S mentioned that one of us was moving to the ‘burbs. That would be me (which you probably already figured out from the color-coded comment “the ‘burbs is a generous description for where I’m headed.”) That comment was maybe a liiiiitle exaggerated. Poughkeepsie, NY isn’t really a little podunk town. Technically speaking, it’s actually a city, so our tagline can probably stay as is. But it feels a lot like a podunk town. I can say that, because it’s where I grew up.
That’s right folks. I moved home. Specifically, into my younger brother’s childhood bedroom (he took over my bedroom when I was off at college – teenage boys are disgusting, and also I’m too lazy to swap rooms). This move transpired really quickly, and very unexpectedly, so my parents are letting me stay at home for a a little bit to give me enough time to find a place I like, rather than just whatever was available in the couple weeks between accepting a job back home and moving back home. They’re the best. (It’s not lost on me that I once said that a guy who lives with his parents raises a red flag, and here I am, 30 and living with my parents (though just for 2-3 months, max) At least I’m employed, right?)
It feels really strange to be back here. I left for Boston when I was 18. That was 12 years ago. The only place I’ve ever lived as an adult is Boston. And even though I’ve come home plenty over the last 12 years, it’s so different to be living here again. I’ve only been home for 2 weeks, but in that time I’ve re-lived a lot of forgotten memories running errands and being down on Main Street for work. It’s really bizarre to live and work somewhere so familiar, but at the same time so in the past. This is going to be really fucking weird. Weird in general, and weird for dating. And that’s what you all come here to read about, now isn’t it?
I had 3 weeks between when I accepted this new job and gave my notice, and when I actually moved. Getting matches and viewing profiles of eligible bachelors in the greater Boston area, when I was packing to move over 3 hours away, got real old real fast. So I changed my location on OKC, Coffee Meets Bagel, and Hinge.
It took 24 hours before Hinge matched me with someone I went to high school with.
First of all, I knew that would be coming, but christ it happened fast. Is that some sort of sign? I didn’t have a horrible high school existence, but still. What a jarring start to my transition home. Secondly, there are actually a handful or so of guys that I went to high school with that I would happily date. Sadly, none of them were this match. At first I just knew that he looked familiar. And then, perusing his pictures, I saw someone else that I immediately recognized, and it hit me who the match was. A nice enough guy, but not someone I would ever date for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the other person I recognized in the photos. The two have always been close. And as I explained to one of my closest friends from high school, I would rather die alone and be eaten by 408 cats than live a life that includes that asshole friend in any capacity.
I also started messaging with a guy on OKC who seemed really cool and who I was actually excited about meeting. And then, the week we intended to plan a date, he informed me that he had just accepted a job down in Maryland and would be moving out of the state. Right as I was moving in. Oh universe… Lastly, on the online front, there was a guy who texted me to death, without making any attempt to actually meet me in person. I just wasn’t interested enough to ask him out, so that faded out.
There is a guy offline that I’ve been interested in for a long time. But since we lived 4 hours away from each other, I never did much about it. By never did much, I mean drunkenly texted him about my feelings once last spring at 1 am after having been out with him and a bunch of others all night. Can you say sloppy drunk?
Although nothing came of that text, I have a feeling that had more to do with distance than anything else. We’ll see if that feeling is right or not, now that I live a lot closer and will be seeing him a lot more. Cross your fingers, ’cause he’s definitely got a little Tim Riggins in him (the good parts, not the emotionally unstable parts).
So – I’m back in New York. This is going to be verrrrrrry interesting. Guys find race car border wallpaper sexy right?
When the story of Okcupid’s experiments broke a few weeks ago, the Stucu ladies were already in a bit of a dark place. Dating-wise, it’s been a wildly unsuccessful summer for the three of us, so it was total insult to injury when Okcupid plopped a big cherry on our shit sundae by announcing that we may have been unwitting, unwilling participants in some… experiments. If you haven’t read up on what happened, check out some of the coverage here, and here and here. Awesome. We appear to be dating in The Truman Show! Which come to think of it would explain a lot.
If you’re scratching your head after reading that and saying, “What the fuck?” then that makes four of us (five if we include Janis Ian). First of all, I’d just like to point out that this company clearly has a fetish for dehumanizing its users by comparing us to gross, thoroughly un-cute animals. In January it wasscorpions, now it’s large rodents. Okcupid, if you’re going to compare single people to animals, can you at least use cute ones? Or funny, nostalgic ones? These guys seem particularly appropriate:
Anyway, next time you have something controversial to tell us, maybe don’t let a 17 year old unpaid summer intern put together the “artwork” in MS Paint and fire it off to your users. You fools.
Before my rage bubbles over too much, let’s get to the point of this post, which is to share our thoughts on the experiments themselves (SPOILER ALERT: we’re not thrilled). If you’re Bill Nye or something, and want to read the full, original text about the experiments before you take our incredibly unbiased words for what they are worth, check them out here. Three of them, three of us. #winning.
Experiment #1: LOVE IS BLIND, OR SHOULD BE
Quick summary: for a period of time one day back in January OKC declared it Love is Blind Day and hid all user profile pics. What they “found out” shouldn’t surprise anyone. At all.
First, while profile pics were hidden, there were WAY less first messages sent, compared to a “typical Tuesday.” It looks like an average of around 3,000 messages per hour for the entire time the experiment was running, when it’s normally around 20,000 – 30,000. Essentially, most people didn’t want anything to do with Love is Blind Day.
Of the new conversations that were started in that period, people responded more often, and allegedly exchanged contact details more often.
I wasn’t surprised by this either. Far fewer conversations were started. So it makes sense that of the ones that were, they progressed further/faster. The people who participated in Love is Blind day were the very types who don’t place a really heavy emphasis on looks. Or at least the ones who don’t think they do. More on that in a little bit.
As an aside, while I had a depressing personal reaction to some of the results (see below), this is actually the only part of this experiment itself that bothers me. Are the people at OKC routinely monitoring the contents of all messages exchanged, like some creepy big brother matchmaker? Or was it just during this “experiment” to see what happened? I mean, I know I’m using their service, so I don’t expect that messages are totally private. But the idea that rather than just policing messages that people report as inappropriate, someone is over at OKC headquarters watching conversations progress and timing how long it takes for phone numbers to be exchanged, makes me never want to send another message.
Lastly, OKC kept track of how many of the conversations started during the Love is Blind period actually continued once profile pics were restored. The trend was overwhelmingly to abandon the conversation. No matter how deep into the conversation people were. Even after the exchange of 12 messages, there was still a more likely chance that the conversation would end rather than continue.
This is one of those results that surprises me, but also doesn’t. I mean, on the one hand, I don’t routinely exchange 12 messages with someone who I don’t find interesting. And yet, even those conversations that were going seemingly well tended to end once profile pics were restored. But, on the other hand, we live in a world that places a high value on certain kinds of physical attributes. So basically, Love is Blind day proved that the majority of people who claim “personality is more important to me than looks” are big fat liars. Because like I said above, those are the people who were much more likely to give Love is Blind day a chance. OKC users are big fat liars? That is SHOCKING.
I’d like to think I’m open-minded enough that if we were having a good conversation, but the person turned out to not be my type physically, I’d continue the conversation. i’ve responded to great messages from people whose pictures didn’t strike my fancy right away. Because, despite my tendency to form extreme crushes on total strangers (just last week I fell in love with a stranger on the T), physical attraction is also something that can build for me. Obviously, there has to be some baseline attraction. But much like a hot guy can become hideous based on his personality, a normal guy can become really attractive once I get to know him. And similarly, I’d like to think that there are others out there with the same outlook. But then I read about this experiment, and quite frankly, it made me super sad about the future of my dating life. I’m not especially attractive. Now, I don’t think I’m hideous either. It’s just that I would categorize myself as fairly plain. At least as far as looks go. I’m far from plain personality wise. I’ve got that in spades, and I like who I am. But if looks really are as important to online dating as they appear to be, then I don’t know why I’m bothering with this in the first place. Lord knows I get fewer messages, and go on fewer dates, than L and S. That’s never really bothered me before. I mean, we’re all different people with different tastes, living in different cities. And I tend to be more attracted to country boys (read: hicks), which is not the most populous type of guy in Boston. But then this “experiment” came out, and all I could think was, “well now I know the real reason I’ve been so unsuccessful.” (Oh man, D, now I’m sad. I’m going to resist the urge to throw out a patronizing “Ra-ra you are so amazing I wish we were both into women so I could date you right now”, even though that’s what I genuinely think. Instead I’m going to agree that the dating game can be a serious self esteem crusher. Show me a person who online dates and doesn’t go to this place at some point or another:
and I will show you a liar. Or possibly just a straight man (badum-ching!). Anyway, D, I just wanted to say I love you. Publicly. On our blog. And totally derail this post. Sorry, readers…)
Okay, I think I’ve gotten a hold of myself. Carry on, ladies.
I mean, the take-aways here are essentially: 1) virtually no one is interested in pictureless online dating; and 2) the world is a shallow place.
Experiment #2: SO, WHAT’S A PICTURE WORTH?
Did someone say shallow? L here, LSD’s admittedly most shallow contributor, ready to take on experiment numero dos. Basically, OKC asked a sample of users to rate other users’ profiles and pictures separately, and here is what they found:
In case, unlike me and S, who had a high school statistics teacher who was so amazing that his last name actually RHYMED with a deity, you have trouble interpreting scatter-plots, let me break it down for you: OKC users, by and large, rated people the same rating for looks and for personality. Now, this means one of two things:
1. People are truly as nice, kind, funny, and cool as they are good looking. Naomi Campbell is a good example of this. She is not only beautiful, but a really nice person.
That’s why she just hit Oprah with her cellphone. OPRAH, PEOPLE!
And before Gandhi passed away, “People Magazine” was frequently putting him on their “50 Most Beautiful People” list. I believe that Paul Wellstone will be remembered not as one of the most compassionate, progressive legislators of our time, but as 2008’s “Sexiest Man Alive.”
2. What’s that you say? The above paragraphs reek of sarcasm? You’re right, dear readers, they do, because the much more plausible explanation for this graph is that OKC users are just really shallow and care WAYYY more about what you look like than what you write in your profile. Clearly, the mad scientists at OKC had this hypothesis as well, so they decided to take their experiment one step further: Remove profile text altogether and see if users’ rankings of people differed at all from when they could see profile text. And sure ’nuff, what did they find?
Yup, same basic trend: profile text had very little to do with rankings.
Is this surprising to me? No. As the mastermind behind Tacosdelish, I’ve actually seen firsthand that many people could care less about what you put in your profile, or even what you say when you’re messaging with them. But does that mean that we should all give up unless we have really hot profile pics to post? Not at all, and let me tell you why:
A profile gives you something to message about. How many times have we complained on this blog about getting generic messages? Or messages just about our looks? Or messages that were actually intended for Angela Merkel? Your profile gives people the ability to start some sort of conversation with you, or, at the very least, make a witty joke before they ask you out for drinks.
Most people are just average looking. I’m not trying to pretend I’m better then the average OKC user. I didn’t message a single person or return messages on “love is blind” day because love is not blind. I am actually legally blind in my left eye, so I know what it is to be blind, and LOVE IS NOT. I need to be attracted to the person I’m going out with, and he needs to be attracted to me, or otherwise the date is a huge waste of time (unless we end up starting a book club or write a plan for world domination or something). Now, I know that attraction can develop over time, but I do think this is only true up to a certain point. That is why, when I’m evaluating people’s profiles and deciding whether to message them or message them back, I put them into one of three categories. (See, now do you understand why I’m the shallow blogger?) :
Category 1: I can’t get past his looks. The pics they posted are just not attractive to me. (15% of men)
Category 2: They look passable. This means they have at least one picture that I find attractive, and no pictures that scare me. (65% of men)
Category 3: They look super hot. Every picture they posted is attractive to me. (10% of men)
So here’s the thing. Most men fall into Category 2. (I actually think even MORE men could graduate from Category 1 to Category 2 if they stopped posting idiotic bathroom selfies or creepy pics of them in bed.) And, if you’re Cateogry 2, I read your profile to get more information. Because I believe there is a chance we could have a decent date/you could be the love of my life. So, if there is nothing in your profile, or if it is full of stupid adjectives and not so subtle digs at women, then I will GTFO and move on (sadly, I’d say more than HALF of the Category 2 guys weed themselves out this way). But, if we have even a little bit in common and you are not a She-Man-Woman-Hater, I’ll message you back.
Now, if you’re Category 1, I do just skip your profile and continue on my way. Sorry. I’m not as nice a person as Naomi Campbell, ok? And, Category 3 guys do get a VERY LENIENT read on the profile, and I’ve been known to go out with a couple Category 3 guys whose profiles have expressed thinly veiled chauvinism or some pretty egregious spelling errors. But this has almost NEVER turned out well for me, so honestly, I do this less and less.
The big takeaway here: Most of us look like average, Category 2 people, and so what people think of our looks is pretty subjective. So keep on writing those profiles boys. Unless of course, you’re so hot, you look good even when you’re pumping gas.
I actually asked L and D if I could take this one, because I think it’s the most brazen (and therefore, offensive) of the three experiments. While the first two covered looks and how much they matter (shocker: they matter a lot. I could have told you that, fools) this third one was about compatibility. Basically Okcupid attempted to figure out whether people’s behavior on the site could be influenced by being told they were “good” or “bad” matches when in reality they were the opposite. They did this by manipulating the match percentage of a sample of users and watching what happened. Here’s what the Okc nerds say about match percentage in their blog post:
“By all our internal measures, the “match percentage” we calculate for users is very good at predicting relationships. It correlates with message success, conversation length, whether people actually exchange contact information, and so on. But in the back of our minds, there’s always been the possibility: maybe it works just because we tell people it does. Maybe people just like each other because they think they’re supposed to? Like how Jay-Z still sells albums?”
Um, let’s leave Jay-Z out of this, shall we, Okcupid?
Anyway, I’ll come back to my thoughts on match percentage in a sec. For part one of this experiment, Okcupid told people with low match percentages (30%) that they were super compatible by making the percentages appear as 90%. Unsurprisingly, those people sent more first messages than those who saw the actual lower percentages.
Then they wondered, does this perceived compatibility cause people to actually hit it off and send more than just a first message?According to their data yes, it does:
Anyway, these results were stressing the Okc peeps out, because they basically suggested that their match percentage algorithm was worthless. So they flipped it and reversed it: this time around they told actual “good” matches (90%) that they were “bad” matches (30%) and saw the same general trend. Here are all the results displayed all together:
In summary, according to Okcupid, users can be influenced to message more often if they’re told they’re a good match, and less often if they’re told they’re a bad match. Unsurprisingly, people have the best chance of hitting it off if they appear to be a good match and actually are a good match (bottom right number).
My one real beef I have with the experiment itself is: for bad matches who are displayed as good, why is four messages considered some magic number of compatibility? Okcupid had this to say about it:
“The four-message threshold is our internal measure for a real conversation. And though the data is noisier, this same “higher display means more success” pattern seems to hold when you look at contact information exchanges, too.”
True, four messages technically constitutes a conversation, but you can’t then conclude that those people actually hit it off. I’ve exchanged four messages with plenty of dudes and decided that I actually hate/could never date them. Same goes for exchanging contact information… if I had a dollar for every time I seriously regretted giving someone my phone #, I would have enough to cover happy hour later today. Which would be awesome.
Also, not to get all ‘big brother is watching/NSA is listening’, but I’m with D on that last quote from Okc about “looking at contact information exchanges”. The idea that some 23 year old statistics nerd may be reading my messages to see whether I exchanged phone #s with a dude is gross. And creepy. And gross.
So, regarding experiment #3, my first takeaway is that dudes appear to actually look at match percentages, which given the two above experiments and L’s own experiments with Tacos Delish, I wasn’t entirely sure about. Hurrah! Second, I’m not surprised that people can be influenced to some extent (as you can see we’re not talking huge numbers here) by match percentages. Because, if I may remind the nerds of Okcupid, match percentage is not some random, arbitrary number. If you really want to get nerdy, check out their formula for calculating it here. Basically the number is representative of two people’s answers to questions and how important or unimportant they consider the questions to be. The Okcupid people themselves insist that some of these questions are a very reliable predictor of compatibility. Some questions are stupid and meaningless (I hate camping and horror movies, but they’re certainly not deal breakers), but others, likes these, are pretty big deal (you can literally mark them as ‘mandatory’, and I do):
Yup. A guy’s answers to these matter to me just a smidge. It’s true, a 30% match could probably make me laugh, or we could have off the charts chemistry or even really like each other. But at the end of the day, if he answered his questions truthfully, we’d still disagree on some fundamental things, and odds are those things would become an issue somewhere down the line.
Now on the flip side, a high percentage is no guarantee that I’ll actually be into the person. I look at a guy’s stats (age, location, education level, height etc), then profile and pics. Then match percentage. Then if we message, he could be ass numbingly boring, or reveal that he has only a basic grasp of the English language, or be mean-spirited. Or we could meet and have zero chemistry. There are a million different reasons why a 99% match could still not be the guy for me, but the point is at least I know when I message a 99% match (or even an 80% match) that we’ve presumably cleared the hurdle of agreeing on things that are important to both of us. In short, it saves time. Unless, of course, you’re an Okcupid guinea pig, and like I said above, I have a sneaking suspicion that these poor souls came to the exact same conclusion, just not as quickly. Such is the life of a lab animal.
I’ll admit, there’s a part of me, the secretly nerdy psych major part, that finds this all fascinating. We spend so much of our time on this blog being utterly baffled by people’s behavior, so anything that may shed some light on why people do what they do is, on some level, really cool. People are cool! Human behavior is fascinating! Science! Discovery! Progress!
That part of me thinks that online dating is hard and confusing and ridiculous and soul crushing enough without some Harvard BA in applied mathematics fucking with my user experience for sport. Yes, I realize that I signed a “user agreement” and it basically says Okc can do whatever they want with me. And I think it makes total sense for Okcupid to study the data they already have (and they have plenty) to draw lots of interesting, informative and helpful conclusions. Experiment #1, while stupid, was at least clear cut. Everyone realized what was happening. Nobody was being deceived. Experiment #2 was more deceiving, for sure, but still an A/B test (two versions of something with info. included or left out).
But when these assholes start changing match percentages, now people are just straight up being lied to and that’s when I hop onto my soapbox. Because you, Okcupid, an online dating service that people use to meet their significant others, may have legitimately prevented people from crossing paths who would have otherwise seriously hit it off. Many of us, LSD included, are using your service to hopefully meet the person we want to spend the rest of our lives with, sparing a lot of time, money, misery, humiliation and heartache in the process. Maybe that sounds dramatic, but if you were looking for a blog free of drama and ended up here, you clearly took a wrong turn somewhere.
Believe it or not, Okcupid, we’re not thrilled to sign onto your site day after day and cruise for thoroughly undatable sociopaths and illiterate weirdos, while our friends get engaged and married around us. It sucks. It’s the worst. And your comical disregard for that fact is not only infuriating, it sort of makes me want to stop using your site and go elsewhere. Except as we’ve covered pretty well here…. there is. no. elsewhere.
Plus the site’s arrogant, flippant tone throughout this whole thing (go reread that email above), combined with the way they’ve been dressing it up as if 1. if we’re on the internet period we should expect to be lied to in the name of research on a daily basis and 2. it’s some benevolent way for them to help us have a better experience, is also totally gross to me. This WSJ interview with Okc co-founder Chris Rudder sums it up pretty well:
Blech. Sure, Chris Rudder, we’re in control, but we base who we interact with on certain criteria. And if we’re given the wrong criteria or you withhold information from us, then that control is a fallacy. Don’t patronize us, buddy. Also, you’re lucky, so lucky, that a Stucu blogger didn’t wind up in one of these experiments, because you and our poor readers would probably never hear the end of it.
You guys. I hope you’re prepared to have a large chuckle at my expense, because boyyyy do I have a treat for you.
This is (to our knowledge) a first here at Stupid Cupid. Up until now, no one we’ve dated, as far as we know, has found, had access to, or read our blog. UNTIL NOW. Because (drumroll please)….
Someone I’m currently dating has found this blog.
You’re probably saying something like, “That’s funny! But come on, it’s not that bad. At least you didn’t write about him.”
Except OH WAIT. I did. Yup. Go back and read that little diddy about my first date with D, in which I called him a nerd, lambasted his Okcupid profile, and basically implied that he was a creepy stalker slash potential murderer. #facepalm
Allow me to start at the beginning, because this is truly a tale you all deserve to enjoy fully and in minute detail. I have been seeing D intermittently since our first date about two months ago. I didn’t mention him again after that post because honestly, I really do try to avoid writing about guys I go out with unless/until it’s over. For this VERY F*CKING REASON. But I made an exception this time since D was the one to break the the epic dry spell I’d written so much about.
As previously mentioned on my first date post, D works in IT and is essentially a doctorate-level internet stalker, which I respect. Or at least I did, when I thought the only thing he’d found was my last name via my LinkedIn profile. I told him about the blog almost immediately, but gave him minimal info. beyond the fact that it existed. And he never let on that he’d discovered it. UNTIL…
This past Sunday night, when D casually brought up that awful scorpion email we single mutants received from Okc a few weeks ago. You remember, the one I freaked out about? I responded with something like: “I know, wasn’t that the worst? I actually just wrote a rage-filled blog post about it”.
But something about the way D had brought it up made me pause. My Spidey senses were tingling. So I broached the subject…
As you can see, D never actually answered my question. My weird hunch suddenly turned to certainty, and then to straight dread. At this point I’m going to switch FULLY over to screen caps of our conversation, so you can live out the epic fail right there with me:
Speaking of going “Fuuuuuuuuuck” at high volume, while this was going down I promptly threw up the bat signal and woke poor L’s ass up:
Good co-blogger and friend that she is, she called me immediately and calmed me down. Meanwhile, D was finishing his epic tale of Stucu discovery…
D found the blog, followed it, and promptly forgot about it, until my post ABOUT HIM showed up on his blogroll. I can’t make this stuff up, folks.
D has known about the blog for two months, and I had no clue until three days ago.
D’s friends have read our blog.
D’s mom has read our blog. (/Hi, Mrs. D?)
After my initial shock/freak out, I started to process what happened, and I realized that D was actually being incredibly cool and gracious about the whole thing. Hypocritical as it sounds, I’m not sure I’d respond so kindly if I stumbled upon some blog post a first date of mine had blown up the internet with, especially if he basically reviewed me like a summer blockbuster and RATED OUR DATE on a scale of 1-10. Especially when D started referencing older posts of mine and I realized that he’d gone back and read our entire blog, from start to finish:
I’ll admit, the one thing I was annoyed with D about was the fact that he’d kept his discovery a secret. The fact that he’d known basically the entire time we’ve been going out and hadn’t said a word about it made me feel a bit like an idiot. But after he laid down his arguments:
We were dating very casually at first, with lots of time in between seeing each other. He wasn’t sure if he’d even see me again.
I’d accused him of being a stalker and (only half-jokingly) asked if he was a serial killer, and he didn’t want to come off as even creepier than I’d already accused him of being.
He was secretly hoping I’d write another blog post about him before he revealed that he’d found it.
I couldn’t really be mad. I would’ve done the same thing had I been in his shoes. All I can say is, thank God I kept my mouth shut for once in my life and stopped at one post!
Also, the bottom line is, this sort of thing comes with the territory. This is what we signed up for when we started a dating blog and put our shit on the internet. Anonymous or not, we knew this was always a possibility; I figured I’d be sharing the blog with SOMEONE eventually if we got serious enough. I just (foolishly) thought that I’d be in control of the when and the how of that reveal. Ahhh, how young and naive I was back then.
Not gonna lie,I can’t help but feel a liiiiittle bit like Bridget Jones when Mark Darcy finds her diary:
Luckily, I didn’t write that D acts like he has a “giant gherkin thrust up his backside” (don’t worry, he doesn’t),but Lord, do I feel Bridget’s horror and embarrassment in that moment. Actually, I think we all need to watch the following scene right now. Don’t ask questions. Colin Firth just makes everything better:
At least this whole thing didn’t end with me running down the street in gold zebra print knickers while a homeless man shouts after me in the snow. #smallvictories
Anyway, D continued to assure me that he was cool with the whole thing, and he was also super complimentary about the blog and our writing in general. Just when I felt my blood pressure return to a semi-human rate, another thought occurred to me: I wanted to write a post about this. I wanted to share this absurd hilarity with our readers, complete with our texts. Was D going to be cool with that? What was the protocol now that I knew he was going to presumably read every new thing I wrote? I asked him if he’d mind if I shared this story:
Oh hey there, all you friends out in cyberland. Remember me? Founder of the very blog you’re reading? Single person whorecently pledgedto blog more often? It may not have escaped your notice that directly after I made that claim, I pulled an Irish exit and disappeared for over a month. I swear, I didn’t even realize I was gone that long. In my mind it had been like, two weeks since I’d posted something. Then I jumped on the blog to read L’s most recent post and out of curiosity, scrolled down to read the last thing I wrote. Ummmmmthat was on October 2nd. It’s November 8th. What. The. FUCK???
How can I explain this time warp/my absence? I have no excuse. I haven’t been in jail, or in LA developing the pilot to my TV show (I hear Amy Poehler is really busy shooting Parks and Rec at the moment), or doing anything else remotely exciting or interesting. I’ve been slogging my way through fall and experiencing the worst writer’s block since my paper on Madame Bovary was due in 12th grade AP English. Meanwhile L and D, the best co-bloggers EVER, have been keeping you boos entertained and cheerfully carrying my dead weight while gently prodding me to get my shit together and post something, ANYTHING, and I’ve just been like….yeahhhhh. Sorry, girls. I’ll get around to that…soon.
But seriously. This is a blog about dating. I’m not writing federal grant proposals. I’m not defending my thesis on astrophysics. So what the hell is wrong with me? As it turns out, a few things. First, I think I took theH thingharder than I’d like to admit. I’m not trying to sound dramatic; I’m fine. I promise, I’m not going to cry (lucky for you guys I’m not drinking red wine while writing this. Yet.) But honestly after everything went down, thinking or talking about dating has just not been a fun experience.
Second, it’s been a soul crushingly unsuccessful month of attempting to get back in the saddle. As in I’m currently batting .000. As in, I have not managed to go on ONE first date since I ended it with H. I’ve had string of inexplicably bizarre, boring, and just all around awful interactions with men I don’t even like. So when I say writer’s block, I mean yes, I’m having a hard time putting my thoughts into words, but mostly I just mean I literally cannot seem to obtain new subject matter to share with you fine people.
Since I have no new dates to tell you about, I thought I’d give you the next best thing… October Okc highlights! Here’s the roundup:
Mr. Mensasent me two more incredibly boring messages and managed to fit one more name drop before (predictably) disappearing. For a dude with a self reported crazy high IQ, he was really lacking in social intelligence.
I messaged back and forth with a guy who eventually gave me his phone # and asked me to text him. Which I did. Later that night, I received this response:
Shit, I thought. I typed his number in wrong. But I double checked and nope, it was right. So I responded.
I thought to myself, this is one of three things: 1. a really bad elaborate joke on his part, 2. a bizarre way for him to ditch me, or 3. an honest mistake. So I messaged him:
My bad? That’s it? Am I just being cranky, or is that the most humorless response to this scenario ever? What kind of person wouldn’t take the opportunity to respond with something like ‘hahaha so sorry, can’t believe I gave you the wrong number.’ Or, ‘this is amazing, what did the other person say? Do you have a date with them now instead?’ Or even just, ‘WOW I can’t remember my own phone #…embarrassing’. Something, ANYTHING that indicates you have a sense or humor/actual pulseand aren’t, in fact, the most boring person on the face of this earth. UGH. Needless to say the conversation petered out, and that was that.
I briefly messaged back and forth with a guy who earned the nickname Don Draper for what I discovered to be his wildly antiquated, Mad Men era views on gender roles. I should have been suspicious when he asked me wayyyyy too many questions about whether I liked to cook. Then, when I casually mentioned I wasn’t into football, he replied with something to the tune of: “Well that’s fine, I like my women to be women and only have girly hobbies anyway.” Oh good, so glad we cleared that up. Hey Don, would you also like “your woman” to grab you a whiskey neat and your pipe and slippers on her way into the kitchen to bake you a pie? F*ck off, Draper*.
*Actually this guy WISHED he was 1/10th as hot as Jon Hamm. A more appropriate nickname would have been Pete Campbell, and even that would have been a stretch.
Ummmm what? Seriously. I thought, what the hell does this dude want? Because he must want SOMETHING, right? Right. So I responded in the most vague, neutral way possible, basically like ‘hey back, hope you’re well!’ purely out of curiosity. J then proceeded to send me a series of messages on the following topics:
His job, which is going great (he has a new boss)
His ROMANTIC LIFE… he was seeing someone but they recently broke it off because they wanted different things (???)
Our infamous public break up of last year. Totally out of the blue, J apologized for “how that went down” and said I deserved better. I mean, truth, I totally did, but what the hell is this guy telling me this NOW for? Is he in AA and this is the part where he apologizes to everyone he’s ever wronged? I’m over it, J. I know I trashed you on my blog, but that was for funsies/entertainment value. I promise, I’m. Over. It.
I officially do not understand men. What possessed this guy to reach out to me out of the blue and tell me his deepest darkest secrets? L was positive that he was going to ask me out again but I said no, I think he’s literally just lonely and wants someone to talk to, and clearly I was right. In the beginning I had been vaguely responding to these messages, again more out of curiosity than anything else, but it got to the point where I was like okay thattttt’s enough of that and just stopped responding.
So there you have it, friends. My October on Okcupid. This parade of freak show interactions combined with someone who I really liked saying ‘no thanks’ to exclusively dating me, well.. it messed with me. I uttered the infamous single girl words: “what’s wrong with me?” probably 15-20 times. ….A day. (To be fair, this phrase is so commonly used among the three of us that our autobiography will likely be titled: “What’s Wrong With Me? The LSD Story”.
I just felt like, and I still feel like, in order to really be over the H mess, I need a new first date. Even a bad one. Even a COMICALLY bad one. And I can’t even make a bad one happen! It’s now been FIVE MONTHS since my last first date (with H). It’s gotten to the point where by the time it does happen I’m afraid I’ll forget everything I’ve ever learned about online dating and act like a complete lunatic.
More importantly, I have a dating blog. I have loyal readers (okay, I have family and friends. Egomania: in check!) who come here for a laugh and to read about, you know, dates. With actual men. So is this it? Is this where I throw my dignity down the toilet and hop on Craigslist personals? Or worse, Tinder?
Not today, dear readers. Not today. Instead, I’m going to pull a Scarlett O’Hara and tell you all right now:
I WILL go on a first date in the month of November. Not because I need to be dating someone to be a happy, successful human, or because I’m desperate for male attention or a boyfriend, or anything like that. But this inability to get a date has become a thing now, and it’s bugging me, and I need to shake it off and move on. Also, I have a sneaking suspicion that actually having something to write about is going to help with my “writer’s block”.