The proverbial sea has now been fished (online dating and me)

So I’ve been single pretty regularly over the past four years, and have been actively dating, or trying to, since coming out of a year-long relationship in February. Although my last few serious girlfriends were met through my social circle or school or both, I’ve had a fair amount of experience with online dating, which has resulted in innumerable dates, lots of interesting stories and unsuccessful relationships, much heartbreak on both sides, and one or two lifelong friends.

Anyway. Life’s been hectic and weird of late, and other than a couple of bizarre and bittersweet reminders that there are still women out there who can knock my socks off, I haven’t had much time to pursue anything romantic. And I miss it, especially the opening stages – there’s nothing better (for certain, inaccurate values of “nothing”) than that initial, electric flurry of mutual interest, of steadily lengthening e-mails and perfect phrases and that indescribable feeling of unexpected, vertiginous motion towards something potentially larger than yourself. Of discovering someone, to whatever extent, for however long. Until, y’know, one of you or the other, or both, come to feel that it probably isn’t going to work.

I miss all of that. So last night I went to my Match account and looked at every single profile of women in my area who fit my loose-ish criteria for age range, height range, and number of children (none). And aside from the many who I’d already e-mailed and been rebuffed by, the not-quite-as-many who had already e-mailed me and been rebuffed, and the various others who didn’t click for one reason or another, I found two more women to write to. Beyond them (and one perfectly lovely woman with whom I’ve been e-mailing since the beginning of August and, due mostly to our conflicting schedules, look to be meeting for drinks sometime in 2010, at which point we’ll probably discover that there’s no chemistry), there are officially no more women for me on this, the largest dating site in all the universe. Which clearly means that there are no more women for me on any dating site anywhere. That’s just basic logic.

So if they don’t work out (working out is also one of my criteria*), I’m going to have to hone my unfortunately unredoubtable social skills so that I can actually meet people in live (!) settings. Practice talking to pillows, or something. Or just hang around the local independent bookstore contemplatively hefting and rehefting novels that would, when glimpsed from afar, inspire feminine curiosity, appreciation, and regard. I’m sure it’ll be cake from there.

All of which is to say, it’s probably better if these women write back. They’re, like, the Last Unicorn. Or the Last of the Mohicans. Maybe one’s one and one’s the other. Maybe I’d have greater romantic success if I could parse my metaphors more coherently. Hmm.

Suggestions for contemplative hefting are greatly appreciated.

  • Plus a tolerance for very bad jokes.

Note: generalizations made herein (and in the thread title) are largely tongue-in-cheek. The sentiment is sincere, but it comes with a healthy measure of amusement and a decent sense of scale. So while well-meant advice about keeping a positive attitude, being comfortable and confident in myself, involving myself in activities in order to meet people with similar interests, and changing up my expectations is definitely welcome, it’s probably nothing I haven’t already internalized (I’m kinda liable to think about this stuff in some detail; just ask Maeglin!), and it’s not the reason I started this thread.

Since we’re talking straight statistics here, you’ve really only looked at 50% of the available matches (give or take several percentage points).

Clearly, the answer to your dilemma is homosexuality. Just think of the new and interesting possibilities that await you on the other side of the fence.


(OK, fine… I guess I’ll throw in some constructive advice too. Just because you’ve exhausted the options on one dating site doesn’t mean you’ve run out of options in the entire internet - many people on this site seem to have had reasonably good experiences with Craigslist and OK Cupid, as well as non-dating sites like

I’m throwing in a vote for Craigslist. That is where I met my boyfriend and many other men, some of whom I am still friends with despite our not being compatible. I used match for about 6 months and got a total of about 2 dates out of it. With craigslist I went on at least 2 dates a week for several weeks (7 or 8 weeks, if I remember correctly) before I met my boyfriend. Keep looking on the internet as well as in meat space and I am sure you will find the woman for you.

The Year You Make Contact?

Yeah, you really have to try multiple dating sites to get a nice variety of people. Just because is the biggest doesn’t mean that other people on other sites don’t use it. Was that parse-able?

That’s right. You’ve tried all the fish and none are left.

You get older with every passing day.

And it only goes downhill from here.


Mahna Mahna:

Intriguing! Men can be such bastards, though, y’know?

But-- but-- basic logic! (That’s for you too, Auto.) More seriously, yes, your statement is true. The Salon/Onion/Nerve personals used to offer a good pool of people, but that seems to have stagnated…maybe it’s just the ages I’m looking at. I tried Chemistry, which was terrible, and as much as I’ve wanted to like OKCupid, it’s never really floated my boat. Maybe I’ll give it another shot. as well. I don’t necessarily expect my online dating experience – which is, like I said, pretty extensive – to change substantially from one site to another, but as someone who’s been around, I do recognize that each one is different. Just like people! Aww.


I used to use Craigslist a lot and had some really good results from it, although I found it extremely hit or miss. Then, after I turned thirty, it became way more miss than hit. I’m pretty sure that’s not a coincidence. Maybe people didn’t buy that someone with my age, education, and profession was likely to be on the up-and-up, or maybe it caters more to people looking for a twenty-something date. Dunno. I do remember the two dates a week days, though. Mostly on Salon for me.

Robot Arm:

Nice. :slight_smile: That was to pay me back for my workout joke, wasn’t it?

Heffalump and Roo:

This is what I’m telling you people! If you’re not careful, I’ll ask you to critique my profile.

No, I was just trying to keep up with the movie references.

And cheer up, you’re doing better at the online dating thing than I am.

Oh no. Please. Anything but that. :wink:

-nah, bring it on! If there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s being critical of other people. :smiley:

Well, so? Do you have a big nose, pug nose, roman nose, straight nose, you’re straight but your nose is bent out of shape, eh eh eh?

Inquiring minds want to be nosy!

Sometimes you have to cast a wider net. My boyfriend lives 250 miles away from me. Yeah, it’s a tad inconvenient, but for the right person, it’s worth it.

Speaking as a fairly long-term single homosexual I wouldn’t say the waters over here are that warm and inviting. Sorry Gadarene, but I think you’re just going to have to stick to women (I know I know, that wasn’t what you wanted to hear). :slight_smile:

I agree that you should try a different site - I’ve used match and thought it was shit, I had virtually no return for the time and effort I was putting into it. As for which ones would be best the main one I’d recommend is the Guardian soulmates but I don’t think it really caters to people outside of the UK.

Nava, I’ve met Gadarene and his nose was fine.

Ooh, I love critiquing profiles – bring it on!

Well, some of them are… just try to avoid the ones who insist they’re Nice Guys, and you’ll be fine. :smiley:

Put it up. I can’t wait to tell you how you come off like a bastard! :wink:

Robot Arm:

That sucks, and I’m sorry to hear it.


Unfortunately, the demands of my work – 55 billable hours per week on average, which generally translates to around 70 hours or so spent working, including weekends and absolutely whenever my boss decides she has three projects that need to be done urgently and simultaneously, none of which will ever be used for anything by anybody (ah, law firm living) – make long distance stuff pretty much unpracticable. Beyond which, there theoretically shouldn’t be any reason why I would have to look beyond the borders of my metropolitan area, with its promising male-female ratio and being chock full as it is with intelligent young professionals.


Hey, thanks! Although now I’m imagining that sentence with the emphasis on “nose” and feeling preemptively paranoid. What parts of me aren’t fine? :slight_smile: (You were cute yourself, in my decidedly inexpert opinion.)

Nava and Heffalump and Roo (and, on edit, twickster and Cat Fight): Upon reflection, I’m not even sure if Match allows profiles to be viewed by non-members. If it does, however, you’re welcome to take a look and give your thoughts: my profile name is what you would get if you took the word ‘literary’ and made it into an adverb. (I’m not saying it straight out 'cause I don’t necessarily want it spidered for search engines, but PM me if you’d like me to link or c&p it for you.)

I actually think my nose is kind of big, but that’s not generally one of the things I worry about. 'Specially now that primus has given it his seal of approval.

Damn. If I were 20 years younger, 100 miles closer, and mumble pounds thinner, I would totally hit on you.

Nice profile!

Aw shucks, aren’t you sweet.


As for your paranoia, that’s your issue. Clearly you take a “if I’m not specifically told it’s good it must be bad” approach. For the record I thought you were a very charming and presentable gentleman (hey, that kind of rhymes…), but then I’m not the audience to which you’re attempting to appeal. :stuck_out_tongue:

Gadarene managed to live with me for one summer without falling at my feet like almost every other man or woman who crosses my path. Either he is definitely not gay or he has reserves of self-restraint that appear to be incompatible with his above posts.

However, were it not for Gadarene’s insistence that I suffer the paintballs and lawn darts of outrageous online dating, I would have never met my wife. He’s a real altruist.


Aww, thanks! That makes me happy. Is there anything in there that you might change? Any pictures that aren’t particularly flattering? I’m perpetually unsure about that spam story (cribbed shamelessly from my now-dormant LiveJournal), but I’m never motivated enough to actually change it to a more conventional list of what I’m like and who I am and what I’m looking for.


Paranoia…subsiding. :smiley: And I try to appeal to everyone. Isn’t that the way to go about it?



That was my pleasure. Your wife is lovely, and you’re entirely worthy of her. (Yeah, I know – I can’t figure it out either.) And you’re one of three married couples, as near as I can make out, that wouldn’t have met each other if not for me. Not counting the couple whose wedding ceremony I actually performed. Who are divorced now anyway. Hmph.