This is my I-have-a-date-and-I-don’t-know-what-I’m-doing-face.
This was before my date tonight. I had a great second date with someone from my adventures in online dating. However, this post is not about that.
This post is about all of the misadventures in online dating. And let me warn you, there are quite a few.
I really walked into this whole thing with ZERO expectations. I have a few friends that have been experimenting with online dating for varying periods of time, and they always have interesting stories. My one and only new year’s resolution this year is to laugh every single day. Its not like I don’t already laugh a lot – I do. Its just that this year I plan to be very intentional with my happiness. If nothing else, I figured I could get a few good stories from this and some good laughs.
I wasn’t wrong.
Not all of the stories are funny, however. Some are weird. Others are just plain confusing. And some are kind of creepy. So basically everything you might expect.
Other cast of characters in all of this (aka my friends):
– There is R who describes her life as “the first part of a romantic comedy movie” and “the other half is a slasher film”. From what I know about her experiences with online dating, that is an incredibly accurate description. She’s the bridesmaid who trips walking down the aisle of her best friend’s wedding and manages to pick up a legitimate stalker from an online dating site (to the point where we – her friends- were begging her to make a police report and she finally changed her phone number all together).
– Then there is C who is a therapist with commitment issues – her words, not mine. She doesn’t follow the “rules” when it comes to online dating (will meet for dinner on the first date, will let him pick her up in his car, etc).
– And then there is M, who is one of the best people I know and manages to have some of the weirdest/most hilarious conversations with some of the men she meets online.
Annnnnnd then there is me. A 27-year old divorced woman who spent the last 7 years of her life seriously dating (and marrying, and divorcing) one person. Since I started dating in high school my typical pattern has been to meet someone, become friends with them, and then start dating. So I honestly have NEVER in my ENTIRE LIFE had an “official first date”. I’ve had first dates with guys I’ve known and was interested in dating, but not like a this-is-a-first-date-where-I-am-going-to-learn-about-your-life-and-you-are-going-to-learn-about-mine-and-at-the-end-of-the-night-we-might-not-want-to-talk-to-each-other-ever-again. So this is entirely new territory.
Cue profile creation. After perusing a few profiles, I quickly decided that I enjoyed the funny/witty/sarcastic profiles the most, so that’s the framework I decided to use in creating mine. Under the section asking what I am currently doing with my life, I talk about rescuing arctic baby seals and helping with the unicorn re-population project on the weekends. I then have a small blurb about what I really do, and move on from there. SIDE EDIT: It is embarrassing how many messages I have received about the “rewarding rescue work that you do” and “how did you get into rescuing baby seals?” And before you think guys were being sarcastic too, let me assure you they were not.
Here is an example of a non-sarcastic message:
While there is nothing wrong with that message, per say, I did not write back because if we are going to have even a basic conversation I don’t want to have to explain to you that I was being facetious about living-in-California-and-rescuing-arctic-baby-seals. I did that in the beginning and it was just a precursor to other problems ahead, so new policy dictated that these kinds of messages did not get responses.
Now, here is an EXCELLENT example of a first message. And one that is wonderfully sarcastic.
He got a response and we are still engaging in witty banter than makes me laugh. Winning.
It should also be noted that the sheer amount of messages that we (all women who do online dating) get is entirely overwhelming. So if you read the rest of this post and think I’m being too picky, or obnoxious or whatever you can 1) Fuck off and 2) Have the knowledge that sometimes I get upwards of 50+ “likes” and messages PER DAY. So I need to draw the line somewhere.
Before starting all of this, I didn’t have a very specific list of criteria. However, along the way I have developed a list of things that are absolutely unacceptable.
– If your screen name is any variation of the following: Prince4You, Lovah69, Looking4You, NEthing4You (pretty much anything “4You” is out), SexyManXXX, BigBaller$, CocaineIsMyDad, etc etc etc etc. You get the idea. Basically don’t sound like a douchebag idiot creep.
– If you have anything written in your profile about sex. One profile I read (of someone who had “liked” me) listed this under the 6 Things I Could Never Live Without section: “3. Sometimes gentle, sometimes rough, always intense and creative sex“. Aside from filing you under the douchebag idiot creep section of my brain, R said it best:
“There is a time and a place for that shit. The time and place is when we’re naked in my bed. Then you can tell me what you want me to do with you. WTF?!”
I couldn’t have said it better myself.
– If you are MARRIED and you lead with that fact. Ummm K is that you? (Too soon? Bad joke?)
– If you are a woman who is “open, ready and willing”. I’m not quite there yet, but maybe stick around for a few months and I’ll change my position on this.
Fun fact: C got a message from her too.
-If you talk at all, in any capacity, about spoiling the women you date or bring up the fact that you are just looking for a “plaything”. First of all, if you EVER call a woman a plaything (or any variation of that), go fuck yourself. And when you talk about “spoiling” me, I am going to immediately assume that you work in the human trafficking industry.
– If you lead with comments about my physical appearance. A simple “I find you attractive” is okay, when done in the right context. However, it’s just not really necessary. If you are contacting me, I am going to go ahead and assume that you find me attractive. Specific fascination with my lips, eyes, or oddly enough EYEBROWS, is especially weird and not encouraged.
Yup. Are you ever going to find out? Nope.
When you flat out mention me making a police report in the first ever message you send me, I am going to think you are R’s creepy stalker and not only and I not going to message you back, I am going to BLOCK you. Also, the weird/vague comment about “in my profession you do well if you can learn to read people” makes me think you are either a) professional poker player, b) a bounty hunter, c) a con man, or d) a human trafficker (mostly because I assume that about all creepy men online. I don’t know – I have a complex).
Fun fact: 99% of the time someone outright claims they are not “one of those online creepers” they, in fact, are one of those online creepers. Also true: When someone tells you this is not a “booty message” it is absolutely a booty message.
So, as it turns out, I do have quite a long list of criteria. Just the what-you-should-never-do-and-what-is-unacceptable type of criteria.
My personal favorite message, from someone to M.
It shouldn’t be this funny, but it is. I randomly think of this message while driving or in the shower and put myself in dangerous situations because I cannot stop hysterically laughing. I also hashtag EVERYTHING #hicanwetalkanddate
I mean, why wouldn’t I? She clearly found her soulmate in this guy.
And then there is THIS rocket scientist. (Also a “friend” of M):
I mean, I can’t even.
In true R “slasher-film” form, she received this message from an admirer:
Again, another perfect example of a “wrong time, wrong place” kind of message.
I guess it’s more difficult than you might think.
This was a funny message from a guy who ALMOST got a response. It was clever and funny enough to deserve one, but I just wasn’t into him.
Annnnnnd this guy. He’s special. I don’t have the message he sent me, but it was creepy and said something like “You seem different from the other girls on this site. I’m even going to go out on a limb and say you might even have a pulse.” Ohhhhkay DEXTER. Thanks for mentioning my pulse, you psycho-stalker-human-trafficker-creep. So naturally I clicked on his profile and I was simultaneously horrified and amused. This may have been the best part:
SO MANY QUESTIONS. The first of one being: UM WHAT? And the second one being less of a question and more of a comment about THAT POEM.
Of course these are just the funny/scary/weird examples. I have had plenty of hilarious, charming, and witty encounters with the men of los angeles. I’m pretty picky about who I give my number to, so I’m taking things slow. I also had a confusing experience back in the beginning of all of this. I met a guy within like 24 hours of creating my profile. We wrote back and forth for an entire day, and quickly exchanged phone numbers. We texted back and fourth for hours that evening, and talked the next day on the phone. It seemed to me that everything was going great – the more I learned about him the more I found we had in common (from the books we like to the fact he was also married for 2 years and then divorced). He was scheduled for a business trip out of the country (which sounds hoky if you don’t know the back story, but it was legitimate) and he even continued to talk to me while he was away on this trip for a week. He mentioned getting together when he got back more than once, so I was looking forward to that. However, once he made it back stateside, something changed. I couldn’t exactly figure it out, but my spidey-intuition-senses were tingling and if I’ve learned anything over this past year, its to NOT ignore those feelings. So I asked him if something had changed and I waited for a reply. He finally wrote back with some lame excuse about yes-sorry-things-have-changed-because-I’m-really-busy-for-the-next-few-weeks. I responded appropriately and said I understood, but in my heart I knew he was blowing me off. I didn’t have the faintest idea why, but I played along and told him to let me know when things calmed down for him. To make an already long story a little bit shorter, I ended up speaking my mind a day or so later, for various reasons. I won’t bore you with all the specific details, but he had a chance to explain himself and he did not take it. I have my theories about what happened, and since I’ll most likely never get a real explanation those will have to do. I guess those are the risks you take when you meet people online – people might misrepresent themselves or their intentions. And you really never know who you are talking to.
Aside from that one random/confusing experience, every guy I’ve ended up giving my phone number to has been really fun to talk to. Maybe one in particular more than the others, but I’m keeping mum about that for awhile. I will say that “dating” again (or “for the first time, really”) has been pretty damn fun thus far.
And it has definitely been good for the new years resolution to laugh every day.
So there’s that.