As I may have mentioned once or twice, I’m going through a bit of a dating dry spell at the moment. What typically happens when I tell people this is they immediately instruct me to join Match.com. Well, bossy advice givers, I’ll have you know that I actually already did. Last fall I was going through a similar dry spell. Fueled by over-exposure to those commercials where everyone looks super happy and attractive, and depressed over my lack of action otherwise, I came to the conclusion that Match must be where it’s at. I had two theories:
1. Match is a paying site so it must weed out at least SOME of the losers and deadbeats I was encountering on okc. If you’re 30, sleeping on your parents’ couch, and can’t afford ramen noodles, you’re probably going to opt for the free dating site, right?
2. Since people are paying, they must be at least a little more serious/proactive about going out and not spending 12 years nonsensically sending messages back and forth online. Paid subscription = we all want to get our money’s worth = no one is f-cking around.
So how was my experience on Match.com? Let’s just say I would have been better off setting that $75 on fire. But before I tell you about the actual men I went out with (and get excited because they were winners), I’d like to review the actual website for you fine people.
Why Match.com was a supreme waste of my money:
- The site is laughably ghetto. A friend of mine joined Match literally 4-5 years ago (coincidentally she also hated it) and I remember it being EXACTLY the same as it is today. Not one update or aesthetic makeover. It looks like something that was super cool and cutting edge in 1998, and the profile pics are smaller and blurrier than on okc.
- They delete your messages after a month. I went back to look up an old message and was like waittttt….where are they?? I know you’re thinking what the hell do you need old messages for, and the answer is THIS BLOG, people! Also, I paid for the stupid service, don’t delete my shit! Okcupid is free and I can still access the first message I received and every one in between. And without that technology I could never have accurately brought the world the story of the guy who couldn’t find his car.
- They make you answer inane questions and then clumsily use them to try to set you up with matches. For instance, they ask you if you like animals, you say yes, and suddenly you will get matched with someone and it will say ‘He’s a dog lover like you!’ with a dog icon next to it. Actually, Match, I wouldn’t call myself a dog lover. Those are your words, not mine. Corgis, yes. Dogs in general, meh. I don’t even want to answer the stupid animals question because I don’t care; stop trying to push people together based on these lame forced conversation starters.
- There are “like” buttons literally everywhere. We get it, you’re trying to be Facebook, but what happens when you put that button all over your site is some of us accidentally click it while cruising for dudes three glass of Sutter Home Pinot Grigio deep and end up liking a stranger’s photo of him tailgating with his dad and what looks to be his hot ex-girlfriend. Hypothetically speaking, of course. Here’s what I think of that, Match:
- They try to upgrade you/sell you something every five minutes. Besides the “stir” events, which are their own brand of hideous, (I was routinely invited to “singles mixers” at my local Banana Republic. Banana. Republic.) there are approximately 15 levels of membership and a bevy of stupid shit around every corner including “professional profile writing” for FORTY DOLLARS. The best (i.e. most insulting) ploy they use to make more money is you can actually pay to have your profile highlighted in an obnoxious day glow green color. This, according to the good people of Match, increases your visibility and the likelihood of someone clicking on your profile. And people pay for it! Tons of dudes had those awful green profiles. Also, I’m no dating guru, but I’m thinking sporting a profile the color of Nickelodeon slime in order to garner male attention might come off a tad desperate. And I’m sorry, but if I have to resort to visual tricks to get a date with someone, I’d rather sit at home on my couch and watch House Hunters: International, a-thank you very much. In summary, Match.com is basically a PBS telethon: annoying and relentless. The whole time I wanted to be like listen, Match, I already gave you my hard earned money, and I got my commemorative coffee mug in return. Now let me get back to watching Anne of Green Gables, for f-ck’s sake!
Those were all annoyances, but the real test of an online dating site’s worth is obvious: did I actually get dates? The answer is a weak yes. I went out with three people from match.com in four months.
Before I tell you about my dates, I just want you to take a look one more time at Match’s stellar marketing campaign and the types of encounters they’re telling single people they’re going to have if they join their site.
Wow, those looked fun. So excited to share my real dates with you guys! You ready? Okay, without further ado:
S’s Match.com Dates
Match.com Date #1: Awkward guy who had what turned out to be crippling social anxiety and who in the first 11 minutes of our date launched into a HORRIFYING story about him having some sort of blood clot thing that paralyzed half of his body suddenly and he had to go to rehab and learn how to walk again and then was in massive medical debt and had to move back home with his parents for two years and became severely depressed and would I like to go watch a movie at his twin sister’s apartment who lives around the corner after we finished our drinks? That was a first date. I’m SERIOUS, guys. That’s how my first Match.com date went down.
Match.com Date # 2: Guy who was nice enough but who was also half a foot shorter than he described himself online and who was so boring I kept having to literally pinch the skin on my arm to stay awake. He loved to talk and told me in excruciating detail about his dad’s lighting(..?) business that he was going to inherit and his hobbies which included following Phish around the country on tour. I believe he’d seen them 33 times. Ugh. Jam bands.
So. Yeah. I’ve actually referenced this date before (although I can’t remember the post where I did, sorry) because it took a truly comical and somewhat epic turn, but I don’t think it would be smart to share it on the interwebs, anonymous or not. But here’s how it ended: my date bought us gelato, and I then stole that gelato, hopped in a cab, and never saw him again. I considered it payment for the 2+ excruciating hours I spent listening to him talk about Phish. #winning
Match.com Date # 3: Dude who grew up one town away from me in Jersey so we awkwardly knew some of the same people from high school. We had like four dates dates, and they were fine, but it was nothing special. He was a terrible kisser at first, so bad that he earned himself the nickname ‘trouty mouth’. We started going out right before my birthday which he insisted on taking me out for (I swear I was not trying to garner a weird birthday date with a guy I was still in the early stages of dating). HE planned this whole night, then proceeded to cancel at the last minute because of “work things”, then broke it off with me the day after my birthday. Which I was furious about, but only because I didn’t get to do it first. I think I responded with something to the tune of, “Just so you know I didn’t even like you and was planning on ending it, too. Kthx! xoxo”
Obviously I need to be in their next commercial. People of Match.com, feel free to contact me about reenacting any of the above encounters. I think it would be a stellar addition to your marketing efforts.
Besides the wonderful dates, I also received far fewer messages on Match than I have on okc. True, that means I received fewer messages that were completely nonsensical and wildly inappropriate, but it also means fewer decent messages that I’d actually reply to. And I also sent fewer, because I struggled to find anyone half decent who I might be interested in. Messaging highlights included:
- A guy who canceled and then RE-CANCELED plans for a first date but continued to bug me for weeks via text even when it became abundantly clear that he didn’t actually intend to meet up and that I was probably being catfished.
- A cute guy who sent me a really lovely message and when I wrote back, mere hours later, he replied with something to the tune of “Actually my subscription runs out tomorrow and I haven’t found anyone on this site so I’m not going to renew my membership. Good luck, though.” What in the fuckity fuck? Then WHY DID YOU MESSAGE ME?!
So. That pool of men which I thought would be so much better than okcupid’s? Here’s the actual breakdown:
The most important point here is the okcupid overlap. I saw literally almost every guy I’ve ever been out with or messaged on okcupid on Match. Besides the fact that running into these dudes can be supremely awkward, it made me wonder why the eff I’m paying for the site when basically everyone on Match seems to also be on okcupid. And why wouldn’t they be? It’s FREE.
Finally, last but certainly not least, Match.com: do you have an adorable robot mascot who will cheerfully reassure me that she’s off looking for more matches and that she won’t, in fact, let me become an old crazy cat lady in a mumu?
I didn’t think so.
Look, I know I just went off on a long ass anti-Match.com tirade, and I stand by it 100%, but I would probably still tell someone who’s never used it/isn’t having luck on okc to give it a try for a few months. Purely because everyone is different, and everyone is looking for someone different, so who knows if your future husband/wife/life partner/no strings attached sex buddy is sitting on the site, having a similarly miserable experience, just waiting for you to come along. When D told me she was thinking about joining Match I encouraged her to do it, but I also regaled her with the many cautionary tales I have from my Match days. I am crossing all my fingers and toes that it works out better for her than it did for me. Either way, we’ll all be able to read her review in the coming months and if we’re lucky, it will be slightly less angry (and verbose) than mine.