.

@StoneFox: OH OH can we talk about how every guy in DC on OkCupid is a funny laid-back dude who is comfortable in either a tshirt or a tux and cycles/runs/hikes and also he traveled to India/Africa/Eastern Europe once?

Super Nintendo Chalmers

@ietapi The laid-back thing bugs me SO MUCH because it means approximately NOTHING. One thing they all cannot do without is travel/a passport. Travel! They do it all the time! They could leave at any moment! They are leaving right this second.

hahahaha, ja.

@EddieMcCandry: Oh god yes how could I have forgotten about the passport??? They always list that as one of the things! Also, craft beer and "my iPod." Oh they all have such a sense of adventure. And my favorite: They state that they have a good sense of humor, and then go on to write the driest most boring profile eveeeeeer.

Super Nintendo Chalmers

@ietapi And the laundry list of bands, which are usually all of a certain type: sort of vaguely indie but nothing too outre. Author lists are typically all: dude, dude, dude, dude, dude, maybeeeee a token lady if you're lucky.

Back when I was a total newb at online dating I went out with a few of those "laid-back" gentlemen. Turns out it's sort of a code word meaning "lazy, can't cook own dinner."

Buffy Summers

@ietapi UGH I know! Seriously, does loving to travel really warrant that much explanation?? Don't most people enjoy traveling? Trips to exotic locales are pretty much universally enjoyed, no?

I mostly felt like the DC guys on OKC were desperate to prove how well-rounded and down-to-earth they are despite being super special snowflakes. Considering how Type A this city is, it makes sense.

Statham

@StoneFox Holy crap, I'd be stoked to date a dude who looked like Statham if he'd action pose for me and pretend to punch things.

And even my mother is ok with it after she realized that there weren't dances at the church for young people to go to and mingle at anymore. She even suggested a website for me to use, which was kind of cute of her - except it wasn't my cup of tea.

hotdog

@StoneFox Ok, so this cookie table: it is a THING in Western PA, right? I have been plagued by it for years! I was born in Pittsburgh, my entire family is from either Pittsburgh or Johnstown (my immediate family relocated to Cincinnati when I was 5), and every wedding has a cookie table-there. I have NEVER seen it anywhere else!

sevanetta

@EddieMcCandry oh god, this pissed me off so much. Every dude wants to travel. They're planning six months backpacking in Vietnam and Cambodia and South America! They're going to ride across America on a motorbike and they'd love someone to ride with!!

Sorry dude, hate to be a downer but I have a JOB to get MONEY so I can EAT.

sevanetta

@ietapi Same in Australia. I read the word 'laid-back' in profiles so many times, usually followed by 'Looking for a fun, outgoing girl who doesn't take herself too seriously', I not only wanted to scream, I seriously considered rewriting my profile to say 'Highly anxious, stressed-out girl who takes life way too seriously, wants to meet a guy who hates the beach and thinks travel is for dicks' just to check if anyone was reading.

Super Nintendo Chalmers

@sevanetta For serious. I did actually put "I'm uptight and hate fun" in my profile because I got so tired of all the laid-back people who "like to laugh" or whatever. I was like, well seeing as the act of laughter physically pains me...

To be honest, I've also started to read all of those TRAVEL 5EVER profiles as people who may not be around in a few months. I mean either I'm right or else these guys are the type who are always ALMOST leaving for somewhere cooler/newer/etc. but I already did that for three years with a guy who billed himself as a will o' the wisp and always made me feel always anxiously on the back foot that way. And that in itself is sort of a power play I'm not cool with at all.

DC is an odd place that way so maybe it's not true elsewhere, but definitely there is a certain portion of the population that is constantly moving away.

sevanetta

@EddieMcCandry BAHAHA AWESOME. Yes! I hate to laugh, don't you?

Yeah, I started switching off about the travel thing. I like travel, who doesn't? My problem was, I have travelled a fair bit/lived overseas for work, and to some more unusual places (I'm Australian and lived in East Timor for a year, for example). There were lots of good things, but it was hard and it made me appreciate living in Australia and being at home, you know? And I don't get a lot of leave from my job, so I can't just go travelling for 3 months every year.

So in the end, I decided my summary of what I wanted in a guy was 'stable, but interesting', meaning, he wasn't running away from himself and wanting to travel all the time to make his life Interesting and Meaningful, and was engaged in his normal life and current affairs etc. Turns out I was looking for a unicorn: interesting guys are mostly emotionally unstable commitmentphobes; stable guys who want to settle down usually don't give a shit about what happens beyond their nose.

I have an ex like yours. Always looking for the better thing!

Super Nintendo Chalmers

@sevanetta Oh man, THIS. I have really had EXACTLY the same problem. The stable guys are too staid for me personally but the guys I find interesting tend to look at me like making a plan more than 30 minutes in advance is just utterly beyond their capabilities. I've traveled myself and lived overseas (not East Timor though! So cool!). But I do like the act of returning because a) I really like my apartment I have worked so hard to make it a lovely place to live and b) it always helps me contextualize where I've been.

The thing about that ex that STILL frustrates me is that he was always sort of making noises like "Ohhh I hate it here, I'm going to move back to Brooklyn where it's cool or move up to Baltimore because it's realer or whatever" but last I heard he never actually DID any of these things so I was just worrying needlessly. Never the hell again with that nonsense.

sevanetta

@EddieMcCandry hahahahahahahaha oh. My ex moved with me overseas so I could have a dream job and he could have a wonderful exciting travel experience that made him feel younger (he was having a crisis about turning 30 and getting 'old' hahahahahaha, idiot). so when we got there and he brought all his problems with him in his head and couldn't run away, he blamed me for the problems in his life and ran back home to his mummy and daddy in Australia. I stayed out the year overseas. Like a true commitmentphobe, he ended our relationship partly because he 'didn't want to be in a relationship', but then got a new girlfriend less than a year later. (I maintain that single people are unfairly painted as commitmentphobes. True commitmentphobes sail in and out of relationships, because they need someone else to act out their commitment issues on. People who want to be single STAY SINGLE.)

Anyway, I found out this year (a couple of years on) that his gf, who he has been with since then, looks like me, is like me in personality, and is ten years younger than me (this is gross as he was 30 and she was 17 when they met). They also did a similar thing to the overseas thing, in that he took a job in a low-population rural area and she moved with him. So he isn't travelling the world doing exciting things. He took a fucking teaching job in the sticks. (no offense to teachers - I just mean it's hardly an out-there career) and his gf is so young she won't want to do anything boring like get married and have kids. lol. I sound bitter, but it really just astonishes me and when I get the chance to share about it I can't help myself!!!

lazool

@EddieMcCandry DC, where everyone has a DC escape plan, even if they tell you they don't!

Deborah Blancmange@facebook

@lazool
Mmm yes they do. Because generally living in this area sucks. It's expensive and you don't get much for it. Planning to leave myself in 2014 if not sooner after an agonizing 19+ years here.

Waiting

Oops. I met the love of my life on OKCupid. We're not normal but we sure are functional and intelligent people. I admit, being on that site feels more pathetic than any other site. But I am glad I used online dating. With online dating, I really enjoyed weeding out people who I knew I wouldn't like (I am very judgmental and picky). OKCupid is a fun site to use but yea, don't put too much info on there even though it's tempting. Just a taste of who you are and what you're looking for.

nervousrobot

Oh! Oh! Can we please have a thread where we post the worst of the worst messages that we've gotten? Here, I've got one.

"very cute. you should let me sting that fanny with my mongo cock - if that isn't too forward. i try and be a gentleman always, but all the seminars tell me to be assertive. i've gone broke on these seminars. well, i seem to be digging a deeper hole for myself, but before i go, i wish to congratulate you on being both literary and kind"

I wrote back, "Naw, dude. I'm good."

terrific

@nervousrobot "sting that fanny with my mongo cock" — I love it. I will use this someday. Not in an OKC message.

I got one from a guy saying:

"The photo you chose for your profile picture seams [sic] to be the one that looks least like you – and it's the worst one. Which is why I'm willing to overlook the fact that you appear to be an atrocious pin-the-tail-donkey [sic] player, and maybe take you out for drinks sometime."

To which I replied: NEGGING DOESN'T WORK.

nervousrobot

@terrific Yes! That is perfect. What'd he say in response?!

nervousrobot

@terrific Also, what does being "an atrocious pin-the-tail-donkey player" even mean? Like, was that a reference to the picture? Or...?

terrific

@nervousrobot I blocked him because I didn't even care what he wanted to say back. And I was fuming.

(And one of my pictures featured me playing pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey. It was cute! I thought.)

nervousrobot

@terrific Pfft, it sounds cute! Also, I am very curious--why were you playing PTOTD? Because that sounds fun.

Usually I don't respond either, but lately I have been feeling real cavalier and my don't-fuck-with-me-on-the-subway attitude has, uh, started bleeding over into other areas of my life. Mostly on OKC. But like, only if they start it?

terrific

@nervousrobot Ha! In my last months of OKC I got like that too, also thanks to the cavalier fuck-you attitude instilled in me by the NYC subways.

And my friends have amazing birthday parties. Now I want to have a PTTOTD-based Hairpin meet-up. Why don't they have THAT game in bars? I'd play it over darts any day.

Statham

@nervousrobot Holy crap. I wish I could remember what this one guy said, but it was perpetual. He never got the hint that I wasn't interested, and even when I came right out and said it, he wound up begging me to let him try again. It was awful.

nervousrobot

@Statham That's the worst.

Also, that is...actually sad kinda? :( Not that you should have to have sympathy for someone harassing you on the internet (don't do it!), but from this distance (on the other side of the internet), sheesh, hard not to feel like, yikes, that's either a reflection of some serious entitlement or some serious loneliness. Probably both.

Statham

@nervousrobot I think it was serious loneliness since he was a doctor and worked all the time. So, he didn't really have any other way to find a female companion aside from OKCupid. He was also kind of lacking in the social skills department obviously, and he was super self-conscious about his looks. It was like, a never-ending whirlpool of self-loathing and pity that made me feel really awful for him. But I also wasn't going to go out on a date with him out of pity either because that would have been cruel (since I had no interest in him whatsoever), and it wouldn't be fair to me either.

queenofbithynia

@nervousrobot for me it is a tie between the one who said he wanted to "jizz on my glasses" and the one with the username "schroedingersrapist." Guess that's what I get for saying I'm only interested in feminists.

Statham

@queenofbithynia I hope you informed him that "jizz on the glasses" would be a real bitch to clean off, so you hoped he was prepared for that because you sure as hell were not about to do it.

queenofbithynia

@Statham god that was one of those messages that made me want to sew my knees together/get a flamethrower because bleah bleah bleaaaaahhh. I never replied to that stuff because there just isn't anything I can say to make them feel the same impotent loathing they made me feel.

but I almost forgot! the other two worst ones were the SEVERAL guys who told me I should smile/would be really pretty with a smile on my face, and I thought nothing could be worse than that until I got a message from another guy who said he loved my beautiful smile. but I WAS NOT SMILING IN MY PICTURE BECAUSE THAT WOULD BE FALSE ADVERTISING, since I hate men/the world. To him, I did consider writing back just to say "I'M NOT SMILING, ASSHOLE" but I did not.

I mean I understand it was just a generic untargeted message like the ones that just say "u r sexxy" and the like but it enraged me more than anything else ever. beautiful smile, eh? I'LL SHOW YOU WHO'S FUCKING SMILING --

(maybe okcupid is not for me)

Statham

@queenofbithynia Yeah. You get a lot of weird messages all the time, but hopefully there's nice ones too.

I had a picture of me playing my ukulele on there, and someone messaged me to tell me it reminded me of Garfunkel and Oates, who I now listen to often in the car and enjoy a lot.

I'm sure I would have heard about them eventually, but thanks to Ok Cupid, I heard about them when I did and love them. :D

Super Nintendo Chalmers

@nervousrobot A couple of days ago I got this one from a dude I'd been on the fence about replying to on account of him seeming sort of brotastic. It was in response to what I thought was just sort of my normal thoughtful/witty replies to initial messages:

"I'm just going to thorough this out there...

you seem like trouble.

Anyway good luck out there.

-Rex"

There was one that made it to the The A(n)nals of Online Dating. Such a proud day for me.

stonefruit

@terrific I just got a message that said only the following:

barffffffff

I'm stealing your reply.

sarah girl

I met my fantastic boyfriend on OKCupid, although it almost didn't happen! He sent me one message which I found quite charming, but I read his profile/some of his match questions and a couple of the answers turned me off; I put him on the back burner for a bit and didn't respond to the message. A week or two later he sent another message - not pushy at all (didn't even mention the previous message), just adding another comment on something in my profile and asking if I'd heard about a unique local event that had happened the previous weekend. I went "what the hell" and responded, and now we are ~in love~ and insanely compatible, and I'm so glad he sent that second message. (Also, after a couple of months I told him about my initial hesitance, and we revisited some of his match questions; it turns out that, since he had really limited dating experience, he was kind of guessing on some of the questions? Like how he'd feel about his partner having dinner with an ex, things like that. So it's okay! He is/was still learning.)

grumpasaurus

I don't know if anyone's mentioned this, but does anyone know anything about Sparkology? My mom is trying to convince me to join, but it sounds elitist and weird. It claims to be for women who want ambitious dudes who went to an elite college. I mean, I like smart guys (obvs), but will logging on be accompanied by Kanye rapping Gold Digger? I'm just so sick of getting messages from men with profile pics where they are holding their children strategically to hide their girth.I can't take another "ur hott ;)!" Also, college doesn't necessarily an awesome guy make, so...

Statham

@grumpasaurus I have never even heard of it. Does it cost money? I think I might need to go check this out now out of curiosity.

Statham

@grumpasaurus Ok. I just looked at it, and holy man I don't think I'd qualify. My facebook picture is of me with a fake glasses/mustache combo going on.

sevanetta

@grumpasaurus I don't know about sparkology, but I highly recommend going back through the comments above to find the thread that WaityKatie and I and a couple of others have created, where we are talking about how smart, left-leaning, educated guys online don't actually seem to want to date or have relationships with smart, left-leaning, educated women. A couple of us have ended up with guys who are smart but from a rural area or in a non-professional industry (or both), and they are much more comfortable with strong women. Highly recommended!!! Best of luck!!! :)

grumpasaurus

@sevanetta Thanks!I might try it for a month just to check it out, but you're right about the "mansplaining" thing. I met a guy who would literally stare off into space, and drone on about physics. He didn't even make eye contact. It was like he would've kept lecturing even if I was carried off by wolves.

grumpasaurus

@Statham Oh wait. Apparently it is only in big cities... because they have a "concierge" drive you to the date. Oh my god. Is this a prostitution ring? Did I almost sign up to be a prostitute? So weird! It sounds like it's all American Psycho types!

adorable-eggplant

@grumpasaurus Yeah, ugghh.

bettsjanie

I was vehemently against online dating until some friends talked me into it (they even made my OKCupid profile). Now I'm madly in love, and neither of us have soul patches. He was my very first online date too. Thank you OK Cupid.

Lu2
Lu2

There's something about reading online profiles that almost always automatically turns me off the person. I don't know what it is; clearly it has to be something in my brain's profile-processing center. One of the worst impressions I get is definitely the "shopping" thing--people who think that just because they can make a list of all the qualities they want in a person, that it's likely or even possible that they will find it all in one place. Moreover, that they *deserve* to. Eew. How about not making up your mind so quickly about what you like and need, mister? Dealbreakers are one thing, but it's my experience that people don't leave enough room for serendipity and the possibility that they didn't know whom they needed until they met them.

Also, guys who make a point to say that their children are the most treasured and important thing in their life. Well, that's as it should be, so why are you acting as though this is worth remarking on to women who might want to date you? Frankly, the impression it gives---since you're, you know, on a DATING SITE at the moment--is that the woman should be prepared to take a back seat to your child(ren), all the time.

CupidHatesYou@twitter

I joined OkCupid at the behest of a few girlfriends who insisted I oughta give it a try because why the eff not? I personally don't understand why anyone in this day and age is standoffish about joining a dating website as if agreeing to go on a date with a random stranger you met outside of the virtual world is any more "normal" or "safe" than doing so after an exchange of words with an individual who has taken the time to fill out a couple of form fields to let you know what he or she is all about. To be perfectly honest, outside of high school, I have not dated a single person that I didn't first get to know online, because as it so happens, I hate surprises, and nothing is more crushing than finding out how atrocious someone's taste in everything is only after you've developed a liking toward them before sitting down for a real conversation that is focused on sharing opinions and ideas. No one is forcing you to interact with anyone on OkCupid regardless of your combined compatibility rating, so it certainly is nice to be able to write someone off for being a born-again Christian, closet-gay, homophobe without acknowledging their existance. And though not all of us are into the whole back-and-forth messaging thing, at least messaging gives you a clear view of just how much someone is, or is not, capable of holding a decent conversation. Social retardation is a lot more difficult to mask without the in-person flare that the common sociopath is able to con you with. I've met many an awesome person on OkCupid, but I post the conversations I have with the bad seeds as somewhat of guide for what you shouldn't do while trying to score on a dating website, here -- http://www.CupidHatesYou.com -- So as horrifying as some of my virtual interactions have been, no one should fool themselves into believing that a pool of potential mates is any better out in the real world than it is online, because guess what, awful people are around you at all times of the day. Happy hunting, folks!

lazool

It used to be pretty frusterating that I'd been on a lot of dates that just fizzled out, or where the attraction was one sided, until I heard a lot of really awful stories from women about men they meet on OKC. Now I'm just happy that I keep my integrity in tact, am halfway decent with people I meet there, and have acceptance that it's really hit or miss.

mites

A selection of terrible messages I have sent people:

"nice strobe light"

"when is the number 42 used in pop culture?" [this user claimed to know all about this, but then she deleted her profile. curious.]

"I love talking about boring things!

You seem awesome and I hate writing OKCupid Messages, but I like Fleetwood Mac too! And a bunch of other stuff you wrote about!

Would you like to talk about stuff with me sometime?

ps: I don't actually like exclamation marks as much as it may seem!!" [she deleted her profile shortly after. I will never be nice again.]

"I need to make a wine lolly."

"would it have killed anyone to have designed stairs so that when you fall up them your aren't covered in bruises. We are trying to have a society here."

"I have read that Ice-T tells the writers on SVU to give him as few lines as possible per episode because he gets paid either way. Socialism has come to America."

"You know when people are all like, "Even a broken watch is right two times a day"? I just can't help thinking that that still totally sucks cause who wants to stare at their watch all day to make sure it functioned twice.

Anyway, I hope you and your broken watch can still love each other despite it all or whatever."

These messages have garnered not a single response. Rest In Piss my self-regard.

mites

@mites

a few more:

"is there some sort of shoe hierarchy I need to know about?"

"I was willing to be like "awww yeah, fuck ketchup," but mayonnaise too?? I just can't afford to hate that many condiments in this economy."

"now that I've read your profile I can't stop worrying that every other person who has a profile on here is kicking dogs because they didn't mention that they didn't explicitly.

god I hope you aren't really into punctuation or interesting messages, because you'll never learn your lesson if that is the case!" [this user claimed not to kick dogs]

"nice tractor"

"I am unemployed and I live with my parents." [this user no longer has an account.]

PistolPackinMama

@mites A couple of those are kind of juiceboxy, which I think you know. But a couple of those? I would totally write you on the back of getting a message like that.

In particular the shoe hierarchy one. That is hilarious and endearing.

WaityKatie

Those messages are all awesome. I would date you.

Cecelia Murphy@facebook

Can I just share this morning's exchange?

HIM (first contact): I excel in parallel parking. I'm probably better than you, if you want to bet.
Report this
19% Enemy65% Friend64% Match Message from [xxxx]

ME: Jul 13, 2012 – 9:51am
Yeah! OR you could just fuck off, I think I might actually prefer that.

HIM: Jul 13, 2012 – 11:58am
Hahaha!!! Thank you for making my morning!
Report this

Jul 13, 2012 – 11:59am
:D

HIM: Jul 13, 2012 – 12:03pm
Anyone tell you that you look like Lucy from Trailer Park Boys?
Report this

Just now!
ME: Right. I'm sure that's why you messaged me, because I look like trashy, shriveled mid-40s woman from a low socioeconomic class.

Princess Gigglyfart

My profile lists having a soulpatch as a dealbreaker. That and hippy dick pants.

Annie Jasper@facebook

The content of this circle graph is pretty cute and the parts all add up to 100%, which is fantastic. The 25% section is pretty close to 1/4 of the circle, so that's cool, too. To draw each section properly, multiply the percent by 360 degrees, then use a protractor to allocate each portion. For instance, 10% of 360 degrees = .10x360=36 degrees. I thoroughly enjoyed your article, so please forgive me for the unsolicited math lesson.

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