When I first began using online dating in May of this year, it was so empowering. It took about 2 hours to answer the questionnaire, and set up my profile. I carefully chose my answers so as to best portray both my varied interests and sense of humor. And agonized over that profile photo. Let’s face it- men are supposedly “visual” creatures. So though I may love the picture of me boating on Lake Placid without a stitch of makeup and my hair a crazy mess, it probably won’t impress a dude.
As soon as I finished that final step, I was immediately given a list of matches whose profiles I was able to review, and rate based on how interested I would be in them. Those that I felt had potential would be moved into my “active” matches, those that I didn’t would be sent away into the online dating abyss, never to be heard from again. Or something like that.
Honestly, it’s slightly addictive. Combine online shopping, with men, and you’ve got the feeling. You’re just clicking around Amazon.com one day and see that cd that you’ve been waiting for forever, and you do a little dance and *add to cart*. Then it suggests that you might like a cd by a similar artist, and you ponder it, read the reviews, and decide that you’re not really open to try today… You get rid of it. And just for fun, you click over to the books page and see if they’ve discounted that hardcover you’ve been waiting for (shut UP. you so do this.)… and they have! *add to cart*
Now imagine that you’re clicking around Amazon and all they sell is MEN. You find the perfect med student model who lives 20 minutes away. His favorite tv show is The Office! *add to cart* But wait- you have five more matches to review! Oh, this one enjoys long walks on the beach with his lab puppy and loves sushi! *add to cart* Hmmm. This guy says he only wants a blonde nympho with big boobs. *nope!* You get the idea.
I also told myself that I was going to be open-minded going into the experience, and not make my judgements based entirely on looks. That would make me a shallow bitch. And when you’ve gone without sex as long as I have been single so long you’re considering a convent you’re trying something new, it helps to try to have a new perspective. Maybe I was ignoring people in “the real world” that I might have been compatible with just because of the outer package.
You know the old saying ‘you can’t judge a book by it’s cover’? That should totally hold true for online dating. Before you start to judge me and think I’m a horrible person and that’s why I’m single, consider. If you were clicking around the aforementioned shopping website, and found a book with a picture of the condition Black Hairy Tongue* on the cover, would you buy it? NO. You wouldn’t. Because you’d vomit in your mouth every time you looked at it. So you might think that when doing online dating, you’d want to present yourself well. Don’t put up the picture of yourself in the high school band if you’re 32. Even though you love hunting, shots of yourself holding large firearms or decapitated wildlife are not particularly attractive. Likewise, if every single one of your photos is of you in a bar, covered in drunk women, I’m not going to question why you haven’t found “The one” yet.
Anyway, back to being zen and mature and awesome… The Biochemistry.com process is slow, and allows you to “get to know the other person” through a series of steps. I enjoyed this, as I got to see my match’s personality a little before I decided if I wanted to email or commit to meeting somewhere. Being an overachiever, I was seeing the process through with any matches that I saw something in common with. No, I didn’t feel that instant “spark” with anyone (which is total bullshit, depending who you ask), but this was part of the new “Open-minded Mature Brooke” and dammit, I was going to give it my all.
After about 3 weeks, I was sitting reviewing my matches, and my Mom walked over and asked if she could take a look. I figured that a little extra input couldn’t hurt, as I was getting to the point where I needed to decide if I should actually meet these guys. I passed off the laptop and started directing her into various profiles.
Brooke: Ok, so this is Bob… He’s 29, a bank manager in Millersville…
Mom: Hmmm… *looks puzzled*
Mom: He’s not really your type… and he’s 5’4”.
Brooke: Yeah but… he listed so and so as a favorite author. And likes Ben Folds.
Mom: Ok. Next one? *click click*
Brooke: Oh yeah. This is Richard. He’s a teacher from York.
Mom: Honey. He looks like he lives in his mom’s basement on Ring-dings and Mt Dew.
Brooke: But he TEACHES CHILDREN. We are being open-minded!!
Mom: Next. *click*
Brooke: Ok. You can’t find anything wrong with this guy. This is Jake from Annapolis. He is a LAWYER. And has a BOAT. And likes opera.
Mom: Do you find him remotely attractive?
Brooke: ….no. But this website says I SHOULD.
Mom: Next. *click*
Brooke: Yeah… no, don’t click him…
Brooke: Told you not to click him.
Mom: *click* *click* *click*
Mom: You’re paying for this?
…. And that is the story of why I am no longer using Biochemistry.com. Perhaps it hasn’t caught on yet as one of the major dating sites. In any event, I cancelled my account and moved over to its parent site, Mismatch.com. That’s a story for another day.
*Google it. I’m soooo not linking it.