Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I always wanted to be the perfect match

The other day I signed up on one of those online dating sites, Match.com.

Yea, yea, I know what you're thinking, that sounds desperate. Honestly, I was curious about what types of people try to find true love through their computers. I wondered what clever lines they would use on potential suitors and how they described themselves. The whole time that I was browsing through the site I kept thinking about the eHarmony commercials. They always have a cute couple frolicking through a park with a caption that says "dating since" and "married on" as if these people are really in love or even know each other in real life. Needless to say, I doubted the validity of online dating ever since I recognized one of the frolicking happy people on the commercial. He must be so happy he found true love on eHarmony after being an extra on 3 episodes of Sex and the City...

As I was filling out my profile, I started to think about what it would be like to meet the right person for me on this website. I was curious to see how Match.com would match up people based solely on how they described themselves in their written profiles. After filling out my preferences: tall-ish, spiritual-ish, nice-ish, I approached the section where you include a brief description of yourself in your own words and what you would like in a mate.

Apparently, Match.com gives each dater 4 examples of the types of profiles they can have:

thoughtful and easygoing
easygoing and spiritual
serious and romantic
humorous and adventurous

I thought damn, I don't fit any of those descriptions. Whatever happened to:

kind of uptight and driven
hardworking and serious
stubborn and too honest
unadventurous and not too daring

I guess those descriptions would not attract a date...

After I tried my best to outline who I am, what I like to do, and who I would like to date, I started to check out my matches. I began to feel hopeful that even though I got onto this website for a laugh, maybe I could find someone that I could spend time with. However, Match.com had something else in store for me. Just a few reality checks that would put things into perspective.

Reality Check #1: Much to my dismay, in order to get the true benefit of Match.com and be able to email people you see a potential in, you have to pay a fee. These hoes, excuse my French, these matchmakers expect some money in order to link people up much the same way as facebook does for free. Unfortunately, I am probably the most gullible person on the planet so I paid the fee only to realize that you can benefit from the same services and just contact people on any social networking site or some other method on your own.

Reality Check #2: Although one would think that people are not honest on these websites, I now feel that that is not the case. I now know that people are too honest:

"I just left a missions trip in a third world country. It was the most amazing experience. I enjoy volunteer work and would love to find someone in Atlanta who can expose me to more volunteer opportunities. Sadly, I acquired The Big C during my trip. I am hopeful that I will get better soon. When I'm not taking my treatment, I enjoy reading, spending time listening to music..."

The Big C?! Now what would that be, sir? Is that cancer? chlamydia? Or is it some other communicable disease that I have not heard of yet?

I thought the point of these sites was to embellish a little. To write something about yourself that is not necessarily true but will eventually attract a person you would like to date. Or to write euphemisms to describe your flaws. Perhaps this gentleman should have said:

"I love giving back to those in need. On a recent missions trip to a third world country, I gained a lot from interacting with the local people. I wish I could leave some of the things I gained back in that country where they belong..."

Reality Check #3: Dating sites are not just for people who want to go on dates. Oh no, quite the contrary. Being the literal person that I am, I assumed that someone who pays money to write about themselves on the internet would at least want the service that the site is providing. That was wishful thinking. Some of these people just want to do the following:

"hang out" "meet you baby *wink*" "make beautiful music together" "see you later on tonight"
The people that I matched up with gave these types of responses in their emails to me or on their profiles.

I ask you readers: What is the point? I have an aunt who met her boyfriend on one of these sites. They ride their bikes together over the Brooklyn Bridge. They attend plays. They spend time with each other's families. They really seem to have bonded in a short period of time because of their similar interests. It gave me faith that one simple written description of yourself and what you like could potentially lead to a mate.

Well the naive, literal, writer in me received a rude awakening courtesy of Match.com. What my aunt shared with her significant other is not just a lucky circumstance. It is unrealistic to assume that anything more than a laugh and a *smh* can be achieved from the online dating experience.

My challenge to you: fill out a free profile on one of these websites. Check out people's descriptions of themselves. Think about what you would write in your own personal description. Are you being honest with yourself? Or, are you being too honest like my match with The Big C?

I hope you enjoyed this post and I hope you have more success than I did if you partake in the adventure that is online dating. Leave a comment if you've heard a story about something crazy written on an online dating site.

Jessica Ebony

4 comments:

  1. I'm sad u were scammed out of ur money on one of those sites. When I close my eyes and envision what I'd consider the typical person who would use a site of this nature - someone looking for low-work, commitment-less hookups, desperate older people looked for "just add water" marriages, etc - it's usually not a great image. LOL. And I'm not sure what to think of the "Big C" comment, I don't think I would've told that. hahaha

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  2. I agree with N.O. ...can't believe you did something like this...not too mention paid money for it. But the money part does make since because Match.com and Adultfinders.com, which is the less PG version of the aforementioned, are some of the top sites on the internet at this giving time. Also your experience explains why viral crime is so high and serious these days. People SPENDING money to be scammed, taken advantaged of, and ultimately at risk to be seriously hurt/injured. I won't delve too seriously in my opinion considering you INITIALLY did this for laughs and giggles but lets try to find a better to entertain ourselves, shall we lol? All in all, good research and commentary with this blog. Now....hit up a strip club and find yourself some real wholesome dates, LMAO!

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  3. I actually think with the evolution of technology, meeting online is pretty mainstream now. Back in the day, it was only weird people who met via AOL chatrooms, but now, I've actually been to a couple of wedding where they met online and I have some good friends who have met their current significant other online. I think the price for some of these websites is ridiculous but maybe it's the price you have to pay for them to filter through the weirdos and socially inept people.

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