MatchFilter: success stories!
October 17, 2005 4:31 PM   Subscribe

MatchFilter: Those of you (and I've seen several mentions, so please don't be shy) who have used in the past, how long did it take you to find someone worthwhile?

I recently (two weeks ago) took the plunge and subscribed to, as I finally feel like I'm getting to a place in my life where it'd be better with someone than without.

I was wondering about any particular anecdotes of what works and what doesn't work about the site (it seems to have a habit of recommending people who I'm not really into, and I can't tell if it learns from my behavior on the site), and how you managed to find someone who worked out for you.
posted by softlord to Human Relations (20 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I tried Match a few different times, with a few different profiles. What ended up working for me the best was paying for a subscription so I could contact people, putting up a profile with no photo and just contacting the profiles that interested me. That helped filter out the guys who respond to everyone's profile. I'd send a link to my photo to the guys that responded back to me.

I contacted the profiles that caught my eye and out of that batch, I met my husband. :) We gave out matchboxes at our wedding.

My only advice would be to not drag out the initial emails for too long, meet in person as soon as you can. (In a public place, of course... )
posted by krisobi at 4:50 PM on October 17, 2005 [1 favorite]

I met my girlfriend of the last year or so on yahoo personals. One of my old house mates met his wife on and another a long term girlfriend.

My recommendations for online dating are:

1. Do it. It's the best way to meet people.
2. Be witty on your profile and really try and say what you are looking for.
3. Put a photo up.
4. Write to a few other people.
5. In your profile avoid, like the plague, silly generalities like 'I'm looking for a girl/guy who like to have fun'. What, there are people out there who like to be miserable? (Morrissey fans excepted).
6. Avoid self-criticism. You can do that when you get to know the person.
7. Be realistic. Meet people you like rather than waiting for the person who looks like a movie star and has all your interests. You might find the people you didn't initially think would work do.
8. I have no idea how many responses you should expect. If you're hot and write a good profile then lots, if not, far less. But who cares? It's meeting someone that makes you happy and that you make happy that is important. And remembar. You can mail people.
9. Enjoy yourself.

You may also want to try okcupid. It's free and if you hang around on MeFi you might find you meet people who are what you are looking for.
posted by sien at 4:53 PM on October 17, 2005 [1 favorite]

4 months or so, but it wasn't on, it was through whoever salon/the onion/etc used to use (they still might; I haven't been looking). My experience to pass on? As a boy, I had to be proactive about making contact, and it was a witty and honest email that did the trick.
posted by john m at 5:03 PM on October 17, 2005

If you write to someone whose profile caught your eye, put something in it that makes it clear that you read the profile. Witty and honest is good.

You can spend an eternity exchanging emails, only to discover that your correspondent is a batshit insane in real life. Don't spend ages talking on the phone, either. A few emails, maybe a ten-minute phone call, and then make plans to meet in person or take a pass.
posted by ambrosia at 5:16 PM on October 17, 2005 [1 favorite]

I joined early on before they started charging for it. I went on about 4 or five dates, and only met one person that I clicked with, and even then more as a friend than love interest.

They left my account free but I lost interest. I met my current (and permanent) partner the way I would recommend to anyone: Go out and do what you like to do, and strike up conversations with others doing the same.
posted by Manjusri at 5:25 PM on October 17, 2005 [1 favorite]

I was one of the first people to sign up on (lifetime membership, my ass). Nothing. Tried lavalife, singlesmatch, nerve/onion personals... nada. For years. The experience left me very bitter, and formed the foundation of my "superfluous males" cynicism.

Skip ahead another few years. Two friends (male and female) were each doing the singles on-line thing, and I made fun of each of them for their failures. They even found each other for a blind date (which was as unsuccessful as all their other attempts). Eventually I figure I should be a sport, and subject myself to the humiliation just to be fair. I signed up for SingleInTO, and got a message from someone interesting and smart without any effort at all. We got along like a house on fire, even a visit after I moved to another city.

Conclusion: It happens, it could even happen to you, but it seems like an awful inefficient use of time and energy. To answer your question: gave me nothing after two years.
posted by Mozai at 5:27 PM on October 17, 2005

I was on the old Salon Personals (back when it -- along with Nerve, the Onion, etc. -- was part of the Spring Street Network) off and on for about a year or so. I'd estimate I met about 15 or 20 guys in person in that time. Of those guys, most of them never went past a first date, though there were two or three I went on a few more dates with, until I finally met my boyfriend (after emailing casually for a few weeks) about 4 months ago -- we got on like a house on fire on our first date as well, and decided to delete our profiles and date exclusively within a week or two.

The thing that I loved about his profile (I emailed him to get the ball rolling) was that it made me laugh outloud -- more than once. He didn't have to say anywhere that he "enjoyed having fun" or was "looking for someone with a good sense of humor" -- he illustrated that. It was also peppered with a few details about his tastes, hobbies, and background that were either intriguing or somewhat unusual. He came off exactly as he really is -- offbeat, interesting (and interested in others), bright, funny, and self-aware. (Plus one of his pictures was him imitating Bob from the Church of the SubGenius, so how could I resist?)
posted by scody at 5:50 PM on October 17, 2005 [1 favorite]

Lots of first dates, a reasonable number of second or third dates, a handful of people that lasted 3 to 6 months. I thought one might go longer, but she didn't.

For me (speaking as a guy), it seems to be a numbers game. Roughly speaking, for every 10 women I approach, I end up meeting one. For every four women I meet, I end up dating one. This despite the fact that I only approach people where I think there might be mutual interest based on what they say they are and what they say they want.

I'll agree with others and say meet as soon as you can. You can't really tell anything about the way you'll relate with somebody from an e-mail or a phone call.

I don't have the site send me recommendations. I do look at mutual matches. And since they've added it the reverse matches and the who's looking at me (though I find that one to be a bit creepy in a way).
posted by willnot at 5:58 PM on October 17, 2005

What about I have a colleague, now happily married and expecting her first child all due to eHarmony. She & her husband swear by it! They met about three years ago and couldn't be happier.

I was blown away when they told the story at the baby shower! It sounded like it was straight from an ad. They answered all the questions honestly and met pretty quickly after the initial personality inventories and other "hoops" they were to leap through. Good luck!
posted by thebarron at 5:59 PM on October 17, 2005 [1 favorite]

Even if you don't mean your lifelong companion on (or any other site), it might be a good idea just to get yourself out there. Just meeting new people, doing interesting things, and enjoying yourself. If you meet someone through a service like, great!

The other thing that could happen is that you will be busy with having coffee here, a glass of wine there, and trying out a new dessert bar at some other place. You're meeting people, finding out more about them and yourself. Someone else in another part of your life meets you and thinks,"Hmmm. He seems pretty fun. He isn't too intense or brooding at home on a Saturday night. He's been to that funky new wine bar, the one I've wanted to check out. He goes to a lot of interesting places and seems pretty well rounded. He's friendly but not 100% available or desperate. That's attractive..." And they fall for you and THAT'S the person you spend the rest of your life with.

Either way, it can be a good deal if you make your goal about the experience of it. Some dates will be fun, others interesting, some might be awkward. But you're out there and that's a great thing.
posted by jeanmari at 6:14 PM on October 17, 2005 [1 favorite]

I've used both match and the old springstreet network. I found that for every 4-6 women I contacted, I'd get 1 reply. About 1 in 4 of those I went on to meet in person. About half of those I liked enough (and vice versa) to see again. Response rates vary hugely depending on where you live, who you're contacting, how good your profile/photo is, etc.

Here are my tips:
1.) Get a few good photos. Preferably at least one with you smiling, and at least one candid.
2.) Answer the important questions, but don't put your entire life story in your profile.
3.) When responding to profiles, be brief. Way briefer than this response. And yes, demonstrate that you read the profile.

Generally I prefer meeting girls offline (as Manjusri said, doing what you like to do), but online dating does have its advantages.
posted by justkevin at 6:48 PM on October 17, 2005 [1 favorite]

I spent about a year on eharmony and have nothing but really funny (yet horrible at the time) stories to show for it.

I spent about 6 months on match and maybe another 3-4 on yahoo. Current SO is from match and she's the The One. I love saying that.

The habit I fell into was:

Mail people who seem remotely amusing. Since only a small portion will reply it's a good idea to cast a wide net.

Do everything possible to encourage actual physical meet ups as soon as possible. It's too easy to edit yourself online and impossible to read body language. 90+% of dates will not have a follow up.

Keep an open mind - it's wonderfully awkward for most people. For some reason folks don't seem to equate internet dating with random "friend-hooking-me-up-with-some-stranger" dating.
posted by ordu at 6:53 PM on October 17, 2005 [1 favorite]

Agree about meeting asap, so as not to build up false impressions. Add a picture if at all possible, and please make it amusing! Lack of photo suggests trepidation on your part, and will cause hesitation by those considering contacting you. Admit that you're nervous, assume that they are.
I met my sweetie of almost 2 years now on Lavalife. It can work, but be careful! Bonne chance!
posted by fish tick at 7:11 PM on October 17, 2005 [1 favorite]

I had used for about two years, off and on. I met a bunch of cool people, made some friends and dated a few seriously. I gave it up after a while, as no "new blood" seemed to be popping up in my area. I had thought I took my profile down, but a few months later got a note from a lovely woman who is now my wife. (Yay!)

The funny thing is, I was the firsts person she contacted after being egged on by her sister to get online to meet some people. Her sister had met a guy six months before and said it was a great way to meet people. Their wedding is in Nov.

So, I think it is a great way to meet people, but there is a lot of chance and luck involved. I think the best thing is to be very honest about yourself and what you like and what you are looking for. Weed out people who do not fit early. You may not get a lot of hits, but those that you do will appreciate you for the good stuff. And definitely use a picture!
posted by qwip at 8:36 PM on October 17, 2005 [1 favorite]

I met my ex-girlfriend through Okcupid, though it turned out that we had mutual friends.
posted by drezdn at 10:03 PM on October 17, 2005

I know people who met through eharmony. They really did match up two people who were good together, although they eventually split.

1. Do it. It's the best way to meet people.

I can think of many better ways of meeting someone than online (unless you're very shy). I think preferring to meet someone online would apply to a very small percentage of people (higher on mefi of course).
posted by justgary at 12:18 AM on October 18, 2005

Haven't used Match, but have used various other services.

"The two things about online dating" according to me :

1) Don't wait too long before you actually meet in person.

Can't tell you how much time I've wasted corresponding with women who sounded great in email, but when we met in person, we had no chemistry at all. This can be difficult for guys, because of the whole thing where we don't want to sound desperate, but honestly, if you and she AREN'T compatible, you don't want to waste HER time, either.

2) When imagining how the other person will look, always think of their least attractive photo. Multiply it by ten.

It's really sad, but someone can make themselves look a lot better than they really do by choosing a pic of themselves (A) from a flattering angle (B) when they were thinner or (C) that has been retouched (these are usually obvious.) Fortunately, there's usually at least one photo in a girl's photoset that will give some clue as to how she actually looks. Imagine that she looks worse than that.

(And girls, for god's sakes, quit lying about your weight! How better to set yourself up for a fall?)


That's basically it. Any other advice I would give would apply to just dating in general.
posted by afroblanca at 7:10 AM on October 18, 2005

My wedding to the woman I met on was this past weekend :)
posted by jozxyqk at 7:15 AM on October 18, 2005

I tried online dating for two weeks at a time with various services. As a girl, I got lots-lots-lots of messages from idiot guys who had clearly never read my profile.

I have a pretty hard time feeling comfortable around people I don't know, and most people I encountered seemed wrong or off somehow on their profiles.

Over the course of almost a year, I was only interested enough in two people to meet them.

The first I met because he was an incredible writer with an interesting life story. He totally turned me off the minute we met, and I don't think he found me even remotely attractive.

The second I met because he sent me a very insightful first message, which touched on elements of my profile I didn't think I'd even hinted at online. We are getting married in July.

A friend of mine who is more comfortable meeting people she doesn't know went on a number of dates over the course of a year, and just about everyone she met was deranged or strange in very upsetting ways. She's now living with someone she met at her real-world job.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 7:23 AM on October 18, 2005 [1 favorite]

I used twice- the first time I stopped before going on any dates as I started dating a friend.

The second time I was on for 1 month (I signed up for 6). I probably sent 2 contacts a day, and received 2-3 a week (I'm a guy). I talked on the phone with 3 women, went out on dates with two of them, and I moved in with the second one last month.

A good friend of mine just married his girlfriend. They met 5 years ago through the site, dated until he got back together with his ex. This year they re-met and only dated for 3 months before eloping. They both are very happy.

I know a woman who was hunting for 'Mr. right' She was able to go on 2-3 dates with new guys every weekend for at least 4 months. There are plenty of guys out there, it seems. I have no idea if she ever found "the one", but I suspect not, as the guy had to make a spectacular first impresssion to have a shot at a second date.
posted by Four Flavors at 9:50 AM on October 18, 2005

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