The Look of Love: Three Weeks As a Member of Match.com

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In an effort to meet women and expand my daily activities beyond reading, writing, rap concerts and basketball games, I have joined match.com. I have high hopes… well, not really. DC was recently voted as being only slightly less unattractive than Philadelphia. Now, I am certainly no Fabio, but I am reasonably handsome. A few women have “winked” at me. I have “winked” back at some. I have even sent some introductory emails, which, for the most part, yield no response.

Could it be my tag line, “Moderately Interesting Man Seeks More Interesting Woman?” Could it be that I list my occupation as “Very Minor Internet Celebrity?” I mean come on — socialconsumer.com is massive… at least in a very small niche. Perhaps it is just that I have only uploaded one picture.

Speaking of pictures, I find it troubling that women post pictures up on a dating site hanging off OTHER MEN. Is this supposed to attract me? (I am not interested in threesomes! Of that kind…) I will also judge a lady based on who I perceive them to have been with in the past. Greasy haired dude with striped shirt and black shoes? I will flat out assume she has questionable taste.

Another odd feature of these pictures is vacation shots. They are always of a beach. Do these women ever go anywhere interesting? They always list “travel” as a favorite hobby. They all seem to have been to Italy, the beach and the beach. Personally, I would never list “travel” as a hobby. It seems ridiculous. And, I am convinced that if I list the places I have visited in the last year (Memphis, Vegas, Little Rock, Charleston, Boston, London, Oxford, Atlanta, New York, etc.) it would just make me look like I sell some weird shit.

Most of the women list their drinking habits as “Social, one or two,” and then have loads of pictures of themselves drinking giant margaritas that are in fact 4 or 5 drinks. As someone who has spent the last 18 months transitioning from an antisocial alcoholic man to an antisocial sober man, I find this troubling.

Selecting turn-ons from a finite list has also distressed me. Can I only be excited by flirting, public displays of affection, money, power, body piercing and skinny dipping? Coincidentally, the first time I made out with a girl, she suggested skinny dipping and I said, “Why don’t we just get naked here.” Then we awkwardly fooled around on a lake side dock. I guess that is another story altogether and I suppose skinny dipping means that you are interested in risk taking. In the end, this is a pretty good trait.

Turn-offs are basically the same list. I simply selected body piercing, and then realized for match, all piercing, like ear, is considered body piercing. “Eating with ones mouth full” was not an option and neither was “wears Ugg boots.” The limits of match are indeed frustrating. For body art you can select none, strategically placed tattoo or visible tattoo. Well, in my mind, all good tattoos are strategically placed. The logic behind this wording not-with-standing, it is a prime example of match using useless categories in an effort to define compatibility.

A lot of women list tattoos as a “turn on.” I send them this email, “Hi, I see you like tattoos. I have a big one. Pause. Email me back.” No responses yet. Sometimes I am more earnest and explain a little about myself. “Hi, I am the editor of a hip-hop studies journal and in my free time I write about antique furniture and tattoos.” And, well, that just makes me look insane.

All in all, my experiment thus far with match.com has been fruitless… save for one woman named “Tiny Tanya” expressing sincere interest. Since it took me 3 years to work up the nerve to tell the last girl I liked that I wanted to date her, I am a little apprehensive about internet “flirting” but at the very least believe I can appear more confident from the comforts of my room than I can at a bar/bookstore/coffee shop.


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