Oh lord, give us strength…Facebook Is Testing Its Dating Service

It’s official. Facebook is now getting into online dating.

This is kind of weird to me, considering that every dating app I know about cuts right into your Facebook information as it is. Oh, but wait:

“You won’t see anyone you’re already friends with on Facebook, nor will you see people you’ve blocked.”

I want guaranteed proof that this will not happen. I feel like most apps have prevented me with people I never ever ever want to see again, let alone talk to or date – so this is quite an advantage.

Hmmm — “By utilizing the trove of data it already has about users, Facebook has the ability to become a powerful player in the online dating space.”

Didn’t they just get breached? Like really, really screwed? Is this really the time for “going steady” with dating?

It just rolled out in Colombia, and I’m praying for all of those who use it.

The Dateline episode is already being developed in my mind.

Keith Leans on Things (appropriately a Facebook page)

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What’s That?

Online-Dating-Someecards

Here are some of my favorite e-mail* exchanges from the past few weeks:

Profile: nice man like to lungh coofee the city to listen and gentel 🙂 and funny

(nothing else is filled in on his profile and he has approximately 8 photos of himself most likely taken on the same day in front of what looks like a hotel in shorts and flip-flops)

E-mail Exchange:

Gentel:
Hey beautiful haw r u haw is u day going on

I was tempted to type “Virrry wel, thunk u – Hawt STUF,” but I just couldn’t bare it. Next…

*

From what I can tell from his profile, the following “Gentleman” is 10 years my junior, and smaller than me…if any of his pics or details are real:

E-mail Exchange:

Junior:
hey how are you doing? i know its random, but have you ever taken a guys virginity before? i ask because i’m still a virgin and I would love to loose it with an older woman

Me:
Oh yeah – all the time. That’s exactly why I’m on this site.

Junior:
😦 ok

Me:
I’m sorry – what exactly would be an answer that you are looking for??

Junior:
I don’t know, I guess I wasn’t thinking much, sorry. I’m really not a bad guy though

Me:
All righty then.

Junior:
I would love to get to know you more

Me:
I’m sure you do. Maybe another “older woman” will swoon from that incredible introduction. I wish you well.

Junior:
😦 did I ever have a chance at getting to know you? Whatever I would write you probably wouldn’t have wanted to talk with me. I’m happy I at least got a response from you

Me:
That’s great! Take care.

And a miraculous thing happened. He didn’t send me a penis pic and left me alone. I know…I’m still shocked.

*

Profile: consists of one photo – a selfie – of my admirer looking off-webcam and extremely pissed off.

E-mail Exchange:

Angry Selfie:
You remind me of my exigirlfriend…

Me:
That’s a wonderful intro.

Angry Selfie:
Lol would you like to meet for a drink ?

Oh silly boy – maybe if you put in like 1% of effort, someone would agree to meet your angry face for a beverage.

*Spelling and grammatical choices have been preserved for authenticity

Tales of the Regular

It was somewhat of a challenge to start having regular exchanges with Jay via okcupid.com. After we had introduced ourselves, there was maybe one more message between the two of us and then I didn’t hear back from him for about two months. When I had assumed that he had simply moved on to brighter pastures, he explained that he was having some health issues and apologized for disappearing. He seemed like a good guy with a solid personality and sense of humor. I liked his attractive face and shaved head in all of his well-displayed photos. At the time, he lived very close to where my apartment was, and actually had a good job and a car, which I liked as well.

So the somewhat flirtatious banter started again, and then carried over into actual phone calls. It was during our first phone conversation that I learned that Jay was in the beginning stages of a fairly serious health condition. I won’t get into specifics, but it is an illness that chooses its own timetable, and definitely one that can mess with someone’s emotional well-being. While he attempted to play down the effects it had had on his life thus far, I could tell that he was questioning a lot of aspects of his future. But he was online looking for a date and possibly a relationship, right? I decided to be the dynamic individual I had always suspected myself to be and give it a shot with someone who seemed like a great person. Being a relentless dreamer, I looked into my future with Jay and imagined myself the noble wife of an ill but admirable man, wheeling him around and constantly trying to keep him comfortable while, showing a brave face to the rest of the world. I’m a hero, obviously.

There have been very few first dates where the guy has picked me up from my residence in an actual vehicle that they own (imagine that!), but Jay was one of them. So I got door-to-door service for the time and resources used on this date. That’s good considering how it went.

Strike 1: Rude, secret smoker. He said on his profile that he didn’t smoke cigarettes but his car reeked of smoke from the second I opened the door. I smoked regularly for a number of years and probably wouldn’t have judged him if he was open about being a smoker from the beginning. The pack that nearly flew out of his glove box didn’t help his cause too much either. He also complained about “not being able to get around the area” or “get an easy parking spot.” He grew up and had been living about 20 minutes away from where we were at the time for his entire life. Within the first 5 minutes in his car, I found him to be a rude liar who shouldn’t have volunteered to drive. So things were going well.

amazing-race-russian-taxi-guy

An image of Jay shortly before (and after) our date.
Source: http://www.tvgasm.com/home/amazing-race-recap-rushin-russians.html/2

Strike 2: HOLY CRAP this guy is unapologetically racist. After grumbling about not being able to find his way around anywhere, and the lack of parking spaces, we got to the restaurant (within minutes) and he parked across the street (easy peasy). We saw an older Latino man in chef whites limping slowly across the street, clearly trying to do it quickly. It was obvious that the man worked at the restaurant he had just walked out of and I immediately felt bad for him. Jay said a rude remark about the guy’s limp.

When we were sitting inside the restaurant a few minutes later, Jay brought up the guy’s limp again, laughing. I looked at him with disgust, and asked him why the Mexican guy who works in a kitchen is amusing.

He said “Oh, I thought he was regular.”

Come again? “What’s regular?” I asked. I honestly had no idea what he was talking about. Did this dude not have appropriate bowel movements? Was he not a repetitive part of Jay’s life?

“You know,” he says, then puts his fingers in air quotes, “Caucasian.”

What the hell the guy’s race had to do with his occupation, his ethnicity or the reason it was funny that he had a limp – I have no idea. But I was completely baffled and started to think I was on a date with possibly one of the most ignorant people on the planet.

all-things-regular-x-new-era-59fifty-fitted-baseball-cap_1

Source: http://www.strictlyfitteds.com/blog/2011/02/regularolty-x-new-era%E3%80%8Call-things-regular%E3%80%8D59fifty-fitted-cap-2

And…

Strike 3: He said this: “Any girl that goes on an online dating site is looking to get laid or get married.”

How’s that for class?

Jay offered other gems such as his new pot-smoking strategies at the apartment he just moved into. He also stated that at the time of our date, he actually did not have a job, had no idea if he would ever work again and had no plans to figure out how to go about doing anything. Again, he had some health issues and was understandably shaken, but he had described a real job on his profile, so there was something else he had covered up. He obviously needed more time to work on his marijuana routine, but one would think a paycheck would be required for that sort of thing…

Now I don’t want you to faint from surprise, but I was thinking that this definitely wasn’t the guy for me.

After a wondrous dinner and ride back to my home, I got out of his smokestack – – um — car and quickly said thank you and goodbye. If I hurried inside, I would at least catch the second half of 20/20.

One Hour of Passion

Matt had the sarcastic charm that I typically giggle at in his J-Date profile. He had light hair, blue eyes, a smile with a child-like quality and was totally unapologetic about liking reality TV shows. He spoke my language so I gave it a whirl. After about two e-mails in one day, I handed over my digits and Matt called me later that evening:

Me: “Hello?”

Matt: “Hey, it’s Matt.”

Me: “Oh hi. How are you?”

Matt: “Good. Okay, I won’t waste either of our time by having a long phone conversation. Are you free this Thursday after work?”

Me: “Tee hee… Um, yep, I think so.”

Matt: “Okay want to meet at Flanagan’s* on 7th at like 6 – 6:30? I’ll text you when I’m on my way.”

I dug Matt’s style. It really is logical. Why waste time going back and forth online or on the phone before meeting in person and knowing if there is any chemistry or not? I added “not beating around the bush” to my mental list of Matt’s attributes.

On Thursday evening, I sat at the bar sipping a drink while waiting for my charming, blue-eyed dreamboat to walk into the bar and sweep me off my feet. Every few seconds, I would glance at the door waiting for him to walk in, quickly looking down at my phone again, to make sure I kept up my breezy appearance. And then a crouched dude with a comb-over in a grass green polo shirt and khakis who looked generally annoyed at life walked in. I couldn’t help but stare at him obviously. I was once again mystified by online profile photos. Sure, the images of Matt I had checked out could have translated into a confident and good-looking guy with a good vibe. But in this case, the real-life Matt was a bitter, hollowed version of his photographs. I suppose his face was the same, but angrier-looking, and surrounded by a lot less hair. We exchanged greetings and got a table toward the front of the bar.

I am not the world’s best conversationalist by any means, but I can certainly hold my own and keep things interesting with the general population, and I have never had a problem on dates. Without even thinking of any sort of meaning behind it, I asked Matt how work was. You know, since most of us spend a large portion of our lives earning our keep, and we had both just come from our offices, that topic just came naturally.

Matt: “Oh, I’m not talking about work. I was there all day, and now I’m not.”

Amused by the angry leprechaun, I asked him what he would like to talk about.

With a deadpan look on his face and the several dozen hairs he had left glistening with gel sweeping over his head, Matt said he wanted to discuss “our passions.” So I flipped the dialogue back in his court and asked him what he is passionate about.

Matt: “Reality TV shows!”

Again, I thought he was kidding, but his diatribe about people being crazy enough to go on television with their eccentricities proved that this was a topic he was certainly zealous about. He went on for a few minutes about some of his favorite shows and though I tried to chime in a few times, I couldn’t keep up.

The ongoing serious look on his face caused me to look elsewhere, and while I didn’t even notice that I kept glancing away from Matt, he declared that I had horrible eye contact, which just made me more paranoid. About 15 minutes into this date, I assumed that I was sitting with a gay guy who had an unhealthy obsession with “Survivor.” What’s worse is that I realized that I couldn’t even be friends with him because he seemed to not have a friendly bone in his body.

At some point, Matt decided to switch topics. Rest assured, he was still focused on being passionate about nothing and indirectly insulting me.

Matt: “So, you’re alone in a room that is 12 feet by 12 feet. You have an old ladder, no light source, a horse and a small window with bars over it. How do you find a meal?”

Ah yes, the ol’ psychological study performed by those who like to find strangers online, pretend they are looking for heterosexual companionship and truly know how to get to hold eye contact throughout a romantic conversation. Whatever my answer to Matt’s hypothetical situation was, he wasn’t satisfied with it and told me that a psychologist would say I am insecure, negative and basically sucked at life.

So, no, there certainly wasn’t a love connection with Matt. The only sign of human warmth he demonstrated during that evening was that he walked me to the train station. And that was only because his train would be stopping at the same station.

I often wonder if Matt ever found the masochist who is able to look him in the eye and discuss episodes of “The Real World” for hours. That is one lucky man.

*For the life of me, I can’t think of the name of the place. It’s a dive bar – that’s all you need to know anyway. Nosey-pants!

Cursed Out

I don’t think I had met anyone from Yonkers before I met Tommy. He looked happy and well-balanced in his photos, with a shaved head and an earring. Tommy was a big sports fan and seemed to possess some of the traditional notions that many of my Italian-American friends did. I liked the fact that he was easy to talk to on the phone, sounded like a complete gentleman with a street-smart manner.

After a couple of phone conversations, we decided to meet for a drink. At the time, both of us were in school and I was working full-time as well, so while it is always nerve-wracking to meet someone face-to-face for the first time, it would be a fun way to break up the week.

I got to the bar first and when Tommy walked in a few minutes later, I knew it was him but my heart pretty much sank. Yes, there was a resemblance to his photos but you just never get the full idea of someone’s presence until you meet in person. His teeth were not the greatest and the Cosby sweater he was wearing didn’t help matters.

Tommy and I got along fairly well. The conversation flowed naturally, and that’s mostly because the vodka tonics kept flowing as well. I certainly was not attracted to him and since I’ve never possessed the power of flirtation, I don’t think I led him to believe that I was at all. We touched on a topic at one point that is a commonly-understood “no-no” for first dates and that was exes. Tommy said some fairly rude things about his most recent girlfriend, which led me to believe (among a few other comments) that he was of the angry persuasion. I smiled and politely continued listening and communicating. We even had a moment outside the bar where we smooched a bit. Hey, I’m only human. Things happen. But it was certainly no big deal and we eventually walked to the closest train station and said our goodbyes.

Unless it is an experience like my second ever online first date*, my feeling is that you can never know for sure how the other person felt about it and if you will ever communicate with them again.
Tommy ended up sending me a text message the evening after we met. I had just walked into a class and was settling in when he wrote, “When can I see you again?”

“Crap,” I thought. I knew we weren’t going to see one another again, and wanted to be truthful, but polite. I don’t deal very well when my feelings are ignored, so I opt to be straightforward the majority of the time in situations like these.

As my professor began the evening’s lecture, I messaged Tommy back, typing, “Hey there. It was great meeting you. I just don’t think we are a good match. Take care!” Incidentally, the last guy I had gone on a date with before Tommy had written something like that to me. I was interested in him, but he didn’t feel the same. His answer stung a little, but I appreciated the fact that he answered me honestly.

Tommy didn’t share that opinion. “Wow, are you fucking kidding me?!? You’re one crazy-ass bitch!”

Shaken a bit (and sitting in a tiny silent classroom), I responded nicely by saying, “I just don’t think it would work out. Thanks for understanding.”

Tommy: “You kiss all your dates? No wonder you’re single – you’re fucking nuts!”

Me: “You take care now.”

Tommy: “Fuck you, you crazy bitch.”

Me: “Thanks!”

Thankfully, I didn’t hear from Tommy again, but that experience definitely unnerved me. I really hope that Tommy’s future dates were attracted to him. Otherwise, these women were definitely in for a treat.

*This was one of the most amazing days of my life so far. I hope to discuss this at a later date without shedding a nostalgic tear. Fat chance.