Saturday, July 29, 2006

Musings on internet dating...

Ok, I had to blog about this topic eventually. My ex bf and I met on Lava, and to be quite honest, we had great chemistry, and many things in common, but in the end it didn't work out. When we broke up a few months ago, I was devastated, but have come to terms with it now and am ready to move on - I know he's not the only one out ther for me and am curious to see who else is out there. Plus, to be honest I just want a summer of fun where nice men take me out for dinner and make me feel nice. Here's hoping.

Anyways, since most of my friends seem to have gone AWOL for the summer, I've decided to try my hand at internet dating again. So far, I haven't met anyone, but here's the low down on Lava vs eHarmony:

A) Lava
To be honest, this one is much like going to a supermarket, strolling through the aisles, and picking up the box of cereal which looks most attractive. If you were to read the ingredients on the side of each box, you'd see that they are all pretty much the same.

Same with Lava: it's primarily driven by people's attraction to your photo, followed by their impressions of your profile. Most people don't write anything remotely original which sets them apart, so it's pretty much just about "smiling" at the person who you think you could stand to be seen with and are attracted to. If they smile back, you might begin chatting, and take it from there.

Or, they might smile at you, or try engaging you in an online chat. To be honest, apart from my ex, most men I've talked to on Lava pretty much assume it's open season to begin seriously flirting and making suggestive advances almost immediately.

This can make one feel quite vulnerable, flattered (if you're getting a lot of "smiles"), or down on yourself (if you're not getting smiles or messages - which for me, seems to be the case these past few days).

What, really, do you know about someone after chatting with them for a little while, or engaging in an exchange of smiles? Not much. Plus, who knows if their online photo is recent, and really reflects them!

on to B), eHarmony:
To tell the truth, I hadn't even intended on going back online until a friend of mine suggested I try eHarmony's free personality profile quiz. This is a 20-page quiz that tries to give an accurate picture of who you are. I think mine went a little overboard on the social butterfly thing (I am social, but have my introvert moments too), and ended up saying I'm quite spiritual (I'm agnostic).

Somehow, I ended up clicking a box that triggered the next step, which is to have matches sent to you based on your compatibility with their personality profile. In theory, this is an interesting concept (which reminds me a lot of the old video dating days, though I was too young for that when it was en vogue). So the system started sending me matches.

Matches are a description of a person's personality and commonalities with you, with answers to a number of questions. It's a lot more detailed than the Lava profiles. Matches can: ignore your match, close your match (it's funny how insulted I've felt when men closed the match without even knowing them!), or open communication.

If you open communication, you then go through a series of steps before beginning "Open Communication". You each have the opportunity to send each other (and respond to) questions about your likes/dislikes and other behavioural questions. In theory, this is to help you get to know the person better. But the 'net is such an impersonal mechanism, it's difficult to read responses properly.

Anyways, I've been engaging in communication with a few men, and am now at the "begin open communication"stage, but I'm nervous. After going through all of the stages, it suddenly hit me that this man is 7 years my elder, and my parents might not appreciate that. Plus, I had a look at his second photo, and it seems he looks much older than the first one suggested. I'm not ageist, but I don't want to be dating my father!

ARGH. So, the struggles of a single gal living in TO continue.

I'd be interested to hear your internet dating woes or successes...Have any?



twitches said...

Dude, your father is NOT seven years older than you!

I went on a few total moron dates, but hooked up with my husband fairly quickly. I did NOT include a photo of myself because I figured any man who was not willing to spend four bucks on a cup of joe to see what I looked like was not worth the bother. However I was a total hypocrite in that I only responded to ads that included photos. Nowadays I think a photo is pretty much mandatory but it was not back then. Anyway one thing I liked about my husband was that he NEVER asked what I looked like.

Also I found it was ill-advised to spend too much time communicating via computer. Better to get on the phone with them ASAP and find out if you really can talk to each other or not. Email is so deceptive in that regard.

And for some reason, I was very appealing to married couples looking for three-ways. Even though I clearly stated what I was looking for in my profiles.

Is any of this what were looking for? Why am I rambling? Not sure. Good luck with it!

Ceebie said...

LOL thanks Twitches. No, he isn't 7 years older, but this dude might as well be, from his photo.

Anyhoo, I'll keep trying and see what happens!

And yes, I agree that too much time on the computer is not advised. It's too artificial a setting.

Cynthia said...

I have been married for ages, but my friend, Erin, just married THE man after meeting him through E Harmony. Her father suggested it after her brother found his wife that way. I know two other couples who found each other online in a more informal way. Years between them. Erin met one other guy on EH before THE one and I think had coffee with a second. They were ok, but not her match. Third time's charm. I don't know why it wouldn't work. I get the idea that E Harmony is more for folks who are looking for a serious relationship. If that is true, it weeds out the guys and gals who don't really want that. That may explain some of the marriage thing. Thanks for coming to my place.

sassymonkey said...

I've never tried it. I know people who have had really good experiences and I know people who have had bad experiences. I figure (for me) that things will happen when they happy and I'm really not in a rush right now.

But what I really wanted to comment on is that I somehow had missed that you are in TO too. I think I need to start subcategorizing my blogs somehow cause I either miss or forget who the Canucks are.

Ceebie said...

update: I have now met two people on eharmony, and I have a date monday! We'll see how it goes - I once read a book that said you have to have 14 bad dates before a good one, but who knows!