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.
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 suggestions—I’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.
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…
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?
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.
In case you are just joining us (in which case, welcome!/fasten your seat belt) this post is technically aPart 2. When we last left off, the Good Message Unicorn had apologized for his lame behavior and asked if I wanted to meet. And sweet baby Jesus, it was about time.In keeping with my Summer of YOLO affirmations, I decided to go for it. I gave GMU my phone number, sat back, …and waited for him to take the reigns, which he did. We made plans to meet for drinks, which in my mind was going to go one of two ways:
We’d meet, hit it off immediately, and begin a hot mid-summer romance, thus validating the entire Summer of YOLO plan
Hmmmm let’s see. Which of those options seems more likely in the world of LSD, and the world of online dating in general? The night of our date, I arrived at my old reliable (yes, he asked me where I wanted to meet and yes, I was annoyed about it). I didn’t see GMU at the bar, but he’d just texted me that he was there, so I headed up to the second floor and…. literally ran right into him on the stairs. Now, if you’ve ever online dated, you know that the first moment of a first date is almost always excruciatingly awkward because neither party knows how to appropriately greet the other person. Do you shake hands? Hug? Wait to see what your date does? Before I even had time to consider my greeting options, this happened: GMU: Sorry, I don’t want to touch you because I’m really sick.Me (internally):Me: Oh. Sorry you’re sick. We could have rescheduled…?GMU: I know, but I was looking forward to meeting you, and I also felt like since I kind of disappeared for a bit, it would have seemed extra shady for me to cancel at the last minute. I didn’t want you to think I was blowing you off. Despite that fact that we were still having this awkward ass conversation ON THE STAIRS as waiters and customers brushed by us, GMU earned some points for that. Because he’s right: the fact that he fully disappeared once, coupled with the fact that more often than not, the ‘I’m sick” excuse turns out to be bullshit, (and maybe the fact that Stupid Cupid is the patron blog of pessimistic over thinkers) means that I probably wouldn’t have believed him. Well played, GMU… Source: memecdn.com …even though I was now at risk for contracting the “summer cold” he claimed to have come down with. Welp, that’s what they make Purell for, right?Finally we moved from our creepy perch and I got a chance to fully check my date out. He was:
shorter than he claimed to be, because duh, but still respectably tall
almost as cute as his pictures
All in all I was pleased. We sat down, ordered drinks, and GMU launched into telling me about his job. I don’t know why this seems to be a trend with me lately, but I’ve encountered some serious Chatty Cathys. Luckily GMU had a cool job that I was mildly interested in (small/independent film distributor–I’m sorry but no one can top Keith Mars in that department) so I peppered him with a lot of questions. Homeboy was smart and well spoken and unlike a previous Chatty Cathy, didn’t bore me to tears with tedious anecdotes that no one cares about but him. But, even though GMU was holding my interest, at the same time it all seemed very…official. And oddly business-like. We were chatting like two strangers exchanging platonic pleasantries, not two people on a date. Our messages had been filled with all the flirty, loquacious banter of some snappy Aaron Sorkin dialogue, but that just wasn’t translating in person. This is actually pretty common, I think mostly because it’s easy to sit in front of a laptop and type and re-type a message until it’s the perfect blend of sassy, witty, and hilarious, but when you’re sitting in front of a complete stranger yeah, that shit’s a little harder. Men appear to especially have a hard time with this… I can’t tell you how many have been literally PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR over messaging and then come off like a wet blanket in person.Midway through the date I went to the bathroom and thought about how it was going. It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t great. Two things needed to happen for the night to tip the scales toward positive:
We needed to stop talking to each other like two co-workers in a conference room at a Scottsdale Ramada and start flirting, ASAP.
GMU needed to actually ask about me and my life, and then shut his mouth and let me speak.The talking thing seemed like a nervous habit, so I was trying not to take it personally,but at a certain point it’s hard not to feel like you could be replaced with a bag of rusty nails and your date might just keep going because he literally has zero interest in getting to know anything about you. If you think I’m exaggerating, read this article. More great news for single women!
I got back to the table, these thoughts still on my mind. As if on cue GMU said, “Where was I…? Oh yeah!” and immediately launched into ANOTHER STORY. And I just sat there with my mouth agape, thinking: My eyes started to glaze over. But then, as if he could read my mind (or possibly my facial expression), GMU stopped mid-sentence and said:“I’m sorry, I can hear myself talking your ear off. I’m talking too much, aren’t I?”Well. That took me by surprise. I appreciated the self awareness, though it took a lot of self control not to shout “YES, YES YOU ARE TALKING WAY TOO MUCH AND IT’S REALLY OBNOXIOUS WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU??” Instead I went with a much kinder: “Yup, maybe a little too much.”“I knew it. I’m sorry! I just want you to know it’s because I’m having a really nice time. Let me finish this thought and then I promise I will shut up and you can tell me more about you.”I had to physically bar myself from rolling my eyes at ‘it’s because I’m having a nice time’ because LOL, yeah. You’ve been listening to the sound of your own voice for the better part of an hour. I bet you’re having a nice time. To GMU’s credit, though, he did shut up and listen. Thank God. As the conversation became more of a back and forth, we started to banter a bit. GMU had obviously gotten more comfortable, and even managed to pull out some of the teasing and volleying he’d been so good at over messaging. Then it was revealed that he knew my alma mater, BU, very well because he dated a girl for three years who went there and visited frequently. The highlight of the entire date was when GMU started to talk shit on CGS, which is something that every BU student knows about. The College of General Studies is a school that freshmen are admitted into when they’re…not…ready?…for BU itself. CGS has an infamously bad rap at BU–it’s affectionately known as crayons, glue and scissors…So it totally tickled me that GMU knew about this and was in on the shit talking (PS, most of this shit talking stemmed from the fact that his college girlfriend cheated on him with a CGS student, which explains his surprising fervor on the subject). I know this all probably comes off as mean spirited and douchey, especially coming from a school that lives in the shadow of the capital of elitist doucheland. And yes, it kind of is, but it’s also a time honored BU tradition. Sidenote: I actually have a few friends who were in CGS (if you’re reading this, hi guys!/I’m sorry, I’m the worst xoxoxo), and who are smart, successful humans with good jobs, so clearly all this snide judgment is meaningless. Funny, but meaningless. ANYWAY, I was still LOLing from the BU/CGS tangent when my date surprised me again:GMU: I’m having a lot of fun. Would you like to do this again sometime?I mean, what single girl doesn’t like to hear that from a cute guy, even one who talks incessantly? I’ve just never heard literally it in the middle of the date in the middle of a conversation. A part of me was like, wait. Is he ending the night right now? Is GMU just going to get up and walk away after I answer him? Only one way to find out. Since the date had markedly improved during the second half of the evening, I decided the Good Message Unicorn was worth a second look. Me: I’m having fun, too. And sure, I’d love to. GMU: Awesome. Anyway, back to what we were talking about…So the date continued but started to wind down. 15 minutes later we got the check and left. We stood outside the bar, saying an awkward goodbye. GMU repeated that he’d love to see me again, and told me he’d be in touch soon. Then something…unprecedented happened. My date fist bumped me.
My date FIST. BUMPED. ME.
Yes, you’re thinking of the right fist bump. The GMU and I did this:I have no words. And I had no words then. I think I actually blurted out, “wow, okay. That just happened. Well….goodnight!” and fled.So what happened next? A second date? A phone call? Some text flirting?Anything? Anything at all?Nothing. After a months-long saga of messaging, taking a break from messaging, disappearing, YOLOing, reappearing, meeting, illnesses and hand moves made famous by bros, after all that, I never heard from the GMU again. That bastard had the gall to pull a fade away.I’m not even going to go into how maddening it is to be asked out again IN THE MIDDLE OF A DATE and then hear nothing from that person, because it’s well covered territory here at Stucu. Like I said at the beginning of this post, this is not an interesting or juicy ending to the GMU saga by any means, but it’s so incredibly true to life and to the dating world as I know it. A lot of BS, time and effort amounting to… this. I realize this post took a dark turn for a sunny Friday afternoon, but if you’ve been following our blog you should hardly be surprised.I do have two positive things to end on. 1. I’m still hella glad I YOLO’d, because at least now I know. I know that GMU is not the one that got away and that I didn’t let tired dating conventions and self consciousness get in the way of figuring that out. So…go me? I mean, still alone, of course, but alone and wiser. Yup, basically just alone.Positive thing #2… our wonderful co-blogger D celebrated a milestone birthday this week!Readers, join me in wishing her a Happy Birthday! D, you’re one of my favorite people in the world, even if you do have a ‘tude about Disney classics and our use of the term YOLO.Here’s a little belated Bday treat for you…Date rating: 6/10. The chemistry that I had with GMU over messaging never really materialized in person, and he talked my ear off, but the date did improve a fair amount towards the end. Until, of course, he FIST BUMPED ME and then pulled a fade away. Given the last two points, my grading might actually be too generous.
It turns out this fool deleted his original profile and promptly created an almost identical new username (by removing the number 69 and adding the word ‘fart’. I wish. I. was. kidding.) So yes, this message does appear to be from our dear old friend Pennsyltucky.
I can’t believe I’m saying this, but this message is actually an upgrade #mylifeissad. I mean, we’ve established that I enjoy a good speakeasy, the word ‘tomfoolery’ is used, and there’s not even a mention of me “popping out a kidlet on the bus”. Someone clearly spent the month of May in charm school! The question is, did this guy genuinely forget that he messaged me weeks beforehand with an equally outlandish date scenario? Or is his strategy literally to pick a new setting/era every few weeks and fire off some ridiculous nonsense until I respond? Is this a messaging war of attrition?
Only time will tell, readers. Since sending that message, Pennsyltucky has continued his pattern and deleted his current profile, so if I receive a new message set in the wild west from a username including the words ‘big tool 4 u’…
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 ofdiscriminating against same sex couples,plus their annoying as fuck elderly founder/spokesperson is anoutspoken hardcore Christian. Not that there’s anything wrong with hardcore Christians…
…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.
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.
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?
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”.
“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 involvedpersonality 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.”
I’m telling you, these people are the WORST.
I 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:
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.
Obviously, they didn’t waste any time before asking me for money:
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…
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?
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?
Also, unsurprisingly, upon fake signing up I was immediately bombarded with senseless emails:
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.
Readers, I hope you picked up on my efforts to rhyme in the title. Iggy Azelea may have the market cornered on Fancy, but I’m still hoping to write my own rap, to the same beat, entitled: Clever.
But I digress. S promised you some date stories, and a date story from me you shall get.As I mentioned in a previous post, I had abandoned the good ole OKC account while I was dating Basketbro T. Of course, during the relatively short period of time that passed between not checking my profile and then disabling it entirely, I got some a few very decent messages from attractive and interesting seeming guys. As we know, good messages from cute guys on the internet do not come often (see: S’s explanation of Good Message Unicorn for a full treatise on the rarity of such occurrences). So, when I reactivated my account a few weeks ago, I messaged those guys back, knowing full well that it was unlikely I’d get a response since significant time had passed.
And I was mostly right. I only heard back from one of these unicorns. We’re gonna call this guy “S the Third” because he was the third guy I dated with the same first name that obviously, started with the letter S. (If you fancy yourself a sleuth and want to try and guess the name–WHICH IS ACTUALLY NOT THAT COMMON–please see the other posts re: his predecessors, S1 and S2).Anyway, I won’t spend a ton of time describing S the Third, because he was a pretty typical DC prospect. Grew up in the DC suburbs, became a lawyer, major hobbies included traveling, Netflixing, and following DC area sports.
I know, I know, not the most interesting dude, but he was attractive and outgoing, and I am still a bit in rebound mode thanks to Basketbro.
The most important thing for you to know about S the Third happened on our first date. He and I met at a bar near my office that also happens to have board games. (Please know, I’ve been to this bar on dates with so many different men that, at this point, I feel compelled to slip the bartender a 20 just so he doesn’t shout, “You again?” or, “who is the new guy?” or accuse me of running a board game-themed escort service. Though, on second thought, a board game-themed escort service actually sounds like a brilliant idea. I could call it Connect Four Love. Or Battlestrip. The possibilities are endless!)
Anyway, S the Third and I met on a Wednesday night for Connect Four, Boggle, and flirty, competitive banter that involved wagering drinks on the outcomes of various games. We were having fun, which means we played a lot of games, which means we were racking up rounds of drinks. I won’t even insult your intelligence by telling you the obvious consequence of these drinks, save to say at this point I am gonna go ahead and call “Buzzed not drunk,” the 2014 dating resolution equivalent of the Munich Agreement.
So when S the Third proposed sitting down for a pizza dinner at 10 pm, I was 100% in, even though I had to work in the morning. After splitting I devoured a sausage and pepperoni pie, I was adequately sated but thoroughly exhausted. It was almost 11:30, and all I could think about was getting into my PJs and reading in bed. (God, I’ve never felt older than I did when I reread the previous sentence. Thirty, here I come).
S the Third wanted to keep our date going, but was understanding when I insisted on going home. I hailed a cab, which pulled up next to me. I turned to S the Third and gave him a standard first date goodbye: a hug and a thank you for drinks, dinner, etc. But when I pulled away, and put my hand on the cab door to open it, S the Third grabbed me and went in for a full on make out session! And my reaction was something like this…
The thing is, I had a good time. And S the Third was cute. So I wasn’t opposed to the first date kiss, in theory. But, there were several factors that made this kiss completely terrifying for me:
I hate PDA. And, while I know that a public first date kiss is inevitable unless you happen to be in someone’s car or house, I would prefer it wouldn’t happen on a busy street corner, with a focused audience that included one slightly impatient, middle aged Indian man who was driving my cab.
I am also really cheap frugal. Those who know me well know that it was already enough sacrifice that I was taking a cab home rather than walking or taking the bus. So all my beer-addled brain could think about as this guy was running his hands through my hair and passionately kissing me, was, “Did the cabbie start the meter yet? How much do they charge per standing minute again? I need to get in this cab and get moving!!”
I must have confined my somewhat illogical panics to my head though, because S the Third was not fazed. He followed up on our date by asking me out again, and we went out a couple more times before I realized, unfortunately, that, in the tradition of the other “S”s that came before him, that he kind of bored me and this would not be more to me than a fun fling. But I thank him wholeheartedly, because after the Basketbro breakup, I needed to be flung a bit.
Date Rating: 7/10. I’d give the above described first date a strong score. It involved pizza, beer, and board games, and S the Third was good company. I just wish he’d have reigned it in a little when it came to the good night kiss. The make out cost me a whole 66 cents in cab fare.
Irrational fears seem to be a recurring theme here at StuCu, and this guy clearly knew how to jump right into my personal nightmares/psychoses…
Can I just say:
I can’t even address what’s happening on his shoulder just yet, because OMFG, so let’s start with the dude. Look, I know this guy. The bow tie, the shaggy cut, the facial hair, the twee little accessory. I’m guessing he also plays the banjo and worships Ira Glass.
This is what I call a fancy hipster. Not to be confused with a dirty hipster, whose skinny jeans are covered in bike grease. A fancy hipster dresses in a jaunty fashion and has a fetish for inane, ironic objects. He might collect vintage badminton rackets. Or he might…
Now, birds I can actually handle, although neither of my co-bloggers can say the same (as previously noted, L and D’s bird phobias are no joke).You know what I can’t handle?
Creepy dolls. Look at that thing. If that doesn’t scream “I’m going to come to life in the middle of the night and kill you”, I don’t know what does.This phobia probably stems from the fact that my older cousin let me watch a movie called Dolls with him when I was around 7, and I’ve basically been sleeping with one eye open ever since. That also goes for puppets, mannequins, and anything that has the potential to reanimate and come after me. Also, this is not just any doll, it’s a fucking Pee Wee Herman doll. And I’m sorry, HOW TERRIFYING WAS PEE WEE’S PLAYHOUSE???
Seriously, that is some SINISTER. SHIT. I never watched that show as a kid, really because it was slightly before my time, and thank God for that. Luckily, I was born into a golden age of kid’s television instead:
Bottom line, fancy hipster: I’m already worried enough that my actual human dates are going to kill me without you adding a potential evil doll murderer into the mix. Also, fuck Pee Wee. Nickelodeon forever.
This weekend, I reactivated my OKCupid profile. I had temporarily disabled it while dating Basketbro, not because I thought we were BF/GF or anything, but because, since I was not intending to go on any dates and therefore had no reason to answer messages, it was becoming hard to manage. I didn’t check it regularly, and when I did, I had too many messages to sift through, and not enough time to determine who was worth writing a really bizarre temporary rejection/wait till I am single again message to.
There was a teeny weeny delusional part of me of course, that hoped that minute my pic reappeared on the site, everyone would break into the theme song from Cheers:
However, I felt more like Mr. Kotter on his first day back at Buchanan High School. (The humidity actually makes our hairdos quite similar.)
*Actually, I just really listened to the “Cheers” theme song and it’s a bit depressing. Nevermind. I guess there is no good way to be welcomed back into the online dating community.*
I started to sort through messages I received earlier in the month. I replied to a few promising ones, with some adorable jokes explaining my delay in response. However, the majority were duds. Let me share with you some of my favorites:
Huh? To do what with? There is literally nothing about animals in my profile. Of course, my mind went to the darkest place ever, where I immediately decided my profile was attracting, at the very worst, men with bestiality fetishes, and at the very best, furries.
Let’s see if we can find something a little safer, shall we…
Nevermind. Spoke too soon. Men,for the last time, repeat after me:NO HUNTING/GUN/MURDERING JOKES IN MESSAGES. And, if you’re going to insist on being a murderer, at least be a murderer who can spell. At least the faux suicide note you leave in my apartment after you kill me will have some credibility. Haha. (Not haha actually, I just scared myself with my own dark, dark joke).
Now, reactivating your profile after a brief hiatus apparently causes all those people on OKC to think you’re new blood, and results in one getting a lot more messages. I was so excited to sign on the next morning and see 17 new messages in my inbox. That is, UNTIL I READ THEM. Some gems include:
Not only is this a form message, but it’s a weirdly awkward form message. Why?
1) It actively references the feeling of irritation you feel when you open YET another form message
3) It features a businesslike, pestering conclusion demanding I respond in an absurdly prompt manner.
However, at least this guy cared to write something coherent. Check out this love letter from across the Atlantic:
What is happening here? How did this Russian even find me? What is he trying to say? Did one of Putin’s cabinet members mean to write to Angela Merkel to beg a more merciful response to the annexation of the Crimean Peninsula, and accidentally message me on OkCupid instead?
Of course, then, there are those creepy messages that I’d love to say I 100% hate to receive, but I only 90% hate them because they are a self esteem boost.
Please know that this came from a 36 year old gentleman who lists Anime and paper dolls as some of his interests. While I won’t be going out with him any time soon ever, at least I can sign off tonight feeling like:
Ladies and gentleman, call me Alex Ovechkin, because I just gave the girls of StuCu blog our very first hat trick.
That’s right, after getting up the courage to admit to myself, and of course, the blogosphere, that I actually might like Basketbro T, he’s gonna go ahead and dump me Sunday morning, post sleepover at my apartment.
I don’t know. I mean, is this the universe’s way of punishing us for having a dating blog? (IF YOU ARE READING THIS AND YOU SAID YES, GO AWAY BECAUSE I’M ‘MOTIONAL AND CANNOT DEAL WITH YOU RIGHT NOW). More likely, it’s just an extremely unfortunate coincidence that is so absurdly depressing, it is actually a bit funny.
I mean, over at StuCu, we’re nothing if not dramatic.
So, let’s get right to it and answer the important questions about Dumping #3:
Wait a second, who is this guy? And why is he “Basketbro T”?
In five sentences or less…
He’s a guy I’ve been seeing since the beginning of March. He lived in a hideous suburb 40 mins from DC. Best things about him were: his sense of humor, down to earthiness, and his competence/reliability in making plans. It also didn’t hurt that he was a cutie. Per our new blog protocol, I decided to call him Basketbro T because he loves college basketball and actually writes for a sports blog as a side hustle. I could have picked a more pejorative, alliterative nickname, but because he’s a nice guy, and, at the end of the day, I’m a classy girl, I’ll stick with Basketbro.
That was 6 sentences. Keep it short L; some of us are reading this at work. Now, what went wrong?
Look, I never though this guy was “the one” or anything. In fact, I kept describing him as mediocre to my girlfriends, and while it’s well documented I have a fetish for that sort of thing (and sports bloggers for that matter! Can you believe this is the SECOND SPORTS BLOGGER I’VE DATED? Watch out Kevin Durant, because I’m thinking of just upgrading to straight-up athletes), I knew I could never be with someone who so wholeheartedly did not challenge me at all. And while it was bad enough he lived in the suburbs, Basketbro T also feared and hated the city. I mean, the first time he came over to my apartment, he made me walk him to his car, which was parked a block away, at 2:30 a.m. And I live in a pretty nice part of DC. And I had to put pants AND a coat AND shoes on to walk him out.
Well, I was determined to get Basketbro over his fear of the city, so last weekend I planned a bar crawl for us through some of my favorite neighborhoods. Thus far, he had taken initiative to plan all of our dates, and I figured, if this was going to work, I was going to need to pull my weight in the planning department. (This is extremely rare, btw, because usually men think “planning” a date involves sending a text saying something like: “What do you want to do? What time is good? Any place you have in mind? What should do I with my life?”)
But when Basketbro came by on Saturday, something was just…different. Maybe it was his body language? Maybe I just have a great sixth sense?
Well, not THAT great, but you get my gist. I immediately knew something was off.
But we went on our bar crawl and he was an enthusiastic participant (for the most part). And, he spent the night. But, when we said goodbye the next morning, and he got in his car, I just got the feeling I wouldn’t see him again.
So instead of just walking away, I turned around and knocked on his window.
Basketbro T: (Opens car door) Do you need a ride?
L: No silly, I live here. I just have this weird feeling that this is the last time we’ll see each other and I’d rather just get this conversation over with now than hash it out over text/phone later.
Basketbro T: (Sighs). Yeah…you’re right. It’s just the distance is a little much for me. And I don’t feel like we see each other enough. If I am going to take it to the next level with a girl, I need to see her more.
Basketbro T: Plus, it feels the spark is kinda fizzling out.
L: That sounds right to me. I kind of anticipated this last night.
Baksetbro T: You’re a good person. You deserve to find someone who lives closer to you.
L: Thanks. You too. Good luck to you.
Wow. What a mature conversation. So, how do you feel about the whole thing?
The minute he drove away, of course, I called S and cried. Sure, I knew deep down that I wasn’t that into him, and honestly, I probably would have ended it in a date or two for the same reasons. But it sucks to feel rejected, especially by a short, suburbs-dwelling auditor who wore oversize shirts and feared the mean streets of Northwest DC. I couldn’t help but think:
Also, I was somewhat hurt by the fact that homeboy was about to drive off and probably never contact me again, or send me a two line rejection text in a couple days. He and I had been out enough times that we’d discussed dating and relationships a bit, and I had made it super clear how much I disdained fadeaways and other cowardly behavior. I feel like I shouldn’t have had to demand the explanation I deserved.
Lastly, I am just disappointed that this wasn’t what I wanted it to be, which was a fun relationship where both of us were super into each other. Third, fourth, and subsequent dates are SO MUCH BETTER than first dates, and I’d be a liar if I said I was nothing but dreading getting out there again.
Ugh. This story is kinda dull because you behaved in such a well-adjusted, adult way. Are you sure you didn’t do anything crazy with Basketbro T?
Ah, you know me too well! The previous week, I was carelessly performing a little twitter stalking on my phone between episodes of Pretty Little Liars (#bestshowever #mosthashtagsever) and accidentally FAVORITED one of Basketbro T’s tweets! From my personal account, which is basically, MY NAME. About something completely weird and irrelevant to me. I mean, could I be more of a social media butterfingers? Luckily, S reassured me, before revoking my StuCu social media privileges:
What made it more awkward is Basketbro T never called me out on it. I don’t know if this is because he never got a notification (I immediately unfavorited it when I realized my mistake) or because he was so weirded out he just wanted to pretend like it didn’t happen.
Hey readers! L here and ready to bring you the scoop from the internet dating websites. Never fear readers. I may be one year older as of a few days ago, but I’m as immature and judgmental as ever. Which is why I’d like to use our time today to judge fellow online daters on one thing: their usernames.
The minute you join any online dating site, the first thing you have to do is create a username. Why not just use your real name and email, you ask?
Because you don’t want all those creeps out there to immediately google/facebook/email you. Plus, while we at StuCu obviously believe an online dating profile is nothing to be ashamed of (even though my mom keeps referring to internet dating as “paying for sex”), we also don’t want to openly advertise our first and last names to all the folks in the area, who are potential clients, colleagues, friends of friends, etc.
So, enter the USERNAME. Where, depending on the guidelines of the site, you have 5-20 characters to convey your identity in a smart, witty, way that won’t scare people or give away your identity.
Now, you’d think this would be pretty easy to do. However, for some people, this is very challenging. Here are a few examples *changed slightly to protect identities* of the worst ones I’ve found yet.
JamesNeedhamIII- So you know how I just said it’s really dumb to use your first and last name? Some people do it anyway. And to those people I say, “I hope you are not going on a job interview any time soon.”
Notlookingforsluts- Oh hello, nice guy of Okcupid! Thank god you made it clear in your username that you aren’t looking for a slut, because I was just about to message you and offer you my body. Word to the wise, and also to you: hold off on using derogatory terms to refer to women till at least the second date.
Stinkypants-The only person who could possibly get away with this is a baby. And while babies are cute (SO.CUTE.) they should NOT be online dating.
Now, S and I have discussed the possibility that some “bad” usernames may be intended for comedic purposes. This post was the original brainchild of a spontaneous gchat about bad usernames:
Thanks S, for being the voice of reason and drawing that conversation to a close. As I learn all too regularly, there is a fine line between being funny and just plain scary. And one (me, obvs) should avoid that line when it comes to dating.
Every once in awhile, I’ll stumble across a username that makes me outright LOL, or, become so impressed/intrigued I actually message the guy!
ZackMorrisCellPhone/DavidSilver/SayAnything- Nothing makes me weak in the knees like a casual reference to late 80s/early 90s pop culture. Nothing. I usually get so excited I’ll message something CRAY like, “Meet me at the Max in 1 hour?” or, “You were the best DJ Donna ever dated!” or, “Diane Court here.”
BagelMeetBagel- Surprise, surprise. This one came from a Jewish guy. (See Dad, I don’t hate them all!) I like it because 1) It’s a clever play on a name for another internet dating service and 2) It’s a little joke about Judaism, which you know I appreciate.
Herecomesyourman-One of my favorite Pixies songs transformed into a username. Just go ahead and hold a boom box up to my window, why dontcha?
Key takeaways here:
Humor is good.
LLoyd Dobler is greatness rolled into one single man.
Pop culture references are good, for the most part, provided they don’t reference recent murder cases.
And when in doubt, make a little healthy fun of my religion, and I’ll be eating out of the palm of your hand.
The truth is, readers, most usernames are just very, well, average. And, honestly, average is probably a safe, smart place to stay before you’ve met someone.
A visit or message from Mark3456 or jbt78 or Cardinalsfan may not catch my eye as quickly as I_shot_the_Sheriff_forreal. But that’s ok. Because honestly, what people say in their messages, and their profiles, is way more important than their username.
And sadly, easier to screw up. We’ve already done a post or two on profiles and messages, but rest assured, readers! There is enough material here to run a daily tumbler for eternity. In fact, you can find one of my favorite message tumblrs here. This should keep y’all busy for awhile.