Dear PoPville: Online Dating Advice/Experiences


Photo by PoPville flickr user Mr. T in DC

Dear PoPville,

What online dating service would you recommend? I’m a single lady in my 30s who moved to DC about 6 months ago. I work a lot (like most people here in DC) and I don’t go out very much. And when I do go out, I tend to meet guys that I have no interest in dating (e.g., too young, too douche-y, too smelly).

I tried Okcupid when I first moved here, but was turned off by emails like “submissive male seeking dom female to tie me up, spank me, and put dirty socks in my mouth” or “I’m married, is that a problem?”. So I guess I’m really asking: match or eharmony? I’m mostly just interested in dating for now, but eventually I would like to settle down (again; I’m divorced).

Please also share any advice, suggestions, or funny/horror stories about your experiences in the world of cyber dating.

Thanks!

134 Comment

  • I’m sorry but really: “I’m married, is that a problem?”. At least good for a laugh.

    For OP, you could check out todays Random Reader Rant and/or Revel, there’s a section of newly singled you could check out. The real question is how picky are you?

  • You get what you pay for. OK cupid is on par with craigslist casual encounters. I met my husband on Chemistry.com
    I tried e harmony before that but it was very time consuming and very conservative…plus they kept “matching” me with too many men way beyond the 30 mile radius preference. Im not going to PA to go on date! I think Match can be ok but I think its best to avoid sites that just let you scroll through profiles randomly, its ALL ABOUT THE PICS. Chemistry seem to be the right balance of normal guys, not too much effort but just enough to weed out guys who weren’t interested in making an effort. Good luck to you!

    • I disagree about OKCupid being “on par with craigslist casual encounters” and I know numerous single friends who share my view. There are lots of people on that site looking for relationships, and I met my girlfriend there.

      I also disagree with you about “avoiding sites that let you stroll through profiles randomly.” It’s no more “all about the pics” than looks are important factor in the offline world (which is to say A LOT — accept it).

      So basically I totally disagree with you about everything except that e-harmony is too conservative (even creepy).

      • Agreed that you’re dismissing OKCupid too quickly. Any online dating site is going to involve sifting through crazies and/or people who just aren’t a good fit for you. Friends and I joined OKCupid in three separate cities last year. We all notched our share of hilariously bad dates (which if nothing else make great stories), but then one friend in California met her now serious boyfriend on OKC, and I met my finace here in DC. The third friend is still happily single and dating as much or as little as she likes.

        The fact that you can go looking for people who haven’t been matched with you on OKC is a huge plus. Better to find and fall for someone you’re actually compatible with than someone you think you should be compatible with. So meet a ton of different people and figure out who/what actually makes you happy.

    • -1. I had no luck with 8at8

      OKCupid on the other hand landed me countless dates and ultimately my new wife and mother of my found me there.

  • What’s up with this couple in the picture? It’s like she just aborted their baby.

  • There’s also the offline dating service called Your Neighborhood Bar.

    • Oh, come on. Surely the OP is already aware of the existence of local bars… and somehow I don’t think online dating services would be so popular if people felt that bars were viable places for meeting someone to date.

      • Actually while there are probably a lot of reasons why people do online dating, online dating sites make it easier to skirt the first-approach that could be a road block for some people (shy or whatever). This also leads to some people who probably lie and gives an excuse to try to be someone else.

        • Lying and trying to be someone else never happens at bars.

          • I was talking about the overt liars on online dating sites that pretend to be a different gender, different age, different hotness, different income (if they are employed or unemployed), etc. Of course it happens in person, too, but a lot harder to do. The benefit of face to face is that hopefully you can tell if someone is being deceitful or lying.

  • binpetworth

    Haven’t had luck with any of those sites (or others), but of them all, Match was probably the best in terms of variety and quality of people. Eharmony doesn’t allow you to search for people–they charge a lot of money to only send you who they think are compatible matches, which in my case seemed to be oil rig workers and longshoremen. Don’t know what that says about me…at least they weren’t married, though!

  • I tried OkCupid, Match, and eHarmony and ended up in an ongoing, serious, and long-term relationship because of eHarmony. OkCupid was a hot mess, largely because their “matching” science seems to be totally bogus and because there’s absolutely no policing of the people who sign on. The sign that I needed to stop using OkCupid was when I started talking to a girl who said she lived in my neighborhood and after several conversations (a couple of which took place over the phone), we stopped communicating for no specific reason. Three months later the same person messages me again except a lot of her information is changed. Turns out the first time around she lied about her reported height, weight, job, neighborhood, and basically crafted an entirely false identity. To this day I still don’t know if the person I was talking to was even a woman or not.

    Match was an absolute meat market. eHarmony is kind of a slow pain in the butt, but their whole matching technology seems to have some meat on its bones. It’s definitely more conservative (not in terms of the users but in terms of how many people it introduces you to every day/week), and there’s a much lengthier process in terms of messaging people and getting to know them virtually, but it actually has rules of conduct and the profiles of those I ended up going out with actually seemed to match who they were as human beings. Also, eHarmony was too expensive for me so I sent their customer service department an email asking if they were having any sales. They offered me three months for the price of one, and all I had to do was ask. I’d say go with eHarmony if you’re actually looking for a relationship that could go somewhere. If you just want to date casually, go for the other options, even though they’re sketchier.

    • This is why you meet up sooner than later. couple email exchanges and then get together– there is very little benefit to a long email exchange.

      I’ve had okay luck with OKCupid… better than I thought it would be, actually- the quality of women in DC is un. frigging. believable. Not sure I can say the same about the guys… a girl friend showed me the guy profiles once and I threw up in my mouth a little.

      • “the quality of women in DC is un. frigging. believable.”

        Totally agree. Nearly every woman I’ve dated in DC has been smart, sexy, normal, and had her life together. They make me feel like a disorganized mess, lol.

        I feel bad for the straight DC ladies who are competing over the male trolls that make up the straight DC dating scene. And by “feeling bad” I really mean that my life is awesome.

        • Yeah… there are so many smart, athletic, worldly, funny, progressive ladies in this town… it’s actually a bit of a problem because if I met any number of these women by chance elsewhere, I would probably need to pinch myself. Here, using a site like OkCupid, it’s necessary to fight the “grass is always greener” syndrome.

          I’m no slouch but I have dated doctors, lawyers, professors, artists, musicians… it’s amazing, and it does make me feel like an underachiever.

        • So you consider yourself a troll?

        • Thank you for saying this! I’m so fed up with trying to find nice, normal guys over 25 in DC…I sometimes worry I’m way too picky. But then I remember being picky and alone is way better than settling for a guy who says things on the first (and only) date like “Obviously I know about [x], I know most things about almost any subject.”

          If anyone out there is looking for an educated girl with a job who likes sports and beer and cooking, let me know! POPville matchmaking?

        • Wow, I guess the grass is always greener. As a 30-year old male who has lived in DC for three years, I have actually not found it that easy to meet quality women. I don’t think it’s worse than other cities, but nothing special, either.

          • Yeah, I don’t buy the argument that there are way more – or any more – great women here than there are great guys. The women here on the whole are no more physically attractive, educated, or accomplished than the men are.

  • It’s his dog..Look at that glare aimed @ red..

  • has anyone tried Grouper? I’m testing it out Monday night and curious what to expect. https://www.joingrouper.com/

  • You may be a good fit for HowAboutWe.com. I’ve been using it and its a cool site. You propose date ideas and find other people who are interested in that date too. So the overall point is to do activities you enjoy with people who like to do those activities as well, so even if there’s no chemistry, you have at least done something you’ve been wanting to do. I think this would be especially fun for someone new to town like yourself. The focus is on getting people offline quickly rather than wasting time on an endless back and forth email session. Plus you pay for the service, which takes out a lot of the weirdos that’ll only do a free service like OKCupid.

    I seriously swear I don’t work for HowAboutWe, I just think the concept is really cool.

    • I had a deal for 6 months on How About We. There are some pros/cons.

      The idea is neat; instead of wasting time messaging ad nauseum you go on a date. However, this can be a negative because the conversation over a few messages can help weed out people that you don’t need to waste your time meeting in person.

      I went on a lot of dates from HAW but the guys I met were less likely to be a good “match” than dates from OkCupid. In fact, almost all the guys I met through HAW turned out to be crazy and/or have little sense of social or relationship norms.

      • Oh, and it’s free to create a profile on HowAboutWe, so you could end up messaging people that haven’t committed to paying. They can’t message you back. A super annoying waste of time!

      • I kind of agree. I signed up for a (free) HAW account and then was spammed by them constantly and quickly disabled the account. Maybe I’m weird, but I find the idea of going on a date with someone based on nothing but a thumbnail pic and “we both like art museums” to be kinda creepy. OkCupid emails can be tedious but I want to know a *little* more before you before I risk my safety, or even just wasting a few hours of my afternoon!

  • eHarmony discriminates against the gays, in case that matters to you.

  • seriously, you should just give up and get cats.

  • I would give another recommendation for howaboutwe.com. I met my current boyfriend on there (we’ve been dating for almost a year) and the other guys that I went on dates with from the site were all really sweet and normal. It’s great because you get to post dates instead of just looking at profiles so you see some people that you may have missed otherwise. Good luck and I really hope you find someone!

  • Plenty of fish worked for me.

    • Several of my friends have given testimonials to me about Plenty of Fish. As in…”You need to date more. Try Plenty of Fish. I’ve been using it for 6 months and it’s great.”

      That said, I’ve never tried it. I find online dating to be completely artificial and weird.

  • What happened to meeting people the old-fashioned way?

    • i would love to meet people “the old fashioned way” but i’m not sure how easy/possible that is anymore.

      • Can all of us Single PoP people just pick a night to meet at a Bar. I’ve tried all the sites…not the howboutwe yet but seriously, I’d love to meet a bunch of single people at a bar and avoid the $hitshow online……

        • I’d be up for this… although last time someone suggested a PoP Singles happy hour, someone else joked that it would be attended by 32 women and one guy.

          Seriously, though… if someone wants to step forward and organize it, I’d certainly attend.

    • binpetworth

      Once you reach a certain age, you’re just not invited to that many friends’ weddings where you can get drunk and shag strangers…

    • Why can’t i just approach a girl on the metro or walking down the street. Wait she has had phones on or she thinks i’m working for planned parenthood and wants money (I should probably drop the clip board).

      What about the gym. Damn headphones again.

      • I definitely agree about the headphones point. As a single lady, I make an effort to be headphoneless during my commute and gym time. I enjoy striking up a conversation with a random person once and awhile, and I don’t want to come off as unapproachable. Can’t say it has worked yet… but I’m trying.

  • FetLife (your mileage may vary!)

  • I’ve been on Match on and off – generally positive experience and it’s easy to ignore the creepy (I want to lick your feet) messages. I tried e-harmony during one of their free/intro offers and was only matched with men who lived too far away/felt no connection with.

    Only real odd experience was meeting someone who turned out to be the ex-boyfriend of an acquaintance. I’d met him at a party when he was the boyfriend of acquaintance and thought he was strange. When I met him for a date, he was still strange.

  • Interesting that an ad just appeared here on PoP for pinkwink – where lesbians find love.

  • As a woman who moved to DC in her late 30s, I’d say okcupid skewed way too young for me–that was (and is) where my friends in their late 20s went for hookups. And eharmony was obsessed about religion, even though I told it over and over again that religion didn’t matter to me. I met my fiance on match, although to find him I had to go on a lot of dates with some pretty horrible/careerist/self-obsessed men, including 2 (separate) men who told me that “single women over 30 in DC should just give up and get cats.” But seriously–good luck–there are lots of decent men in the City, just probably not in the (very young) bars.

  • Have been on some fun dates on okcupid but nothing serious. I was on match for awhile but it was super creepy for me. i’m an asian woman, early 30s. i look young. most of the men who contacted me were older men, mostly older white men 20+ years my senior.

  • eharmony is a scam. They ration out potential matches, exactly 6 per day, then after a while a couple of times a week only. Then a week before your subscription ends you suddenly get tons of matches, but b/c of their paced communication it’s not enough time to make much progress so you feel like you have to renew. I also found the men I was matched with mostly boring, and unable even to write more than a sentence for the get-to-know-you sections of their profiles. And it’s very time-consuming for the little bit of information you actually get.

    OK cupid is more variable in terms of what kind of relationship/hookup people are looking for, but it seemed like there were a lot more men showing their actual personalities (and who had personalities!) in their profiles.

  • PoP needs a dating service! Sort of like The Onion dating service.

    Here’s a few other places where my friends have met others:

    -Volunteering (really, this is a good place to meet awesome, community-focused people)

    -The Living Social event space during food & drink events (more of an upscale, late 20s/early 30s crowd)

    -The gym/yoga studio: it seems that women have a major issue with guys approaching them in these spaces. They don’t want to be “gross” and “sweaty” when flirting with a guy. Please ladies, get over this. If he’s spending the money & taking the time to work out, he’s probably got his life together and has an ounce of self respect. Same for guys with a cart full of vegetables at the grocery store.

    -Dog parks

    Please people, be more creative than just bars and online. The more you go out and interact with the wider world, the more people you’ll meet.

    • I was on the Onion six years ago, however, a few years ago it was swallowed by a larger dating network (zoosk, or something). I recommended it back then.

      I don’t understand the cart full of veggies reference. Are guys embarrassed about this?

      • He eats like an adult and not a man-child. It’s similar to a looking for a guy who works out – he cares about himself, his health, and is goal driven. Usually that comes with a lot of other positive personality traits. It’s not foolproof, I’m sure there a weird male vegetarians marathoners. But it at least marginally increases your chances of finding a “good” man.

        • Hm, I’ve never thought about your man-produce theory. Interesting, I guess, sort of. Whenever I’m in that section, though, I’m just looking for produce.

    • ah

      You forgot to mention yesterday’s vibrator give-away. Surely a target-rich environment.

    • I met my husband volunteering for a local event. A bunch of us went out for lunch afterwards so it was a lot of strangers getting to know one another but having at least one thing in common.

      Turns out we were both on match but never saw each other’s profiles.

  • I can relate to this story. When I moved to DC I found that dating was way different here than where I came from. To put it bluntly (and I’m sure I’ll get flamed), by and the large the men here are boring, ugly and rude. You just have to be persistent and keep looking – I found my current and serious SO on OKCupid. And he’s not boring, ugly OR rude.

    • funny, I’d say the same thing about most women here

      • Coming from NYC, I can say that women in DC are waaaaaaaaaaay more approachable, down-to-earth, and generally normal. Women in NYC are totally neurotic (the same could be said for dating in general in NYC).

        • This makes me laugh…been dating those supermodels up there?

        • My experience has been the opposite. I’ve found them to be neurotic in DC moreso than in NYC.

          • +1
            I generally avoided career obsessed Type A, as well as high maintenance label wh0res. Regular NYC girls that work in marketing, media, fashion (not models) are far more down to earth than the average NW DC trixie…then again NW DC caters to career obsessed type A’s

          • You just said that you preferred to date the publicists and fashionitas in NYC, but you can’t stand “high maintenance” “label whores.”

            DOES NOT COMPUTE.

          • zero_sum,

            Not everyone in NYC who works in marketing, media and fashion (non-models) are high maintenance label whores. Sure there are probably some, just as there are some who are not. Curious to know where the high maintenance label whore women are in NYC? Try flocking to the i-bankers of the city. Sniff one of those out and you’re sure to find a pack of HMLW not far behind their tracks.

          • So you choose to upbraid me about my sweeping generalization by making a sweeping generalization? Again, DOES NOT COMPUTE.

            (For the record, I don’t believe that all women who work in those industries are “high maintenance labelwhores.” You just find a higher statistical incidence of them there, along with in I-banking. My point was more to poke fun at Los’ logical inconsistencies.)

          • zero_sum,

            Fair point to a point. The difference is that in marketing, media (which by the way don’t necessarily have to be in the fashion industry solely), many of the positions aren’t super high-paying. Some people are there because they have a passion for what they do, some can be there because they come from money, some are there because they love the environment and work to make it work. Some have to be in these industries because they are creative. You get some variety in the people who work in these areas. If a person/woman is looking for money or someone to support or worthy of her HMLF lifestyle, there’s a good chance that they will try to rub noses with someone in the financial industry. I’ve seen this happen a number of times. I’m sure, though, there are some i-bankers who are not with HMLW nor do they like that. I really don’t understand your “DOES NOT COMPUTE” response. You were poking fun at the so-called logical inconsistency that a woman working in fashion can’t be down-to-earth, approachable and not a HMLW? Actually, you can be and there are women who are not HMLW who work in fashion. That’s all my response was saying.

  • You could do a speed dating event or explore the many different meetups in the area (meetup (dot) com). The meetup allows you to meet new people while doing something you enjoy. You might not meet someone to date but you will expand your network to others (by association) you are interested in dating. I met my beau on jdate but I realize that’s not for everyone. From what my friends say, I’d try match or howaboutwe like hawkgirl11 suggested. Good luck!

  • at least the online thing remains as the last hope for introverted men (and women, I suppose) in such a type-A city.

  • Step 1 is to make more friends and go out more. Nurture friendships with different groups of people and opportunities will present themselves naturally.

  • Shortly after I moved to DC about ten years ago I joined Match — it wasn’t so bad. I actually had all positive experiences until a first date on Halloween at the Science Club with a graphic designer/photographer jinxed it all — he commented on how normal I was and how many odd dates he’d been on. Shortly after that I went out with a guy who had two long-eared rabbits named White and Grey, and kept his parakeet in a cage on a treebranch outside.

    Then I married a guy I met through a mutual friend. Still friends with the graphic designer/photographer dude though. And have a few funny stories to share. Win-win :)

  • What about smiling more often and being friendly to people? Single women in DC act as if asking them for the time of day is the same thing as asking for a blood sample as part of our pre-nup proceedings. You just need to chill out. You can’t compliment women in this city about anything w/o exposing yourself to being labeled as a depraved, sexist, who needs to be chemically castrated. Even in NYC I have a far more easier time striking up a conversation w/ random women and laughing it up over silly things, here in DC if I smile at a woman, their first reaction is to grab their purse and get the mace ready. Just be friendly and smile…you’d be surprised!

    • Try Metrorail, but oh wait, no one can talk to anyone else anymore, we’re all so in love with our handheld devices. They should make a vibrator I Phone!

      How about Ashley Madison?

      PoP’s banner ads seem to be recommending ladies from the Ukraine!

    • I think women in D.C. are suspicious of random strangers who approach them, and with good reason.

      Maybe there’s more stranger-to-stranger interaction in NYC, but in D.C. the strangers who approach me are weirdos/scammers.

      • so, what’s a girl to do? approach guys in public/at the gym? I wish guys were more forward in places besides bars after 1:00am.

        • whats a girl to do? well, what kind of boy do you want? if you want a barboy, yes, just hang out at the bars.

          if you want another type of man, hang out where those men hang out.

    • agreed. You could be warning a girl that piano is about to fall on her and she would just stare at you like you were a huge creep….until the piano hit.

  • Shameless plug for a friends’ start-up try likebright.com
    Basically it uses your existing social network to find potentially matches for you. This way your friends can vouch that he/she isn’t creepy and that you are not creepy.

    • Uh, yes, that was a shameless plug. I’ll forgive that, it’s not the first time it’s happened around these woods.

      Just because you’re friends with someone doesn’t necessarily make you a good judge of whether or not somone would be creepy to date. Just sayin’

  • I moved to DC right after college. I started Match for a month (or 3?, I don’t remember) because I didn’t know anybody in the city. I’ve commented to friends since then that it ended up being a great way to find spots that others’ felt interesting. However, I didn’t have any long-term successes with Match. I tried OKCupid, went out on a series of meh dates and had all but given up when I met my SO. He is completely my perfect match. One of our friends exclaimed just last weekend that we “…won OkCupid!” I agree.

    However, if I hadn’t have met my SO on OKCupid, I’d consider it a site that makes a young woman (I’m mid-20s) quite jaded to the online dating experience quite quickly.

    I also tried the free profile on eHarmony once- they didn’t match me with anybody. Whomp whomp.

  • Visit groups with similar interests: if you are active in your faith tradition, go to church. If you like to play bridge, find a bridge club. Join the appropriate book club if you like to read fiction/science/history. If you like to hike/kayak/row/run, find a club or group. Collect vinyl? Collect clocks, baseball cards? Find the local group who does the same…talk to your neighbors, too.

    • Most people I know who have had success with online dating have used it as a “supplement,” i.e. they didn’t/don’t rely on it as their exclusive source of meeting people. Seems like a reasonable approach, as to not get overly obsessed with the online thing (or stressed out if it’s not going well) but still use it as a good means for a busy person to meet others.

  • Based on the experience of friends, Match.com seems to cast the widest net, since it has a large membership. My best friend met her fiance on there, although she had to sort through a TON of profiles to find good matches, and she went through more then her share of bad or just so-so dates (as did he) before the two of them met. Believe it or not, I also have a friend who met her boyfriend of 7 years on Craigslist…although I’d say that’s an anomaly and NOT recommended! ;)

    My pet peeve with Match.com (with apologies for repeating my comments from today’s Rant/Revel thread) is the number of men around my age (mid-30s) and older who are only looking for younger women. I know you have to set criteria with online dating, and everyone’s entitled to their attractions and personal preferences (and some women on Match no doubt have their own irksome and discriminatory parameters), but to me it just comes across as a little shallow if you’re not even willing to consider someone your same age. But that said, Match is large enough that even after weeding out all those men, there are probably still a bunch left.

    • I think for some men it’s because they are creepy, but for others (even some in their 40s and 50s) it’s because they want to have a family and the biological reality is that it is much more likely if they end up with a woman in her mid-30s or younger.

      • True, but how many women in their 30′s want to have kids with a 50 year old?

      • I’ve seen a number of profiles of men in their mid-30s who have set their upper age limit for women at 28 or 30, but I see your point about the older men and the desire to have a family. (Personally, I think it would be nice if more older men considered adoption and other alternative methods vs. going straight to the much-younger-wife solution, but I recognize adoption, etc. isn’t everyone’s thing. Which is also not to say that I have a problem with age-difference relationships; if two people meet and are happy together and happen to have an age difference, great. It’s more the idea of ruling out everyone your own age from the get-go.)

        • +1. I don’t like it when men rule out anyone their own age (looking for someone 2+ years younger, even when the age/fertility thing isn’t a factor) and anyone their own height (looking for someone 6+ inches shorter).

    • I am not one of those guys. I have been looking for women my own age because anyone under like 31, I find really stupid. Of course that’s a generalization but it’s also been my experience. When you ask me where Africa is, you are stupid.

      That said, meeting women my own age (41), you better learn to at least tolerate cats. WTF is it with the cats?

      • I’m guessing it’s because a pet is nice for companionship, and cats* are a lower-maintenance option for single women who maybe work long hours, don’t have a lot of space, travel occasionally, or whose apartment building doesn’t allow dogs. I can see the appeal–although not for me personally, since I’m allergic to cats.

        (*I’m talking a cat, singular, or maybe 2-3 cats maximum…when you start getting up to a mini-herd of cats, that’s a different story, and I’ve got no explanation on that.)

  • You should check out metrocatch (actually advertising on PoP right now). The site and email are kind of like a LivingSocial for dating. It’s local, too, only focusing on DC, Maryland, and Virginia.

  • PoP could add a private chat feature to the site to allow interested folks to connect.

    • We don’t even have the ability to edit comments (I type fast and need this desperately).

      I don’t think we are getting chat features anytime soon, heh.

  • I’m surprised no one has yet mentioned JDate!

    I’m not Jewish but after three close female friends who don’t know each other, but are Jewish themselves, suggested it, I figured they must see something in me that I don’t. Like, maybe I am Jewish and my semi-christian parents adopted me? I dunno…

    Anyway, had much better success w/ JDate than any other service and met the love of my life there. So, it’s anecdotal evidence but “worked for me!”

    • Seriously? That seems antithetical to the entire purpose of J-Date. How did you approach women on there? Did they message you first?

      Perhaps Jewish women have less hang-ups about finding a Jewish guy due to the matrilineal nature of children “inheriting” Judaism?

  • Craigslist’s personals are responsible for at least four marriages that I know of. Though that was all 10-20 years ago. I’ve heard it’s changed a lot in the past five years, and now it’s more about hook-ups. I think it’s because the XXX boards got pulled down. Anyway, it’s worth a glance to see if it’s still a source for potential life-long SOs.

    I would avoid eharmony since it discriminates against the non-straight and non-Christian. Does JDate discriminate against the non-Jewish?

    • novadancer

      I am kind of one of those. I responded to a posting to join a trivia group at a local bar. Met my husband via the trivia group. Not all CL is sketchy :)

      I never had much luck with either eharmony or match. I think many of the guys are too fixated on a certain age and limit the criteria (yes, I realize some women are too but it’s seems more prevalent with the men).

  • I met my SO on OKcupid and recommend it to everyone. It’s free, so I think it gets people who are ambivalent about online dating as well as the ones who have been on JDate since middle school.

    The key is being ruthless with your inbox. Immediately delete messages that don’t speak to you (bad grammar, too far, unattractive, married…). Otherwise, it’s exhausting and demoralizing. Put your effort into the ones you seem to have natural rapport with; it’s not like a friend’s party where you’re socially obligated to make chit chat with their husband’s awkward BF.

    Good luck!

    • I met my soon-to-be-husband on OK Cupid and I absolutely 100 percent agree about being ruthless with the inbox. Ignore the polyamorous weirdos and the married creeps and the dudes who want to chat. They’re gnats, nothing more. Get out there and go on a bunch of dates. You will have to put more energy into dating then you ever thought necessary to make it work, but it does work. You’re all there for the same reason: to meet someone. If you go in with that attitude, you will succeed. It’s an excellent way of expanding your circle of eligible partners. (No matter how wonderful your friends, hanging out with them can be too comfortable and can limit your interactions with new people.) Here’s what will happen: you’ll have some funny stories about dates gone wrong. You’ll have some mediocre dates. You’ll be reminded that, yes, there are lots of other single people out there just like you. (Which might make you be more open and approachable in real life.) And you might meet someone you wanna spend the rest of your life with!

      Sending good love energy your way, OP!!!

  • DC is, however, a great town if you’re a woman into younger men. I think I’ve only gone out with one man over 30 in the past three years (I’m 40). I’ve tried match.com, howaboutwe, etc., and I only get matched up with men who are older to me. Been there, done that.

    I can understand where the original poster is coming from — really, how many days out of the week do any of us have to devote to just hanging out at new places and meeting new people? Online dating is the most efficient way to go, but you just have to be willing to be brutally honest with yourself about what you want.

    • Damn. Play on, player. Respect.

      How have your friends, families, and colleagues responded t your dating life? I feel like a lot of people would be a bit judgmental, yet secretly envious of all the virile, in shape tail you’re snagging.

      • I’ve never been one to talk about my dating life with family; they don’t live here so it’s an easy subject to avoid. However, if I were to enter into a serious relationship with someone in their 20s, I don’t think they’d have a problem with it. I’ve always been about quality over quantity. :-)

  • I recently went to a ‘Singles event’ a friend invited me to- and it was hosted at her friend’s house. Everyone had to bring someone of the opposite sex and a bottle of wine. There were about 60 people there. Some quality people, but unfortunately no one was a good match for me. I would do it again- it felt better than doing the online thing. She said she did it a few times a year.

    • PDMtP

      My on-line dating experience is too old to be useful (I liked the Salon/Onion/Nerve site, but that was almost ten years ago), but I used to host a happy hour with some friends. There was almost no organization other than an Evite with a boatload of e-mail addresses on it; the idea was just to pick a bar once a month and fill it up with friends and acquaintances. Anyone could invite anyone. It was more “let’s make our own crowd of interesting people in their 30s and 40s so this doesn’t feel like a frat party” than a singles/dating event – indeed, lots of attached people came – but you did meet new folks, at worst you have a good night out with friends, and in the end I wound up meeting my wife there (she was working with a friend I used to sing with to buy an apartment; I never would have met her otherwise). Another friend (also married) is still doing cocktail hours like that; it’s not that hard. You just need three or four people willing to spread the idea and a semi-regular schedule.

      • I have never heard of the Salon/Onion dating sites. Anyway, I like your suggestions because they sort of re-create a more real life scenario where people can meet people in a more natural setting than sitting in front of a computer in la-la land. In cities where there are thousands of people but people can still feel lonely because they aren’t necessarily mingling with them, the best way is to try to create a scenario where you can mix and meet. As you say, even if you don’t find the love of your life the first time around, you could just meet interesting people. I still think the best opportunity to meet someone is to engage and enlarge your circle of people. Everyone has a couple of friends and so you get to know more people and widen your circle and have a greater opportunity to meet someone. I think you have a better chance being out and doing things than sitting behind a computer screen.

        • My profile has been dormant for years, so I’m not sure what it’s like now, but Salon, the Onion, and Nerve were all part of Spring Street Networks.

          They advertised it as “Salon Personals,” “Onion Personals,” etc. without being particularly forthcoming about the fact that there were multiple publications/sites feeding into the same listing of profiles. I always imagined people who’d signed up via Salon looking at potential matches and thinking, “This person is less erudite than I expected,” while people who’d signed up via the Onion would be thinking, “This person has less of a sense of humor than I expected.” ;)

        • This article from about a year ago discusses the relaunch of Nerve, but I’m not clear from skimming it whether it, Salon, and the Onion are still feeding into the same base of profiles.

          http://betabeat.com/2011/12/nerve-personals-hipster-dating-site-nerve-dating-relaunch-12222011/

  • This is what I do for a living! If you’re not looking for anything too serious (yet), between Match and eHarmony, I vote for Match. eHarmony is notoriously the “marriage-minded” site, not to mention that their questionnaire takes over an hour to do. On Match, you can search the database for people who interest you and write to them vs. eHarmony choosing your matches for you. Good luck! And if you need help with your profile, I’m your gal. :)

    Erika
    http://www.alittlenudge.com

  • I met my boyfriend of 1.5 years on Plenty of Fish. We were both paying for eHarmony at the same time and were never matched. I probably went on 6-8 dates with other guys before I met my man. He’s wonderful and so is his family! It definitely takes time to wade through all the weird and overly sexual men but there are a few good ones in the mix too!

  • Has anyone ever tried It’s Just Lunch? I travel semi-frequently for work, and get a kick out of their ads, which seem to run in every single airline magazine in America…I’ve always been curious if people actually sign up (well, I suppose some must, or they wouldn’t be able to afford the ad buys), and what it’s like.

    • I tried its just lunch. I was disappointed in the match ups and in the end I think I was not their typical client. Most guys seemed disappointed I was not a lawyer or future power-broker. It seemed to be more of a net-working thing than actual potential date-finder.

  • I see this couple around town all the time. The guy is so mean to that dog. It’s horrible. Forget about dating…someone needs to steal his dog and give it a good home

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