I like to swear, take in rescue cats, and use a wheelchair. You?
June 9, 2013 1:08 PM   Subscribe

What dating site should I use? Reeeeeeaal special details inside.

I think I've kinda aged outta okcupid (43, female) and I have some special circumstances.

1. Physically disabled (para)
2. Sort of an impatient, sarcastic intellectual. I mean, not intellectual by metafilter standards, but still, I can't date a guy who likes to read Dan Miller. I'm sorry, I just can't.
3. I have three cats. I don't know how off-putting that is, really.

I'm fairly confident about my okcupid profile, but I can't stop getting the heeeeeeeey you're in a wheelchair do you still have orgasms messages. I mean that's a fine question for date three, but, you know what I mean.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (12 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
The orgasm question sounds like it might be the wheelchair version of the standard overly-forward message. That is to say, maybe you're not getting overly-forward messages because you're in a wheelchair, but because you're a woman on a dating site. I doubt that makes it any more pleasant, but it means that you're looking for a solution for women, rather than just women-in-wheelchairs.

Unfortunately, I don't think anyone has figured that one out, yet.

You might consider posting to /r/okcupid. It's not MetaFilter, so you might get a few jerks, but people are generally friendly and helpful. More to the point, I know there's at least one female wheelchair user on there, and a question about wheelchairs came up the other day.

Good luck!
posted by danielparks at 2:47 PM on June 9, 2013

To address the first point, my last birthday was my 50th and I see vast numbers of women on OKC who are +/- 5 years of me. A number of them have mentioned hearing from a lot of appealing men who are close to their age.

To address the second: my soul mate!! -- which is to say there are plenty of people out there with whom you'll resonate.

Third point: Thirteen cats might be a little worrisome, but anyone who digs you ain't gonna sweat three felines; some of us guys even like the furry little monsters.

Feel free to memail me if you're in the market for some profile, etc., feedback.
posted by ambient2 at 2:57 PM on June 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

Three cats? That is onputting.
posted by oceanjesse at 3:32 PM on June 9, 2013 [11 favorites]

Depending on where you live, Plenty of Fish can be decent or not. Match seems popular particularly among older/more reserved/slightly religious people. eHarmony skews more religious than Match. And as you probably found out, OKC has a younger/hipster/less religious population. There are also depending on your locale specialized sites that may have people nearby - just typing in disabled dating into google got me a couple different site options. Other special interest groups are focused on religion, kinks, etc.

I will add that I end up blocking about 40% of people who message me through OKC for ridiculousness like what you're experiencing (my favorite was "i will marry you" without any other content/context), and yet I've still found someone who I dated for a couple months from there.

The three cats thing is a non-issue.
posted by vegartanipla at 3:39 PM on June 9, 2013

You might want to try match.com, the demographics of which (I believe) skew slightly older. The inappropriate messages, though, are just part and parcel of the whole online dating experience. I had men 20+ years my senior messaging me to ask if I would teach them how to wear pantyhose. ???? Ignore, delete.
posted by baby beluga at 3:41 PM on June 9, 2013

Two or even three cats is never an issue unless they've peed on everything you own.

Two or even three cats can be a definite plus. +++Will date again. Because, KITTEHS!
posted by BlueHorse at 3:57 PM on June 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

eHarmony does skew religious, but in my experience not exclusively so; I was on it for awhile when I was doing the online dating thing, and I got matched with several fellow agnostic/atheist/artsy/intellectual types. So it might be worth giving a try, in addition to match.com.
posted by scody at 5:32 PM on June 9, 2013

The funny thing about okcupid is that everybody seems to have a reason why they think it's not going to work for them, and yet, okcupid is where everybody is. I realize you loathe receiving ignorant responses, but the upside is, it's better to find out the person is an idiot in a first message rather than on a first date.

To make online dating work, you're probably going to have to be the one contacting people you're interested in first, and the majority may not bother replying. If you think "That's not fair!", guess what: that's how it has always worked for guys. And that's ok.

I'm not trying to discourage you. In fact, quite the opposite. I've met some of the greatest people on okcupid. My advice: Stick with it.

You need not mention you have three cats. If I were you, I wouldn't mention the number since it may scare some people. Years ago, I had two cats and I dated a woman who had three. If we ever moved in together, wow... 5 cats! Anyway, I think you'll be surprised by how many guys actually like cats. I love 'em.

When it comes to writing and editing a dating profile, I always recommend you think it through from the reader's point of view. For example, in your question here, you said you are "Physically disabled (para)." I assume para means paraplegic, but since I've never known anyone who was a paraplegic, that may make me think you're more disabled than you actually are. I understand that you don't want to discuss your disability, but since it's the elephant in the room, and since a dating profile is basically an advertisement for yourself, it would be helpful to add a bit of detail if you feel comfortable doing so. Perhaps mention your abilities, or what activities you like to do. The activities thing is especially helpful even if one isn't disabled since it provides a way to connect. I dated a woman who used a wheelchair, and the activity was why we met. She mentioned playing cards at a pub and I thought "Hey, that'd be fun." And it led to us dating.

Anyway... the whole online dating thing can feel like it suuucks, but it can also be lots of fun. For me, the trick has been to stop online dating and start online meeting. In other words, I don't tend to go on formal "first dates." Instead, I just meet people, usually for drinks or maybe an activity of some sort, and if we click, we'll see each other again... and THAT can lead to dating if we really click.

I see someone else offered to look over your profile above, but if you want a second opinion, I'd be happy to look it over and offer up some advice.

One other thought: something else you may want to try is creating group activities as a way to meet more guys. Years ago, a friend and I created a beer & board games night at a pub, and I saw plenty of people meet up that way. I started a short story writers group a while ago too, and it wasn't at all for dating, but that's what happens when you bring like minded people together. Give it some thought! Who knows... a similar approach could work for you.

Best of luck!
posted by 2oh1 at 6:42 PM on June 9, 2013

The problem with the cats is only that guys who dig three cats may already... have three cats. Which means if things work out, you'll have six cats. That may be a feature rather than a bug, though.
posted by lollusc at 8:01 PM on June 9, 2013 [2 favorites]

I can't stop getting the heeeeeeeey you're in a wheelchair do you still have orgasms messages. I mean that's a fine question for date three, but, you know what I mean.

Actually, it sounds like you might be screwing yourself here. I would expect that the kind of physical relationship that you can be in - or not be in - is information that most people will want before they can elevate your profile to someone they want to know more about. Your profile is presenting a significant question mark, and when people see a question mark like that in online dating, because they have so many other options available at the same time, they're rarely going to spend weeks building up to teasing it out of you, they're going to want to know before they even consider dating whether you're a good match - "on paper" at least, or if they should simply move on to the next profile.

Known unknowns can be a big turn-off for profiles. For many potentially good people you could meet, I imagine even writing to ask an awkward question doesn't make sense when they can click NEXT! (That doesn't mean they're superficial, it means they're overwhelmed with options, and prioritize profiles with fewer unknowns)

I suggest addressing the issue openly (modestly/tastefully) in your profile, and see if it raises the level of interest and/or the quality of responses.
posted by anonymisc at 11:59 PM on June 9, 2013 [3 favorites]

Re the cat issue - I'm a fellow cat lady. And to my knowledge, there is no Science behind the idea that having multiple cats, per se, is off-putting (that is, nobody has produced a peer-reviewed paper or even an article where someone interviewed a bunch of guys); it's people who don't clean up after their cats, or who don't bother to get them spayed/neutered or provide basic care, that is a turn-off. (Same with dogs or any other pets, really.)

People want to know "does your house smell like a giant litterbox?" "Are you a responsible pet owner?" So you might want to note somewhere that you're neat and clean.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 6:07 AM on June 10, 2013

I suggest addressing the issue openly (modestly/tastefully) in your profile, and see if it raises the level of interest and/or the quality of responses.

This! Advantages: If someone opens with a question you've answered in your profile, you'll know they haven't read it.

If you look at other's profiles, you'll see a lot that people might not find out about until after a date or two or three. It really helps to encourage people you are interested in to message you to be upfront about things.
posted by yohko at 6:46 PM on June 10, 2013

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