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Which dating services have I used? I feel like I’ve used every online dating website, and have tried several of the apps. I’ve used OKCupid, Plenty of Fish, eHarmony, Match, and Tinder seriously. Specifically to see what it’s about I’ve tried: Zoosk, WhatsYourPrice, Survivalist Singles (even though I am not prepared for the zombie apocalypse..), Mesh, 7pmAnywhere, OKCupid’s Blind Date, and many others. If it’s available for Android, I’ve likely tried it.

WHICH HAVE YOU FOUND TO BE MOST EFFECTIVE?

Oddly enough, I have found the free websites to be the most effective. I am specifically an unpaid endorser of OKCupid. I have found the questions they ask on the profile tend to give users enough information about their future ex-girlfriend/boyfriend to encourage them to send a message. It also seems to me that most people on OkCupid are actually looking for something, vs maybe Tinder, which people use to waste time.

DESCRIBE YOUR ONLINE DATING EXPERIENCES FOR US

Best: I’ve met some of my best friends through online dating. I have found it is a great way to meet new people and to network – but you can’t be afraid to actually get off the computer and meet someone. Of course, you need to pre-screen and be safe, but at some point you need to make a decision. Maybe you aren’t destined to meet the love of your life online – but what if someone you meet online introduces you to the love of your life?

Worst: Goodness – see blog. All the “worst” experiences go there. I would say, overall, the worst part (as a female) is constantly being objectified as a sex object. Sometimes I have to step away and interact with people who understand that I, too, am a human being, with thoughts and opinions and am worth asking how my day was.

WHAT DO YOU THINK ARE SOME OF THE STORIES THAT DRIVE US IN OUR PURSUIT OF LOVE?

It all starts when we are really young and watch our first Disney movie, or fairy tale, of course. The promise of “happily ever after.” The Little Mermaid even overcomes the impossible by giving up her voice in exchange for legs and ends up with the Prince. If it can happen for a fish, it certainly can happen for the rest of us.

I think enough people know a couple that met through some source of online dating, which drives us to continue the struggle. It also helps that new people sign up all the time. Online dating really is a never-ending market of potential mates.

WHAT KEY TIPS COULD YOU GIVE TO ONLINE DATERS?

  1. Go for specifics in your profile versus generic statements. Instead of “I love having fun!” (Really, you like to have fun? That’s weird…) Try “I love exploring places I’ve never been with my camera in hand.” Or something you enjoy doing. Instead of “I love to travel” try “I’ve been to Las Vegas, Mexico and Canada, but my dream trip would be Italy.” Doing this will enable your profile viewers to engage with you about something versus messaging “How are you?”
  2. Pictures. Update them constantly, have different shots (a close up, a full body shot, doing an activity, etc.), don’t post group photos and don’t post a photo of yourself with a person of the opposite gender. I’d avoid pictures with children as well.
  3. Be open. If you are actively sending and receiving messages online dating, you MUST be willing to meet offline. You are wasting yours and everyone else’s time if you are not. I’m not saying you have to meet EVERYONE…but, if you are just online dating for new online friends, there are other avenues for that. Get in a groove that works for you, and GET OFFLINE. You can easily have a good rapport online but not in person, and vice versa.

WHAT’S THE STORY BEHIND YOUR SITE, SOON2BECATLADY.COM?

After a long term relationship ended, and I mourned for a couple months, I turned to OKCupid to start to see what was out there. At the time, I had an artsy photograph of myself as a mime as my main profile picture, and the first line of my profile read “I AM NOT ON HERE LOOKING FOR SEX, IF THAT’S WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR – DON’T MESSAGE ME!” A few days later, I received a message that said “I’m not afraid to fuck a mime, let’s go get coffee sometime” and realized that online dating was not at all what I expected. I realized that I could probably write a pretty hilarious book on the subject – and started a blog as a way to log my experiences. I blog about the funny/crazy/creepy messages I receive through online dating, and any humorous dating situations I have gotten myself into. I titled it “Soon2BeCatLady” because if these are my pool of people to choose from, I think I’d prefer to die alone with cats.

It turned out to be a pretty nifty coping mechanism for the breakup I had went through, and without much effort on my part – the blog became quite popular. I also now have a weekly dating podcast, do guest spots on a local radio station and am working on the book and a couple other fun dating projects.

As part of our research for Lovesick: The Web Series, we are profiling members of the online dating community to see what insights we can turn up. This is a repost of our original blog entry.

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