Being a single guy in the ’05 can be tough enough. Being a single guy that finds it almost impossible to strike up conversation with random girls in ‘cold call’ situations (meaning there’s no formal intro…just you deciding to randomly talk to someone) can make it even more challenging. So guys like myself have to be a bit inventive. There’s where this week’s story begins.
Prologue: A few months ago, a friend of mine who is experienced in internet dating was once again recommending that I try it. I’ve always been hesistant because a) it seems weird and b) it seems weird. There’s a certain stigma attached to dating sites because of their magnet-like appeal for freaks, losers and the overall shunned and shrouded of society. At least, that’s what the assumptions are. I first looked into ‘net dating a few years ago when it was in its infancy and immediately got turned off. So after making the usual jokes, my buddy persisted and said to just log onto his account and just look around, convincing that within a few minutes, I’d be hooked.
Sifting through the first few pages was what I expected: a mix of the fat, blah and ugly.
Surprisingly though, I spotted one attractive girl. Then another. Then another. I began to realize that some of these girls were pretty hot, a marked change from my first go-around with the ‘net years prior. I begain wondering whether my misgivings about these site were out of whack. After finding one girl that I was definitely intrigued in (a female that works in TV, had a journalism degree and fronts a rock band), I threw caution to the wind and went for it. I decided that it’s 2005 and my friend seems relatively normal, so I might as well give it a shot. A credit card number and a few minutes later, I became the latest member of the Match.com community.
The first part was setting up my personal page, complete with pictures of myself that would act as a selling point of sorts. This was my first big roadblock in that I soon realized that I don’t have any good pics of myself. I’m not a big fan of pics taken of me anyway, so trying to find photos that basically advertised myself came to be extremely difficult. I finally found three pics (mostly from college…I told you I had nothing) that were passable, edited them down a bit and threw ’em up there. Next was the profile itself, possibly qualifying for the single best way to embarass yourself publicly. I decided to play up the funny “this is my first time’ angle while also avoiding the deep philsophical thoughts that permeate these things.
Seriously, there are three types of people that go on Match: a) the last resort bunch that put everything they have into this, which really is a last-ditch effort at grabbing anything that moves, b) those like myself who are just trying this out with the thought of maybe meeting someone or maybe not, and c) those trying to get quick, cheap ass. Why isn’t everyone just going for C? Because those looking to give it up are either crazy, less-than-attractive or a combo of both. From talking with others though, it’s fairly easy to get some action after a ‘net date. I heard of one normal guy today that blatantly sets up dates at non-dinner hours to avoid paying for dinner and still managed to get a blowjob out of the deal. You gotta love people. Got. To. Love. Them.
Anyhoo, I got the profile done, picked a username (a combo of my name and the team I work for) and was off and running. Let’s explain how this works: you can see profiles of girls via age range, location or pretty much any indicator you want. From there, you can view their full profile and either ‘wink’ at them (which sends an email with your profile saying you’re interested) or send a full-blown email in which you pick the copy. I soon found three girls I was interested in (including the rock girl that got me to sign up to begin with), but found myself up against the ‘wall’ of my own mind, not having the balls to actually write or hit send. What would I say? Would they see the profile and say, “Yeah right”? Would they send something back? The thought of what I was actually about to do set in, but I pushed it away and wrote three pretty decent emails to three different girls.
To date, I’ve heard from none of them.
So over the past month, I’ve played the game. I’ve kept looking and continued to ‘wink’ every once in a while. I still haven’t got any responses back, which has befuddled me. Is my profile that bad? Herein lies one of the issues with sites like Match. I have no idea if these girls even got the email and there’s no requirement for them to respond one way or another. It’s even strange when you look through profiles after you’ve sent an email and see the person that didn’t respond back. It’s like an ex-girlfriend who you want to talk to again but don’t out of pride and self-respect. Pretty f’n strange, if you ask me. However, I started to figure it out a bit as I began to get winked and emailed myself. The only issue was that I found none of the girls were really that interesting or attractive enough to make a move. The other factor was kids in which three of four of the women had, a big ‘no’ in my book at this stage of things. This was especially tough in that a few of the girls were kind of attractive, but I wouldn’t want to potentially mess up a child’s life on something that I knew had a less-than-50% chance of succeeding. So maybe the same stuff that was happening to me was also happening on the other end of the computer. At least, that’s what I’m telling myself.
Five weeks later, my profile has been checked out 280 times, I’ve gotten 15 winks and two personal emails. I still haven’t been on a date through Match and don’t expect to until I get my sh*t straight with the right pics and the right attitude. I’m still not willing to just ask someone out just for the hell of it when I’m still hesistant in the first place about the whole process. My previous conceptions of it being just for losers has now gone out the window (it kinda had to, right? I’d be a loser if I didn’t say that. I think.) and been replaced with a new outlook on ‘net dating. If I was someone new to an area and had a tough time meeting people, I’d definitely try it. With time and a pretty good site, Match has evolved into a place that attracts normal people just looking to meet people. Yes, there are those that will be lucky to get a look but hey, everyone’s got to try.
Some other random notes from My Month On Match:
–Pictures: You’ve already read about my issues with pictures. But there are some other people that have A LOT worse issues than I do. The amount of webcam shots and phone pictures shots are plentiful as well as 75% of the pics being headshots and not full-body. It’s interesting to see the strategies others use in putting pics up as it’s basically the first chance people have to see who is interested in them. On one hand, it tells a lot. To put it kindly, there are some big ladies out there. Like Anna Nicole Smith pre-Trim Spa big. On the other hand, a picture doesn’t tell you everything either. One of the more frustrating yet tempting parts of Matching.
–Usernames: Let me give you a few gems of ladies out there and yes, these are real: rabbitbutt, fakegreenflame, beergirl19, jusbegood2me, intuitioniskey, pastrygirl25, etc., etc. My favorite thus far? PinkTanker. Who would ever consider someone that calls themself a tanker and a pink one at that??? Alas, I have yet to find any that say ‘ez2fuk’ or ‘bisx44dd’ yet. (Sorry, had to sneak those in.)
–Profiles: Again, putting the right stuff in your profile is key. The ‘I enjoy long walks on the beach’ days are pretty much over, but you do have options to list everything from salary to six different answers to if you want kids to what type of body type you have. Again, I can’t picture too many girls saying they have a few extra pounds so the most frequent answer is ‘about average’ or ‘curvy.’ Understandable, but also a potential bait and switch technique as well. Just another pitfall when deciding what to do with all this stuff. Another ‘comme se, comme sa’ aspect is the age range. There is no way some of the girls on here still fit in the 25-29 age range, no friggin’ way. Desperate people do desperate things sometimes.
There you have it. I am trying ‘net dating as an attempt to…well, I don’t know what I’m attempting to do. Something different, that’s all.
Now, what did you guys bring for show and tell?
–Know that Gatorade commercial with the kids selling the Lemonade to the athletes? Favorite commercial out there, especially the NASCAR bit. Just hilarious.
–I found out first-hand last week that having kids adds people to a certain fraternity that only other parents understand. My boss became the umpteenth person in my office to become a parent within the last six months and when he returned to work briefly Saturday night, there was definitely a change about him. You could see other parents congratulate him and establish this connection with him. I’m proud of someone I call my friend, but I’m also a bit sad and happy to see him move on to this next stage of life. There’s no turning back now and as I’ve heard countless times, your life is never the same again. Feeling this in my professional life makes me wonder what it’s going to be like in my personal life when members of my crew start poppin’ them out.
–As I’m finishing this up, UNC and Illinois are tied at 70 with less than two minutes to go in the national title game. I want UNC to win as I’ve been a bandwagon fan for a while now, but also have $85 riding on an Illini victory. What do I do? Now, there’s a minute left and I expect 32 timeouts to be called. (Ed. note: I just went back to re-edit something and UNC won. Unsure how to feel as I love money.)
–Former Nason college nemesis Joanne Palombo-McCallie is coaching in the NCAA women’s title game. I think it’s time to send her an email…
Until next week,
p.s. got others that might want to read this stuff? Let me know and I’ll add them to the list. Sucka!