Nine months ago I got curious. It was three years since I’d had a serious relationship and while I’m in no rush, it was starting to feel like I had one of those number flip charts pasted to my chest, telling people just how long it had been. They say 1 in 5 couples meet through online dating. Since I didn’t want to meet someone in a bar, at work, or church it seemed my options were limited. There had to be something there. I started an online dating profile to test the waters and see what was out there but I wasn’t quite ready to go there just yet, got cold feet, and never finished the thing. Story of my dating life.
Flash forward to this past November when, in a fit of boy-induced rage (the details of which I’ll save for another time), I decided to finish my profile. Watch me find cuter guys! Watch me find more interesting guys! Watch me show you! And okay, it took me a few minutes to track down my username and when I realized what it was I was a little bit embarrassed. How the hell did I come up with that? But I suppose that’s one of the things you should know – if you already feel a little embarrassed about the fact that you’re writing about yourself and posting it out there for men to peruse as if you’re a vegetable in the produce aisle, you’ll feel even worse when you realize your username is KatetheCatch0022.
After the low of realizing my username I was greeted with the pleasant surprise of an almost complete profile. There’s a certain joy that comes at 2:00 AM when you realize you don’t have to re-address the “do I want kids” question. I cruised along, even more pleased to find I hadn’t changed that much in 9 months. Gentlemen, I’m consistent! Things were lovely. This was easier than I remembered. And then the dreaded free-form “About Me” section reared its ugly head.
It’s sort of like being asked to tweet your life story in 140 characters of less. How are you supposed to properly convey your sparkling personality and what you’re looking for in a dinky little character-limited form? Oh sure, they give you examples, but those feel more like cruel reminders of just how lame your own section sounds. What should take you 30 minutes will be suck up 3 fucking hours of your life so grab a cup of tea and settle in.
Monday rolled around and when I got around to the good ol’ email, there were 40 messages waiting for me. I like to think I have friends that care about me, but 40 personal emails on a Monday morning was unexpected. Did I win the lottery and everyone else knew it but me?
And then I saw the first subject line. And then it hit me. My profile. That sucker went live the second I clicked finish.
This is where, if you’re like me, you might experience a wee bit of hyperventilation. Or break out in a cold sweat. Or both. Fuck. What did I do?!
Give yourself 10 minutes. These feelings will pass.
If you get to this point, there are things you should know:
- You could be saving wee lil’ ones from a fire but you’ll feel like you have to stop what you’re doing to check all the emails. Boys! More boys!
- The next 3-6 months of your life will not be the same. See, you can’t read those emails until you sign up. After hemming and hawing about whether you should sign up (you’ll tell people it took you hours to decide when it was really a matter of minutes) you’ll go and find that discount coupon and slap down the cash.
- You’ll feel embarrassed for a time, fearing it makes you look desperate. Then you’ll come across guys you know. Like that dude from your stat class in high school. Or your mortgage broker! When you tell people about this, they will exclaim that they, too, are on the dating sites. Or that’s how they met their husband! You’ll feel a lot less desperate and start to proclaim the virtues of online dating.
- A visit to the site that you think will take 5 minutes will take 5 hours.
- Your social calendar is about to get very, very crazy.
Let the dating begin.