My Foray into Online Dating

Yes, it is true. I once signed up for an account on an online dating site. I won't say which one, but I will just say that it was for LDS Singles. (PS-Mom, this is confession time. I know I never told you about this, but now I have, so there!)

It is true that many people are prejudiced against online dating. I was too.

BUT, I decided that there was no reason to be ashamed about it....after a while. Why?
This is how I feel
 about online dating.

First of all, I've been on about a bajillion blind dates. At least online you can find out more about the person before you actually go out. (ok, you can also do this when you Facebook stalk people. However, I have stopped Facebook stalking my own blind dates...only all my friends' blind dates).

Second, when people look at my supposedly hopeless dating life and say, "Well, honey, have you tried online?" I can resoundingly say, "YES!" and then give them an angry glare and growl at them. Then they will REALLY know how hopeless it is.

Third, I may have actually signed up for this in one of those throw my hands in the air moments where you yell to the world, "Ok, heavens! I've had it! I will give this dating thing one more shot. And if I have to swallow my pride and go online, then I will do it. For ze childrenzzz!" So, at least I know I have given every effort to my eternal happiness so I can live my single life knowing I tried. Right?

Fourth, really aren't many good reasons.

However, as I started in to my adventure with meeting people online, I was pleasantly surprised. There were actually some nice people who were on the site. And as I started to tell a few people I was trying it out, I found dozens of completely normal people who were on as well. And I saw people I knew very well-good Mormon, normal, awesome people-whose profiles were on the site. So I kind of started seeing it in a different light. It was just another avenue for me to get to meet people.

The steps to starting online dating:

1) Think about it.
2) Over a few months, randomly mention online dating in a joking sort of manner in front of your friends. Gauge their reaction.
3) Get on the site for 10 seconds and then click out of it.
4) Repeat step 3 several times for the next 3 weeks.
5) Create an online profile.
7) Peruse others' online profiles.
8) Start to receive messages and "smiles" from others on the site.
9) After about three weeks, start to wonder what those messages say because you can't read them unless you pay.
10) Do the math. If you sign up for one month for $20 and you only get one date out of it, you've covered about 50% of your cost by getting a free meal. If you can get two dates, you've covered all your cost. (I still haven't figured out the benefit for boys in this matter).
11) Sign up for one month and make sure it is NOT a recurring charge on your account. Keep paying month-to-month if it pays off in terms of dates. (Shallow? Possibly. Effective? Yes.)
12) Read your messages
13) Feel disappointed because half of them just say "Hello" and/or the guys are 55, divorced, and look kind of creepy.
14) Feel a tiny sense of excitement because someone who looks normal and has a normal profile has messaged you just asking you nice questions to get to know you. Like questions about your mission. Totally safe topic and fun to talk about.
15) Message the nice people back and forth for several weeks.
16) If they stop messaging, assume they have found their love and be happy for them.
17) If they ask you out, go for it. Meet up somewhere public. Have a good chat and call it that.

My Experience

Hi, I'm Liz. I once signed up on an online dating site. I'm still recovering.

But seriously, I will say there were a few good things I learned.

1) I felt like I was finally doing something. I mean, I talk to guys, and I always say yes to a set up. But I needed to feel like I was being pro-active about my life.
2) I felt more confident in talking to guys. As I started sending messages to get to know guys online, I also started talking to guys more in "real" life. I felt more comfortable in getting-to-know-you situations without feeling like I was trying to hit on people. It was just getting to know someone.
3) I actually had some good conversations with people online and it gave me hope that there are nice guys in the world.
4) I got a few free dinners out of it. Yesssss!

But, I won't say there weren't crazies. I had heard (and continue to hear) absolute horror stories about meeting people online. And I gave up with the whole idea after a short time. To quote one of my GUY friends, "The problem with on-line dating (or dating in general) is that there are some legit awesome girls out there, but the dudes are 93% lame-os or psychos."

Example #1
A guy I messaged back in forth with let on enough for me to figure out his name, so I promptly found him on Facebook. I found we had a mutual friend, so I asked the mutual friend about him. And she said, "Run for your life!!!!!" We didn't ever message again.

Example #2
This was from a guy I had never even messaged before.

"I am taking a bold step in penning down a big decision to follow my heart and express my deep feelings for you. This is not a rash decision as I have taken the time to ponder over it carefully. I would like to propose marriage to you, inviting you to share the rest of my life with me. I am not kidding,just give me a chance."

Bold is an understatement. I didn't respond. Is that ok? I mean, it wasn't the first time I'd been proposed to. I did, after all, serve a mission in Brazil and crazy drunk guys propose to American girls all the time...

Example #3

Got a "hello" message from a random user. Went to his profile to find out about him. He. was. 54.
Yuck. AND, he had dedicated his profile to me. I won't share all, because people are still people and I'm sure he deserves someone to love him. But...

I am adding this for (insert my username) in the hopes that she will take the time to read my greeting. I sent her a smile just in case. ....just a single never married man who has found out that after work living alone is not all its cracked up to be. would like to try and find someone who is a calm person. hopefully may be interested in warmer parts. and might even consider having a child. maybe? I don't know. just a thought. I lost a good friend...and he was like a son to me. only 33. also lost my best friend from high school.... so. has not been the greatest year. but, I shall overcome with gods good grace . and the help of family and friends . the few that I still have. thank you for your time. god bless.

His good friend was like a son to him. And I am younger than his good friend. See anything wrong with that? No? Ok...just making sure.

Example #4

One date I went on, I came home and promptly entered into a week of darkness. The date itself was not bad. It was just that I felt that no one nice was ever going to like me because I am a bit of a red personality (read: intense). Let's just say that after the date, I felt so down that I bought Man's Search for Meaning. So the end result was good because I've learned a lot from that book, which I may post about some time. But otherwise...maybe not so good.

Did I just scare everyone away from online dating? Yeah? Well, that's ok. Maybe we could start asking people out in the "real" world, then? Yes? Ok. Sounds good. I'll even take another blind date.

Note: I do realize that many, many, many people have found totally normal and awesome people online. And many people have successful marriages because of it. I failed to mention that is one of the reasons that I decided to try it out. Nevertheless, I just...I just...well. Yeah. That's all.