The very first message I received on Match was from a 56-year-old man.
Mind you, I put my age range from 28-36. However, if someone puts their age range as 25-60, then my profile would come up in their search results.
His message said, “Beautiful smile, wish I were younger.”
Uh yeah, me too.
Unfortunately, none of my initial emails were from people I was interested in. And for the most part, the following 70 emails I got followed suite.
One thing about Match is, you can see pretty much everything someone does online.
You can see when someone is online (there is even a chat capability), if they logged on in the last 24 hours, if they read your email, if they viewed your profile, etc.
It can be overwhelming.
A few days into my 30 Days of Match, my girlfriend came over to help me with my profile and check out all of the guys.
Match.com presents profiles in many different ways. Of course, you can get messages and see who is viewing your profile, but they also “select” 8 daily matched for you to sift through.
You can also do what’s called a “Mutual Match,” where the website pulls up every profile that has something in common with yours, as long as it fits your criteria. Then, it ranks the profiles based on the percentage of things you have in common, from 100% all the way to 1%.
When I clicked “Mutual Match,” nearly 1500 profiles came up.
I needed a way to mark the profiles I thought were good so I could refer back to them later. So instead of doing the “wink,” my girlfriend and I decided we would “Favorite” the profiles I liked.
This way, they would be saved in their own section of the site, but it would also send the guys a notification that they were a “favorite” and I figured maybe they would send me a message.
So, we started looking through the matches, and I started to realize a lot of things about online dating.
In my regular, “offline” life, I didn’t consider myself a superficial person. To be honest, I’d venture to say that most of the guys I’ve had relationships with weren’t men I initially found “hot,” it was always more about their personality that I found sexy.
But with online dating, I found myself in an environment that pretty much forced me to be superficial. All you can go by is a picture, sometimes a few pictures, but that was the first thing I looked at.
If there was no picture, you didn’t stand a chance.
It also forced me to think about things on their profiles—how much did I care if someone was Catholic, Christian, or Atheist? What if they had several kids that lived at home? Would it bother me if they worked so much they didn’t feel like they had much time to date?
I tried to look at each profile with fresh eyes and remind myself that I was doing this to meet people—all kinds of people—and that I didn’t have anything to lose.
…And by the end of the night, my friend and I had “Favorited” 12 guys.
I was excited.