Accidental Tourist

Or “How I Accidentally Signed Up for Online Dating – What a Trip!”

So back in early October a friend of mine was checking out my recent blog posts and wrote to me saying he was concerned that my writing made it seem that I was unhappy and adrift in my life, that one would construe that I was passively floating down the river, bumping into rocks, getting tangled in the weeds, and whatever other bad things you do short of drowning.

Whoa! I thought. I was tired and stressed in September, bouncing from one activity to another with my kids, planning their birthday parties, finishing a major product launch, writing, etc. But unhappy? Adrift? Passive?!

At first, I felt a little defensive, and chalked it up to the fact that he doesn’t read my blog regularly. But then he emailed me back later saying he didn’t mean anything in a bad way, just that we both know women who really are adrift and “kind of insane,” as he put it, and he knows I am not. (He’s sweet like that.) After reflecting on what I had been writing and his words, I thought he had a point, so I decided to try and be more “active” in my writing and about my life. No more slamming into tree branches and garbage in the river! Stress be gone, I was marching forward with renewed vigor!

So imagine what my friend would’ve said a week later if he had found out that I sort of accidentally signed up for an online dating service.

“Susan, how exactly does one accidentally ‘sign up’ for online dating? I mean, that sounds very passive. Or just lame.”

Couple in Love, in TubBefore I answer that, let me give you some background. I’ve done online dating on and off over the last 4 years: Match, eHarmony, a single parenting dating site.

Match brought me the greatest ego-boosting success — more dates in the first 6 weeks than I could possibly have imagined. At one point I was trying to keep track of 3 guys emailing and calling me named Bruce…but no relationships came of it, Bruce or otherwise. The single parenting site resulted in a few decent dates, but interestingly enough the site had some of the stranger suitors, including Bra Guy and one guy who I remember offered up games of naked Twister and tequila in his profile to all interested parties.

You’ll recall, too, that I was very PROactive when I contacted the musician who would later become my date who was more enamored with the fluorescent sign on fire than me.

Heck, I even checked out Adult Friend Finder! Oh, now don’t go getting your granny panties and tighty-whities all in a twist — I was NOT looking for a good time with women who like to dress up as Michael Jackson and the cast of Thriller — although I’m sure they’re there. No, I read an article in the Business section of our paper and thought, wow, is there a site like that? Um, yep. There is. You can look it up yourself, if that’s your thang. (And, oooh, I can’t wait to see what this will do to my blog stats.)

Here’s An AFF Funny: When I went onto the site, you know I just had to type in my zip code to see what would come up or if I would recognize anyone. Let me just say that I would not recognize any of the guys in, say, the grocery store UNLESS THEY HAD DROPPED THEIR PANTS. I literally screamed when I saw all those photos of maleness shouting out at me. Funny thing, no one was holding up a ruler next to it either. There’s no truth in advertising, is there?

neil clark warrenAnyway, to get back to your question, I saw commercials for a site that challenges e-Harmony head on, claiming to have a faster, easier and better matching system. You may remember from my expose, A Little Wine, A Little Beef, and its follow-up, Is Susan Really the Devil’s Bride?, that I wasn’t overly impressed with eHarmony’s matching capabilities. So, I went onto this other site and figured I’d see for myself, you know like an investigative journalist. I started answering questions and, sure enough, it was easier and faster. I finished the short survey, signed off and went to bed.

The next morning I checked my email and saw all these notices about my matches. It turns out that the site is a sister site to one of the others I had done before…one that still apparently had my 3 year-old profile in its system and decided to use it again for matchmaking. Sigh. I wasn’t sure I was ready for it, but I took the very active plunge of updating my profile and signed up for 3 months. And that’s how I fell back into online dating.

The truth is, this matchy-match stuff has been yawn-inducing so far, very little activity because the system makes the matches for you; you can’t search for anyone yourself. I exchanged emails with one guy, who I ended up not really being into, and then another guy who I would’ve liked to havedonald baby met. We made tentative — apparently very tentative — plans to get together after he returned from a weekend trip to Atlantic City. I think he must have been kidnapped by the Jersey mob or got caught trying to steal Donald Trump’s hair (this guy is balding) because I never heard from him again.

I have turned down a number of matches myself, and I’ve sent winky-dinks or whatever this site calls them to 6 or 7 guys to let them know I’d be interested in exchanging info and emails. No responses so far. Now I’m debating whether to really pursue dating head on by going back out on a fully searchable site. I know there will be more action there… just not the kind involving Michael Jackson or nude close-ups. I hope.



8 thoughts on “Accidental Tourist

  1. We went to a wedding last year of a friend of ours who met and eventually married the greatest guy that she found through…so the good ones are out there. (Quite frankly, I think I might prefer to be drifting down the river than bumping into men posting pictures of their nether-regions on the internet.)

  2. Katie says:

    That story of meeting the greatest guy on is so ironic because I have a friend who said the same thing. She told me that he was handsome and funny and kind…Maybe they hide in a different section because I sure haven’t met anyone like that on match.

    OK, so we know there were at least 2 great guys found on…and of course, both are now gone!!

  3. Even though I’m very happily married, I am tempted by those commercials that say something like “Look who’s on” or some such. I’m just curious what type of person they would match me up with.

    My husband’s aunt went through eHarmony and she met some nice guys. BUT, she ended up marrying a guy she met at church. Guess what? He was on eHarmony too and they were NOT a match. Go figure. They’ve been married 3 or 4 years now, I think.

  4. Ladies, thanks for sharing some of your online dating stories of good cheer. I’ve actually met a number of really decent nice guys along the way, but nothing has gone beyond 2 or 3 dates…and that was only a handful of suitors. We’ll see. I’m thinking Match is the way to go again for me.

    More on online dating myths and realities here, hopefully tomorrow!

  5. Susan – I’m sure that you’ve heard this one before, but the right one will come along when you least expect it. Keep plugging away…but not at AFF…

  6. Lulu, thanks for the support. I know, I know, when you least expect it…but sometimes I think maybe I had my chance and that was it. I mean, I’m a good catch and I don’t have much to show for it in the dating department. Don’t worry, though, I haven’t ventured back out on AFF since that one time. It was amusing and frightening. I may have be scarred forever.

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