Online Dating Mistakes

I am an online dating success story—I trapped a man!  Okay, we trapped each other, but we met through Match.com.  And even though I joke about being featured on match.com commercials as a ‘real’ example, I will probably never be selected.  Mainly because I made about a thousand mistakes online dating before, by a miracle and hard work, I found ‘the one.’

Please note, I’m speaking for the female side of things, which is inherently easier when online dating.  Match.com was the only site I had experience with, too, so keep that in mind if you are interested in other platforms.  Also, most people online dating on a site where you pay for membership are pretty serious about dating.  They want to settle down.  Try Plenty of Fish or OkayCupid or Tinder if you are looking for something else.

When I joined, it was 30 days ‘free’ and $60 for two months, so the agreement was $60 for three months.  I set up my profile and made quite a few mistakes.  Some of the pictures I posed I hadn’t blacked out my friend’s faces.  And some match.com guy recognized one of them.  And it was pretty embarrassing for me!  So, if you have pictures with other people, take the time to black out their innocent faces.

Now, everyone knows you are picking your best pictures, and that’s no crime.  Photoshopping is a crime.  Posting photos that aren’t you is a crime.  Dudes posting shirtless photos is a crime.  Girls posting photos of themselves in a cute tank top that accidentally looks like they have two long braids is also an unfortunate crime:

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To be fair,I had no idea until some guy complimented my braids.  Those are tank top straps, I swear.

My profile was short and sweet, with enough real details.  Don’t be too cute, don’t lie, don’t lie by omission.

As a girl on match.com, I got plenty of emails and ‘winks’.  It can be really time consuming to answer emails.  I suggest emailing back and forth a few times to feel the guy out, and then meeting him in person.  It’s easy to get comfortable sending emails and investing too much time in that area.  And then when you meet the guy in person, there’s no chemistry and it was all a waste of time.  So, don’t be like me.  Keep the emails under control otherwise you’ll exhaust yourself and have hours’ worth of emails to reply to when you get home from work.

Expect some work, too.  Yes, dating is fun, but meeting online is also a bit of work.  You have to invest time in your profile, in searching out matches, and in responding to emails.  I spent a lot of time online dating and it was a surprising amount of work, even though some of it was fun work.

Another thing I did wrong was drag things out too long in person.  Eventually I decided three dates was the cutoff number.  It gives you a good amount of time to figure out if you’re interested and can give some variety to dates so that you can see different aspects of the person you’re dating.  Some people are really nervous on the first date, so I always took that one with a grain of salt.  Unless you are creeped out or decidedly not interested, I’d give it three dates. I made the mistake of dating for too long and dragging it out because most of the time I felt neutral about a guy.  I’d go on the fourth or fifth date and still feel unsure (which was my heart’s way of saying he’s nice but still, no).  Dragging it out is just wrong.  Set him or her free and move on.  Especially if they’re nice.  They deserve honesty.

Compromises are key.  There isn’t a perfect ‘match’ out there for you, trust me.  That list of 30 traits isn’t doing you any favors.  I almost passed up on meeting my husband because he was still in graduate school and I had finished school the year before and didn’t want to have anything to do with a grad student, really.  Luckily, by then, I had learned to compromise.  It turned out to be not a big deal in the end.

As always, if you feel uneasy about any date, don’t go!  There were one or two that I ended up not meeting because of this vibe.  The rest of my dates I always met in public and in busy places.  Let someone in your real life know where you’re going and who you’re meeting with. Safety first.

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Love of My Life

I’m not overly sentimental.  I don’t have any photos hanging in our house.  I threw out my wedding bouquet when we got back from our honeymoon.  I’m not a fan of overt “feelings” or being mushy.  That is not to say that I don’t feel—as a writer and a sensitive person, I’d say I feel way too much instead of not enough.  I need to limit what sentimental coils I wind down in order to preserve my heart.  But, sometimes, I have a feeling or two.

I had a feeling about my husband and I have pretty much since the day that I met him, three years ago precisely.  We met at Dexter’s Pub on September 15, 2011 for the season 7 of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia watch party (Frank’s Pretty Woman episode).  We actually met through match.com (which we are sometimes sheepish to admit).  I remember thinking that Kris looked young, and that I was tired and would wrap the date up in a few hours.  I think I ended up staying past ten, which is a small miracle.  There are bits and pieces of that date that developed into legend for us:  Kris shushed me.  His trivia boss crashed our date.  The fact that we both nursed sodas that night has turned into the myth that Kris didn’t let me order any food.  At the end of the night, Kris had asked me on another date, and I said yes right away.  I was breaking my dating rules for him.

The rest, as they say, is history.  Something I had wanted for so long, a boyfriend, soon became my fiancé and then my husband.  All of a sudden, I had someone asking me how I slept.  Someone asking I say ‘goodbye’ when I leave the house (something not explicitly done in my family).  Someone that makes the bed in the morning.  Someone to take the burden from the other love of my life, my cat.

Someone that let me draw eyebrows on his dog.

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Someone that let me send ridiculous texts without giving me too much crap or becoming angry.photo 1

Someone that became King of the Double Pet.

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Someone that has taken me on many travels, from Canada to Mexico, to Washington D.C., Seattle, Denver, and next month, to Ecuador.

Someone that I can cry in front of.  Someone who tolerates me when I am incredibly mean.  Someone that let me park my car in the garage when we had a one car garage. Someone that does the work with me, even when it’s hard.

Three years ago today, I met someone that promised me all the rest of the years.

September Finds

Finally, a free weekend!  It seems like this summer has flown by and I haven’t had much time to do my favorite kind of shopping:  thrifting.  Today my heart’s desire led me to brave Badger Football traffic and drive across town.

Here are some of my finds so far this month:

Banana Republic.  On super sale for $2.15.

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New York & Co. pleated yellow top.  Such a happy color. $4.29.

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Ann Taylor stripey stripes, $4.29.

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Merona printed top, $4.29.

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Project Alabama top, $4.29.

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I’m actually selling this one on Ebay.  I could tell just from handling it that it was special and it is!  Hand sewn.  I wasn’t familiar with the brand, but a quick eBay search told me I can *hopefully* sell this for a tidy profit.

And, my most favorite of all find, this sweater jacket:

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With Goodwill’s loyalty rewards, you can redeem points for free purchases.  The loyalty points usually take a while to rack up, but 600 points got me this for absolute FREE.  It felt a little strange to walk out of a store with something for free.  I’ve worn it a few times and already gotten some compliments.  Free+compliments=happiness.

Some things I’ve learned the hard way from thrifting:

1.  Always try it on.

2.  Look for tears, stains, and wear.  Sometimes the perfect piece of clothing is a little too worn out.  Sometimes it has a hidden stain or tear.  Better to find it in the store before getting too excited and finding it at home.

3.  Decide what you will and won’t buy used.  For me, I buy a lot of tops, jackets, pants and jeans.  Occasionally I will buy shoes, but for a long time that grossed me out.  You won’t, however, catch me in thrifted workout gear or swimsuits or (ewwww) undergarments.  Sometimes paying full price is worth it for items you use regularly.  I have a few pairs of work pants and knee high boots that I brought brand spanking new because I knew I would wear them a lot.

4.  Be patient!  I invested close to three hours to find this stuff and went to four different stores.  Some days you will strike it rich easily, other days you will leave empty handed.

5.  Keep an open mind.  I’ve been on the hunt for a long-sleeved, gray sweater jacket.  I almost passed on the above jacket because it didn’t have long sleeves, but at the last minute I went with it.  I’m glad I did!  Try and be flexible about what you’re looking for.  This isn’t like shopping in a store where you will find several variations of the latest styles to pick from.

Good luck thrifting out there!