The online experiment.

I caved yesterday, and I signed up for three months on Match.com. I had a weekend full of ups and downs, and while I was curled up on my couch crying because my hair cut got screwed up, I decided I had to do something – anything – to make a change. I’m not convinced online dating is the answer, but I am always willing to try something new. So we’ll see… if anything, it will give me plenty of fodder for good blog posts. I do it all for you, dear readers.

So far, I’m completely overwhelmed. There’s just so. much. stuff. What is my body type? How do I describe myself so it comes off as natural and fun and interesting, but not braggy or weird? Do I wink at a guy? Do I go for it and email him? Let them email me?

And when I search, thousands of people come up. I could lose hours of my life looking through all of the profiles. So I’m working on my own, internal grading system to try to sort through it all and help me find a guy I want to go out with:

You have a dog, or at least have pictures with a dog: +10. It’s a small, yappy dog: -15.

You have pictures of yourself without a shirt on: -10. You look really, really good without a shirt on: +5. You look really, really good without a shirt on, and you’re on a beach with your dog: +10.

You like hockey: +20. You’re a Rangers fan: -10. You’re a Flyers fan: -40. You’re an Islanders fan: +10. (I feel bad for you.)

You have an MBA from Harvard: +10. I’m intrigued. You must be smart, but you might be a huge douchebag, so I’m only awarding you 10 points for now. You’ll have to earn more.

You don’t drink: -50. Seriously, what are you going to do with my friends and me?

Your “about me” makes me actually laugh out loud: +50.

Your political views are described as “conservative:” -20. “Extremely conservative:” -40. (Yes, being a Flyers fan is as unattractive to me as being extremely conservative.)

You’re originally from New England: -1 for each picture in which you are wearing a Red Sox hat. Too predictable.

You work in film or music: no points. You could have a really interesting job, or you could actually be mostly unemployed and occasionally freelance on a music video shoot for Rebecca Black.

You work in finance: no points. Your job will bore me to tears, but maybe you’ll take me out to a really nice, expensive restaurant that I can’t afford on my own.

You like to travel, and your pictures reflect it: +20.

You list an interesting book in your “last read” section: +25. You list Maxim: -50.

So, readers… any advice for me? Things to do? Things to avoid? How would you describe me? What’s a good opening email? I need help, if I’m going to get my money’s worth out of this thing. My expectations are not incredibly high – I’d be happy with three or four new dates during the next three months – but if I go three months without meeting anyone, that might be the point where I decide to be celibate for the rest of my life.

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10 thoughts on “The online experiment.

  1. First things first, celibacy is never the answer. I’m a big fan of this scoring system. As some one who has not experienced Match yet, I don’t have much advice for you. But I did read an article about girls in NYC who use match to get all of their lunches and dinners paid for so you can at least recoup your membership fees and more doing that.

  2. This is one of your most humorous posts yet.

    In what will likely come as little surprise to you, my advice is to put all the data into an Excel spreadsheet. I’m happy to help build it as needed.

      • I’ve done similar files for clients looking to evaluate potential financial donors, potential sport sponsors, etc. In those cases the Excel output doesn’t make the final decision, but it helps clarify one’s thinking and narrow some options. Maybe the same could be applied to Match.com listings?

  3. Brenna, I had a similar breakdown a few months back which involved me creating an online dating profile. I know exactly how you feel – it’s super overwhelming, but definitely a hilarious/exciting/sometimes disheartening distraction.

    Good for you for blogging about it – I still haven’t gotten up the courage to tell the world about my awkward encounters. Good luck!

  4. Brenna,

    I signed up a few weeks ago, also. I like your system. Some thoughts from my first few weeks.
    1) Winks don’t seem to work, could be me, but they just seem to be like tag on the play ground, you hit someone and then run around waiting for them to tag you back.
    2) I have a rule that I try to email at least 8 people a week (usually more). It is like fishing and I don’t get as many replies as I would like, but I know I am trying.
    3) When in doubt, don’t. I went on a first date, just to go on a first date. It was good practice, but I should have listened to the inner Jordan.
    4) I listen to my mom, “Prince Charming is not going to knock on your door, so you better take finding a man into your own hands”.
    5) Remember you are great!!! I just keep on telling myself, I know I rock, so someone out there must think I rock too.

    Happy Hunting,
    Jordan

  5. I met A through okcupid.com. When I signed up, I had no expectations. I was just very honest in my profile, and if someone struck me as interesting, I went for it. I emailed A first, which he later admitted that he LOVED and was a big turn on for him. Right around our 2nd or 3rd email, he said something like ‘Why did Eddard have to die?!’ (Eddard Stark for any of you GoT nerds out there.) I was on the treadmill when I read it and literally almost fainted. That was pretty much my ‘You had me at hello.’ moment. Then, we had our first date at an Irish pub and spent 7 hours talking before we closed the place down.

    I guess what that all goes to say is that you’ll probably have feelings one way or another about someone from the very beginning. LISTEN to them. Prior to that, I had been out on a bunch of dates with guys I KNEW weren’t going to work, just based on the initial conversation, but I still tortured myself by agreeing to go out. BE SELECTIVE, BE YOURSELF, and HAVE FUN! There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with online dating. I can’t tell you how happy I am now that I put myself out there. : )

  6. Brenna – Once you meet someone and you think there is the slightest bit of chemistry, arrange a face-to-face meeting to see if what’s on line translates to reality. Many (I will not say HOW many) years ago I had a lot of online adventures with men I met in chat rooms which was the precursor to match, eharmony, plenty of fish, etc. Many men can be very witty on line but when you meet them in person, oy, it’s a another story! I had one dude who was at least 15 years younger (before cougars were popular), another who repeated my name in every sentence, oh I could go on. I found that meeting early saved me a lot of time.

    Also, pls tell someone when you are heading out to meet these guys. At a minimum,leave a post-it on your laptop (which is what I used to do since I didn’t trust my co-workers at the time).

    Ask open-ended questions!

  7. I did Match before meeting my ex. It was a “meh” experience and though I did end up dating someone for awhile from it, he was a dud. However, he would have been a dud even if we’d met face-to-face…online had nothing to do with it.

    I do think online dating has its merits. I have an OkCupid profile that I’m not actively using it right now. It’s how I met the law student and I knew by his 2nd email that I had to meet him. I agree with some of the advice from above. If you think you might be interested in a person, meet them sooner rather than later.

    And don’t feel bad about saying no to a second date. I went on a few online dates this summer that never went past the first date. You have to weed through a lot to find someone who can work on more than just a screen.

    It will be fun though!

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