I’ve been divorced for almost 4 years now. And I can count on one hand how many dates I’ve been on. I know that it can be hard for a divorced mom at my age to date, especially when there are so many time commitments that are more important. My daughter will always come first, but after she’s taken care of, it’s hard to find the time to go out and “hunt.” So I use dating sites to supplement. I’ve been on eHarmony for almost 3 years. I’ve used match.com, chemistry.com and more recently have signed up for plentyoffish.com.
Two of the dates I’ve been on since my divorce came from dating sites; one from chemistry.com lasted a couple of weeks, but I ended it after discovering that my “match” wanted to focus on the physical aspect of the relationship. He’d thought that since we’d talked online for a few days, we knew each other intellectually and didn’t need to work on that part anymore. The other date I had came from eHarmony about 8 months ago. We talked awhile on the site, then decided to meet for a date. We sipped tea, shared a dessert, and talked so long that my mom called and told me she was going to bed and I should come home. We had a great time and really hit it off… I thought. I never heard from him again. He never responded to my e-mails or phone calls.
The one thing I’ve noticed on all of these sites are the lack of effort many men put into their profiles. I can’t say if women do the same thing, since I’m only interested in dating men and therefore never see the profiles of other women. But a lot of the men I’m “matched” up with don’t seem to spend any time on their profiles at all. I can always tell in 5 seconds looking at the profile if I’m going to communicate at all with the person. Here’s my checklist of pet-peeves when it comes to your online “resume” (as I call it):
1. Capitalize your name.
2. Don’t use all caps. It’s bad typing etiquette and it hurts my eyes.
3. Use punctuation. It’s really hard to tell where your sentences start and stop.
4. Use spell check. Really, how hard is it to click the little check mark?
5. Answer all the questions, and use complete sentences. “Brother” is not a proper answer to “Who is the most influential person in your life and why?”
6. Don’t try to be too funny. If you put that you are perfect in every way and you make fun of stereotypical girls, it’s really hard to tell if you’re joking or being serious.
7. Treat your profile as a resume. If you wouldn’t want a prospective employer to see something like this, what makes you think you’ll catch a wife this way?
8. Don’t put “I don’t know what to write” anywhere. If you’d spend more than 5 minutes on it, you could probably figure out an answer.
9. Don’t include camera phone shots of you without a shirt in the bathroom mirror. Seriously. If I wanted a grainy, dark lit, poorly taken picture of some one’s torso, I’d switch over to the cable channel we don’t subscribe to and try to watch the movie through the static.
And these are just the basic ones. I have other things I look for, but for my own preferences (must be a reader, must be family oriented, etc.).
Maybe I’m too picky. Is it too much to ask for a guy whose handwriting I can read and actually paid attention in English class, who knows how (and likes) to cook something other than mac & cheese, who enjoys learning on their free time, who knows how to have a good time without insulting other people or being rude, who doesn’t spend as much time watching football or playing video games as possible, who appreciates and takes care of his possessions, who likes kids, who can live without his cell phone for 48 hours, who knows that wearing holey jeans and an old T-shirt isn’t appropriate except when working around his own house…
I’ve said it before, and I’ll admit it again: I wish I could find a guy like my dad. My mom is a very lucky woman.
Whatever happened to first impressions? Thinking ahead? Being respectful? Wanting to improve oneself? Probably just wishful thinking… Or do I just have to trudge through the trenches to find my pearl?