September 8, 2011

Dear Shmitten Kitten: Are Dating Sites Lame?

Look at this! Someone wanted my opinion on something. Read on.
Dear Shmitten Kitten,

Is using a dating website super lame? I think it's at least pretty lame but after a sucky break-up and having a falling out with my friend in quick succession, I was low both on confidence and people to hang out with. Though I haven't had a ton of problems in the past finding dates, I felt off my game and suddenly lacked most of my social circle through which I could meet people. Blurgh. So I started an OKCupid deal. But I feel totally weird about it! In your expert opinion is joining a dating site thing tantamount to "giving up" or is it semi-legit? Maybe even too semi-legit to quit?

Signed,
Charlie

Hey Charlie!

http://29.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lr2bjt565d1r0sjqqo4_250.gif
First of all, sorry about all the crap you're going through. What a bummer! To answer your question, I think that online dating has lost its stigma. My sister met her husband online so I know for a fact that it can work out. So, I say go for it. You honestly have nothing to lose.

Now if you're asking if I do it, the answer is HELL NO. Philly is a small town and this is weird to say but whenever I casually browse through OkCupid every six months or so, I find that I either know or have already dated most of the guys that catch my eye. But, I date more than anyone else I know so I guess my case is weird.

The other reason that I hate online dating is that I only prefer dating shorter guys which I clearly state on my profile. But what happens is that I have just a bunch of tall guys message me saying that I should give 'em a chance. Sorry, but I don't feel like scrolling through a bunch of boring emails trying to convince me to change my lifelong preferences in a mate. Also I write a site about dating which I think would be weird to explain to strangers on a dating site.

But, if I hadn't already dated half of my town and didn't have such finicky tastes and I had a normal job where I didn't write about dating every day, I would totally online date a ton. As long as you keep an open mind and approach it as a way to meet new people, I say give it a shot.

What do you guys think? Is online dating worth your time? Tell me in the comments.

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

You meet the same percentage of losers online as you do out at the bars. And the same percentage of winners. (In case you are wondering, the numbers break down to 99%/1% respectively.)

I would say, though, that you tend to find more socially phobic people online - for obvious reasons. I am among the socially phobic.

Anonymous said...

I just had this conversation with a friend last night! Here's my humble opinion...it's a great way to meet people, if you want to meet creeps. I'd like to think there are normal people on dating sites because, well, I'd like to think I'm normal and I'm on a dating site. But this has not been the case, for me anyway. I'm two clicks away from deleting my profile and going at it the old fashion way, booze and bad decisions.

Anonymous said...

i wouldn't say i'm creepy or a socially phobic dude. but when i go to bars or to parties, i go to hang out with my friends. i don't go up to random people because i barely have enough time in my week to see the people i want to see. thus i don't meet many women in real life. online dating has gotten me 95% of my dates over the last 6 years, and yeah, you meet some lemons on there, but you certainly can meet normal people..

Timothy said...

If you're online dating because for some reason all your social circles have reformed without you in them and that's put you off your game, then yes, it's giving up. Fix your shit first, then you can date however you want in good conscience.

If the dating pool is (as described above) 99% losers to 1% winners, step #1 is getting comfortable with the idea that you're likely one of the 99%. After that the world of dating is yours :D

Anna said...

I disagree, Timothy. I don't think that he's necessarily a loser at all. A few years ago, I had a falling out with a good friend right around the time I broke up with my boyfriend AND my best friend moved out of town. It's jarring when your social circle gets shaken up. I think looking to meet new people outside your social circle is totally normal and not loser-y at all!

I call it "re-casting the season" when you get some new peeps in your rotation.

teenie said...

when i first moved to philly after a GNAR breakup, i used online dating (OK Cupid) to 1.) meet people in a new city and 2.) get laid and get over my ex. It was great. I think that's the best way to use OK Cupid. But if you want more Quality Finds, I suggest using another service. Like, if you wanna find a serious relationship, pony up the cash to meet people who are like-minded about commitment and aren't afraid to put their money where their mouth is.

Diane said...

As a socially anxious, workaholic person whose friend circle consists entirely of women and gay men, I don't know what I would do without online dating!

I think it really depends on the area. I live in D.C., and OKCupid has a fair amount of "normal" dudes on there (from my experience.) Most of my friends use online dating, and they've had a decent amount of success. When I lived in the middle of nowhere in Illinois, I didn't see a single person on OKCupid that I'd even go on a first date with.

Basically, I just use it as a way to see my options, and I eliminate the online aspect quickly. We message, we meet, and then it's like dating anyone else. If the dude creeps me out in any way, I just block and move on. I don't really feel like it's that big a deal.

Anonymous said...

thanks, diane! since i am a dc dude on okcupid, i'll take that as a compliment.

-anonymous 3:22

Modern Haredi said...

I'm lucky to be in a great relationship now with a person I met at a grad student social event at my university.

However, I strongly recommend online dating. I tried online dating on and off for a few years, and I met some really nice guys. Sure, there was some geeks, rude dudes and duds, but many of the guys on the website were outgoing, wanting a relationship, educated and kind. Also, I was fairly new to the city, and this was a great way to meet some new people in a low-pressure environment.

As far as the numbers of losers on dating websites, let me list some of the men I met: 4 Phd students,1 clerk to a federal judge, 1 banker/b-school student, 1 entrepeneur, 1 attorney, 1 law student, 1 med student and 1 options trader. They were all civil, handsome and good conversationalists even if there was no spark. If these guys are "losers", then may all my girl friends meet losers!

Some guy said...

As a dude who just cancelled my profile on OkCupid in disgust for the second time the other day, and the first time about two years ago, I've got to say that I've been pretty frustrated with the experiences I've had.

My first go around I went out with a few people, even had a handful of pretty good dates with someone on there until I saw they had created a new, second profile devoted to looking solely for sex whereas her original one was your standard dating site profile .

The second time around, I only went out with one girl who turned out to look nothing like her pictures and had everyone else who I was even remotely interested in flake out after a few messages.

I'm sure this can be said for most of the guys on there from the ladies' perspective but I feel like there needs to be some sort of guide for women posting on there: 1. If you message me with text speak...I'm not interested; 2. If you message me and say something along the lines of "you're a cutie" or something else people say to children...I'm not interested; 3. If I can't see a head-to-toe pic in any of your pictures not obscured by something like a ridiculous halloween costume...I'm not interested; 4. If you live somewhere other than my town...especially people who live out of state but tell me that 'southwest flights are so cheap'...I'm not interested; and last, but certainly not least, 5. If you have more than one picture of you with a cat, or pictures that show nothing other than a cat...I'm definitely not interested

Anna said...

So, some guy, what kind of girls DO you like?

Anonymous said...

Charlie, if your profile was even half as cute and well-written as your letter, I'd date you. I say give it a shot. Worst case, you end up with some hilarious stories.

Some guy said...

Is my description that all-encompassing of the female population? Is it that hard to find girls who communicate like an adult, are honest about who they are/what they look like (appearance does count, just as your preference for height; but I'm gonna go with honesty and straightforwardness being the winner here), live in my town and don't have a questionably strong affinity for anthropomorphizing and preferring the exclusive company of cats?

Sadly, my online experience has taught me that, yes, women like that are hard to find.

ck said...

Some guy is spot on. I'm a chick and I could ecco these sentiments exactly.

Anna said...

I propose we all start a dating site where you have to submit a picture of your sneakers to be allowed to enter. That'd sort the wheat from the chaff REAL QUICK.

Emily H said...

I started online dating after only meeting creeps and asshole frat boys whenever I went out. I love it! I've dated some very awesome guys (a triathlete, PhD chemists, fashion designers, bankers, etc) and had a lot of fun.

It's pretty easy to read through someone's profile and tell of they're a loser. If they mention reading your soul through your eyes... they're obviously just trying to get laid.

Chicago (my city) has a very large population from which to cull dates. I probably wouldn't try this if I lived in a smaller city. After years of indiscriminately dating large numbers of men and never having a relationship I finally have one with a great guy I probably would not have met on my own. Totally recommend it!!

Laryssa said...

I just want to say that the "sucky break-up and having a falling out with my friend in quick succession" and then wanting to do online dating part raised a red flag with me. Though I have mixed feelings about online dating, I think that someone should really do some soul searching and know what they want before joining an online dating site. A lot of people use it as a distraction. I'm not trying to say that the sucky break up and the falling out were this girl's fault, but she might want to spend a few months thinking about why these things happen and how she can grow from the experiences before dumping her boredom on someone else.

Ben said...

I would say dating sites should be kept as a close to a last resort as possible for meeting new people...

Try all the old school methods first!

Go to a place you like to hang. A band/event, you know will attract lots of like minded folk.

Have a friend along who will reduce your 'lone weirdo in the corner' factor but also knows when/how to fade when there's some sparks between you and a new prospect.

('prospect' Ha! I sound like Mystery! Where'd I put my my welding goggles, velvet pirate shirt and 'funky' conversation starter hat?)

And now I will impart a totally unsolicited rebound dating tip!

Important: Get WAY outside of you/your ex's 'circle of influence'..New faces only!

Dating prior known acquaintances may seem like an easy,comfy lateral move, but it will only make it harder to break out of that godawful 'Friends'-ian dating merry go round in the long run.

Y'see, If they know your ex, they've already got too much inside dirt on you for you to really make a clean break.

Worst case scenario :Ex says, 'Oh, so I heard you are seeing so and so now..he/she seems, uh, cool.*snicker*'.
You DO NOT want to hear this!

The best part about rubbing you ex's nose in it is creating the appearance, real or not, that you've totally moved on, and most importantly, up.

FACT:If ex's don't know a thing about who you are dating, they will always assume that person is way more awesome than they are..Which, true or not, is what you ALWAYS want your ex to think.

You are welcome. Now go talk to strangers!

PS: Anna, I know you don't like tall guys, but seriously, if you'd just give me a blah,blah, etc. I SO totally like the same stuff that you..blah,blah,really special connection, blah,yammer, ad nauseum..

Was I close?

Dude said...

Ben, if you're that concerned about "rubbing your ex's nose in it" then you are very clearly not over your ex in the first place. I don't think the point of this post was "should I use online dating to make my ex jealous." I'm surprised you're a guy because you sound like a compilation of my 5 worst first-dates.

Anonymous said...

I joined OkCupid for two reasons:
1. My close group of 9 friends includes 2 married couples and 2 pairs who are living with each other. It's almost impossible to meet other people when you're sitting in a booth or at a bar with a big group that contains no people who are interested in finding dates.

2. Whenever I meet a cute guy through friends, he has a girlfriend. 100% of the time.

Ann said...

It makes sense to me after you're ready to settle down and you've done the bar scene too long. But I'd pony up the cash for a nicer one.

I have three friends that met their husbands on match.com and Eharmony and none of them had problems finding dates in real life, it was just easier on the sites.

Of course, two of them had to go out with 5 or 6 potential matches and it took a couple of months before they had one of those 'commercial worthy' dates.

Or if you're like my sister, you use a dating site after a lengthy relationship to know you're still hot a commodity.

jam said...

I can't believe you said you like short guys. Wow. I'm 5'6". Maybe there is hope.

Stefanie said...

I was on OKCupid for about a year after getting out of and over a really awful, negative relationship. At the time I was a senior in college. I pretty quickly met someone, had a relationship (~9 months), and then it ended. So then I was back to scouring OKCupid, at that time in a new city. I quickly realized that most of the guys I was seeing listed my new city were not for me. A few months later I met my current dude at a party and deleted my profile.

I think my issue was that a lot of the guys I talked to who seemed otherwise nice were deliberately looking for a relationship. At the time I was just looking to date and meet people. I wasn't actively seeking a serious relationship and it freaked me out that so many guys were so desperate. Total turn-off. I wouldn't go back to online dating for a long, long time, personally.

Anonymous said...

i went on OKC after moving to the city for school. went out on a few dates that turned more friend zone then anything else. i'd totally suggest it to anyone. why should anyone be embarrassed? we all want companionship.

i'll be honest. im totally awkward and any guy who approached me in public/at a bar typically just made me freak out and didn't go well. online reach-outs are more casual and less pressure.

i met a good dude and dated for 9 months before it ended (his choice!). didn't regret it!

contrasting all that...i also went on a walk around the city date with a dude with a crazy lazy eye. pictures def did not show that. he would also not talk to you directly face-on (avoided the lazy eye side). interesting.

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