"You should join Ok Cupid" is something I've been told countless times since ending a six-year relationship this past fall. When it comes to dating, I'm kind of on the bench right now. Sure, I'll sub in and go on a date if need be, but finding a man isn't a priority. Besides, I have always filed online dating under the "fine, but not for me" category. Until yesterday.
Newly attached Madeline and married Corynne were discussing different kinds of kisses, comparing and contrasting a "thanks for walking the dog" kiss with a "let's get this over with so I can go to sleep" kiss, and for the first time in months I felt a twinge of nostalgia.
Here I was getting off on the casual stuff when I could be the recipient of kisses that mean things again.
"Why don't you join OK Cupid?" asked Madeline, knowing I had heard it before.
"I don't need it," I said defensively. "I'm dating people already. I don't do the online thing. It's not for me," I continued, rattling off excuses.
"Whatever," said Madeline. "Everyone's on it."
She had a point. Even one of my coolest, most attractive friends had a (secret) OK Cupid profile at one point and even dated someone she had met on the site, albeit reluctantly, for several months.
That night I stopped at my apartment after work with the intention of going straight to the gym, but a quick break on the couch turned into two glasses of wine and some fruitless text messaging with someone I'm involved with very casually.
I don't know if it was the booze, the frustrating conversation or a fusion of the two, but somewhere around 10pm an Ok Cupid profile was conceived.
One of my reservations about joining a dating site had always been sharing pictures of myself with people that I don't know. It turns out having an online dating profile is sort of the same as being an online writer (minus the pay), so I eased myself into it by pulling information from my xoJane bio page. Easy enough.
Next I answered a series of questions designed to help match those who love/hate food stamps with likeminded people. There are also plenty of questions about rape fantasies, video games, Jesus and the right to bear arms.
Everyone I have talked to about online dating raves about the anonymous attention and praise. Within an hour my inbox started filling up.
I did some browsing of my own based on match percentage and saw all the characters you can come to expect in the online (and real life) dating world. Topless "Gymrat6969" guy; button-down and bootleg jean-wearing finance guy who seeks "someone to share the finer things with," goofy aspiring graphic designer with an ironic Pokemon card collection. You know these guys.
When I woke up this morning my inbox reflected the full spectrum of Ok Cupid suspects, which led me to believe these dudes are messaging everyone. Maybe some of them could have been promising like Sanjay Gupta look-alike, or the funny media planner, but I decided not to respond to anyone.
Unlike my online dater friends, I didn't experience any of the ego-boosting power that they had described. To me, Ok Cupid feels like the Sims of dating, and If I'm being honest, I'm not even ready to seek out a new partner. Life without "meaningful kisses" is actually fine for now. I disabled my Ok Cupid profile at around 8am.
What about you? Are you a member of an online dating site? Have you ever dated someone you met online? Coupled up peeps, how did you meet your current SO: online or IRL? Let's discuss.
Follow Julie on Twitter @JR_Schott.