21 June 2007

Dating update

A while back, I joined in one of the Internet's most painful trends: online dating. I tried two services -- Match.com and eHarmony.

Match.com is straightforward: Look at pictures, read about someone & decide whether to send an e-mail that the other person won't respond to (because they decided not to pay for the service). eHarmony purports to have a "scientific approach": They make you suffer through a long personality test & then match you with people who never respond (because they decided not to pay for the service).

For the three months I was a paying member of these illustrious services, I met two people worth dating. One petered out after a few dates because he did not know when to shut up. You see, guys, no matter how brilliant and all-knowing you may be, the woman you are with might -- just might -- know more than you about one tiny, itsy-bitsy small subject. If you refuse to acknowledge this, you are effectively kissing off your chance of a goodnight kiss. Or a handshake. It's called "respect." I'm pretty sure that word is still in the dictionary, but maybe I'm old-school.

The second petered out before we even met because, well, because he knew my ex. Go figure. My ex lives in New York. What are the odds that an engineer living in Houston metro, would know people I knew when I was married and living in upstate NY? Small world. I'm not sure what it says about my ability to avoid making the same mistakes over & over.

I still have my Match.com account, although I no longer pay for it, so I have 'hidden' myself so men don't fall hopelessly in lust only to be disappointed when they get no response (because you can only respond if you pay, and most "men" would not be worth $20 to exchange the two or three e-mails typically required to determine they are actually pigs). But Match.com still e-mails me once a week with "my matches."

Yesterday, for the first time, they matched me with someone from work. Someone totally, absolutely, impossibly wrong. In fairness, Match.com said he was only a 74% match. But still.

On a recent (May!) business trip, which I meant to blog, I dragged along a professional photographer to shoot a zillion pictures of my colleagues working in the field. It was a fun trip, and I still mean to write about it one of these days. But the relevant thing here is that the photographer, who is kind of cute and very fun, is also single and pointed out a FREE online dating site: Plenty Of Fish. So I signed up -- what the heck, right?

The thing about a free online dating site is that it's free. So there are all kinds of morons on there, including (I think -- I hope) 13-year-olds posing as 45-year-olds. If these men really are 45, there are a lot of reasons why they are divorced/separated/single. Example from a recent chat:

Man: Hi my name is Xxxxx.
Me: My brother's name is Xxxxx. You're not him are you? Because that would be really embarrassing.
Man: Ha no im not ur brother but r u feelin naughty?

(sigh) I mean, it's not even *video* chatting for heaven's sake.

Anyway, in two months of Fishing, I haven't caught anything worth keeping -- but hey, it's *free.* And I haven't given up yet.

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