Sunday, 23 September 2012

Returning to OkCupid and avoiding the curse of replies very selectively!!

So after spotting the Creative Cutie at the NY Surf Film Festival* last week I'll admit that after the initial shock had worn off my first thought was "oh crap he's going to get back into my head again" and was concerned that I'd be back at the point immediately after I asked him out via Facebook when I would hopefully login and check for a response from him and answer all unidentifiable phone calls - I never do that - just on the off chance that it was him calling.  Of course he never called or messaged and after about a month my hope dissipated, but it was a long month of dashed hopes and I really didn't want to go back to that point.  I'll admit I did fleetingly think upon seeing him last week that having been reminded of my existence there was the possibility that he'd respond to my FB message, but reality quickly took hold and I realized that's not going to happen, because life is not a romantic comedy.

Not that I'm saying he's not on my mind at all, he's definitely managed to worm his way in there these last few days, but I feel like he'll be out of my head again sooner rather than later.  Perhaps it's thanks to being on OkCupid again that I've gained a little more perspective on the situation.  I know that there are other fish in the sea even if those fish aren't really biting, or maybe it's more that I'm throwing them back, but at least I recognize they are out there.

Not that much has happened dating wise in the few weeks my profile has been active again, in fact I was ready to jack it in after a week after a few guys had emailed me.  In an effort to be open to new possibilities I had decided to respond to pretty much any email I received as long as the guys didn't obviously have a screw loose, plus I didn't want to be one of those people on OKC with "Replies very selectively" next to my name.  For those of you that are unawares OkCupid categorizes you according to the proportion of emails you receive that you actually respond to.  These labels appear in your profile when viewed by others.  The categories are:

* Replies Often
* Replies Selectively
* Replies Very Selectively

A friend who is also using OkCupid thinks that someone who has "Replies Selectively" to the right of their profile photo is a positive thing.  "It shows the guy's just not looking for anyone, that he's giving some thought about who to date.  If he has 'replies often' next to his profile then he'll clearly date just anyone."

Really?  I always assumed that the 'replies often' guys were more open to actually getting to know someone and not just rejecting people based on how photogenic they are in their profile photo.

" have a good point, that could be true too," agreed my friend.  "There's one guy on there I think is cute who has 'replies selectively' next to his name."

"Are you going to send him a message?" I asked

"No, because he might not reply to me if he's selective about who he responds to."

My point exactly.

I suppose there are several reasons, both positive and negative, why someone might reply selectively, a male friend said that when he was on OkCupid he got a LOT of messages from women in the Philippines looking to bag a western man and not being down with a long distance relationship he never replied, so I can understand if that's not your thing you might not respond, but seeing replies selectively or very selectivity against someone's profile almost always deters me from emailing a guy, because I assume he won't find me attractive enough to respond to.  Clearly I fear rejection by people who I don't even know and therefore shouldn't care less about, which is ridiculous, but true.

I have to say that my first week back on OkCupid didn't really instill me with the motivation to continue, but apathy and the feeling that I should probably give it more of a chance stopped me from deactivating my profile quite so soon after reactivating.  Sometimes I find that being on OkCupid and seeing who is out there makes me appreciate the single life all the more, but I decided to hang on in there a bit longer.

The first guy that emailed me sent me a note saying "sweet smile and profile, nice and short -no drama indeed...hope you had a good weekend so far..?"  A general message, that could have been sent to every single woman on the site but what the hell, I sent him a note back.  He never responded.  Then this morning I was going through my message history and noticed this guy had previously sent me the exact same message in February when I was last active on the site.  Talk about recycling!!

I exchanged a few brief emails back and forth with the second guy that sent me a message, but I didn't get the feeling he was especially bright.  He then sent me a note that said "do u want 2 talk?" Now maybe it's the wannabe writer in me that is immediately turned off by the use of 'u' instead of you and '2' instead of to, but it just really rubs me the wrong way.  It's so damn lazy, I mean really how hard is it to type an extra one or two letters and write the sentence out properly.  If I'd already met the guy and he texted me that message I would be less judgmental about the shorthand, but I think it has no place in an email to a woman you haven't met yet who you are potentially interested in dating.  I just read it and thought "this guy's an idiot." Harsh perhaps and I did think "am I really so shallow as to reject someone for that?" and came to the conclusion that yes I am. I have a couple of friends who use that shorthand, but it doesn't bother me with them because I already know they are intelligent they're just doing it to be silly, but this guy should be trying to make a good impression and demonstrate his intelligence before demonstrating such an appalling grasp of basic spelling.

The third guy that wrote me a note sent a message that simply said "Beautiful :-) How are you?" Which is a something I imagine him copying and pasting to every single woman on the site to spread his net far and wide in the hope that his generic flattery would work on at least one woman.  I didn't bother to respond, instead I started to think seriously about deactivating.

A few days later I checked my visitors and saw a guy that works in IT but who is learning to sculpt in his spare time had checked out my profile.  I checked out his profile in return and liked what I saw, although held off emailing him as I was late for dinner with a friend.   When I got back from dinner IT-Sculptor man had sent me a note.  Yay!!  He seems...well normal. Suspiciously so in fact, I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop.  We've exchanged a few emails, but haven't made a plan to meet yet as we both have vacations coming up rapidly and have a lot going on to prepare - I really need to sort out my prescription for malaria pills - but maybe when we both get back.  I have low expectations to be honest.  So many men online seem to want a pen-pal and will email back and forth for months, but you never know, at least he seems interesting and engaged in having an actual dialog.

I also recently started emailing with a guy who sent me the following note in response to something I wrote in my profile, "OKC has me as more wealthy and more scientific. Which would be nice since my credit worthiness is about as good as my science grades in high school."

Hmmm, so you're telling me you have bad credit?  Ballsy move on an online dating site don't you think?  Especially with the reputation that some NYC women have of ferreting out a man's approximate salary with a few innocuous seeming questions in order to weed out the wealthy prospects from the not so wealthy.  Not that I am one of those women, but a guy telling me he has bad credit, even if it's through no fault of his own, definitely gives me cause to wonder if he's irresponsible with money.

Outside of OkCupid I also got a text from Rob a couple of weeks ago.  Rob is someone I met on my last foray into online dating who I dated between February and May of this year.  Rob is a nice guy, but after a good start things went downhill fairly quickly and to be honest he seemed kind of bored and disinterested towards the end, so I stopped bothering too and the relationship quickly petered out.  I last heard from him on May 20th, when we had an impromptu lunch and both seemed to struggle to make conversation, so I was extremely surprised to get an text from him a few Saturdays ago, sent around 5pm and asking me if I wanted to meet for a drink that night.

Hmmm, I haven't heard from you in months and now you're texting me at the last minute about meeting tonight?  I was relaxing on my sofa dressed in my workout clothes and had just ordered "The Departed" on pay-per-view.  It was an easy decision.

"No sorry I have plans, maybe next weekend."

I really didn't expect to hear from him again, but he texted me again yesterday, around 3pm, to see if I wanted to go for a drink.  Since I was planning to go surfing this morning - planning being the operative word as I ended up struggling to leave my bed - and was supposed to meet the girls around 8.30am on the beach at Rockaway I was off the booze for the night, so again I declined, but asked him if he was interested in coming to the Brooklyn Surf Flea with me today.  He had plans, but at least I showed myself willing to meet up.  Truth be told I don't entirely trust his motives, but if he's calling to hang out as friends then I'm down with that, I just don't want him to be expecting to fall back into the way things were.

*Ugh how I wish I had the balls to have just looked him the eye and smiled.  Why do I find that so hard with men I am attracted to?  At work the other day I walked up to one of the creatives who'd joined the agency a few weeks ago, but who I recognized from my previous agency - he's hard to miss at 6-ft 8.  We'd been introduced once before at my last job, but I can't say I knew him, nevertheless I just went straight up to him, told him who I was and welcomed him to the new place.  We had a nice chat for a few minutes, he didn't remember me, but we talked of people we had in common and that was that.  I had absolutely no problem going up to him.  I wish it was always so easy!!


Anonymous said...

The worst is not getting a reply from someone who "replies often"

fishwithoutbicycle said...

That's very true. In those cases I always thought, "what the hell, they reply to everyone, but not me?" Whatever, they are missing out ;-)

fishwithoutbicycle said...

That's very true. In those cases I always thought, "what the hell, they reply to everyone, but not me?" Whatever, they are missing out ;-)