Imagine waking up to an e-mail alert informing you that “[insert derogatory word for female genitalia] Destroyer” has sent you a message. Would you be confused, maybe offended or turned off?
This happened to me a few days ago. And I can attest to being all of the above and more when I saw the subject line: “Want some?” Thankfully, it didn’t take me long to figure out that “[blank] Destroyer” was one of my noble matches from the popular dating website OkCupid.com. And after reading his eloquently graphic and horrifyingly unattractive message, I began wondering: How did I let this happen?
Well, it all started in January when I realized I had never been on a date.
And by date, I mean an agreed-upon time when an agreed-upon person comes in his automobile to pick me up from my place of residence and takes me somewhere, then brings me back to my house before sleeping at his house.
Dating had always sounded very old-fashioned to me. But dates looked so damn nice in movies, and my friends seem to have so much fun going on them that the fact that I had never been on a date became a little depressing. So, when I became single in January, I decided that a date might be a nice thing to try.
And then nothing happened.
I soon discovered it is very difficult to get an official date. And believe me, I’ve tried. I’d go out to a bar or a show and meet someone, exchange numbers, and then all of a sudden, I would figure out my special someone was actually a weirdo who would show up at my doorstep with a handle of Jack Daniel’s at 3 a.m. on a school night. You know, because he doesn’t have a job or go to school or do ... anything.
Naturally, this method of “dating” quickly proved to be a bust.
After whining for a bit to my friends, I caught wind of OkCupid. Unlike larger dating sites like eHarmony.com, OkCupid is dedicated to connecting members of a younger crowd — especially because it’s free to use and the object of the site isn’t to link people up for marriage. Basically, OkCupid is like Facebook, except with no pretenses.
With nearly 735,000 unique visitors in the month of January alone, according to comScore, an online research firm, the probability of finding a suitable match on OkCupid seemed reasonable — or so I thought.
I’m not quite sure what I did to attract the scum who began filling my inbox. Maybe it was the fact that my interests included “eating contests and avoiding getting on ‘Snapped’” or that my only prerequisite for messaging me was the warning, “No idiots.” But whatever it was, it rang in about a hundred dudes with leftover MySpace pictures (you know, the bathroom shot where he’s not wearing a shirt, and it was obviously taken with a camera phone) and offensive profile pseudonyms.
My first few hours on the site were promising. I found a 23-year-old Austin resident who likes “bike riding and books.” This seemed promising. But he never messaged me back. And I was stuck with an inbox flooded with messages like, “Blahblahblahblahblahblahbeer?”
And then it dawned on me: Using OkCupid for dates is just like sitting at a bar pounding Jameson and waiting for a classy guy to fall in love with you.
It will never work. The people who are decent enough for you to actually be interested in aren’t interested in dating the version of you at the bar. And, invariably, the people who will notice you in a bar are not the people you want to date.
Four months later, I’m still at step one of the dating game, but at least I’m out of the matrix. But if chatting it up with “[blank] Destroyer” while gazing at circa 2004-style softcore camera-phone porn is your thing, then OkCupid is your Shangri-la.
I’d almost rather be the girl at the bar.