Thursday, August 10, 2006

The next evolution in online dating

My brother has come to stay with me while he searches for an apartment. He has moved north for a new job which means he'll now be living (at most) within 20 miles of me. It's been nice to have him around. I'm sure my parents are a bit sad to have neither kid within a couple hours drive of them. The clutter is a bit much in, but then he also has to live with mine. I tried to spend some time this past weekend cleaning up the place to make space for him and took him around a few neighborhoods to help with his apartment hunt.

On Saturday afternoon, I joined up with the birthday picnic group. There is a winery up in the hills that has picnic tables and great views of the bay. They don't charge for use of the tables. We enjoyed cheeses and fruits before wine tasting. After that, we had a tasty spread of salads from Whole Foods and some mozzarella-veggie and salami sandwiches. It was a lovely and mellow afternoon.

Once the married couple left, the single woman chatter began. Everyone was a target for dating gossip. Somehow, Chi shined the spotlight on me for an extended period of time. She gave me grief about telling her I deleted all of my online profiles. Why do I let myself get tangled up in these conversations?

This conversation detoured towards how much time some people invest in online dating profiles. I definitely think it's worth investing some thought and maybe a couple hours, but it sounded like gals in the group knew people, men and women, who spent weeks constructing their ideal profile. In other cases, friends have been in control. One example is a guy Chi recently met. During a ski trip, his buddies went online and filled out his personality profile. They then took his credit card and signed him up for a year's subscription to the dating site. I wonder how much this happens? The gals joked that it's all about the marketing. (Whereas I'm of the perspective - just the facts.)

After getting nowhere with trying to convince me to keep a profile floating out there, Chi took the next step. She suggested we sit down and work together on my online profile. Her sister had reviewed her photos and helped edit a description of herself. Because I mentioned my disappointment in receiving few (interesting) e-mails she thought that maybe we could improve my writing or photos.

Chi's offering blossomed into this idea in my head. (And if any online dating site uses my idea I do ask compensation in the form of a lifetime free membership plus a small royalty. ;) ) gets others involved by asking them to identify prospective matches and serve as intermediary. I propose a different dating format. I say leave the standard format like the mainstream sites like In addition to a master account, I think it would be a cool feature to have a secondary login ID that could be given to friends so they could be involved.

In the master account, the dater can customize settings and control which elements of the process the friends can view. For example, building on Chi's idea, a person could allow friends to view their profile and make editing suggestions. I think it would also be nice for friends to be able to view a list of the people the dater is interested in or communicating with. They couldn't see actual communications per se, but they could view the candidates' profiles. Then maybe they could give a rating of thumbs up or down for compatibility. Friends could not contact people they considered good matches for the friend but could add a candidate to a suggestion list. This might be a helpful tool. Like the idea?

Anyhow, not having that, I'm left thinking about Chi's offer. I half jokingly told her that if she could convince C3 and Hula to join us, I would allow them to help craft my profile. She said that she'd set something up when I'm ready. ( Yeah, if she waits until *I'm* ready, she'll be waiting a looooong time.)

I mentioned this idea of putting together my dating profile to Hula the other day, and she loved it. She said it makes total sense since I tend to be overly critical of myself, and that it might do some good to have other people point out what great attributes I have to offer. Hula then excitedly asked if that meant they could also contact men for me. I quickly squashed that idea. It's probably true that I consider myself boring. My therapist also commented that I appear quite interesting and active - dancing, hiking/camping, shopping, painting, cooking, woodworking, blogging. Somehow, to me, it seems so tame and run-of-the-mill compared what some of my other friends do on a weekly basis.

We'll see... I'm just so tired of dating. And honestly, sure I'm great with my friends, but it's incredibly hard to get past the initial shyness and challenge of getting to know people. I doubt the first impression I project to people matches me more than 50%.

I haven't heard from Biker either... oh well... so be it.


Anonymous Writer said...

I know what you mean and the mind space you're at --- about two months ago, I'd just come home from yet another first date and I just felt...tired. I kept thinking, "How many more of these job interview/public speaking/beauty contest things am I gonna have to go on, rolling through the same old get-to-know-you questions?"

I hope you don't mind me reading through your blog. I found it through Doris Night's blog.

I had a Tim in my life, too --- but mine was a lying, cheating bastard. A part of me still blames him for the way I am now when it comes to dating --- basically that I refuse to date anymore.

Anyways...that's all for now, I guess.

Pandax said...

Welcome Anon! It's always great to be able to share thoughts.

Clinton said...

Your dating site feature sounds pretty cool. I hope one of the sites i use implements it! :p