In Which the Title of Girlfriend is Now Mine

Historical evidence suggests that I am rather terrible when it comes to maintaining relationships.
So, of course, that is where I have found myself–smack dab in the middle of one.
or rather, the beginning of one.

Casual dating is, for the most part, easy: You dress up, have fun, flirt a bit, get to know general things about a person, and participate in activities that span everything from dinner and a movie to high school hockey games or ice skating or light-hearted musicals about ugly ducklings. (Remember the Physicist? I’ve mentioned him a few times, but for the most part have refrained from going into too much detail because… well… this is a public blog. And in addition to all of those lovely issues regarding privacy and ethics, I have much more selfish reasons for not writing about him much here: If he wants to know what I think of him, I would prefer him to ask me instead of cheating by reading my blog. ^_-)

Needless to say, you reach  the point at which, oh my, it seems we are spending a rather significant amount of time with one another. And enjoying that time. And holding hands becomes far more than just two hands in physical contact with each other.

And suddenly you’re no longer casually dating. You’re exclusively dating just one person. And it doesn’t occur to you until far too late that you have no idea how to actually BE someone’s girlfriend (as opposed to simply a decent alternative to spending Saturday night with Netflix).

So, the physicist is now my boyfriend.

I have deleted my POF account and retired from my serial dating ways.

What does that mean for this blog?
I don’t know yet.

But in the meantime, I figured I should let y’all know that not all the guys I met through online dating were horror stories ^_^

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Good Recovery!

I post a great many examples of poorly written first message, but for this post, a change of pace.

Someone recently asked me : “Do you have any GOOD experiences with online dating?” and the answer is, “Of COURSE. (They just don’t generally happen to be as entertaining. And let’s face it: If I actually think I have a chance of developing a relationship with a guy, you probably won’t hear too much about him until the chances of alienating him should he discover my blog have been minimized ^_-)

In the song “A New Life” from the poorly received but beautifully written musical Jekyll and Hyde, Lucy begs the universe for “one sweet chance to prove the cynics wrong.”

My experience on POF has made me a bit cynical regarding copy/paste intro messages. Alas for Lucy, her request was not granted; but yesterday, this cynic was proven wrong not just once, but TWICE.

Message Sender 1:

Hi there! OH and may I extend to you the obligatory “Happy New Year!”
I just kind of threw a profile up on here last night and would you believe it has nothing to do with a resolution!
As I’m sure you have seen I have yet to write a self summary and need to put some more pictures up BUT I viewed your profile and really liked it so I wanted to say hello and see if you might be interested in striking up a conversation?
Thanks for your time and consideration!
-B****

Cynical Me: 
What did you like best about my profile, B*****?

Message Sender 1: 

Now THAT is a fair question! I mean, what an ambiguous thing to say! Hahaha I might as well have said “Ambiguous statement with a generally positive message about your existence!”

Anyway I really appreciate the WAY you wrote. Now that is something I may not be able to really explain but I think the manner in which people use words can be appealing.
Your opening line where you openly admit you are slightly nuts was endearing in an almost self-deprecating way!
Obviously your faith is an important thing as well!
I am intrigued at you expressed ability to “twist peoples words” I think I do that too….well that is if you meant that you are good at implying something other than what was intended. 🙂
OH and that you have a punny and cheesy sense of humor AAAANNNNDDDD that you have a genuine appreciation for those simple quiet moments with friends etc.
I know that essentially says “I liked everything in your summary” but those are all things that seriously resonate with me. So there! 🙂

Well played, Sir, well played. (20-something messages later, we are still communicating. ^_^)


Message Sender 2: 
Hey you seem pretty cool! What’s up?

Cynical Me: 
Thank you. What about me seems cool?

Message Sender 2:
Well let’s start with the spider killing ability! While I’m more the kind to let most go outside a girl who can make her own kills in that market… Well that’s a rare find! Then the whole loving Jesus thing and being willing to stand for it. Also rare. Jesus is my life. I want to be in ministry for the rest of my life. Girls who love Jesus and kill spiders aren’t on ever street corner mind you!

Oh! And I’m a huge office fan and as such I am quit punny… Which is a word I thought I exclusively used. Until now…


Unfortunately, further messages disclosed that Message Sender 2 is located in Georgia, which is not exactly conducive to having an actual date, so there’s not much chance of continued investment in communication.

But there are two valuable lessons to be learned from these examples: 

#1) Not every vaguely generic message is a copy/paste message, so a clarifying question can be a good thing.

#2) Guys, don’t assume you’ll get the opportunity to clarify. Begin your first message as if she’s already asked what you liked about her profile.

Happy 2014!

Ex Files: Need an Extinguisher for Those Pants?

It is never a good idea to send a message stating or implying that you have read someone’s profile if in fact you have not. Such messages lead to awkward exchanges such as the following:

Him:
I enjoyed reading your profile, right to the point. I like that about you. You seem really sweet. I’d like to talk with you?

[Right away, due to its vagueness, I suspected that the message was copy/paste, especially since “sweet” and “to the point” are NOT AT ALL descriptive of my profile. But why not play along?]

Me:
Sweet and Right to the point? Heh–yesterday I was accused of unkind ranting 🙂

Him:    
(15 minutes later)
Really, wow, some times the truth hurts.

Me:
I never claimed to be either sweet or kind. 
If, however, you agree with the unkind ranting assessment, you should probably actually read a lady’s profile before sending a copy/paste message.

Him: 
Oh wow, ya I just copy pasted all girls, actually if u seen some of the girls on here you would understand. But here not there I’m not Looking for someone with such a great attitude like yourself. You seem so sweet but bitter…


Oy, he went from poor logic to unintelligible writing. A copy paste message might get you an initial response from people who don’t read profiles, but if a message sparks my interest, the FIRST thing I do is look at the profile before replying. My choice to interact with a person depends on far more than a picture or five. Apparently, most people aren’t that particular. If it has a decent picture and replies, game on. ><
(until of course, you actually read their profile, and discover an inner bitter savage jaded beast masquerading as a date-able human ^
-)

 

Preparing Your Family for Online Dating

If you have a tight-knit relationship with your family (as I do), or, if one or more of your parental units happens to work in the field of safety (as one of mine does), it would be a good idea to prepare them for the fact that you have decided to explore the world of online dating.

How does online dating look to deeply concerned family members? Let’s just say that a conversation I had with mom/sis on the night I was preparing for my first date went something like this:

Me: I’ve got a date tonight.

Mother/Sister: Oh! You’ve met someone?

Me: I’m meeting him tonight.

Mother/Sister: You don’t even know him? Where are you meeting? Someplace public?

Me: Nah, I asked him to meet me in a poorly lit, deserted alley…. >_<
We’re meeting at Starbucks.

Mother/Sister: What’s his name?

Me: P*******

Mother/Sister: What’s his last name?

Me: I don’t know.

Mother/Sister: You’re meeting with a guy whose full name you don’t even know?

Me:
Well, I didn’t give him my last name. And I figured I would wait until after our first date to ask for his banking information and social security number.

Mother/Sister:
What are you wearing?

Me: Jeans and a sweater with that cute new scarf Laura gave me.

Mother/Sister: Isn’t a scarf dangerous? I mean, what if he tries to strangle you with it?

Me: I’m pretty sure I’ll be ok. The barista at Starbucks will probably call the police if she notices a guy choking me with my scarf.

Mother/Sister: Don’t get into a car with him.

Me: I have my own, so I’m sure that won’t be necessary–

Mother/Sister: –Unless there’s a few other people riding as well.

Me: Yeah, gang-raped is definitely preferable to being kidnapped and stuffed in a trunk….

(Needless to say, that particular bit of snarky humor didn’t go over too well with family members deeply concerned for my well-being and only gave them MORE to worry about.)

Is meeting up with strangers encountered through the internet risky? Sure it is. But it would be equally risky to meet up with someone who hit on me in  grocery store (not that this has ever actually happened–which is one of the many reasons why I have found online dating an acceptable alternative to an ever-deepening relationship with Netflix).

But to the safety-conscious individual, online dating is pretty much equated with CSI/Criminal Minds fodder.

After successfully meeting six strangers (and surviving unharmed) I had thought my family was adjusting remarkably well to the idea. My mom no longer demanded to be texted a picture before each date (to hand to the police in case they ever needed to know what I had last been seen wearing), and my sister no longer evaluated my outfits for choking hazards.

But once a concerned parent, always a concerned parent.

Apparently, they aren’t as comfortable as they attempt to convince me they are.
For Christmas I was gifted with a stun gun.

Potential dates, beware: Going out with me might be a shocking experience!

Ex Files: Failure to Communicate

Merry Belated Christmas! I’ve been gone for a bit (much to share about car trouble, new nephews, and stun gun acquisition) but for now, a glimpse of POF nonsense:

He wrote: 

OK so I’ll be honest here this is probably going to be a waste of my time but what the heck lol hi lol my name is J** a little about me I’m a pretty laid back guy not big into the bar scene any more if I have a few its usually with a few friends and a fire I have a good job but I’m gone during the week but get weekends and winters off I do have a place but my sister and brother live there so I rent lol long story lol I have no kids buuuuuut lol I do a lot with my exes boy he’s 10 he’s a good kid we’ve been apart almost two years but he was a year old when we met and his dad is about worthless lol well I’ve probably bored you enough so if for some odd reason you’d like to chat hit me up you seem pretty cool and sane compared to a lot on here lol

I replied: 

You will probably have better luck if

A) you write personalized messages that don’t contain a bunch of copied and pasted information making no reference to the information in the profile of the person you are messaging.

B) You don’t begin your message with an attempted guilt trip. Any time a guy sends me a message containing, “This will probably be a waste of my time,” that is exactly what it becomes.

Best wishes as you continue your search,
~C

Using punctuation would have made an incredibly worthy C (I mean, come on, if you are going to copy and paste a message, the least you can do is take the time to proofread your copy), but I figured I had already been harsh enough.  (my inner grammarian was definitely twitching, though >_<)

Ex Files: Assumptions and Missed Opportunities

It’s been a whole week since I’ve updated! (And what a week it’s been! Between unexpected car problems, an increase in work hours, and the birth of my new little nephew, things have been busy. But even with all the busy-ness, online dating antics abound!)

I have quite a bit of catching up to do, and we shall begin with another example of how not to impress a woman with a first message. [Hint, insulting a person into a willingness to date you probably won’t work out for you.]

Yesterday I received the following from a POF user (his words in black, mine in blue):

OK.. so I loved the pics.. however I read your profile. This experience was a land mine field of rules vs boundaries.. [Why yes, it was. After my first day on this site, I realized I had to establish boundaries for the sake of my sanity. It has really helped to decrease the number of insanely strange messages I receive.] your in N—B—- and online dating yet being particular about anything.. esp [The word you seek is “you’re”. Furthermore, it seems as though you are indicating that participants in the online date-o-sphere must relinquish all personal standards. Just because you seem to have a poor opinion of those who engage in online dating does not mean that people must share your condescending attitude. I engage in online dating out of a desire to try a new approach. Not out of the desperation you clearly expect.] (sorry for abbreviating) spelling and grammar from loser rednecks and short sighted ignorant people who could care less about what you prefer. [Thank you for your insulting generalizations. Of course. ALL people who live in my town must be uneducated, po-dunk hillbillies. There’s no such thing as an educated farmer, is there? >_<] [And I hate to disillusion you from your sense of self-importance, but just because YOU don’t care about what I prefer does not mean that no one does.] Naturally it attracted me that you had some standards.. [Oh, goody!] until it became an SAT Test to get in to your private college.. which no one seems to be buying in to an Aspiring Evil Overload frat. [No one, eh? I’ve actually received quite a few favorable responses.] Elitist from N—-B—-.. is that even possible!? [Yes, it is. Shocking, isn’t it?] Im pretty sure anyone from N. B—- is just stuck up and full of themselves with a need to be deflated from their self absorbed perceptions. [Yes, excellent way to score a date—insult someone into dating you! Let me know how that works out for you, m’kay?] [Also, learn to use punctuation please.]

Now I agree in having standards.. but not from 1965.. its 2013.. you could get with the times.. and I know.. N B—– is what it is.. but that’s no excuse for someone claiming education and enlightenment. [Whoa—hold the phone. I have an education, but I never claimed to be “enlightened.” And it doesn’t matter what year it is. Class never goes out of style.] Just because your more smart [Should be “you’re smarter”. And yes, I am. Thanks for noticing.] then [than] the local village fool.. does not make you automatically an elitist.. [No. My refusal to date people who can’t use a high school level of grammar makes me an elitist.] you simply sound like a big fish in a small pond.. which I thought you may have qualities that could be useful.. [I could have been useful to you? Wow, what a compliment! How sad that I am missing my opportunity to be used by you…. >_<] but your ego got you all types of twisted. [Thank you for donating so much of your clearly valuable time in attempting to straighten me out.]

Why do I state all of this.. because I liked your pictures.. you seemed to want more.. but your words do not match your actions.. or rather they do.. so Im giving constructive criticism. #getyamindright then you and I could have a chance.. [Constructive criticism on how I can change myself to suit your preferences? Golly gee, Sir! Thanks for the opportunity to become the person you wish I were!] until then.. its N B—- country hogs and users who will dog you.. and what college did you get your degree from again.. ??? [Again? I never named it to begin with. One that taught me better grammar than yours taught you.] So if Im the first.. which being you have never had a real long term relationship yet state that’s what your looking for.. then I hate to break it to ya.. good luck.. youre going to need it. Such a pity.. your seemed like someone worth while. [hahahahaha. My pictures made me seem like someone worthwhile; but everything I had to say about myself and what I was looking for displeased you? Then how can I SEEM like someone worthwhile? A picture may say a thousand words, but the words a person chooses to represent themselves also say a great deal. I think it is you who needs the luck, sir. Also, please refrain from assumptions about the nature of my past relationships.]

Now prove me right or wrong.. or just dismiss me as a nutjob who has personal issues and is the reason Im speaking the Truth to you online with grammar you can tolerate [No. Your grammar has not been tolerable.] with your overly picky country ass. [That’s right. Default to insults about my location and demean my physiology. Girls LOVE being referred to with derrogative allusions to their body.]  Girls on this site never cease to amaze me with such foolishness.. [Because having standards that automatically disqualify jerks such as yourself is clearly a foolish decision on my part. Clearly.] but you might be the rare one to put me in check.. would be a fortunate change that’s for sure. [Oh, boy! How do I contain my excitement? There’s an offer I just can’t wait to take advantage of!]

So.. did I catch your Scorpio attention.. [Oh, boy, did you ever. >_<] did I use proper enough grammar.. was I direct enough with my aggression.. [About that… aggression might not have been the best choice.] did I INvoke (check your grammar) some kind of response that would facilitate further communication.. am I making hasty assumptions or just keen enough to know a shitty attitude from gold.. which is a rhetorical question. In short.. your assumption of men in the area is disheartening and simply limits you from good choices. [MY assumptions? o_0]

So.. your reply.. or lack thereof.. will certainly show your true colors.. or lack thereof.
[Alas, I must lack color! Oh no! whatever shall I do??????]

#meetingoftheminds
[Oh, goodness—hashtags? Twitter? REALLY?????]

Your move false pretense redhead.. come with the Truth or don’t come at all.

[False pretense? I might be considered pretentious, but there was nothing false about the motives I state in my profile. I hope Santa gives you a Dictionary for Christmas, Sir.]

Ex Files: Outdoorsman With a Sweet Tooth

Received today:

“What sort of outdoor activities do you like?”

That was it. No introduction. No salutation or general greeting. Let’s just cut straight to the point, shall we? Direct. And it really wouldn’t be so bad except that there isn’t terribly much in my profile about outdoorsy-ness. I include that I like being outdoors but that my love of nature is supremely hampered by a deep and virulent loathing of spiders.

Nevertheless, I decided to check out his profile just to see what he might have to say about himself.

He seems like a decent fellow. He writes in full sentences, uses paragraph form, and capitalizes the beginning of each sentence (as well as the personal pronoun “I”). He mentions about five times. though, how much he enjoys the outdoors.

I’m probably not his ideal match, especially considering that he writes he is looking for a girl who likes the outdoors, who is sweet, and who is down to earth.

Down to earth? yeah… not so much.

So, I replied:

“Well, Michael,
I enjoy various outdoor activities; however, since you are looking for a “sweet” girl, I won’t waste your time by listing them. (My profile indicates aspirations of world domination, so I don’t think I’m your type.)

Cheers,
~C”

(At least this fish seemed decent, quite pleasant, and grammatical. I wish him luck in his quest for a girl who is sweet, down to earth, and a little less evil-overlordship inclined.)