Experience with online dating? (and any other advice)

I agree with misterW in not getting emotionally invested before the first meet.

I tried match.com unsuccessfully. I think it’s too easy to mass send out connections to people.
Chemistry.com I thought was much better, since it only gives you 5 matches a day that you have to thumbs up or down. I met my current girlfriend on there, we’ve been dating a year.

I’m 27M and feel there was a bit of a role reversal because I would get tons of requests from females. You definitely get all types, and I found my self being incredibly picky (since I was just supplementing that with meeting people through conventional means).

I’m also a big fan of meetup.com. It’s not outright for dating but a lot of single people use it to find clubs and events outside their normal social circle. I used it to find a running club and boy are there a lot of attractive girls there!

If anything, sign up as a confidence booster. When I was getting all these emails from girls it had me more confident when meeting girls elsewhere.

:slight_smile: (but blushing)

Worked for me. My girlfriend is a perfect match for me. We just celebrated our 3-year dating anniversary.

By the way, how much do these online services charge? eharmony is remarkably coy on the subject – no discussion of price until you fill out a profile.

Oh hell yeah.

I 've never used a pay for match up site, but way back in the early days of the net I did use online chat and profiles and free places and such.

As a guy looking for a gal, let me tell you this.

There are PLENTY of women that will email you, or chat with you online for… fucking … FOREVER…and a day…

What exactly their deal is I don’t know. And I guess it really doesnt matter. But for all practical purposes they are massive time vampires. They will suck up as much time and effort as you let em, but an actual first date will NEVER occur.

If you can’t get a real life meet within a “reasonable” time frame, drop em, or they will suck away hundreds of hours of your “free” time.

If you want a perpetual online only forever friend have at it…if you want something real…cut your losses at some point…give em a "drop dead date " (heh) to meet for real life at some point…after which don’t give em anymore than ONLY a few minutes a week…if that much.

And, as others have said, be TOTALLY honest with others…even if some won’t be with you.

IT can work, but I’d also use the net to find every local interest/social group that meets in real life. REAL life meetings still work, and IMO are still probably a better bet than an internet hook up.

The other thing for men and women “of a certain age” is to realize that whomever you meet on line may be quite entrenched into their current life.

So before you get all dreamy about someone you’ve found who lives 100 or more, miles away, you should ask yourself: Am I going to uproot from my current situation, or expect him/her to give up their life and come into mine? Whose property will be sold, who finds a new job? I ran into this stalemate once. The answer was a sad dawning that neither of us would,

Unless you have few ties to your locality, you aren’t going to leave. Grown children, grandchildren, a career that can’t move with you. Younger persons with portable jobs can do this, bored older people with economic freedom, can do this. Someone with 10 or 15 years to retirement in a good job cannot afford to do this.

On line dating can be fun, but you should keep your head out of the clouds sometimes. There is someone right around the corner in your area that you just haven’t met yet.

OKCupid is free.

I met my man on OKCupid in early 2005. Without the website I’d never have met him, since we were in different countries.

The wedding’s in April. :slight_smile:

I guess I have a biased view of online dating, since it worked so well for me. It’s probably like any other way of meeting people - works great for some, horribly for others. I personally loved the way OKCupid gives you a zillion questions to answer and also asks you to indicate what your match would ideally answer, and how important it is to you that he answer it that way. This way you can narrow down the selection a little and weed out people with vastly different values and opinions from yours. I tried a couple of other sites before finding OKCupid and was disappointed in the number of people I was “matched” with who really didn’t seem like a good fit to me.

I met my husband on plentyoffish. My best friend met her husband on match.

The encouraging part is that online dating is just like real life. The discouraging part is that online dating is just like real life. Plenty of jerks, plenty of liars, plenty of people who look good in “disco light”, uh, their photos… And gems. And your gem won’t be someone else’s gem. And if nothing else, it’s an interesting experience.

Have not had a lot of luck with on-line dating (Male, 56). Sunk a lot of time writing notes, answering responses, going on first-dates, etc. over the past 18 years, and can report that most of the women I’ve actually gone out with are women I’ve met IRL. I’ve had about the same success hooking up with strangers whom I meet on NYC subway system, which is a rarity but at least there you can see what you’re going out with before you make a first move.

eHarmony worked for me. Male, Early 30s, SF Bay Area. On eHarmony, it is free to fill out the profile and receive some matches, but you will not be able to communicate with any of your matches until you pay.

For me, the experience was a bit odd in that some of the excitement was lost in the process. It felt like conducting interviews for an open job position, actually. Review the profiles, eliminate obviously poor fits, initiate communication (the norm seemed to be that men initiate contact with women), respond to inquiries in the best possible light; it was all very procedural and methodical. Rejection in particular didn’t feel all that personal which struck me as an odd feeling for something that is supposed to be a rather personal experience. It didn’t bother me too much, but the nature of the experience bothered my roommate enough that he gave up a month after I recommended it to him.

I haven’t really done the online dating thing (signed up a few places, didn’t participate much), but I think I can understand why a woman might do this.

I have had some very bad real life experiences, so meeting a complete stranger would be very unsettling for me, not to mention the other nervous first-date stuff. Once you meet someone, you can’t un-meet them, so if he’s a wacko, that cat’s out of the bag. I’m not saying this is reasonable or fair, but just how some of us might be thinking.

I would like to think I wouldn’t string someone along for too long, but we all probably have different ideas as to what is too long.

I used Match.com and did the “six month guarantee” thing… I found the man I’m marrying about two weeks before my six months expired. We’re getting married on January 16, and I couldn’t be happier.

It works. It’s not for everyone and I had to go on quite a few bad internet dates, but eventually I found him… and I love him. I’m glad I did it.

I think the thinking in postponing real life meetings may also be that if they can get the person to really like them by way of e-mails and phone calls, then the person will be more forgiving of their physical flaws when they meet. Maybe this approach even works sometimes to a degree…but it also really sets you up for a hard fall if things don’t go well.

I was on OKCupid for a few months, and for me it was a total waste of time. I did not have a single in-person meeting with anyone from the site, and there were only a handful of people in my area that I considered even remotely interesting. Of those few, a couple were inactive or did not respond to my messages, a couple messaged back and forth with me a bit but were apparently uninterested in meeting (one was preparing to move across country), and one…well…I did the whole Google-their-email thing and discovered that this person 1) kept a very detailed sex blog, and 2) was into things that I am really, REALLY not into – like 24/7 BDSM master/slave relationships.

Someone in a more densely populated area would probably have better luck. Because of where I live, there were only about a dozen people within 50 miles who were single, the right sex and sexual orientation for me, and were within 5-10 years of my own age. Expanding my search radius to 100 miles increased this number to 60 or 70 people, but the percentage that did not seem stupid or creepy was still very low. I also learned that OKCupid has a rather loose idea of what constitutes 100 miles. It included people who actually live upwards of 200 miles away from me.

I also found it very frustrating that, although OKCupid allows one to limit search results to “single” people, this actually includes people who are listed as being in a relationship but who are looking to date/sleep with other people. So a search for “singles” will still turn up married couples looking for a partner for a threesome, couples in open relationships, and people outright looking to cheat on their partners. There’s certainly room in the online dating world for all of these folks and more, but if I specify that I am interested in a relationship with another single person then I do not want couples looking for a third to keep showing up in my search results.

The good thing about it is that it requires little work on your part, allowing you to ALSO look for people in your more standard meeting places. There is no reason to look at it as completely replacing tried and true methods.

If you were serious about marketing a product, wouldn’t you use all available media (tv, radio, magazines, etc.)? Adding online on top of what you are already doing just allows you to cast that much bigger of a net.

I met my last SO on OKCupid, and even though the relationship didn’t work out we were together for 2.5 years so I consider the dating site to have “worked.” :slight_smile:

I haven’t been ready to jump back into the dating pool since that breakup – though now it’s been 6 months and I’m starting to think about it – but I tried a lot of different sites before I met him. I probably won’t bother with Match again, but I’ll go back to OKCupid and will also probably try PlentyOfFish. I’ve heard that eHarmony has changed a little since the last time I tried it (I filled out a profile a few years ago and was told that I wasn’t a good fit for their service), so I might try that again.

I completely agree with those who say that the key to online dating is to meet the other person right away. I never search outside of my local area – as I tend to say on my profiles, getting together for a drink shouldn’t take an act of Congress – and I like to meet after exchanging just a few messages/emails. It’s all about the in-person chemistry.

Remember–you’re marketing yourself. It’s advertising. Of course you should be honest, but think about which of your characteristics will appeal to your target audience, and which are more unappealing. Highlight the former, and leave the latter out as much as you can.

You can say you’re “recently separated” or whatever, but don’t say anything specific about your marriage or your ex-wife. And don’t say that you “like to have fun.” Everybody likes to have fun. It’s just a totally lame thing to say.

Keep it light, and as Giraffe said, just think about dating around and getting your feet wet at this point.

Huh. I’ve never thought of it that way but you’re right.

Well, you never know.

I met my late husband here on the dope with that exact line. Don’t overlook Twickster, either. You can even check her out in the SMDB pics. :slight_smile:

I just joined an online dating site for the first time on Wednesday. I’ve noticed several fellow Dopers mention dabbling with online dating in other threads, so I just wanted to hear y’alls stories.

Is it ever successful? What should I expect? And do you have any advice for me? (I’m a girl, by the way.)