So I have further ventured out in online dating. A few days ago I signed up for OKCupid! a free online dating site. Prior to that I was only using one source for the past couple months eHarmony- a paid online dating site.
A co-worker who was divorced recommended me to try online dating and thought eHarmony would be good. Her stance was that she met her second husband there, and thought the selection of mates were reputable. Basically, men willing to pay for an online service, weeds out the gents that are on there for just games.
A bit reluctant from her initial recommendation I waited until April of this year to sign up for eHarmony. The match selection was sort of lackluster and slow-moving. The mates that I did actually engage in conversation usually became bored or stopped checking in on the site frequent enough to finish the series of questions before you were able to transfer a direct mail. The few success stories where there was direct mail, the series of questions were completed within the initial half an hour. That means the person just happened to be online when you were. Therefore, it was a game about timing. Over a period of about three months, actually within the last couple of weeks, I finally was able to secure a couple of dates through the site. And let’s just say that the selection in person was not anything better than I have met through traditional venues in meeting people. The pictures did not match their true physical appearance or the date was okay not magnificent, and the gent was still clouded with their preoccupied lives that they couldn’t focus on truly meeting someone new. It made me want to ask (only in thoughts)…Why Are You Paying For A Dating Service If You Don’t Have Time To Date?
On the contrast, my experience after only a few days on OKCupid has been exactly opposite. First the pool of men as potential matches is much larger, which also makes me assume the women pool may be at least 2 times as large. As I wonder why, well of course, it is a free service. There is no investment needed to potentially meet someone for a long-term, short-term or a hook-up relationship. Secondly, there isn’t a series of questions that you must go through before having a direct contact email to a person. Thirdly, while there isn’t an extensive Q&A session, many of the gents on the site have a lengthy profile that gives you an idea of who they are. There are colorful explanations as oppose to the politically correct responses you see on eHarmony, Also there is this optional question and answer series you can do yourself, that assists the site to match you to others based on your preferences and answers.
Back to the pool of men: Any type you are looking for is there. The professional type- I-Banker, Lawyer, IT professional, Teacher, Consultant, Marketing Director and Entrepreneur are all there. The entertainment guy- The Screenwriter, The Stunt Man, The Author, The Actor, Comedian, Artist, Philosopher- they are there too. The Strong Service Men are there too- The Firefighter, Police Officer and Construction Worker are there. I also found a person I briefly dated/ a fellow friend on the site too as my match. I of course sent him a message and said I guess we were a good match- all in humor. And there is good selection in relatively close proximity to where you reside….well can only vouch for the NYC metro area.
I have received on average 15 new direct messages a day over the past 3 days. Now the key is to filter between those that are your type, the ones that seem they are on the site for pure hook-up satisfaction and those that are serious in wanting to get to know you and are looking for a mate. You can’t get too enraptured because you had a mini dialogue. It is all in good fun with honest intentions. The site has also been somewhat entertaining. I will say from the filtering process there have been a few gents that I have decided to entertain with a in-person date of course at a neutral location.
My approach- Steer away from the gents that include in their profile full body pictures with the only article of clothing is boxer underwear. You can guess where their focus is. Be cautious but don’t shy away from the guy who just happens to show off his biceps as he is pictured canoeing or completing a 5K run or a picturesque beach as a backdrop. That guy loves life and could be possibly looking to have someone to love life with. Or he maybe just happily “single” looking for a good time and is not ready to share his zest for life with anyone. Anyway, like myself, I have a thirst for adventure so it doesn’t hurt to figure what that person is about.
I have renewed my optimism towards online dating! I have been impressed so far with OKCupid! And am anxious to approach this new dating phase in my life.
What Have Your Experiences Been With Online Dating? Any Success Stories, Crazy Stories, Frightening Stories? I Would Love To Hear.