Okay, so I did it. I finally bit the bullet and signed myself up for an online dating website. Hello 2012! I honestly don’t know what has taken me so long. I am definitely not opposed to the idea of online dating, but just like in high school, I was a late bloomer.
I was too busy wasting my time with going out to bars, buying guys drinks, and downloading Grindr. I am sure most of you already know what this…application entails…so I will skip the introduction and save my Grindr stories for another post.
I think, and have always thought, that dating online was such an easy and efficient way of getting to know and meeting people. I mean, you log in, go through hundreds of different profiles, read their shit and if you like them, you send them a wink, or a smiley, or a high five. And if you don’t like them, you just click the X or block button and you never have to worry about seeing them again. You seriously can go on fifteen dates without even leaving your couch. Or showering.
So, the first step of online dating is creating the perfect profile. This is by far the most important part. Your profile, aside from the pictures, is what is going to reel in your potential daters. You have to be smart, funny, witty, and real all at the same time. You have to be able to talk about yourself without rambling, while making them laugh. What I have learned is the more they laugh, the more messages in your inbox.
On OkCupid, there are several categories of questions for you to fill out. Some are trite and stale: “What are you doing with your life?”, “Your self- summary” and “Favorite books and movies” while others are interesting and inventive: “What are you usually doing on a typical Friday night?” or “Why you should message me”.
With each and every section, you have a chance to say something creative; something that will hopefully make them hit the wink or message button and not the X.
So, one typical Friday night, I poured myself a bottle of wine and sat down at my laptop and created my account. I was feeling such a rush – I don’t know if it was from the Cabernet or the Paula Abdul Pandora station playing in the background – but I flew through the questions. I even came up with a somewhat clever dating handle: ShadesOfGay.
With each sip, I had a hilarious and honest answer to each question. “First thing someone notices about you?” My eyes. Duh. Next! “The most private thing I am willing to admit?” I have really bad breath in the morning. Done.
Now that the hard part was over, all I had to do was upload a few pictures and get ready to date. Now, there is an unknown rule about picture uploading. You must upload that one picture – that amazing, airbrushed (instagramed) picture that makes you look like a model. This must be your main picture because it has to grab their attention and make them want to read the profile you just spent hours perfecting.
The subsequent pictures should be ones of you doing different activities. One with you and a friend (she, of course, is cropped out), one of you at a bar (to show that you go out and have a social life) and one artsy, black and white one with you wearing glasses. This should give the other people on the site a sense of who you are, and most importantly, what you look like.
Once the pictures were done, I was ready. I hit submit and was prepared to embark on my dating adventure. Just two more seconds…and…wait. “I have to answer 100 match questions?!” Now, I started getting annoyed. I was almost finished with my bottle of wine, and to be quite honest, I was ready for bed. I did not want to sit at a computer any longer and answer monotonous and repetitive questions that people could find out by having a conversation with me. And they weren’t fill in the blanks, they were really cryptic with answers like: Strongly agree, agree, neutral, disagree, and strongly disagree. I felt like I was taking the SAT’s all over again.
“Writing something on a bathroom stall is invigorating”, “I would stay with my partner if they were caught cheating”, “I like being tied up for fun”.
After completing my obligatory 100 questions, I hit save, submit, and log off. I gulped the last of my wine and hit the pillow. “I cannot wait to see all of my messages tomorrow morning” I slurred to the empty wine glass before becoming unconscious.
I woke up the next afternoon with a huge hangover, a throbbing headache, and no messages.
“What the hell?!” I screamed over the music. I must have forgotten to turn off Pandora before I went to bed and “Cold Hearted Snake” was blasting through my speakers. I called my friend who initially steered me into online dating and told him my dilemma.
“I hate this stupid website. I have no messages. My profile is funny. My pictures are amazing. And nothing! This is insane. I would have better luck dating at that stupid lesbian bar.”
“When did you sign up for OkCupid?” he asked me.
“Last night.” I replied, swallowing three Advil.
“Are you serious? You have to give it time. Play around with it. See how you like it. They will come.”
“Now you sound like that guy who slipped me LSD and raped me last 4th of July.”
He offered a polite chuckle. “I’m being serious. Just give it a week. I promise. So, anyways, what are you up—“
I slammed down the phone, and turned off my computer. I spent the week keeping up with my work, my friends, and the Kardashians. And as my friend had predicted, my inbox was full of e-mails. I was so excited that each of those four messages I had received mentioned how funny my profile was. Mission: complete.
I am not sure how long I will stay on this website, or even participate in the world of online dating, but right now I am feeling pretty okay.