I met both of my ex-boyfriends in college, pre-online-dating and pre-smartphone. Match.com, the first online dating website I heard of, was founded in 1995. I was late to dating and, again, was late to online dating. Nevertheless, I finally joined the masses and tried dating online.
First, I took it very seriously. I started by answering every single message I received. But some messages left me speechless.
Him 1: “Hi hru cutie” I was not cool enough to understand this right away. A few days later, he messaged again, “hi hru mindy!” What? I was confused. Then, he did that two more times. Finally, I got it. Oh, how are you. Too lazy?
Him 2: “I am happily married. Looking for some fun. Let me know if you would be interested.” Wow. This was beyond being libraral for me. It was beyond me. Not my kind of fun?
Him 3: “I am very subservient. I would be willing to do anything you want. I can clean. I will obey your commands sexutally or emotionally.” We hadn’t even met and he was offering his world to me. Hmm, not my type?
Him 4: A write who literally wrote a very long essay about himself. To be honest, I could not finish reading…
Him 5: “Hey. There are not that many Asians on here. We are both Asian. We should go out!”
After chatting with my friends who were more experienced and were successfully at online, I stopped answering messages. This was not work. I was not being rude, especially if the messages did not make sense. Or I was just not interested when the messages was “hi” or “hey.” I learned that no one answers every single message.
Then, I approached this with a very open mind. I met up with anyone who wrote a decent message to me, which was about 10% of the time. Without OkCupid, I would not have ever met most of these men from different parts of Greater Boston. I was excited to meet new people. Though messaging, I sometimes connected with someone on where we both went to college, what movie we liked, a compliment about my profile or picture, or a curious question. Most of these first dates did not work out.
Be open was good but I learned that I also needed to understand what I was looking for. At the end of the day, I am half of the equation. A friend had told me that online dating was a number’s game. I went back and forth on that. Was meeting more men better? Or was it meeting more of the right men?
Of course, I turned to books and read Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari. Aziz did a great job taking about the new way of dating with humor. I liked seeing my own dating stories with humor too.
Finally, I started seeing the same profiles of men. It was like living in the same neighborhood for all my life. I was bounded to see the same old faces. To change things up a bit, I tried other dating apps besides OkCupid. Still pretty much some of the same faces. More apps and websites did not change who were available in Boston. That made sense to me.
Luckily, I still believe in serendipity in life. What may come may come! Good luck to all the singles out there!