My friends, including fellow blogger Bennie, have inspired me to try online dating again. My experiences likely are far different from his, as the two of us recently discussed. While I have come across many excellent dating blogs, I think my experiences may make for some interesting posts.
I went out with friends on Saturday evening. It was just a fun girl’s night at a beach bar with a live band. We discussed many things, dating included. All three of them are currently dabbling in online dating. I tried it for a month or so back in February/March, and found it overwhelming. I wasn’t quite ready to be dating, honestly, and it required more of a time commitment than I was expecting.
Over dinner we had shared pretty amusing stories from the online dating scene. Some were horrendous, but they had a few positive things to say. At some point in the night, when we were moving from the first establishment to another due to the strong wind off of the ocean, I reactivated my OkCupid account. The conversations from the evening sparked something in me, and I realized that I’m in a much different place now than I was even a few months back.
OkCupid was my favorite dating website when I was experimenting with them earlier this year. Why? Well, I personally like it for the neat matching algorithm and the nearly endless supply of random questions available. I can get a pretty good idea of someone’s personality, beliefs, strengths and weaknesses by simply comparing answers and gauging the content and consistency of the responses. I will admit that answering those questions can become a bit addicting. I have answered more than 700. See? That tells people who look at my profile a great deal about me already – some good and some bad.
OkCupid also allows me to rate people on the site, take personality tests (including the MBTI!), bookmark people, and of course send messages. Here is where my experience as a woman diverges from a man’s experience. I reactivated my account Saturday evening. By Sunday evening I had received somewhere around 183 messages. Four times that amount or more had viewed my profile. I stopped even keeping track after that point. Each time you login it shows you the number of people who have viewed your profile since the last time you were online. My numbers are consistently in the 90 to 100+ range, even after just a few hours of being away. I know part of that is the “new profile syndrome,” as people flood over to check out the fresh meat.
The first time around I felt compelled to answer most messages (minus the clearly douchey ones). No wonder I was overwhelmed. As my therapist said, it’s good for the ego. But boy can it be time consuming. This time around, I’m being much more selective in who I choose to respond to.
I have felt guilty a time or two for not answering someone with a well-crafted or thought-out initial contact who I didn’t feel attraction toward. However, I have rationalized that I am saving us time, effort, energy, and further hurt feelings by not leading anyone on. The initial messages often include lists of questions, which I don’t want to spend time answering when I know that it’s not going to work for me. Initially, I thought that was shallow. After several unsuccessful dates with men I had already figured out I wasn’t compatible with (the first time around), I realized it’s just a sound policy not to try to force things. This has given me a chance to face my people-pleaser nature head-on and practice saying “No,” even just to myself.
I intended to write more, and maybe share a particularly good experience that I just had, but I’m far too tired to at the moment. Work has been especially hectic, brutal, and time consuming lately. Too many meetings and all-day ride alongs and customer meet and greets leave this introvert spent. Although I enjoy being busy, the level of social interaction and stress has left me wanting to just crawl in bed and do nothing as soon as I get home. I haven’t been doing that, but I may as well be for as much use as I am when and as much as I get accomplished. Especially after last week, which was the last week of my business law class and included a final exam and writing two papers.
I also have one other piece of news that probably deserves it’s own post. I’m feeling entirely too lazy to do that, though. So here it is: The courthouse lost my divorce papers. You heard that correctly. Lost them. So now we have to start again from the point where Chris signs the divorce decree because they need an original copy. Lovely, isn’t it? I just had to laugh because that is my life…