Ok, I’ll Try OkCupid

29 06 2012

If you are a reader who has been following my adventures since the beginning, you may have wondered how I happened to get an email from my STBex on OkCupid if I wasn’t on OkCupid.  Well, the truth is; I’m now on OkCupid.

Last year, when I initially set up my online dating profiles, I was unfamiliar with the dating sites that had not existed before I met STBex.  I was aware of eHarmony and match.com, but the free sites like PlentyofFish and OkCupid were new to me.  If you have been reading from the beginning, you may recall that, because I received a message that my computer was attacked by malware while I was browsing OkCupid, I had decided to forego creating a profile on that site at that time.

I had settled on a paid subscription on match.com and a free profile on Plentyoffish.

Despite my failure to create a profile on OkCupid, they apparently had enough information about me to send a birthday message last year, which, although I was pissed to get a notice that I was a year older, served as a reminder that I should go broaden the age range of men I’m interested in on the other dating sites.  Even at that point, however, I refused to fill out an online dating profile on OkCupid.  Over the past year, however, I’ve talked to some of my friends and readers and discovered that quite a few of them were using OkCupid to meet people.  I try to keep an open mind about these things, so I finally decided to go check it out in more detail, malware or not.

Quite honestly, my newfound interest in OkCupid really came down to two things.  First, my six month free membership with match.com, which I had managed to score by qualifying for their guarantee, ran out, and they automatically billed me $107 for another year.  I called match.com’s customer service and had the charges reversed.  Quite frankly, I couldn’t justify the price.  I had only gone on 7 dates from match.com in a year.  That’s $15.29 plus tax per date!  Now, some of you romantics out there might be thinking,…

…getting winked at,…$8.92 per month,…

…coffee date with a man from match.com,…$15.29 + coffee

…meeting the man of your dreams…priceless,

…but I don’t think so.  Ok, maybe, yes, meeting the man of my dreams would be priceless, but I don’t think I’m going to find him on match.com.  I just don’t think so.

First of all, you have to remember that I am extremely cheap, by which I mean frugal. Plus, I have no evidence to prove that my $15 dates were of any better quality than my free dates from Plentyoffish and Craigslist.  In fact, when it comes to bang for my buck…

…wait…no,…sadly, I can’t say that.

There has been no banging.

(Sigh)

Anyway, what I was going to say was that, despite the horror stories one hears about Craigslist, the two free ads I had placed on Craigslist had resulted in far more dates than any of the time and energy I had put into creating and editing my online dating profiles.  Furthermore, I have had a number of dates from Craigslist that have gone quite nicely, so, consequently, I just didn’t see the point in paying $107 dollars plus tax for another year of being winked at by men on match.com who never seem to ask anyone out.  I politely insisted that Match reverse the charges on my credit card and hide my profile.

It’s official.  I am no longer on match.com.

The other factor affecting my decision to try OkCupid was that I have come to believe that there are no literate men on Plentyoffish.  You may recall the creepy, poorly worded email I received last year.  Sadly, this email is representative of most of the messages I have received from men on Plentyoffish.  Most men will forego saying anything about my feet, but, as far as grammar and spelling are concerned, this is pretty much what communication on Plentyoffish looks like.

Plus, Plentyoffish has this feature called “Meet Me,” where you can simply click through a series of pictures and click yes or no as to whether or not you would like to meet the person in the picture.  I swear; every time I receive an email telling me someone wants to meet me, I open it, and have the same reaction that occurs when I find a long forgotten container in the back of my refrigerator, pop it open, and discover something truly sickening inside.  We’re talking fear and gag reflex in one motion as I race to close it.  Because of this, I have gotten to the point where I don’t even open “Meet Me” emails from Plentyoffish anymore.  I also don’t open the weekly email I receive telling me that I have new matches.  If I receive an actual email from a man on Plentyoffish, I will go check it out.   Let’s face it, sometimes it’s just damned amusing and makes for good blog fodder.

I don’t want to say that all of my Plentyoffish dates have been bad.  That’s not true.  I have had a few good ones, but the ratio of good dates and emails to bad is just far too low.

All this is to say that I had become tired of the fish on Plentyoffish, and I was ready for a change, hence my decision to finally give OkCupid a try.  OkCupid has an interesting feature where they ask questions, and then match people up by the percentage of questions you have that are similar.  Therefore, when you look at a person’s profile, it will say something like,

95% Match, 89% Friend, 10% Enemy.

Now, this I find rather interesting.   There seems to be an unlimited supply of questions to answer.  One guy I found had answered upwards of 1400 questions.  I have not answered anywhere close to that amount, but it did make me wonder about something.  You have to remember that, with my new MBA, I have taken statistics.  As a person answers more and more questions on OkCupid does a linear regression occur allowing for increased accuracy in the site’s matching capability?

Now, I’m probably WAY over-thinking this.  After all, some of the questions on OkCupid are pretty stupid.  Perhaps with more questions answered you are more likely to be matched with a drunken college student, for that is who I think may have written a lot of these questions.  However, it does make you wonder, and it is rather comforting to be able to cruise through the answers and discover that the man you might be interested in…

…does not want to be peed on during sex,

or

…does not think it’s ok to tell racist jokes,

or

…does not want an open relationship.

Pick your poison.

So, anyway, there you have it.  I am officially on OkCupid, and I’ve already had three dates, which I will tell you about very soon.  Have a great weekend.

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Man #1, The Blues Man

23 02 2011

Finally, amongst all of the other online dating activity there came a “wink” that caught my eye.   For anyone not accustomed to online dating, the wink is a feature of Match.com, which allows a person to let someone know that he or she is interested without going as far as sending an email.  PlentyofFish.com has a similar feature called “Meet Me.” 

I am personally not a big fan of the wink or the meet me.  To me, they seem sort of non-committal. In my opinion, they are really not much better than the less than 50 character email.  I’m a woman who prefers that a man do the pursuing in a relationship, and when I receive one of these winks or meet me’s, I feel like the man is asking me to pursue him without giving me enough information to make that decision.  For this reason, I will never email in response to a wink.  The most a man who winks at me will get is a wink in return.

So I checked out the winker, and since he liked dogs, liked to dance, and appeared to be musically talented, I winked back.  I should also add that he was kind of handsome.  He was a tall African American man with what appeared to be nice teeth and dimples.  What’s not to like about that?

In response to my wink, he sent an email.  It contained more than 140 characters.  Now we were getting somewhere.  We sent a couple of emails back and forth and before you know it we were making plans for our first date.  That’s when my nerves set in.  It would be my first date in over five years.

All of the sudden, I was terrified that once we met in person, he would think I was too fat.  I’m not comfortable with the extra 80 pounds I’m carrying, so I don’t really expect anyone else to be either.  I completely lost sight of the fact that this guy’s chances of being the last man standing in this little project were 1 to 100.  If he did blow me off, why should I care?  I could just proceed to man number two.

But I did care.  I still wanted to put forth an effort, and I still wanted to be seen as attractive.  I had to figure out what I was going to wear.  Marriage had done my wardrobe no favors.  Most of the things I had that were remotely decent looking were really more appropriate for the office than for a date.  I did have a pair of gray skinny jeans (an oxymoron in my case) that I could wear.  They hugged my thighs and butt and I was hoping Man #1 would be your typical black man with a preference for a large bootay.  Large bootay was something I definitely had.

Gray jeans. Check.

Next, I found my gray, high-heeled boots with the criss-crossed straps and peep toes. Check.  I painted my toenails silver to pull the whole gray lower body thing together.  I had to say I was pretty happy with how the look was coming together.

As I started figuring out what to wear on top, however, I ran into a speed bump.  That speed bump is called my belly.  I carry my weight primarily in my ass and my stomach.  I look like I’m about 7 months pregnant.  I had to find something drapey and I needed to find my Spanx.  Times like these call for serious compression.

Back to square one. Everything off.  Starting over with the Spanx.  I got my right leg in and wrestled it up to my knee.  Then, carefully tried to balance as I brought my left foot up to insert it into the other leg of the Spanx.  Of course, anyone with half a brain knows better than to try this.  Be smart.  Sit down on a bed or a chair.  My foot got caught up in the super-duper elasticized fabric of the left leg opening, and I proceeded to hop around until I toppled over and landed on my right knee.

“Mother……!” 

Imagine explaining THAT in the emergency room. 

But, I got up, sat my ass on the bed and finally got both legs into their casings.  At this point, of course, my legs felt like they were rubber-banded together, and I still needed to wrestle the Spanx up to my crotch, past my ass, and over my belly.  Note to self: ask the therapist how the FUCK this is beneficial for my self esteem.

Deep breath, and “Whoo – ah!”  Ah.  There we go.  I looked like a tick that was about to pop, but at least my smoother/shaper was finally in place.

Gray jeans, check. Drapey mult-colored print blouse, topped with olive green faux leather jacket.  Hair.  Makeup.  Cute boots.  All set, and out the door.  Whew!  I was SO nervous.  I didn’t even know if this person was worth all this hassle, but I was freaking out just the same.  I silently hoped he wouldn’t be there yet.  I wanted to get there first so I could sit down, and avoid having him check me out as I walked in.

I had suggested that we meet at a pub located between our respective residences.  It’s a place with a great beer selection, heavy wood beams and columns, and Johnny Cash playing in the background.  It’s not popular with  twentysomethings, and the noise level is low enough that you can still carry on a conversation without yelling.

When I walked in the door, there he was sitting at the bar watching me walk towards him.  Great.

Man #1 seemed to really like the bar.  He had never been there before, but it was the kind of place where he could go play a gig.  He had explained to me on the phone that he did not look like his profile picture.  He was in the process of growing his facial hair as well as his afro out for the cover of an album he was recording.

You see, papa sings The Blues. 

Well, he teaches special needs kids during the day, and plays and records music in his off time.  (The Blues Man just has a nicer ring to it than The Special Needs Man.)

Although I’m typically more attracted to closely shaven men, I do admire someone who can get into character for their art.  And even with all of the facial hair, he was not a bad man to look at.  It was not a deal breaker.  The dimples still showed through. 

We got a table, ordered beers, and talked and joked easily about a lot of different topics.  We covered past dating nightmares, favorite hangouts, kids, parents, karaoke, musical instruments, even the usually avoided topics on a first date of religion and politics. 

The conversation was flowing naturally when I suddenly realized the beer was quickly flowing to my bladder.  I really needed to use the restroom.  This brought on anxiety for me for a few reasons.  First, I needed to finish my beer.  It’s never wise for a woman to leave a drink unattended with a stranger.  Ted Bundy was cute too, remember?  Second, when I got up it would mean that Blues Man here would be able to watch my fat ass walk to the bathroom, and I was still feeling seriously self-conscious about this.  And finally, once I finished using the restroom, I would need to wrestle with my Spanx in the bar’s restroom.  None of this was working in my favor.

The surprising thing was the first words Blues Man said upon my return from the bathroom were, “This is going pretty well.  I was wondering what I would need to do to ask you to go out with me again.”

In my typical sarcastic fashion, I replied, “Well, first, you would need to ask me out.  Then I would have to say yes.”

“Well, you wouldn’t HAVE to say yes.”

“I would if I were to go out with you again.” 

He laughed, and shook his head.

“But I probably would say yes.”

It was true.  The night felt completely natural, and before we knew it, we looked at the time and realized that five hours had passed like minutes.  It had been a completely acceptable first date back in the dating world.

He walked me to my car, gave me a hug, and said we should hang out again.  I awkwardly hugged him back.  I did note that he didn’t try to kiss me.  I’m hoping he was just trying to be respectful, but I thought this might be an indicator that he might not call again.  Besides, I actually really hate it when a man assumes that he has any right to kiss me at the end of a first date.  Maybe this guy’s mother just raised him right.  We’ll see.

If not, Man #2 wants to meet for coffee.








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