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What Online Dating Has Taught Me

Yeah, I know. Online dating has this stigma or even a smell about it. It isn't really a good smell either. Based on this title I know I am asking for some kind of judgment but that is ok. I am willing to share my experiences with online dating. I have a friend that has a completely different outlook on the whole online social experience. Now before I seem to be only talking about one service, I have been on about every single dating site there is. So what is up with it?

Well let’s first take a look at the general setup of a typical dating site.

Who are you?

You have to first write out all the information about you. Who are you? Where are you from? Ethnicity. Income. Not all of these are required but are recommended to "improve" results.

Describe you.

You then proceed to describe who you are. There may be various helpers and tips to help guide you into talking about yourself in a positive way. OkCupid for example asks about interests, hobbies, and what you would do on a typical Friday night.

Questions...

Almost every dating site has very general, non-specific questions about various topics. E-Harmony has a bunch of questions they have come up with that are supposed to "improve" results. They also have a system that makes it so you ask 5 questions to a person. They then answer them and ask you 5 questions. OkCupid does it so that these questions are related to your account. You then can "judge" if you are compatible with another person.

Origins

I started online dating after I got into college. A tech university is definitely not named for number of female developers that it kicks out. I was told that getting school out of the way before trying to date would be great. Which I am reaping the benefits of it right now. I got out of school with a Bachelor’s in Computer Science in 3 years. Got a sweet job that has an awesome environment. The cost of me not going to a regular college means that I threw out any semblance of a social life right out the door.

So I started an account. I stuck with OkCupid for quite some time because I had the most interactions on it. If I compared OkCupid to any of the other dating sites there would be a huge gap in ratings. It would go from 3.5 stars to 1 or .5 on the next dating site that I was to rate.

Dating Sites in General

I have read many articles say people are creating bots that scrape these dating sites and coming up with better profiles. They answer all the questions in a particular data set to guarantee they find their profile matches a particular group of people. In short they are working the system programmatically but first they have to groom the dating site to understand how the dating site is profiling people, and what groups exist.

So really what that tells me is even if I put an honest effort forth I wont be matching with people who I would work well with.

Observations on the floor

Being now somewhere around 3 years of trying to do this, I have found more profiles with these kinds of excerpts

"If you are messaging me with "hi" or some other uninteresting comment I will not respond"

"If you are just looking for sex please don't message me"

"I get way too many messages in a day, so I just delete all my messages"

Each one of these I tried various tactics. I tried being direct and asking the person out. I’ve tried being playful. I’ve tried being random. I’ve tried being reserved. I even tried just sending "hi" just to see if that even works at all.

Nope.

If I did get a message back and I was able to respond to it, they would stop responding after the second message. It wouldn't matter what was said in the second message

New Tactics

I must be choosing the wrong people, so I adjusted my field of view. I asked myself what I really wanted in someone. I listed out key attributes for what I look for and I reevaluated the people I was going for. After reviewing my list, I can't say that I am asking very much.

  • Must have goals OR direction in life
  • Must show responsibility
  • Wants to be adventurous / willing to try new things

Did it work? Nope.

I actually had a harder time trying to find those kinds of people on dating sites. I mean it makes sense, but then again... Where are they?

Lessons

More often than not, most of these dating sites are shallow. Take Tinder for example: almost every woman there is promoting her Instagram, Pintrest, or Snapchat accounts. Then the app itself primarily promotes swiping left or right based on first appearances. All other dating sites show you their photos before you even get to read their profile.

Where to now?

I don't know. If the targeted people are not on dating sites, where do you go to meet them?

To a bar!

Uh... no? I am sure it is a great social setting, but I don't think a bar is really the best place to find someone that you don’t want partying all the time.

Dog parks are a thing.

Yes. I don't have a dog right now. NEXT!

Friends of friends?

Tried that but didn't go anywhere. May have to try it again.

Church!

Ha While I am sure that would be great, there are various reasons why I wont.

Being Single Aint so Bad

To be honest, every time I have tried going on dates and tried taking it a little further; I hit that wall everyone likes to call the friend zone. It frustrates the hell out of me. It’s really exhausting to plan things out and try to figure out whom you are taking out, only to find out they aren't interested; but I guess that is dating. There may be many fish out in the sea but only catching minnows isn't nutritious or thrilling in the least. Well, at least while I am single I get a tax break and a bunch of other benefits like only having to feed myself. Right? That is always good, more steak for me anyways.

Granted I have been doing better about going out and having a bit of fun with coworkers. So that is a start.

So to really wrap this in a sandwich, overall I have been pretty upset with my experience with online dating. Maybe it is the way I handle things, maybe it is my personality and the way it comes across on the Internet. I am naturally sarcastic and so that might be completely destroying me in the long run. I don't know, but I think this particular wall I am done banging my head against. It’s a lot of work, and to be honest if I want to meet the people that like going out and doing things, I am pretty sure they are out doing things. I just need to find out where that would be so I can meet them. Maybe I should move out of Utah that might help. One-day maybe…