You can only remove so much of the chase from the process, they explained. There was the “artist” I met in a desolate part of Bushwick (this was pre-), who looked more like a meth-addict “after” photo than the handsome guy in the pictures he had posted. One night, I was checking my Nerve e-mail and came across a short message from a chef named Rob. One of my best friends dated a famous chef who cheated on her and broke her heart.
There was the architect, cranky that he left lunch with his mother to race to our date, only to discover he had the wrong time. And then there was the sweet guy from Philadelphia—not Siberia, but still a bit too far—and ten years my junior. (Even Anthony Bourdain called chefs “wacked-out moral degenerates.”)My finger hovered over the delete button as I read Rob’s profile.
He was tall, had good taste in music, read interesting books, and seemed decent, funny, and hard working. What harm was there in some anonymous e-mail banter?
A ton of guys took the bait, but it was hard to tell how many were pervert bycatch.
When I joined a second site a year or so later, I was feeling a little disenchanted by the online experience and registered as La Curmudgeon.
(I was hoping the “la” made me sound continental.) Coworkers said no one would look at my profile. My final go-round I decided to kick the gimmicks and identify myself as girl_5. I like Martha’s: “I’ve been curious about online dating for a long time, but, like lots of people, have been reluctant to take the leap.” It shows vulnerability. “[I’m looking for] someone who’s intelligent, established, and curious; and who relishes adventure and new experiences as much as I do.” There are millions of smart men who will claim to be all those things, but that won’t help if you’re looking for The One.3. There’s a lot of muck to dredge through when it comes to solicitous e-mails. But I’m on a comeback — believe it.” Or, “I find girls that do not shave their armpits attractive. If I had, I could have spent those two hours I wasted with a much-too-old crime reporter from New Jersey who had just asked for a divorce from his Irish lesbian wife who needed a green card, I don’t know, baking banana bread.4. Monty, as I’ve come to call him, looked in his Match photos like an all-American golden boy.
It was all I could muster after nearly a decade doing this. A few I received: “I am socially awkward, overweight and a bit of a contrarian . Is that something you do or would be willing to do from time to time if we hit it off? Well, not armpit guy, but definitely some of the others. His e-mails were flirtatious without being creepy and his Facebook profile—he friended me early on—revealed picturesque vistas from a recent trip to Patagonia with his dad (who looked like Paul Newman). He didn’t text, he didn’t e-mail, he called—an utter rarity in the modern dating world.
Maybe someone else can benefit from the things I learned about online dating. When I first signed up with Match in 2005, I registered as What About Boobs.
I thought it was a clever play on the Bill Murray film and decided that every man I knew would respond to boobs.
Starting the profile is always the most exciting part, in your mind is every fairy-tale like scenario that could happen. If you're lucky you will meet that one person that gets you like no one else does.
You have your cool name and gorgeous photo, but what about the summary that keeps the person's attention? Their sarcasm is "on fleek", they get your dry humor, they like your face.
When I arrived at the beer garden where we’d agreed to meet, not only did he look like his photo, but he kissed me on the cheek.
We saddled up to the bar and he excused himself to make a phone call. Online dating is a full-time job, and eventually, it stopped making sense to me to turn down dinner and party invitations from friends because I had to go home and troll for dudes online.
I had lots of invitations I said no to and a dozen almost-dates—guys who kept writing but never asked me out for whatever reason.