Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Adventures In Online Dating

This week, I received an email from a guy responding to my profile on TheSquare.com, a networking and dating site for alumni of selected colleges and universities. Having been on a lengthy (i.e. permanent) hiatus from online dating, I couldn’t help thinking about some of my adventures in cyberspace.

Over the years, I’ve cast a pretty wide net on the Net, joining at one time or another half a dozen dating sites. I started off with the ubiquitous Match.com, which produced several strange first dates, a year-long relationship with a canine-obsessed New Yorker and emails from interesting characters like this one:

“Im Italian and Cajen. I went to union trade school to become a electricion. I like to read the daily news in the bathroom.”

From the often-grammatically challenged men on Match.com, I moved onto eHarmony.com, billed as the site for marriage-minded singles and known for cloying TV ads featuring couples embracing to Natalie Cole’s “Everlasting love.” Everlasting is the best way to describe eHarmony’s time-consuming setup.

After you fill out a lengthy personal questionnaire, eHarmony selects matches for you. Before you can email a prospective match, the site requires you to go through a four-step guided communication process. My three-month membership netted me one lackluster date.

I enjoyed a better return on my investment with The Right Stuff, a site for Ivy League grads. I connected with several intelligent, interesting guys and appreciated the site’s etiquette policy, which mandates that you send a polite thanks but no thanks when rejecting a member you're not interested in. I gladly said yes when a 40-something entrepreneur invited me out for drinks at Town restaurant inside the trendy Chambers Hotel.

Town at the Chambers Hotel: A great rendez-vous spot for a first date

Both the conversation and the cocktails flowed as my nattily dressed date and I discovered we were both oenophiles. Not long after our evening at Town, he emailed me and suggested we do a private wine tasting together -- in his apartment. Thanks but no thanks.

As for my new friend from TheSquare.com, we graduated swiftly from email to an engaging phone conversation last night. Who knows? Maybe it’s time to give the online dating marketplace another look.


Magnifique said...

OMG, the square.com still exists?! Based on my experiences with that site, the "filter" of an Ivy League education isn't terribly effective in screening out the weirdos. One date that I had from the square presented me with green chrysanthemums on the first date (awful, but not a deal breaker.) On the second date, we went hiking with a group. Saying that he didn't like "group activities," he insisted we hike off the beaten path and proceeded to get us lost, in winter, in a park so remote that cell phones don't work. Obviously, I lived to tell the tale, but that is not even half of it. Can't wait to hear your stories!

Melissa said...

Couldn't agree more about weirdos populating TheSquare.com.

My worst experience with the site was with a guy whose response when he met me was to say I looked different from my profile photo. I asked if that was good or bad, to which he replied, "It's neither." Interestingly, he was short and balding.

The date lasted an uncomfortable `15 minutes. Turned off by the guy's rudeness, I emailed him and said it's not polite to insult someone right off the bat. His answer--

"If I had told you what I really thought, you would have slapped me across the face."


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Janice Lois said...
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