Online Dating is the Wild Wild West.
It’s fast moving. Cut throat. and Only made for the strong at heart and mind.
First, let me say this, you have to have a sense of humor when committing yourself to using online dating. And, since I tend to find amusement in most things in life I knew I’d be alright in this arena. However, if I’m completely honest, when I seriously started thinking about utilizing dating apps I was especially cheeky and side-eyeing myself.
Until recently, the thought of dating online was not only scary, and unattractive, but decidedly desperate.
The generalized idea is that if you are looking for love online, you’re failing in real life and something MUST be wrong with you.
Yea I know.. that’s a lot.
But the reality of it is that there are really regular people on there. Of course there are some outlining weirdos.. but that’s just life. You can see and encounter those same folks at the Ale House.
Also, if you really think about it, we use the internet for so many things on a regular basis, it only makes sense that dating will eventually be the norm as well.
And it’s not even really dating, it’s the initialization of it. The meeting and early getting to know you stages. Don’t we already use social media in this way? Yep, we’re already sizing people up and “meeting” them online on the regular. Liking pics, sending messages, following sexy strangers, and making friends with friend-of-friends and “people you may know”.. All with the expectation that one day you’ll meet, date, and fall in love (or lust).
So yea.. I found that these dating apps were only a centralized location for doing JUST that. And when I realized this, it made things a lot less intimidating.
What it didn’t do was make it easier.
I signed up for three services Match, EHarmony, and OKCupid. Only the latter was free. I found them all to be quite similar. Post a few pics of yourself for the profile. Create a couple of interesting sentences or short paragraphs about yourself. And get to it.
Sounds easy enough.. but it wasn’t. I mean, choosing the right pics that were cute but not slutty.. and interesting but not trying too hard.. yea, tough. And I’m a pro at writing about myself from a professional stance. Where I’ve been, what I’ve accomplished, where I’m going.. Easy peasy. But drafting something that was quick and witty enough to stop a person long enough to swipe right.. eh. I don’t know.
I also learned quickly that your one liner game had to be strong.
Within the first few minutes I was live on the sites I had an unbelievable amount of likes and messages. It was overwhelming. And unfortunately how I worked through them all, and how I decided who to respond to, was by which messages were the most creative. Most of the “hi, how are you” “hey Beautifuls..” got left on read (yea, I answered some, but there were SO MANY and I started to feel like they were just generic feelers) However, the “You know who you look like” and “I like tacos too.. I know a great place we should go” got instant responses (go figure).
What I found particularly strange was the amount of animals in these guys avi pics. I’m talking pure puppy bait. yea, that’s really a thing.
I read somewhere once that while babies are instant uterus grabbers, it’s hard to really find a man sexy in the way that you need him to be if he has a baby. That’s because no matter how adorable the kid is, or how adorable he is with the kid, there’s usually a woman somewhere nearby.
Now dogs. Chicks love dogs. And a man with a dog shows that he either is caring enough to take care one or someone trusted them enough to let them near theirs. At any rate, animals are cute and guys with animals are therefore cute as well.
Men have obviously figured this little tidbit out and put it to use. In a world of quickly marketing yourself for a swipe to the right (which means yes, you’re Dope) they have integrated these pups into, not their 2nd or 3rd pic, but the main number 1 photo for their profile. I would have to say about 70% of the pictures I saw were with animals/dogs.
Some other things that instantly got a swipe to the right and/or a deep dive into the profile description for more info..
- Full body pics
- Smiles (you’d be surprised how many men just stare at the camera.. I guess it was their “sexy look”??)
- Outdoorsy/travel pics
- Gym Pics
Photos that the immediate left swipes..
- Group pics (who tf are you?)
- Bathroom pics (these are only acceptable for women, sorry)
- Smoking (yes, smoking. There were multiple guys who posted pics of them lighting up and/or blowing smoke)
- Dog Pics
So how did work.. I bet you’re dying to know if I found the love of my life and on my way to living happily ever after. Well, no such luck.
Granted, I was only active for 6 weeks, two of which I was traveling in Europe and living pretty secluded. So with a solid month in the game I had quite a few conversations, some good and some horrific, all VERY entertaining. At some point I was even blocked by a guy because I refused to send give him a picture of me after my workout.. (yea, that actually happened).
Through it all, I found two guys interesting enough to actually meet. Both in well populated areas and in the afternoon early evening. They were ok.. but neither earth moving and both I don’t currently speak to.
I recently cancelled all of my memberships/subscriptions/accounts. If I had put more effort into the process I’m sure I would of felt the need to meet more guys and would of had more success, but honestly, my heart wasn’t in it. Call me old fashioned but I’d really like to meet a guy in person, wow him with my smile and amazing wit, and fall in love that way.
So, while this method of online dating has clearly been successful for a lot of people, it isn’t for me. I don’t see myself using the internet for purposeful dating and would much rather casually socialize with the beautiful people of the world in a much less demanding way.
I’m sure I’ll find my guy walking down aisle 3 of Harris Teeter.