Last November, I decided to try out OkCupid. I was getting a bit of an itch to get back into the dating scene, and it seemed like an easy way. I posted my obligatory close up, body shot, and "hey, I'm cute and quirky and can come up with fun and unusual dates to do like apple picking" pic, came up with a witty profile, and sent it out to the masses.
After about a week or two, I agreed to go on a date with a guy who'd been messaging me. He was decent looking, and it sounded like we had a lot in common, so I figured, what the hey.
Cut to the actual date. About two minutes in, it is clear to me that I'm not the slightest bit attracted to this guy. He's just not my cup of tea. Forty-five minutes in, he has barely let me get a word in edgewise, opting instead to tell me all about Lord of the Rings and the Civil War and why he loves The Music Man. The few times I start to talk, he cuts me off halfway through my first sentence. Now, to be fair, I can talk someone's ear off, but this guy was overdoing it even by my standards. And all the while he keeps sprinkling in little elusions to later dates. "Oh, you like this movie? I have it on Blu-ray, you'll have to come over and watch it." "Your roommate sounds great, I can't wait to meet her." "I'm going to take you bowling!"
I was polite, but I also tried not to seem like I was having too much fun, so as not to lead him on. I thought I was doing ok until he says, "So, I guess it goes without saying that there'll be a second date."
I, of course, handle this like a proper lady by promptly letting out a loud, nervous, slightly maniacal bark of laughter, then say, "Um... I'm sorry, but I actually don't really feel like we're clicking... I don't know that a second date is a good idea."
He stares at me for a good three seconds. He draws a deep breath, and lets out a long, shuddering sigh. Then he screws his face up, covers it with his hand, and as he draws his hand away, his eyes are suspiciously bright.
This is about the time I start to panic.
He then proceeds to spend the next FIFTEEN MINUTES begging me to go on a second date with him. He tells me he had a bad day so he wasn't his best tonight, gets angry and asks if he's not "dark and dangerous" enough for me, tells me I have eyes like a Disney princess ("Not big and creepy like an Anime girl, but like, the really beautiful Disney princess kind), all the while occasionally hiding his face and coming up glassy-eyed. I try to be patient and explain, and really, I feel bad for the guy, but the whole time I'm thinking "OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD PLEASE DON'T START CRYING I CAN'T HANDLE THIS OH GODDDDDDD".
I finally escape, go home, and promptly delete my OkCupid profile. Time goes by, I date someone else for about a month, things are good.
A few weeks after my brief December romance, however, and I'm feeling a little bit lonely. It seems that seeing someone reminded me of the nice things about dating, and now I'm finding myself a little dissatisfied with my singledom. (Ironic, seeing as I ended things last time around because I was missing being single). So, bearing my last disastrophy in mind, I cautiously re-activate my OkCupid account.
Here's the thing I've learned about me and men. It is damn near impossible for me to determine if I'm attracted to someone based on pictures and self-descriptions. I just cannot tell until I see someone in person - not because of how they look, but because personality is such a big component in attraction for me. In the world of online dating, there are two ways to handle this predicament. One, you can be open-minded and give OkCupid gents the benefit of the doubt, going out on many dates to see who you might click with. Or you can assume they all suck, and respond to any advances with unadulterated hostility, like me.
Perfectly Pleasant Guy: Hey, how was your day?
Me: Who the fuck is this guy?! He doesn't know me. Why the hell is he asking how my day was?!
Ann: You don't really get the point on online dating sites, do you?
Charming Gentleman of the Internet: Saw you like red pandas. Do they remind you of foxes?
Me: WHAT THE FUCK? Does he think that's witty? Does he think it's clever? OF COURSE THEY REMIND ME OF FOXES, ASSHOLE! Do zebras remind you of horses? YES! What a stupid question!
Ann: How's it going with this guy?
Me: Ok, I guess. He seems cool, and we've been talking for a couple days, and it seems to be going well, so now I'm afraid he's going to ask me out for coffee or something.
Ann: WHY ARE YOU ON THIS WEBSITE, KATIE?!?
It was about then that I decided OkCupid is not for me, and deactivated my account once again. I'm not sure exactly why I reacted to all these men with such needless hatred, but I think maybe it's my subconscious' way of telling me that I'm not done being single. If Mr. Perfect shows up in my life tomorrow, I'm in a good enough place that I could start dating him without feeling like I've lost a sense of self... but I don't think I want a significant other enough to start actively seeking one out. In the meantime I'll celebrate my singlehood like any other red-blooded woman: by staying in on Friday nights and doing photo shoots with my cats.