Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Match Story #3: Online Deal-breakers

So in addition to the chemistry factor and my increasingly cynical attitude towards this whole online dating thing, I also don't think I will meet someone on match because it is just so easy to nix people for big AND little things.  And apparently it goes both ways.  I've already come across a few guys who have said things at the end of their profile like, "If you're a drama queen, move on."  And "If your idea of a meal is Jenny Craig, then we're probably not a good match."  And then today, I came across a guy who listed not just one but TEN deal-breakers.  I am kind of tempted to copy and paste it, but I will loosely paraphrase instead...

"A few things....

1.  If you're on here just looking to get a free meal from as many dudes as humanly possible...don't e-mail me.
2. Shopaholics/high maintenance/"fashionistas"...go away.
3. I don't have Fbook, so please don't ask.
4. I don't like texting.
5. A sense of self-importance based on a perceived social-status won't get you anywhere with me.
6. If you date dudes that wear Ed Hardy or Affliction shirts: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
7. Have a job.
8. Please, please, please...have a brain.
9. If you're operating on 1 or more psychotropic drugs prescribed to you by a therapist for severe depression/ bipolar disorder and withhold this information until we actually meet....yeah.... I think you know where this is going...
10. If Daddy pays your rent so that you can live in a posh apartment in Manhattan, please never reproduce, and obviously, leave me alone."

The list was actually much longer - like a paragraph of description per deal-breaker.  I thought it was pretty funny, although I have no idea what an Affliction shirt is.

I revised my profile last week and I actually did consider posting a short list of deal-breakers too.  But then my guy friends told me that it would make me sound like a total Debbie Downer and that no one would ever want to date me.  So, I'm just going to post it here instead.

My online deal-breakers

1.   A shirtless picture
2.   A picture taken in a mirror with a cell phone
3.   A picture taken in a bathroom mirror with a cell phone
4.   A shirtless picture taken in a bathroom mirror with a cell phone
5.   Misuse of you/you're or their/they're/there; generally terrible grammar
6.   Use of the phrase "partner in crime"
7.   Living outside of the NY area
8.   Living on Staten Island
9.   Being divorced
10. Being 40 or older (and that is being generous)

Actually, it seems that this list isn't necessarily specific to online dating...hmmm.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Match Date #1 Breakdown

Alright, let me just first admit that this is going to be really honest.  No holding back.  Which means it is also going to be really nit-picky, petty and shallow.  Consider yourself warned.

So when I left the date, I thought, alright well, that was fine.  I guess I would go out with him again.  But then I got home and started thinking about all the negatives.  And then today as I was describing it to my friends, I remembered even MORE negatives.  And here they are.  Some of them.

Planning the date.  When we had messaged about meeting up, he had suggested that we meet on Monday at 7 at Madison Square Park.  My initial thoughts, in order, were:  "Uh, Madison Square Park??  Are we going to Shake Shack?  Do they serve alcohol there?  I don't really eat burgers. Maybe I could get a shake. This is a weird spot to pick.  What?"  Ultimately I figured, hey, he was very specific so at least that shows he can take some initiative.  So fast forward to Monday.  I text him as I'm leaving work and he texts back "Do you have a place in mind?"  So I'm thinking, what?!?  Didn't he already suggest Madison Square Park?  Long story short, I say no, he suggests Madison Square Park again and I suggest that we get a drink in Bryant Park.  Which is what we did.  I personally think alcohol should always be at least an option on a first date.

Height.  His profile said he was 5'9".  I was wearing flats.  He did NOT seem 5'9".  Now, I think I may very well have a warped perception of height, as two of my best guy friends are 6'5" and 6'3" and I think 'A','B', 'C', 'D', 'E' and 'F' were all at least 6'.  Well, 'D' may have been 5'11".  Anyway, this guy did NOT seem 5'9".  Maybe 5'8".  Maybe even 5'7".  In any case, possibly shorter than advertised and definitely shorter I would like.

Religion.  I don't particularly care what religion someone subscribes to or if they're religious at all as long as they're respectful of other people's beliefs.  He frowned upon those he deemed fundamentalist.  When we were talking about where we grew up, he asked me if it weird to grow up not religious when everyone else around me was.  I was a little taken aback.  I don't say anything about my religious beliefs on my profile, so I wasn't sure how he assumed that (a) I am not religious now and (b) I wasn't religious then.  Maybe he had me confused with someone else?  I told him that I went to church twice a week in high school.  He back-tracked a bit.   Apart from that, he also expressed his dismay that his friend thought they should teach Creationism in school.  And then he continued on to say how he just couldn't understand how anyone could possibly believe that Creationism is a valid theory.  I found his tone condescending and elitist.  I guess this is why you're not supposed to talk about religion on a first date.

Other dates.  Somehow the topic of other match.com dates came up.  I told him how weird some of the guys on match were, especially the guys who sent follow-up messages when I didn't respond to their initial emails.   So then he told me how he messaged this photo editor (who he thought was "like so amazing" and with whom he had "so much in common"), and she didn't respond, but he messaged her again anyway to invite her to a photo exhibit he thought she might enjoy, and he still didn't hear back from her at all for two weeks until THAT MORNING (the day of our date) when she messaged him back.  Uhh.  I mean, don't get me wrong, obviously this is not exclusive, and obviously I know we are all probably seeing multiple people at once, but come on.  Really?  Didn't need to know any of that.

Just a little awkward.  He said, "So you're a lawyer huh."  I said, "Yup, I'm a lawyer." He said, "Like, a real one?  Barred and everything?" .... ummm yeah.  But what I really wanted to say was, no, I'm a fake lawyer, and I chase fake ambulances.

Post-date.  So the end of the date was sort of awkward.  He asked if I wanted to grab something to eat.  I declined.  And when I got home, I logged into match.  On match, you can see when someone else is online, so it occurred to me that it would be really awkward if he saw that I was online.  But I did it anyway.  And he saw.  And he sent me a message that said, "haha your [sic] online right now!"  Oh lordy.  Awkward.  And then he tried to add me as a gchat contact.  I declined.

On a positive note, I did like how passionate he was about his job.  That's always nice.  We had also studied abroad in the same random city.  But given the above, and the lack of chemistry, I'm pretty sure there won't be a Match Date #2 with Match Guy #1. On to the next.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Match Story #2: Chemistry

Drumroll please...I went on my first match.com date last night!! Generally, I don't get particularly nervous before first dates.  Not so this time.  I was kind of sort of nervous ALL DAY LONG.  The more I thought about it, the weirder it felt.  I was about to have drinks with someone I had never even met!  My friends pointed out that it's really no different from going on a first date with someone you met at a bar.  When you meet someone at a bar, you probably chat on average for 10-60 minutes?  Long enough to know where they're from, what they do, where they went to school and maybe another tidbit or two.  When you meet someone online, you probably exchange a few emails.  Long enough to know where they're from, what they do, where they went to school and probably a few MORE tidbits.

So really, the only bit that really distinguishes the two is the looks factor.  But even that is debatable, becuase when you meet someone at a bar, it's likely that you've been drinking.  Is your hazey memory of that "cute guy" really more accurate than the 5 to 10 pictures that a guy picks to put on a dating site?  I'm not so sure. 

All things considered, it should be a relatively level playing field.  EXCEPT for that good ol' intangible thing called chemistry.  I kind of hate that word.  It's such a dating buzzword, like "networking" and "work-life balance" (which I realize is 3 words).   But even so, I'm starting to think "chemistry" is just another reason that it's less likely I'll meet someone with actual potential on match.

The thing is, I nix guys who message or wink at me purely based on their profiles.  And well, 80% of my decision is based on their pictures.  Now, I don't think that's unfair of me, considering that's basically all you have to go on when you're looking at someone's profile.  BUT if I look back at the guys I've dated and been attracted to in the past, I can pretty definitively say that I probably would've ignored them too had I only seen their match profile.  The reason for my attraction to them wasn't necessarily that they expressed themselves well in words or that they were photogenic.  Nope, it was almost always simply chemistry

So if I wasn't already underwhelmed by match, now I'm becoming increasingly skeptical.  Who knows, maybe one day, the stars will align and I'll find someone with a good profile AND chemistry.  But as far as Match Date #1 is concerned, well, it just wasn't there.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Match Story #1: Filters

Today, I logged into match and this popped up:

Based on what you've told us in your profile, we've noticed you're getting a lot of emails from people who don't meet your criteria. Would you like us to show you how to use email filters so you can get more emails from people you want to meet?

So I said, why, yes, thank you match.  I would like to know how to get more emails from cuter, smarter guys who do not misspell definitely.

And match responded, well, here's how you can set up filters!

Basically, if someone messages you and he doesn't meet the criteria that you select, his message goes straight into the "filtered mail" folder.  Criteria by which you can weed people out include age, height, location, smoker/non-smoker, want kids/don't want kids, ethnicity and religion.  So it basically enables you to say, "If you're a 40-year-old agnostic smoker who doesn't want kids, then you're spam and I don't even want to see your message in my inbox."

I decided that I would be super shallow and filter out all guys under 5'8". 

Turns out, the filter is also retroactive.  So the filter gets applied to every message that you've already received.  Apparently 18, eighteen, of the 31 guys who have messaged me are under 5'8"!!!!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Saga Continues...

So even though I joined match, 'F' is actually still kind of around.  I think the only appropriate word to describe us is "rocky."

I get mad at him rather frequently. I'm pretty sure if this exact situation was happening to one of my friends, I'd be trying to figure out a good way to tell her, "Why are you wasting your time?  This guy is trouble."

The problem is, no matter how peeved I get by his behavior and no matter how much I rant about it to my friends, when I'm with him and when I rant to him, all he has to do is swoop me up in his arms and kiss me and suddenly all I can do is roll my eyes, shake my head and hate myself for not being able to resist.

I suspect he's figured this out too.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Online Shopping

So I did it.  I joined match.com!

When you join, you get a little "New!" next to your profile, which means that every message or wink I've gotten makes me feel like that new girl in school who gets pounced on as fresh meat.  I suppose it's better than no messages or winks, except that usually my reaction when I click on their profiles is "Ugh gross."  I guess it's sort of what I expected.  A lot of messages from old guys, horribly unattactive guys and guys who take pictures shirtless in front of their mirrors with camera phones.  Ugh gross.

On a less negative note, browsing is kind of fun!  It's like online shopping for a boyfriend!  Which made me realize that I seem to be spending a lot of my time these days online shopping.  For shoes, wine, groceries, dogs and now boys...