Tuesday, March 24, 2009

And this is why internet dating is the ninth circle of hell.

Alrighty. So here is the latest in a long line of deep irritations with the whole internet dating thing.

And let me begin by saying, before you write in, I'm thrilled you met your fabulous boyfriend on Match.com, and couldn't be happier that your Cousin Sheila just married some guy she hooked up with on Chemistry.com. I'm just saying that in the seven years since my divorce I have now been on, wait for it....47 first dates based on online meetings.

Only two of these generated second dates.

I’m still single, so you know how those turned out.

This is not a good ratio in terms of time-management. I have essentially given up on the whole thing; it is too expensive, too subjective, and too time-consuming. I have been on first dates with guys who were 20 years older than they claimed, 50 pounds heavier than their pictures, and who were, whether they know it consciously or not, gay. Not effete or mincing. Just, um, never even peek at my cleavage, never had a girlfriend longer than six months even though you are in your forties, we-seem-to-both-be-distracted-by-the-same-hot-waiter GAY. Nothing wrong with being gay, a huge percentage of my favorite people are same-sex oriented, just, um, don't pretend you want to date me!

I have been on dates with guys who have been less employed, less racially-tolerant, less intelligent, and less divorced than they would have led me to believe. This doesn’t even take into account the endless e-mails with guys who never pull the trigger on the actual first date…and you know what? I’m awesome at e-mail. I’m witty. I’m creative. I FUCKING WRITE FOR A LIVING, and I’m tired of giving it away for free and then having the recipient disappear into the ether.

In spite of the numerous online-dating indignities I have suffered, I do, however, keep a profile posted on JDate, because I am single and Jewish and if we believe Elijah may come back, maybe he'll be cute and looking for a girlfriend. I do not pay for a subscription because it is $35 freaking dollars a month and I'd rather keep that in my cocktail budget, thank you.

On JDate, if someone sends you an e-mail, you have to be a subscriber in order to A) see who it is and 2) read it. This means that if you aren't paying them the monthly fee, you have no idea if 1) it is some guy who has tried four times to convince you to go out with him or B) your future husband. So my policy is to wait for someone to write, pay the toll, and deal with the financial consequences in the spirit of hope.

Besides, I only get a nibble about two to three times a year on JDate, so it is actually more cost effective this way.Yesterday I was informed that I had mail. I paid my $35 (SERIOUSLY, PEOPLE? $35? Without lube?) and checked it out. It was from a guy whose profile I had seen before, and frankly, hadn't been much impressed. Not unattractive, but not necessarily my particular flavor. Not inarticulate in his narrative, but didn't spark as particularly interesting in a way that made me tingly either. However, I know it is hard to reach out to a stranger, and his profile hadn't been awful, so I forged ahead with an open mind.Here was his e-mail:

Hey-- I read your profile and you really sound great, but I just can't understand how it can be that you can not make coffee. Good coffee is so easy to make! Maybe I could teach you how and then you would be perfect in every way? Josh

(In case you haven't gleaned, I mention that I cannot make a decent cup of joe in my profile.)

Okay. Not terribly original, but not totally inane either. I've been trying to be more open-minded about guys lately, I work at home lord love me, and am starting to be tempted to set things on fire so that Firemen will come over, I should give him a chance.

I replied.

Josh-I know, the coffee thing is really embarrassing, especially for a gourmet chef. So obviously you are a Master Barrista, anything else I should know about you? Stacey

To which he replied:

Hey Stacey-Sorry, I was just interested in the coffee thing. I didn't mean to flirt. I apologise for being a jerk. Josh

He did not apologize for being a bad speller.

$35 for this?

My reply:

Josh- Small note....this is JDate. The whole 'date' part of that title seems to generically imply that one would be here to, um, meet other single like-minded individuals for, well, DATING purposes. If you have a particular interest in offering coffee making lessons, I suggest Craigslist or the Reader Classifieds.

Or at least lead with "I'm not attempting to get to know you in any way, just wanted to offer to teach you how to make coffee." Doesn't make you a jerk, just sort of puzzling. Well, you might be a jerk. I don't know anything about you except you can apparently not only make coffee, but are willing to share that knowledge with others. I'll leave acknowledgement of your jerkiness up to you.

One other thing: Many people do not keep up a subscription to JDate, but allow their profiles to be seen. When someone gets an e-mail, they do have to pay at least a one-month $35 fee to read said e-mail and respond. If you tend to only have sporadic messages, often skipping two or three months at a time, it is still more cost-effective than maintaining the year-round expense.I share this only to say that, again, on a DATING site, you might want to think in advance whether your humanitarian coffee-making aid might be worth $35 to someone who might be here in an honest effort to meet potential suitors.

You know, just a thought.

Best, Stacey

I mean, really.

If you have a nightmare or two yourself....feel free to share with the class.


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  2. I have a marvelous idea! Why don't we just set Josh on fire!

  3. Here's my online dating nightmare!


  4. Perfect date story - went on 2 dates with a guy and realized that he just wasn't for me. Nothing inherently wrong with him- but just not feeling any sparks whatsoever.

    He asked me via the internet if I wanted to continue to date. I politely declined, said he was an awesome guy but I just wasn't ready. I used ALL the cliche things you are supposed to say that conveys the "it's not you it's me...... ok it's really you" sentiment.

    Let me preface this here. He asked me what nationality I am on our first date and i replied that I was mainly Native american (like 16% - big whoop) and the rest of me is a mix.

    Fast foward back to me letting him down and signing off line when I could see he was getting upset. The next day I got an email addressed to me and all mutual friends (that he met through facebook) that went on to slander me to no end, saying I defamed his character and wronged him (remember... TWO dates). At the end he wrote (exact words): "You told me you were Native American. If that's even true, you are a DISGRACE to your tribe."

    Can't make this stuff up. Apparantly because I have Native American blood in me I a) attend tribal meetings and b) shamed generations before me.

    There were many more ridiculous statements in his mature email - but that was the best part.

    (and yes I met him online and yes I've given up on the online dating for a while)

  5. So I've been single awhile now and my girlfriend wrote a profile for me, posted a picture, "winked" at a few guys to get things rolling, prepaid 6 months (because she knew I wouldn't do it otherwise and I respond well to guilt), emailed me the login and password and refused to answer her phone when I tried calling 4 billion times to yell at her. Anyhoo, I played on there for awhile, which I might add you can really take man-bashing to a new level, and met Mike. Mike was great on paper; funny, charming, not pretentious at all, seemed like a great guy.

    1 date to discover that the reason he talked me out of meeting for a cocktail at a nice place is because he doesn't like snooty places and also refuses to wear anything other than a hole filled shirt, shorts and flip flops. The Libertarian (did not know that) refused to stop talking politics even after I said that I didn't want to talk about politics because it's a volatile subject and a little deep for a first date. I wanted to meet for cocktails, something light and short so if it didn't work out, it's only an hour. He talked me into a full on Mexican dinner which I had to listen to his political crap.

    Finally, after an hour of him going on and on, I couldn't be quiet anymore and got into a heated discussion on the merits of taxes and why they're necessary for our society. He looked like a dumbass as he sat there.

    I knew it wasn't going to work out when the first words out of his mouth were, "WOW, you're tall!" I'm 5'7", not that tall. He didn't open with, nice to meet you, how are you, you must be Sue, nothing other than I'm tall. I followed it with, "no, you're just short."

    I should have turned around and drove home. I left a message for my girlfriend that said simply this, "there's 3 hours I'll never get back." click

    Was extremely happy when the 6 months ended. Sue

  6. This is just one of the plethora of internet dating stories and one of the many reasons i think i should start adopting cats.

    I'm just going to touch on some of the highlights:

    - He went for a kiss (he got the cheek) on the initial hello hug

    - Had some weird nervous twitching thing going on most of the night...i almost called him out on it, but if it was a condition i didn't want to look like a jerk

    - Half the night he did this weird thing where he'd pick his glass up with his right hand swipe the side of his glass across his left temple before he took a drink...once again, i wanted to call him out on it but...

    - He didn't have a whole lot of interests/hobbies besides food and football...so we did a lot of talking about football games and that's about it. When asked what else he liked to do his response "umm...i like to clean my apartment" Really?!? That's the best you could come up with?!?!

    - When he talked he just wanted to say his peace and move on...there was no back and forth in the conversation which made it seem like i was interviewing him more than having a conversation. He'd just sit there and stare at me, waiting for me to ask something else.

    - He was super touchy/feel-y...which i'm fine with after we've gone out a couple times. but on the first date (when there's no chemistry) i don't want to sit and hold your hand and stare longingly into your eyes...

    - He stared creepily at me whenever i took a drink from my glass.

    - He had to pee 3 times in the hour and a half (tops!) we were out...i'm thinking now that maybe he was extreme OCD?

    - When things were winding down he kept hinting that he wanted me to invite him back to my place (um...no). I quote, "We should go some place more private, with no people" (HELL NO)

    - Said he was 5'8...but definitely shorter than me (5'6)...glad i decided not to wear heels!

    i'm thinking it's time to stop internet dating.

  7. OMG, you guys, I'm peeing over here. These stories are hi-larious.

    If you really want to read all of my best dating disasters, check out my books. Because if I have to suffer through a bad date with you? I'm totally putting it in a book! This is especially true in both Inappropriate Men and Room for Improvement. And yes, if you read them and ask I will tell you which ones are true and which ones I made up...you'll be shocked!

  8. I'm only 24 but already out of touch with the whole online dating concept. I did it as a teenager when it was still REALLY taboo and there were only two classes of online dating-- total geeks (that was and still is me) and hardcore sexual deviants willing to go out of the range of their local personals. But I tried it again 2 years ago and god it was HORRIBLE. I don't consider myself shallow but I could SO tell this guy used this "young and hot" pictures on his profile because he not only looked nothing like his pictures but was pretty haggard-- he claimed to be 27 but looked at least 35. We went on this date that was so awkward and clumsy it felt like my sophomore year of high school all over again. Online dating hasn't worked for anyone I know! I think some things are best off not left to the internet.

  9. I wouldn't go so far as the 9th circle of hell, somewhere from 2 - 4 sounds about right.