S’s fall dating to do list

Good morning, readers. I trust that we’re all in a…fragile state after a long holiday weekend and the official end of summer.

sobbing-uncontrollably

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Speaking of the end of summer, how much do you hate me for putting the word ‘fall’ in my post title? I’m like those ill-informed Starbucks executives who think people want to drink pumpkin spice lattes when it’s still 90 degrees out. I know I may be rushing it, but I’m just so. excited. for fall.

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Source: popgoesthearts.blogspot.com

Sitenote: DID ANYONE WATCH the Saved by the Bell Lifetime movie?? Was it as horrific/amazing as it looked? Was this iconic scene referenced?

Anyway, if you’ve been following this blog, you may recall that it’s been a somewhat dark summer (darker than Jessie Spano’s pill addiction-hiyoooo), at least in terms of dating. Basically, things started out low and continued to suck pretty much right up until now. The Summer of YOLO, while a an inspiring idea, didn’t lead to much of anything, unless you count L and I continually embarrassing D with our unironic use of the term ‘YOLO’ (a delightful, albeit unintended, bonus). Psyching myself up to just sign onto Okcupid currently looks something like this:

paul-rudd

Source: flavorwire.com

So yeah, mama’s excited to move on from all that (and to stop designing my date outfits/hairstyles around how much I’ll inevitably be sweating. East coast humidity is no joke, people.) Fall always feels like a fresh start, and it’s a great opportunity to hit the reset button on my tired dating practices. With that in mind, I’ve outlined my fall dating plan for you lovely readers because 1. posting it here will hold me accountable to actually do these things, and 2. I currently have no actual dates to tell you lovely readers about #datelessdatingblogger.

S’s Fall Dating To Do List

  • Update the ol’ profile pic–I have an assortment of cute pictures from this summer where I look arguably tanner than my pasty self has ever looked, and as we’ve covered previously, profile pics are pretty much the only things Okcupid users pay attention to. So why the hell haven’t I uploaded those babies? I’ll change that ASAP before I go back to looking like a Vitamin D-deficient basement dweller. Done.
  • Brainstorm new first date locales, and be open to unorthodox suggestionsI’m not saying I plan to retire my go-to first date suggestion, because it’s convenient and I love it. But there’s something to be said, I think, for throwing out a fresh location, mainly because at this point in my online dating…career… I have a lot of history in my standard bars. For instance, I couldn’t help but think, while being fist-bumped by the Good Message Unicorn outside Strangelove’s, that just over a year beforehand I was having the best first kiss after the best first date of my life. Right there in that very spot. Oof, was that depressing. Depressing and unnecessary. There are plenty of bars in the city and damn it, I’m going to try some new ones (I realize I have to actually secure a date first, but shhhh details). Also, if hell freezes over and a date actually makes a non-bar suggestion, unless that suggestion is ‘Tea Party rally’ or ‘anonymous orgy’, I’m going to throw caution to the wind and just say yes.

staying in

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I really only started to think about this after reading L’s tale of downgrading her first date location and remembering that I’ve also pulled that move (making two out of three Stucu bloggers the worst!) Last year my ex, D, who was an unusually thoughtful planner, suggested go karts for our second date. I remember thinking at the time that this suggestion was totally random and weird (which let’s be honest it kind of was) so I pushed for a bar instead. But looking back now, all I can think is, what the hell was wrong with me?? A cute guy was attempting to plan shit, fun and different shit, for us to do. I should have done it! I should have capitalized on dating a planner while I could, loosened up and had some fun, because Lord knows I may be waiting a long ass time (read: forever) for that to come along again.

  • Try Hinge, because co-blogger D is having wild success on it–Okay, “wild success” might be a slight overstatement, but co-blogger D’s been thrown some seriously eligible bachelors in our extended social circle in the week that she’s been using Hinge, including a college friend of L’s who she and her friends refer to as “the one that got away”. Okay, Hinge. I’ll bite. Let’s do this (comically, I just tried to download the Hinge app while writing this and it made my phone semi explode. Foreshadowing?)
  • Don’t be an asshole about replying to messages and then complain incessantly about messages–Real talk, I will never not complain about messages. That’s just a totally unrealistic goal. But I am going to work on being a more decisive replier. Example: sometimes I will get a message from someone who seems kind of meh, and I’ll mentally earmark him as a ‘maybe’, but really I only mean ‘maybe if I’m bored or there’s no one else promising or I stalk an ex on social media and feel bad about myself’. L revealed a similar pattern of hers in her delightfully real post last week (seriously can we all tell how inspired I was be her realness?) As my girl pointed out, this is kind of a dick move, and if we’re going to call dudes out for being dicks, well, we’re going to put ourselves on blast, too. In the future, I’m going to try to give every message a simple yes or no, and move the hell on.
  • Stop taking everything so personally–If you online date, you know how easy it is to take “I’m not getting any good messages” and twist it into “I’m not getting any good messages

 clueless what's wrong with me

Source: sarabynoe.com

In other words, just because it’s been a slow, shitty summer date-wise doesn’t mean this is about me. People have been outside, on vacay, enjoying the beautiful weather and living their damn lives. Everyone is on Okc and other sites less, and the people who aren’t tend to be looking for a casual summer fling/jump off. It’s been a slow summer for almost every single person online dating that I know, and if it hasn’t, congratulations/I hate you/please don’t tell me about it and just let me live in ignorance believing this theory. Thanks!

  • Continue to gleefully boycott and malign eHarmony–You didn’t think my to do list included giving that wretched site my money, did you? HA! I’ll see you in hell, Dr. Neil Clark Warren, before that happens. What I can promise is to follow up on my original post with some more hilariously awful things I encountered during my tenure as a fake free member of the site. Because as L said when I asked her if a second eHarmony post was overkill: “Hating on eHarmony will never go out of style, on this blog or in life”. Wise words, Lady L. Wise. Words.
  • Repeat the affirmation: your time will come. This is some serious zen shit, am I right? It goes hand in hand with one of my favorite quotes that I may need to have tattooed on my forehead by the time I turn 30: “Comparison is the thief of joy.” God damn, Teddy Roosevelt, not only were you a bonafide badass, but you also threw down some sage advice. Seriously, though, I have to stop focusing on what everyone else has (successful relationships/boyfriends/fiances/husbands) trust that things will work out some day, and just continue to do me. While I wait for someone else to do me. HAHAHAawkwardsexjokethatmymomwillread. Basically…patience. I need some. And now this beautiful song is in my head:

Lest you think I’m making a wildly ill-advised attempt to compare my silly little dating woes to the Civil Rights Movement, let me assure you that I really just love the Dreamgirls soundtrack. A lot. And I wanted us all to rock out to this amazing jam. So enjoy, maybe with a pumpkin spice latte?

Just kidding, it’s 92 degrees here.

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eHarmony holdout

Since my dreaded triumphant return to the online dating scene, I’ve been thinking about all the different services we’ve tried here at Stucu. Here’s a quick rundown:

Yeesh, that is not a short list. And yet here we are, still painfully single. Speaking of being painfully single, you may have noticed one glaring omission…

Ugggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

I’m just going to say it: I HATE eHarmony. True, I’ve never actually used it, but it has always seemed so ridiculous/lame/creepy to me. Also, sorry to get all soapbox-ra-ra-social-justice on our dating blog, but it’s worth noting that eHarmony has a history of discriminating against same sex couples, plus their annoying as fuck elderly founder/spokesperson is an outspoken hardcore Christian. Not that there’s anything wrong with hardcore Christians…

seinfeld

Source: mrwgifs.com

…it’s just that I am not one of them. I’ve heard tales of the blatantly religious overtones of the site’s matchmaking process, and I don’t like the idea of some company surreptitiously pushing their views on people who are just trying to get a date. If I wanted religious-based matchmaking, I’d mosey on over to a religious-based online dating site like Christian Mingle or L’s favorite, JDate.

Also. Completely forgetting his politics, the eHarmony spokesperson freaks. me. out.

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Source: www.harmony-in-love.com

I’m sorry, Dr. Neil Clark Warren, but I’m not currently looking to put a creepy old guy in charge of my love life.

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Source: maeameme.org

I know I’m being ridiculous. I know I shouldn’t write off a dating service I’ve never tried because their commercials feature a pushy religious senior citizen and an overplayed Natalie Cole song. More importantly, I’m actually friends with a couple who met on eHarmony. And by “met” I mean I attended their wedding last October. 

Despite this undeniable empirical evidence of the E’s legitimacy, every time someone suggests I join, my answer goes something like this:

“Yeahhhhh, uhhh,I’ve thought about it, but I’m saving it for if (let’s face it, when) I’m a bit older and still single. I’ve heard it’s a more…mature crowd, and that the people on there are much more serious about getting engaged like, yesterday. So I’ll probably try it eventually, just not…now.”

Translation: I hate eHarmony. I don’t want to do it. Please leave me alone.

The biggest reason why I resist this (almost always) unsolicited advice is that it rarely comes from single people. And I’m sorry, if you’re not a veteran of online dating, you simply have no idea what a shit show it is. But then a few weeks ago, one of my single guy friends whose opinion I totally value was telling us about his recent run of good dates, and the big E came up:

Me: What site are you on again? Okcupid?

E: eHarmony.

Me: Oh. Hmmmm. Interesting.

E: You should try it, S.

Me: (internally, thinking about my paintfully single status): Sigh. Maybe he’s right.

Which brings me to this post. When I started writing, it was mostly about my reluctance to join and somewhat irrational hatred of Dr. NCW. But then I tried to poke around and do some preliminary research to see what the site was like and, well, I got bamboozled. Before I even knew what was happening, I was filling out a 9 hour long personality profile analysis thing and signing up to “try it for free”.

GOD-DAMMIT

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Dr. Warren, you are one tricky motherfucker.

“Try it for free” is a favorite tactic among paid dating sites: they let you sign up, fill out a little profile, answer some questions, and cruise for dudes, but the minute you try to do anything real like send a message or even look at someone’s pictures, you’re directed to hand over your credit card info. This was fine with me for once because I didn’t actually want to use their stupid site, I just wanted to see what the infamously involved personality profiling is like and rip it to shreds on our blog.

I’ve also heard that eHarmony at one time rejected a certain number of people after they went through all their insane questioning. As in, these clowns literally say “thanks for trying to pay us money but you’ll have to take your unlovable single self elsewhere, because we don’t want anything to do with you.”

what parks and rec

I’m telling you, these people are the WORST.

Googled researched this policy to determine whether it’s still in place, but my search was inconclusive, so I half expected to waste 20 minutes of my life on a site I already hated and then be told I wasn’t wanted by them. Just another day in the life of a single girl, AMIRITE, LADIES? Anyway, despite my MANY misgivings and against my better judgment, I signed up and sat through their long ass questioning process. Here’s a sample question:

eharmony patient

For those who are wondering, there were a fair number of…faith based questions in this thing, mostly to do with how religious/spiritual you are. I screen capped these questions for your viewing pleasure, but now I can’t find where I saved them so you’ll have to take my word for it. After answering ‘not at all’ to basically every religious question, I was fully expecting to get to the boot, but somehow, some way, Dr. NCW deemed me worthy of God and single men’s love, and I was admitted into Club E. Yay.

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Source: www.flickr.com

Obviously, they didn’t waste any time before asking me for money:

eharmony

Jesus. First of all, the 10.95/month plan is totally reasonable, until you realize you’re making a TWO YEAR COMMITMENT. I only commit to where I’m going to live one year at a time, you fuckers. Yes, I get that business-wise it’s smart for them to incentivize people to commit for the long haul. I also get that say, one month is not enough time to give a dating site a chance and meet a good number of people. But how about 3 months? Where’s the 3 month plan, you assholes? Three months is how long it took me to realize I hated Match.com with the burning fire of a thousand suns. So you’re telling me when I inevitably confirm that I do, as predicted, loathe eHarmony, I’m saddled with it for a full calendar year? Yeah…

nope

Source: wifflegif.com

The next logical choice is 6 months. But that shit starts to get pricey. $258 for 6 months on your stupid website? Really? So, what do I get for forking over a plane ticket to somewhere awesome or a day at the spa?

eharmony2

Uhhhh, 1. what in the what is the “Book of You?” Again with the religious overtones. And 2. so what you’re saying eHarmony, is that your basic plan offers the EXACT SAME THINGS as Okcupid. How much is Okcupid again?

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Also, unsurprisingly, upon fake signing up I was immediately bombarded with senseless emails:

eharmony hate being single

Shut your stupid mouth, eHarmony, and stop patronizing me. I don’t need your permission to be okay with saying that phrase. I’m so good at saying “I hate being single” that I literally started an entire blog so my friends and I could say it multiple times a week. So step off.

Rage aside, I’m at a crossroads, readers. I’m technically signed up, so I’m now getting messages that I can’t read from faceless dudes. This is how they rope you in! I’m telling you, it’s a mindfuck. No matter how awful a site appears to be (and believe me, eHarmony seems awful) there’s that one tiny little part of you that worries one of the guys who messaged you is your future husband, and you’re about to miss out on a lifetime of happiness and hot sex because you were too cheap to fork over $258. 

I need help deciding, dear readers. Tell me what you think I should do. I can’t promise that I’ll actually do it, but I promise to take the results into consideration. Also, if you’ve used the big E yourself, feel free to leave me a comment and tell me what you think of it. Also, if you’re reading this, Dr. Warren, I hate you.