Three of the words I use to describe myself in my OkCupid profile are “feminist”, “optimist”, and “pragmatist”. Today I learned from a kind stranger on there that including them all in one sentence made it the “most contradictory sentence” this man had ever heard. Poor thing.
A different individual initiated contact with me by asking “How could I write here to a feminist in order to have a reply?” – sadly for him that was not the way.
I’m spending my first week in the UK in a small village surrounded by people who no longer require the assistance of online dating: young, married couples with babies. It’s a different world from my graduate student life in Texas and the slower pace of this provincial life has given me time to reacquaint myself with OK Cupid and update my profile. This process has reminded me of a few things I’d forgotten during my 6 month online dating hiatus:
1. Writing about yourself is really hard. I don’t know how to summarize myself in a paragraph. And I definitely don’t know how to summarize myself in a paragraph without sounding either conceited or naive and idealistic. I also can’t remember which books or movies I like.
2. Despite my profile sounding either conceited or naive and idealistic, some men are at least interested in my photographs. I was shocked to see how many messages were in my inbox from when I was previously active on OKC and I was reassured to see that a couple of messages arrived while I was updating my profile.
3. (This is the important one) Rarely do I want to respond to any of those messages. I remember now that I quit online dating because it was so demoralizing. Some people may find messages like “u look amazin” and “i want to hold you in my big ass arms” validating, but I just find them depressing. Poorly spelled observations on my appearance and creepy comments about what you’d like to do with me just don’t scream “life partner”.
4. The idea of anyone I know reading my profile is terrifying. Even more than I dislike writing about myself, I dislike sharing what I’ve written about myself. If my co-bloggers were to read my profile I would cover my eyes with my hands, scrunch up my face, and be entirely ridiculous until the painful experience was over. In all seriousness, it feels really exposed and vulnerable to talk about who you are and what you want, and as is often the case, it’s easier to share it with strangers than with people who know me.
Since I still have a few days before I get to London and can start dating, maybe I’ll compile a list of my online dating turnoffs for a little entertainment…
Hot-or-not Rule #1: any photograph submitted to this trans-Atlantic male beauty contest must be accompanied by the subject’s response to one of the following questions.
Continue this pattern: 2, 5, 12, 27…
What’s bigger, the earth or Mars?
What’s heavier? A pound of feathers or a pound of sand?
If you turn a right had glove inside out, which hand will it fit?
(Question list to be continued)
The Asian, the blonde, and the kinda Brit have a simple rule for the summer: each woman goes on one date per week for the next 10 weeks and records her experiences here. The blonde and the kinda Brit were in awe of the Asian’s commitment to online dating and decided that the only way they could successfully follow her lead would be to start a support group.
Also, since the kinda Brit will be in her kinda homeland, the Asian and the blonde would like play an remote game of hot-or-not incase the man who will break their molds is to be found on the streets of London.
It should be no surprise that the Asian is the only group member with her first date already lined up. Meanwhile, the kinda Brit and the blonde will be dusting off their dating profiles and starting to look for contenders.