Saturday, November 14, 2009

ask j-dawg

So I get really jazzed when I receive email to my blog-only email address. Generally it's spam but I recently received an email asking for my advice. Me! Giving advice. That means that someone out there actually cares about what I have to say. Who woulda thunk it? Here's what she said:
I was wondering if you could do some kind of advice post about online dating. I'm thinking about opening an OkCupid account and if I'm not mistaken, you had good luck with finding someone to date on it right? For me, I'm looking for some kind of advice on what to watch for, what to look for, how to know if you're clicking with someone on the internet and real life. I know you're busy but if this was possible I'd be interested in it!
Well, ask and ye shall receive. As a little background, I first ventured into the online dating world in April 2007 and have been on both and OkCupid. I don't know how much weight my thoughts are worth, but here's a few pieces of advice I came up with:

Trust your gut
Your safety is of the utmost importance. I'm sure you've all heard this before, but make sure you meet in public areas, don't let him/her pick you up at your home (something I haven't always abided by, if we're being honest), don't give too much personal information - I'm sure you've heard this all before. Also, REALLY pay attention to your gut instincts. If something seems off about someone, don't ignore that feeling. In my experience, if someone seems creepy, then they're probably actually creepy.

Know what you want
The choices can be so overwhelming. It can help to have a basic idea of the characteristics that you're looking for. Is it important to you that the person has graduated from college? That they're between a certain age range? That they have particular physical characteristics? This can help you weed through the thousands of profiles on any given dating website. We all have our own list of "deal breakers" so if you can figure yours out in advance, it could save you some grief in the long run.

Disregard what you thought you wanted a certain extent. I think that you can have a list a mile long of traits that you're looking for in a significant other but sometimes you just can't factor in for chemisty. I know that for me, my boyfriends MUST be intelligent and have a sense of humor. Those are two traits that I just cannot compromise on. Oh, and they have to have good spelling/grammar. However, I don't have a partciular type in terms of looks and have been attracted to different looking men. So basically, just try to have an open mind when you receive and email from someone who you think isn't totally your "type". They could surprise you.

A good first date won't always lead to a second
I can't tell you how many times I've been out on what I thought was a great first date, only to have the guy never call again. And I'm sure I've been out with guys who thought that they'd rocked my world and that we'd be going out again. The truth is, a good date doesn't always equal chemistry. I've been disappointed so many times but you have to keep reminding yourself that you want to date someone who likes you as much as you do them.

The "three day rule" is a bunch of crap
If you had a really good time on a date, and like a guy (or girl!), go ahead and call. I hate the idea that a woman has to sit at home and wait for a dude to get his head out of his ass and dial your number. Being nervous and wondering whether someone likes you or not is not limited to the female gender. However, call with restraint. You don't want to be the crazy stalker chick.

For the love of God, have a sense of humor

My thoughts on online dating can be summed up as this: Yes, you will inevitably meet assholes, creepy dudes who still live at home, guys with extreme Peter Pan complexes, and men who are looking for a one night stand under the guise of the dating websites. However, I've also met the same sort of men in many bars across the city. If you've read my blog with any consistency, then you know that I have met some really, really ridiculous people. I've also been hurt by people who I liked and thought I had made a connection with, but who didn't seem to return the sentiments. But through it all I've always tried to laugh about it, because usually it's pretty funny.

This brings to a close my first "ask j-dawg" post. Did it suck? Did you find it informative? Do you want me to just shut up already? I'd love to hear your feedback!


Princess Malphaba said...

I'm once again in the midst of okcupid madness, and this was fun to read and very good advice! I'm trying to branch off from "my type" and see where things go, right now.... Eeek

Unknown said...

it's always madness, isn't it? but i'm glad that you found the post fun/helpful. you'll have to let me know if you meet anyone worthwhile. if not, there's always guest blog tuesday :)

Email Writer said...

hey thanks for replying to my email! I think the tips you gave were great about keeping expectations in check and having a sense of humor about the experience.