Tuesday, August 6, 2013

On A Hetox/Guyatus

Yep, you read that right.  For the past couple years, I've done/tried it all.  Speed-dating. Set up blind-dates. Match. E-harm. OKCupid. Tinder.  I grimace as I write out this list. 

It's not that I haven't found Mr. Right (well, I haven't, but that's beside the point).  It's just that, in the words of my girl, Taylor Swift 'I just, I mean, this is exhausting'. 

The e-mails.  The awkward conversations with strangers.  The texting.  The creepers.  I just don't have time.  Or rather, I just don't care to do this with my time.  I keep busy with work.  I have a good amount of good friends & family I try to keep in touch with.  I take dance class.  I work out.  I am in the process of attempting to learn coding.  I'm trying to read more.  I'm struggling to keep up this blog.  You get the drift. 

That, and, not to pick on online dating especially (which I really truly think there is nothing wrong with, and I know several great couples, some married/engaged, who started with a wink) - but oh goodness, it's a headache and a half some times.  There's the guys who write long, detailed, five paragraph essay emails.  There's the guys who write emails for weeks but don't make any attempt to ask me out.  There's the guys who write emails blatantly looking for a casual sexual relationship (even when I specified in my profile I was not open to said idea). There's the blatant control+copy+paste emails.  There's the 'this isn't in a foreign language, but it isn't quite English, either' emails.  And all the while, I can't help but think that there's a college friend I owe an email to, and here I am sorting through this crap instead.  

Back in my college days/early twenties, I hadn't gone on nearly as many dates as I have over the past couple years (grimace again), but all the guys that were asking me out or taking me out on dates appeared to really be interested in me.  The ones who kept calling, well, I knew they liked me.  Maybe it was because they met me prior to the first date in some way or another, maybe it was because there wasn't a seemingly large mass pool of potential singles as one's fingertips, but I feel nowadays it seems like there will be guys that ask me out and continue to talk to me, but I cannot make heads or tails of whether or not they are into me.  Perhaps they are casting a wide net.  Or keeping their options open.  I dunno.  What I do know, though, is that in all seriousness, I question if I could successfully notice a great guy trying to get my attention amongst all this white noise.

Something in me snapped the other day.  It must have been the 8th coupon in a row to reactivate e-harm.  I promptly went on an deleted my profile (which, another can of worms, and perhaps a blog topic - was not easy to do!).  Next - match - gone!  Tinder - deleted.  Okcupid - still there (because filling out all the questions was an extensive process), but I won't be checking it, except for material for this blog.

Don't get me wrong - I'm not anti-dating right now, I am just not doing anything that would constitute 'trying to meet someone'.  If I happen to stumble upon a great guy and he asks me out in some way, I will go.  But no dating sites, no blind dates - nothing that requires, well, time or effort.

That, and the other day, a friend made a good point.  We were discussing another friend who is dating a good guy (and it seems to be getting more serious).  Prior to dating this guy, said friend had a not-as-great relationship.  My other friend mentioned to her not to put up with it because "once you meet the right guy, things will be easy".  I wholly agree with this sentiment.


marek said...

Awhile back, I signed up for one of the online sites you mentioned. I sent messages to more than a few ladies, but the response rate was basically nil. So I never actually met any girls thru the website.

I have met (and dated) many girls the old fashioned way... first meeting when going out with friends, at a coffee shop, work associates, etc. I met the current girl I'm seeing at a ski shop when I was buying ski boots.

So I can appreciate your frustration with the online dating system. Living in a big city like Chicago and having a job that affords me some degree of free time, I find cute girls all over the place. To me, the online dating world seems to be a vehicle for desperate guys to try to meet women who can't do so in real life and/or a form of validation for girls who receive tons of emails from guys.

In other words, the guys living/working in big city like Chicago who can't meet women other than by sending them messages on online dating sites are probably the desperate guys that girls don't want to date. But if you're a cute girl on one of these sites, getting dozens of emails a day from guys might make you feel good on some level, but isn't very practical.

Jaime said...

Marek! Interesting insight. I have some thoughts on the matter.

I will disagree with the statement about the women on the sites looking for validation/not actually looking to date. I, as well as several friends who've used said sites, definitely had the intention of meeting someone I could be in a relationship with. I know several girls who've met their fiances/husbands on match. However, I cannot speak for all women who've used said sites.

I do have a little bit of insight on your 'null response rate'. So I've been on match and eharm at times. The subscription has a term (1 month, 3 months, 6 months, etc.). For most of these sites (or at least match and eharm), not surprisingly, it's an autorenew/recharge of the credit card that you have to proactively opt out of. Another important detail is your profile does not automatically get deleted/hidden - that's another proactive effort you have to make.

Now, as a member of said sites, you regularly get 'people you might like' emailed to you/sent to you when you log in. Also, mind you, there's obviously some algorithm to their search function, should you log in and search for a non-smoker who lives within 5 miles, etc., that decides who ends up on the first page. Additionally, any time anyone expresses some interest (a wink, an email), the default setting is for you to get an email notification.

Circling back - as I said before, there's been several times I've been a member and then opted out of the auto-renew (while having not deleted my profile). Let me tell you, during said periods of time, I got a lot of notifications that I'd received a wink/email/interest, I should come back, pay for a new subscription and check out this guy who is interested in me! Bear in mind, I cannot see this person's picture or read the email he sent me (unless I were to bite the bullet and pay for a new subscription). This is probably very enticing to a still-single person. That, and an interesting point - I probably received AT LEAST twice as many 'so-and-so is interested in you' e-mails when I wasn't a paying member than when I was. I can't help but think this is a little bit of a marketing gimmick on their part - a way to try to get one-time paying members to come back and spend more with them. They might be proactively promoting non-paying members in search results/daily people you might like, etc.

So, the main takeaway point I'm getting at is this - when doing online dating, keep in mind that the people you're contacting might not be actual paying members who are receiving your messages.

marek said...

what you pointed out only reinforces my skepticism of the whole online dating system. If these sites were truly successful, then they would be out of business by definition. Stated another way, if the online dating model was truly effective and efficient at getting people into relationships, then they wouldn't have people paying money to join the website for any significant length of time. The websites thrive on the possibility, without actually delivering on what's promised.

Christian said...


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