Online Dating...WTF

Hey all,

This is my first blog post here -- guess I've just never had the time to sit down and throw some words together before tonight. As the title suggests, I want to share a few thoughts about online dating. Yeah.

But first, some backstory (in case anyone cares):

I moved all the way across the country (live in the States) to attend grad school in August of 2010; when I say "all the way across the country," I mean that I moved about 2,912 miles away from home (that's 4,686 km for those of you in more civilized countries). Now I'm about half done with a Ph.D. in Physics, specifically classical GR theory (e.g. self-force effects in perturbative GR, EMRI waveform analysis, stuff for LIGO etc.). Take away: I have very little time to do fun things.

Alright, so starting out I was in a new city, about the farthest away from any friends I could be while remaining in the same country, not knowing a single soul and swamped with school/work. Off to a good start. But how do I find a nice girl to date?

Go to a bar?

Not really my thing, and the types of women looking to get picked up at bars usually don't appeal to me.

Meet someone through a friend?

What friends? I have -- of course -- met and made quite a few friends over the past 2.5 years, but all of them are other physics grads in my program, and the female grads all came with significant others to begin with. No dice.

I don't know man, just get out there and meet people!?

Easier said than done, but I tried! I'm fluent in German, so I joined the uni's German club, but no one seems to care about grad students there. I could try to date one of my students, but that would not only be highly unethical, it would also be really, really creepy! I'm also not religious in the slightest, so I'm not going to church -- yes, people have suggested that before.

Cue the online dating:

Right, so I'm stuck in this town with no friends to make connections and no luck in my own searches. Last resort: go online. So I did; I made a profile, filled it out with all the stuff they deem important, and answered several asinine and bizarre questions to help "find my match."

As a guy, it seems that the onus is on me to search through all of the matching profiles and send out messages to possible "love connections." I'm now going to compare online dating to going to a butcher's shop. I feel like I'm searching through the glass cases, looking for the best choice cuts of meat, all sitting there, arranged to attract my eye. Seriously, I've only been on the site for two days and I'm already sick of it. It feels wrong! I'm shopping around for a love interest!

Everyone is confined to a small package of interests and likes/dislikes, with a fancy profile picture to wrap it all up nicely in a bow. I'm not meeting people, I'm selecting a model. Blond, Brunette, or Redhead? Something about the whole process just feels extremely degrading to the women I'm looking at, and I feel a little sick doing it. It's probably the same way for women looking at the male profiles, but since women don't seem to send out messages (according to "the Internet" -- a very reliable source I'm told) I don't know how they feel about it.

Not sure if I'm going to keep it up; all depends on how much more I can stomach. Does anyone have a success story with this online dating thing?

Anyway, carry on!

-JT

P.S. I am in no way asking for any advice about dating or relationships (For god's sake: it's a website, about video games!), and I already know the number to call should I have any questions:

50 Comments
51 Comments
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Posted by Godlyawesomeguy

ITS NOT FUN WHEN THE OP POSTS THE GIRL ADVICE HOTLINE PHOTO

Online
Posted by PillClinton

ITS NOT FUN WHEN THE OP POSTS THE GIRL ADVICE HOTLINE PHOTO

IT'S OK THOUGH BECAUSE SOMEONE WILL PROBABLY POST THE OTHER ONE WITH BRAD IN IT AND ALL WILL BE BALANCED AND WELL.

Posted by Funkydupe
:D

Edited by FourWude

Have you tried J-Date. For like minded Jewish singles.

Posted by McGhee

ITS NOT FUN WHEN THE OP POSTS THE GIRL ADVICE HOTLINE PHOTO

IM DOING IT ANYWAY GODDAMNIT

Posted by FourWude

E-Harmony. It matches you on your compatibility for a true, deep, long lasting relationship.

Posted by eternalrift
Edited by TooWalrus

Posted by MentalDisruption

Online dating sites always sound really unnatural to me, but I guess it ends up working out for some people.

Edited by Raven10

I've recently started using one. The best luck I've had so far is when the girl contacted me first. I feel like these sites usually have more men than women and the women usually get swamped with messages. So you either need to make your message really stand out, or you need to hope she contacts you. In my case she contacted me, we chatted there for a bit, then exchanged Facebook profiles and finally we are going to go on a date. I know it is a bit unnatural to sort of "shop" for women, but it can work so I would keep at it.

Posted by pyromagnestir

Dating in general... WTF

I'm gonna become a nun so I don't have to worry about it anymore. Can dudes become nuns?

Posted by psylah

Dating in general... WTF

I'm gonna become a nun so I don't have to worry about it anymore. Can dudes become nuns?

Yes, dude nuns are called nudes.

Just punch nudes into google, should take you where you need to go.

Posted by pyromagnestir

@psylah said:

@pyromagnestir said:

Dating in general... WTF

I'm gonna become a nun so I don't have to worry about it anymore. Can dudes become nuns?

Yes, dude nuns are called nudes.

Just punch nudes into google, should take you where you need to go.

Thank you for your kind and helpful words of wisdom, you good Samaritan you!

Posted by Joeybagad0nutz

ITS NOT FUN WHEN THE OP POSTS THE GIRL ADVICE HOTLINE PHOTO

HAHAHA! YES, exactly what I was thinking.

Posted by Fattony12000

Posted by AlexanderSheen

Online Dating...WTF, more like Online Dating...DTF!

DAAAAAMMMN!

...

What are we talking about? Oh yeah, online dating, got it. So, you got a problem with adoptation too? Because that process seems somewhat similar to this one. And come on, really, online dating is what makes you sick?

Posted by SweeneyTodd

Online dating isn't, like, you bring flowers to your computer and sit next to it with candles while you type. You guys know that right?

You chat like once, maybe twice with somebody, then just friggin' ask them out, and from there on it's not any different than regular dating. It's not that different from Meetup except it's one on one and I can't believe I'm having to try to come up with analogies for dating. It's dating. The hard part is once you're actually with the person, not before.

Do beware of people who want to chat endlessly on the site itself, though, as it's possible they're just looking for messages to give them ego boosts (people already in relationships do this sometime, very skeezy)

Posted by themangalist

Only 8 threads in do we actually see a comment on op's topic. Stay classy, Giantbomb.

Edited by Krullban

Yes, it works. You just have to really try. My uncle died in a fishing accident, and my aunt used online dating a couple years after that and found a great guy and they've been married for years now.

Posted by WasabiCurry

What's the topic again?

I didn't read the wall of text.

Edited by Brodehouse

I met my girlfriend on a dating site, we've been together 2 and a half years.

If you feel upset by the meat market atmosphere of a dating site, then I'm not sure how you expect to start dating someone other than have your type of person accidentally fall into your lap. Consider that compared to the 'normal' bar/club scene, you actually can see what people's interests and outward personality are rather than merely their body. Dating itself is a meat market where you look for the qualities you desire in a partner, the idea that it 'happens naturally' is bolognium. I don't know exactly how you construe it to be degrading to profile women in search of a potential mate, when those women actively desire to be profiled, otherwise they would not have registered and filled out the information. That's the entire purpose of being on such a site. Under such a definition, how would it not be more degrading to be asked on a date in the course of 'real life'?

As to why men send more messages and women less; it's a seller's market for them. The mere companionship of men is practically worthless, so they get to set requirements as high as they choose. (I'd say this only applies to the pretty ones, but that's not quite true either).

Edited by Tylea002

For a species that has conquered and colonised the entire planet, standing above any other animal with a society thousands of years strong, the "human mating ritual" is pretty lacking.

Posted by Humanity

I have a friend who found and married a really nice girl through a dating site. Whenever I used one I felt similarly exhausted after a while. It seems like after the 20th or 30th message you send trying to sound more unique and interesting than the other guy while not too pushy or overbearing, it all seems to lose focus. Those messages don't even seem real anymore. On the flip side I made a female profile with the most generic trash information I could be bothered to make up and within an hour that profile had roughly 100 messages. At that point I kind of realized that my chances were a lot slimmer than I ever dreamed. I'm certain that more classy and expensive sites diminish the "competition" so to speak. I did go on a few dates but they were all kind if awkward as if neither of us were really that happy to even be there.

So I guess it works for some and not for others. I've always had more luck dating through friends - but when you don't have friends who know any single women I guess it becomes an issue. Godspeed with your search and let the Brad be with you.

Posted by eternalrift

@raven10: I'm glad to hear that things are starting to work out for you. It may be that I just haven't had enough time to get used to the idea; still seems really weird to me.

@brodehouse: Congratulations on your success! I've never had to go "hunting" for women, in the sense that every relationship I've had has started out with a friend or someone I've met in a class and worked together with. That's probably why I'm a little put off by the whole thing.

@humanity: That's quite a depressing thought about how lost in the noise I could get; guess you can't escape the dudebros, even online. :-(

Posted by ImmortalSaiyan

I'm with you on this one. The whole concept seems off. I would not be able to seach for a date. Too weird. I have the same issue with facebook actually.

Edited by Petiew

Never tried online dating, but I've heard from people that the women frequently get tens or hundreds of messages every day and as such it's hard to get noticed. You don't really seem like you'd be into searching hundreds of profiles ending in a mass sending of mails, so maybe this approach isn't for you?

Also, Ezio is always related.

Posted by Wrighteous86

@fattony12000: That is one of the most disturbing things I've seen in a while. Thank you.

Edited by ArtelinaRose

I have considered it from time to time because I do not exactly have a great chance at meeting people walking the streets I normally do in my life. Metaphorical streets, not literal ones. But then I get scared because my situation is more unique than most and it's not something I am really comfortable with keeping secret if I am going to be interested with involving myself in somebody else's personal life and them in mine, and I start thinking about how many hateful people there are out there and I don't want to set up a date and meet up behind a diner only to get my ass kicked by six people because I'm different.

Best of luck to you, though! With more and more people using the internet for so many things these days, I do not think that success in love obtained through digital means is such a far fetched thing to hope for. In some ways, I think that establishing the foundations for a relationship through the internet may be better in the long run. At that early stage where you are getting to know the other person and establishing trust, having it be impersonal, with none of the social stigmas or expectations that you have in a face to face meeting can allow you to be relaxed and express yourself in ways that more reflect how you actually feel and less how you feel expected to respond.

Edited by eternalrift

Hah! That gave me chuckle and made me very sad all at the same time. How am I supposed to compete with him? Dude's got hidden blades for christ's sake!

Posted by Petiew

Dude's got hidden blades for christ's sake!

Yeah, I've heard the rumours. He's really packing heat.

Posted by Wrighteous86

I have considered it from time to time because I do not exactly have a great chance at meeting people walking the streets I normally do in my life. Metaphorical streets, not literal ones. But then I get scared because my situation is more unique than most and it's not something I am really comfortable with keeping secret if I am going to be interested with involving myself in somebody else's personal life and them in mine, and I start thinking about how many hateful people there are out there and I don't want to set up a date and meet up behind a diner only to get my ass kicked by six people because I'm different.

Best of luck to you, though! With more and more people using the internet for so many things these days, I do not think that success in love obtained through digital means is such a far fetched thing to hope for. In some ways, I think that establishing the foundations for a relationship through the internet may be better in the long run. At that early stage where you are getting to know the other person and establishing trust, having it be impersonal, with none of the social stigmas or expectations that you have in a face to face meeting can allow you to be relaxed and express yourself in ways that more reflect how you actually feel and less how you feel expected to respond.

Aren't there any dating site specific to people in your situation? Or interested in that? There are so many specified dating sites I'm sure you could probably find something if the thought of it doesn't put you off.

Posted by RollingZeppelin

Hah! That gave me chuckle and made me very sad all at the same time. How am I supposed to compete with him? Dude's got hidden blades for christ's sake!

Funny stuff, although I wouldn't consider any of the women who responded to his ad as dating material.

Edited by Fattony12000
Posted by Wrighteous86
Posted by Demoskinos

Yeah I dunno same position really I dont get that much of a chance to actually meet people and I dont do the bar/club thing. I've just decided to be happy being single and if something happens it happens if not then whatever.

Posted by eternalrift

@demoskinos: That's how I've been for a while now, but after two + years with no sign of things happening on their own... I'm starting to get a bit depressed about the whole situation. But whatever, life goes on.

Posted by supamon

Hey at least you're giving it a shot. Yeah it feels weird but just look at it as a way to meet new friends. Just don't rely on it too much and you'll be fine.

Posted by TheHT

Posted by Tireyo

I don't understand the whole relationship and dating thing too well, so good luck to you with whatever advice you take seriously.

Posted by iam3green

well i found that it doesn't really work. i found out recently that girls get a whole bunch of messages from different guys, 1 girl for every 10 guys. i tried it never got any responses from them.

Edited by gamefreak9

@eternalrift: I understand your dilemma it does kind of feel unnatural since you don't really know what you want. I am doing my thesis in matching so I find this really interesting. Though I would recommend you don't stop using online dating services, as someone who travels around alot what I think makes sense for online dating is the ability to overcome context, its dumb to assume you will run into someone who will be a really stable match for you coincidentally so you should turn it into science! On that sense I have heard of online dating sites where you don't browse through people, you merely sign up your profile and answer everything they want. Using this information and past success rates, companies may be able to set up models which maximize your chance of finding a stable match, as a fellow science lover i'm sure you can appreciate this kind of thing, I can try and look up specifics if you are interested. I don't have time to do this but I was planning on signing up to some of these things eventually, some of these matching services have a much better chance of being successful than normal meetings.

Edited by geirr

I met the love of my life in Second Life. Dated there for a year, met in real life a few times (we lived in different countries), now we've been happily married for 1 1/2 years and still going!

It's not something I actively searched for however, it just kinda happened after I had long given up on love~

Posted by Sidewalkchalk

The way I've figured it.. I had about seven relationships, three of which were marriage possibilities.

I am in NO fucking hurry to find the next one. When it finds me, I'll accept it if it's worth my while. Not sure where you're at, but I'm spending my time on me. If that's at bars, then so be it, but it probably won't. Most likely, it's at hikes, in the park, at work, at the gym, at home playing vidya with some beers and whiskey. It's me. Fuck the rest.

Edited by Sidewalkchalk

As for the OP.. dude, if you are that hung up on finding someone, yeah - these dating sites are going to try to single someone out for you. That means picking a fucking hair color. If you're not down with that, then quit the sites and just live your life.

Posted by Example1013

Online dating is picking out meat...except you're the one on display.

Posted by BlatantNinja23

I would say don't completely count out bars. While I totally agree with what you're getting at, there are still people to meet who aren't going out to get picked up. There's always a chance for a happy accident. It's also totally about the types of bars you're going at. There isn't really a nice way to say this, but the nicer the bar the more I tend to actually enjoy the other people there. For me, if people are dancing, than I most likely don't want to be there. Which ya, I understand I'm boring.

Posted by dudeglove

Posted by TheManiacsGnome

I was in a situation pretty simlar to yours where I followed a girlfriend to the "big city" from my rural-ish hometown, the plan was I would work while she was in school put some money together and go back to school. 3 years later, she's gone and I'm still working for some unknown reason, I guess I'm a glutton for pain. I too went the online dating route and just found that I was one of many male fish in the sea all vying for the attention of the few females who didn't have horse faces (What? You don't just take anything EVER) or personalities similar to a vapid teenager.

The secret to online dating is all in you profile, it's about not taking yourself to seriously while not sounding like a total self depracating loser. The ladies looking for a relationship will come to you, they do look through male profiles too and the kinds of ladies you want are the ones who generally skip the profiles where the image is nothing but the dudes abs or his dong. Talk about your passions, talk about what interests you, but BE FUNNY! Have more than one profile image, having one makes people feel like it's either fake or that's literally the only good photo of you, photo's in public/with friends are also hugely beneficial, avoid web cam shots of you sitting in front of a computer illuminated by the monitor.

I met an absolutely beautiful, mind bogglingly intelligentand talented journalism student and we've been happily together for about 6 months now (I know a short time but heyyy it's something), and she came to me. I didn't need to send 50 messages a day or spend hours looking through lists of profiles. I wish you all the luck in the world duder, I know how much it sucks to be totally alone and far from home.

Posted by troll93

@eternalrift said:

I'm also not religious in the slightest, so I'm not going to church -- yes, people have suggested that before.

Thank god that it's not just me. A bunch of my friends tell me that I should go to church to try and pick up chicks. I don't believe but I am not gonna risk it, cause if God does end up being real, he would be PISSED at me for doing that. Also, fuck waking up early on a Sunday.

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