Missed connection on OKC?
April 27, 2014 9:57 AM   Subscribe

After a break-up of a LTR, I was on OKC and noticed a really cool profile. She seemed really funny, interesting, and smart. Granted, just a profile, but I got a really good vibe from it. I was in no place to date after that break-up and after awhile, she took down her profile. So I didn't message her. The other day, though, I was on Facebook and a group was suggested to me. I click on it, look down, and see her Facebook profile (same photo from OKC). It was a crazy coincidence. Judging by her Facebook, she is single. Any ideas about what I should do? The group she's a member of is huge, so I don't think that would lead to anything. I think the likelihood of us running into each other at any time is probably pretty unlikely (big city). Granted, this all sounds kind of crazy to be pursuing this on the basis of an OKC profile, but she seems really cool and I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions?
posted by thelivingsea to Human Relations (36 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I would not pursue it. There are plenty of people still on OKC who are cool and attractive. Reaching out to her on this basis through Facebook is just going to read as creepy.
posted by J. Wilson at 10:02 AM on April 27, 2014 [2 favorites]

Two ways to do this:

The stand-up, one-shot way: Message her on Facebook and tell her the whole truth. Be funny and make her laugh. (It is absolutely crucial that you be funny and charming and irreverent, otherwise this probably won't work and will seem stiff and weird.) Be guileless and humble and flatter her. She may agree to go out with you.

The sneaky way: Add her on Facebook, tell her she looks familiar (or just add her and don't say anything). Or don't even add her, if she has a public Facebook feed. Show up at an event that she's going to on her Facebook feed and bump into her. This runs the risk of being highly creepy unless you are like a 100% sure thing not-creepy dude.
posted by quincunx at 10:02 AM on April 27, 2014 [3 favorites]

Maybe write a totally transparent message (minus the fact that you were just out of a break up, never great to mention that so early on) and say something like, "Hey, I know this sounds kind of crazy but awhile back I was on okc and saw your profile and just got a great vibe from it. I was meaning to write you but then you took your profile down so it didn't happen. Then the other day, totally randomly, I saw you in this group and thought, what the hell, I'm gonna say hi! If you happen to still be available for dates, I'd love to chat and maybe meet up for coffee or something sometime :)
posted by tacoma1 at 10:03 AM on April 27, 2014 [19 favorites]

I'm single. When I took down my OK Cupid profile? It was because I realized I was absolutely in no place to be dating and was not interested in meeting anyone for that purpose. Assume that if she wanted to meet someone who was on OK Cupid, she would still be on OK Cupid.
posted by Sequence at 10:09 AM on April 27, 2014 [17 favorites]

I agree 100% with tacoma1. Mention that you recognized her profile picture, that it was the same one as her okc profile. That way she won't think you were actually looking for her. If she doesn't respond, then just drop it and give up.
posted by MayNicholas at 10:11 AM on April 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

Give it a shot! Some couple got married because they met on FB because they have the exact name. She messaged him out of the blue and that was that.
But single on FB doesn't always mean single in real life. She did take down her OKC profile.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 10:13 AM on April 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

Is she still on OkC? If so, message her there. If she's not, she's probably seeing someone, even if she's not in a "Facebook official" relationship.
posted by Asparagus at 10:13 AM on April 27, 2014 [3 favorites]

Wait, you've never even met her in person? It's creepy to fixate on a profile of someone you haven't met.

Also, I haven't put my relationship status up on FB. I doubt I would unless I was years into a relationship. It doesn't mean she isn't seeing someone. In fact, taking down an OKC profile is pretty much a sign that you don't want to look/be bothered with new ppl.
posted by discopolo at 10:13 AM on April 27, 2014 [3 favorites]

If she took down her profile, it's safe to assume she's not interested in dating. On top of that, a lot of people don't use Facebook to interact with people they don't have a preexisting connection to; maybe she's not one of those people, but some would find an unsolicited Facebook message from a total stranger to be intrusive and weird.

I wouldn't do it. Or, if you do it, be brief and transparent with your message, and don't be surprised if you get no response. (It's not you; it's the unusual situation.) But there are other interesting people out there who are definitely interested in dating.
posted by Metroid Baby at 10:16 AM on April 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

They key thing here is you've never interacted with her in any way. If someone messaged me on facebook about recognizing my okc profile which isn't even up anymore, I would be really creeped out. I might think they are fixating on me, maybe even light stalking me. I would feel really uncomfortable about that. Respect that she's taken down her okc profile and realize you have nothing with this woman. There are plenty of other fish in the sea.
posted by Aranquis at 10:24 AM on April 27, 2014 [4 favorites]

To my mind, having an OKCupid profile is a signifier that you're interested in dating. Taking the OKC profile down was an active step that sends the message that she's not interested in dating.

Having a Facebook profile that says this, that and the other is nothing to do with that. Resorting to subterfuge to show an interest is creepy.
posted by Solomon at 10:26 AM on April 27, 2014

One shot in the way that tacoma1 describes would be OK and not creepy IMO. If she doesn't respond, or shuts you down then do not pursue any further.
posted by gaspode at 10:27 AM on April 27, 2014 [5 favorites]

Well, as a data point, I wouldn't be creeped out by this. I mean, I get asked out by creepier dudes all the time, hell, maybe I'm just jaded by now. I've taken down my okcupid profile before because I am too busy and getting too many messages, because I want to change it, because I'm tired of sifting through creepy messages to find the good ones, because I just feel like it, whatever.

It's possible that I am not a good representative of most women, but I am nearly always flattered by a kind and gentle and no-pressure overture that is easy enough to reject without hard feelings. Even if I'm not looking to date. I mean, "I'm married busy, not dead" kind of applies.
posted by quincunx at 10:31 AM on April 27, 2014 [4 favorites]

I would not do this simply because she took down her OKC profile. It doesn't mater why, but it's a big red sign that says NOT NOW.
posted by Room 641-A at 10:45 AM on April 27, 2014

you get the one shot, my advice is keep it light and be totally honest. also...

i'm not sure it was a coincidence the group with her in it was recommended to you by fb. i have experience with fb watching stuff behind the scenes, and i suspect they were watching you watch her.
posted by bruce at 11:02 AM on April 27, 2014

Someone did this to me, it was totally creepy and presumptuous, please don't do it.
posted by ITheCosmos at 11:19 AM on April 27, 2014 [5 favorites]

If she took down her profile, it's safe to assume she's not interested in dating.

Sample size of 1, but in my case it would not be safe to assume that. I took down my profile because it needed rework and I didn't have time to do it at the moment. That's it. If someone sent me a message on FB like tacoma1's above, I would think it was totally fine, not creepy/stalkery and would respond: "Sounds great! When?" or "No, but thanks for getting in touch. Good luck out there." - depending on whether or not I was interested. Why not give it a shot?
posted by hapax_legomenon at 11:30 AM on April 27, 2014

The worst case scenario is that she doesn't respond, and some stranger out there now thinks that you're a little creepy. So, the worst really isn't that bad.

I suggest that you use tacoma1's format, and send her one message.
posted by Shouraku at 11:31 AM on April 27, 2014 [2 favorites]

you've got nothing to lose. be honest, take a shot, and leave it at that. if she's not interested, that'll be the end of it. if she's not interested in dating now, maybe she'll remember you later and reach out. but who knows, maybe she will be interested and something will come of it. just do it so you don't regret it a second time.
posted by smokyjoe at 11:33 AM on April 27, 2014

if i got something like what tacoma1 wrote above, i'd be pleased to receive it, and intrigued, i wouldn't think it was creepy. (although that would rapidly change if the person kept pushing it after i didn't reply to the single message or turned him down.) you have almost nothing to lose here. give it a shot. the worst thing that happens is she doesn't reply. don't try to add her as a friend unless you guys start interacting though.
posted by zdravo at 11:33 AM on April 27, 2014

I'd be creeped out. Severely creeped out.

So the worse case scenario is not "a stranger thinks you're a creep," it's "this particular woman now potentially feels unsafe and exposed."
posted by lydhre at 11:47 AM on April 27, 2014 [9 favorites]

I intend my argument, by the way, not just to be about "creepy" so much as that, first, I might respond to such things positively, depending on my current mood, but I am so not a good person to actually get into a relationship right now--and also that, depending on my current mood, hearing such a thing from somebody could be really distressing to me, which is why I killed my profile instead of just not logging in. So it's kind of more, unless you know why the person left, it's best to just leave it.
posted by Sequence at 12:03 PM on April 27, 2014

does she have a twitter? I find randos following/interacting with me on twitter to be way less creepy than on Facebook. also this way you can get to know her a little bit and interact with her (SLOWLY).

don't do it solely on the hopes of getting in her pants. if she's cool, she's cool whether she's single or not.
posted by kerning at 12:05 PM on April 27, 2014

Go for it. She's potentially a good match for you and comfortable with messages from online people, so she's not going to have an unhinged Metafilter response if you're light and honest and clearly surprised by the coincidence.

However, she probably won't see the message since Facebook penalizes messages from strangers in groups. Don't expect anything from it.
posted by michaelh at 12:09 PM on April 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

yeah, you're into her, just send her a message! it's light and fun, assuming you come off that way. i spent time on okc and then got disheartened with the online dating scene and pulled my profile, but that doesn't mean i never wanted to meet or date anyone, ever.

take a (tiny!) risk!
posted by andreapandrea at 12:12 PM on April 27, 2014

Yup, note michaelh's final sentence: I think? if you pay a dollar to Facebook, it can put your message (from a non-friend) into the Inbox instead of Other (= "never read"), but features change so quickly that I'm not sure.

I'd be ok with an open and friendly message. You saw her photo in that group, and your good visual memory kicked in.

What I find unacceptable is if someone approaches me on the street and says, "hey, you're [username] from okc!" But since she doesn't have to respond right away or at all, and it's in private mail, the risk of mortification on either side is low and you should go for it.
posted by batter_my_heart at 12:17 PM on April 27, 2014

I'd love to know the gender breakdown of the people above who are recommending that you do/don't contact her.

I would definitely recommend that you not contact her (which I think is informed by my experiences as a woman living in America).

Creepiness is not just about how people present themselves (though of course that's a lot of it). It's also largely about context. Cute guy approaches you at your friend's house party? Awesome, maybe he'd be fun to go on a date with. Same cute guy approaches you when you're walking alone in a dark alley at 2 am? Creepy. And if that same dude thinks the night alley would be an appropriate time/place to ask you out, that's exceptionally creepy.

I would suggest that many (not all, but many) women would feel creeped out if they were approached in a setting (Facebook) that they essentially consider private in that they expect to only interact with their friends. Telling her that it was a coincidence that you ended up in the same FB group as her will seem...less plausible than the idea that you're looking for her, particularly when you add into the mix that you remember her profile well. And creeping someone out is never a good relationship foundation.

Keep in mind that many people take breaks from OKC and end up back on the site (either after a relationship ends or they've just gotten a much-needed break from dating). If you don't do anything now, when she ends up back on the site you can message her and have a decent chance. If you approach her through Facebook when she's no longer on OKC, I think you'd torpedo any chance you might have had.
posted by leitmotif at 12:19 PM on April 27, 2014 [4 favorites]

Honestly, how attractive are you? I, for instance, am a fat straight lady. Unless I knew for sure a dude was into fat chicks, I could not get away with pulling something like this. Similarly, if you are conventionally unattractive I don't think you should message her. If you're hot, go for it but don't be surprised if it still doesn't work.
posted by masquesoporfavor at 12:24 PM on April 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'd love to know the gender breakdown of the people above who are recommending that you do/don't contact her.

I'm an early thirties woman, and I'm one of the people that suggested contacting her. Just to be clear, I'm advocating a single message of the type:

Hey, I know this sounds kind of crazy but awhile back I was on okc and saw your profile and just got a great vibe from it. I was meaning to write you but then you took your profile down so it didn't happen. Then the other day, totally randomly, I saw you in this group and though what the hell, I'm gonna say hi!

This would not make me, personally, frightened. I may not contact the person (assuming that I'm not interested), at worst I might block them.
posted by Shouraku at 12:57 PM on April 27, 2014

I think someone at some point should observe that, from her prior question, the asker is a lesbian and therefore there are no guys in this scenario, since it only just registered to me that a lot of the responses I didn't really get made more sense if that was something other people weren't aware of.
posted by Sequence at 1:11 PM on April 27, 2014 [6 favorites]

Ask yourself this: would it feel weird to contact her this way for a reason other than dating? She is a total stranger; remember that even though she plays a prominent role in your thoughts right now, the reverse is not true--she doesn't even know you exist. Would you contact her or any other total stranger (whose existence you were aware of solely through a social media profile that no longer exists and who doesn't know you at all) to propose starting a business together or planning a long-term project like starting a food pantry?

If you're thinking, "Oh, man, no way, how weird would it be for me to do that? Why in the world would a total stranger want to be on the receiving end of that kind of message from me?", you have your answer. If it seems like it might not be weird only because you want to ask her out on a date, it's weird.
posted by jesourie at 1:37 PM on April 27, 2014

I don't think it's creepy to send a single, simple message along the lines of the one Shouraku quotes above. It's Facebook so your real face and name are right there, which makes it less threatening and she totally has the power to ignore you if she's not interested.
posted by looli at 1:38 PM on April 27, 2014

I don't think it would be creepy at all. Take a shot!
posted by kbanas at 2:33 PM on April 27, 2014

I am a lady and if I were still single, this would not personally creep me out if you were lighthearted and polite about it, did not make comments about my appearance or come on too strongly, and (this is important) only sent ONE message and then let the matter drop if I did not respond. I like tacoma1's honest and casual way of expressing interest. I am not sure that taking down an OKC profile is a solid indication that someone is not interested in dating right now; it may just mean that they have lost interest in OKC. I have a few single-and-interested-in-dating women friends who have taken down their OKC profiles solely because they felt like they weren't seeing a lot of success there connecting with nice and interesting people, and got tired of dealing with messages from people they weren't interested in.
posted by BlueJae at 4:03 PM on April 27, 2014

Response by poster: Hey, yes, I am female, guys. So perhaps that might change some people's perceptions of how creepy it would be for me to randomly Facebook message a female. But who knows.

To be honest, I never even thought about Facebook messaging her, because it does seem kinda intrusive. I think I'll hold off on that, but maybe braver souls would.

I appreciate all these responses and I found it really interesting (1) how it was just assumed I was a guy and (2) how the perception of me being a guy clearly influenced the responses (which, obviously, it understandably would).
posted by thelivingsea at 7:54 PM on April 27, 2014

I don't think the fact that you're a woman should make any difference at all.

I think tacoma1 had it right - it's worth a one time, friendly message and if there's no response, you don't pursue and don't email back or anything.

A single message expressing interest is no more definitionally creepy than expressing interest to someone you see in a bar - it's all in how you do it and being able to recognize a lack of interest on the part of the other person.
posted by modernnomad at 9:55 PM on April 27, 2014

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