Get Online

I knew I did not have any experience with online dating and had limited experience with dating. I was pretty sure that if I was alone I would do something stupid or dangerous, so I created a dating group made up of around thirty five of my close friends, including single and married friends, both husbands and wifes, and friends from different stages of my life. My poor friends. I would write them before and after I had a date about all my ups and downs. Thank goodness for friends. Having them made me felt safe and grounded.

My friend recommended OkCupid since she met her husband there. I trusted her taste knowing that I liked the books she read, the restaurants she ate at, the clothing stores she shopped at, and most importantly, the friends she kept and how she cared for her families. Commercials and ads didn’t usually get my attention; however words from friends, priceless. So I signed up and OkCupid became the first dating website that I really used to look for my prince.

OkCupid asked questions and their importances, and based on my answers it did fancy calculations and matched me with men with similar answers and importances. Each profile I saw had a percentage prominently displayed on it. I spent a few hours answering questions feeling a bit silly, like I was taking a test in a social study class in high school. Some of these questions were serious, entertaining, silly, and some I didn’t want to answer and share with strangers. Some were easier to answer than others. My personality clearly showed on how I answered these questions. I knew my answer to “are you clean or messy?” I considered myself fairly neat. “How about him? Should he be clean or messy? And how important is this to you?” For my prince, was he required to be clean? It depended. I tended to see thing in a spectrum and not so simply black and white. Would I want to be unmatched with someone who honestly answered that he was a bit messy because he did not put his dirty socks in the hamper? I was not sure. As I went on answering hundreds of questions, I gave the opposite gender lots of latitude. I had a feeling that the OkCupid algorithm was not going to work for me that precisely. Another data point to show my personality was the my Myers Briggs.  I was right down the middle for all four areas and I took the test three times in college and at work. Let’s just say, I often see both black and white.

After I signed up with OkCupid and getting more comfortable with the idea of online dating, I was curious on how other dating websites worked. I went all out. I tried eHarmony, Tinder, Bumble, Coffee Meets Bagel, Hinge, and Happn. I learned about all of them. eHarmony gave curated matches based on a three-hour assessment during sign up. Tinder was based on first impression of photos and a short blurb. Matches were when both people liked each other. Bumble worked similar to Tinder expect that women had to message first after being matched. Coffee Meets Bagel also gave curated matches daily. Hinge found singles via my Facebook network. Happn showed singles near me as I moved around town. There were plenty of other online dating websites and apps that I did not try. But after all these, I thought I had a good idea of how online dating worked.

When I was in school, I had never cheated on any exams. In dating applications, I could pay for additional premium features. I could see more, like seeing who liked me. I tried hard to not pay for online dating. However, to understand if there was any benefits, I paid ten dollars on Bumble to see who swiped right on me for a short period of time. It was totally cheating as far as I was concerned but it was totally worth it. I looked through the list of people who liked me based on just my pictures. It was very educational and such a short cut.

Friend 1: Well, cheating or not, I call it curiosity. Why not. I’m sure you’ll find the guy to enjoy watching the clouds with you. If not, you still would enjoy a beautiful day.

Friend 2: LOL!  That doesn’t sound like cheating to me. Just data gathering!

For those of you who had visited my place know that I now take a minimalist approach in life. I approached online dating the same way. After having a bit of looking around, I deactivated my accounts on most of them. I saw some of the same men on multiple sites. I also stuck to not paying for additional premium features feeling that knowing who liked me did not change how I felt about them. More is not better.

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