Kayakers, Foot-fetishists and Youngest Children: My 6 Months on Match.com

–“A size 8 is too big for me and I tend to like a size 4.”

“…yesterday I did kayaking with my daughter at Vermont, and while enjoying it, realized that there is so much similarity with life, in life, you are in your own kayak and it sometimes glides smoothly in the water, sometime bumpy water, sometimes you find that you are having a good company…within minutes, you are pulled by strong water current and the kayaks are now gone even beyond visibility…so true, the water current represnts the time..the time that has only one direction….forward…If not, I wish you good luck in your future journey…our kayaks will then be far far away..perhaps never to be seen again..
well nice talking you…I also love parrots and have a dream of bringing Amazon parrots home!”

“I want to meet the perfect woman… smart, funny, cute, sexy, independent, thoughtful, cool, and very very very ticklish feet…and I will enjoy tickling the very ticklish feet of my next girlfriend :”

It took me about 2 1/2 years after my divorce to do what I said to my friends, “if I ever do this, come over and shoot me.” Well, after having been laid-off from a job, getting bored of reading and napping, and in ownership of a new laptop, I joined match.com. How could I not?? They “guaranteed” that if I didn’t find true love in 6 months, they’d give me 6 months for free (however, you have to follow all these silly rules, which I apparently didn’t do, and not only didn’t I find true love, I didn’t get 6 more months free. I felt like I hadn’t done my homework and I was getting a handslap by some match.com omnipotent power.)

So, the basics for those who don’t know: You write a gushy, well-crafted profile, not too cocky but not too humble. You don’t reveal your deepest darkest proclivities like “oh, by the way, I pick my toenails” or “sometimes I wear the same bra for weeks.” (Oh wait, I take that back and refer you to the foot-fetishist above.) You upload what you think are your most alluring or creative photographs, (which in my case included me only from the neck up, kind of like actresses who get pregnant in real life but it’s not written into the storyline on sitcoms who hide behind laundry baskets or couch pillows), answer questions about your birth order, your drinking and smoking habits, and what you want in a date (I refer you to the first quote, this after a very compelling and well-written profile. Picture me getting to that point and screeching to a halt a la Fred Flinstone.)

You then excitedly move on to your search for what you want. You plug in the distance you’ll travel, ethnic preferences, marital status, etc., and up comes a “gallery” of photos and attempts at quippy headlines (I can’t even tell you how many men use the first line of “Sympathy for the Devil” and think they’re being clever. It’s like COME ON, you’ve GOT to be kidding!” You then click on men that look interesting or handsome or whatever, and I hate to say it, look at photos and make snap judgements (oh and for me, if a man thought that “a lot” was one word or if they were in community theater, I clicked “next.”) Here’s the thing–you can see who’s looked at you. I can, they can. So, you quickly how realize how vapid we all really are.

Every day, you get presented with this feature called “Your 5 Daily Matches.” Some computer has come up with an algorithm based on things that say “You both like dogs” or “You’re both the youngest child” or “You both drink excessively”. You skim through and say “yes” “no” or “maybe.” OH, and there’s this other feature, clearly based on some other survey questions that can tell you, in percentages, your liklihood of matching. So, you might get a 97% match because you both are divorced and have kids, or are liberal, or whatever (my friend has the greatest story about her 100% match that J, if you’d like to share, I would LOVE it–there are wonderful success stories.)

In six months, I chose to only meet 3 men. I can’t say that I was being bombarded by e-mails from interesting men. Most that I reached out to, totally ignored me, despite seeming how perfect we were on paper. You try not to take it personally but secretly think “WAIT, I’m so attractive and so perfect! What the fuck is wrong with you?”

The first man I TRULY wanted to connect with, I looked at first, he looked at me, and moved on. I actually sent him an e-mail and said something similar to the above without the obscenity. He loved it (I think) and our banter and similar humor was really telling. I won’t go into it, because it was and still is a very special memory for me and not fodder for this, but it was everything I expected it to be. Comfortable from the get-go, easy, fun, remarkable chemistry the whole deal. I have to say, that when there is limited time you are forced into a very quick and intense intimacy and you run the risk of making important decisions quickly. For reasons, again, not for fodder, we were sort of doomed from the start but remain very fond of each other as people who connected in a special way.

So guy #2. Handsome (lots of pictures so clearly he was using that to his advantage.) First sentence was that he had a published book on Amazon(he didn’t say it was self-published, but after some quick Googling I figured this out and it sounded DREADFUL.) After some short e-mails, we decided to speak on the phone. The guy didn’t laugh ONCE in an hour and half and I think we all know how funny I am. Well, he expressed interest in meeting me and I said ok, and he then cancelled at the last minute (oh and then had the balls to try and “friend” me on facebook! I wanted to fire back and say “Are you fucking delusional” but decided not to waste my breath.)

Man #3. Incredibly handsome, smart, funny, honest, receptive. Again, these good things are not fodder for a blog, but in many ways I’ve learned more from him than any other man I’ve ever known. There were many known complications from the get-go, but we adore each other as people, and respect each other as parents and people.

In the end, I’ve discontinued my match subscription (ALTHOUGH they keep you on and tease you by telling you that’s someone “viewed you” but you can’t know who unless you rejoin.)

Well, I have no intention of ever joining an online dating service again (ummmm….and if I do, the aforementioned shooting still applies.) Let’s just PRAY, that for many, many reasons, I never get laid-off again, be placed on bedrest, and that someone comes and takes my laptop away this time.

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6 Comments

  1. Zoe

    you wouldn't want to hear this, but I still think you should give it another try. But then again, I'm the queen of dating and and can't possibly see what is wrong with awkward silences…and to top it off the match thing is complete bs – i was 92% match with my evil ex and you were 97% match with him. go figure! take a hiatus and then go back on it in a few months. But I think I'm this forgiving because things are going well for me today in the man department – ok, thats it, who am i kidding? forget all I've said – screw men and dating!

  2. A friend of mine was trying to meet a guy online and said they were either yahoos or bald. So you found handsome men who were flakes. And that thing about someone viewed you. That's just rude. To try to rope you back in via our vanity and our unquenchable desire for attention.

  3. Didn't that happen with your match experience as well, the viewing and rejecting? Only one of the three were flakes. As I said, the other two were/are lovely.

  4. two out of three (.667) is a great batting average. maybe you should keep on swingin'? (whoa, sports metaphor fouls off an unintended pun … look out!)

  5. Rhea, tell your friend there is nothing wrong with bald guys. Aren't like 50% of men over 30 bald?Gayle, your community theater line was hilarious!!!I joined Match.com a few years ago, and my experience was similar to yours. I think the part that bothered me the most was the illiteracy of the women I corresponded with. It was like the grammatically correct sentence didn't exist. It was also just as mind-boggling that many women, who were actually teachers, also had just as horrific writing skills. My whole thing was, if I couldn't even get past a few e-mails with them, I knew it wasn't going to work. One woman who I did actually speak to on the phone already had me (in her mind) buying a tux so I could go with her to all these social affairs she had lined up – and I hadn't even met her yet – LOL! Another woman I went out with – well, let's just say the photos she posted were not representative of what she actually looked like in real life. The final woman I went out with was actually very nice and we actually hung out a few times, but in this case, I just didn't feel it with her. So we remained friends for a short while and then drifted apart.

  6. Gayle,I know your post direction was for my friend, but I have yet to make it through all your posts so I had to come immediately here to read this! I agree, you had some pretty decent luck! 2 out of 3 is pretty great! But thank goodness you are now married to a wonderful man and don't have to go back on there. But if, God forbid, something happens and you find yourself suddenly single….well, I'm pretty sure my blog will keep you away from online dating even better than a bullet to the brain!

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