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Online Dating: A Male’s Perspective

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photo (2)A guy friend of mine and I recently got into a conversation about his experience in online dating. He’s been reading my girlfriend’s stories and wondered if I’d want him to write-up his perspective. Did Christmas come early? As women, we analyze and then over analyze what little we know of the male brain to no end. If you are offering me a window in, I will take it.

So here you go! Oh.. he needs a nickname…. Let’s just call him E.

So I have to admit I signed up for online dating with much grumbling at first. From a guy’s perspective, our pride constantly tells us that, “I am too good for this,” or “Signing up for a site is too desperate…she will come.” But after years of her not “just coming” I thought, “What could it hurt? Besides I won’t tell anyone I am on it.”

So I looked for the free ones because again, “paying for an online dating website was for losers.” But not long after swimming with “” I soon figured out that most of those were bombarded with profiles that were titled, “Just looking for some fun,” or “If you can have fun, then you can’t have nun” …just trashy girls really.
I’d like to believe myself to be a good guy; I have a good head on my shoulders, a career, a car, an apartment (just got one but still…), I get along with people, I would like to humbly say I am good-looking, and I hold to a Christian world view with Christian morals. So trashy was out, and it was on to the Christian websites.
I found some free ones, but the free ones never came with a large enough “fish pond” to sort through. After looking on some of those I found there to be some really unattractive women on there. And I will stand by view that the person you look for needs to be attractive both inside and out. You should never feel as if you settled, I don’t want a girl settling for me and I don’t want to feel as if I settled for some girl either. So being physically attractive was a priority on my list. And I would say that it is a priority for all guys. I don’t consider myself a “sexist pig” or a “horny” guy and people who know me would never give me those labels, however when looking for a girl, she first has to pass my physical attraction test.
The physical attraction test doesn’t really consist of anything really tedious or overly critical list, but I would say, it’s a list that everyone would consider the “must haves.”
The Must Haves: Physical
– must have a cute face/smile (If I potentially have to look at you everyday for the rest of my life since I essentially date to marry, then you better be cute to me. You don’t have to be drop dead gorgeous but you have to be cute enough.)
– must have good hygiene (This is typically found out on the date or in person. Bad breath, body odor, acne, crust in your eyes as if you just woke up…these are all pretty much deal breakers.)
That’s it physically! You don’t have to have this “supermodel body” and all that mumbo jumbo. The requirement for me is cute and well taken care of. Anything above that is a plus for me. I feel sorry for the guys who expect perfection and they themselves are far from it…I have a few friends like this…they are single haha.
The Must Haves: Personality:
– Must be Christian (One who lives it out and has morals)
– Must not be prideful
– Must not be rude
– Must not be boring (In other words we know the very quiet people out there who really have no personality at all? That’s not my cup of tea! I want to be able to have a conversation with someone, not be the one doing all the talking. So someone with a little life, able to express their views, opinions, and interests.)
– Must have a sense of humor – (Please be able to laugh and joke about things, life,…whatever it may be. If you cannot take a joke or anything of that nature I wont bother with you.)
– Must be caring and loving
Everything else is pretty much an addition. Ultimately I am looking for a girl who I can share life with and we have some similar interests. In other words I probably wont date a girl who loves opera and quiet nights at home reading…..Anybody in their right mind would want to date someone with some similar interests…
So that’s my mindset as I look for the girl on Christian websites. I have somewhere along the line allowed my pride to move by the wayside and pay for the good ones such as Christianmingle or Eharmony. Yes I have tried both and so far no luck.
It wasn’t long after my time with E-harmony that I figured out that I would rather try Christianmingle. Guys are visual by nature and so rather than waiting for E-harmony to send me some “matches” that they think would work well with my preferences and personality, I thought the “free browsing” through profiles on Christianmingle was more convenient because it allowed me to quickly sift through a number of profiles quickly using my “must have physical test.”
Not long after I got a date. She lived about 30 minutes away from me so that was already a plus. Her pictures all passed my physical must have test, her profile described a girl with morals, who went to church weekly, and we shared some similar interests. All signs pointed to go. So I messaged her, which might I add is the hardest thing for guys. Why? Because we don’t know what to say? We typically stare at your profile for minutes trying to figure out how to not sound “cheesy.” Do we keep it short and just say, “Hi” or do we find something on your profile that stuck out to us and conjure up some way of adding it to the same ol “came across your profile and saw that you liked….” or “anyways just stopping by to say hi, hope to hear back from you.”
The truth is we have no clue. Woman these days have made it so hard for a guy to approach them with anything because everything to a woman seems like a “cheap line.” Or they just ignore or shrug you off. Especially here in Orange County; Seems like every girls requirement in is white boy, blond hair, washboard abs, a lot of money and a good car. Then woman hope that there is at least some good qualities and personality traits that can come with the predetermined requirements. But anyways, back to what I was saying; We don’t know what to say. The truth is we are nervous and already feeling low for being on an actual website that we find something to say, and pray that it works as we quickly hit “send!”
So many thoughts….how to keep this a readable length… Ok. I’ll hit two points.

1. Lists

We all have some form of a test or checklist that we use while dating and yet we slightly resent that our date is using one on us. It feels judgemental when it’s coming our way. My brother and I were talking the other day about lists and whether they were a good idea or a bad idea. We both agreed that the real sign of a good prospect is when you forget the list all together. When you’re super aware of how someone is or isn’t preforming, you are probably trying to convince yourself you feel something you don’t. Anyway, that’s our 2 cents.

2. What to say

I’m so glad E brought up what a guy should say when approaching a girl! Honestly, it’s simple. Say hi. Just say hi. Be it email or in person, that’s all you need. You won’t believe the things guys try. Just last weekend, one gentleman approached our table and asked if we’d like to play a game. In the bar. Nope. I wouldn’t suggest trying to be “creative” or “different” since I’ve never once heard any of my friends say that was something they were looking for in this interaction. Want to know what we all say we want when meeting a guy? NORMAL. So be that..

The truth is, your success has very little to do with your method. Your demise can, if you do something weird or awkward, but not your success. If she likes you, she’ll find whatever you do endearing and tell her friends about it. I’m not an expert, but I’d send a friendly low-key email instead of an over-the-top one to be on the safe side.
There are no solid rules that will eliminate the element of risk involved in dating. Everyone gets rejected, it’s just part of the deal. I don’t envy guys’ role in this and I can see why E finds it scary. But if you are up for it, just give a hello and ask her how her night is going. Be genuinely interested and the rest is up to _________ (chemistry, fate, personality dimensions, God, Adele, Tequilia…pick your love source)


Online Dating: Date #3

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computer flowers

Well, I’ve more than dropped the ball on this one.  Harmony has been kind enough to send me her stories throughout the summer and I’ve neglected to get them up here.  If you remember, her goal was to go on one date a week.  The one below is a good one;)  Enjoy!

“Scott is 37.  Works in pharmaceutical sales.  Lives in Sherman Oaks.  This guy has the most amazing story of how he accepted Christ maybe 8 years ago.  Complete with details of the raunchy Vegas bachelor party hotel room scene that somehow led him to begin his journey with the Gideon Bible.   After we retold our testimonies, discussed family and tragedy we got into the really vulnerable part of the conversation:
Me: “So tell me about your job.  Is it like Love and Other Drugs?  (Proud of myself for the cute joke, not really remembering how that movie played out.)
Steve: “You know I haven’t seen it, but I definitely don’t drive as nice a car as Jake Gyllenhal.”  (Ok, he’s funny.)
Me: “What kind of drugs do you sell?”
Steve: “I’m in the men’s health business.”
Me: “So like vitamins? ”
Steve: “No.” (awkward pause) “I sell ED medication.” (Oh, gotcha!  No need to elaborate.)
Steve then leans in because we are in the middle of Yogurtland, 3:30PM on a Saturday afternoon, surrounded by tables of families and young children.  “Erectile dysfunction medication,” Steve whispers. 
Super nice guy but we both know it’s not going to go anywhere. We didn’t have a whole lot in common in the end.
I am learning a few things along the way that I’d like to share.  Ladies, we all have our two or three absolutely perfect outfits.  You know the ones that accentuate all the right parts, smartly hiding all the multiple wrong ones.  Early on I spent a little money on the perfect first date outfit and it has been a good use of money because  I can keep wearing it over and over again since I’m consistently meeting up with new fellows. ”

This one needs very little commentary:)  I am noticing that it sounds like a lot of her dates go deep pretty early on.  I’m not used to this and wonder if it is me or a part of online dating.  Is it because the profiles already display a lot of the surface stuff that one might discuss on a first date?  Or are people typically looking for a serious relationship and feel it’s a better use of time to get to the serious stuff?  Anyone care to weigh in that has tried it?


Online Dating: Bachelor #2

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computer flowers

Sorry, friends. I’ve been on vacation all week at Hume Lake.  A glorious place without any cell phone reception!  I like to tell myself I couldn’t post.  Also, a blog is never less appealing to me than when I’m in the Sequoias.  If my book makes me enough $, I may just move there and become a hermit.

Anyway, back to the digital get down.  Here is the latest from our dearest Harmony.

Date #2
Big Bear Collin
In his very first contact with me, Collin asked to take me out.  There is something intriguing about an eH match that gets straight to the point.  I wanted to email a few times first before I committed to meeting in person.  But when Collin mentioned in his second email that he is “looking for any excuse to get off the mountain”   I said yes to going out.
Collin recognized me from Biola (the university we both attended) which was flattering to know and also somewhat reassuring to find out I was not the only one to leave college without a “ring before spring.”  When Collin called to set up the specifics of our date, he suggested two options: the batting cages or miniature golf.  I like to be accommodating and attempt a try at an event a man suggests, however in this case, I could not hold back.  I immediately negated the batting cage idea.  Wearing a helmet on a first date did not seem appealing. 
The final decision was to meet at Camelot at 5PM and grab something to eat afterward.  Around 4PM, Collin called to say that he didn’t feel like it was an actual date unless he picked me up and could we meet in a city nearby instead and drive to Camelot together.  On my way (4:50), Collin called again to say he was at the carwash and should he just take his car out or be late since I was almost to my meeting spot?  What!  How many changes are you going to pull on me in the ten minutes before I shake your hand for the first time.  Perfectly acceptable to change plans or run late once you’ve been dating a girl for a month or two but getting a carwash before a first date is mandatory in my opinion and doesn’t require all that much planning in advance, right?!  He should be able to make this happen. Still, wanting to accommodate and not overstress him I told him it was no big deal.  I would entertain myself until he arrived.
5PM on a Thursday in June is hot, especially sitting in my black Honda Accord.  So I parked and decided to walk across the street and wait for Mr. Big Bear at Starbucks.  As I’m typing a text to inform him, reassuring him that I don’t mind waiting at all, I get a (what I interpreted as) frantic…. “wait there! I’ll go with you.”  Wait.  What?  Now I’m confused.  “I took my car out of the wash.”  Well, now I don’t need  Starbucks but he thinks I really want to go because in my attempt to reassure him about it being no big deal that he is running late, I type something to the effect of, “I really need coffee anyway.”  Oh, communication.
So now we’re walking as perfect strangers together to Starbucks.  Remember, I’m barely 5’4”, wearing flats in preparation for miniature golf, Collin is greatly exceeding the boundaries on 6’5”.  I felt like his kid.  Throughout the entire afternoon and evening he insisted on walking on the outer side of the sidewalk (to protect me from oncoming flyaway vehicles?? ) which somehow came across awkward every time we had to quickly switch positions.
Miniature golf was fun.  Me, him, and the three other teenage couples. But as the evening progressed, I just wasn’t feeling it. A good guy but not for me.  After dinner, when he asked if I wanted to talk some more at a neighboring bar, I politely declined and suggested we call it a night.
Driving home, I thought it was good to have met him and if he called again, I knew I would politely decline.  You just can’t force chemistry.
The next morning I realized I have left my prescription sunglasses in his car.  S@#T!!
Online dating tip #2: Always drive yourself on the first date.

Well, all I can think is first dates are rough.  Those initial few hours present a real conundrum: you need clear communication b/c you are strangers. You can’t ask or clearly communicate well b/c you are strangers.  Unless there are real signs you won’t work out, I’m typically open and a fan of date 2.  Jitters seem to taper a little and you can get to know the other person a little better.  Maybe Big Bear and Harmony will do better when he returns the glasses;)


Online Dating: Meet Harmony

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computer flowers

I love when people suggest online dating (as if they are the first to ever do so). “What, what is this world wide web you speak of?” I probably shouldn’t be so mean, they are trying to be helpful. The truth is, though I’ve had lots of good friends happily meet their spouse online, (<;3 Mehaffeys, Wadas, Thieles!! <;3) I myself, have yet to give it a try. My dates still come the old-fashioned way for now. Recently, I toyed with the idea of signing up just for the sake of the blog, figuring I’d get a lot of great stories out of the deal but decided against it. So you can imagine my delight when a close friend of mine asked if she could send me her stories to post!! Why yes, YES YOU CAN!!

Without further a due, meet Harmony. This is not her real name. She was fine using her own but we decided it would be better for her suitors if she remained anonymous. In this segment, you’ll find her writing and then a few of the things I’m learning from her at the end.

“Having just turned 30, surviving the biggest break-up of my dating life, yet still yearning to find that one, true love, I decided to join eHarmony. One thing you must understand about online dating is that it occupies the same amount of time that an intensive part-time job would require. Being a teacher, I had ten weeks of summer vacation to earn some extra cash tutoring while working on meeting a handsome, godly man of marriageable material.
My goal: one date a week.
One of out ten isn’t impossible odds, right?
According to Dr. Neil Clark Warren, founder of said matchmaking business, there are 29 crucial dimensions of compatibility to which if you align yourself and your future partner with will result in marital bliss. Cool! Can’t wait!
Online dating tip #1: There is no man out there who will ever align to all 29 levels of compatibility with you. Nor do you want that person because who really wants to marry themself?
Date #1, Wednesday, June 13, 2012-The Casual Coffee/Tea Meet Up
Allan was handsome. He was confident. He knew what he was doing. He was my first match on eH to skip the four stages of Guided Communication and email me. I liked that. After a few casual emails and some late night intensive text message conversations, Allan and I met up for coffee/tea.
I do have to mention that every time we discussed plans to meet up, Allan referred to it as “coffee/tea”. That day, I ordered iced green tea and he got coffee. That part worked out.
I could not get over the lace up ankle boots. I have to explain that my driver’s license states I’m a whopping 5’4”. But the truth of the matter is, is that I don’t even think I’m quite 5’3”. Understanding my height challenges and the fact that I have an athletic-build, blessed with a round butt and full thighs, this whole “skinny pant, outside boot trend” is not/has not ever worked for me. So when my impending future husband showed up in skinny grey jeans paired with lace up ankle boots on the outside of his pants, I could no longer focus on the conversation.
How trendy is too trendy of a man to date? Dating a man more slender than you is never good for a woman’s self esteem. We’ll see how this one goes…”

Harmony and I had previously had several conversations about why to, why not to, and when to try online dating. When she told me she was going for it, I was happy for her She knew she had the time and was serious about meeting someone. From what I’ve observed, the people who are ready for it and take it seriously get a great outcome. I’m excited for my brave friend and her new adventure!

As Harmony mentioned, Allan was in her first round of matches. She really appreciated that he took action right away in asking her to meet up. This made me think there is still a process of selection going on that resembles what happens in nature (that’s what I’ll call offline dating). Harmony preferred the way some men communicated with her using eHarmony over others. The process sounds more natural than I’d previously thought.

She phoned on the way home from date #1 and mostly talked about the way his clothes caught her off guard and made her feel like they weren’t a great match. Quite frankly, their styles are very different. She described him as a hipster and she dresses upscale, all-american for lack of a better title. Allan isn’t someone she would normally approach or expect to approach her. Which begs the question-is online dating a good thing, since it brings people together for better reasons than the ones that can get in the way during a first impression? Or, will they actually turn out to be too different- something they would’ve known right away offline. Time will tell!