Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Online Dating Messages According to the Food Pyramid

Graphic by Wikimedia Commons. Illustration by me. 

If you've read any of the Clint Saga, then you will understand why I decided to make the big leap and try online dating. I was timid at first, but reasoned with myself that it was basically like Couchsurfing, but just more romantic. Meeting strangers in different locations, judging them on their profiles alone– really how different could it really be?

I chose OKCupid because it's free and my roommate's cousin completely vouches for it. Coincidentally, my best friend from home also met her current boyfriend of over a year on Match, and I have been using her as my mentor of sorts. After I had made my profile (which was an entire process unto itself), one of the first things I had to get used to were the messages that people sent me. When I asked my friend, or "Obi Won Cupid" as I bequeathed her, about them, she just said, "The good ones are like a paragraph and gives you some content to respond to, but slow to give you something back. Don't expect to come across those often; they're like unicorns."

And it's true! Out of almost 60 people that have sent me messages now, I have only replied to five– and that is including one where I just told him, "You seem mildly insane."

The bulk of the messages fall into the "Bread group," where they simply say "hi," or "hey there," or "hi beautiful," or some variation of those three. And that's it. Here's the thing–even if Ryan Gosling's look-a-like messaged me "hi" I probably would not respond just because that it shows that they most likely have not taken the effort to even glance at my profile. So why should I give them any effort to write back? It's a waste of time, frankly.

Then there of course are the messages that just remark you on your looks or attractiveness and nothing else.

Flattering? Yes.
Interesting? No.
Creepy? Sometimes.

One guy told me that I had that "one kind of beauty that is hard to find ;)" which was cute...until I realized that he probably has copy and pasted that same exact message to every other girl on OKCupid.

The messages from people that sound like they are writing from an insane asylum are a special group indeed. Someone actually asked me to accompany him to kidnap a giant panda from a zoo. Which I thought was a bit racist, to tell you the truth. Just because I'm Asian doesn't mean my fantasy is to own a pet panda.

Messages that offend vary from back-handed compliments like "you seem mildly interesting," or ignorant comments like "who the hell are feminists?" Messages that are creepy are pretty self-explanatory and abundant.

Finally, the messages that I actually respond to are from men who are not necessarily the best looking ones (at all). They are the ones that you can tell have taken some time to peruse your profile, explain who they are, or start off with similar interests. It could be as simple as "Whoo you're from the Carolinas! I'm from SC, where are you from?" I also found that I always respond to ones that make me laugh out loud. For example, this one guy sent me a message that said "Hey it says that we are a match made in heaven. Where have you been all my life?!" He was referring to the impressive 93% match we had according to OKCupid, where they show your percentage as a "match," "friend" or "enemy," which I think is a little bit drastic.

The absolutely BEST message I've gotten so far, however, is a man that I would not have paid any attention to if it weren't for the fact that his first sentence was "COOKIES COOKIES COOKIES COOKIES!!!!" to catch my attention.

So it was only appropriate that he landed in the "Fats, Oils and Sweets group."

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