The thing about studying is that it piques your interest to do anything and everything but study. While holed up in a law library in the summer of 2009 cramming for my CPA, all I could think about was my impending move to Arlington and the throngs of male opportunity that would inevitably present themselves. Match assured me that “it’s okay to look,” and I did just that. For hours on end. (You would, too, if your other option was to study how to account for pension plans and business combinations.)
I was intrigued. This site was rife with twenty-somethings all itching to find someone, or so they purported. Interestingly enough, almost all of them loved to travel, were laid back, and could still appreciate a night curled up on the couch. Talk about groupthink. I wondered whether these attributes were embossed onto all Y chromosomes. Where were the uptight hermits who absolutely hate to cuddle?!
Casual match.com perusal also helped me to identify what I would classify as online dating deal-breakers. Here’s the thing, boys: when you decide that the best way to catch a girl’s attention is to take a picture of yourself shirtless in front of your bathroom mirror with your smart phone, you’re not getting a response. Casually leaning against your BMW? Unimpressed. And I, too, have a penchant for nice things. If you’re wearing a pricey watch, I will likely notice. If you’re not, I will be totally unaffected by it. That said, evidence of your proclivity for Burberry and Gucci belongs on you American Express statement, not on your Match profile. One last thing – if running spell check on your profile is “definately” too much of a hassle, I can only wish you good luck with someone else.
Undeterred by shirtless men with an affinity for German-engineered cars and who are plagued by orthographic foibles, I joined. Well, I signed up for their three-day free trial since I was also pretty broke. Soon multitudes of males were contacting me. Apparently, I have a great smile. And everyone wanted to get to know me. I could get used to this ethereal flattery via the interweb. I had expended next to zero effort, and I had more people showing interest in three days than during my entire year of graduate school. I developed hubris for the first time ever.
Those people at match.com are pretty savvy. By day four, my free trial had expired, and I was still foaming at the mouth for online attention. I bit the bullet and paid the $35 one-month subscription fee. (It should be noted that I was still two months away from living in Arlington, where I had prematurely designated my city of residence.) Once they have your credit card number, you’ve lost control. Within weeks, the correspondences started to wane. What used to constitute a good day’s worth of contact was what would come through my inbox in a week. I assumed I was no longer a daily special on the match.com menu.
Once I made the move to Arlington, what ensued was a very long string of dates. Dating has been very fun; it can also be supremely taxing. More than anything, I’ve learned a great deal about myself. What follows are completely true accounts of some of my dating experiences, online and otherwise. It’s been a long time since I’ve first pledged allegiance to the movement of online dating. I’m weary from it at this point and have to submit, I think I am no match for match.com.