I am currently watching season 3 of Pretty Little Liars on Netflix, drinking a 4$ bottle of red wine, and just signed up for a Match.com account. How is YOUR Friday night going?
I know many of you are wondering why a 26 year old man is engrossed in an ABC Family drama, or why I can’t afford a good 10$ bottle of wine. Those, while both great topics of conversation, and things I am even curious about myself, the main part of the opening paragraph is that I joined the Match.com world.
“Why did it take you so long, James?” you are all shouting at your computer screens. Well, I’ll tell ya. Since I was 18, I have been using the internet to meet potential suitors and go on dates. If you have known me since I was 18, or 2 weeks ago, you can pretty much gauge that it’s not going particularly well for me.
With the help of the iphone and my raging desperation, I am currently enrolled on 5 different dating websites – 6 if you count the chat element of my online bingo games. I wake up every morning and check my OkCupid profile, then see who has messaged me on Grindr. Then check my woofs on Scruff. Then check my views on Plenty-of-Fish. Then swipe “yes” or “no” on Tindr. It’s exhausting being this single sometimes. And it uses up a lot of my battery.
Finally, with a suggestion from my best friend, I decided to look into Match and see what all the hype was about. I created an account on Monday of this week, filled out my profile, and picked a picture for my profile. But then it asked me to pay. “I don’t think so” I said to the woman next to me on the subway. “If I wanted to pay for a date, I would just go down to Chinatown.”
She got off at the next station, and I definitely don’t think it was her stop.
With my free account, I was able to browse through the directory of young, single, attractive and successful men who, like me, are lonely enough to pay for a dating service. And to be honest, I was not that impressed. No one struck me as fascinating, and I know I had seen at least half of them on OkCupid, and I am 99% sure I chatted with one during my black-out bingo game.
I quickly realized that this was just another portal for me to get annoyed with and rejected from. So, I put the axe on Match and moved on to my work, which basically consists of making PowerPoint presentations while watching Taylor Swift music videos on YouTube.
The entire rest of the day, and all throughout Tuesday, my inbox was getting bombarded (insert gay euphemism here) with e-mails from Match saying “Someone winked at you”…”Your profile was viewed 11 times this hour”…”Someone messaged you, and guess what! They’re also Catholic!” Finding a man who has been confirmed is not really my number one priority with dating.
The annoying part of this was whenever I would click the link provided in the e-mail, it would take me to a page that said “Subscribe now and find out who sent you a message.”
Ahhh…very good, Match. Very good.
I still wasn’t ready to commit (how ironic), so I lived the rest of that day uncertain who was viewing my profile and sending me winks. But, I have to say, I was starting to get curious.
By Wednesday, all I could think about was “Is my soul mate messaging me on Match and I am just too cheap to find out?!” I went to dinner with a friend – the same friend who insisted I join Match – and she practically forced me to suck it up, pay the $22 a month and join.
“People on OkCupid and Grindr are not serious about dating. They just want to hook up, and you’re past that.”
“How do you know I’m past that?” I asked in wonderment.
“I’ll buy your dinner if you tell me the names of the last three people you slept with.”
“Good point” I responded while scrambling for an ounce of dignity. “Do you really think it’s any different?”
“Yes, 100%. Everyone on Match is looking for a relationship. They are serious about finding someone. That’s what you get when you pay the 20-something dollars.”
I could really see her point here, and started to change my views.
“Trust me,” she said as she picked up her beer, “you should definitely join.”
Later that night, as I got into bed at 9:30 and put on “The Lizzie McGuire Movie” I went through all of my dating applications and realized I was never going to get anywhere with them. A Grindr conversation lasts three days, at most, and the herpes from that conversation lasts a lifetime. I don’t have patience to figure out what a “woof” means on Scruff, and Tindr is just so damn superficial. I knew what I had to do.
Thursday I started deleting all of these applications and memberships on my phone and decided if I was going to do this, I was going to give it my all. I needed to put myself out there, not all over the place, but on the one site that mattered.
By Friday night at 10p.m. I sat down on my couch with a glass of wine, three Marlboro lights, and took the plunge and got out my credit card. I wanted to devote my entire Friday night to reading these e-mails and looking at my matches.
I pulled out my credit card that had some of a limit left on it, paid, and waited for my computer to load. What I was hoping for was a message from “the one”. What I got was a message from “the fifty year old.”
And if that wasn’t the worst of it, all of my winks and views and high-fives were all from older, unattractive men. Not one of the 74 people that viewed my profile was my type. I couldn’t even fake an attraction to any of them. My whole night, in the matter of minutes, was turned upside down.
I eventually found two or three guys deemable to message, but then realized how pathetic I looked sending a message at 10pm on a Friday night. I am sure they are not going to want to date someone that says, “Big plans for the weekend?” when they are at home on an online dating site.
I guess all I can do now is wait. I mean, you never know. It has only been a day. Well, actually, it has only been 54 minutes. The perfect guy – my match – could message me tomorrow. So, stay tuned.
But, all in all, I have to go back ten years when a voluptuous Puerto Rican sang that “love don’t cost a thing”, she obviously wasn’t as desperate as me.