Just when you thought it was safe - OK CUPID PART 3: The Return of the WOO!

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I've met and wasted time on more than enough "THANK GOD, ANOTHER WARM BODY!" low-expectation ladies in my time, thank you very much.

Quiet Desperation, LLC (Deric W. Haircare), Tuesday, 22 May 2012 03:48 (2 years ago) Permalink

Yeah thats another thing that puts me off a bit, is ppl who you cant work out *why* they messaged you. I got one the other day from a rather normal, country-lookin feller, nothing offensive.... he said he'd been looking at my profile heaps and his curiosity was "peeked" (aaaargh), but DIDN'T SAY WHY. Our match was low, I couldnt see anything in HIS profile that caught my eye, and I was left baffled.

Oh also, I think he had kids.

Pureed Moods (Trayce), Tuesday, 22 May 2012 03:55 (2 years ago) Permalink

"I noticed you were female..."

nickn, Tuesday, 22 May 2012 05:12 (2 years ago) Permalink

2 years.. still havent met anyone from this stupid fucking thing

billstevejim, Tuesday, 22 May 2012 07:22 (2 years ago) Permalink

And people wonder why I have given up on OKC....

"you prefer young men and I prefer old. Where have you been?"

o_0

Pureed Moods (Trayce), Friday, 25 May 2012 04:46 (2 years ago) Permalink

- if you meant old men, I think yr barking up the wrong tree
- if you meant old women, WHO YOU CALLING OLD, SMARTARSE?!

Tch.

Pureed Moods (Trayce), Friday, 25 May 2012 04:47 (2 years ago) Permalink

I think the biggest problem with OKC is that the user base can be (very roughly) divided into two camps: a) people who are generally functional but just have trouble meeting potential dating partners and b) people who specifically frequent online dating sites because they're offputtingly dysfunctional and know that delaying face-to-face interaction is the only chance they have at dating. And then, of course, there's a good number of people in group b) who can't even make it past the online pre-interview without setting off all kinds of alarms.

Quiet Desperation, LLC (Deric W. Haircare), Friday, 25 May 2012 04:53 (2 years ago) Permalink

Short of living in the boonies, I don't get why the first camp would have trouble meeting potential dating partners IRL. Meeting people IRL and striking up conversations >>> flipping through carefully-honed online profiles methinks.

The best three relationships I've ever had in my life were all with women I wouldn't have given a second glance to if I'd only known them from an online description. It's only after getting to know them IRL that I realized how amazing they were.

Lee971 (Lee626), Friday, 25 May 2012 06:48 (2 years ago) Permalink

Short of living in the boonies, I don't get why the first camp would have trouble meeting potential dating partners IRL

...seriously? I mean, I'm a single, reasonably laid back gal with plenty of friends and social connections and fucked if I've been able to find any dates in about a year now. I mean everyone male and single is "potential" I guess but that doesnt help much when you constantly think "well Im not going to ask this person I know out because it will ruin our friendship/they will think I'm a creep/they really dont lke me much probably/etc etc

Pureed Moods (Trayce), Friday, 25 May 2012 06:56 (2 years ago) Permalink

I mean my social life, such as it is (and it hasnt been much which admittedly is my own fault lately) is the same group of people all the time, there isnt much new blood in the mix when you hit 40 and your friends groups have become fairly established.

Pureed Moods (Trayce), Friday, 25 May 2012 06:57 (2 years ago) Permalink

I dunno, I kinda appreciate Lee's "meet people IRL" suggestion. I've never tried it myself, but it's kind of ingeniously straightforward. Like, if it gains steam, it could really put all of these dating sites out to pasture overnight. I'll try it and let everyone know how it works!

Quiet Desperation, LLC (Deric W. Haircare), Friday, 25 May 2012 07:19 (2 years ago) Permalink

It just fits my real-life experience and that of my friends. Dating sites try to match you up with ppl who you think you'll like, who have most of the attributes you're looking for. But IRL, I've found such people make great friends but dull romantic partners. There's something intrinsically unromantic about meeting someone you already know has the same interests, likes the same music, and is as close as possible to your imaginary man or woman of your dreams. Real romance is unexpected, unscripted, and occurs when you last would have dreamt it would happen. How many dating-site profiles have you passed by because s/he was "not your type"? Show me two people who are madly in love, and I'll show you two people who aren't each other's type. It's even true in fiction, whether we're talking Romeo and Juliet or Jack and Rose or anyone else. How interesting would these have been if the latter's families were friendly cohorts and the latter were both wealthy first-class passengers?

I learned all this the hard way, or at least after too much time. Falling in love isn't about finding someone who most closely fits what you think is your ideal mate; it's about finding a seemingly ordinary person whom only after spending some time with you discover how amazing they really are. They'll probably be nothing at all like you, but that only serves to make getting to know them more interesting, as you find yourself becoming fascinated with walks of life you had completely ignored before you met your new bf/gf, and never would have dreamed you'd ever care a whit about. You can't get that flipping through match.com profiles.

Lee971 (Lee626), Friday, 25 May 2012 10:03 (2 years ago) Permalink

I mean my social life, such as it is ....... is the same group of people all the time, there isnt much new blood in the mix when you hit 40 and your friends groups have become fairly established.

So you join or strike up conversations at the coffee shop, the pub, waiting in line for a concert, at luncheons, parties, or any vaguely social occasion. If you only go places with your friends and only talk with them, you won't meet many new people.

Lee971 (Lee626), Friday, 25 May 2012 10:09 (2 years ago) Permalink

That involves being at the coffee shop, pub, concert, party... (getting in saying this before sic or S- do)

Pureed Moods (Trayce), Friday, 25 May 2012 10:50 (2 years ago) Permalink

PS dont mind me I'm just being self-deprecating as usual ;)

Pureed Moods (Trayce), Friday, 25 May 2012 10:52 (2 years ago) Permalink

It's my job to deprecate other people!

FTR, I've met several dates online, but not on dating-specific sites. Some were from reading blogs, and thinking, "wow, this person seems interesting", then messaging her that I'd like to meet her in real life. (downside to this approach: I've had way too many long-distance relationships). I met one woman on forums discussing psychological maladies we were both inflicted with, divorce law (I love irony), and appliance repair. It can happen anywhere.

Lee971 (Lee626), Friday, 25 May 2012 11:01 (2 years ago) Permalink

Oh dont get me wrong thats how Ive met most of my partners actually! But that comes from being heavily online since BBS days in my mid 20s.

Pureed Moods (Trayce), Friday, 25 May 2012 11:35 (2 years ago) Permalink

oh i'm not.... (should've italicized "my" - it's so easy to be misconstrued if you leave out the emphasis in online discourse; I was being facetious, or at least somewhat so...)

Lee971 (Lee626), Friday, 25 May 2012 11:41 (2 years ago) Permalink

Lee, you do realise that your experience is not universal, nor is it necessarily the ideal? It might be how it works for you, but believe me, it is not how it works for everybody (unless you want to turn around and tell me that I'm not really in love because my partner is too similar in attitudes and interests, in which case, uh, fuck off).

emil.y, Friday, 25 May 2012 12:31 (2 years ago) Permalink

Lee, FTR: 95% of my social life revolves around people whose internet presence consists of updating Facebook every other week. And while I was still in school/living in my college town, 95% of my dating pool was just people I'd met IRL under a variety of circumstances. However, in a twist of fate that I know is not in any way unique to me, once I was living in a new city and spending a large chunk of my time in a relatively asocial environment (i.e. working an office job vs. bumming around campus and running into familiar people all the time) and had to find a whole new series of activities and routines and hangouts independent of the huge network of people I'd grown accustomed to, it suddenly became much harder to meet new people. Not to mention that I suffer from mild social anxiety that really only affects me wrt meeting new people (specifically when I'm doing it on my own, without having the comfort of people I know around me). So once it became clear that I wasn't meeting many people with whom dating was an option (lots of platonic-type people, though), I warily turned to online dating. Which I've admittedly had limited success with (to the extent that I've dated and been in LTRs with a number of those people but clearly none of those things have lasted).

BUT (and here's the part you maybe wanna pay real close attention to) I have continued to date (and make attempts at dating) people I've met IRL, with the same degree of limited success. Which, yeah, might seem to suggest that the problem lies with me or my choice of dating partner...but that's all beside the point. When you go into a thread where people are talking about listening to music and suggest that people might be more fulfilled if they actually played music, you run the risk of offending by just assuming that there aren't some people in the thread who do play music and some others who are perfectly happy just listening. Now think about how suggestions like that are likely to go over in a thread about how people are managing their romantic life. I'm sure I speak for everyone when I say I'm very happy to hear that everything is going swimmingly in your IRL dating life, but an important thing to realize as you walk through this world is that your life experiences are not universal, and you will go a long way with other people by not expressing incredulity towards the fact that their experiences are different.

Quiet Desperation, LLC (Deric W. Haircare), Friday, 25 May 2012 13:15 (2 years ago) Permalink

There's something intrinsically unromantic about meeting someone you already know has the same interests, likes the same music, and is as close as possible to your imaginary man or woman of your dreams. ]

What?! Fuck that, no way. Please weed out people who like the Red Hot Chili Peppers and long walks in the park as quickly as possible, that's the ticket. In person, people's clothes and speech modes and stuff can tell you a lot about them and how they identify. You don't get those cues online, necessarily, but you get other stuff instead, and I like getting that stuff. I think that's valuable.

how did I get here? why am I in the whiskey aisle? this is all so (Laurel), Friday, 25 May 2012 14:12 (2 years ago) Permalink

What is wrong with walking in the park, Laurel? I thought I knew you ;_;

mh, Friday, 25 May 2012 14:16 (2 years ago) Permalink

You clearly never read all my question answers while my profile was up, because I hate walking so much. Will do almost anything not to walk a few extra blocks.

how did I get here? why am I in the whiskey aisle? this is all so (Laurel), Friday, 25 May 2012 14:18 (2 years ago) Permalink

Just pretend you are doing a really boring dance through the park that mostly involves one foot in front of the other. Or go skipping, that'd be fun.

mh, Friday, 25 May 2012 14:20 (2 years ago) Permalink

o i c how u roll

Mad God 40/40 (Z S), Friday, 25 May 2012 14:21 (2 years ago) Permalink

You are not kidding, I will get my bike down from the 2nd floor to go three blocks. Lee may have been right in this one respect: my now-bf doesn't bike at all. It's awfully inconvenient, but still worth it for the time being. That's a day-by-day arithmetic, though. Which I guess everything is, really.

how did I get here? why am I in the whiskey aisle? this is all so (Laurel), Friday, 25 May 2012 14:25 (2 years ago) Permalink

If he just didn't like bikes I would bully him mercilessly into it anyway, but he's actually epileptic, so his safety is more important. Still, I has sad, whiny face.

how did I get here? why am I in the whiskey aisle? this is all so (Laurel), Friday, 25 May 2012 14:28 (2 years ago) Permalink

One of the people I know who seems to be most enthusiastic about biking now is epileptic! I think she has it well under control and hasn't had issues for years, though.

mh, Friday, 25 May 2012 14:31 (2 years ago) Permalink

emil.y otm. some similar interests gives you a nice starting point. also this notion that chatting girls up at bar is a more natural and holy experience is straight bullshit.

bnw, Friday, 25 May 2012 15:48 (2 years ago) Permalink

I can offer many anecdotes of that working horribly, too

mh, Friday, 25 May 2012 15:57 (2 years ago) Permalink

emil.y, yes i realize my experience isn't universal. No experience is; indeed, whenever I hear someone say "everyone likes ......" or "nobody wants ......" I'm quite to point out that somewhere, someone does like and doesn't want. I was expressing an <i>opinion</i>, just one, what I've observed looking at myself and several others, but certainly not everybody's. If you find something else works better, go for it. Please do whatever works best for you; I was not trying to veto your way of thinking and my apologize if if came out that way.

Deric, I am very aware that everyone's experiences are different, and sometimes very different than mine (I know, I've been dinged for suggesting others' supposedly universal experiences didn't apply to me given my upbringing and experiences). As it turns out, my own dating life has mostly hit the skids of late, so maybe I should try other avenues.

Laurel and others, it wasn't my intent to blast people who like online dating. I was just posting my own opinion and experiences, and those of my friends (one who met her husband on a dating service). But <i>amongst my friends</i>, amongst my friends there have been more online-dating disaster stories than successes. But my tiny sample isn't even close to scientifically valid given the millions involved.

I'm not set in my ways, and if most of you think I should give online dating another chance, I'll reconsider. I just find it a difficult adjustment, and quite disconcerting, when I meet someone interesting and they refuse to want anything to do with me until they stalk me on Google and FB. What happened to discovering new people in real time and in real life? I know I'm old fashioned about this, but "social networking" for me is shooting the breeze with real, 3-dimensional people, not sitting in your bedroom behind a computer screen updating profiles and posting status updates. The latter is becoming more amenable to me thanks to mobile phones though.

Hope I'm explaining myself adequately...

Lee971 (Lee626), Friday, 25 May 2012 17:37 (2 years ago) Permalink

Well, I'm glad you didn't intend to, and it's cool that you have the good grace to explain yourself (and well), but there were definitely a good number of sentences where what you wrote was very much universalising your specific experience. This, in particular, struck me as kind of rude: Show me two people who are madly in love, and I'll show you two people who aren't each other's type. It basically says 'people who are each others' type can't be madly in love'. Maybe you didn't mean it that way, maybe you just meant to refer to the trope, but that's what it logically means. As someone who is madly in love with their partner who DOES share interests and attitudes that I'd naturally look for, maybe I'm just taking it too personally.

And yeah, some people just aren't socially confident enough to approach others in bars or coffee shops or whatever, which you seem to take for granted as an ability. To say nothing of such approaches often being unwanted, particularly by women who are far too often seen to be fair game for street hassle.

But again, thanks for explaining yourself. I'll leave it up to the guys who are actually OKC users to defend that aspect...

emil.y, Friday, 25 May 2012 17:49 (2 years ago) Permalink

And yeah, some people just aren't socially confident enough to approach others in bars or coffee shops or whatever, which you seem to take for granted as an ability. To say nothing of such approaches often being unwanted, particularly by women who are far too often seen to be fair game for street hassle.

This x 1,000,000. So much of my social anxiety can be chalked up to my hyperawareness of just this sort of thing. A lot of guys are real effing creeps anymore, and although I'd like to think I don't fall on the wrong side of that line, I know that most women have had to deal with a lot creepers, and, with people I don't know in general, I tend to overcorrect in an attempt to be respectful of peoples' space and boundaries in relation to their degree of trust towards me and my motives. That's led to a lot of people I later became friends with telling me that I seemed standoffish before they knew me. Which, in my head, doesn't really jibe with who I am and is something that I'm trying to work on but I'll take that over being thought of as actively creepy, I guess.

Quiet Desperation, LLC (Deric W. Haircare), Friday, 25 May 2012 18:04 (2 years ago) Permalink

Lee, I understand and sympathize with your concerns that people are becoming too walled-off and reliant on technology as a buffer for having IRL interactions with one another, but this isn't really a black and white 'luddite vs. technophile' argument at the end of the day. There are shades of grey, and sometimes you have to make due with less-than-ideal circumstances (i.e. just dealing with this increasingly-wired world).

As I've said elsewhere in this thread, I haven't had the greatest luck with OKC, and I'm currently at the one year mark of refraining from dating altogether (after the devastating end of my last OKC-derived LTR), so I'm certainly not the person to ask about whether online dating is worth your time.

Quiet Desperation, LLC (Deric W. Haircare), Friday, 25 May 2012 18:11 (2 years ago) Permalink

But amongst my friends, amongst my friends there have been more online-dating disaster stories than successes.

It's probably more common now, but there was once a sort of stigma attached to admitting you met on a dating site so it's completely possible you know people who did but don't talk about it.

mh, Friday, 25 May 2012 18:13 (2 years ago) Permalink

like your parents

Mad God 40/40 (Z S), Friday, 25 May 2012 18:17 (2 years ago) Permalink

lol

rayuela, Friday, 25 May 2012 18:26 (2 years ago) Permalink

there you have it

mh, Friday, 25 May 2012 18:33 (2 years ago) Permalink

I can assure you I've been on the receiving end of similar comments and know how annoying it can feel.

Re: approaching others in pubs and coffee shops - I do understand that some people aren't comfortable striking up conversations (or joining existing ones), and that not everyone is up for gab even though I may be. I do my best to not be obtrusive and to pick up on the subtleties and nuances of other peoples' behavior, voice inflection, and body language - i.e. if she gives curt answers than quickly looks away, she doesn't want to talk to me. I also understand the difference between primarily social situations like parties and nightclubs, and non-social situations like sitting side by side on a plane or bus. In the latter I'm particularly tuned to those aforementioned subtle responses, since I don't know why or under what conditions she is there. But even at a pub, I want to come off as friendly and interesting, not smarmy. Tactfulness is everything; many bar patrons like meeting new people, but nobody wants to be crudely hit on. (well, almost nobody does, I suppose I should be careful to say).....

Lee971 (Lee626), Friday, 25 May 2012 18:49 (2 years ago) Permalink

(first sentence from last post got lost) (here is how it should have started):

Lee971 (Lee626), Friday, 25 May 2012 18:54 (2 years ago) Permalink

let's try this again - first sentence got lost somehow - this is what it should have said at the beginning of previous post:

emil.y - That was a generalization, at least one that applies more often than not IME and that of my friends. But not everybody's, and clearly not yours. Didn't mean to imply that my personal findings are the inextricable truth, and again thanks for calling me out on that.

Lee971 (Lee626), Friday, 25 May 2012 19:00 (2 years ago) Permalink

someone not unattractive just tried to chat me up at the deli (asking about the kombucha i was buying, of all things) and it occurred to me how rare of an occurrence this is, even living in a huge city.

bene_gesserit, Friday, 25 May 2012 22:56 (2 years ago) Permalink

Yep - right now I'm sitting in a very 'social' coffee place that I've been going to once every couple of weeks for 3 years, and I've been chatted up twice. Still kicking myself for not being nicer to the first guy, who seemed very sweet (I'd jut been dumped).

ljubljana, Saturday, 26 May 2012 16:50 (2 years ago) Permalink

Nobody chats me up unless I am at a club or a bar and said dude is obviously just trying to get laid.

homosexual II, Saturday, 26 May 2012 17:27 (2 years ago) Permalink

the dc area is a place where people seem to chat people up a lot iirc. i guess i was also 22 when i lived there, so maybe that's part of it--people aren't jaded and bitter yet--but i was sort of amazed by how friendly/outgoing everyone was.

horseshoe, Saturday, 26 May 2012 17:34 (2 years ago) Permalink

but wait, ljub, you're in the dc area, aren't you? maybe it's just that transient, first-job-out-of-college population that works that way in dc.

horseshoe, Saturday, 26 May 2012 17:35 (2 years ago) Permalink

i'm in the dc area, and get chatted up from time to time, but usually in an off-putting way. Where are all those friendly, outgoing ppl hanging out?

Lee971 (Lee626), Saturday, 26 May 2012 20:12 (2 years ago) Permalink

Yeah, I'm in the DC area, and 40, and it does seem like a friendly but also a very young town.

ljubljana, Saturday, 26 May 2012 20:40 (2 years ago) Permalink

i had a great time visiting dc this summer - the younger population seems a lot more, uhm, male than female and while it felt a bit like a sausage party everywhere i went it was kind of nice getting hit on by multiple attractive guys. new york is pretty much the opposite in terms of gender distribution, and men so rarely make an effort to hit on me (also ny dudes seem to have huge egos and i'm probably not hot enough to get them to make an effort).

bene_gesserit, Saturday, 26 May 2012 20:54 (2 years ago) Permalink

er, last summer not this summer. though i am planning to go back to visit!

bene_gesserit, Saturday, 26 May 2012 20:54 (2 years ago) Permalink


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