I swore I would never do this again. I’ve ranted up and down and sideways about it. But reading about everybody else succeeding with it is driving me berserk. So I’m back to online dating. Deep down I guess I always knew I’d be back; I never deleted my profile, only disabled it. Because I’m not one to quit at something, no matter how many times I fail. And all I’ve been doing is failing. I’ve been trying since May of 2008 and I have yet to meet ONE single person offline.
Do you have any idea how much of a loser that makes me feel like?
So right now meeting IRL is how I define “success” with online dating and that’s the low bar I’ve set for myself, although I still can’t pull it off. I’ve gotten awfully close but I just keep running into the same brick wall every time: as soon as I suggest meeting, the conversation screeches to a halt and girl stops responding and drops off the face of the earth. I don’t understand – is that the wrong thing to say? I can’t imagine that it is, as I constantly hear girls complaining how guys message endlessly but never want to meet. But it doesn’t matter if I want to meet after three days or three weeks. It doesn’t matter if I come up with a plan. It doesn’t matter if she’s the one who suggested meeting in the first place. I just can’t get it to happen.
Case in point: I reactivated my profile a few days ago and got a message from someone I’ve dubbed Passive-Aggressive Girl. We started talking and then she said, “let’s talk on the phone.”
I said, “Yes, let’s. What’s your number?”
Three weeks later and I was still waiting for it. Huh? What happened? I thought she wanted to talk? She was even making noises about meeting in person and I assumed that’s why she wanted to talk on the phone in the first place. Finally I heard from her, out of nowhere. By that point I’d given out my number to a couple of other girls, so at first I had no idea which one was calling me. And she didn’t want to tell me. It was like playing Clue. Finally she mentioned something I remembered from our emails.
“Aha, I know who this is,” I cried jubilantly.
“Who is this?”
“[OKC username]” Silence. “Hello?”
“How do you know?”
“Because you mentioned such-and-such and I remembered us talking about that,” I said. More silence.
“How do you remember that we talked about that? That was weeks ago. Why do you remember it?”
I rubbed my forehead. This was funny and cute at first but was quickly getting annoying. “Why? Am I not supposed to remember what we talked about?” No answer. “Sooooo… is your username your real name or what?”
“What did you say my username was?” she asked. I told her. Again. “How do you know that?”
For the love of God… “Because it’s short and simple. Am I not supposed to remember that either?”
“I don’t know,” she answered.
“So what is your name, then?” I prompted.
“I’d rather not say.”
“All righty then. This is going great,” I remarked.
“Indeed. Well, since you remember everything else, maybe you also remember what town I live in…” I actually didn’t, so I asked her and she told me.
“Oh yeah, I know where that is!”
“How do you know where that is?” she demanded. Now she was really getting on my nerves.
“Oh my God, because it’s five miles away from me. Everybody who lives here knows all the surrounding towns. It’s not like it’s hard to believe. What is it with you, anyway?”
“I just had a really long day and I’m really tired and don’t feel like talking.”
“What were you doing?”
“I don’t really want to talk about it.”
“Uh, okay. So if you don’t feel like talking, then why did you call me?”
“I’m starting to wonder the same thing myself right now,” she said. “Why don’t you just talk and I’ll listen.”
“Huh?? What do you want me to talk about….?” I asked.
“I don’t care. Anything.”
Now there was silence on my end. This was the most bizarre phone conversation I’ve had in a long time. The cogs turned in my head until I came to a resolution. She wants to be weird? Fine. I’ll give her weird. And then I’ll be done with her. So I cranked the dial up to 11 and proceeded to ramble at her for the next ten minutes about my psychic abilities, how my dead relatives have been reincarnated as forest animals, how I used to crank call Planned Parenthood and schedule fake abortions (actually that one was true…) and how sometimes I can feel the earth moving underneath me and hear the brain waves bouncing off the inside of my skull. And all throughout she didn’t make a peep. Finally I stopped dishing out my crazy talk and asked her what she thought.
“I don’t know what to think right now,” came the reply. “I don’t really like anything about you. I don’t like your voice, I don’t like your accent, I don’t like your laugh – I have a whole list of things I don’t like about you.”
“Oho! Like what else?” I inquired.
“I’d rather not say.”
“Come on, you can tell me anything. I don’t get offended.”
“Well, then, that’s your problem.”
“So I guess I won’t be hearing from you anymore then?” I posited.
“No, probably not. Good night.”
“Good night.” And we pretty much hung up on each other. And then I took a bow. You’re welcome.
Next up: Library Girl. Found her during one of my searches. She mentioned on her profile that she’d be open to book suggestions so I gave her one, along with a story about why I recommended that particular one. I also wasn’t familiar with her job title at the library, so I asked her what it entailed. Her response:
“That’s quite the anecdote 🙂 I think books are wonderful, but that didn’t lead me to librarianship! I got my training mostly in archival studies…trying to make important information last essentially forever. Your profile really amused me…you seem very creative and artistically inclined! My name is [codename]. I’d be happy to tell you more about what I do. I love it so it’s exciting for me when someone is interested.”
Um… okay? So if she’d be happy to tell me, then why didn’t she? The only theory I could come up with was that she was leaving me an opening. So I took it.
“Hmm. Well perhaps we should get together sometime and you can tell me all about it…” And I deliberately left it hanging. According to her match answers she was “willing to meet right away if their profile was cool”. I didn’t think I was being too forward. But nothing happened. So I waited a week and dropped another line: “I still would like to hear more about what you do, and you said you’d be happy to tell me, but you haven’t told me about it yet. How do you want to go about this?” Still no response. I don’t know, maybe I missed something. Looking back I guess I should have come up with a plan. Live and learn.
Next up: Burger Girl. Another library girl. Yet another in a long list of brunettes (I’m starting to notice a pattern). We hit it off immediately. I have a fun goofy profile because I’m a fun goofy person and want to meet other fun goofy people. Her profile fit the bill perfectly. We started writing each other page-long emails. She told me how much she loved burgers. I told her how much I loved that she loved burgers, because there were way too many goddamn vegans and vegetarians on the site. (And there really is, it’s so annoying). And I couldn’t have asked for a better opening. I proposed a burger outing. Suggested a time and date and place.
“I was going to babble, but saw something about [burger place] and had to stop myself from screeching with excitement. Their burgers are delicious. Your arteries might hate you, but they will forgive you after you reach enlightenment. (They are also quite generous with the fries.) I work part time, so my schedule varies. I also don’t know how free I’ll be this week; I’m working on a charity event so I’ll be busy right through this weekend. I’m sorry!”
Hmm. Bit of an odd response. I noticed she didn’t make any suggestions in return. Perhaps she wasn’t that interested in meeting after all? I decided not to press the point and asked her about her charity instead. And our hilarious back-and-forth continued. About ten days later I decided to raise the issue again:
“Sooo… I don’t want to be pushy but I imagine you have a bit more free time nowadays now that the charity event is over. I’ve been wondering whether we can meet at some point…”
“You aren’t being pushy at all. I don’t see why we can’t try to hang out and not kill each other,” she wrote back. “What did you have in mind?” I gave her the where/when again. She responded with: “I potentially have plans Sunday but nothing is set in stone. In the event Sunday doesn’t work, I should be available on Monday. My schedule is wonky this week (I think I switched a shift somewhere?) but if Sunday and Monday don’t work I will try to keep you posted on what all is going on with my life.”
And that was the last I heard from her. She hasn’t even logged back into the site since. Back to the drawing board.
I took a break from the site for a couple of weeks, and then I decided to take a page out of Chin Up, Chest High’s playbook. I made another round of profile tweaks and uploaded a new picture. I rotate a new one in every couple of months, and this one finally did the trick:
The response was immediate and overwhelming. I received dozens of visitors over the next 24 hours. Girls who had stopped writing me started writing again. Messages I’d written to new girls a month prior were suddenly being responded to. By the next day I was carrying on conversations with eight different people. I was bursting with excitement. Finally! This is the response I’d been waiting for! This is the response I deserved.
But within 48 hours, every single one of those girls stopped responding. One flick of a giant switch, one flip of a giant coin, and everything was over. But the visitors kept coming, from all over New England: Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine… even from places as far away as Ohio and Oklahoma. Iit was crazy. And I had plenty of new messages to replace the ones that died. Here’s a sampling:
Blondie: “Hey, nice pic ;)” I exchanged a slew of messages with her – a pretty little blonde chick – but as soon as I gave her my number and suggested we talk on the phone, she disappeared. Another one down.
Bikini Chick: I came across a chick who wrote on her profile that she didn’t understand why she was getting so many visitors. So I wrote to her explaining that it was because of her main pic. A rather salacious one, at that.
Me: “It’s because of your main pic. Or because you’re new to the site. Or both. But definitely because of your pic.”
Her: “Thanks… that was a bit flattering… now what exactly what do u do?”
Me: “[job title and how I ended up doing that] What about you?”
Her: “I do risk management strategy for a bank…”
Me: “Aha. So is this what you see yourself doing or is this just a temporary stop on the career train? What path led you to your current employment?” (a bit stiff and formal, yes).
Her: “Ah, too many questions! Lol, it’s a good job, not my passion though. So when do we speak on the phone?”
Me: Yes! “Whenever you’d like to. xxx-xxx-xxxx. Give me a call sometime.”
She never did.
CT girl: “Yours is by far the most entertaining profile I have ever read. I actually almost spit my drink out when I read the caption to your photo. Kudos.”
Thanks. Too bad you’re too far away.
Art Girl: One of her match answers showed up in my news feed, so I messaged her about it. We somehow ended up on the subject of phones and how kids these days always text instead of calling.
Her: “Yes it’s true that they don’t call people. I wish calling were more common these days. I do call a handful of people on a regular to once-in-a-while basis. Xxx-xxx-xxxx. Curious as to whether you’ll call or text. ;)”
So I called her a day later, but when she answered the phone she told me was really busy and couldn’t talk and asked me to call her back another time. Didn’t say when, so I tried a couple different times over the next couple of days. She didn’t answer again and didn’t return my message. Another possibility crumbled into dirt.
Teacher Girl 3: I stumbled across her profile and she was a 90% match, plus I saw something that excited me until I realized I simply misread it. Undeterred I decided to message her anyway.
Me: “For a minute I thought you said “teaching dance” and got all excited. But then I reread it and it appears you teach something else… Elementary?”
Her: “Well I could teach dance 😉 I’m pretty good at it haha yes I teach pre-k. My name is ____, nice to meet you.”
Me: “Aha… but you haven’t actually met me yet. Would you like to?” (I wasn’t particularly interested in her, but I figured I’d suss out whether I was wasting my time or not).
Her: “What are you seeking?”
Me: “I am seeking someone willing to meet offline to conversate and get to know each other. And then see what happens from there. Unless you meant, what am I seeking? In that case, I seek the Grail. I am Arthur, King of the Britons. I have traveled here with my Knights of the Round Table. Will you join us in our quest? We have no horses – only coconuts which we bangeth together… What is that you’re seeking?”
Although she visited my profile a bunch of times afterwards, there was no reply. Guess she didn’t care for my sense of humor.
Fashion Girl: “omg I love your profile it’s like the best thing I’ve ever read. We should definitely talk more.”
Me: “Offline, perhaps?”
Her: “Sure! You can text me xxx-xxx-xxxx”
Me: “You’ll hear from me soon…”
I texted her the next day, but no response. Oh well.
Anyway, you get the idea. Nothing to do but keep at it, I suppose.