Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Dating Update and a Challenge

View Source
I'm not sure exactly what I was thinking... but I did think that it would be easier to meet men when I moved home. I'm not really sure where I got this idea from although I think that the following thought process did take place:

While living abroad, I found it hard to meet men because I was so transient. I was always jetting off somewhere for work. It made it hard to date someone cuz when I met them I would be like, I'm off to Asia, then the US and then Sweden and I'll be back in 3 weeks so how does that sound? Umm... yup. It sounded crazy. Men found it intriguing but not really conducive to dating. On top of that I worked long long hours and didn't have a lot of free time to devote to dating.

I also heard from numerous men that I gave off a strong sense that I was not ready to settle down. I was pretty open about the fact that I wasn't ever sure when work would move me next (i.e. don't get too comfortable with me boys, cuz I'm not here for good). I was also open with the fact that job aside, I wasn't really sure that Sweden (and definitely not London) was going to be the place I called home for the rest of my life. I was pretty sure I wanted to live in the US again at some point for some time. I heard from multiple men multiple times that these things were a bit of a turn off or at least a deterrent for a long-term serious relationship. Believe it or not, most men weren't really up to switching continents for me.

Another thing that had a big impact on me and my reasoning on it will be easy to find a guy if I move home, was that a good Swedish friend of mine who moved to London decided to move back to Sweden and she instantly met the love of her life. Her happiness, her awesome new relationship and her outlook on the whole thing caused me to take a look around at my friends and I realized that when they made positive changes to their lives, positive things happened to them. I thought that for me making the positive change to move back to Boston and cutting the cord on The Company controlling where I lived, that this would be it.  I would finally find my positive place and positive things would start to happen to me. I would finally be in a place where I could meet someone.

So, I guess I thought it would be easier. Instead, it's been harder than ever! I'm in a SERIOUS dry spell here people! Other than a ego-deflating and embarrassing dalliance with a co-worker that I can't really blog about (I have to say though that I think I'm still a bit stung from this one) and the random boy on New Year's Eve (who I was supposed to see again until he called me a million times and I got freaked out and told him to never contact me again - yup that's how awesome my life is), there have been NO men in my life since the hot but brief British country-side romance in September. Four months ago. Ugh.

Every day I feel a little bit more like an Old Maid - the only single girl left in the pile (even I'm Attractive Single Friend C is potentially off the market). It's kind of freaking me out. Especially since I have almost no single wingmen (or women as it may be) to go out and cause trouble with. Clearly, it was time to take drastic measures. So, I finally switched over my account to the US one.

I swear that I went in with a good level of optimism, but I have to say that I'm totally unimpressed.

First of all, I'm not getting nearly as much attention as I did while on the International Match site. I'm not exactly sure why.

Second of all, the men in Boston do not seem to be that hot or that interesting. And most of them are short. I mean really short. Like 5'8 short. Ugh.

Third of all, the men I wink at, don't wink back at me! (Which I guess is a similar statement to point number one).

Here are the sad statistics so far: 
Number of days on Match: 7
Profile Viewed: 854 times
Winks Received: 58
Winks Sent: 17
Reciprocal Winks: 3
Emails Received: 22
Emails Sent: 2*

Someone please tell me. What am I doing wrong? I'm trying to figure it out.

My London profile got a lot of attention - so much so that I couldn't keep up (I would sometimes get over 100 winks a day). Maybe it's because that site was better** (i.e. more technologically advanced and more user friendly) or maybe there were more men on it. I'm not sure... I guess it would make sense as London is obviously a much bigger city than Boston. But, essentially my profile and pictures are the same (with just a few updates -i.e. I'm no longer an American living in London).

Or maybe my strategy is off. I wink at men, but I'm kind of shy. I usually let them email me first. So, if I wink and nothing happens, I just let it go. I know it's silly but I still kind of want the men to make the first move. Although again, this was the strategy I had on the International Match and it worked out ok.

Or maybe it's because my profile is to harsh. Because I got so much attention on that International site -and mostly from the wrong type of guys (lots and lots of them with half-naked pictures), I felt like I had to try to put up some boundaries so after spending at least an equal amount of page space describing myself, I wrote the following - which did help a little bit - but maybe it's a bit too harsh for the US? What do you think? It's not really deterring the short or old men anyway...

I'm looking for a guy who is interesting and interested. Someone spontaneous and ambitious who is not afraid of adventure. Someone who is up for partying all night but doesn't mind staying in reading a book in bed. Someone who is open-minded, interested in traveling and could see themselves living abroad. Someone who is active and wouldn't mind going for a run on the beach or hitting the gym with me. Someone who challenges me and has something to teach me. Motivation and curiosity are definately sexy. 

I have a thing for tall men. If you are under 6 feet tall, it's not going to work. If you post pictures of yourself bare chested posing in front of the mirror, you are also probably not my type. And I prefer younger men (in general younger than me). So... men over 36 sorry... most likely, not going to happen.

And by the way, I can't cook so it's better if you do..

Anyway, I think it's time for some drastic measures. Life Begins at Thirty - a fellow blogger in London - had an interesting idea by issuing a dating challenge. She asked her readers to suggest ways for her to meet men and then she composed a list of dating challenges she would try out and then write about her experience. Her idea is a good one. I think I'm going to steal it. So, what do you think? What kind of dating challenges would you propose for me? How should I meet men?

*I responded to two men who wrote to me. The first never wrote me back a second time. The second, well we'll see. I just wrote him back an hour ago.

**A couple years back the International Match or the UK one at least and the US one split and they are actually really different from each other now. The International Match is much better.


Anonymous said...

You are breaking my heart. It's hard. I know but you'll find him. It can get discouraging...those dry spells...but don't give up.

Personally if I saw a guy I was really interested in I emailed first...and let me tell you...9/10 I didn't hear back. Ouch. I winked and didn't get emailed. I wasn't passive about it. I met and dated plenty of guys but none of them were right and fewer were sane!

It gets disheartening and you get frustrated. I gave up on internet all together which leaves me NO way to meet guys because I have lame friends and I'm a damned nanny. So I feel your pain.

I will say a prayer to the dating Gods for you.

Anonymous said...

Oh...and short guys are a deal breaker for me too. Apparently there are sites for dating tall guys. I should totally look into that! haha.

Average Girl said...

hmmmm....... listen just chucking this out to you darlin... how about a blind date. I actually said to a friend, do you know anyone, she picked up the phone, I met my better half and 8 years later voila... just a thought. Sometimes the guy is like 2 degrees away from you. You need one of your friends to ask friends if they no anyone... perhaps that could help!

Julianna said...

OK. You asked. :)

Not bragging, but years ago when I did Match, I got 100 to 200 winks a day. (I was told that was good.) I think if you are interested, you should email them instead of wink, and comment on their profile. (I once got a guy's attention by reponding to his top 10 reasons to date him, with a top 10 of my own)

First, do you have a real picture up of yourself? (Not a pic from a wedding and not a pic of you after an all nighter.. a real, day to day pic)

And I think I'd go more general with your specs. Talk more about you and how they'd fit in. If you give them too much criteria, they tend to run. ;) You can weed out the short/old ones later. Have a bit of fun with it first.

Hold on... Crack Me Up! I found my profile on Match from 8 years ago... Here's my specs...

Blonde hair, blue eyes and I never met a mom (or ex-wife) that didn't like me. I strive to keep things as simple as I can for myself and my boys. My biggest challange is maintaining a balance between the people who need me most, and getting what I need for myself. I am a strong mother, an amazing friend, and ( for the right person) a very caring and sensual lover. I am so lucky to have everything I've ever wanted in my life. Now I'm hoping to be so lucky as to find someone to share it with.

Anyway. It worked well for me. :) I know It's frustrating, but the right one will find you... I just know it.

Now I'm off to update my blog pic to the old pic I just found.... Damn. I looked good. ;) These kids are just sucking the pretty right out of me.

Julianna said...

Oh, and as if I haven't said more than my peace... my challange is to try dating older. seems to me if younger hasn't worked out, older might.

I always tell my friend "S" that if she doesn't "like her results, she has to change her actions."

Crap. I sound like my mother now.

Matt79 said...

I think the first paragraph of the excerpt from your profile sounds great, but (since you asked) I do think that the negative parts in the second chunk might be slightly off-putting, even for someone who doesn't fail on any of them. Maybe you could mention liking tall guys without the "or else it's not going to work" bit - especially if it's not dissuading the shorter guys anyway. That's just my two pence though - of course I can't speak for guys in America.

As for a challenge: well, you are a big gym fan - how about flirting with a fellow gym-goer nd trying to get to the point of swapping numbers? If you generally tend to go around the same times of day and see the same people, you could try going at a different time to look for new possibilities?

Lifebeginsat30ty said...

Okay, I'm going to dive right in (and keep it short because I'm at work ;))

1. I think the 2nd para may be too critical. Don't put it as this is what I don't want, phrase it as what you do. Instead of 'no short me', say you 'really enjoy tall men'.

2. I switched my profile from a generic thing to a list of 10 random things about me and asked guys to send their 10. I got a LOT more responses! I guess you need to give them something obvious to write you about ;)

3. I'd be glad to look at your profile if you want more advice.

4. I will email you later today. Have to get some work done first ;) But very excited to meet up!

Anonymous said...

I agree that the negative paragraph is probably off-putting, but in a good way! Maybe you're getting less winks, but maybe you're just discouraging the twats out there, which isn't a bad thing :)

I think even if you're shy, online dating is so much easier to make the first move and I don't see why it's a bad thing to have to do it. There are guys just sitting there and you get to pick which ones you like! I personally find that almost all the guys that have messaged me first aren't worth responding to and almost all the ones I've actually gone out with I messaged first.

DateMeDC said...

I agree with Matt79 in that you should take some of the more negative bits out -- in my experience, there are dumbasses who don't read your profile anyway and will always e-mail you regardless of whether or not you have 8 million signs written in there that they shouldn't. Why dissuade men who actually read your profile from e-mailing you with the negative bits?

Also, you should hook up with the girl who writes A Pre-Life Crisis. She's also doing online dating in Boston, and I'm pretty sure you both are pretty girls. Go out on the town together, meet boys, and blog about your results!

Pretty Young Thing said...

oh girl...ok lets see...

first of dating is great but it also seriously sucks. You deal with a lot more rejection then you do success and sometimes even the
"success" disappears before you even get a chance to blink. One thing is for sure...anyone who does online dating definitely grows a strong backbone.

You should also keep in mind how very lazy people are. I would say that more then half the people who are not responding to you aren't really doing so out of disinterest...its because they are fucking lazy. Writing an email takes work...coming up with something clever to say, typing it out, sending it off...its asking a lot of most people as sad as it seems. We'd all much rather be checking FB then writing an email. So keep that in mind.

I tend to look at online dating as something to keep my occupied. I dont ever expect to find the love of my life on the could happen but I'm not putting my eggs in that basket. But in the meantime its a great way to just keep dating, meeting people, practicing and completing the mental list of things I adore and things I will kill someone for.

As for your profile...check out my post from back in December...which you commented on...
All about my online profile and making it fun. You dont want to say the same thing as everyone else and you also dont want to seem like you've got a check list of dealbreakers (we all do of course). doesn't match have a place where you can select your age/height restrictions? Granted some people selectively ignore it but Id say thats the best way to put that out there.

If you want my input on your profile let me know...I'd love to help!!!

Catherine said...

I know it's tough, but stay positive. If there is anything to "The Secret," you've got to put positive vibes into the universe. Every time you say you aren't finding someone, why can't you find someone... the universe hears NO. It doesn't hear I will find someone amazing. I will be happy. That's what you need to put out there.

One of my single friends that is my role model in singledom often goes out to dinner by herself. She brings a book to read (and no, staring at your phone texting and stuff doesn't count) and enjoys a meal by herself. Almost every single time someone talks to her. She's making friends and has gotten a few dates from it! Just a thought!

Sara Louise said...

I think that your profile is good and your honesty is great because it probably weeds out a lot of men you wouldn't be interesting in. BUT, the only advice I have for you is this: I can understand the bit on your profile about the bare chested photo thing because that is a personality flaw (any man who does that is a no-no in my book) but maybe relax on the height requirement a bit. Leaving it to men only 6+ is eliminating some possible really great guys that are like 5'10. And are you willing to sacrifice what could be amazing love for a couple of inches? And I'm only saying this because my husband is the OPPOSITE of what my type was. And then he came along and the moment we met, I knew. Keeping my fingers crossed for you... xo

Mademoiselle L. said...

Even though I never tried online dating I also have similar views as the bloggers above. I think that it IS good that you write about the height requirement, but maybe try to extend the "limitation" a little bit? :) And I also think that chatting to a fellow gym member or Boot Camp goer would be a great place to start! :) x

International Woman of Mystery said...

Thanks everyone for your really awesome and very thoughtful comments and advice. I had a really tough week (and not drinking - yes, I've been good and kept to the plan - has not helped) and your posts were the only thing keeping me going.

And thanks everyone for sharing your personal stories with me.

Response blog post coming at you tomorrow (Sunday).


mille feuille said...

Oh man I'm doing that living, working abroad thing now and was thinking like you that it will get easier when I move back to the US...thanks for the heads up!

I agree with what many have said, the second paragraph needs to be about what you're looking for in a sugar-coated kind of way.

Can't wait to read you're response post! Don't worry, you'll find your prince charming, just have to get past all the frogs.

On My Soapbox said...

You need to go places where men are that kinda sorta coincide with your interests. Like books? Find a literary club. Like running? Find a running club. I met my current and past few boyfriends either through friends or at automobile-related events. Think: car shows, racing, etc. Anything that has a motor in it is attractive to men. At these events, just ask them about whatever vehicle they're standing next to and you've got an in. Don't forget to ask, "Are there more races this year?" ;-)