Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Lessons learned this year

In June I shared five lessons that I'd learned in the first six months of online dating. You can read them here, but I'll summarize them below before adding a few more to the list.

1. No profile picture/one picture = bad sign
2. Less than 65% match = probably not worth it
3. Introverts are often attracted to introverts; therefore, one of them is going to have to be a bit extroverted long enough to message the other.
4. Leaving one's instant messenger open at night = craziness
5. Editing online profiles often = more profile views and messages

Now for the more recently learned messages:

1. Poor spelling does not an idiot make. I will qualify this by saying that if someone writes like Nelly sings, he's really not my type; however, I have had some serious lessons in dyslexia at work over the last few months, and they have given me a new understanding of the way spelling correlates (or doesn't, really) to intelligence. Yes, there is definitely spell check, but if one is not even sure how to spell a word, spell check may be worthless.

2. As Ily stated incredibly well on her blog, Asexy Beast, it is so easy to read a profile and then automatically try to place that person into a category (i.e., hipster, frat boy, trust-fund baby, etc.). This is like trying to place someone on the Mean Girls high school cafeteria map, only for adults, and that really isn't that much of a difference. Just because I don't have a "scene" doesn't mean I should be OK with discriminating against someone who obviously does.

3. (This lesson probably should have been quite obvious, had I given it more than a minute's thought, but…) people who match really well, may be too perfect. While I don't believe that opposites attract in the sense that a greasy gamer and a preppy princess are going to suddenly fall madly in love, I have come to realize that, say, having different general tastes in music—while still maintaining a bit overlap—is a good thing. Great, so we both like Bajofondo and we can go to a show together, but then what?

4. It's worth taking a chance, provided it's a safe one. I mentioned last week that a guy from out of town had messaged me and asked if I might like to hang out with him while he was in my area for the week. Had he just left it at that, I might not have said yes; however, he indicated that it was highly likely he'd be moving up here soon. I thought about it for a few days, but I e-mailed him back and said I'd like to meet him. I'll write more on this later, but let's just say that I'm quite glad I met him.


Ily said...

Hee, thanks for the shout. I think it's okay to prefer someone in a certain "scene", as long as you're willing to be flexible. I mean, I guess I prefer people without scenes-- none of my friends seem to have one. I remember talking with friends at Whitman about how we were friends because none of us had scenes.
Okay, I guess I'm still sick-- I was going to write something about interests, but my brain hurts!

Superquail said...

People create communities in different ways. Some people join theater, some people do Renn Faire, and some people just really connect with their coworkers. In high school, there was a certain type of person who was in every club because "it looked good on college apps" or whatever. At Whitman, I think there were a number of people tried to pack their resumes with club memberships, but most people just chose the one thing they found most interesting.

After college, I think people get isolated a bit. I know that I do, out here in China. One way to break that isolation and meet people is by doing something. So, I guess what I'm saying is just because someone is in to something doesn't necessarily mean that the thing defines them. Maybe it's just their way of hanging out with other people.

Superquail said...

Oh, and in reference to that "too perfect" a match, I sometimes think about my sister. She and I are roughly the same height and weight, we have the same color eyes and hair, we have the same parents, the same upbringing, the same education, the same religious background, and many of the same memories. We also can't carry on a conversation to save our souls. True, I haven't communicated with my sister in 8 months, but I doubt much has changed since then.

Certain commonalities are meaningful, and certain ones are entirely superficial. Having the same taste in music as Sharon, for example, would be meaningful since music is her life. As for me, if someone doesn't like Shah Rukh Khan every bit as much as I do, we can still hang.