Sending and Receiving

by | Mar 8, 2013

This post was imported from an old blog.

I signed up for OkCupid on a Saturday night. Probably pretty typical. I had been thinking about it for a few days, and finally just decided, what the hell? What harm will it do?

It took me an hour or so to upload some photos, fill in my profile and answer some questions. I got a number of visitors right away (OkCupid will show you your visitors, provided you allow others to see when you visit their profile. It’s a great feature!) and received a message or two that night, but nothing really promising.

I spent some time browsing men, and yes, I felt a bit creepy about it. I saw a few maybes, but didn’t message anyone that night.

I had the day to myself on Sunday, so in between getting things done around the house I’d log in and answer questions, check out some people that the site recommended, added a few more photos and filled out some more of my profile. I got a cheeky message from the last guy I dated (who I met in person, not online), who is also on the site. The more activity I did, the more messages I received, and after a day or so I realized I’d need some kind of a system to keep them under some kind of control.

Overtly sexual or rude: (e.g. “do you give good head?”) Delete and block. Not interested, moron.

Bland, boring and impersonal: (e.g. “Hey how’s it going?” or “I like your profile.”) First I’ll check their profile. If it looks at all promising, I’ll send a brief reply asking them something about themselves, giving them the opportunity to respond with something more interesting. If their profile is also bland, boring and impersonal, delete.

Something interesting, mentioning things I had written in my profile and how we might make a good match, something funny, something honest: I feel like these messages deserve consideration and a response. I’ll check their profile. If I’m not interested, I will thank them for their interest and politely decline (e.g. “Hi, thanks for the message. I had a look at your profile, but I’m not seeing anything that makes me think we’d hit it off in person.”) That’s the hardest one to send, but it seems nicer than just ignoring them. Sometimes they write back. If I haven’t changed my mind, I just don’t continue the conversation.

If an interesting message is backed up by an interesting profile, I’ll reply and suggest meeting in person. Boom. Just like that. Why wait?

I’ve received pretty positive responses to this. A few replied with comments or questions and we had some messages back and forth before making a plan to get together. Some were on the same page and we progressed to finding an agreeable time and place and that was that. It’s been easy, low pressure and fun.

But the most fun, and the best messages so far, have been the ones that I’ve instigated. In my profile browsing I’ve come across a few particularly promising ones. For me, this whole making the first move thing is scary stuff. But I have to admit that so far, the payoff has been great. I’ll keep you posted.



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