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Advancing The Conquest

For some time friends and acquaintances have been urging me to venture into the unknown. The realm of online dating. Yes, I am online everywhere else with accounts at nearly every attempted social media venture that’s come along in the last 15+ years. So why not take it a step further and be even more obvious about my single status, with a service designed specifically for dating? Because it’s creepy! Not to say that I haven’t caved. I created a fairly innocuous profile last weekend and have spent much of the time since boggling at the responses I’ve received. One guy sent me a message before I’d even finished creating the profile. Fresh meat, I guess. Too many messages have come from sleazy guys who must be copy/pasting their typo-ridden missives to any and every woman with nary a glance at our profiles. An example: “hey baby, your[sic] sexy.” These are the same guys who have posted photos of themselves in touchy-feely mode with girlfriends past as if to say, “see? I can totally score top quality broads!” And I’m not uptight, but I haven’t been too keen on seeing that men with BDSM in their user names have been visiting my profile. Eep. Also awkward? Searching on key words such as “vegan” is like a walk down memory lane, turning up former roommates, activists and other acquaintances I’ve known over the years. After just two days of poking around this site I felt like I’d already seen every eligible bachelor in the Twin Cities. And I was not terribly impressed. What makes the experience all the more surreal? It feels like I’m just shopping online. FOR PEOPLE. “Hmmm, I’ll take one of those but do you have it in other sizes?” To add to the odd, there’s this business of rating profiles, Consumer Reports style. And the only local candidates I’ve rated well - with gold stars! - are ones who have been 5-10 years younger than I am. But those who have sent the most messages have been 5-10 years older. I’m not quite sure what that says about me. And naturally the only interesting guy I’ve kept an ongoing dialogue with is…in Canada. Not terribly helpful. But hey, I’ve got a new pen pal. I’m tempted to chalk this up as nothing more than terrifying-yet-hilarious mid-winter entertainment and move right along. Because I really don’t need to invite any more chaos into my life anyhow.

terrifying cupid

Bonus: The Museum of Broken Relationships is, unsurprisingly, still going strong.
Plus: Cephalopods need love too. And Warren Ellis says Happy Horny Werewolf Day 2010!
And: Two years ago today my divorce was signed into effect. Yep, on Valentine’s Day. And it would seem little has changed since this time last year (financial problems + single parenting struggles). I am Sisyphus.


  1. I had quite a good experience with online dating. Granted, I was in college and was mostly just looking for dates to occupy my time after having studied abroad and deciding the guys I did know were all totally not going to make the cut as boyfriends. But I dated this punk rock guy I met on yahoo personals, and we had a decent time. And he made fun of me for the “indie” music I listed to and gave me comps to a Shins concert in 2003 because he would rather be dead than be caught at a shins concert. And I invited a few friends, plus one of their roommates. And then a few years ago, I married the roommate. So even if online dating itself didn’t work out, the outcome FROM online dating worked. I’ve heard the online dating resources Okcupid has been fun for some friends, and one of the couples whose wedding i’m shooting this year met via the online dating service associated with bust (which apparently is also either connected with the onion or city pages). Good luck and happy dating!

    Sunday, February 14, 2010 at 1:38 pm | Permalink
  2. Sharyn wrote:

    Heh, thanks for the encouragement Kate! I haven’t entirely given up on this but it does seem a bit different as a single parent vs. how it might have been in my pre-motherhood days. If I do decide to meet up (in a public place, of course) with some guy I can’t be very spontaneous about it. And I think the motherhood aspect is a big dealbreaker for a lot of guys who may have otherwise found my profile interesting. Speaking of which, I did create extensive OCD-style lists about the music/movies/books etc I enjoy and have received some amusing messages containing obscure references to them, so I guess it hasn’t been all bad. But I’m afraid my extreme nerdiness will attract LARPers and Libertarians.

    Sunday, February 14, 2010 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

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