Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Dating Websites: The Real-Life Review.

It's not much of a secret that I've been mostly single for about two years now. Sure, I've been on some dates here and there, but I've identified myself as single since spring of 2012, when I split up with my last "serious" (the word is used so dang loosely nowadays - it's like "friend" or "cray-cray") boyfriend.

Anyways. I've tried my hand at a couple of dating websites. Both free and both terrible. I'm ashamed to name them here, but okay, I will: Plenty of Fish and OKCupid. And I've had epically rotten luck with both of them. Sure, I've gotten a few "winks" and emails. I've even joined a miscellaneous dude or two for a cup of coffee and/or margaritas. But it always went nowhere after our first meeting. Naturally, i started wondering, as any insecure woman would, what the problem might be.

Are my feet too large? Am I too talkative? Was my shirt too boxy? 

But tonight, in none other than Gene's, a classic Charleston bar, I discovered the truth. Dating websites simply don't work!

But wait, let me back-peddle, lest I offend the peeps who got married after they met on Match or EHarmony. Dating websites work if you are willing to follow to rules. Are you wondering what the rules are? Well, here you go:

1. Do not use a free dating website. If you do, be prepared for failure.
2. If you sign up for a dating website that requires a fee, be prepared to meet people who are ready to get serious (in the true sense of the word!) and get married fairly quickly.

The three men I spoke with tonight at Gene's Haufbrau in West Ashley were fully in agreement with these rules. What surprised me was how eager they were to share their own tales and experiences with me. They all wrinkled their noses at free sites - because, let's face it, all of us have been there, done that. And those of us who'd used the sites with fees had other, not-so-great things to report.

"I put up a photo of myself with long hair and a beard and NO ONE emailed me," lamented one guy. "Then, i put up a photo of myself in a short haircut and a dress shirt and the women went BANANAS! And the entire time my profession was listed as LAWYER! But it's all based on APPEARANCE!"

None of us could stop laughing. We knew he was right.

"We should all get together for beers again!" I declared, after the conversation continued to go swimmingly.

No one disagreed. In fact, we all exchanged business cards, Twitter handles, names and ages.
By the end of the conversation, we were fast friends. And I realized something important. I don't need any stinking dating websites! I need to HANG OUT AT THE BAR! With MENFOLK!

"You're going to be just fine," said one guy, after we clinked glasses for the umpteenth time.

I believed him. I went to Publix, got a pizza, came home and started pondering my current dating life. It's like my sister said one day - I can't meet men while I'm having dinner at my best friend's house (though those evenings certainly have their place). I gotta get out there and meet them in person! And dating websites don't count as meeting people!

But you know what does count? Hanging out on the patio at Gene's. Or whatever social atmosphere strikes y'all's fancy. The computer isn't real life. Go figure.

I know y'all like photos, so here's  one of the cider I was drinking.

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