By Paula Conhain
Now that I was on version 23 of my profile and been sufficiently turned off by what was in my inbox, it was time to take control. I had already thrown most of my dating rules out the window by getting online in the first place, so why not keep it going and make the first move by sending messages to a few guys?
Ok Cupid allows you to rate people, and if they also rated you highly, you both are sent a message letting you know there’s a match. I thought this would be a safe place to start. I began somewhat mindlessly rating guys on my laptop while watching TV, on my phone, on my way to work, or even while walking my dog. It was like winning the lottery when a notification popped up to let me know that he liked me, too. Some – ok, most – of the high ratings I had given to guys were based solely on looks. I had just been window-shopping! No harm in that. But now that I was ready to say hello, I thought it best to look a little deeper.
After doing my due diligence, I bit the bullet and sent messages to four guys. I felt confident that they were all guys I would be happy to talk to or go out with if I had met them in person. And then, I waited.
Two of the four wrote me back within a day or two. The first, we’ll call him Jack, and I exchanged a few messages and had sufficient banter to exchange phone numbers. We decided to set a date for a drink after work. We discovered a shared love for music and texted several times in the days leading up to our date. Jack had the idea to make one another mix CDs of some of our favorite bands. I absolutely hate first dates, but was excited because I knew that, at the very least, we would have something to talk about.
Jack’s CD was great. I added a few new bands to my list of current favorites.
The date? Well, Jack’s CD was great.
The date was fine. Uneventful. He was nice, but there was no spark. I left feeling good, though, because at least I had tried.
Date #2 was more of the same, just without the free gift. Tim was very attractive, but I could tell he was a little shy and nervous. Both he and Jack had been doing the OK Cupid thing for a while. I really admired their tenacity.
I wasn’t dismayed about it not working out with these guys. Both had appeared in person to be the same guy who got my attention online. They were friendly, good looking, and respectful. It just wasn’t right, which happens all the time when meeting someone out in the offline world.
But, I wasn't ready to give up on my hypothesis yet that online dating was the greater of the two evils. I needed to do more research. Fortunately, I had a pen pal waiting in the wings.