I have a date tonight...

…unfortunately, it’s only with a load of laundry.

This brings me to subject, though: I’m thinking of trying to date again. Connecting via lavalife, doing the online thing. Which means I’ll need to renovate my profile and get a new picture. That one from 2002 just won’t do anymore.

I know there are a number of strikes against me: my age (mid-forties), my difficulty in reading body language, the fact that I don’t own a car.

On the other hand, I have a lot going for me as well: I’m employed; I’m not trapped by a mortgage or credit-card debt; I’m not an authoritarian loon or a wife-beater or a racist; I don’t drink alcohol or smoke; one of my hobbies may just turn out to be a new career; I can speak two languages and am learning a third.


How’s the online dating thing these days? Successes or failues? Horror stories?

I recommend you try eHarmony. I did a while ago, and, while I ended up on first dates with some real turkeys, I also met some nice guys, too. It’s a lot of work, and it’s not all that cheap, but it’s worth it. Especially for people with somewhat rare personality types, which I suspect yours is.

Every now and then, I get a “three months for the price of one!” offer from them. When I get one, I can send the offer code your way, if you’d like to have it.

Ha, uh … are you a guy or a girl?

As a guy, I’m pretty confident your biggest obstacle today would be the preponderance of fake profiles built for external site trafficking, meaning: fake profiles meant to direct you to other pay sites of a chiefly porn nature. It’s usually pretty easy to spot them as the photos often are professionally done, the profiles are oddly short, and usually contain references to interests and hobbies that appeal to lonely keyboard jockeys (i.e. sci-fi, reading books, animation, playing games, etc.). Sure, hot girls love to profess their fondness for sci-fi and gaming. I’m a guy, so I have a lot of exposure to this increasingly common new form of personals spam. I’m pretty certain it’s a phenomenon exclusive to taking advantage of men as opposed to women.

As a girl, I’m pretty confident your biggest obstacle today isn’t exclusive to online dating any more than it is to real dating, but it’s the fact that there’s probably a larger preponderance of the aforementioned keyboard jockeys online than you’re likely to encounter in a real life dating situation.

I think the best strategy in selling yourself online is not to. At least, that’s what I do. Don’t try to impress someone, try to get them to impress you. Being flirty online means having to convey body language and intent via words instead of actions, and a lot of people struggle with interpreting either of those in the first place. There are a lot of very stupid people online, and personally, I get discouraged by the whole scene sometimes because there are a lot of incredibly whacked-out flakes online, but I’ve also met some great girls online and am currently getting along great with one in particular. I think you’ll find there are just as many flaky folks online as there are in real life, but the cross-section of decent folks is harder to sample than it is in real life. If you set high standards for yourself though, you also have to learn not to be disappointed. Take this approach and you’ll be well rewarded when you click with someone.

I tried out eHarmony once and in my opinion, it’s a severely crippled service in that it seems to work out well for a very specific subset of people, and not at all for others. They have received a lot of criticism for having a Christian conservative slant and that they don’t deal with homosexuals and non-white people. Whether there’s truth to racist aspect is subject to controversy, but it wouldn’t surprise me. Point is: they strike me as the type of service that ostracizes anyone who isn’t a middle-aged heterosexual white person. The few women that I was ever “matched” with on eHarmony didn’t have pictures either, much less anything interesting to say. I didn’t want to have anything to do with it after my “trial” was over, no matter how many free subscription offers they sent me. The whole service felt hollow and the underlying philosophy about finding people who agree with and accept everything about you is creepy. I don’t want someone who matches me exactly on fifty levels of compatibility. What’s interesting or exciting about that? Obviously, it’s a definite case of YMMV.

Join a ski club. Face to face meetings with no expectations. Join some kind of club, political. or whatever your interests are . I do not trust the internets when better options exist,

For the two months of bad snow that you couldn’t go to the ski club, I recommend these nice folks. They have members in the States and Canada, and even though the ratio’s not on your side, it’s definitely quality over quantity.

Yes, I met my greatest-uber-fantastic-only-one on these boards, but I’m finding that it’s a lot like dating where you work; everyone knows your biz.

I had great success with the personals on Craigslist. Best part of Craigslist is it’s free, and there are no dorky profiles to fill out. You just write an ad as yourself. I’ve met quite a few nice, genuine guys through the site. Sure there were a bunch of flakes, but those emails are easy to weed through. The guy I’m dating now I met on that site. Turns out he sat 4 rows down from me at the Canes games all season, but we wouldn’t have probably met if not for Craig. :smiley:

I tried Match.com and it blows chunks. eHarmony is just as bad for twice the price. Thankfully, online dating isn’t the taboo it once was. When you do have someone that expresses interest, I would email a couple of times, and maybe a phone call to set up a meeting. Don’t keep your entire relationship online. You can’t decide if you want to date someone through email, so get a face to face meeting as soon as you can. No sense wasting time on the losers. :stuck_out_tongue:

Good luck to you!

Thanks for the replies, everyone.

  1. I am a guy. :: growls, scratches, seeks hamburger ::

  2. eHarmony caters to conservative Christians? I would not fit in there then, because I am neither conservative nor Christian. I an secular Neo-Pagan and vote Green.

Which brings me to possibly the most difficult thing about me to try to describe in a profile: my attitude towards religion.

I am not anti-religious, exactly; I am anti-authoritarian, and strongly dislike any attempt by followers of any religion to rule those of other religions or none. Dating sites always want to sort people by whether they’re Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, “other”, etc; I’d like to see a sorting kind of at right angles to that: live-and-let-live or not. Hint: if you or your group doesn’t support equality and education for women, I will not fit in.

There are a lot of religionists on these boards I could get along with quite happily, I suspect. There have been several threads started by Ismaili Muslims that impressed me (Angua comes to mind here, but I may be very wrong); Scotticher and Polycarp, among others, impressed me as Christians. Both of these groups led me to a much more positive regarding of Christians and Muslims in general; I’d been inclined to write them off as, at a minimum, cultural imperialists who wouldn’t leave people alone. Zev_Steinhart one of those who helped me learn much about Jewish belief. I tell you, I’ve learned m ore about religion on these boards that I have anywhere else in my life.

  1. Thanks for the link to Sciconnect, Nawth Chucka. I’ll have to check them out. :slight_smile:

I just went online to my LavaLife account and discovered that my profile was skimpy indeed. I am going to have to recreate it.

I also found a “smile” from some 23-year-old in Ukraine. Almost certainly a scam; there’s no way someone like that would be interested in someone 20 years older.

So… recreating my profile. Hmm. Let me think about this.

Let me tell you that less is more when it comes to a profile. Keep it short and clever, not long and needy; don’t try to impress with things or experiences, save that for the emails. Watch the number of sentences that start with ‘I’, strange as that sounds. Better to start with ‘When’, as in ‘when I have time to myself, the more new experiences the better; that goes for food, books, film, culture and folks.’; don’t call women anything but women or ladies. No females, girls, chicks, chicas, femmes, biatches - you get the idea.

Definetly mention that you have 17 cats, and need someone to help with feeding, clean-up and “dressing them for Phantasy Photoshoots”,
Just kidding…
As above, keep your ad(s) short and sweet, avoid the “I” word when starting sentences…You are doing two things with your ad… Attractimg the attentions of the right types, and then “intriguing” them…

I am sure that I speak for the thread when I say that we would be delighted to “proof read” your ideas for possible wordings for your ads…
Regards, and Good luck


Taking that a step further, maybe WE should write your ad…

eHarmony doesn’t exactly have a super strong Christian bias anymore but it did start out as just a Christian dating site so the echos of it are still there. It is more for people who are looking immediately for a long term monogamous relationship though. That said, I found eHarmony as well as match.com to be next to useless.

Like Hockey Monkey, I had an unbelievable amount of success on craigslist, both with posting ads as well as with answering ads. Like she said, it’s free so what do you have to lose? Oddly enough for someone at my age (early 40’s), I met the love of my life on myspace but that was just a fluke. craigslist is the way to go. Have fun with it.

Okay, that sounds like a bit of a challenge… :slight_smile: Most people here would not know a lot about me (except for the ones who’ve met me), and there’s probably not a lot to go on.

Let’s see… here’re some random comments, partly based on things that push my buttons when reading the SDMB. Maybe we can make a profile from them.

I’m 43. Male. White. Anglo. English descent. Live in Toronto. Electronics engineering technologist, but I work as a technical writer. Major hobby (and hopefully future career): designing solar-powered houses. Other major hobby (and also part of the hoped-for career): Esperanto. (Yes, I have plans.) I plan to move out of the city eventually to a house I’ll design myself, and help build.

Religion? I’m a secular neo-pagan: I like the idea of neo-paganity from an artistic viewpoint, but I don’t actually believe in it. Politics? I’m libertarian green: people should be left alone unless they make a mess that affects other people.

Assorted beliefs: I’m not a vegetarian, though I’m sympathetic. Gay and group marriage should both be legal (one down, one to go). Women and men should be smart, educated, and equal. There are more ways to be than just traditional men and women, and this should be the individual’s choice.

Dislikes: Authoritarian loons. Neurotic little dogs. Smoking.

Likes: Science fiction. Travel. Languages. Cartooning (I will finish that cartoon book, once I get the house design business up and running.)

Don’t care one way or the other: Alcohol. Gourmet dining. Most sports, especially team ones. I’d like to understand cricket, but I’m not sure that’s possible. I do have a sneaking desire to see a NASCAR race, but I’m not going to the States until a friendlier regime is in power. (Too many of my friends have had trouble at the border.)

Another vote for Craigslist. (They’re not the same in every city, but Toronto’s has some pretty cool people on it!)

I don’t agree, tho, with you who say that you can’t flirt online. I LOVE flirting online and probably couldn’t be with someone who wouldn’t send me regular e-mails that made me smile. So for me, this medium is perfect - I can instantly recognize a quality I find really attractive!

On Craigslist, too, you can put up different ads every time, so try a couple and see what kind of responses you get.

Look at what else is up there to see what NOT to do. If it skeeves you out when you see another guy do it, you’ll know.

I like ads that aren’t too sincere - say a couple of things about what you’re looking for and what you’re like, and put in a few things to inspire questions from someone you’d find interesting. Maybe make a reference to something that only someone who shares a particular interest (an author, a hobby - a word in Esperanto?) might get - it’s always neat to connect with an inside joke.

Judging by this thread, Craig’s List sounds like a great idea…if you’re a woman.

Have any men actually received responses from that thing? I’ve tried it a time or two with nary a response. It seems competition is fierce on that, and I also question how many women are actually using it to seek out potential dates, when posting an ad is probably quicker for them.

I have posted a few ads on craigs and always got a few responses. I’d say anywhere from three to as many as twelve or so. I tried a few things in ads from long sincere ones, to ones looking for company to a specific event to funny, sarcastic ones.

This is nothing compared to women who get dozens of responses. I did fairly well responding to ads too. A few times I was told things like, “I got sixty responses and yours was one of two or three worth a reply.” One woman showed me some of the responses she had gotten. The majority of these men were rude or wrote so poorly that it was ridiculous. It’s not that difficult to rise to the top.

Some site suggestions.


Found my fiancee on Plenty Of Fish. Prior to that found a lovely girl who’d I gone to high school with, but never really knew, on Casualkiss. Both sites served me well.

Don’t worry about the age. There are tonnes of middle aged singles. Good luck.

41, never married, and on Match.com. I’m starting to run into in increasing number of women in their mid 30s to mid-40s that say “no never-married men” or “divorced men only” in their profiles. I guess the belief is “if they’ve made it into their mid-30s, and they’ve still never been married, something must be really wrong with them.” I’m seriously considering lying in my profile, and checking the “divorced” button.

Hide your profile, and look at profiles from other men and women. Note the cliches that seem to come up over and over and over again. Avoid them at all costs. Don’t describe yourself in generic terms that could apply to 99% of those with a pulse, such as “I love to laugh”, “I love life” and “I like to have fun.”

The problem with niche and special interest dating services like Sciconnect - it’s great if you live in New York or San Francisco, but in a medium-sized or smaller metro area, the pickings are slim. Even here in Cleveland, where there’s 85,000 Jews, there’s few from Cleveland on JDate; almost everybody is from NYC, Chicago and LA. You might have better luck in Toronto, though.

But it works both ways … a cool man met this cool woman on Craigslist, and I know other cool women that use it too. It wouldn’t work if cool (heterosexual) people of only one gender used it.

I would never post an ad, because I anticipate lots and lots of skeevy responses for just a few good ones. I am much more comfortable responding to others’ ads than posting my own. Perhaps that’s a sexist double standard, but since we’re talking about my own comfort and security, I’m okay with that.

Yep, I can name three that have, and will be able to name more once I go back for more.

Of course competition is fierce, but isn’t that the same with any internet matchmaking service in any format?

What else would they be using it for, if not seeking out potential dates?

Well, here’s what I posted on Lavalife:

I boiled down what I had posted here upthread. We’ll see what happens.

You have overlooked some of the hard facts - how tall are you, how old you are, what body type you have, if you’re divorced or never-married, if you smoke, drink, do drugs, or want children, or are willing to date someone with children. I used all of these criteria to screen potential dudes when I was on loveataol.com (which is where I found my husband). There’s no point in omitting these things; it will just waste time for both of you if you aren’t compatible in these basic qualities. You could even put these dry statistics in a category just like that - “My Dry Statistics: Age, Height, Weight, Marital Status, Drink, Smoke, Kids, etc.”

I would put more qualities in who you are looking for, too. This is not the time to be shy about what you have to offer and what you’re looking for. If you’re open to any woman at all, I would mention that, rather than expecting it to be assumed. If you have definite ideas about who would suit you best, fire away. This isn’t about being PC and not offending people.

The rest is very good.