April 18, 2013

Online Dating?

(Photo: Sad and Useless)

Online Dating FOR SCIENCE: entering the strange,  virtual world of Online Dating.

(Ongoing updates will be posted here) Newly single, I’ve gone on a few dates but want to meet someone…who’s more of a match. So it’s time to enter the wild world of…Online Dating. For science!

So I asked my friends and community for tips, and their experience, good and bad. ~ ed.

Meeting folks is all about community, whether virtual or in real life.

I recently parted ways with an amazing lady I dated for a decent while. Why? None of your business. But basically: I love being single. I love having time to myself (which my ex also loved, we were a great, er, match) and I love dating. For now.

I’m 38. In the next few years, I do want to have fun, and at some point have a (huge) family (we’re talking dozens of children). And given my dates of the past few weeks…all with beautiful, intelligent women who were in no way, er, matches for me…I’ve thought for the first time of entering the strange matrix that is online dating.So I asked my friends their experience. In the next few weeks, I’ll update this post with my experience.

It’s mainstream enough, now—in various cities I visit it’s how folks meet one another, really—that I don’t find it embarrassing or desperate. I’m not desperate (smiley face), after all. I’m happy to meet folks the old fashioned way—you know, in person—and ask them out. And I’m happy to be alone, in the meantime, me and my dog and my high bar. I have many pals who’ve had, at the least, good dates, or, the the most, met some really meaningful fun people in their lives through the various sites.

But I don’t know my way around. What site is best? Pay (Match.com) or don’t pay (OkCupid)? What other sites are any good? Is it all a waste of time?So I asked a few of my friends, below, for their experience. Here’s what they’ve said, so far.

Online dating? Any experiences, recommendations on sites or critiques of sites, horror stories, success stories? I want to put a “mindful snapshot” together asap about the world of online dating, which I know nothing about, in this “modern” era of social media and workaholics.

Either comment below or privately message me with anything you’d like to share on the record, but with or without your name, up to you.

Valerie: OKCupid is free, which is always nice… although it did try and hook me up with my ex saying we were an “exceptional” match. That kinda sucked. OUCH!

Am: I found one of the greatest loves of my life through online dating. A dear soul that I doubt I would have ever run into the “natural” way. We met and dated and married and he will forever be part of my life and I know he changed me for the better. (unfortunately he is no longer with us) I found the process very rewarding and hopeful and way better than any chance meetings or previous connections I had ever had. I only had a few dates before connecting with him and they weren’t horrible just not great. I used match.com (this was a decade ago..wow) Prior to that I had tried a more expensive video type that was HORRIBLE it was like old dudes too busy to find a young chic to hook up with…4 of the worst dates ever and cost a lot but after that I did match.com and it was lovely!!

Michelle Marchildon: Two yogis went online to find love. Each asked the other, who is your favorite local teacher? It was me! I married them last summer. And you know I can’t make this stuff up.

Dave: Found my amazing wife!

Mark: I met great friends on Nerve. Com and my heart love on Match.com.

Sven: I have found online dating in Colorado to be absolutely worthless from the male perspective. Any female friend of mine can post a profile and have literally hundreds of responses. Myself and the quality men I know seem to get lost in the shuffle. I find that online dating, or the effort to try to meet someone online accentuates the neurotic mind. Because I am forever an optimist and I really do want partnership, and because there are times when I am single and I need to go somewhere with my relationship energy, I will periodically go online and write to a bunch of women knowing that my thoughtful and intelligent email will get buried under a pile of emails that simply say, “Hey, you’re hot, what’s up?” and will never be seen or read by the woman I write to. So I can say that I have tried numerous sites, and for me all of them have been an absolute waste of time (again, apart from giving me some place to channel some energy.) I can also say, that I have seen the same women on these sites year after year after year. And clearly the online effort is not working for them either. They seem to be so inundated with a deluge of responses, that they are unable to find the right men. Obviously, all of this is also heavily influenced by our attraction patterns. Clearly, I am still attracted to the wrong women, those who are not interested in someone like me. Many of the women I witness online are still attracted to and responding to the wrong men, those who do not end up being a good relationship match. I really believe that the power of computing technology should make it so much easier for all of us to find a well-matched partner in life, but for me that has absolutely not been the case.

I will also add, that when I visit Canada and put a post online there, I have a completely different experience. It seems the ratio of men to women is a bit more balanced there and so things work more effectively.

Have fun with this article, thanks for investigating the subject matter and I am really happy to read the comments of people who were able to use the internet as an effective tool in meeting partners!Anita: green singles has been fun… and I have made some good friends never a romance… if one really wants to be in a relationship… maybe it is all good.. cast your intention – then let go – sign up online, go to things that you like and enjoy, and then be the person you want to fall in love with. I hear it works!T, a childhood friend of mine: “I have two friends, one who used Ok Cupid and the other Match who are married happily after about 6 mnths-1yr of dating a few people using those sites.
I met my man on Okcupid and it’s almost 1 yr since. We only matched up at 75% but I had a few bad dates before him that rated us in the 90%.”D: Hey Waylon, Here is my story.I met my partner X on Gayday, a gay online dating site. We met on it and chatted a ton. Then he was gone, he had met someone and ended up being with him for 2 years. Then two years later we were both on it again. I was single for the 2 years serial dating. We met again on it 2 years later and that was history. 9 years later, we are no longer together, all good we love each other and even are still living together as room-mates for now. Question is…will I go back to on line dating? As a gay man who is not into the bar scene and who is so deep in yoga, where will I meet guys?
xoK: Hi Waylon…about online dating. I actually just got out of a 3.5 year relationship with someone I met on eHarmony. We lived together but in the end just weren’t the right fit.

The site was pretty good…the matching up/connecting process is different levels of answering multiple choice and essay questions so I liked you could weed people out before you were able to communicate directly with one another.

An interesting aspect I’ve recognized since the break up though is how social media plays into the split. It’s almost as if it’s like a divorce settlement. Do I unfriend/unfollow him…his family….friends…etc? He uses Foursquare like crazy so I’ve been intentionally not actively using it (which, is a different ballgame since in some past relationship breakups I’ve wondered “what he’s doing?” “is he going out?” “is he having fun without me?”…ya know, the typical tricks your mind plays on you during those raw moments…but the thing with social media now is that you KNOW if your ex is doing things and moving on and having a great time without you, there’s no wondering, you KNOW! That’s hard. Even on Facebook the last few months I’ve fallen into the role of observer (maybe even stalker per say) vs player since I’m unsure how to proceed…do I post how I’m truly feeling at times and allow his family/friends to know I’m heart broken, do I comment on something and then risk him seeing it on his feed, etc. The heaviest ponder at times is if/when his status is going to change to “in a relationship”. There’s a level of wanting to stay connected but with that connection certainly comes some serious soul searching to what you can handle while still trying to heal and move on with your life when something is so in your face and at your finger tips (literally).

Adding social media into the mix is such a different animal now and it certainly comes into play when people split. It’s something I haven’t had to deal with before and I do think it’s worth touching on in some aspect….of course, that’s just my personal opinion. : )

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