Online Dating
February 12, 2005 12:40 AM   Subscribe

What are your experiences with online dating? [+]
posted by slipperywhenwet to Human Relations (29 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
only did it once. Nuff said?

A good friend of mine had better luck. She moved to the Netherlands to live with him a couple years ago and now they have a wedding date set for 2006.
posted by pmbuko at 12:43 AM on February 12, 2005

Any Toronto experiences? Young, twenty-something Toronto experiences? With nerve's personals?
posted by slipperywhenwet at 12:51 AM on February 12, 2005

Three dates, three different women, the last one two years ago. As pmbuko said, 'nuff said. Of course, I've heard a lot of success stores (and not just from the ads), so maybe we're in the minority.

I would say see it as an opportunity to meet friends, rather than girl/boyfriends. My sister, for example met a guy on an online service. He set her up with another guy, which she's been dating for the last four years and is probably going to marry.

On preview: I met a really interesting person on Nerve (really Springstreet) personals. I didn't get beyond first date, but that was more me than her.
posted by dirigibleman at 12:55 AM on February 12, 2005

I met a lot of interesting people on various sites, dated several, and married one.
posted by agropyron at 1:05 AM on February 12, 2005

I met a lot of interesting people from, dated several, and will marry one in September.
posted by Mayor Curley at 4:31 AM on February 12, 2005

Never did the personal ads thing, but I did met my partner on a community forum. Neither of us were looking for romance but we found it anyway. So while I can't speak with any authority about online dating I can talk about virtual attraction. It's basically the exact opposite of the bar scene where you see someone across the room, like their looks, introduce yourself and hope that when they open their mouths to speak it won't be a disaster. If you've been interacting online you already know you like their politics, humor, taste in music, etc., and you hope that when you meet you feel physically attracted. Personally I suspect that it's easier if you're simply running into people online rather than actively looking for a date.

I do have two friends who met their long-term partners on Nerve. Both are getting married this year.
posted by idest at 6:06 AM on February 12, 2005 [1 favorite]

I actually wanted to ask a related, more specific question about people's success rates/response rates but it seems people are answering it here anyhow.

I have gotten more into the online dating sites because of a friend, who happens to look like Colin Farrell or Robert Downey Jr. depending on what girl you ask, and he seems to get a fair amount of response -- in the time he was actively using it, always had a few responses or indications of interest (his preferred site was Lavalife, for the sheer volume of people on it) and was fairly often out on dates. He's had two larger relationships out of it, being on his second one now which looks quite serious.

On the other hand, after following his lead and trying my hand at Lavalife (worst interface ever, I'd like to fire their designer), have had one date, a handful of indications of interest, solicited and unsolicited, and a few not so great email/MSN exchanges that died on the vine.

It made me wonder, of the two of us, which experience was more in line with the average person's. I know, as an East Asian man, I have a lot harder time currying real interest from the largely white populace on many of these sites (but I'm not particularly interested in the type of Asians that seem to flock to sites like AsianAvenue, which I assume still exists). But that's another story.
posted by Big Fat Tycoon at 6:19 AM on February 12, 2005

Oh, and I should add that this is in Toronto.

I also have a third friend, a little more urban, who prefers Nerve/Onion personals and Friendster, and has had a fair amount of luck with it, but I assume it's partly because he has a charismatic, artistic, mysterious persona that appeals more to the women on sites like Friendster, who tend to be younger (early to mid-twenties) than on sites like Lavalife.

A fourth friend is kind of amazed by how online dating has spread to people below the age of thirty or so. She pointed out that it wasn't surprising that people in their thirties, divested of most of the methods of meeting people that you have when younger (school being the big factor), end up flocking to these sites, but why are people in their late teens and early twenties looking for love online? I guess it's obviously because of the changing modes of interaction, but still, it makes me wonder what social life will be like in the future when the majority of people are interacting in this fashion.
posted by Big Fat Tycoon at 6:24 AM on February 12, 2005

As one of those people under thirty who's taken up online dating, I'd say it's less about finding love and more about finding people to hang out with. On Ok Cupid I've talked to a few dozen people, met maybe a dozen in person, and of those I'd count five or six as casual friends and one as a close friend by now. I never really pursued a relationship with any of them.
posted by nebulawindphone at 7:09 AM on February 12, 2005 [1 favorite]

The women I have met through dating sites were better matches for me than those I meet at random 'on the street'.
posted by mischief at 8:11 AM on February 12, 2005

For additional semi-related info, there have been a couple of similar questions asked before.
posted by fourstar at 9:07 AM on February 12, 2005

I'm with mischief. I've met people on that turned into friends, on who were kinda snobby, and one from Craigslist is making breakfast in my kitchen right now.

The key is to not be desperate, be persistent in describing what you want, and be persistant in posting ads. allow things to develop and don't move too quickly.
posted by SpecialK at 9:12 AM on February 12, 2005

I met my gf on a dating site. It's been a couple years, we live together, and it's great. I had 8 other first dates from the site (over about as many months) before I met her and most of them were pleasant. One other lasted a couple of weeks.
posted by callmejay at 9:42 AM on February 12, 2005

I met my ex on He's a great guy, we just wanted different things, so we broke up. Surprisingly, there was absolutely NO drama, which was nice. I guess it tends to match laid-back people to each other!

I'm also currently talking to someone who I connected with on, and get this - we went to high school together. I didn't know him in HS (he was actually 3 years older than me, in my friend's brother's class), and we probably would have never connected had it not been for the online thing. We haven't had a chance to meet up and hang out yet (mostly because of scheduling issues), but we'll see how it goes.

I've done the eHarmony thing in the past, and I found it kind of frustrating. It matches people based on this very intricate personality quiz, and one of it's big selling points is that it finds people who are "highly compatible". So you get matched with people, and you go through these 4 levels of communication (you send each other a few multiple choice questions, a list of "must have's", and a few short answer questions, IIRC), and then you reach "open communication", which is basically emailing through the eHarmony interface. The thing that made me uncomfortable with it was that by the time I went through all this communicating, and the fact that we were defined as a "highly compatible match" made me feel like I had to drop everything and jump into a Serious Relationship with this guy. Thing was, I was just looking to get to know people, and he was all, "well, I'd like to be married within two years." A bigger issue was the fact that we had absolutely nothing to talk about. Despite the fact that we had compatible personalities, we found each other boring (too similar, maybe?)

I think the online dating thing is good. I'm quite shy unless I know people well, and I'd never have the guts to approach someone in a social setting. And the few times that I was approached, well, let's just say that I clam up, or I'm such a dope that I don't realize that someone's flirting with me. At that rate, I'd be living alone with my cat for the rest of my life. Doing it online (whether it's in a structured way through a dating site, or if it's unintentional on a message board or through blogging or whatever) lets you get to know the other person without having to deal with all the awkward getting to know you stuff.
posted by AlisonM at 10:18 AM on February 12, 2005

I first called a phone dating line ten years ago, and two years ago made the move over to an online dating service. I haven't had a lot of success - I seldom meet anyone I want to see further, and then when a few times a year I do find someone interesting it doesn't work out for any one of a hundred reasons. I have learned how to screen, though, so the quality of the men I meet has gone up quite a lot since the beginning. And so I just keep hoping and trying.
posted by orange swan at 10:28 AM on February 12, 2005

I really haven't had any luck with it at all. Every few years I try it again, starting about 10 years ago, and every few years I have new horrifying funny anecdotes to tell - but it isn't really worth it. So far what usually happens is that there's lots of chemistry online and disappointment on both sides when we finally meet. Then it feels too awkward to try and be friends, even though I generally have liked them as people.

My latest attempt of a month ago illustrates both the pluses and the minuses of trying computer dating in a small town: the one guy I met turned out to be well known to a friend of mine - for beating up his wife 10 years ago. So I've quit again.
posted by mygothlaundry at 11:17 AM on February 12, 2005

I had a bunch of first dates that went nowhere, and then suddenly found the woman I married just over a year later.
posted by Zed_Lopez at 11:21 AM on February 12, 2005

I'm also interested in how normal online dating has become even for people who are still at an age where they can meet people in their dorms or whatever. When I was in college, personal ads seemed like the loserliest things ever, so when I put up a profile at spring street a couple years ago, I felt kinda sheepish about it. Now it seems pretty normal - nearly everyone I know who's single has tried it once or twice, and a few people have had real relationships begin (though none in my circle have lasted thus far).

For me, it hasn't been anything special. I've had a few good email interchanges, and some of the dates I went on were enjoyable enough in themselves that they weren't wasted time, but I've never met someone who lit a spark, and I've never gone on a second date. I've probably met maybe 10-15 people or so? And emailed two or three times as many.

I can't tell if I'm just hard to please (I mean, I am, but whether that's the only reason) or if this particular interface makes it harder to naturally, casually find someone. Maybe the artificiality of it means you don't have the chance to let someone grow on you or to get a feel for who they are without already scrutinizing them (however unconsciously). I try to remain open to moments instead of thinking of these interactions like job interviews, but it is weird getting around the structure of the whole thing, going from complete strangers into potential (somethings) - maybe there's too much expectation that wouldn't be there if you just saw each other in Euro Hist a couple times a week, or whatever.
posted by mdn at 11:36 AM on February 12, 2005

I met two people on Salon personals (Spring Street Network, just like Nerve). One turned into a psycho stalker; I had to change my phone number and threaten legal action. I've been with the other for three years.
posted by goatdog at 12:22 PM on February 12, 2005

As I've stated before, I met my husband on the Onion Personals nearly three years ago. And my friend's mom met a real-life rocket scientist on and married him. I think you have to be really open to the experience to have fun with it. I think I met two guys off the site that were not washouts. one, I had a date with, wasn't too impressed, and literally months later called him up and we dated for six months solid after that. It was fun. And my husband. In some ways you have to really work to make the in-person stuff really good, to make it worth coming back to, I guess. It's not for everyone, but for me, it was great. I wouldn't have ever met my husband in a bar.
posted by Medieval Maven at 12:23 PM on February 12, 2005

OKCupid is a really neat place to find people with similar interests in general, not just primarily dating. Some friends and I run an IRC channel on efnet (#okcupid), though we're a bunch of cocks. But, the system used to generate match and friend percentages is more or less pretty decent. And at the very least, the usual laughing at disasters living in the form of human beings is a plus.
posted by angry modem at 12:59 PM on February 12, 2005

I met my first girlfriend using 'talk' on an old UNIX box. We were introduced by a mutual friend as 2 people who he thought might get along, so it was really sort of old-fashioned.

Moving into the modern era (thirtyish, single, male), I've had 2 good experiences on Nerve, a good experience on Craigslist, and I met a person on Craigslist who was really certifiably insane (diagnosed, in treatment, clearly not responding) to the point that I became a little nervous about it. She was sweet, though, when the mania didn't have the better of her, and I was sorry to have to break it off, but I couldn't handle it.

As I got to know the people in question I discovered things about them that bugged me - one was a habitual smoker; one was a very cool girl who had been a stripper, alcoholic and drug abuser. What bothered me about that was she'd cleaned up, and now I was supposed to be the no-fun, settle down boyfriend.

But in general it's been pretty positive. Certainly no horror stories.
posted by ikkyu2 at 2:50 PM on February 12, 2005

Er, this was NYC, not Toronto.
posted by ikkyu2 at 2:55 PM on February 12, 2005

What I've observed is that Internet dating works wonders for those who are statistically attractive (women who are good looking, and men who are decent looking and who have a cool and/or lucrative gig) but who don't have the time, interest, and/or social skills to go out and play the "meet Mr/Ms right game" effectively in the real world.

For those who aren't statistically attractive, it really doesn't work well. Those folks are better off just working their charm in the old fashioned way, and thus finding people who'll look beyond their extra 20 pounds or their uncool unlucrative careers.
posted by MattD at 2:55 PM on February 12, 2005

Met my wife through Spring Street (I am in Texas, nowhere near Toronto). I tried several different dating sites after settling on that one, which seemed to result in better dates.

I also wound up becoming strictly platonic friends with women in other parts of the country/planet, a few of whom I have visited. I did have some comically bad dates, but they make for good stories.

I had a couple of friends who met through a 4-line BBS system in Tokyo (TWICS), way before anyone had Internet access--they had been arguing in a forum, went to an offline party, and as soon as they figured out who the other was, sat down and continued arguing. Got married a year or so later.
posted by adamrice at 2:55 PM on February 12, 2005

My sister, a very close friend and myself all met our spouses over the Web, though from different sites, one of which was not specifically about dating (MSN Chat). Prior to meeting my wife I met quite a few women from different web sites.
posted by billsaysthis at 3:31 PM on February 12, 2005

I just put to sleep my son born of the wife I met on yahoo personals 4 years ago.

Yahoo personals ain't like it was.
posted by u2604ab at 10:26 PM on February 12, 2005

Bit of a weird story for me. I'm from the UK, but joined when I was in the US for a month, to see if I could find anyone to hang out with while I was in L.A. Turns out I didn't need to, but my profile was on there, then I came back to the UK. A few weeks ago, a girl got in touch with me and we went out on a date. So far we are totally besotted with each other, and all the i's are dotted and t's are crossed. This is the only time I have ever received a message from a woman on any online dating service, although I haven't really been actively trying.

The other unusual factor in this is that I live in a remote part of the UK, and there are only about 5 people in my area actually on, so while that would mean I would have less quantity.. I think someone of high quality has managed to find me. ;-) Also worth bearing in mind (and you can find evidence of this here on MeFi) is that I consider online dating to be a waste of time, being concerned with looks and status far more than real-life dating.. but if you can get it off of the Internet very very quickly and into a first date, you're good.
posted by wackybrit at 8:24 AM on February 13, 2005

Experiences with online dating? Well, there's the woman I met who wanted to "try dating someone outside of her race for a change." We only went out once. Then there's the former flight attendant who was on disability leave because she fell out of a plane...onto the tarmac, fortunately (I've shortened that horror date into one sentence although it's become a 5-minute stand-up routine with friends).

I've tried online personals, singles events, speed dating, blind dates, and yes, even a game show. Have I become involved in a long-term relationship through any of these? No. Did I have a blast? Hell, yeah. I even ended making a few good friends, and now they try and set me up!

So as far as online dating goes, I've met some great people, some weird people, and a whole bunch inbetween. Sorta like real life : )
posted by bachelor#3 at 10:18 AM on February 13, 2005 [1 favorite]

« Older What's the world's most busker-friendly city?   |   How do store security devices work? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.