Friday, June 18, 2010

The Dumbing Down of the Dating World

One handy portion of your subscription package when you become a member of is their advice section.  Now, as you are well aware, occasionally I think I know it all.  But, as I get older, I realize that sometimes that's not the case.  I decided that, after several failed attempts to make the most of my monthly investment, I would see what the "experts" at Match had to say about utilizing their service.  They suggest that you skip the "winking" (a.k.a. wimpy form of communication) and go right in for the kill, sending an email to jump-start the conversation.  But, they go further than that.  In this email, you should be witty, mention something in their profile that caught your attention or that you have in common, possibly reference pop culture and most importantly, keep it short.  Well...that ain't easy for me.  I don't know if you've noticed but I tend to be long-winded.  So, I've stifled myself and been my own personal editor, following these Match Mandates to a tee.  I'm pretty sure my emails would be approved to use as templates for others, but I haven't suggested that yet.

Yesterday, I was reviewing the daily meat market emails I receive with the lineup of possible candidates to receive communication from me and was pleasantly surprised by one who seemed to be both interesting and attractive (again, taking for granted that his pictures were actually of him).  I sent him my standard "Hi, I liked your profile, would you like to chat?" style opening email. Almost immediately, my inbox lit up.  He'd responded! "Yes," he said, "I'd love to get to know you better."  Okay, I think, let's go then!  I write back with maybe a paragraph's worth of conversation, with just a few questions about how long he'd lived in the area and what he does in his off-time.  Again, an immediate turn-around in response.  I log-in and open my inbox to find "I've lived in (Georgia town) for 3 years, moved here from Miami."  'Aww...he's shy,' I thought.  I respond with a little bit more conversation, asking what prompted him to move to this area from Miami, if his family lived here, and shared that he'd be more than welcome to ask me any questions he might have that I didn't cover in my profile, if he'd like (really this question is designed to create more of a conversation balance so that I don't feel like I'm overloading him with a barrage of questions).  This message was maybe 75 words and definitely fell within's suggestion of no more than two paragraphs per email.  Which makes sense if you think about it, who wants to read a novel from a complete stranger.  Save some things for the first date conversation.  Again, an immediate response.  Wow, this guy is interested, I think.  I click on his message and (brace for it) am shocked to find the following response:  "Melly, this is entirely too many words."

Wow.  So, there are several things in this seven word response that I want to address.  Let's start at the beginning.  "Melly" is a nickname I had in high school that I used for my screennames since screennames first came on the scene.  There are maybe four people in the world that still call me that, and only on occasion.  If you call me that now, we are ridiculously close and you've usually asked for permission.  Most of the time, I get "Mel" before I get "Melly."  So, this level of familiarity when I clearly signed all my emails with "Melanie," is a bit forward.  Secondly, did this man not read what I do for a living?! I make money on a daily basis with WORDS!  I blog with WORDS.  I communicate with WORDS.  How could someone think for a second that you could possibly date online without using WORDS?  Back to the Match suggestions, the "experts" say to never jump right into a phone conversation or a meeting without at least exchanging a couple of emails (wait, don't you need WORDS to exchange emails?).  I was blown away to say the least.

I pondered this response for the rest of the evening.  How can you respond to someone via email that thinks you use "entirely too many words?" [Sidenote, I intend to use this phrase for at least two weeks to get the full use and value of the ridiculousness.]  After some thought, I decided this morning to respond.  I said "Well, I don't know how to respond to this without using more words.  Would you be more comfortable chatting online or through text?" (Obviously talking at this point would be silly; again I'd probably use too many words.) Like yesterday, I got an immediate response.  He said (this is a direct quote), "Melly, I think you just did an outstanding job at expressing yourself within the limits of a few sentences. LOL."  I kid you not.  I couldn't make this up; I'm not that creative.

So, I'm pretty sure I'm done.  I know that I personally love words and take great pride in my ability to not only use them, but to use them correctly.  At first I thought maybe there was a language barrier.  Maybe he was using or something and my use of tenses other than present was throwing off the electronic translator.  Maybe I was using language above the U.S. standard eighth grade reading level and needed to dumb it down.  But, by his use of the word "outstanding," I'm thinking he's got a handle on the English language or he would have used "good" or "great" or some other generic positive reinforcement.  So, how could I ever be with a man who didn't appreciate words as much as I do?  Or (gasp!) thinks I talk too much?!?  Even if he was my Prince Charming, he'd get really tired of my jabbering really quickly.

With this last response, I'm leaving the ball in his court.  If he'd like my phone number after I plainly offered it, he better ask for it.  Even then I'm not sure how I'd communicate with him without using words.  Maybe I could take a sign language class or practice my "Pictionary" skills and learn to draw what I'd like to share with him.  I could also bring some Play-doh on our first meeting and make 3-D representations of things.  Yeah...not worth it.



  1. First of all... I LOVE THIS BLOG!!!
    Second of all... Why with such an amazing personality are you even bothering with a dating site? You are awesome and you will find your match when you least expect it. Good luck.

  2. Thanks! Well, I guess online dating is probably the easiest way, in my opinion, to attempt to meet new people (note my use of the word "attempt"). I'm thinking it might be futile and definitely not worth the investment! Thanks for your compliments!

  3. Wow, this guy sounds like....well, I don't really have the right words. Sounds quite "interesting". Do you think that this could possible be someone you know who is trying to play around and be funny? This just sounds so unreal!

  4. Mary, I know! I couldn't believe it. I'm thinking I should stick with this online dating thing just for the stories I can tell on my blog! Knowing me, you know how polar opposite this would be for me! LOL I think it's just too random to be someone messing with me, since I messaged him to start off. What a weirdo!

  5. I actually find this comical and I'm sure he does as well. Don't be too offended by it. Maybe it's just his humor coming out through an email? I'm probably being optimistic, but good job letting him make the next move. Good luck, dear!

  6. Aw. Very cool blog--sorry you found a frog!

  7. At least you didn't have "Crazy in California" who asked if he could fly you out to San Francisco after exchanging a total of maybe two emails. Especially when my profile specifically said I was looking for someone within a 25-50 mile radius!

  8. You could have gotten a free vacation out of the deal, Karen and just never called him when you arrived!! LOL Just kidding...that would be horrible. LOL Wait, unless he wasn't going to pay for that case, yeah, unacceptable. :)


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