Online Dating Challenge Part 1: What I Learned
I’ve put the following items on my face in an attempt to find the perfect DIY skincare: hemorrhoid cream, milk of magnesia, goat’s milk and countless produce and dairy concoctions made into masks. So, when we started talking about some ideas we've thought about for an online dating article, actually trying out a service didn’t seem so scary in comparison. Especially when you consider the massive breakouts I endured after applying goat’s milk (FYI - do not try).
Before I had even signed up for a service, I'll admit that the idea of online dating had my curiosity piqued. Was it like online shopping? Did I get to browse through pictures of gentlemen until I found one that met my criteria and did I then get to pick one up like a half off tweed blazer at Zara? Maybe it was more like a flash sale site where I would have to act fast or that perfect handbag, I mean man, would be lost forever. Or maybe it was more like some sort of shady international operation. When those Prada sunglasses I ordered arrived, I would open the box to find out that they were not at all what they had seemed like online. And wait a minute, did they say Prado on the side? Before I worked myself up too much, I read some of the success stories on the online dating forum on Chick. Though I am not necessarily concerned with finding "The One" at the moment, the idea of dating and meeting someone new was exciting.
I will go as far as saying that my dating life pre-online was... lacklustre to say the least. I guess the combination of being in full time school, interning and also working hadn't left me with much time to meet new guys. You know in those old cartoons, when they're in a desert in the wild west and there's not a soul in sight when a tumble weed rolls by with the wind? That was my dating life.
(images via someecards.com, someecards.com, healthland.time.com, wecsabdn.co.uk, theymightbescientists.blogspot.ca)
So, I dove in head first and started an online profile. I was nervous, what with the whole stranger danger factor, but I figured that there were tons of people this has worked for and I am a smart cookie. I'd play it safe. I chose to try OkCupid, a free dating service and I immediately lowered my expectations. I was anticipating receiving a high number of awful messages from Prado sunglass types. However, I have to say, I have been proved wrong and I kind of, actually (dare I say it) like this whole online dating thing.
Now, before you go into online dating, there are a few things you need to know. Here are some tips I have for beginners out there like me:
1. You're not looking for a pen pal: So you've been exchanging messages with a cute someone for a while but now you're stuck in a weird holding pattern and no one has mentioned meeting up. End it. You're not looking for a pen pal, you're here to date. Exception to this rule is if you are looking for a pen pal.
2. Chemistry isn't calculated: It's easy to dismiss a potential because they don't have a high enough compatibility rating with you. But a computer can't tell you how you'll feel when you meet up in person. These calculations are based on answers to random questions. Of course, if you know right away you won't get along then don't message someone. But if you're feeling something, don't disregard them because of what a computer tells you.
3. Be open: This is the perfect opportunity to date someone you might not normally go for. Get out of your comfort zone, you just might find something wonderful and unexpected.
4. Trust your gut: If something feels off or you don't like a message that is sent to you, don't respond to it. Delete it and block them if necessary. Don't do anything you don't want to do. You will get a few Prado-esque messages here and there and feel free to completely ignore them. They aren't worth your time.
5. Be bold and brave: If you think you might like a guy, message him!
Lastly, of course, always be safe! So, are you wondering how I fared in my online dating challenge? Don't worry, I will let you know all about my bachelors and potential suitors and tell you a few very embarrassing stories along the way. If you're interested in online dating, I totally recommend it. I've actually enjoyed it enough, that a few of my friends are hooked on it too. You meet some great people through it and if you're a lady (and not that I condone this) you're going to get a ton of free meals (score!).
Let me know what you think of online dating, if you've tried it and how it was for you!
More by Alexandra C.
More on Relationships
I honestly have online dated on and off for a couple years, hattedddd iit. only because I met a couple idiots and they didnt seem that way online..can be misleading and Im leaving love life happiness up to the gods and mother nature..what comes will come, found it hard to put yourself through expectations and feeling hte need to settle with whoever you find..bah
I'm a fan of online dating. I've done it myself, and work with a ton of client's who have met online. You definitely need to have patience, and be able to just ignore the weirdo's who contact you.. Eventually you will find your prince (or princess) charming though. I think it's a great way to get yourself out there!
I think online dating is a great resource. You sort of just cut to the chase really fast. It's not like when you're friends introduce you, and both of you are wondering if you're friends, if you're looking for something more, will it ruin the friendship to suggest a date....? You're on the site 'cuz you want to date, so it takes a lot of the guess work out.
So glad I have someone for the last 12 years and don't need to think about online dating. It would be scary, being you don't always get what you think you will. I think if I became single, I'd stick to the usual way of face-to-face meetings, chance or not.
Proposed addendum to point 3. Never get your hopes up until you meet in person because even if they are awesome and you get along great online or on the phone, if there is no chemistry in person, you are wasting your time. (although there is no reason not to stay friends). In my online dating career, I have found it seems the ones I am all nail biting and butterflies to meet always let me down. It is the ones that seem potentially ordinary that surprise you. (like my husband!)
This is going to be great! I can't wait to read more! I've tried the whole online dating thing without success. I always got the "Prado" types. But, then again, my brother found his fiance on Plenty of Fish, so it DOES work for some people!
I love this, and I'm looking forward to hearing about all of your good & bad dating stories!
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