Wow I can’t believe it has already been two weeks since my initial voyage into the online dating world. It has been relatively slow but also pretty entertaining. I was pretty active on plentyoffish (POF) for the first few days but after one disastrous date I have been shying away and am not sure how much longer I will keep with it. More on that date later.
I made the decision with eharmony to go ahead and pay after I found a discount code online. For anyone considering joining a site like this, I highly recommend searching online for sites that collect promo codes and try them, nothing bad happens if they don’t work, but you might also get a good deal. The eharmony rates when I was looking were at minimum $24 a month for 12 months I think; all collected in your first three months. So really it’s approximately $280 for a year. Other options were $30+ a month for 6 months or $40 something a month for a three month membership. With a simple search online for promo codes I found a code that worked and got me a 3 month membership for $30 total. Success! As I have now realized, there is really no other way to do the online dating scene. As stereotypical or judgmental as it may sound, sharing pictures helps. I was way too hesitant to continue communicating with people knowing they could see me but I could not see them. Eharmony gives you anywhere from 5- 10 new matches a day and I have successfully navigated all of the steps of their guided communication.
What are all the stages of the guided communication you ask? It actually reminds me of sorority recruitment a little bit. It is very mutually selective. There are four stages and throughout the stages each person must make the decision to continue the process. Let’s say the guy initiates the process. He would send the girl the 5 multiple choice questions as I mentioned in the first post. When the girl receives them she can choose to ignore the questions upon review of his profile and close the match, or she can answer his questions and choose to ask him 5 questions in return. Upon receipt of his answers it is then the girls job to initiate the next stage of the process. Sending your “must haves and can’t haves” which are 10 traits or characteristics that a potential mate must have or can’t have. For example, for me, we must have chemistry and he must have ambition and family values, but he can’t be a pessimist or have an addiction to illegal substances. He would then review your list and send his own. If you accept his list and feel that it applies to you then you ask 3 open ended questions. You can choose from a long list of examples or write your own. The guy would answer your questions and then ask their own 3 questions if they want to proceed. After you answer their questions it is in the guys hands to enter the stage of eharmony email. Once this stage has been entered communication is open to both sides to communicate freely. It is also still secure and at this stage they still don’t know your last name or easily identifiable information about you, outside of what you have told them, so there is still some comfort and security even though this is a person you are meeting and getting to know over the internet. So far I have entered the email stage with three guys, all pretty different with different backgrounds. I share some common interests with all of them. I think if we are both interested, it will take meeting them and seeing how our chemistry is in person to really gauge any potential that we might have together, but so far they seem pretty great and I am excited to see what may happen with any of them. My first date with one of them is this Saturday, and with no hint whatsoever he picked one of my favorite restaurants to meet up for dinner, already a HUGE step up from that horrendous date I mentioned previously.
Ok, now that I have bored you with the workings of eharmony I will share with you the disaster of a date I had… get ready because it is a good one. We’ll call him Joker for the purpose of my story. I subjected myself to this disaster, I initiated the contact and sent him a message, his profile seemed interesting and like we might have a few things in common. His profile picture was pretty cute and everything else seemed to line up. We sent messages back and forth a few times, first the basic, where are you from, what do you like to do, where have you traveled, and then he changed it up and asked me what I would want for my last meal if I was on death row. Now to some this may be weird, but I thought it was interesting and I was intrigued by the fact that he was going outside of the normal questions I was getting from most of the other guys on the site. Oh, to be clear, this was a POF candidate, not eharmony. His fellow POF comrades are consistent with the simple “hello” message, or the “let’s hang out”… umm really, who are you? I realize I joined these sites myself, but I’m not about to run out the door to meet some random guy from the internet without exchanging at least some information about ourselves. I need to feel curious or interested to take the time to meet you. I digress… back to Joker. It was a Sunday afternoon when we exchanged phone numbers. I got a few texts from him where we went back and forth about the possibility of meeting up that evening, I shared with him that I had the next day off from work, mistake #1. Mistake because it takes my excuse to need to get home at a reasonable hour for work out of the equation. He later called and explained that he was at a friends house recording music or something… I’m thinking cool he has friends and interesting hobbies. Also during our call he tells me about his obsession with the willy wonka candy Kazoozles, mistake #2, a guy that spends 10 minutes of your first phone conversation, which in total was probably no more than 15 minutes long, telling you about how he loves this type of candy and it is addicting like heroin. Now the icing on the cake of the whole interaction, apparently during that day he ran into an old high school friend on the street and his friend would be working at JR’s that night, would I want to accompany him to such a place? Here is where I clue you in to the hidden humor in all of this; JR’s is a gay bar. Not the typical location for a first date but in my head I’m thinking, we just met online, in case this is completely awkward, hopefully the bar will be pretty active and we won’t be left to ourselves. So, I figure, I have to get the first official date out of the day, no time like the present, just get it over with.
The Joker called me on my way to the bar to ask where I was and how soon I would be there. I was maybe 5-10 min max away from the bar. He says great see you there. I missed a turn so it ended up taking me maybe 5 minutes longer to arrive. I get there and it’s a nice night out so I decide to stand outside and wait before going in. On the phone he expressed that he wanted to make sure we walked in together because he was nervous about going in alone. If you can’t handle being a straight guy at a gay bar, why did you suggest it? Super lame if you ask me. I like a guy with some confidence. So I wait, and I wait. 15 minutes later I text my roommate and ask her how long I should wait. He called to make sure I’m coming so he can’t be standing me up right? Then I become paranoid that he’s hiding somewhere and watching me, waiting for me to walk back to my car. Then I finally decide, one more minute, if he’s not there in one more minute I am out of here. Then magically, the phone rings, oh that’s a detail I forgot, Joker told me his phone was dying when we spoke while I was on my way… so I tried calling while waiting and no answer- straight to voicemail.. anyway the phone rings, and he asks where I am… UMM DUDE! I’ve been standing outside of this gay bar for almost 20 minutes just like we talked about. He says he got into an argument with a friend and he is now on his way.. asks me to please not leave. In the end, he showed up, 35 MINUTES AFTER I GOT THERE! Not a great first impression whatsoever. So at this point my normally happy, bubbly, laid back personality is already being tested. On top of that, his profile had him listed as 5’8”, I am around 5’4” and I was wearing heels, I towered over him, as in 2 or 3″ which would make him more like 5’6″ because they were not that high.. no way he was really 5’8”… now we are really not off to a great start. (As a result my new minimum for height is AT least 5’9″ if not 5’10″… And more, he didn’t look like he had showered or combed his hair or shaved at all that day.. now I’m not that high maintenance, I probably don’t need all of those things, it’s Sunday I get it if you don’t want to shave, but I don’t think the other two are all that much to ask. In my head all I can think is how soon will this be over. But, I’m optimistic and want to give him a chance, I showered and went to the trouble to clean myself up, I needed to see it through. But in reality… it was all downhill from there. It has taken me so long to write about it because after the initial laugh I was trying not to think about it. The highlights include:
– He had to walk to our date because he got a DUI and doesn’t have a license. We all make mistakes and I probably could have dealt with this.. except he said for his DUI he spent 30 days in jail, ummm no way on your first DUI you spend 30 days in jail, so this is a huge red flag that there is more in his history that he is not sharing…
– He strongly believes Jesus Christ saved his life and he can save mine too. And by the way, you don’t need to go to God, “the big guy” as he called him, Jesus is there for you anytime.
– I couldn’t get a word in ever; he literally talked the entire time. (If you know me personally you can just imagine this one playing out, let’s just say I can talk quite a bit myself…)
– The bouncer at the door gave us the most hilarious look when we walked in the door, he had just seen me wait 30+ minutes outside and then I walk in with this small version of a man. I think he had a good laugh inside. And he gave me a hug which I think intimidated the Joker. But I appreciated the hard time he gave him for keeping me waiting so long.
– It was karaoke night at the bar, thank goodness, it gave me something to pay attention to while he was yammering on and on and on.
At the end of the date, he decided to tell me he didn’t think we had much in common and he would not be calling me again to hang out. In my head I rejoiced as I had just spent the entire previous two hours thinking of what I would say if he did want to see each other again. He also decided to tell me that mentally I was not there; he thought I had been checked out all night. He thought that I was still attached to my ex. We are still friends and I will always have a special place in my heart for him but I am ready to meet new people and start dating again. I am very confident in this fact. He can think what he wants, and take my lack of interest in him as a sign of whatever will help him sleep at night, but I don’t need someone who has known me for 2 hours max to overanalyze “where I am.” He then tried to kiss me, hahahahha, I almost laughed, dude you just told me you never want to talk to me again and now you expect me to kiss you. He also mentioned that he thinks I should take time to myself, because you know he owns his house and has his “stuff” together … really? You can’t drive yourself to the date and you’re going to tell me I don’t have my life together… ok sure. He reminds me that Jesus can save me. And then he tries to hold my hand and say maybe we should try this again. UMM NO.. you just told me 2 minutes ago you never wanted to talk to me again and now you do… ok I’m done. I called him out for his mixed signals, thanked him for my two beers… and made my way home. I’m hoping the worst of things that can happen on a date just worked their way out of my system and it can only go up from here. Because that was miserable and if it weren’t for the awesome singers at karaoke I don’t think I would have survived.
On the bright side, I have a date with a guy from eharmony on Saturday and I am really excited. I need to come up with his code name. I think after our date I will have a better idea on a fitting name for him. So, stay tuned, there are many single girl adventures to come :-)