My OKCupid profile is down for a little while. I suffer sometimes from OKCupid fatigue–this is one of those times.
That’s not to say I’m not going on dates.
What have I learned in my short time revisiting online dating?
1. Men care about pictures more than anything else. When I was revising my page, for a few hours, I just had pictures up. I got hundreds of “likes” and several messages when the only info there was my face.
2. Some men think women only care about the picture. As I’ve mentioned before, one of the benefits of OKCupid is that people can answer a bunch of questions and they can put together an appealing profile if they’re willing to put in a modicum of effort. However, many men will post one picture and then message with a boring “hi.” (For some reason, all of those men in this cycle have been Indian.) I have told a few of these men that we need a little more to go on. One man said he didn’t want to fill in his profile because he was hoping for “love at first sight.” Sigh.
3. The vast majority of men think “women have an obligation to keep their legs shaved.” Yes, that’s a question people can answer. I can understand if men said they would prefer for their girlfriend to be shaved, but believing that all women have that “obligation” is irritating.
4. Either men can’t read or they’re liars. One explanation for the problem in #3 is that men mean to signal a personal preference for their partner and that they don’t really read closely. I’ve had several guys who are tagged as bad matches–men who click yes on “I’m looking for a partner to have children with”–say things like “LOL. Did I say that? I’m still trying to figure out this app” when I ask about it. Um, either you don’t understand the difference between saying yes and no OR you are one of those guys who wants to lie to me (maybe hoping that you’ll be that one guy who changes my mind) OR you checked yes to lie to the women who *do* want that quality in a guy. Either way: red flag.
5. I’m tired of married men looking to cheat with me.
6. The vast majority of men are not bothered by spelling mistakes and would date someone who was messy or ditzy. Many would be fine dating a woman who had a strong negative opinion towards a particular race. Most say “the world would be better if stupid people weren’t allowed to breed.” Almost no one knows what “wherefore” means in R&J. Yes–these are all questions.
7. I would be dead if I’d ever played a drinking game with “LOL,” even if the rule was that I only had to drink when LOL accompanied an objectively nonfunny line. I’ve had to stop talking to several guys who use it at both the beginning and ends of perfectly serious sentences. “Have a good weekend. LOL.” “LOL. Maybe we should get a drink. LOL. How’s Saturday?”
8. Men get frustrated by my unwillingness to “chat.” I treat OKCupid like email before smartphones.* A few times a day, I go check my messages. I’ve had to turn off the chat feature because I wouldn’t actually be able to check messages if I were engaged in all the chatting people want to do. Many men then want to turn regular messaging into chats–when I log on, they say “good morning” & want me to answer–and keep answering–right away all day.
Usually I have about eight new messages when I log in in the morning–one or two from brand new people and several from guys I’ve been trading my apparently infrequent messages with. It’s all I can do to answer those messages and then get ready for work–I just can’t be starting eight involved conversations that are going to go on for a while.
I don’t know the guy point of view here–if they’re dealing with fewer people at any given time or whatever. I do know that the guys all seem to have OKCupid as an app on their phones–which thus notifies them the second they get a message–but I would find that to be a huge time sick [suck] and vaguely oppressive somehow (since I don’t do regular email that way).
I think the bottom line for me is that I want a few messages to see that you’re interested and that you don’t overtly suck. Then we should have a date. If it goes well, that’s when I’ll want to let you take up a lot of my time.
9. Many guys who’ve become friends with me in other social spaces, like Facebook, have expressed concern that they’ll end up in this blog. I’ve explained that only the most egregious cases end up here. I must also admit that I could certainly end up in other people’s blogs if they were writing. What’s up with that woman who won’t chat? What’s up with that woman who thinks the “Wherefore” question is important? One guy could tell a story about how I threw up on a date recently–thanks, ongoing medical mystery that is my body!
10. I’ll leave you with a ridiculous conversation with a guy who was never going to get a date with me. He started with “hi.” He’s my son’s age. His whole profile is about fishing. Turning him down was easy:
Me: It doesn’t look like we have anything in common. I hope you find what you’re looking for–have a great day.
Him: We don’t, but maybe we could be friends with benefits.
Me: I have friends for that. I’m looking for a partner.
Him: Well then maybe you could help me out–I don’t have that.
Me: My friends are actually my friends–whether I’m currently sleeping with them or not. You aren’t my friend–you’re a stranger. I’m not looking for a stranger to have sex with, as my profile makes clear.
(It should be noted, of course, that there were several hours between each exchange since I’m difficult.)
* I had to add the words “before smartphones” because it occurs to me that most of my readers treat regular email differently than I do, since I don’t work on my phone.
One of the new pics I had posted.