Is this the expected level of follow through for OKCupid?

I’ve been on OKCupid for a few months now. I wasn’t expecting much out of it, and honestly the fun of virtual people watching has been more than I expected. But for actually finding dates it hasnt been going well. It hasn’t been particularly hard to get people to agree to meet, they just don’t follow through. Of the five women that have agreed to meet the result has been

Women 1- met but it didn’t work out
Women 2- Agreed to see me. Our schedules didn’t come together for a bit and then she stopped responding to my messages.
Women 3- She messaged me first, agreed to meet, and then nothing.

I’m talking to two more right now. Both said yes to meeting last week, but haven’t responded to my message trying to set up a time. They both have been online (I went invisible to stalk them) in the last day, but haven’t said anything. Am I just getting unlucky or is this par for the course?

And before you ask, no I haven’t been stalkerish. My message of “I’m free X days next week does any of those work for you” is the only message between them agreeing to meet and dropping off the face of the earth.

Usually my answer when people say a dating service isn’t working out is “you get what you pay for”, but my husband and I met on eHarmony and he complained that women dropped off the face of the earth after agreeing to meet, too.

I hadn’t had that problem with meeting men.

So apparently women are just flaky.

I think (with the emphasis on think) a lot of people check out online dating sites to see what is out there.
They aren’t really serious about dating for whatever reason but if someone that sounds really good comes along they may go out.

I think some of them have been out of the dating pool for a while and are afraid to jump back in.
They really want to go out but then they get cold feet and stand you up or back off.

Then again I know of a few people who have no intention of dating, they just like playing the game. Kind of like the person who goes to a party and tries to see how many phone numbers they can get with no intention of calling any of them.

I’m an active OK Cupid user-- I even have a blog dedicated to the whole ordeal of using OKC. That said, on to your query.

Here’s the thing: there have been plenty of guys who seemed nice enough and who I was down to meet, but due to scheduling, we weren’t able to meet up right away. During that week or so interim, they did something that raised a red flag and made me uncomfortable, so I ended up not meeting them at all. After all, when it comes to meeting strangers, I’m a firm believer in trusting your gut instincts, lest some strange dude turn you into a lamp.

What are the red flags that can make a woman uneasy? Lots. There are lots of things. And frankly, those flags are going to vary from woman to woman.

That said, I try not to just go MIA-- that is rude. I do my best to politely explain I’m not interested, but the truth is that the last handful of times I’ve done that, the dudes have cursed me out, calling me a fat, ugly, bitch on and on. The last one literally said (I’ve still go the text), “Fat broad talking shit like you’re too good for me. You’re lucky I even fucking talked to your ass. You better hope we never run into each other. Go fuck yourself.” So, I can understand why a woman would prefer to just not say anything, particularly if they’ve experienced that.

I had men pull the same crap on me, it’s not just women.

Two quick things. First, you said you went invisible to stalk them, but as you as you go visible again, you’ll show back up on their visitor list, just an FYI.

Second, IME, a lot of people are happy to talk and talk and talk, but as soon as you try to firm up an actual meeting date, they disappear. Ya know all those questions you can answer, there’s one that says “How willing are you to meet someone from OkCupid in person?”. Check their answer to that. If you’re goal on OKCupid is to meet people IRL, don’t bother with the girls that chose “Hesitant, but I’d certainly consider it” or “I’m not interested in meeting in person.” Those are the people that you message back and forth with for three weeks and then…nothing.

Wait what? Are you sure?

OTOH, that’s why I like to try to meet sooner rather then later. Now, your red flags were a bit extreme, but for example, I can think of a few times where I talked to someone for a while and by the time a few weeks had gone by I realized she lived with her parents or had atrocious grammar or some other thing that got on my nerves after that long. Things that, had we met sooner, probably wouldn’t have bothered me nearly as much (if I even found out).

I’m pretty sure. If you want to stalk someone like that, you’d be better off just signing out to look at their profile (or using a sock).

Say what you will about the show, but Bravo’s “Millionaire Matchmaker” regularly says that online dating is fantastic— but you can’t talk too long before meeting. So, you’re totally backed up by the professionals :).

Why would those same things have bothered you less if you had met sooner?

In one example, we talked back and forth for about 3 weeks. During that time, with each progressive email, her grammar got worse. If we had met after the first three or four (and hit it off), it might have been months before I realized she had atrocious grammar and by then, maybe it wouldn’t have mattered, but at that point, I didn’t have much to go on other then that she wrote like she hadn’t graduated high school.

Similarly, talking to someone for a few weeks and having them say things like “It’s just me, my daughter and my dad since mom left us” and “Dad and I go on a road trip every year to Arizona” and after a while you start to realize that she lives with her dad and wonder why but don’t want to come out and say “Do you still live with your dad at 35 years old?” If we met in person before I figured that out, it might have come up in conversation and she might have had a perfectly good reason for still living with her parents.

The back and forth is so much easier in person then in email. And when all you are to each other is pixels on a screen, it’s a lot easier to just stop responding. If you were at a bar with someone and they said something you didn’t like (or put you on the fence) you likely wouldn’t just up and walk out or just sit down at another table with another single (like you could if you were still talking online).

Does that make sense?

I could see that, but basically every conversation has gone:

Her/Me: Random bullshit
Me: You seem cool, do you want to meet in person?
Her: Sure, after work next week?
Me: Ok, Mon or Wed is best for me.

Then nothing.

I don’t think any of these conversations went beyond 3 messages before me asking them out.

I have gotten pretty good at getting dates from online dating sites. I can tell you how to translate online communication into real-world results very quickly. In fact, quick seems to be the key.

This is really easy. Just follow it like a recipe. You don’t have to be the original chef who invents such things, just be a good cook and follow it with only minor modifications.

  1. Go two or three e-mails at most and then get their phone number. E-mailing back and forth for extended periods of time is a big mistake with no upside.

  2. Ask them when a good time to call is and then call them exactly when you say you are.

  3. If they won’t give you their number or don’t take your call, it is time to move on. You just saved yourself a whole bunch of time and aggravation.

  4. Bring up the idea for firm plans for an a date near the end of the first phone call. Don’t make it vague either. You are the man you so you have to drive this bus. Have some suggestions for a range of activities ranging from a traditional dinner date at one of a few specific places to an active daytime activity or something else specific you are both interested in. If you get any reluctance at this step, just abandon ship and find another one. If she claims she is up for it, proceed.

  5. Tell her you will call at a specific time in one to three days with date plans based on the interests she expressed in your choices.

  6. Call her then and ask her to go to that specific thing you discussed earlier. If she hesitates, abandon ship but I have never had one do that once I have gotten that far.

  7. Go on the date and pay for it all.

My personal empirical evidence shows this approach works about 75% of the time and I have never had one disappear after step 3.

To me, if someone stands you up, I classify that as self-qualifying. IOW, I don’t want to know someone who would do that. If they’re the kind of person who would simply not show up, with no notice, they’re doing you a favor by not entering your life. I’m the kind of person that if I say I will be somewhere, I will absolutely be there. If I’m in an accident or dead or something, I’ll phone or text. I expect the same level of reliability from others.

I’m not broken up that I didn’t go on dates with these women. I’m just annoyed and wondering if OKCupid is worth any sort of effort.

I suggest you make minimal effort. This should be fun, not work. Eventually Ms. Right may show up.

The short answer is no; your experience is typical of free dating sites. The response rate from women is very low.

You can get dates but only with a pile of emails.

According to women i know as friends who are on these sites, they get too many messages to reply to. It’s not you, it’s that you can’t ask someone to pile through two hundred messages a week.

It’s pretty normal, but don’t let that get you down. It’s just a part of the game- cast your net widely and see what happens.

I think the main reason why dates drop off is that online daters will often be juggling quite a few dates at a time, and like to keep a few dates on the horizon for the week or two ahead. But sometimes one of their current dates starts looking like it’s developing some potential, and they’ll drop everyone else while they see where it is going.

What ThelmaLou says. Don’t invest in anyone, just have fun shopping. I am female; when I was doing it, I would pour a big glass of wine, write as many men as were even marginally appealing; just a quick note, log off, and not log back on for 2 or 3 days. Willpower!! Then if anyone or anywons wrote back, I’d see where it was going, and yes, meet up as quickly as possible. But the main thing, is don’t invest any time or thought in anyone until you actually connect f2f.