Skip

Happy Valentine's Schadenfreude
February 11, 2013 7:57 AM   Subscribe


 
Wow, that account of JDate is basically identical to everything I have heard from people who either user or have used JDate.

Also is telling someone to "[their] journalist face that [you don't] read the news because it’s too depressing" genuinely insulting? I don't watch or read the news (short of MeFi and the New Yorker) for this exact reason, I have friends who are journalists, and I can't imagine that being an offensive opinion.
posted by griphus at 8:09 AM on February 11, 2013 [4 favorites]


J-Date was definitely the worst of the four sites I tried back when I was single. I don't know if it was a thing with J-Date or Jewish women in general, but nearly all of my J-Dates thought it was okay to ask me detailed questions about my family on the first date -- which just happens to be my least favorite subject. After I'd hint that I'm not terribly close with my family and attempt to change the subject, some of them would agitate for more details. It was awful. And definitely was not as much a thing among my OkCupid, Match, or Nerve dates.

On the other hand, my only actual relationship to come out of online dating came from J-Date. So there was that. Of course, she wanted kids. So that didn't last long.

Also, the women on J-Date had THE WORST profiles of any of the sites. "I know, I'll answer all the questions literally, without any hint of humor or any odd details that you could potentially work into a witty email." Yawn.

Of course, this is all from the male perspective. I heard much worse things from the female perspective. The myth of the boring, nebbishy, socially-awkward Jewish man who embodies all the worst aspects of Woody Allen, only without the humor and wit? Apparently not a myth.
posted by Afroblanco at 8:24 AM on February 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


Man the serif(?) on that g is driving me nuts. I keep thinking there's weird-looking rogue apostrophes everywhere.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 8:25 AM on February 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


Man the serif(?) on that g is driving me nuts. I keep thinking there's weird-looking rogue apostrophes everywhere.

me too.."sling's and arrows"...grr
posted by sweetkid at 8:27 AM on February 11, 2013


Man the serif(?) on that g is driving me nuts. I keep thinking there's weird-looking rogue apostrophes everywhere.

This exact issue is why I usually only read narrative.ly in my RSS reader.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:27 AM on February 11, 2013


by the time I realized he actually was a welder it was too late because I’d already accepted a date.

Erm. Kinda off-putting. No other reason given, really, for why he was totally unacceptable. He's a welder. Need I say more?
posted by echo target at 8:33 AM on February 11, 2013 [21 favorites]


Oh, dudes. Those stories do not even rate as "painfully awkward."
posted by DarlingBri at 8:40 AM on February 11, 2013 [4 favorites]


it’s too late for me to understand another website like the cool Nerve personals or OKCupid (just “okay?” why not “GREATCupid?”)

I always thought OkCupid was named as such after the Radiohead album OK Computer.
posted by sweetkid at 8:51 AM on February 11, 2013


Tell me about it. I know exactly how these people feel. It is really hard to find someone when you are so much better than everyone else.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:02 AM on February 11, 2013 [12 favorites]


echo target, perhaps as someone who deep down suspects that her work creates nothing of value, she was embarrassed to date a welder who, of course, has an actual skill and produces tangible objects which someone is willing to pay for.

I used Nerve, OKCupid, Match, and JDate when I was single, and preferred them in that order. I was shocked (maybe unreasonably, but still) to discover that the profiles on JDate were mostly about indicators of socioeconomic status and omitted information that would allow you to know what the poster was like as, for instance, a human being. I never went on a single date based on JDate, though I did have a very long-term girlfriend thanks to OKCupid.
posted by 1adam12 at 9:03 AM on February 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


I don't know if it was a thing with J-Date or Jewish women in general, but nearly all of my J-Dates thought it was okay to ask me detailed questions about my family on the first date -- which just happens to be my least favorite subject.

It would be a thing about J-Date. It's a site for people who wish to date people from a particular religion and culture, so obviously they care more about family and culture than people from other dating sites. If I joined a dating site called "Anglo-Protestants-Date", I'd expect to be asked about my family background and culture a lot. We'd probably talk about how much we like to boil our vegetables (well boiled, or mush?).
posted by jb at 9:08 AM on February 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also, who wouldn't want to date a welder? I mean, it's not like it would be all Flashdance in reality, but that's a good solid job (unlike most people I know with degrees).
posted by jb at 9:09 AM on February 11, 2013 [4 favorites]


I'm gobsmacked by the dude who refers to his date's lack of interest as a "bait-and-switch" after he abandoned her halfway through the date. What the heck, Moses.
posted by Greg Nog at 9:09 AM on February 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


If I joined a dating site called "Anglo-Protestants-Date"...

There is absolutely no way this site can be called anything except "WASPs Nest."
posted by griphus at 9:10 AM on February 11, 2013 [41 favorites]


by the time I realized he actually was a welder it was too late because I’d already accepted a date.

Her: "Oh, Mr. Welder, I need some welding done ..."

Him: "Uh ... I thought we were going to dinner ...?
posted by octobersurprise at 9:15 AM on February 11, 2013


I once had a guy tell me on a first date that I was "everything he was looking for in a woman", and then in the next breath he told me that he wanted me to stop cutting my hair. Then he very loudly started serenading me with Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes" in the middle of the bar and he got the words wrong. There was not a second date.

Then there was the blind date where we went to a double-feature of Clockwork Orange and Blade Runner.

These stories are nothing.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:19 AM on February 11, 2013 [11 favorites]


... a welder. Now, when I read this on JDate I thought it was a joke, the way men write under profession, “clown school” or for birthplace, “another planet.”

How did she think things got welded together? Welding elves?

OKCupid (just “okay?” why not “GREATCupid?”)

I always thought it was short for "OK Cupid, you have cost me years of angst and ruined my heart, my figure and my hairline-- I fucking demand ONE good date before I die of boredom, cough up already."
posted by Pallas Athena at 9:27 AM on February 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


he very loudly started serenading me with Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes" in the middle of the bar and he got the words wrong

Holy shit I am dying, imagining this.

IN YOUR EYES,
THE EYES, THE HEAP
(YOUR EYES)
I AM COME HEAT
(YOUR EYES)
I FEEL THE BIRCHES
(YOUR EYES)
OF A THOUSAND FRUITY CHURCHES
posted by Greg Nog at 9:27 AM on February 11, 2013 [34 favorites]


It would be a thing about J-Date. It's a site for people who wish to date people from a particular religion and culture, so obviously they care more about family and culture than people from other dating sites.

Perhaps. Really, I was only there because I'm Jewish, and figured it'd be easier to get dates there than elsewhere.
posted by Afroblanco at 9:28 AM on February 11, 2013


I've been using OKCupid for years. Used Nerve for a while but eventually gave up on it. I could tell the painfully-akward stories (I mean, they happen to everybody), but those aren't what get me about dating nowadays, whether it is internet-dating or plain-old-being-set-up-by-friends dating. (I've never really done the meet-someone-serendipitiously-and-ask-them-out thing. I would like to, at some point, but serendipity is a cruel mistress, I guess.) What gets me isn't the bad date that doesn't go anywhere; that's just the romantic equivalent of busywork. What gets me is when you get invested and it just stops.

I've had my heart broken by several girls I dated for months who decided they weren't into it, and on one occasion had to be the heartbreaker in response (short version: it sucked, but six months later she met someone else, whom she is now marrying, which is good because she was far too quality a person to be wasted on singledom). I've dated a girl who, midway into what was looking like a promising relationship, was sexually assaulted by one of her exes, and who subsequently decided she needed no male contact whatsoever, so that was that. (About a year later she found her new normal and settled down with some dude I don't know offhand, but his Facebook page made me think she had done well enough.)

I've gone on tons of dates and had my share of short-term girlfriends (never longer than nine months; oddly, I have never been in a relationship during St. Valentine's Day, so when coupled people bitch about the hassle of St. V's I can be sympathetic but at the same time a little disgruntled because I would like the experience of the hassle just to know it) and, as I get older, people start giving me the "you're [X] [Y] and [Z], of course it will happen" pep talk more and more often (where income, looks, and nice adjectives can be any of X, Y or Z), but the thing of it is this: there is no guarantee, and sometimes things just don't work out no matter if you are charming or upstanding or rich or look like Brad Pitt. (I am probably none of those things, anyway.)

And it's work. It just is. And it's more work as you get older. People will tell you "oh, you're a man, it's not as bad" and maybe that's a bit true, but it's still bad as you age, because you become much more aware of the difficulty you're going to have starting a family. Just because infertility isn't necessarily an issue for a guy (and, like most people, I don't like to date too much younger than myself, so yeah, it's still kind of an issue) doesn't change the fact that if I'm going to get to be a dad, I'm gonna probably have to be an "older dad," which is something I never wanted - I mean, now it's extra work on myself to make sure I'm in decent enough shape so I can play with these hypothetical kids when I'm in my fifties, and the prospect of seeing my hypothetical grandkids gets lower every year. It's silly to get stressed about this sort of thing, but it happens.

Anyway, all of this is to say that I am greatly in favour of some sort of system involving punch-cards to resolve all of this. We should bring back punch-cards.
posted by mightygodking at 9:29 AM on February 11, 2013 [12 favorites]


Some good first-date lines I've heard:
"I really want to have a few interracial babies"
"No one's willing to pull my hair hard enough, you know?"
"So I'm suicidal, you should know"
posted by MangyCarface at 9:29 AM on February 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


Holy shit I am dying, imagining this.

I ACTUALLY LIVED IT. FEEL MY PAIN.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:34 AM on February 11, 2013


In case anyone is hoping for more awkward dating stories from MeFites, I refer you to the comments in this earlier thread.
posted by jdherg at 9:35 AM on February 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


Prior to meeting my wife my dating life was kind of a disaster, so I can't even imagine what a hash I'd be making of it in the digital age. As it is, the only funny dating story I have is that my first real girlfriend broke up with me by giving me a letter in a sealed envelope when we arrived at the train station and asked me to not read it until I was on the train. I didn't know much about dating, but I had a bad feeling about that.

On preview, if we're trading terrible pick-up lines, one of my female friends claims that a guy in an Auckland bar once licked his thumb, rubbed it on her sweater and said "Why don't we go back to my place and get you out of those wet clothes?"
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:37 AM on February 11, 2013


I would like the experience of the hassle just to know it

While not the real thing, I can offer you this incredibly life-like 4D fully interactive simulation:

You are waiting in a store that smells like plants. You left work a half hour early to beat the rush and are standing behind at least twenty dudes. Most of them are on cell phones.

Someone buys a dozen long-stem roses. You are still waiting. Shift up a bit.

Someone buys what seems to be a large bucket of long-stem roses. Shift up a bit. You are still waiting.

Someone starts being upset at the people at the counter. The people at the counter have no mind for it. They yell and maybe knock something over and are asked to leave and slam the door.

Someone buys a bathtub of long-stem roses. It is your turn at the counter.

"I'd like a bouquet for my girlfriend please. Something simple. Maybe a rose in a center."

They take your order, make the bouquet, and hand it to you, dripping with water and nearly falling apart.

"Six hundred thousand dollars please. NEXT!"
posted by griphus at 9:39 AM on February 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


Eh, I cannot for the life of me understand why people bother with this nonsense. But then, if everybody thought like me, we would be extinct in a generation. There are those who would see this as a Bad Thing.
posted by bouvin at 9:41 AM on February 11, 2013


Do people still pretty consistently lie about their age, weight, relationship status, and/or occupation? Or is that gradually improving with the increasing numbers of people in the pool?
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:47 AM on February 11, 2013


Then there was the blind date where we went to a double-feature of Clockwork Orange and Blade Runner.

Reader, you married him?
posted by adamdschneider at 9:50 AM on February 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


Do people still pretty consistently lie about their age, weight, relationship status, and/or occupation?

I never encountered that at all in my foray into online dating.

I don't know that I have anything I'd call a horror story, but I was pretty disappointed (and bemused) to discover that the lady who spoke Klingon was also maybe a creationist?
posted by Greg Nog at 9:52 AM on February 11, 2013 [5 favorites]


"No one's willing to pull my hair hard enough, you know?"

Ugh, TELL me about it grrl
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:53 AM on February 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


Anyway, all of this is to say that I am greatly in favour of some sort of system involving punch-cards to resolve all of this. We should bring back punch-cards.

We tried that. The computer matches were so perfect that we eliminated the thrill of romantic conquest. Mw-hurgn-whey.
posted by Talez at 10:00 AM on February 11, 2013


> Then there was the blind date where we went to a double-feature of Clockwork Orange and Blade Runner.

Reader, you married him?


Back then, I was still in college and very much a wide-eyed innocent, so I was freaked out by Clockwork and confused by Blade Runner and we both sort of awkwardly left halfway through Blade Runner and then never saw each other again.

Today -- maybe not marriage so much, but I would be rather turned on.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:03 AM on February 11, 2013


You know, there's a factor in these stories that hasn't been taken into account... something I'm guilty of.

The purposeful crash-and-burn.

You've been talked into online dating for one reason or another, you pour a couple of hours into your profile being painfully honest and you post recent pictures of yourself.

You go on your first internet date, and are both exited and scared. Then you see your date sitting at the wine bar...

Somebody lied...

You soldier on, because 'You never know' and everything you say is exactly what she wanted to hear and you can see how much it's going to hurt when you say you're not interested.

Iterate 5 to 7 times.

Now your a seasoned internet dater! You update your listed occupation to 'Lead Dumptruck Headbutt-er' on your profile, say your favorite past-time is 'long parks in the walk', and say you want children because your stupid dog can't hold a spoon correctly. You keep your recent photos and your accurate physical description, because whatever and you continue on.

Your out for yet another internet date, thinking of a backup plan in case this one goes south.

You meet your date and again some truths were not told. Tired of the treadmill you opt for something different tonight. You look her dead in the eyes, and you fart. You don't acknowledge it, and you watch her reaction. Maybe you're not gassy that night, so you opt to bend all the silverware on the table. Or you stick your finger in your water all without breaking eye contact.

This all might come of as misogynistic, but I assure you it is only 'liar'istic. Don't state in your profile that you are looking for someone, then spend the entire date talking about your brother's friend who is soooooooooooo sexy. Don't state in your profile that you are looking for someone fun, then spend the date being overtly critical of everything.

The hardest crash and burn job I pulled, I ended up marrying, so you know.

Whatever.
posted by The Power Nap at 10:03 AM on February 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


Do people still pretty consistently lie about their age, weight, relationship status, and/or occupation? Or is that gradually improving with the increasing numbers of people in the pool?

Yes, they do. At least they did a couple years ago when I was in it. Weight is the number one, I'd say - which maybe is even understandable given the kind of insulting descriptors most dating sites have for it - followed by occupation/amount of money made.
posted by corb at 10:10 AM on February 11, 2013


Last year was the first Valentine's after my ex and I split up. Upon the suggestion of a friend of mine, I went and donated blood on the 14th. Seemed appropriate somehow.

This Valentine's, I have jury duty.
posted by Celsius1414 at 10:13 AM on February 11, 2013 [4 favorites]


Weight is the number one, I'd say - which maybe is even understandable given the kind of insulting descriptors most dating sites have for it

Emaciated
Curvaceously Curved
Average
Chubchub
Llama Chunk
Drag Racer
Willow Bark
Bad
posted by Greg Nog at 10:16 AM on February 11, 2013 [12 favorites]


Agreeing with everything here about J-date. Most of the guys I encountered were just looking to get laid, but there was also this pissed-off-at-the-world attitude that I couldn't quite get. I remember several years ago, when I was younger and believed more in the human race, chatting with one guy who got up on the wrong side of the bed that day:

Me: Hi! [I see that you live near me, icebreakers, etc.] What are you up to this weekend?

Guy: Nothing. I'm bored.

M: That's too bad. You should see a movie, I hear that [movie] is good.

G: I hate movies.

M: What are your hobbies? What do you like to do?

G: Nothing.

M: ... have you read any good books lately?

G: No.

M: ... think the Red Sox will win tomorrow?

G: Who cares. I hate sports.

I was like, ok, if you're so pissed off, why are you even bothering? I saw this attitude quite a bit on J-date.
posted by Melismata at 10:19 AM on February 11, 2013 [4 favorites]


Then there was the blind date where we went to a double-feature of Clockwork Orange and Blade Runner.

Reader, I married him.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:27 AM on February 11, 2013


Do people still pretty consistently lie about their age, weight, relationship status, and/or occupation? Or is that gradually improving with the increasing numbers of people in the pool?

Not so much the lying, but definitely the overly-flattering photo, or the 5-years-out-of-date photo.

Seriously, I have no idea why people do this. I mean, I understand someone choosing their best-looking photo, but a photo from 5 years ago when they were 30 pounds lighter? How are they not setting themselves up for the most painful kind of disappointment?

Sadly, the "take their least-hot photo and subtract two points" rule still applies.
posted by Afroblanco at 10:28 AM on February 11, 2013


I just realized - why are the writers so surprised that people on J-Date "only seemed interested in hookups"? It's an online dating site, after all. Hell, I bet you could even find that sort of complaints about people on ChristianMingle.com.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:31 AM on February 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


Not so much the lying, but definitely the overly-flattering photo, or the 5-years-out-of-date photo.

Seriously, I have no idea why people do this. I mean, I understand someone choosing their best-looking photo, but a photo from 5 years ago when they were 30 pounds lighter? How are they not setting themselves up for the most painful kind of disappointment?


I've done that. At least the out-of-date photo. And the reason you do it is because you genuinely have no clue how you look from day to day. When I did it, the last time I had photos was from when I was pretty regularly working with media - which meant I was made up and photographed and dressed immaculately. And I didn't have recent photographs, because I hate photographs. And I looked at it, said, "Eh, yeah, that's from four years ago, but I can still put on makeup for dates if I want to and dress nice, so what does it matter?" You just can't really objectively tell the difference between what you look like in the photo and what you are in life.

And more importantly, you don't know what the difference to other people is. You don't know whether the extra years will make a difference, or a few concealed acne scars, or five or ten extra pounds. You have no way to know what someone will think of as false advertising, or what will be a dealbreaker for someone. People dont' exactly advertise that - and if they do, you assume they're jerks.
posted by corb at 10:36 AM on February 11, 2013 [4 favorites]


Sadly, the "take their least-hot photo and subtract two points" rule still applies.

Well, if there's one way to make internet dating just a little more charming, it's to take some advice from the DMV.
posted by griphus at 10:37 AM on February 11, 2013


Do people still pretty consistently lie about their age, weight, relationship status, and/or occupation? Or is that gradually improving with the increasing numbers of people in the pool?

I remember one online-date-person who had a photo of a toothless old granny for her profile photo. I liked the way she was making fun of all the misleading photos people post. She was witty and appealing over e-mail. And when we met…nothing. Plain appearance, flat affect, awkward conversation. Nothing. I can only imagine what she thought of me.
posted by adamrice at 10:39 AM on February 11, 2013


Six point eight, six point nine... six point eight point nine, that's what I'd say.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:40 AM on February 11, 2013


Oh thank god I did my online dating the old fashioned way: on IRC, on a channel and server dedicated to an alt.* Usenet group about a certain British fantasy writer and without really knowning what we were doing until we lived together (wel, not quite).
posted by MartinWisse at 10:56 AM on February 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


But I’ve found, as someone who has been on more than fifty first dates in the last ten years ...

Wow. That's some persistence. I would have given up after about ten. Good thing I met my wife long before that.
posted by octothorpe at 11:19 AM on February 11, 2013


I feel rather guilty that my dating profile photo is the one I took of myself for the Mefi mag. It's a head shot, and makes me look way skinnier than I am, but I can't bring myself to put a deliberately hideously unflattering photo up, because then *I* have to keep looking at it.

My uncle has been using Jdate, and has definitely had some stories like these, according to my mom. Although the most awkward thing is that, purely by chance, he keeps ending up dating women that Mom knows professionally.
posted by restless_nomad at 11:25 AM on February 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


Why is she capitalizing internet? Is she typing this on her iphone? Does anyone actually capitalize internet anymore?
posted by phunniemee at 11:30 AM on February 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


The proper spelling is uncaptalized, but hyphenated: inter-net.
posted by echo target at 11:38 AM on February 11, 2013


INFORMATION SUPERHIGHWAY [sic]
posted by griphus at 11:40 AM on February 11, 2013




phunniemee: "Does anyone actually capitalize internet anymore?"

I capitalize Internet. Also, get off my lawn.
posted by adamrice at 12:06 PM on February 11, 2013


You have no way to know what someone will think of as false advertising, or what will be a dealbreaker for someone.

You know, if this is true, then there's no reason to put a picture of yourself on your dating profile at all.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:27 PM on February 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


And that seems to be the bulk of the members, aside from those who are just on it for sex. To this latter group I say one thing: If I wanted to have a casual hookup with a stranger, I’d rather meet an Amazonian named Seamus or Shaquille with rock-hard abs than a 5’6” bespectacled mama’s boy with allergies.

She seems like a nice person.
posted by unixrat at 12:57 PM on February 11, 2013 [7 favorites]


Do people still pretty consistently lie about their age, weight, relationship status, and/or occupation?

I don't know about consistently, but I've encountered some of both. The most extreme being a woman who claimed to be 10 years younger than she was. I mean, she pulled it off which is impressive, but thats a little beyond the normal sort of white-lie vanity aging.

Overall I've had some good and bad experiences, but nothing that was truly horrible, and one amazingly good 1.5 year relationship, so I still have fairly positive impression of online dating (having not really dated from 18 until my early 30's due to a LTR/marriage). But I'm just starting up again so there's plenty of opportunity to become bitter and jaded still!
posted by wildcrdj at 2:07 PM on February 11, 2013


No other reason given, really, for why he was totally unacceptable. He's a welder. Need I say more?

Yeah, I stopped reading after that. My partner of 10 years is a welder and... welders are skilled with their hands (amongst many of her other amazing qualities).

I'm a happy gopher.
posted by kamikazegopher at 2:51 PM on February 11, 2013


The author of the first story could not have made herself less sympathetic if she had tried with both hands for a fortnight. The guy who left his date in the balcony -- what the actual fuck?! And when he realized she hadn't followed, he didn't go back?! To those two people, I say: YOU ARE YOUR OWN DATING PROBLEM.
posted by KathrynT at 3:42 PM on February 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


Do people still pretty consistently lie about their age, weight, relationship status, and/or occupation? Or is that gradually improving with the increasing numbers of people in the pool?

Yes, they do. At least they did a couple years ago when I was in it. Weight is the number one, I'd say - which maybe is even understandable given the kind of insulting descriptors most dating sites have for it - followed by occupation/amount of money made.


To get essentialist for a minute: men lie about height the way women are accused of fudging weight/age, I think.

Not always by an inch or two either (like, OK, maybe he meant he's 5'9" in cowboy boots, or salsa heels--every shorter man rounds up to 5'9"), but sometimes as stupid as, "rounding up" 5'10" to 6'2". Like, do you not think I will immediately notice and think less of you for it? A 5'10" guy who tries to pretend to be 6'+ is way less boss than a man who owns the fact that he's 5'6" and he doesn't care if you wear those heels anyway.
posted by availablelight at 5:43 PM on February 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


I never understood the whole lie about your weight/height/age thing. I mean, if you're using it to attract folks for potential in-person meeting, then they will eventually see you in the flesh and realize you were lying, which then makes you short/fat/old and a liar. Besides, if you really care how tall I am I'm certainly going to disappoint you and why should I waste my time on someone who is going to discount me for my height?

Not that I've had to deal with that sort of thing for a while, thankfully. And yes, I'm 5'7" and you can wear whatever heels you want.
posted by backseatpilot at 6:39 PM on February 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


I never understood the whole lie about your weight/height/age thing

I _kind_ of get it for small amounts of fudging. Since a lot of people use filter criteria, the thinking is "well, I'm 5'11, but a lot of women will search for 6', so I'll add an inch. Even if she notices in person, if she otherwise thinks I'm cute, she won't necessarily consider an inch a dealbreaker". Which is not always wrong, I think. This is the "problem" with those kind of filters, although they can be useful as well. Same goes for age, changing 30 to 29 or 36 to 35 for women can have a big impact on how many guys will see their profile.

But once you get beyond a small amount, I agree that its pointless. If you show up and are 6" shorter than you said, or 50 pounds heavier, there's a very good chance you just wasted your time and your date's.

I don't do it, but its not necessarily a dealbreaker for me if we're talking a small adjustment like that. Bigger lies are not only potentially an issue in and of themselves (not attracted to them, etc) but are a red flag for other craziness.
posted by wildcrdj at 7:07 PM on February 11, 2013


Then there was the blind date where we went to a double-feature of Clockwork Orange and Blade Runner.

In undergrad, I took a first date to see a production of Titus Andronicus, so I feel your pain. (He wasn't a theatre person to begin with, and that might have cemented it.) I would put Titus Andronicus up there as worst first date entertainment material. I've never seen someone look so horrified in the midst of falling asleep.

Also, if you've never had a date end with an allergic reaction to nuts as your friends are tagging along, you haven't truly awkward-dated. (Same date.) I asked him if he'd like me to walk him to the campus health centre (about 30 feet away from where we were). He said, "no thanks, I'll be all right," and left in that direction, and we never spoke again. Some sad part of me hopes it was a real allergic reaction, and that he wasn't faking it to get away from me, but I'm increasingly convinced that he was. Thank goodness I've been off the market for more than eight years.
posted by ilana at 8:09 PM on February 11, 2013


JDate is pretty much the only large dating site I haven't used (not being of the target demographic), but awkward dates known no cultural bounds. And plenty of people are on multiple sites.

My own most awkward date (arranged via Nerve, although they dude in question was also on JDate and Match, he informed me) peaked on the awkwardness scale after we had already parted ways, with me still reeling from having sat through a crazy two-hour rambling overshare monologue that I was trying to either piece together or erase from my brain, I couldn't decide which. When I reached the street corner I heard shouting, turned around, and there he was racing in my direction. As I stood in stunned paralysis, he ran up to me, grabbed my shoulders, and planted a giant smacking kiss on my lips.

"Is that a sway I noticed?" he asked in his (I'd learned) fake British accent. I was still unable to speak, so he winked and sauntered away.

It finally dawned on me that he believed I'd been so buoyed by our date had led to a spring in my step (actually caused by relief at finally getting away). Basically, he thought I was sending him a not-so-subliminal message with my hips.

And that is why he shall forever be known in my dating annals as The Ass Whisperer.
posted by Superplin at 8:38 PM on February 11, 2013 [5 favorites]


"Is that a sway I noticed?" he asked in his (I'd learned) fake British accent. I was still unable to speak, so he winked and sauntered away.

Ugh that is just horrendous.
posted by sweetkid at 8:40 PM on February 11, 2013


Ugh, missed the edit window.

It finally dawned on me that he believed I'd been so buoyed by our date it had led to a spring in my step.

sweetkid: Ugh that is just horrendous.

At the time it was awful, but at least I got a funny story out of it.

Over time I came to the decision that dates that are really a waste of time are the ones that are just... boring. Which, sadly, seems to be most of them.
posted by Superplin at 8:55 PM on February 11, 2013


Since a lot of people use filter criteria, the thinking is "well, I'm 5'11, but a lot of women will search for 6', so I'll add an inch. [...] Same goes for age, changing 30 to 29 or 36 to 35 for women can have a big impact on how many guys will see their profile.

I get where you're going with this -- fudging height or weight by a very small amount isn't the worst thing in the world, because really, it's possible they'll never find out the truth. But age I think is a different story. It's not uncommon for the year you were born to come up in conversation. If you wind up spending any appreciable amount of time together, they're going to find out.
posted by Afroblanco at 9:11 PM on February 11, 2013


GUYS I'm going on my first OKcupid date this weekend, why are you telling all these terrible stories?
posted by mean cheez at 12:20 PM on February 12, 2013


GUYS I'm going on my first OKcupid date this weekend, why are you telling all these terrible stories?

Because if you prepare for horrendous disappointment, you'll probably be pleasantly surprised!
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:31 PM on February 12, 2013



I get where you're going with this -- fudging height or weight by a very small amount isn't the worst thing in the world, because really, it's possible they'll never find out the truth. But age I think is a different story. It's not uncommon for the year you were born to come up in conversation. If you wind up spending any appreciable amount of time together, they're going to find out.


I've never done this, but have considered shaving a year off or something. I wouldn't really mind if someone told me they did that so they appeared in searches. It's not the same as them wanting to think you're 34 instead of 35 or anything. Why would that even matter, except for it being a little lie?

What I really hate is when someone is 35 and posts that their desired age range is 25-32. Even if I fit I don't want to deal with that.
posted by sweetkid at 12:52 PM on February 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


Because if you prepare for horrendous disappointment, you'll probably be pleasantly surprised!

I'm going to prepare myself for disappointment so hard I'll just be relieved if she has all her face parts in the right places.
posted by mean cheez at 1:16 PM on February 12, 2013


What I really hate is when someone is 35 and posts that their desired age range is 25-32. Even if I fit I don't want to deal with that.

You know, I've heard this complaint, but what I wanna know is : what sites display your desired age range? Because I don't remember that from any sites I tried. From what I recall, the only time that came into play was when you did a search, and I don't recall any site publishing your search parameters.

And even if a site did ask me, I wouldn't answer -- sorta like the income question.
posted by Afroblanco at 4:51 PM on February 12, 2013


You know, I've heard this complaint, but what I wanna know is : what sites display your desired age range?

OKCupid does, in your "looking for" section. You could bullshit it (0-99 or whatever) or just not answer it, but it's built in to that section.
posted by restless_nomad at 5:15 PM on February 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


Huh. Yeah, I guess it's been a while. My thing was to bullshit the whole thing and make fun of the questions, so I prolly entered or 22-99 or something.

I also said that I made over $1M a year and graduated from space camp. Sadly, both were lies.

(and I really did want to go to space camp)
posted by Afroblanco at 6:51 PM on February 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


What I really hate is when someone is 35 and posts that their desired age range is 25-32.

Well, if you don't like that then at least it's Working As Intended and you can filter them out with little time involved.

The more honest people are the fewer horror stories there will be. A large percentage of them seem to be because people lie or try to be too funny on their profiles. Not helpful, at least for those looking for something more serious.

what sites display your desired age range?

In addition to OKCupid, Match does this.
posted by wildcrdj at 7:06 PM on February 12, 2013



What I really hate is when someone is 35 and posts that their desired age range is 25-32.

Well, if you don't like that then at least it's Working As Intended and you can filter them out with little time involved.


Uh, sure but it's a really shitty attitude, especially when they've "picked" you on Quickmatch or whatever. It's not some arbitrary thing, a guy deliberately looking for a younger woman is being squicky.
'
posted by sweetkid at 7:08 PM on February 12, 2013


a guy deliberately looking for a younger woman is being squicky.

You say this like it's some kind of objective fact. Perhaps a better statement would be, "I'm squicked out by guys who are looking for younger women." That way, you're not insulting potentially millions of people who you don't know and who've never done anything wrong to anybody.
posted by Afroblanco at 9:10 PM on February 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


Thanks for the tip, but a guy who has reached a certain age but won't consider a woman who is the same age has some baggage about attraction and relationships that is really unappealing to a lot of people. Same with genders flipped for that matter. You should be able to deal with dating people your own age.
posted by sweetkid at 9:19 PM on February 12, 2013 [3 favorites]


You are clearly the arbiter of all human relationships, and I am wrong to disagree with you. Since you have some sort of godlike uber-knowledge, I'm curious what other Objectively Correct knowledge you have.

Any thoughts on crop rotation?
posted by Afroblanco at 9:43 PM on February 12, 2013


Ah yes. The exports of Libya are numerous in amount. One thing they export is corn, or as the Indians call it, 'maize'. Another famous Indian was 'Crazy Horse'. In conclusion, Libya is a land of contrast. Thank you.
posted by sweetkid at 5:26 AM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


You say this like it's some kind of objective fact.

Personally, when I see an out of whack age range, I just like to scale the bracket down until the target date age is 14 and go from there with my judging.
posted by phunniemee at 5:55 AM on February 13, 2013


You know, that's all great and everything -- except for the part where it's not actually any of your business who other people date.

In the meantime, I'm gonna go ahead and break up my girlfriend of 1.5 years -- the greatest love I've ever known -- because she's 10 years younger than me and some busybody on metafilter disapproves.

I suppose My Favorite Relationship Sucks.

Happy valentines day!
posted by Afroblanco at 6:43 AM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Well, if you don't like that then at least it's Working As Intended and you can filter them out with little time involved.

Well, there goes 75% of my demographic, now what?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:53 AM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


In the meantime, I'm gonna go ahead and break up my girlfriend of 1.5 years -- the greatest love I've ever known -- because she's 10 years younger than me and some busybody on metafilter disapproves.

To be clear, I don't 'disapprove' of people being in any relationship of whatever age discrepancy. There is no problem with that.

But if you see someone on a dating profile who is 37, and says they want to date people 25-32, I mean come on, they won't date someone 37? That's different than happening to find someone they love who happens to be 27. It's a huge turnoff and red flag.
posted by sweetkid at 7:02 AM on February 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


In the meantime, I'm gonna go ahead and break up my girlfriend of 1.5 years -- the greatest love I've ever known -- because she's 10 years younger than me and some busybody on metafilter disapproves.

That's exactly what I wanted.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:08 AM on February 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'm gonna go ahead and break up my girlfriend of 1.5 years -- the greatest love I've ever known -- because she's 10 years younger than me and some busybody on metafilter disapproves.

metafilter: crushing the greatest love you've ever known.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:34 AM on February 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


But if you see someone on a dating profile who is 37, and says they want to date people 25-32, I mean come on, they won't date someone 37? That's different than happening to find someone they love who happens to be 27. It's a huge turnoff and red flag.

Well, I still don't think it's "squicky" if a man wants to date a younger woman -- what people do with their personal lives is their business -- but I do think online dating makes people overly-picky in really silly ways. People see the alpha male/female profiles and think, "oh, I have a shot with them", when in fact, no, those alpha people are ridiculously oversubscribed. What's sad is that perfectly attractive, good-hearted, funny, intelligent people go dateless because everyone's busy hitting on the alphas.

Basically, online dating is NYC dating writ large.
posted by Afroblanco at 7:38 AM on February 13, 2013


I do think online dating makes people overly-picky in really silly ways

Totally agree. I guess it's one thing if someone thinks in their head they want to date someone five, ten years younger, but totally weird when it's written out on a site - it's likedefinition "I wouldn't want to be in a club who wants someone like me as a member."
posted by sweetkid at 7:41 AM on February 13, 2013


Well, and even then, what if the guy is 37 and sets his max age range at 40? What's wrong with 41-year-olds? The whole system is flawed.

Anyway, I hated online dating and it didn't work for me. Singles concerned about their age may want to try meeting dates in person. I feel like we've become so conditioned by online dating that we've forgotten that, especially if you look young, nobody knows your age until you tell them.
posted by Afroblanco at 7:49 AM on February 13, 2013


yeah, most people in person think I am 27-29. I'm not against dating 27-29 year olds (I'm 34) but they are a mixed bag and I'd kind of like to date a 34- 37+ year old. However, on online dating, where it's easier to make it clear I'm 34, I see a lot of profiles of 37 year olds who don't want to date anyone over 30.

BLAH.
posted by sweetkid at 7:55 AM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Well, there goes 75% of my demographic, now what?

If they don't want to date you because of your age, how are they your demographic? Aren't they by definition not people available for you to date, and thus you wouldn't want to waste time on them?

It's a huge turnoff and red flag.

There's almost nothing for which this sentence doesn't actually read "... for me". Maybe saying "I tend to murder my dates", but there's probably someone out there who's into that too. Its a crazy world.
posted by wildcrdj at 6:19 PM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


I guess what I'm trying to say is... what's the point in judging someone's preferences because they make you not match? People like what they like, they're not going to change their minds because someone on the Internet has a negative opinion of it.

If you don't like someone's profile, you just skip it and move on. If people are too picky, they'll either end up alone or eventually adjust what they're looking for, but trying to shame them into liking something is just going to make everyone unhappy, because they're not really going to be in to it. Whether that something is age, body type, gender roles, etc --- all things people seem to have Strong Negative Feelings about other people's preferences.
posted by wildcrdj at 6:23 PM on February 13, 2013


I guess what I'm trying to say is... what's the point in judging someone's preferences because they make you not match?

Specifically with regards to the age thing, there is a strong cultural bias that says that older women are not sexy, are not worth dating, and are effectively invisible. A 37-year-old dude who doesn't want to date women over 32 might be displaying that bias. (It's possible he's not, but that's not the way I'd bet.) In aggregate, it means that women over 30ish have to deal with more hurdles to dating than men over 30ish, and of course they get cranky about it.
posted by restless_nomad at 6:35 PM on February 13, 2013 [5 favorites]


In aggregate, it means that women over 30ish have to deal with more hurdles to dating than men over 30ish, and of course they get cranky about it.

Thats fair. I was looking at it from the point of view "its good to know you don't like someone", but the "it's hard to find someone" point of view produces different results.

I've heard similar complains from, say, very short men (both about difficulty dating and being annoyed at women who are 5' but list 5'10" as their minimum acceptable height, for example).

On the one hand, filtering is good, but it's certainly true that encountering that a lot can be discouraging even if you wouldn't want to date those specific people.
posted by wildcrdj at 2:42 PM on February 14, 2013


On the one hand, filtering is good, but it's certainly true that encountering that a lot can be discouraging even if you wouldn't want to date those specific people.

It's also frustrating that people filter without really thinking through their preconceptions. Like, why would you not want to date a short dude? Is it actually a dealbreaker? Or are you just picking numbers seemingly at random that are influenced by these cultural biases and not making a decision based on your personal boundaries?

Being a woman who dates women, I get a weird outsider's view of a lot of these problems - women don't have the same prejudices, but being female I am very much aware them because they affect me in non-dating ways. But I'm sure there are a ton that I have internalized that I'm not capable of catching because they are right in my blind spot.
posted by restless_nomad at 3:11 PM on February 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


. Like, why would you not want to date a short dude? Is it actually a dealbreaker?

Speaking for self, yeah, short dude actually = dealbreaker. Partnered now, but absolutely would have been uncomfortable dating someone shorter than me and/or slighter than me. I tried dating a guy who was about an inch or two shorter than me once and it actually queered the whole thing for me - even though I tried really hard, the guy was otherwise great looking and intellectually stimulating. For me, it felt squicky.

I'm 5'6 1/2. I did not date under about 5'8, because 5'8 was approximately my height in heels and that felt comfortable.
posted by corb at 3:43 PM on February 14, 2013


FWIW had I filtered I never would have ended up with my husband, who was too short, too skinny, and too young - the youngest person I'd dated by a solid decade.

Oddly, now that I think about it, when we got together we were (and still are) the same height, wore the same size jeans and are only two months apart in age. It's just that none of that is what I thought I wanted. Turns out I was wrong.
posted by DarlingBri at 4:02 PM on February 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I do agree that online dating filters aren't always the best for happiness - just wanted to defend that the short-dude thing is real.

Honestly, I do think though that online dating is actually not fantastic for finding real happiness, because the things you think you're sorting for aren't what you're actually sorting for.

So my online profile sorted for:
No one younger than me, because I didn't want someone immature.
No one who disagreed with me politically, because I wanted someone who I could talk to about things I cared about.
No one who made less money than me, because I didn't want a guy who resented my making more money than him or a deadbeat.

Who did I partner? A guy who was younger than me - but not immature. A guy who disagrees with me a lot, but talks to me about politics I care about. And a guy who makes a bit less money than I do, but has a strong work ethic, is definitely not a deadbeat, and who doesn't resent it when I do make more.

So I got everything I wanted. I just didn't have a vehicle to sort for those things well on OKCupid.

In fact, OKCupid thought I'd be a 99% match with the shitty ex who wound up being verbally abusive, and only a 75% match with my actual partner. (When we both checked, because we both had OKCupid accounts.)

For what that's worth.
posted by corb at 4:19 PM on February 14, 2013


Yeah, I think that the short-dude thing is totally real for some people, just like the younger-woman thing is real for some people. But I also think that it isn't necessarily real for everyone, and can be a particularly shitty metric to judge people by.

(I personally would describe my ideal partner as being within two-three inches of my height in either direction, but that doesn't really make it a good filter - I've been very much attracted to specific people outside of that, even if on average I tend to prefer average-to-slightly-tall women.)
posted by restless_nomad at 5:34 PM on February 14, 2013


« Older The Shooter   |   Because, Why Not? Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post