How D (Sorta) Got Her Groove Back

First of all, if you ever have the opportunity, go to Iceland. Seriously, do it. If you don’t find it to be stunningly beautiful, you are dead inside.

Second of all, I leave the country for 11 days, and all sorts of crazy, awesome shit goes down at home.  We won an award! We gained 7 new twitter followers! I suddenly became desirable again on OKC and HAW after a drought and months of this:

Isn't there anybody that loves me

                                                                                                   Source: Crushable

I received multiple messages on OKC containing 1 or more complete sentences! 5 guys were interested upon viewing one of my date ideas on HAW and messaged me! Match continued to serve no purpose other than to steal my money and send me e-mails suggesting ways it could steal more of my money! Ok, that last one isn’t actually awesome, but it was oddly comforting – it was proof I wasn’t in some alternate universe. I took all of these positive developments as proof that traveling is the greatest and I should do it even more often than I already do.

But back to my dating developments… I was getting my groove back!

Since I had limited access to wi-fi while away, I was able to respond to messages occasionally. This is where things went a little off track with some of the promising gentlemen. Let’s start with HAW.

First, a crash-course in How About We for those who are unfamiliar with it. Profiles are short and sweet – some demographic info and quick responses to specific prompts (e.g. a story you should remind me to tell you on our first date, I secretly want to be). Then, you post date ideas.

 HAW samples

Users peruse the date ideas and if they see one they like, they open up the date and have two choices: “Message Him/Her” or “I’m Intrigued.” 

HAW - date example

“Message Him” is pretty obvious – it opens up a blank message and you type out your most charming, witty message and hope for the best. Clicking “I’m Intrigued” sends the other user a generic message that says “I saw your Publick House date and I’m intrigued.” It’s the equivalent of liking someone on OKC or winking at someone on Match. The lazy approach to letting someone know you’re interested, and/or the shy person’s way of reaching out.

So, one of my proposed date ideas involves night skiing locally. I got a personalized message from M who ultimately told me to let him know when I was home and we’d set up a ski date. Great right? Well I returned, sent him a message, and got no response in that thread. Rather, he sent me a separate, independent “I’m Intrigued” message 16 minutes later. I don’t know what to do with that. I know you’re intrigued. We already established that. In fact, we already established that we would make plans to go skiing. So why are you ignoring my attempt to actually make said plans, whilst simultaneously sending me messages coyly telling me you’re intrigued BY THE VERY DATE WE ALREADY SET UP?!

That was Wednesday afternoon. I still haven’t figured out what to do about M.

Another guy responded to the same skiing date idea. This guy simply clicked “I’m intrigued.” I checked out his profile, and though he looked vaguely familiar, I brushed it off and responded.

2014-02-06 13.27.23

Ok then.

that escalated

                                                                                    Source: GIFBAY

Side note: I’m obsessed with that gif. I laugh hysterically every time I see it. Ok, back to the regularly scheduled programming.

Setting aside the fact that he called me hun (which – DON’T), he starts off with a nonsensical response. What do you mean “what?” You fucking messaged me. It’s literally 2 messages up in the thread. What is confusing about my response? And when I don’t respond in a timely fashion according to his standards (3 hours, 46 minutes, and NOT A MINUTE MORE), he accuses me of bothering him. Again, you messaged me buddy. It was then, looking at his smiling profile pic next to that terrifyingly aggressive message, that it clicked. He WAS familiar. He’s nylon guy. Shudder.

Over on OKC, I exchanged a few messages with R, who pretty quickly asked if I’d like to make plans when I returned. My kinda guy! I said I would love to. I got back late Tuesday night. Wednesday morning he contacted me to see if I had made it home safely. Very sweet. Then he dropped this bomb on me:

2014-02-06 23.19.24

2014-02-06 23.19.34

I don’t even know where to start with that. For the sake of not being a total asshole on the internet, I’ll simply say that I did not find that poem charming or sweet.

Against my better judgment, when R asked for my number I gave it to him and continued to entertain the idea of going on a date with him.

text with R #1

Oh christ – not another movie date.

text with R #2

WARNING! WARNING!

That last comment is teetering on the brink of needy. Throwing an lol at the end doesn’t make it less needy. And that frowning winky face – what the fuck is that even supposed to convey? 

I forge on though, despite the warning bells going off in my head.

text with R #3

STOP WITH THE VALENTINE’S THING. It’s so desperate sounding. At this point, mid afternoon on Wednesday, I feign a meeting and tell him I’ll talk to him later.

Thursday morning I wake up feeling refreshed after a good, long night’s sleep, see CC for the first time since returning and get a big smile from him, and get into work to a desk completely empty of a particular case. I’m feeling fantastic. So I decide to give R another chance.

text with R #4

Umm? Say what? Tuesday was your suggestion. But ok.

text with R #5

A little while later, he gets back to me.

text with R #6

This was completely befuddling to me. I mean, firstly, I had told him I was available Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights. So what made him think I was available mid-afternoon? Not to mention that he’s aware that I’m a lawyer – which is pretty typically a Monday through Friday 9-5 job. Whilst still processing the above, he follows up with a picture of himself and this:

text with R #7

Even if you are joking (I presume that’s what Jc means), coupled with some of the other shit you’ve said (::cough:: valentine’s day ::cough::), I’m getting the impression that you’re extremely needy. And I don’t do needy. A) I don’t have the patience for it. B) If you’re that needy yourself, how are you ever going to field my 11:34 p.m. phone calls that I’ve got a piercing, radiating pain in my left mid-thigh and remember when I fell on my left knee a few weeks ago – IS THIS A BLOOD CLOT ON THE MOVE? AM I ABOUT TO DIE IN A SNOW AND ICE COVERED MBTA PARKING LOT IN SUBURBAN MASSACHUSETTS? Because, shit like that happens frequently when you’re a part of my life. That is a verbatim transcription of the shrill phone call my father received last night. And that saint of a man (along with my 3 EMT friends who also frequently field my hypochondriac freak outs) needs a break dude.

But I’m still feeling high on the freedom from that case and the 3 Kinder bars I ate at lunch (God bless you and your delicious chocolate confections Europe), so I keep going with the Poet.

text with R #8

I realize at this point that not only did he think we were planning a weekday, mid-afternoon date, but he also thought this date was happening in Wrentham. Despite the fact that we had established we would both be in Boston on Tuesday. His complete lack of ability to grasp time and location based on previous discussions snaps me out of my sugar high. This guy is not going to work out. Just to be sure, I ask:

text with R #9

Yup – this guy needs to go. Between the poem and the valentines day thing and his incompetence, I can’t. I was going to need to let R go. Tomorrow. I’m a procrastinator at heart.

This morning, I was all set to say goodbye to R and let this outrageously long post fly. But before I could click Publish, R wanted to know why I had changed my mind:

text with R #11

Yeah – I definitely made the right choice.

Oh, and just for good measure, I was propositioned late last night on the orange line after grabbing a couple drinks with a friend after work. By a guy who I presume is a low level drug dealer or pimp based on the enormous ball of wadded up cash he pulled out of his jacket pocket.

I’m in A groove, but I think it’s the wrong one…

The one about D’s date with a possible Norman Bates copycat

Let me tell you a tale dear readers. A tale of a match encounter that started out so well, and ended with a few hours of my life I would legitimately like back.

Match had mostly been a disappointment to me (shocker – S was right). But then, shortly before I moved out to the burbs, S came along. He, despite using the stupid winking feature, seemed promising. He messaged me, and we e-mailed back and forth a few times. In his fourth e-mail he asked me if I’d like to grab a drink, gave me his number, and suggested we check out a photography exhibit opening at an art gallery. This was so excellent for so many reasons. No extended e-mailing, no extended texting, initiative in planning the date, a date idea that went beyond standard drinks. Color me impressed. The date was 2 days later, and he sent me the details about the art gallery out in Winchester.

I got there a few minutes early, which was a serious accomplishment. I promptly patted myself on the back, and sent S a text that I was waiting outside. I knew who he was as soon as he came into view – his profile mentioned his height, and he was not lying. He really is very tall. He walked up and moved in to give me a hug. Now, I know this makes me a terrible person and all, but I’m barely a hug person with my loved ones and close friends. I’m most certainly not a hug person with strangers. Say what you will about whatever deeper issues this might indicate, but I don’t like to be touched. So, I sort of reacted like this:

hug into a handshake

I didn’t push his face away, but the rest is pretty spot on. I know, I know. I’m a cold-hearted, hug-hating asshole. I’m ok with who I am. He was clearly thrown by this, but we recovered quickly and went into the gallery, which was small but very nice. They had wine and some snacks out for the opening of the exhibit, and so we snacked a bit while looking at all the photos. We ended up sitting on a bench in the middle of the room. He was a photography major, and was a member of this particular gallery, which is what brought us there. We continued to chat, but it was kind of awkward there in the middle of this small gallery, so he suggested we go find a place to grab a drink.

This is the point where it all started to go downhill. Up until now, aside from the online winking and the attempted hug, it was a perfectly nice date. There was no immediate spark or anything, but he seemed nice, albeit awkward.

The gallery was just off the town common so we headed that way. Neither of us really had any clue where to go, since neither of us lived in Winchester. So we went into the first place we came across, which happened to be a nice wine bar and Italian restaurant. The first time the waitress came over to take our order, we weren’t ready yet, and he said “sorry, this is the first time we’re meeting in person.” Dude. We don’t need to hide the fact that we met online, but let’s not go shouting it to strangers either. When she walked away after some nervous laughter, he asked if I had eaten yet.

Sidenote: I always eat before a first date. I’m not a kind person when I’m hungry. So I make sure to eat at least enough to prevent a hunger induced meltdown (my most famous one involved green glitter and the streets of London on St. Patrick’s Day, with S by my side having a meltdown of her own). So I said yes and gave a modified (read: watered-down) explanation about why. He chuckled, and then said “well I’m going to order something anyway, I’m hungry.”

Ok. After that little sidenote above, I obviously get it. But at the same time, he chowed down at the snack table in the gallery. So I sort of expected him to just order an app, something small to tide him over. In actuality, he ordered a full-fledged meal and a beer. This made me feel awkward, because I didn’t really want to sit and watch him eat, so I ordered myself something small, and a glass of wine (I’m trying to be more of a wine person, but it’s not really working). Once we had ordered, we had our first real chance to talk. And oh my, you guys, it was … interesting. I know we complain about this all the time, but I did 90% of the work keeping the conversation going. That aside, some really unfortunate things transpired:

1) We got on the topic of traveling, and he said he likes to travel so I asked him what was his favorite place that he’s ever traveled to? I wish I could un-hear his answer, because he responded: “Vegas!”

Ummmmmmm.

Now, I’m lucky enough to have had the privilege to travel in Europe and all over the U.S., and I know that’s not something everyone is able to do. But Vegas? Las Vegas, Nevada is the best place you’ve ever visited? That is horrifying to me, and I’m going to judge you for that. Disappointed with his answer, I followed up by asking what his least favorite travel destination was. Maybe he just hadn’t traveled much, I thought? His least favorite place that he’s ever been is Nova Scotia. We were definitely not on the same page here. I would flip those answers right around.

2) It came up that I went to Boston University undergrad. This fact prompted him to tell me a story about a time that he rode the B line of the T and got stuck on a car with a bunch of “douchey BU guys.”

Again, ummmmmmmm?

I just told you that I went to BU and that I had a great time there. While I’m not offended, it’s true that BU has its share d-bags (not as many as BC (can’t pass up an opportunity to hate on BC, sorry/not sorry)), it’s an interesting followup to share with your date who went there.

3) His right knee was in a complex looking brace, so I asked about his knee injury. Which got us talking about how whenever you fall and hurt yourself, it’s never in a deserted area. There are always people around to witness your pain and humiliation. I fell and tore a couple ligaments in my ankle my freshman year of college in a crowded stairwell and ended up with a dozen people standing over me, one of whom unnecessarily called an ambulance for me (which I was all ready to turn away when it showed up because I knew a cab to the hospital would be significantly cheaper, but then the EMT walked in and he was so attractive that I couldn’t have turned him away even if he was Hannibal Lecter. He was so good-looking that I didn’t even care 3 months later when I had to start paying for physical therapy because I had exhausted my per-occurrence insurance limit and my parents refused to help me until I had paid out the cost of the ambulance. I can still picture his perfection. Best $400 I ever spent. And bonus – he wasn’t a felon). Anyway, I knew what he was talking about. Somehow, people witnessing your clumsiness just makes it that much worse. This led to a story about how he once slipped and fell in the winter on some ice, and not only hurt his knee, but also his arm. Because he couldn’t properly brace for the fall with his arms because he was holding an umbrella to protect him from the snow. He actually used the words “to protect me from the snow.” He said this so matter of factly. Like that’s a totally normal thing to do. Like he’d never heard of hats before. I’d be lying if I said that that story didn’t totally emasculate him in my eyes.

4) The 10% of conversation topics he initiated were … unusual. If felt less like friendly conversation, and more like a bizarre interrogation. Here are the questions that he asked me:

  • Have you ever been in a fight and punched a girl out? I’m sorry, what? First of all, what an odd question. Second of all, let’s just say, for kicks, that I have honed a wicked left hook over the years (hahaha). Why am I only fighting with girls? Why can’t I have punched a guy out? I was more offended by that assumption than anything else.
  • How long do you take in the shower? I was so thrown by this question, that I actually thought about it and answered him. And then it got even weirder when he reacted to my answer of about 10 minutes with a completely serious “wow – that long huh?” Is that an unusually long amount of time for showering? Also, why are we talking about my shower habits, Norman Bates? Stop being creepy.
  • And lastly, it came up that I’m a Yankees fan. Without having really said much else on the topic, he pointed to the tattoo on my forearm and asked why, if I’m such a big Yankees fan, one of my tattoos isn’t Derek Jeter’s autograph? The implications of that question are pretty much all insulting. Just because I’m a girl and I’m a Yankees fan, I must be head over heels in love with that dreamy Jeter right? He must be my favorite player. And what kind of person does he think I am if he thinks I would brand myself like that?

S and I had nothing in common, other than a propensity to injure ourselves in public, and there was definitely NO chemistry. I was over this date, so I was thrilled when the check came. He took a look at it, pulled $25 out of his wallet, looked at the check again, swapped the $5 for a $10, handed me the check and said “I’ll need a few bucks change.” I was vaguely annoyed that I had been bamboozled into ordering food, but no big deal. However, as I had not planned on dinner, I only had $20 on me. I figured I owed about $23, so I pulled out my debit card. He then proceeded to say “oh, if you’re going to use a card, we can just put it all on there and you can keep the cash.” AND THEN HE TOOK HIS $10 BILL BACK AND HANDED ME ONLY THE $20.

Hold.

Up.

Setting aside the fact that you just unilaterally decided to charge the entire bill to my debit card, which was obnoxious enough, you’re also going to short me your full share of the bill? 30 seconds ago you determined that you owed more than $25. But now that we’re charging my card, you suddenly only owe $20? Negative. That is not how this is going to go down. I am not going to subsidize your dinner tonight, you Psycho.

“You only owe $20?”

“Oh. Ok, I guess not.” He pulled the $5 bill out of his wallet and handed it to me.

Still not your full share, buddy, but fine. If it means this date can be over, fine. I signed the receipt, and we headed back to our cars. We got to my car first in the parking lot, so I beeped it open and said “this is me.”

“Oh, nice! Let’s just see how neat and clean you keep your car” he said as he walked up to my rear driver’s side door. I stood in the parking lot dumbfounded as he bent down, put his face to the window, and looked around inside my car. Is this seriously something that people do? Is this a dating norm that I’ve been blissfully unaware of until now, because WTF? Ultimately, he decided that my car was “not bad, not bad.” Uh, thanks?

He was now standing next to my driver’s door, so I told him it had been nice to meet him. Despite how poorly I thought the date had gone, he had other ideas and moved in for a kiss. I most definitely did not want to kiss him, but I had already used the handshake move, so I shifted my weight and made it a hug instead. He held on for a little too long, and then when he did release the hug, he kept his hands on the small of my back and pulled back just enough so that he could pucker up for a kiss. Before I realized what I was doing, I said “uh uh” and did this:

tumblr_mjofmzUPE11s5bhx0o1_400

You guys, I wagged my finger in his face. I don’t even know where it came from. He pulled all the way back and said “No?” I felt a little bad about the finger wagging, so I tried to lessen the blow and said “No, I don’t kiss on the first date.” Which is definitely not true, if I liked him I would have had no problem kissing him. But he didn’t know that, so I told a white lie, thanked him again, and said goodnight.

I never heard from S again. I guess my Dikembe Mutombo impersonation worked.

Date rating: 1 out of 10, and that’s only because I have a serious soft spot for New England’s quaint little town commons, and Winchester’s was no disappointment. New England is so adorable!

How about we….cancel our subscription to HowAboutWe

Earlier this year, when we were still relative online dating newbies, L told me about a new site that she’d just heard of. “It’s like Okcupid,” she explained, “except everyone suggests an idea for a first date.”

Color me intrigued! I remember thinking the concept of men having to provide a date idea up front was not only incredibly attractive, but also borderline genius. I’d do pretty much anything to avoid receiving one or all of the following texts from my date prior to meeting him:

“So what do you want to do?”

“Got any ideas about where we should go?”

“I don’t know the city that well, so I’ll leave the planning to you.”*

*(This one infuriates me. Do you also not have the internet? Have you never heard of Yelp? Are you not in fact texting me from an iPhone 5, but from a Zack Morris monstrosity circa ’91?)

zack morris phone

The thing is, I am not looking for some over the top first date featuring like, a hot air balloon ride (real talk, that idea was legitimately suggested by D, of movie theater yelling fame. He’s a rare date planning gem, that one. We never went, but I kind of secretly still want to. If it ever happens I’ll be sure to share with the class.) Drinks at a chill bar are fine. with. me. It’s not rocket science, gentlemen.

I realize we co-bloggers complain about the inability of men to plan dates pretty much every week, but my job involves a significant amount of event planning, plus I’ve been in a number of weddings this year. Like L, I am a bossy oldest child, so in many cases the logistics of making plans naturally fall to me. This is fine, and most of the time I prefer it that way (again, bossy older child). But I also absolutely love when someone else takes the reigns for a bit. Love.

Between my excitement over dudes doing the planning and my excitement over cutting down on senseless messaging before meeting in person, I was sold. I signed up for HowAboutWe (which I will henceforth refer to as HAW), since it was “free to try”.

air quote rdj

“Free to try” is the favorite term of most online dating sites, with the exception of Okc (the cheap single 20-something’s dream). Basically, you sign up for the site and quickly discover that in order to do pretty much anything besides creep on the home page, you need to fork over actual money. And yet, even with your low level security clearance that gives you access to little more than their blog (responsible for groundbreaking journalism such as this) the site proceeds to bombard you with 1,500 daily emails about your “matches” (who you aren’t allowed to contact until you provide them with your credit card card number).

Here’s a sample of what’s been hitting my inbox at least once a day since I signed up:

how about we

Okay. As you can see, those are three fairly normal, innocuous date suggestions. Totally vague, yes, but they basically make sense.

More often than not though, there’s at least one dude in the mix who has managed to miss the site’s concept completely:

how about we hello  how about we options how about we doggi how about we yup

Sure, I’ve seen some decent answers:

how about we good

Simple. Specific. Involving alcohol. Not bad.

But for every date idea I’ve come across that’s half decent, there are countless that fall into either of the following categories:

1. Uncomfortable/creepy

how about we webcam

(Actually worried for the welfare of that child in the picture. Are you okay, kid?)

2. Nonsensical/Insane

how about we insane  how about we mayo

Due to the underwhelming nature of these prospects, combined with my proclivity to be distrustful of dating sites that cost money following The Great Match.com Debacle of 2013, I decided not to spring for the paid membership to HAW. I feel good about my decision, or at least I did until I stumbled upon one dude’s answer while doing research for this post:

how about we gin blossoms

Be still my heart. I’ve loved the Gin Blossoms (unironically) since preteen S first heard Hey Jealousy on Y100 all those years ago. (True story: senior year of high school, a friend and I made the wise decision to memorize the lyrics instead of study for our AP Calculus final. How did that work out for us? FANFUCKINGTASTICALLY. We’re both successful adults, and we both know every word to one of the sweetest 90s jams of all time).

What I’m saying is, I get this person. And I’d totally date this person. The question is, would I fork over a membership to this seemingly shitty dating site just to message him? The cheapo in me says hell no, although a Gin Blossoms themed wedding would be pretty epic. All that long flowing hair and loose fitting button downs, just in time for fall…

What do you think, dear readers? Has anyone out there tried HAW for real? Am I missing out?

I paid $75 for a Match.com subscription and all I got was this rage-filled manifesto

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: facebook-dislike-button
  • 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.

phish

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:

men of match graph

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?

Adorable

sallybot

Lol

match-com-logo

I didn’t think so.

**Disclaimer**

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.

Why D quit POF

My POF days are over. I deleted my profile and account. I had originally joined it because I figured it couldn’t hurt to have a profile up on another dating site. Twice the exposure, twice the possibilities right? WRONG. POF yielded me exactly 0 dates. And I think this message that I recently received from the creator of POF sums up why:

POF creator's message

I have a few comments regarding this message. 

1.  Either “2% of men started to use POF as more of a hookup site” is a gross understatement, or I only received messages from that 2% during my tenure on the site. I was propositioned a LOT.

2.  Intimate Encounters.

POF - intimate encounters

If you wanted the website to be about Relationships (note the capital R he uses), then why did Intimate Encounters exist in the first place?

3.  “Intimate Encounters on POF can be summed up as a bunch of horny men talking to a bunch of horny men pretending to be women.” Ahhhh. Well, I’m no longer curious as to why I was so unsuccessful on this site…

I had pretty much already decided to quit POF before I received this message, and the above was just the last nail in POF’s coffin. I previously chronicled some of the other things that contributed to me saying goodbye to the site, like the decline of good grammar and the guy who stole his cousin’s nylons.

Now, before you go and say, “But D, if you didn’t like the quality of the messages you were receiving, why didn’t you initiate conversations with guys whose profiles you liked?”, please know that I did. When I found a profile that interested me, I shot the guy a message. Some didn’t respond, and most fizzled out after a few messages back and forth. Like this guy, who pretty much insulted where I live 4 messages into our conversation:

Somerville sucks

First of all, I hate Home Depot with a passion. When I was a kid running errands with my father, I quickly learned that “we just need to stop at Home Depot for 1 thing” really meant “kiss the next 2 hours of your life goodbye and then wait here with our 4 carts while I pull the truck around so we can load all this senseless crap.” When you say Home Depot, all I hear is “TORTURE.” So even though he admittedly had no way of knowing it, things had just taken a turn for the worse with the mere mention of Home Depot. Second of all, you’ve only been to the Home Depot in Somerville, but you’re judging it anyway? The Home Depot is sandwiched between I-93 and some MBTA tracks. Of course you didn’t see anything awesome. Somerville has a lot of cool and fun things to offer, like our movie theater that serves beer and wine. But I’m not going to defend it to some asshat who admits he hasn’t spent much time in the city I chose to live in and then insults it anyway.

The message that finally sent me over the edge was received a few hours before I got Markus’ terrifying message relaying the truth about Intimate Encounters. The sender? One of those 2% Markus mentioned. A JT and/or Ashton wannabe. (I would like to note that I have not actually seen either of these movies, despite my girl crush on Mila and my deep affection for Natalie’s emotional turn in Where the Heart Is. I have a very discerning taste when it comes to chick flicks, what can I say? But I’m pretty sure we all know how they ended – opposite from the reality of most who try to pull this kind of thing off…) Anyway, Mr. Emotionally Unavailable sent this my way:

friends with benefits

This was not the reason I started online dating. I’m not looking to settle down yesterday or jump into a serious relationship with every guy I exchange a message with, but I’m not looking to sleep around either.

And finally, though the ads that are featured at the top of the site weren’t a reason I deleted my profile, they certainly didn’t help POF’s cause:

ads on POF

So, I quit POF. And bit the bullet by joining a paid site in its place: Match. I’m keeping my OKC account because it’s free and not nearly as creepy as POF was. In theory, the people who shell out money to be on a site are probably more in line with what I’m hoping to get out of online dating. Which, spoiler alert, does not include contracting a VD after a one night stand or wondering why all my tights keep disappearing.