I’ve been single for an embarrassingly long time. I’m not going to say how long, but I count it in years and I need more than one hand’s worth of fingers.
So about a year and a half ago, I joined OkCupid. I’d join something like Match.com, but I figured it was a good idea to test out this online dating thing for free, and also I’m not desperate enough to make online dating a necessary-expenditure budget line. Yet.
I’ve gone on a handful of first dates, I’ve gone on more than one date with a few people, and ended up dating one person for a few months. To those who would say that this contradicts my opening statement that I’ve been single for years, I’d just like to clarify that I define not-single as having had The Talk with one’s significant other in order to Define The Relationship. Specifically, the words boyfriend and girlfriend (or something along those lines) should enter common usage.
Anyway. Online dating is weird. On the one hand, I like it, because everyone understands the aim of the interactions. I’m kind of dense when it comes to such things – until the last year or so, my instinctive response to “Do you want to get a cup of coffee” would be to tell the guy that I don’t drink coffee. Not the point of the question.
I have a hard time telling when someone is interested in me. Usually I can only tell when the person gets interested to the point of making me uncomfortable, and that sends me running for the hills. I have nobody to blame for my single status other than myself, really.
The thing about online dating that made me nervous, though, is that one hears such horrifying stories of the creeps and pervy comments and all that.
Which leads me to a strange aspect of my experience.
I’ve had interactions that were odd, and a lot that left me distinctly underwhelmed, but none that were actually gross or creepy or pervy. I’m really not sure how to take this. A lot of me is relieved, of course, but it also has me wondering why I’ve been so lucky as to not experience that part of it. I have three theories.
1. Continuation of aforementioned cluelessness. Maybe I’m just not noticing. Though I think I would, based on some of the stories I’ve heard. Sounds pretty difficult to miss.
2. A lot of my friends, and my male friends in particular, STILL feel a need to “protect” me from bad language or dirty jokes. And to some extend I appreciate this, as excessive swearing is unappealing to me, but I’m no nun. I enjoy racy humor as much as the next person. But I think somehow I radiate a level of innocence that brings out a protective urge, I guess – I don’t tend to swear, and I don’t tell dirty jokes, so people don’t think I can take it. Maybe I’m doing that online, too.
3. Maybe I’m just not physically attractive enough to attract such attention, which is probably a good thing.
That said, I’m having fun using Twitter to comment on the encounters I do have. I call my intermittent series “Dear #okcupid guys,” and it’s kind of like Jon Stewart’s “come with me to Camera 3” thing. I amuse myself, at least!
I leave you with a selection (a.k.a. most of) my tweets from that series.
Dear #okcupid guys, the greeting “hi there” is really starting to get on my nerves. Be more creative.
— Elspeth (@lunabrd) January 1, 2015
— bryan green (@GreeBry) December 26, 2014
Dear #okcupid guys, here’s something to ponder – until we actually meet, your profile and your messages are your only chance to impress.
— Elspeth (@lunabrd) December 27, 2014
dear @okcupid guys, here is an example of what NOT to write as your entire first message. “Hi. We have a good match percentage.”
— Elspeth (@lunabrd) November 7, 2014
Dear #okcupid guys, today my 3.5yo niece asked when I’m getting married. So get it together. I’ve got a stubborn toddler expecting results.
— Elspeth (@lunabrd) December 21, 2014
Dear #okcupid guys, when you ask a question a) I already answered and b) my answer is the basis for our conversation, I delete your message.
— Elspeth (@lunabrd) December 21, 2014
Dear #okcupid guys, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, PROOFREAD.
— Elspeth (@lunabrd) December 19, 2014
Dear #okcupid guys, you are not a 13 year old girl who is texting. Please spell out your words. Srsly.
— Elspeth (@lunabrd) December 16, 2014
Dear #okcupid guys, ending a single question with eleven question marks is excessive. I will delete your message.
— Elspeth (@lunabrd) December 14, 2014
Dear #okcupid guys, when curiosity is piqued, you’re expressing interest. When you are piqued, you’re annoyed. Proper word usage matters.
— Elspeth (@lunabrd) December 6, 2014
Dear #okcupid guys, the crotch shot is bad. the picture of you GRABBING your crotch is worse.
–Elspeth (@lunabrd) November 27, 2014
Dear #okcupid guys, if you live in a different country from me and your opening message is “hey there,” I’m not going to answer. Ever.
— Elspeth (@lunabrd) November 15, 2014
— Elspeth (@lunabrd) November 4, 2014