Sexless in the City

Sometimes reading romance novels doesn’t quite prepare you for a love life...

For this 30-year-old urbanite, love is always a misadventure: The Harvard Lickwit, Hippie the Groper, the 5% Man, and the Ad Weasel. These and many other men wander in and out of her life — but never her bed.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Internet-dating experiment, Days 1-2

Well, I’ve done it. At the goading of a recently married cousin I saw this weekend, I’ve signed up for a short-term trial with a new-to-me dating site boasting an “all Christian, all single” pool of, um, eligibles. She claims that if I’d put myself out there in face-to-face settings — to the extent of some makeup and being reasonably civil, if not witty with any unattached men who should happen to chat me up — that there’s no reason for not doing the same online.

While I could argue that face-to-face settings don’t cost as much, I suppose the trade-offs of more time spent on fashion/make-up but less or no cost for admittance (unless you add up the number or drinks bought or snacks brought to parties) are about equal to the online trade-offs: getting “out there” in my PJs if need be (as long as a few good photos are handy), but paying a bit more to stay there.

We’ll see. I do admittedly have relatives on both sides of my family who met their spouses online, and two readers who met each other on this blog later got married! At least it turns out that Christmas is a good time to join, financially (however much it might inflate their ... I mean, our ... ranks with lonely singles). Already I’ve gotten offers to park my profile there more long-term at a nicely discounted holiday rate.

My plan is to wait out the 10-day trial period (although it has already inexplicably dropped to 7 days left despite my signing up yesterday — apparently they count your days from midnight on something like Greenwich Mean Time??) and see if anyone truly interesting contacts me. No browsing the profiles, no contacting men who appeal to me. All I plan to do is see if anyone actually emails, browse their profiles perhaps, and send appropriate responses.

I realize that might sound a bit half-hearted, but if all I’m doing is putting myself out there, why do more? Besides, to neither write an “I dare you to write me profile” nor spend hours scoping the prospects marks a major sign of growth — or at least adjustment — for me. Three years ago (and the last time I tried a dating site beside Craigslist) for instance, I wrote the following:
What I’m looking for in a Soulmatch
Nothing. Because I’m not looking. For a “soulmate,” anyway.

From the standpoint of divine destiny, I understand why people want to believe in one. And I do think God is involved in our lives. But all too often the desire to know how God is involved creates an abdication of responsibility. People would rather be told what to decide than how to decide.

But I suppose I’m dodging the question. Or rather, its intent.

I used to have so many lists of “qualities,” but they were often slanted by the guy I liked most at the moment.

Honesty matters, of course.

But the most important thing — the hardest to find — is sincere, thoughtful passion for God and His glory that manifests itself in humble but courageous leadership. That, right there, is probably asking a hell of a lot. But I really feel that God designed spouses to have complementary roles. The strength of the woman is displayed more in the seeming weakness of submission (though that in itself is about five conversations alone!). But I am only prepared to submit to a leader I respect. I realize that, if I marry, I will disagree with my spouse. But if I can at least respect his thinking and decision-making process, it will be much easier for me to abide by a decision I would not have made.
Needless to say, that didn’t exactly flush out too many prospects. I’m not sure this round will be any more successful, but at least I’ve tried to be less standoffish, and if early outings on Craigslist are any guide, I may be in for some interesting stories. In the interest of research, then, I’ll try to keep some record here of my week-long attempt to be “out there,” wherever “there” is.

So far ...

Day 1. Visit site, create profile, upload photos, wait for their approval.

Day 2. Visit site a few times to check Inbox. Messages so far received: announcements that my photos have been approved, offers to extend membership at the holiday rate and ... wait for it ... a couple emails from guys! One sends what seems to be a generic post he proffers to multiple women (bad move, never mind that he mentions both wanting to live and honeymoon with me, claims four denominational allegiances, and breaks the site’s rules about leaving links to blogs, websites and other ways of finding the person for free). The second, whose profile I actually looked at, only answers questions in brief sentences, most of which sound like he’s trying to convert the possibly unsure-about-their-faith.

And this is why is I do research, folks! Any stories about your own successes/failures/adventures in e-dating?

Days 3-9