Today, online dating is not exactly taboo, but that doesnt make it any less awkward to say you met online. I spent my teenage years at an all-girls school and while Im not socially inept when it comes to men, Im not exactly a flirty bar babe either, which is why I thought,”why not?” to Okcupid. While, Id love to say Ive had some hilariously bad dates and stories to tell, I think Ive been too picky to take that chance. Online dating does that to you. It somehow makes it ok to skip on a guy because of tiny physical traits you might otherwise overlook if introduced in real life. Unfortunately this might mean missing out on someone awesome, but possibly less Adonis-like.
1. First lesson learned: Keep an open mind when browsing the site. Plenty of friends, whove cast a wider net than I, have regaled me with stories of what can only be called a needle-in-a-haystack search to find their awesome someone. Neither ways of navigating the site are right or wrong. Blink and you might miss a great date, but dive right in and you might be wasting your time. You never know.
2. Say you find that Adonis. Maybe your interests dont exactly match up, but damn is he good looking! What then? This brings me to lesson two: Beware of guys who only post super good looking pictures of themselves. I used to have a theory that guys were only as attractive as their worst picture, but Ive found that many guys love to post really great pictures of themselves and at least one horribly unattractive photo they think is hilarious or cool. The real them tends to be somewhere in between best and worst. I like to think it shows confidence to post some less than perfect ones though. You dont want your first thought upon meeting to be, Oh so thats what he actually looks like. In such past instances, if the date goes well, I usually end up not caring, but if steered in an awkward direction, I end up feeling somehow deceived by the super good looking version of themselves.
3. Sometimes, whether in looks or personality, someone might seem super amazing on paper, but end up being a total dud (or douche) in real life. Maybe the chemistrys not there. Maybe the timing is wrong. Maybe he secretly like to kick puppies in his spare time and forgot to mention it on his profile. You never know. First dates are awkward enough, sometimes they end well and sometimes they dont. You dont want to be invested before even meeting. This brings me to what is probably the most important lesson Ive learned: Keep first date expectations low because no matter how great his profile (or profile pics) seem, real-life personalities dont always click.
4. Lesson four: There are many reasons guys join Okcupid. Some guys just find it easier to put it out there online than in a social setting where things are unsure and rejection is unpredictable…then again, some guys just want to hit up girls for sex without getting out of their pajamas. It takes all kinds. While there are many pros when it comes to online dating (one being you too can browse through men whilst in your pajamas!), one large con is that I guarantee if of the female persuasion you will receive more than your fair share of random, strange, and overall lewd messages. Last week, I got a copy pasted message from a guy who wanted marriage and kids within a year and who hoped I was the one. Another time, I got a message from a British guy asking about my feet.
5. The last lesson should be obvious:Okcupid is unpredictable. I wouldnt consider myself an expert on the subject. Ive gone on a mere five dates total off the site through cautious navigation, but theyve all ended with dramatically different results. One long-term relationship (the first of the five surprisingly), one hook up, one awkward ok, were both definitely not feeling this date, one fling, and one genuine friend. Ok, so I didnt meet my soulmate. Okcupid is not Eharmony, but when asked if the site works, I have to say yes, with a side of you just never know because while there are definitely slimy guys looking to score there’s also semi-awkward, nice ones who, for the most part, really mean well. Just aim for those and you just might meet your next boyfriend/girlfriend, make a new friend, or hook up with someone wholl at least make you breakfast in the morning!