June 15, 2009

Where did all the good guys go?

I have been having less-than-stellar luck with this online dating adventure I've commenced. I know not everyone I meet will be a match, naturally. But do we see a pattern of communication here?

Guy #1: no chemistry (in my opinion)
Guy #2: no chemistry (in both our opinions)
Guy #3: talked only about himself - was over after 1/2 cappuccino
Guy #4: Pete. Really really liked. Busy schedules but great phone. Had our last great conversation about a month ago, never heard from him again.
Guy #5: more into me than I was into him.
Guy #6: 2 awesome emails, 1 great 2-hour phone call, agreement to meet for dinner... never heard from him again.
Guy #7: 4 great emails, asked me for my number to talk over the phone, I email it... never heard from him again.
Guy #8: good AIM conversations for about 4 days, suddenly never appears online anymore.


What is it with guys and the disappearing act? I'm not gonna say I've never done it, but definitely not in the last couple of years. We're too old for that.

Gentlemen, if you're not feeling it with a girl, the manly thing to do is tell her. If not to her face, then over the phone, even over email or (shudders) text. At least the rejection will be clear, even if you don't provide a reason.

And as an aside, as I wasn't in official relationships with any of these guys, I'm aware they didn't "owe me" any explanation, or so I'm told. But isn't informative honestly the most respectful way to speak with someone?

After experimenting with a 6-month membership begun in February (it's up in August), I have learned a few things about the digital jungle that is online dating:
  • Appearances usually disappoint, compared to photos and the image you conjure up in your head.
  • Going into the date, you must be prepared with lots of interesting, open-ended questions to keep the conversation going.
  • Men (and women) seem to approach this form of dating like a sport. It's high-volume and low-risk, so you can never assume you're special to anyone.
  • First impressions are paramount. If he isn't interested in making his a good one, it's all downhill from there.
  • Like Chris Rock said, on a date, you aren't meeting the person; you're meeting their representative. Everyone has flaws, skeletons and quirks that will eventually come out and annoy you.
  • Don't let the stars in your head get too shiny. Until he says it, you are NOT exclusive.
  • Keeping your pants on keeps your guard up. Physical intimacy leads to emotional attachment, so stay away. You look at men more objectively when you haven't gone past kissing.
  • Update pictures every couple of months. There's nothing more annoying than meeting someone whose pictures were taken 2 years or 30lbs ago, especially when you put yourself out there honestly and clearly.
  • For each new person you meet, try a new place. So if the date sucks, at least you tried a new pub/restaurant/cafe.
  • Take a date with someone who's not your type. You might stumble upon your new type, or gain a new friend in the process.

So ladies, if you're considering taking the plunge, I say go for it. You spend the amount you'd spend in a weekend in the city (easily) for a 6-month membership. You'll meet new people, enhance your calendar and maybe even meet someone special. The downsides are that since these potential matches aren't much more than complete strangers, it's very easy for them to disappear, seemingly out of the blue. There are also many people on there for whom it's easy to see why they are single.

I'm going to keep on trucking with this for the next couple of months. Assuming I don't meet a good match by mid-August, I'm giving my subscription a break. Playing the game can be tiring, but not if you always remember that for many men, it is a game.

And boys, if you're not feeling a girl, just tell her, damn it!



LuLu Lake said...

This proves that men suck. They are pretty much selfish creatures :-)

I hope you find a good one soon!

Carolina Girl said...

It has been my experience that a lot of guys that do the online dating thing are just "fishing" and are not serious. I think they get spooked when you actually want to meet up with them. I don't know, but you are right. The whole disapearing act is so disapointing. It's happened to me too before. Keep trying though! :) My best friend just had her first baby with her husband, and they both met on Match.com. Also my co-worker just got engaged to a guy she met online as well. So there are some good guys out there, it just takes a lot of "kissing of frogs" I think.

Elliott said...

Oh honey, what a list! As someone who survived the online dating wars (and they were wars), but actually met my husband through an online dating site, can I add another tip? "Talk" either online or on the phone for a maximum of two weeks before you agree to meet in person.

If you're that interested in speaking with someone, you have to find out if you have any chemistry in person. If he hasn't asked you out by the end of the two week period, then you should go for it. There's nothing worse than building up too high of expectations only to have them crumble over coffee.

Here's to finding a great guy. They are out there!