Back to the front

For the past few months, I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking, wondering and hemming and hawing about the inevitable: The return to the wonderful world of dating.

See, Cali is going to be doing her residency back in California. It’s an opportunity that she would be silly to pass up, as it’s a great program AND she’ll be back with her family, who she adores. So, obviously that means we’ve parted ways in the romantic sense. She’s still a near and dear friend. I would have no problems going out to visit her and have her show me the sights out in LA (as a friend). Heck, if I needed advice or just felt like chatting, no sweat giving her a call.

But she’s also leaving me with a greater sense of what I want in a relationship. For the first time in a long, long time, I have better idea of what I want, and they type of person I want to share it with. I’m actually entering into this next phase with more optimism than I have in the past.

So, I recently felt it was time to throw myself out there again, and rejoined the Internet dating world. I think my last bout with it was 2 or 3 years ago, and it just left me feeling disgusted. I think at that point, I just said “to hell with it,” removed all the profiles and opted to just do things the old fashioned way — you know, get drunk and meet people. Technically, I don’t think I’ve ever dated anyone I’ve met online for longer than a few months — but I can’t help but think there’s folks out there that I would click with that I’m just missing because of my craptastic work schedule. So, I opted to give it a try … again.

POF users agree: "You wrote your profile like a fag."

This time, thanks to Date Wrecks, I decided to give “OK Cupid” a try. My rationale was this: I don’t feel like paying to meet people, so that rules out a couple of sites. Plenty of Fish, while free, seems to be more like “Plenty of Mouthbreathers” (even though I have a profile there, trust me, my use of language and grammar means I get treated like Luke Wilson’s character in “Idiocracy”), and I wanted to something … I don’t know … different. And Craigslist? No, sorry. I haven’t ventured there, and don’t think I ever would. That place frightens me.

OKC actually seemed a little different. A billion and one questions to answer to “determine your personality.” Boxes that you could opt to fill out or not. Cool. So, the other morning, I typed in a half-assed profile, threw up a couple pics and started searching.

And then a first happened: In the profile’s main picture, I saw myself in it. I wasn’t mad or anything, just a little … confused? stunned? something? Then I realized who the person was and burst out laughing. It was a friend of mine who I hadn’t seen in awhile. In fact, as I perused, I saw several friends using this site, which made me feel a little more comfortable.

After I searched and played around, getting things set up — a little here, a little there, almost entirely off-the-cuff and half-assed –I went about my day. When I logged back on, to my surprise, I had responses. Oh, cool. Puzzling, but whatever.

But they weren’t responses like an actual e-mail. First was apparently a 25 year old from Texas, who mailed me a “Hi” (yes, that was it, “Hi.”) and then tried to IM me. That got deleted, and IMs got turned off. First, I hate IMs. Secondly, I figured it was a spambot.

Next was a “wink.” You know, the equivalent of being told that so-and-so likes you in the cafeteria by her best friend, and now it’s up to you to capitalize on it. For me, the only time a “wink” actually works appropriately in the real world is if it’s done in a totally cheeseball, over-the-top fashion. Online, it gives me the impression of zero confidence. But hey, maybe she wasn’t as extroverted as I am — and she seemed interesting — so I e-mailed her and we’re chatting.

But then I got this cryptic mail. It’s all “One of these 9 people rated you a 4/5 in QuickMatch!” Apparently, QuickMatch is some goofy little game in which people rate you, you rate them and if both ratings are high, then it tells you who rated you. Here’s how this whole thing played out in my mind:

Someone gave me a high rating! Zowy! Who? Is she smart? Hot? Saucy? … What? I have to rate these 9 people to see who did it, and it will tell me only if I give her a high rating? Seriously? Well fuck that.

Sorry Ed McMahon, “You may already be a winner” is the kind of horseshit that I don’t do. In fact, to whomever the rater was … see that little “message” button on my profile?  Click it. Type in a quick message. Click send. Christ on a pony, this shit ain’t hard. But to rate me in hopes that I’ll rate you highly is supremely weak. Take a chance. Worse thing that could happen is you could fail. Pfffft. Whatev.

And then there’s this “quiver” feature that I don’t really get. “See that whole play on Cupid … oh, he’s loadin’ up some treats for you! Ha HA!” Yeah, I get the pun. What I don’t get is what that feature is supposed to do. You’re options are to look at the profile or reject it. That’s it. But what’s funny is my search parameters are already stricter than the ones used for that search, so it’s “introducing” me to a whole lot of folks that I’ve already essentially ruled out. Thanks OKC! I love redundancy!

Well, let’s hope that I can figure out a way to disable half of these “features,” and that limits all the game playing that I’ll have to endure. In the meantime, I’m sure you will see my “Dating Stinks” category grow in an amusing, and hopefully non-bunny boiling, kind of way.

2 Responses to “Back to the front”

  1. April 21, 2010 at 10:47 am

    I know I harp on online dating for a living, albeit unpaid, but really, keep plugging away. It’s a game of chance AND a game of numbers.

    I’ve met several folks who have turned out to be super friends and you know… They’ve got friends… that might have friends… that might be hot…

    Love the read though. Especially the part about being compared to Luke Wilson’s character on POF.

  2. 2 Jolene
    April 29, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    I actually met a really great guy on OKCupid, so it’s really worth a try.

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