Online dating is all the rage these days. It seems like I can’t turn on the TV, listen to the radio, or go to a family function without hearing a commercial for a dating site or a success story of a couple who are now getting married after connecting online.
What started out as me thinking that meeting someone online was the creepiest thing slowly evolved into me being totally curious about the process. Jump to a few months ago, I was feeling bored and up for getting outside of my comfort zone a bit. I decided to take the plunge and purchase a one month subscription to Match.com.
After making sure my profile was to my liking (and choosing a great profile picture of course), I was up and running. And it didn’t take long before I started getting attention. Great, right? I was going to get to meet new people and maybe even get to know people tailor made to my “what are you looking for” requests. WRONG.
I’m sure Match is similar to other dating sites in that anyone can see your profile. Meaning that even though you may say you’re looking for a man in your city, between the ages of 25-28 who doesn’t smoke and is Jewish, or a woman between the ages of 22-30 who is Christian, drinks socially, and has at least a Bachelors degree, anyone can see your profile including the 50 year old heavy smoking Atheist with 2 kids from 300 miles away. UGH. Can we change this?
I did eventually did get some interest in my profile from a few people I was actually interested in. We exchanged a few emails on the site but nothing developed beyond that and eventually the communication stopped. One “match” did want to keep communicating but was so over the top and complimentary that it got weird. There is a line, even online and once you cross it, consider yourself blocked.
After 30 days of winking, emailing, and browsing profiles I’m still a member of the Singles Club. My time online dating made me realize that it’s not a secret shortcut to the perfect person. It’s actually just like regular dating. It takes time but it can and does work!
Also, just like regular dating you’ll run into those people you’d never date in a billion years. You have to figure out who to turn down nicely, who to ignore, and who to block ASAP. It never ends.
For anyone thinking of giving a site like Match a go, remember that nobody is actually perfect even if you give out criteria. Some things aren’t actually that important while others are. Learn what you’re not willing to compromise on. Only want to date/marry someone who is Catholic? THATS FINE. In the end it’s about you. Open minded enough to date someone who is your polar opposite in every way? Fantastic. A girl seeking another girl? Or a guy seeking another guy? Perfectly fine. Just know what you want and know you’ll have to be patient to find what you’re looking for, just like the old fashioned way.
I recommend shopping around for the site offering something you’re comfortable with. There are even specialty sites (like JDate) for people who want something really specific. Have fun, be smart, and meet new people.
Who knows? I might be back someday.
*Note: Just because I wasn’t lucky in love in a month, Match.com is a great site. Check them out!