This project has gone on for a few months now and thus, I feel like I should express the things I’ve learned through this weird and sad little journey. I am only telling you these things to help you. Take them as a warning if you decide to take the plunge into the online dating world. I, of course, think it gives you many more options when it comes to meeting people that you may not otherwise have come across. However, most of these people are psychos or recluses or sex fiends. But now you can go in saying you were warned.
If you know anything about me, you know I love making lists. You also know that I think “listicles” don’t constitute real journalism. Lucky for me, I am not trying to be a real journalist. I respect the good ones far too much to try to be one myself. So here is a list of what I’ve learned in the past 100 posts…
1) Be very, very picky – Do not go for the first thing that comes along in your inbox, unless of course he or she seems absolutely fabulous and you are the luckiest person to ever date online. The first message I ever got was from a 19-year-old named Anish who said I was beautiful. While I appreciated the compliment, I had to pass based on the fact that Mr. Anish is younger than my little brother. Being picky is okay. That’s the whole point of this thing anyway.
2) Don’t let a date go on for more than 2 hours unless it’s going extremely well – I have gone on several dates now that have lasted at least 3 hours. This is not because I was riveted by the conversation, but because I have no idea how to end a date. This one guy was super nice but I was running out of things to say. I recall even pulling up my shirt to show him the small tattoo on my back. If you’re resorting to partial nudity to keep a conversation flowing, it’s time to pack it in. Learn how to say goodnight.
3) If the guy texts you constantly, run away – I went out with one guy who I thought was pretty nice. I figured I’d see him again. Unfortunately, he was the flake of the century. He would text me all day and all night long for the next two months but would never formulate a plan to go out for a second time. The texts were constant, but the guy just wouldn’t move beyond the screen of his phone. Eventually I stopped replying to him. I’m not looking for a text-based relationship here, so until a dude is ready to go from mobile chatting to actual face-to-face contact, cut him loose. Waste o’ time.
4) Posting photos that show your personality will get you (some) genuine messages – When I posted a ridiculously (ch)inhanced photo as my new profile picture, I got a zillion more messages than ever before. Posting a picture that defines your personality absolutely gets you more attention. And I don’t mean the requests for threesomes or invitations to orgies. I was getting messages from people who were actually interested in knowing me because I have a sense of humor.
5) Update your profile regularly – It’s the only way other users and potential suitors will see it. By changing your photo or updating your summaries or answering new questions, you’ll get more traffic to your page. The more traffic, the more potential for cyberspace love-finding.
6) Don’t post twerking photos, even if you think they’re funny – I thought mine was funny, and it was taken far before Miley Cyrus made it a “thing” (I’m very progressive). But it only got me messages asking about my body. I know I’m super hot and fit but please, gents, let’s tone it down. I have a brain, too.
7) Don’t post photos with other people in them – It makes it look like you’re trying to hide what you look like because you are blending into a crowd of others. Also, those people might see the photo on an online dating site and get mad. Actually, maybe do this and see what happens when they find it, then let me know. It could be kind of funny.
8) Stop asking me to go for coffee at 8pm – No one wants to have coffee at 8pm. I will never fall asleep after that and I have very important things to do the next day, like work out and make beef stew in my crock pot.
9) Pay at least a little attention to your match percentage – It doesn’t always mean something, but if it’s below 70%, you probably have some major discrepancies. I know this because I looked at a dude’s answers who had very low match compatibility with me. Turns out he thinks women are obligated to shave their legs, always votes right-wing, and is very faithful to God. Do you, man, but you will never ever get to do me.
10) Don’t tell people you’re blogging about online dating – Duh. Only one guy I’ve gone out with knows about it and he thinks it’s funny. Also, I’ve promised him he’s off the record. But other than that, I keep it on the DL. Otherwise dudes may start acting extra crazy to get some internet fame. Actually, that would be amazing. If you ever go out with me, do something extra nuts so I have your antics to write about the next day. Thanks so much in advance.
I have learned a lot in this process thus far. It even made me go on my first “real” date ever! High school me would be so jealous yet proud. But the most important lesson is this: never ever feel the need to go on a date when you have pizza to consume in front of some family-friendly animated feature with friends who will never judge you for wearing your most comfy sweatpants from a college you didn’t even go to. Those are the best kinds of dates you can ever have.
Plus, the only accidental pregnancy that can happen from such an evening is becoming impregnated with a food baby from all those Domino’s Cinnastix. Now that’s real love right there.