One of the weirdest things about online dating is the etiquette As in, there really isn’t any. Unlike calling, there is no particular time of day that you can’t message someone. There isn’t a way to judge character beyond a (generally) poorly worded paragraph. The only good thing about the lack of civility online is that there is zero chance of me spilling red wine on a white table cloth or being called out for texting one of my friends when a guy is trying to look me in the eyes. I’m awkward, ok?
As it turns out, however, there is a way to make people uncomfortable even from the anonymity of my keyboard. One night I decided to take matters into my own hands when it came to my Ok Cupid inbox. I was receiving plenty of messages. It’s just that they were from teenagers and potential sex offenders (perhaps these two things are not mutually exclusive). But why were there no good guys coming for me? I know I’m somewhat worthy and interesting. At the very least, I have an Ivy League degree and don’t live with my mom. So that means there have to be men who can level with me on this site, right?
And that’s how I got to searching. I went through dozens of profiles of men who fit my filtered criteria: over 5’10, college educated, and single. That’s literally all I had asked for. Pleasantly surprised, I found a few seemingly cool guys. Sadly, they did not find my initial messages charming.
First I tried to keep it simple:
Encouraged by how daring I was being by reaching out first (so against the stream!) I decided to get a little more detailed in my initial interactions.
Refer to their interests, right? Wrong. I never received as much as a “haha” back from these guys. And I sent a lot of these messages. Only a few were returned.
I was unfazed. These guys were just afraid of a progressive woman like myself. Actually, I was a little fazed. I ended up reading He’s Just Not That Into You (it was actually pretty insightful) and considered becoming a fearless stripper a la Diablo Cody. Then I came back down to Earth and sent another message.
This time around, I came across the profile of a guy I recognized. He was somewhat of a celebrity at his university for the funny YouTube videos he made. My roommate told me I’d dig his humor so I’d seen a few. Before any of this Ok Cupid stuff happened, I’d actually reached out to him via Facebook message to see if he ever wanted to collaborate on something. He said sure, but I never heard from him again, save for his occasional liking of my status and following of this here blog (hey bro, I promise I won’t reveal your identity). But finding his Ok Cupid profile was my chance to reach out again. Of course, I did it in the worst way possible. By writing this:
No reply. I even contacted him to see if he’d be ok with me writing about him in this post. Still no reply.
So I suppose my main question is this: are these dudes afraid of a girl who reaches out first? Doubtful, since my many male friends seem to like when a girl (or guy) takes initiative. I should point out that a very large number of my friends are gay males.
Do they think I’m weird? Probably. Because I am. But isn’t that kind of endearing in a Hermione Granger kinda way?
Do they think I’m ugly? I guess, since this whole online gig is all about looks. You simply don’t ignore a very attractive person’s message.
All I can gather is they’re just not that into me. The only problem here is, they don’t know me. So how could they be so sure? I know I’m perfect so they should just assume the same. (This, of course, is a lie.)
Herein lies the conundrum, however: I ignore plenty of people when they reach out to me. Mainly because they’re 1) too old, 2) too young, 3) too creepy, or 4) too unattractive (sad but true). These guys must be thinking the same things about me. I like to think the men who ignore me are missing out on something great. But maybe I’m doing the same by ignoring some of these guys who have taken the time to reach out.
Perhaps a new experiment needs to take place. One where I respond to everyone and see where it gets me.
Or maybe I’ll act like an ostrich and just dig a hole in the ground, stick my head in it, and vow never to see the dating world again.
Yeah, I’ll probably just do that.