With blogger like SO@24 and others talking about online dating, I am going to add my experiences in the mix, to show it's actually not too bad an experience, with the right site. I have tried online dating 2 times with entirely different outcomes.
The first time I used an absolutely amazing site, personals.fark.com which links up with a lot of other sites, like personals.theonion.com and such. The people were intelligent, fun, and the questions are interesting. It seems a site geared for intelligent people who are looking to people for their actual personality and not sex. Don't be fooled, there are definitely site's that are all about the hookup. Seriously though, look at these questions. They are much better then match or eharmony or something.
The last great book I read
My most humbling moment
Favorite on-screen sex scene
Movies which spend the most time in my DVD player
If I could be anywhere right now
Five items I can't live without
Fill in the blank: _____ is sexy; _____ is sexier.
In my bedroom one will find...
If I was given a million dollars
In my refrigerator one will find...
I only listed a few questions but the site has more and they get even more creative. What I love is all the questions are designed to really show your personality and the quirks. Instead of the same generic answers a lot of other dating sites seem to almost force with their boring questions, this site is the opposite. I joined this site, paid a really reasonable amount for the email/contact privileges and got started. Early on I received a lot of responses and began talking to some amazing people. I made some friends that I still talk to like 5 years later.
I met Patrick, who was a recent Harvard grad and philosophy major, moving back to the Chicago area. He had signed up before coming back from Boston and wanted to meet new people here. We emailed a lot and talked on the phone. After his graduation he went on a trip to Italy, sent me pics, and we got along so well over the phone that we decided to go out on a date. We met at the PF hangs in Northbrook and he was tall, handsome, and just like his pictures. He also brought me a present. Not roses or chocolates (thought I love both!) but something even more thoughtful. He brought me Albert Camus's "The Stranger". This guy brought me a book he liked and hoped I would like. That is sexy. So we had a fabulous dinner, ended up driving to his house where his family had an indoor pool and went for a midnight swim. We went out a few times after that, having a great time, and then our lives got really busy. He was a teacher and I was working full time and a full time student. To this day we still keep up and we even recently discovered that we both had really really liked each other and wished we had gone out more.
I also met Stephen, a Tufts grad working downtown and into comedy. He was tall, funny, hyper, and made me smile. We talked for months and months, late at night about anything and everything. We finally went on a date to the movies and had a great time. Things went really well but at that time Brian the crazy was in my life and kept being a psycho about me going on dates and his consistent phone calls kind of scared Stephen. In the end he was too busy with his acting and I had started seeing Brian so we parted peacefully, always talking. When E's sister was here, we actually met up with him and he took us for middle eastern food. So, again, years later we hang out and talk.
I went out with a few other guys. One was a disaster, came in a black velour button down and his car wouldn't start so we ended up taking mine. Took me to a dirty dirty bar with no chairs and then we ended up at a restaurant I liked where he ordered nothing but ate my chicken fingers. Also, had less hair then his pictures but not awful like the shirt. We ended up at my place, in the car. Okay I was living with my Gramma at the time so I was not going to invite him in. He ended up peeing in my neighbors bush, wtf?? and wanted me to come to his apt. Needless to say that was the only date with him.
I met another guy who was totally adorable but lived way far away. Also turned out he took the girl my ex bf first dated after me to her prom. Random world. I don't know what happened to him though.
Another guy, Loki, I never went out with but we had intense conversations and become so close online. I ended up seeing him at my college which was random and funny. He is a successful and smart guy and I always love talking to him. Also, he wrote amazing poetry.
So. Those were great dates overall. Oh! I forgot Mike. He is seriously the NICEST guy ever. Hardworking, sweet, funny, driven, and just great. We were all set to go to the Zoo but there was one thing. We met and he was, smaller then I expected and SUPER hairy. I actually did the 2nd most thing I am ashamed of in my life: I faked a panic attack and made him drop me off at my work on a Saturday. He believed me too. We are still online pals and I adore him.
Now, the second time, this past year that I tried dating online was just, ugh. I tried match.com and I think it is a gross site. The guys are really pervy or SUPER desperate. They are all about the looks, don't read the profile, are just, weird and try to hard. Out of the many emails I got, and I got a lot, only 1 seemed normal. I was actually too creeped out to ever meet anyone and the one guy I would have met, I was starting things up with Tal so I stopped communication on the site. I have heard from a lot of people that most guys are using it for a hook up site and aren't serious. Also, people spell everything wrong. It's atrocious! They don't use sentences, commas, and have terrible grammar. I am looking for a smart man, not a pervert or man who doesn't know the difference between "your" and "you're". (haha remember the friends episode with ross and rachel and the 18 page letter?).
Besides myself, I know quite a few people who have dont online dating. A few of my jewish friends have done jdate. One girl is getting married in a week from the guy she met on it and another friend has been seeing his gf for over 2 years from it. I have a few other friends in long term relationships from it and another friend who met her husband on it.
The thing about online dating is finding the right site. Looks do matter. No matter how much a conversation can be amazing, their has to be a physical chemistry. At least if you use a site based on personality, all dates might not work but you might make new friends who have friends not on a site that could be great for you. I suggest, put up an honest profile, the right girl will like you for you, don't worry about anything but being yourself. Looks matter but nothing is set in stone. We all have "ideal types" but alot of people end up with what they least expect. How many times do you hear a girl say "I love tall, skinny guys with shaggy hair" and end up with a guy not that much taller, medium height, and a buzzed head and are happy. Ha, so, okay, that's me. Tal is not my typical type at all. He has tattoo's, is only like 4 inches taller then me when I usually date guys 5 inches or more taller, and I love shaggy hair and he keeps his buzzed. So, again, nothing is set in stone, go out, have fun, and take chances. If you had a bad time on one site, try another. It's like, if one bar/club isn't a good place to meet someone, do you keep going or try a new one?
Good luck to everyone, because online, real life, a wedding, the grocery store, a job, whenever you find love, embrace it.
“To love is to risk not being loved in return. To hope is to risk pain. To try is to risk failure, but risk must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.”
“Do you want me to tell you something really subversive? Love is everything it's cracked up to be. That's why people are so cynical about it. It really is worth fighting for, being brave for, risking everything for. And the trouble is, if you don't risk anything, you risk even more.”