Time To Go Fishing
I’d like to say the adventure is about to begin, but we don’t get to the good bits without the prep. We have to gather our equipment, ready our gear and prepare our minds for the journey ahead. Well, my journey isn’t quite as extreme, but some preparation is required before I can embark on it. That’s right. Sign up.
The equivalent of the pre-vacation checklist, I have to gather all my information and set up the foundation for my journey. Y’all may remember a few posts ago that I did a run down of the sign up process to the online dating site Match.com. You may also remember that it was a crap site for how it advertised itself. So I’m going fishing. Somewhere where there are sufficient marine dwellers. And I shall be taking you with me every step of the way.
So, to Plenty of Fish we go.
First thing’s first, initial info. On the homepage it asks you for a username, password – word to the wise, make it a short password, I think there’s a character limit but I don’t know what the limit is – gender, birth-date, country, ethnicity, email (twice for confirmation) and to enter the letters shown UNDER THE CIRCLES. You know, to prove you’re not a robot or whatever. Or that you understand geometry. Then tick the box and hit continue. We re then confronted by this message:
By completing the questionnaire below, our matching system connects you with people who have the qualities that are important to you. If you are interested in starting a relationship, you will see users who are seeking the same thing. If you will not date a smoker, you will not see smokers. By being thorough and honest with the information you enter, you are able to find exactly what you are looking for. So join the ranks of millions of couples who have filled out the same questionnaire, and found someone special in the process.
The questionnaire is quite elaborate. But I am patient, so as before I will go through every one of them. Y’all had better appreciate it.
The first column asks for the following:
Seeking [insert gender here]
I am looking for [Hang out/Friends/Dating/Long Term] – Personally I’d prefer if we could select more than one option here
Body type – BBW is an option, but I’m fucked if I know what that is. Anyone know?
Education – Again, like Match.com I don’t like the options. It’s vague and confusing. A little explanation would be nice
Do you own a car?
Second language – To which you can answer none or your second language should you have one. Don’t worry, if you don’t speak a second language you can still sign up. Shame sarcasm isn’t an option.
Constituent state – Which, for anyone like me who was confused by this, means which part of the UK if you already said you were a Brit.
Do you want children?
Do you have children? – Not sure why this isn’t next to the other child question but alright then.
Do you smoke?
Do you do drugs?
Do you drink?
Religion – Some interesting options here. For example New Age and Lutheran. Exotic.
Your profession [type in the box]
Do you have pets? – Oh. Wow. I am deeply ashamed. You can choose from Cat, Dog, Cat and Dog, Bird, Other. *Sigh*.
Describe your personality in one word – Stop. Again I have a problem with this. Multiple options should be allowed. You could be a diva and be a beach bum. You might be a brogrammer and a Nomad (All of the aforementioned are actual options) but even if you’re 50% Sapiophile, 50% starving artist, it won’t let you make that distinction. I am quite annoyed by some of these options. Tattooed is not a personality. Shy is a personality. Kind is a personality. Fun-loving is a personality. None of these are options. But my rant is over. I’m going to spend the next hour of my life annoyed at this, and at least 10 minutes choosing what on earth I can apply to me.
How ambitious are you?
This is the first box. I haven’t even scrolled down yet. *Breathes deeply* We can do this, folks. C’mon. Section two:
1. When it comes to dating, what best describes your intent?
– I’m looking for casual dating/no commitment
– I want to date but nothing serious
– I want a relationship
– I’m putting in serious effort to finding someone
– I am serious and I want to find someone to marry
Fair play. I quite like this. Nice selection of options that allows you to state fairly clearly what you’re after. Just one thing, I changed “I’m here for dating” to “hang out” and this second part about dating didn’t change. Maybe I didn’t leave it long enough but if this is the case it means you have to fill in the dating questions even if you’re just there for friendship. Perhaps an area for improvement.
2. What’s the longest relationship you’ve been in?
– Under 1 year
– Over 1 year
– Over 2 years
etc etc until ..
– Over 10 years
The awkward moment I have to tell the internet I’ve never been in a relationship is somewhat dulled by the fact ‘0 days/never’ is not an option. Phew. Dodged a bullet.
3. First name – choose if you want your name shown on your profile.
4. Income (It says, and I quote, “we use income and birth order behind the scenes for matching”)
– Options listed between <25,000 and 150,000+
a. My birth mother and father are [still married/divorced/separated/one has passed away/both have passed away/not together].
b. They had [1-9 children] together of which I am [the oldest-ninth born].
6. Would you date someone who has children?
7. Would you date someone who smokes?
8. Would you date someone who has BBW or A Few Extra Pounds selected as their body type?
Okay. Now we’ve talked about ourselves and about our potential partners, it’s time to sell ourselves with section 3:
1. Headline (Example given “Looking for me?”)
2. Description, minimum of 100 characters. The following message is given, which I believe is a good addition:
For your own safety, do not include your name, phone number, or address. People will read both your profile AND message when deciding if they should write back to you. When people search on the site the following description will be their first impression of you.
If you want to be successful try these:
– Talk about your hobbies
– Talk about your goals and aspirations
– Talk about your taste in music
– Talk about yourself and what makes you unique
3. Interests (separate interests with commas).
4. First date (optional) – The longer your description, the more likely it is you’ll get responses.
Then it asks for something weird. It asks for you to confirm your date of birth because, and yes it states this explicitly, “it cannot be updated beyond this point”. Woah. Back up. I know it makes no sense to update our date of birth, but what if you’re sure you put it in right and realise too late you did it wrong. That’s a bit damning. You may never ever change this information on pain of death! Sheesh. Take a chill pill. Right, now to fill this all in. Already struggling with the Headline section. You get about 20-30 characters but I can’t think of anything that’s not corny or self-degrading. “Just a girl looking for a laugh” or “People don’t like me but give me a chance” are terrible options. Could go for the hard-hitting Blunt Honesty: “Here for the kicks”. Once you’ve entered all this information, smack the Go button and you’re off. Welcome to the pond, mis pescas.
Add a photo (to add more than 8 you have to upgrade) and you’re off. I like this little addition on the Upload a Photo page: “Images of cartoons, celebrities, bare torsos and joke pictures will be deleted.” That’s nice to know that bare torsos aren’t accepted. Finally, an online service with standards!
Within 10 minutes of completing the sign up process I had 10 people who already wanted to meet me. Hm. I guess this site really works. I’m going to leave this post here for today, but tomorrow I shall let y’all in on my first 24 hours in the pond. So far I have no major issues with PoF. It’s better than Match and K! Dating for sure, and thus far I would recommend it for online dating newbies. But I’m sure it won’t take long for the weirdos to emerge. I look forward to some fun stories in the near future. For now, I bid you adieu.