Posts Tagged With: single

A question for the ladies

Ladies, do those of you that do online dating ever send an unsolicited message to a man in whom you think you might be interested? And to those ladies who do not take part in online dating, do you ever initiate conversation with a guy in a bar/grocery store/coffee shop/etc.?

Here’s why I ask. It’s no secret I use the dating website OkCupid and I’ve used others as well. My relationship with OkCupid is the longest I’ve had with any dating website, though over the course of the four years I’ve used it, I’ve definitely deactivated my account and reactivated it months later a couple times. But I digress.

Anyway, in my years using OkCupid, I’ve noticed that while I’ve traded many messages with many people, the vast majority of those exchanges were initiated by me. Oh sure, I’ve had people rate my profile highly, but I’m talking about actual exchanges of messages. The vast majority of the message exchanges in which I have taken part have been initiated by me. And in talking with straight, male friends who use OkCupid, the same is true for them.

And that’s kind of frustrating. First off, sending someone an introductory message is tough. It’s never easy to figure out what to put in one. They’re like cover letters for resumes. You have to customize each one because you don’t want to be the guy who copies and pastes messages from one girl to the next. That’s a lot of pressure.

Additionally, waiting for the guy to make the first move seems counter-productive, especially if you’re on a dating website. I tend to send messages to people who I know  have visited my profile two or three times because that usually means they gave it more than a cursory glance and found something in it they liked or we had in common. And when I send those introductory messages, often I’ll get this sort of thing in their response: “I noticed [insert profile details here] when I was looking at your profile the other day and am so glad you got in touch!”

But that begs this question: Why did you wait for me to get in touch instead of sending a message yourself? If I find myself visiting a lady’s profile more than two or three times, I’ll send her a message because she’s gotten my attention. And yet for the most part, even women who have visited my profile several times seem very hesitant to send that first message.

And so, ladies, here is what I would like to know from you:

  1. Do you send unsolicited/introductory messages via dating websites?
  2. If not, why not?
  3. How can a guy increase the likelihood of you sending them an unsolicited message? Or do you just have a blanket rule that you will never send one?

Thanks, all. I’m not trying to call anyone out here. I’m genuinely curious and would love to read your comments.


UPDATE: My Twitter pal Nycole, who blogs over at Secret Lives of Chicago Singles and her own blog, the Savvy Brunette, commented on this post with a link to something she wrote about this very same topic. It doesn’t answer the question of WHY ladies often don’t make the first move (though it does ask it), but it definitely takes them to task for not making it. Click here to read it. Seriously. Read it.

UPDATE 2: Also, just for the record, I know that no real evidence exists to prove my correlation between repeated views of my profile and actual interest in me as a potential dating partner. That said, I think the idea makes a lot of sense and I can’t think of any better way to even theoretically gauge interest in me as a dating partner. So I’m going with it until some scientist comes up with a better method to gauge how interested the female population of OkCupid is in me. Any scientists reading this … make that happen!

Categories: Dating - horror or otherwise | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

Single shaming

Let me set a scene for you.

I’m sitting at a table with 12 family members (Well, technically only 10 because I’m not related by blood to either my sister’s boyfriend or my uncle’s partner, but for all intents and purposes, they’re family). And my grandmother, whose birthday we were celebrating along with my grandfather’s, proceeds to point out that of the 13 people at the table, I was the only one not “coupled” in some way. By that she meant that I was neither married nor engaged nor civilly united nor in any sort of romantic relationship and the others all were.

And then she proceeds to repeatedly call me the “odd one out” because of the aforementioned lack of romantic attachment.

My father and sister, both of whom were sitting to my right, stopped me before I could tell Grandma to piss right the fuck off (which was probably for the best; making a scene at a nice family dinner is not usually worth the hassle). I spent the rest of the night not saying much of anything to anyone.

On my way home, I started thinking about my grandma’s belief that being unattached romantically at age 28 made one “weird” or “odd”. And I realized that it’s not just her attitude. There is still a collective belief in our society that those without romantic partners are inherently worse off than people who have them. And that, for lack of any gentle way of putting it, is just plain wrong.

Before I go on, I need to give you a bit of info about me. I’m not against having romantic partners. Quite the contrary. I’ve had them. I’ve enjoyed having them. I go out on dates and would be happy to have some sort of romantic partner again.

But what I resent is being told that I *MUST* have some sort of romantic partner or my life is not worth living. I resent the implication that my current lack of romantic attachment makes me less happy than those who are romantically attached to someone. My life, while hardly perfect or ideal, is pretty damn good and while a romantic partner would make it that much better, I’m still pretty damn happy with it.

And most single people I know – of both the male and female persuasions – will say the same thing.

Yet society-at-large still believes it’s ok to imply that the lives of the single people in their mid to late 20s cannot be as happy as the lives of people in romantic relationships. Society-at-large still believes it’s ok to constantly tell singles things like, “You’ll never find anyone if you keep being so picky” or “You need to find a nice guy/girl to settle down with. You’ll be so much happier.” And there is still a belief that it is ok to badger single people into being ashamed of their singledom, even if it’s by choice.

And frankly, the single-shaming needs to stop.

Like I said, it’s not that I’m against romantic relationships. What I’m against is the idea that anyone other than me knows better than I do what will make me happy. There are a lot of really damn happy single people out there. For some, a romantic relationship would add to that happiness. For others, it wouldn’t.

What it comes down to is this: Happiness is subjective. Each person has their own idea of happiness toward which they are striving. For some, that includes a romantic partner or partners. For others, it doesn’t.

Let’s stop the single-shaming and just let people be happy.

Categories: Rants | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

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