Sunday, November 25, 2012

Online Dating Escapades

I've been doing this online dating thing for a few months now, and I'm actually pretty happy.  I met a wonderful young lady with whom I seem to have a lot in common.  We've been dating a few weeks now and there seems to be mutual interest in and attraction to each other.  We've talked about having God at the center of our relationship, and it's apparent He is guiding us both in so many ways.  I like the direction we're going.  I am legitimately excited.  We even share the same birthday (we were born on the same day, in the same year)!

This online dating is really frustrating, though, and I'm really glad that my membership runs out in a few weeks.  While it appears that I've had success, it wasn't so easy getting there and I'm still not sure I would recommend it.  It can be frustrating to get messages from women who either don't read all the way through my profile, or just ignore my listed preferences.  I've heard from many women well outside my distance preferences, and regularly get contacted by women significantly above my age range.  Then there are the women that send me messages questioning my preferences, as if I don't know who I'm looking for since they don't match up with me.

I received a message from a young lady last evening who took the time to compliment me on my profile, but then take me to task for expressing my preferences in my profile because she didn't match one of them.  So she is upset at me because she doesn't meet my "requirements".  She closed her message by insulting me.  Since she didn't specify which "requirement" she was upset about, I looked at her profile and discovered that we had very little in common, and there were multiple areas where we didn't match.  I took a guess and figured that her issue must have been with my distance preferences.  She lives in northwestern Virginia, just a bit outside of the area I prefer.  So I decided to write her back.  I apologized to her for being so picky, and I gave reasons for choosing my preferences as I did, which are based on my experiences with online dating, specifically focusing on the distance issues (I've done long-distance relationships and found they just don't work for me).  I did question her as to why she chose to send a message to me if it was only to criticize me, as that seemed to be an unusual way of looking for online dates.  Additionally, I made a point of mentioning that it appeared we had very little in common.  She wrote back rather quickly early this morning to let me know that her criticism had to do with my education "requirements".  She assumed that, because I listed that my matches have a degree, then that ruled her, and potentially many other dates, out of the running before we even began communication.  She said that, even though she had just started online dating after her 18-year marriage failed, my profile was the first that she had seen that had so many "requirements".  She again insulted me, this time for being "close-minded", and wished me good luck in my "conquest".

Of course, she's right.  Even though I argued that these were only preferences, not "requirements", I shouldn't rule out anyone who could be a potential match just because of an educational background.  The only defense I can give is that I honestly assumed that this preference would only come up in searches, and could not be seen on my profile.  That's no excuse, though.  I know better.

The other side to this is the anger that is shown to someone you've never met only because they have preferences you don't match up with.  I don't get that.

This dating site has been a mixed bag, honestly.  I'm pleased to have found someone I really like who matches up well with me.  But the negatives far out-weigh the positives.  In a future post I will share another story about a phishing scam I fell for involving an uncut-diamond-dealing, rich philanthropist who tried to get me to commit my love to her even though we hadn't met, and even though her profile, which said she was divorced from Oregon, didn't match her background as a widow from Spain.  You can't make this stuff up.  Maybe I can sell the movie rights to Lifetime Network?  That is, if they haven't already made this movie.

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