Maybe I am stupid but three weeks ago I signed up for OKCupid.
If you are a regular reader, you know that I have recorded my two previous attempts to enter the online dating world. This past July I posted “Sex and the Single Vicar” and in January “Disharmony, Smarmony, eHarmony.” (Feel free to search the archives!)
Both forays were fantastic fiascos.
So why did I join OKCupid?
Maybe I am naïve. (No.)
Maybe I am a romantic. (Maybe.)
Maybe miracles do happen. (Sometimes.)
Maybe hope springs eternal. (Yes, I will agree to that.)
Maybe I am just curious to see who is out there. (Curious-er and curious-er.)
So I downloaded the app on my iPhone. My daughter has used it. Some of the seminary students I work with have used it. I am young and hip (well, at least hip) — so maybe I could use it too.
It’s just a social experiment after all — to give me practice socializing with the opposite sex.
OKCupid is not quite the meat market that is match-dot-com. Nor is it the straight-laced, fundamentalist nightmare that is eHarmony. A cousin to both, it is somewhere in-between.
So once again I set up a profile. The essay questions are shorter and my answers more succinct.
I am BookWalkTalk: A voracious reader, book jockey, and half marathoner. Native Washingtonian. My profession is spiritual, intellectual, and educational. I work in two places and love both. I love dark and quirky movies, folk rock music, and do not cook. I am looking for an intellectual sparring partner with an enormous sense of fun. Want to talk?
My updated photos are most flattering: a selfie in the dining room; a snapshot at the 13.1 mile finish line; and one of me building a book tree in the library at Christmas. (Nothing sexier than a sixty year-old woman building a tree out of books!)
And then there are the “yes or no” pop quiz questions:
- “Do you think nuclear war could ever be a good thing?” (No.)
- “Is jealousy healthy in a relationship?” (No.)
- “Would we be safer if everyone carried a gun?” (No.)
- “Is smoking disgusting?” (Yes.)
- “Do you like scary movies?” (Yes.)
The scariest thing is to see how many guys actually answer “yes” to questions one, two, and three.
OKCupid tallies your score and percentage wise matches you up with potential partners.
The winking, nodding, liking, and messaging have begun.
Frankly I thought that within a few days I would be so frustrated I would have already thrown my iPhone against the wall or flushed it and this stupid app down the toilet.
There is a plethora of “Hey Baby, hey gorgeous, hey beautiful, hey pretty, hey good looking, hey angel (and every other variation on this theme). These are guys who simply click on a picture, don’t actually read your profile, and don’t even bother to fill out their own.
There are messages from guys in the wee hours of the morning, who apparently stay up all night trolling for any woman who might click reply: Messages with incomplete sentences, misspelled words, and no punctuation.
I have gotten off the wall messages: one from a polyamorous (look it up!) techie, science fiction freak who is into kink. Another came from a twenty-two year senior in college “tired of dating girls his own age.”
There are of course liars. My favorite so far is the 65 year-old architect and skydiver who turns out to be a 75 year-old bus driver and building superintendent.
There are scammers. Scammer par excellence so far messaged me a week ago Friday.
“Hello, read your profile. This is General Mark Welsh. And you are?”
“Hello, I am Joani. Civilian.”
“What is your email?”
“Sorry. I don’t share my email even with generals I don’t know.”
(Meanwhile I am Googling him, of course.)
“Where do you live? What is your email?”
“Wow, It seems according to Google that you are the Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force! Really?????????”
End of messages.
And it’s only been 21 days.
But in these past three weeks I have managed to meet three real people:
Dale in Pennsylvania who has read every philosopher under the sun, volunteers at the art gallery, and has never subscribed to Cable TV. (Big plus! I HATE Cable TV!)
John who lives on a creek on the Northern Neck of Virginia, is an organic farmer, sometimes musician, professional bridge player, reading St Augustine’s “City of God”, and trying to live off the grid. (While he holds on to his phone he has given up his refrigerator.)
And I had my first date if you could call it that with David. Just breakfast really at Mancini’s.
David is a recent widower, professor, 10K runner, convert to agnosticism, a Meals on Wheels volunteer, still working through his grief. (And resembles way too much my ex-husband, Bill.)
So “Nice to meet you, gentlemen. Thanks for the conversation. Good-bye.”
There is a great song from the musical Avenue Q. I am going to make it my new OKCupid theme song:
“There is a fine, fine line between a lover and a friend
There’s a fine, fine line between reality and pretend
And you never know ‘til you reach the top it was worth the climb
There’s a fine, fine line between love and a waste of time”
“There’s a fine, fine line between a fairy tale and a lie
And there’s a fine, fine line between you’re wonderful and goodbye
I guess if someone doesn’t love you back it isn’t such a crime
But there’s a fine, fine line between love and a waste of time”
“There’s a fine, fine line between together and not
And there’s a fine, fine line between what you wanted and what you got
You gotta go after the things you want while you’re still in your prime
There’s a fine, fine line between love and a waste of time.”
So call me stupid. I am going to stay on OKCupid — at least for a little while!