The Hell Butterfly

Internet Dating Revisited: Match Dot Com Arises

I have been somewhat unsuccessful in the world of online dating, but despite the near-disaster that my last adventure was, I’m trying again. You know, for the kicks. I don’t expect anything to come out of it. Consider it research. I shall do as I did for Kerrang! Dating. I’ll be taking y’all on a miniature tour of the site, letting you know whether it’s any cop. And if I have any developments, funny, creepy, or even – God forbid – decent, I shall let you know.

So, on to the introduction. I have just signed up and am typing up this post as I input my information. Firstly, Match.com is instantly better than K! Dating for one reason: it is free. Free! Zilch, nada, no dinero. Sweet. After putting in info such as postcode, age and which gender I’m seeking, I find myself confronted with an About Me page. It consists of 8 subsections. Because I’m feeling generous, I shall tell y’all what these are. All of them. For anyone considering online dating, pay close attention: you can use this to prepare your answers.

1a. How do you feel about meeting someone new?
– I’m not looking for a relationship
– I’m ready for a new relationship
– Let’s see what happens
– I’d rather not say

1b. Your relationship status:
– Currently separated
– Divorced
– Widowed
– Never married
– I’d rather not say

 Okay, now here I have a problem. I like that they have included the option to not disclose your status, and that they have put options for divorced and widowed, but here is my issue. “Currently separated”. Perhaps this is just me, but I would prefer simply the term ‘single’. To me, ‘currently separated’ suggests I have been in a relationship previously. You cannot be ‘separated’ unless you were, in some way, previously ‘joined’. My cynicism may just be picking holes, but this bothers me.

2a. Do you have children?
– None
– Yes, and they live at home
– Yes, and they live away from home
– Yes, and they sometimes live at home
– I’d rather not say

2b. Your personality:
– Adventurous
– Confident
– Easy going
– Funny
– Generous
– Helpful
– High maintenance
– Reliable
– Reserved
– Sensitive
– Sociable
– Spontaneous
– Thoughtful
– Shy
– Other

Okay. Here we have another problem. In my opinion a big one. I like the varied options for the children section, however we are very limited in our options for personality. Sure, there are a range of traits, and I can easily pick three or four I would place myself in, but here is my problem: you are only allowed to choose one. A good personality section, in my opinion, should allow you to select multiple answers. You would think that would narrow down the specifics of your personality. For example, you may be shy yet high maintenance, or generous yet reserved. In limiting your answer to a single option this makes the image of yourself tons more vague than it could be had they given the option for multiple answers.

3a. Your eyes:
– Blue
– Brown
– Green
– Hazel
– Black
– Grey
– Other

3b. Your hair:
– Light brown
– Dark brown
– Blonde
– Black
– Auburn/red
– Salt and pepper
– White
– Other

3c. Your hair length:
– Short
– Shoulder
– Long
– Shaved
– Bald

Overall, not much to say about this section. I felt maybe it was a little obscure in places (ie giving the option ‘salt and pepper’ but not ‘dyed) yet in general it did its job. I have nothing further to say about this.

4a. Your body type:
– About average
– Athletic
– Sim
– A few extra pounds
– Curvy
– Heavyset
– I’d rather not say

4b. Your height – drop down menu.

Okay here is another potential problem. Not a biggie, but I’m not a fan of the body type options. Not sure what to say about it, but this is where Kerrang! Dating excelled. They had an option ‘you decide’ which allowed potential matched to decide for themselves what body type they personally judged you to be. I liked this option as it meant that, where you may think yourself lower than average, someone else may find you to be quite the curvacious babe. Other than that, this section cannot be criticised.

5a. Your nationality:

I’m not going to type out all the options because, while the only four answers at the start are British, Irish, Indian and I’d rather not say, there is a list of countries under this which is very extensive. And I mean VERY. From Samoan to Macanese, you will find yourself on that list.

5b. Your ethnicity (multiple choices possible):

Again I won’t type them all out, but here I find an issue. Why is it that you can choose multiple options for ethnicity, but not for personality? You may be a helpful, thoughtful, spontaneous Latin-American, yet you are limited in the ways in which you can represent that. I have a problem with this part.

6. Your religion:

Again, too much to type, but this section is much better. There are numerous options including Agnostic, Spiritual, Shinto and Jewish. Nothing to comment on here.

7a. Your views on marriage:
– Important
– Very important
– Not necessary
– Sacred
I won’t so it again
– Out of the question
– I’d rather not say

7b. Do you want children?
– No
– Not sure
– Some day
– Definitely
– I’d rather not say

I kind of laughed at this. I like this section though. The views on marriage part was both funny and commendable. I like that they included this. It’s nice to see that opinion on marriage, and not just your current/past status, is taken into account. I also like the varied option for future children. I deem this the best section so far.

8a. Your level of education:
– High school
– Some college
– Associates degree
– Bachelors degree
– Masters

– PhD/Post doctoral
– I’d rather not say

Slight issue with this, but it may just be because I’m English and the American term of ‘high school’ threw me. I don’t know what an associates degree is and there is not option for currently studying at university, ie an Undergraduate option would be welcomed.

8b. Your occupation – drop down menu

8c. Tell us more about your job – 250 character limit

I like the extensiveness of the options for occupation and the fact you can expand on what you do. There are a lot of options so it’s highly likely that, no mater what obscure job you may be doing, you will be able to find something close to yours. And even if not, at least you have a section dedicated to explaining your particular job in more detail.

That’s the About Me page completed. I have just noticed that, to complete your profile, you must fill in answers for 6 categories: About Me, My Lifestyle, My Interests, About My Date, My profile Ad, My Photo. I’m not too sure what some of these are going to include, but that’s part of the “fun”. I’m still feeling generous so, what the heck? Let’s do this thing. I’ve come this far, might as wells give you the detailed walk-through of the other categories. Could be a long post, but at least you prospective online daters will get a good look into the sign up process. So, on to My Lifestyle.

1. sports you enjoy (multiple choices possible):
– Hiking/trekking
– American football
– Dancing
– Swimming
– Rugby
– Boxing/wrestling
– Bowling
– Gym/bodybuilding

… And several others including horseback riding, track and field, pilates and skiing. Quite a nice range here. It comes under the heading of sports so it could be taken that these are more things you would do for competition more than for fun but I suppose it could be taken either way. I am however, as a born-and-bred English gal, upset that cricket is not an option. As an Australian or an Indian I would be annoyed about this too but, no offense intended, as this is probably an American run site I imagine they don’t count cricket as a real sport. To my American readers I plead, don’t hit me, I’m fragile.

2a. Smoking:
– N
o way
– Occasionally
– Cigars
– Trying to quit
– Daily
– I’d rather not say

2b. Your pets (multiple choices possible):
– Cats
– Dogs
– Fish
– Horses
– Rabbits
– Gerbils/guinea pigs etc
– Birds
– Exotic animals
– I don’t have any animals
– Other animals

Not much to say here. Nice selection of options for both, got your typical pets. No ferrets as an option of its own but for the most part it’s on point with this. On to My Interests then.

1a. Interests (multiple choices possible):

I won’t list them all, but that speaks positively for itself. Where the personality subsection failed, the interests subsection thrives. I’d have liked some more flexibility on the personality part, but at least you can expand a little more with your interests and hopefully it will make up for the lack thereof in the previous section. Such answers here include photography, meeting friends, cars, book clubs, knitting and sightseeing. A give this section a thumbs up. Only a single thumb though.

1b. What do you do for fun (optional)? 250 character limit:

I suppose this is good for anyone who has an interest not mentioned on the multiple choice list, however I feel it’s a little pointless given that there are so many options to chose from that, for people who have selected from the list, you would be repeating yourself here. True, it’s optional, but it also makes me feel I should write something there.

2a. Entertainment:

About 12 options under this heading including concerts, singles parties and evenings out with family, but I feel there are too many similar options here given the variety of the previous section. For example there are at least 3 of the 12 that are about dance in some form. I understand that this is the ‘entertainment’ section, but personally I feel the options could have been broadened.

2b. Favourite local hot spots or travel destinations – optional (250 character limit)

Okay I like this bit. Lets you show off your local knowledge, specify places you’ve enjoyed or would like to check out. Good addition.

3a. Your taste in music (multiple choices possible):

Such options include pop rock, blues, soundtrack, relaxation, trip-hop and gospel.

3b. The kinds of films you prefer (multiple choices possible):

Such options include fantasy, police drama, independent cinema, erotic and manga.

Right, now we’re out of the way, it’s into the tasty stuff: your date. There are four subsections for this category and, as before, I’ll give y’all the options you can select from each. I both love and hate this part. I enjoy being able to specify my perfect type, but I also hate that I can get picky, or at least seem that way as my options will limit my potential matches. Over the years I’ve gotten less picky seeing as my perfect type used to be bold eyes, black hair with bangs, slim and taller than me, but not too tall. Not gonna lie, I still have my type, but I don’t fixate over one particular image anymore. Word of advice: this is good. If you’re like me and have a specific type in mind, think about broadening your options. It feels a lot better to have done so. I was being prejudice before, closed-minded, and now I’m .. less so. For the following section, please be aware I chose “woman seeking a man” so the questions will say “he” and “him” etc. This will be dependent on what you choose at the start of sign up.

1a. His height?
From: BLAH To: BLAH

1b. His body type (multiple choices available):
– No preference
– About average
– Athletic
– Slim
– A few extra pounds
– Large
– Heavyset

1c. His relationship status (multiple choices available):
– Currently eparated
– Divorced
– Widowed
– Never married

Mostly happy with this section. Nice that they let you choose more than one option, though again might be equally nice for a couple more body type options – not sure what they’d be, just seems a little constrained as it is.

2a. Should he have children (multiple choices available)?
– None
– Yes, and they live at home
– Yes, and they sometimes live at home
– Yes, and they live away from home

2b. Should he want children (multiple choices available)?
– No
– Not sure
– Some day
– Definitely

I like that both questions were asked. It’s nice that they gave the option for both present and future. Not much else to say about this.

3a. His personality:

For this, all the options are the same as you are faced with for Your personality, however there is one major difference: here you can select more than one option. I imagine, seeing as each person at sign up would have only selected one option, this is simply to broaden the number of people you can meet, but it still seems a little weird to me you can select multiple personality traits to search for/be matched with, but not to describe yourself.

3b. Does he smoke (multiple choices available)?
– No way
– Occasionally
– Cigar aficionado
– Trying to quit
– Daily

(For all of the following, multiple choices are possible. I’ll also not be listing all the options as some have many many answers to choose from and most are the same as previously mentioned).

4a. His ethnicity

4b. His studies

4c. His religion

So we’ve described ourselves physically, listed our hobbies and interests, and have outlined our perfect partner. Now comes the weird bit: My Profile Ad. In this section you have between 2 and 128 characters – not a random number at all – to sell yourself. It can be your motto for life, a sentence that describes you or your perfect partner, or even be a quote. I guess the jist of this is to make yourself stand out from the crowd. Not too sure what I, personally, can write here to sell myself, but I suppose as a book enthusiast it would be super lame cool appropriate to quote a favourite character. I can’t think of anything good yet though, so maybe I’ll just improvise with some S.T. Coleridge: “The one red leaf, the last of its clan, that dances as often as dance it can.” Sounds good to me.

After this comes another section, with a higher character limit, in which you can expand on that oh-so-snappy punch line that you’ve hooked your potentials in with. You get 50 to 2000 characters to describe what makes you smile, what your friends wold say about you, what you feel your best achievement is and generally to tell your audience something about you that will reel in a catch. I always struggle with this part, but my advice is give them enough to be interested, specific enough for them to pick up on in personal messages, but not so much that they know our life story before you’ve had a chance to chat. Perhaps a quirky trait, perfect date, unique physical attribute and bad habit. This will let potentials know something personal about you, warn them of your odd habits and paint a hazy watercolour which, together, may interest or deter potential dates. I think this is a good way to filter out the good from the bad, as someone who can’t put up with your oddities is not worth your time.

The next step is the easiest part – the profile picture. Just pick one you like. Once you’ve hit Save and Continue, your profile goes though for approval. Congratulations, you’re an online dater! Hit Save and Continue one more time and be free, my children.

I rather enjoyed documenting my adventures over at Kerrang! Dating, so consider this a sequel to that series. To revisit the first part, head over to the link at the side of my blog and hit the category called Kerrang! Chronicles. That’s it from me for now, but we’ll see what the next 24 hours brings and check back in.

For now, good luck, and good night, folks.

Advertisements

2 responses

  1. Great article just posted my own thoughts on it as well, such a funny subject.

    July 6, 2014 at 1:24 am

  2. Good luck!!0

    July 6, 2014 at 2:04 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s