Saturday, October 25, 2014

The Great OkCupid Dating Experiment

OK, it's not really an "experiment" (because that makes me feel like I'm treating men like lab rats) and the "great" is potentially debatable, but, it made for a good blog title, right?

I've blogged a few times in the past about my dabblings (is that a noun) with online dating. I don't know what it is about me and online dating, but we don't totally mix. Why is that?? Essentially it's the same idea as being set up, but you actually have *more* control over it. It should, in theory, be an appealing avenue. And, I know so many people who do it successfully! I've tried Tinder (meh) and one religious-based dating site in the past (no -- just no) to no avail. I always fail at being brave enough to actually meet up with people, or I do, and then feel anxious/unsure about the whole deal. So, it's me.

I decided that maybe the problem with Tinder, for me, is that it's not personal enough. Too little info to go on. And since I'm not in the position to (nor interested in) spending money on one such as eHarmony (pretty sure I had like 3 friends get married from that site in one summer alone), I've currently turned my attentions to OkCupid (it's free, holla). And I don't know, I've heard pretty good things from friends who use it.

So here's where the "experiment" element comes in.

In the past I've mostly used quick, snappy blurbs about myself to make up the entire profile. It seemed right for an online presence. But then I wondered -- what if I wrote MORE? What if I went for honesty and transparency and just put it all out there? What if I seriously just wrote an essay about myself and used that as my dating profile to see how well it works, and what different kinds of people it attracts? (I mean, if anyone actually takes the time to read the whole thing...which remains to be seen.)

And if it's an intriguing idea that involves writing, you can bet I'm on board.

So, here it is. Just for kicks. My long-form, personal-essay dating profile for OkCupid. Heaven help me.

Short version:

Writer. Reader. Frisbee-er. My spirit animals: street tacos, frisbee, beards, Spotify (and all live music), the Phoenix Suns, plaid shirts & the color gray. I excel at being a good, supportive friend while still stealthing out of parties early so I can watch Netflix and read. It's a fine line. In college I had a pet pig that I won because I tackled him at a rodeo -- his name was Wilbur.

Less short version (because like I said, I'm a writer, and maybe you're bored/intrigued enough to read it):

I like eating cereal at midnight. My food life is a continual cycle of forcing myself to eat kale sometimes and letting myself eat sugar other times, and also I have a deep, intense love for street tacos.

I'm sorry (but also not sorry) that I started this small essay by talking about food. (But on that note, I *might* suck at cooking, but maybe that's because my job feeds me so I never practice. I know I can make lasagna? End note.)

I believe in being nice. I believe in compassion and "live and let live." I'm also attracted to passion. I'll like it if you love what you do -- be it your career, your hobbies, your people or what-have-you. I want to see that sparkle in your eye when you talk about something that just totally undoes you and makes your world go round.

I love sports. Take me to an NBA or MLB game (but maybe just from the 5th inning on -- bonus points if there's fireworks after the game) and I'll be a happy clam. I play ultimate frisbee, and while it's definitely not a deal breaker if you don't pick up a disc now and again, it's a definite bonus if you do. It's part of my world -- it's fun to share it with someone.

Another big part of my world: concerts. Live music feeds my soul. I go to more concerts than the average joe, and I actually skip out on many I'd like to go to because I don't like going by myself and I'm not always sure who to take with me. (I do like going to movies by myself though. There's something deliciously anonymous about it.) I enjoy meeting people who like to spontaneously go to concerts on the weekends (or school nights) with me.

I'm messy. Cluttered, whatever. It's my way. And yet, I'm obsessed with calendaring. So I guess some things about me are organized. I use a real, hand-written day planner. It has a cat on it, but not because I'm obsessed with cats -- it was $2 at Walgreens. I want to adopt a spaniel puppy someday. Also, I love stories. I'll cap every day of your life off with 5-10 stories from my day....just ask any roommate I've ever had.

I have a lot of close friends. Apologies in advance that you'll hear a lot about a lot of people, and apology accepted that you'll never be able to keep them straight. That's OK. I've been a bridesmaid 14 times. I tend to hang on to people pretty tight, but not in a codependent way. I love my independence and alone time. (In fact, one ex-boyfriend told me I didn't "need" him enough. He was right -- kind of. Turns out it just takes me a little while to get comfortable showing it. I'll get it right one of these times, you know?)

I love libraries. Really pretty ones make me borderline emotional, as do most pretty buildings (which is why I must travel the world and see all of them). I almost always carry a book in my backpack or purse. I like backpacks more than purses. You want to really get me? Show me something awe-inspiring that involves books, outer space, Harry Potter, Steve Nash, the Olympics or the nonprofit world. (And then give me a minute to Instagram it.) (Hint: Even really simple things, like a snail on a sidewalk, can be awe-inspiring and charming to me. Maybe that's why I have so many stories to share at the end of every day.) (And maybe why I Instagram so much.)

I don't wear fancy shoes. No, that's a lie. I do sometimes, but I hate them after 5 minutes if they hurt my feet. I hope crappy old moccasins and well-loved sandals with glitter on them are OK, because....I ain't changin' my ways. My wardrobe ranges from "babe in pleather pants and red lipstick" to "girl next door in a baseball hat" to "trendy something-or-other" to "I love sweatpants and look 15 years old today." Fair warning: I'll probably occasionally talk about wanting a tattoo or two. I honestly can't tell you how serious I am about that, because I'm never quite sure if I am, though I probably am. Maybe.

Also, I'm sorry in advance that sometimes I drink out of the carton and talk/laugh in my sleep. Does it make you feel better if I say I feel at least a little bit guilty about the carton thing? (Not the sleep thing -- I have zero control over that so let's let it go, even if the laughing part might be borderline creepy.) I also hate wearing pants when I'm at home, because pants feel like punishment. And now I'm probably going to match with the wrong kinds of guys because I wrote that part about not wearing pants. Oops?

Other small sections they had in the profile:

Books: To Kill a Mockingbird. Harry Potter. The Book Thief. Where the Red Fern Grows.

Movies: Back to the Future. Karate Kid. The Sandlot. Meet Joe Black. Forrest Gump. Rudy (...rudy, rudy, rudy....) I love movies and I like going to see them at old, decrepit, uncrowded theatres.

Shows: Boy Meets World. Friday Night Lights. Parks & Rec.

Music: This could go on forever. Just know that I love it, I like a broad range, and I'm listening to it pretttty much all day.

Food: Tacos and french fries, but not at the same time. Perpetually on a quest to eat more vegetables and not hate them. #frenemies

What I'm doing with my life: Professionally: former full-time writer and nonprofit junky exploring a career switch to HR at a job that gives me free food. Non-professionally: I might have a future in ambitious etch-a-sketching or paint-by-numbering. So, things with hyphens.


Anonymous said...

I love this...and I know that somewhere, sometime, that perfect man (and i mean perfect...for you) will too.

Emily said...

You're just so darn likable, ya know?!

(I had to google "likable" to make sure I spelled it right, because it looked a little too close to lickable, which would change the meaning of that sentence juuuust a little bit.)

It's a shame that eHarmony costs so much because I think putting compatibility into an algorithm is fascinating and of course then I would love your take on it.

I don't know much about OkCupid except for one friend who was going through a series of online dating bursts last year. First she met a cowboy divorcee who lives in the suburbs who was just so boring, and then a guy who would send her pictures of his bare chest that she kept around a little too long because of his resemblance to Justin Timberlake.

So, I really hope OkCupid goes better for you.

Liz said...

I'd date that.

And my opinion matters.