Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Five years ago, give or take a month or two, I logged on to the online dating service for the very first time. And was I ever thrilled to be there! Women by the thousands were at my fingertips. At last, my perfect match was within my grasp! When I first joined up, I had visions of weekly dates, spontaneous love affairs – perhaps even a cheap, one-night stand or two!

Then I discovered the all-important search filters: distance, age, height, body type, and more. This narrowed down my list of potential mates significantly. But even so, I remained optimistic. (Only as weeks slipped into months did I realize that the biggest filter of all was me.)

Women, after all, are the reason why us men breathe air (and why, unfortunately, some of us have stopped the practice). Give me a smoke-filled bar crowded with women-folk over a man-only stag party any day. At least at the bar I’ve got a shot.

Sadly, the thrill of left me after about a year of very few exchanges. Today, most of the women I see listed there are the very same ones I saw when I first logged on. I’ve come to feel I know them – that we share a common bond. There’s "BeezeMe" and “Nyerchick” and “summerdaze”. Yes, they’re always smiling when I greet them, even though they always have the same thing to say about their lives. (You know you’re a veteran of "The Match" when you click on profiles just to see if they’ve been updated recently. In my case, I'm always hoping they're lowering their requirements.)

The online version of questing for mates is different than the person-to-person approach. In up-front encounters, you would at least chat for a moment before finding an “out”. Online, however, it’s common to simply ignore those who try to say “hello”. Out of all the dozens of e-mails I’ve sent out over the years, I think I’ve had a “no thanks” response only twice. Of course, I’m not going to fib: I’m guilty of the no-response snub myself. But since everybody does the same thing anyway, I don’t feel guilty.

A few of observations I’ve made about the ads I’ve read from the ladies: Most overweight women consider their body type to be “average”. Most women say they are searching for a man who is honest, smart, financially secure, has a good sense of humor, and who is not into “head games”. Since 90% of the men alive today think they are that kind of guy, the list of respondents has really not been narrowed by much. Short women, 5’ 2” or shorter, absolutely must have a guy who is at least six inches taller than them. Strangely, women of average height (5’ 5” or so) or taller are not nearly as picky about height, with most settling for a guy who is a mere inch or two taller than them. Perhaps this is because men only come so tall. Short women may feel they need a much taller guy to protect their little bodies from other, less attractive tall guys.

According to their ads, every woman on the face of this earth loves walks on the beach. Most women enjoy dining out, picnics, long walks, watching the sunset, and “cuddling” on the couch (what us men refer to as “foreplay”). A surprisingly good amount of women-folk say they enjoy watching baseball and/or football. (Note to the girls: we don’t care if you like to watch those sports - we’re still going to be out watching the games with our buds.)

Most women write their personal ads as if they were talking to another woman – like one of their friends: “I’m looking for the fantasy – the honest man who cares about the little things, and who keeps in mind that a woman should always be treated like a lady. A man who sends me flowers for no reason, and who will respect me as a person and shower me with his affection…

Ooo-la-la-laa, lali-dali-la la! Good grief.

Most folks are under the false impression that people join online dating services because they can’t get a date in the “real world”. But that is only true for us guys! Most women go online just to get outta the ‘hood. They’re being more selective in their search by expanding the gene pool. The homeboys just aren’t cutting it.

Women of course get far more responses than us guys do. That must be flattering. I myself send off electronic “winks” every week or two and actually take the time to write an e-mail about once a month. (It used to be more frequent, but I’m a veteran of The Match and the new members are few.) Some women get so many responses they forget who they are corresponding with. This has happened to me twice. (She: “We just talked about this the other day.” Me: “No, that was the other guy you were talking to.”) But that’s no big deal. It is, after all, a singles place.

My one beef is with women who fail to read my ad – in its entirety – before writing to me. More than a few times I’ve had responses from women who didn’t know a.) I work nights, b.) I’m short, and c.) I live in Massachusetts, dear, not South Carolina. All of these things are stated quite clearly in my ad, but still somehow manage to get missed. I talked with one girl via both e-mail and by phone for over a month (she was down south for a time) before I happened to make casual reference to my height (5’ 4” - as was she).


Yes, after years of being on, things have pretty much slowed to a crawl. Most women have probably already filtered out my ad from their personal searches. I actually let my membership lapse last month. But then I received an e-mail notification that somebody I had written to two months back had actually responded. I had to re-up my paid membership in order to read the reply – but what the hey! – somebody out there liked me! I wrote her back, thanking her for her response, and telling her a bit more about me.

Never heard from her again.

Oh well. Another three months at The Match. Maybe I’ll logon and see what “SunForMe” has been up to lately.


At 1:28 PM, Blogger Nanuk of the North said...

Hi, I found your blog through the MeetMarket (god, I hate that name) site.

Just want to say that I think I know the reason why short women are generally looking for somewhat taller men. This may just be my own (5-foot one-half inch) paranoia talking but I think if a 5-foot woman is walking down the street with, say a 5’2” man, you just KNOW people are looking and nudging and saying “isn’t that cute”. Just like when we see Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman. I don’t think anyone wants to be the subject of “isn’t that cute”.

That being said, I think a lot of people do the same thing when two redheads date each other. Nobody wants to look like they are out with their twin (well, maybe narcissists do).

When people of average height date each other, nobody notices. And nobody cares about the gorilla-and-flea combo (to borrow the figure-skating pairs metaphor) either. Although with gorilla-and-flea, you know everyone’s thinking “she must always be on top” or “yikes, she must get squished all the time”. And I don’t really want strangers’ minds going there either, even though I think it myself.

At 10:02 AM, Blogger Sheila said...

Ha! Bill, thanks for this. I wonder at the flood of winks I get the couple of times I posted a new profile - the fresh meat syndrome. And have pretty much decided the online dating scene, is a joke.

The last profile I posted, just to test my hypothesis - that people DO NOT READ - was something along the lines of "Domme seeking Sub" - tho perhaps a tad more subtle. With explicit instructions that smiles (lava life) would be ignored, and that only emails describing why my profile did it for them would get a response.

In the first day I got 12 smiles, 6 IMs, 0 emails. I should be captivated by someone who not only can't be bothered to write about themselves, but won't read about me either? The biggest laugh was the IM from someone who's name was "average" and who was looking for a "normal" woman to settle down with. What, does he IM EVERY new female?

Good luck in your endeavors!


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