Analog Girl Dating Digitally: I Tried OkCupid, Tinder, And ChristianMingle And The Results Weren’t Pretty
After a year of being single, I figured it was time for me to get back out there and try dating again, but honestly, I did not know where to begin. It has been a while since I worked on building with someone in terms of dating. My last relationship began when I was 17 and ended when I was 23. Dating was a lot different for teenagers back in the early 2000s and was still a little more traditional. We did not have access to all the social media sites and mobile apps that we do now. Long story short, all these years later, I decided to try something different. I like to try anything at least once, and since I spend much of my time online, I figured, why not online dating?
What’s your sign? Do you have a preference for a race? What is your annual income? Hobbies? Describe your perfect date. Do you smoke? Do you drink? Do you do drugs? Have children? Want children?
Those were just a few of the many questions I had to answer when I created an account on OkCupid. I answered each question as honestly as I could, and I was matched with more than 200 “suitors” based on my answers. As I swiped left and right, I was not impressed with what I got. I “met” a couple people who were interesting at first, but that quickly faded.
So I got hip to the Tinder trend and found that most of the guys were only interested in women who were DTF (down to f**k). I was disgusted by most and found myself wasting hours swiping left. Then I realized no one gets on Tinder looking for love. What the hell was I was I doing?Most of the people in the Tinder crowd are just looking for quick and unattached dates that lead to random hookups. That was not my scene.
I needed someone whom I could spiritually connect with, someone whom I could carry on an interesting conversation with. So of course, I went to Christian Mingle where I met people with usernames like BoazLookingforRuth14 or LookingForMySecondCord35 (not even kidding). Despite the biblical monikers, I was disappointed to find that most of the men were no different from the ones on OkCupid or Tinder, despite the “Christian” angle. I did get the occasional churchy dude who was too much for my blood, as well as the Sunday Only saints. All in all, I was not too intrigued.
Not long after setting up these different profiles and trying to give this new way of dating a chance, I found myself completely over it.
You spend hours filling out these profiles, answering so many questions about your personal business in the hopes of meeting the right person. Or, if you are lucky, at least meeting people who will hold your interest long enough to consider even meeting them in person, but in my case, you find nothing satisfying. Where was the love at first “meet”? Where was the instant chemistry from those Match.com commercials? The cheesy smiles and flattering pick-up lines? I realized that online dating doesn’t work for most of the same reasons that traditional dating doesn’t, and that’s because there is a lack of time to really evaluate what it is we are looking for. Are you looking for something that could potentially be long-term or just a fling? I came to the conclusion that what I was looking for wasn’t going to exist in my world via the web. I did not want everything laid out for me in a series of 1,000 questions. There was no excitement in getting to know someone if you already had all the answers to them. There was also the paranoia of getting catfished. I mean, think about it, you can be anybody you want to be on the web.
I began to miss and even prefer the mystery of being approached by a complete stranger whom I found attractive. I missed the few moments of discernment I had to use to decide whether or not I would give him my number. I missed planning dates rather than spending months talking online or on the phone, but never “seeing” each other. I missed the assurance of knowing I am giving my phone number to a genuine person rather than someone I barely know who I’ll end up curving eventually. I am an analog girl when it comes to finding love, so online dating is not really for me. However, in this new age, there are ways to build a solid profile that could still attract some genuine people. It involves the same honesty you should have when meeting someone face to face. It involves the things I did not get from the fellas I encountered online…
You can start by being upfront with what you are seeking. This allows those who are looking for similar things to message you while those looking for something entirely different can easily skip over you. Be specific when answering questions. If the question asks what your favorite hobbies are, share a memory. Be consistent when engaging someone. Don’t log on once, have a good conversation with someone and then fail to log in again for a few weeks or even another month. This is the quickest way for someone to lose interest. Also, please, take advantage of spell check. Use proper grammar. I know we all make mistakes, but if he or she is saying, “U is beautiful” or their introduction to you is “What’s gud ma.” then just take that as a red flag and keep it moving. Also, keep your answers short and sweet and straight to the point. No one wants to sit and read a profile that looks like a graduate thesis. People tend to be more visual when it comes to online reading, so don’t forget to make sure that your pictures are presentable, clear, and show your fun personality (if you have one).
Online dating is tricky, and for me, a little too impersonal. However, I know that some have had luck meeting a special someone through such means. What has your experience been if you’ve tried it?