Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Single Girl Files: "Plenty of Fish" My ASS.

I'm about to make an embarrassing confession.

But that's what The Single Girl Files is all about, right? That's why you're here. That's why you're reading. To snicker and point and make fun of the lame confessions of a lonely single girl who finds herself in ridiculous situations while looking for love. Am I right?

You know it.

So today, I'm going to tell you something that I have only told a few close friends and family members.

Last summer... I joined a dating website.

(Don't even bother going to search for me, you creeps. It's deleted now.)

Yep. I got so desperate that I joined one of those "looking for love? let's find your matches!" corn-ball websites. More and more people were starting to recommend it, suggest it, gently nudge me towards it, so I thought, "What the hell. It can't hurt, right?"

Oh, but it did.

It hurt. A lot. Deep, excruciating pain.

Not even the weirdos and creepers of the interwebs were interested in me!!!!!!

I'm not even joking.

I wrote a delightfully peppy bio, totally trying to make myself sound like the absolute perfect girlfriend (and future wife). "I love to cook! I love hanging out at the ball field or hockey rink. I watch sports on TV all the time!" Like, seriously, boys. What is there not to love about me?

I drew the line at writing, "I'll even do your laundry and clean up after you for the rest of your life!!!" (...but y'know, that's an offer that's on the table. No word of a lie.)

Then, I posted a whole bunch of pictures of me from about a year earlier, when I was a good ten pounds lighter, nicely tanned from the summer sun, and doing all kinds of fun things. Dancing at my friend's wedding. Hanging out with friends playing flip cup. Wearing a Sens jersey at Scotiabank Place. I was seriously pleased with myself. I looked at those pictures, and thought, "Wow, what a fun girl!! Who wouldn't want to date that?"

You know who wanted to date that? Middle-aged men. With big beards. And even bigger beer guts.

Joy to the friggin' world.

I knew someone who joined the same site not long before me, and she was getting all kinds of messages from possible internet boyfriend candidates. She told me what a great boost to the ego it was. "You should definitely join! They're so complimentary and sweet!"

No. No, they weren't. 85% of the few messages I received, I ignored. Part of it was definitely being shallow, and maybe I should've been more open-minded, but when many of them were listing their age as over 40, I was immediately disregarding them. Quite a few I ignored based solely on an unattractive profile picture. A few others I abandoned because they listed they had children. Some of the messages they sent were creepy. Some of the messages they sent were crude.

Nearly all of them were not what I imagined myself someday ending up with.

So that's when a friend of mine who had some experience with this site suggested I go on the attack. "Don't wait for them to message you. Start browsing profiles and send out some messages of your own to the ones you're interested in. What have you got to lose?"

This prospect frightened me a little, but I figured, hey, why not? What's the point of joining a lovematch dating site if I'm just going to hide in the corner and wait for the loser interweb creeps to hunt me down?

I started searching the pages upon pages of profile pictures, and any guy I was attracted to, or who had a witty or inviting bio, I sent them a message. Tried to keep it short and flirty, and included a question which would hopefully incite a response.

It very rarely did. The few conversations that were sparked fizzled out very quickly.

I was a complete failure at Internet dating.

There was only one profile that I came across that I was truly interested in, and it was of a guy who I already knew. Believe it or not, I didn't recognize him in his little thumbnail profile pic, so I clicked on him and started reading his profile and realized, "Holy F, I KNOW THIS GUY".

You must understand the reason for the instant panic: every registered user is able to view who has looked at their profile. I was flustered at the thought of him scanning his recent views and realizing that I was one of them.

I mean, yes, this was a guy who I had a crush on. But did I want to make that known to him on a crapola dating website?? NO WAY. But I couldn't completely pretend like it hadn't happened, right? He would SEE that I had creeped him!! So I sent him a message basically saying, "DAMMIT, I hate when I click on people I know accidentally!! Yikes!! You can't tell anyone I'm on here!!" Interspersed with plenty of nervous LOL's.

He laughed it off, and told how lame the site had become. That was it.

That brief message exchange? It was the only one that I was excited about. The only one that made the butterflies stir in my stomach.

Not long after, I deleted my profile. My forage into Internet dating was a massive fail. It did not boost my confidence or make me feel better about myself. It made me feel worse. It was no different than standing at a bar or at a ball field or at a party, and watching all the other single girls get scooped up ahead of me. In fact, it was even more depressing, knowing that there were all kinds of weirdos and cyberstalkers out there, and my profile wasn't even enticing them.

All the success stories people had thrown my way? They only magnified the fact that I wasn't having any success. At all.

Friends and family still suggest different websites that I should try. I quickly report to them that I've "been there, done that, don't think I'll bother ever again". They laugh when I tell them that not even the Interweb creepers were interested in me, and they insist I didn't give it a fair shot.

I'm telling you, I did.

And I have no interest in going back to "fish" again!!


Amanda said...

I'm thinking that you need to have one of the movie moments...like She's All that, when she comes down the stairs.....

umm, need to think of the perfect place for you to have one of those moments..... umm!?!

Ashley said...

I've said it before and I'll say it again...stop being so hard on yourself and continue to be you! You are awesome and when you least expect it, you will meet someone special. In the meantime, enjoy every moment of the search!

Stacie said...

At least you got out before some crazy guy brought you into his harem and introduced you to his other wives. Now, that would be awkward!

Nicole said...

Dang you remind me so much of me :) I never did one of those sites though... but seriously! We'd be friends in real life! I know it! And I always said I'd never date a guy with a kid, but sometimes they just make mistakes... My dad always told me not to write them off just because... but I won't lie, being a step mom is hard and having a stupid cow of an ex-wife to deal with is hard, but in the end, it's worth it... so use my dad's words of advice, don't completely write someone off, Just cause....

Beth said...

Well, speaking from experience, I'm on TWO dating websites, and have only had a few guys interested in me (and those turned out to be utter failures, one of which was heartbreakingly so). I think you have to accept the fact that most of it has NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU. Men these days are inherently gutless when it comes to taking the initiative, asking a girl out, etc. Seriously, they're like little boys.

But I use the dating sites not to find dates, but to check out hot and interesting-sounding guys. I use my friends to get dates. Like attending parties, using the excuse of "I'd love to go, but I don't have a date" and seeing who they suggest, etc.

Also, I've given up on finding The One. Which helps a lot, because it takes the crazy pressure off. If he's special enough to be my match and have the awesomeness that is me for the rest of his life....he's special enough to find ME. Just sayin'.

And if you're anywhere near Seattle, we should totally have a GNO and celebrate being single. Yay single!

Kristine said...

Oh my, that sounds like quite the experience with online dating! Great story though, thanks for sharing! :)

Amber said...

I think the thing with internet dating is that you really have to be open to it and do it because YOU want to, not because other people keep suggesting it or because it's "the last resort". If you're not open to it, it's not going to work.

Either way you can say you tried it and it didn't work out for you. Keep your chin up be yourself and it'll come when you least expect it....right? haha

Sol said...

Good luck in your search! I've heard horror stories AND good things also about online dating sites. I met my husband there, my friend met her boyfriend there, and my friend's brother met his wife on an online dating site. I was 29 going on 30 at the time I signed up and had had a string of horrible relationships. I had a crushed spirit going in, and it all turned out for the best! Best wishes!