While I’ve been rather chilly towards online dating in the past few months, I haven’t backed away from it completely. I have a mostly inactive Plenty of Fish account that I use to reading womens’ profiles. Out of curiosity and demographic honesty, I actually checked out a somewhat new online dating website, OurTime. I created an account, copied over some of my PoF profile text, put up some photos (not the gun photo). I actually paid for a month to get all the premium features.
I’ve been logging in every couple of days for the past two weeks to get a sense of the singles online more into my demographic. The Ourtime user interface has some minor issues but is generally easy to use. There are visual indicators of who has viewed my profile along with the usual messaging features. My profile has gotten a lot of attention. This is probably because I’m the new kid on the block and my profile is pretty good. I’ve gotten about 20 flirts and pre-populated incoming messages. Over 200 women have viewed my profile. Every woman claims to be in her 50s. As is common, I’m only attracted to about 20% of those expressing interest in my profile.
A couple of women have been rather persistent with multiple emails, flirts, liking photos, etc. If I’m not attracted, I just ignore. If I’m attracted I reply with a quick message and introduce myself just to see if their interest is honest. Sometimes, my return messages are ignored. This is one of the many negative points regarding online dating. Interest is expressed, returned interest is ignored.
One woman actually sent me a long message. She wrote that she was under the impression my profile was satire. I responded that I was being serious about my writing for post-divorce singles. We corresponded back and forth a couple of times, nothing particularly romantic, just some words about attraction and dating in general. Very recently, I noticed she was online and available for instant messaging through Ourtime. Being a writer, I likes me to do some instant messaging.
We started a instant messaging conversation. The initial topic was about the geography problem with the website. While she is local to me, I get many matches from all over the country. At this point, she subtly escalated me. I accepted that escalation. Here’s the unedited and relevant part of our online conversation:
Her: So you wouldn’t travel a long way for a date?
Me: lol… Not a chance, there are 5 million people in this part of Florida.
Her: How many of them are females lurking around the corner for you?
Me: This question I will never answer. Discretion is the better part of valor.
Her: Under cover dating agent. badboy007 love it
Me: Actually, not undercover at all. I make no secret of my writing endeavors.
Her: You mean you are an agent that does not wants to be under the covers
Me: Hehehehe… I like your style. If you want to trade verbal moves, you have met your match.
Her: You think so? Maybe I did or maybe you did
Me: Oh, you can do so much better. Turn in your college degree and get a refund.
Her: I did and they gave it to me to pledge it to the less fortunate on Ourtime
Me: That was good.
Her: You can thank me now”-)
Me: I give you two points. That’s as far as my gratitude goes. I have very high standards.
Her: 2 points -How low can you go?
Me: I said HIGH standards. Ask about points 3 and above.
Her: asking about your point system now
Me: 1 point is maintaining my interest. 2 points is engaging me with the tit a tat with words. 3 points is making me hit google for quotes. 4 points is want to meet in person because of words and stuff. 5 points is a second date.
At that point, she logged off. Then I logged off.
She did log back in later and sent this IM:
“Sorry I had to log off I was called away. I got to point 4. Does this mean you want to have words with me?”
This woman was raised overseas so I’m sure she doesn’t fully understand the English idiom “Have words with”. The ball is my court now.
This brief back and forth between us shows some key elements in attraction and communication between the sexes, even if online. One of the lessons here is that a man must maintain frame and confidence. This means he controls the ebb and flow of the conversation. This is easy online because there are no body language and voice inflection issues. Those are just words on a screen. But frame, flirtation, and escalation can certainly happen in this communications medium.
This women is somewhat older than me and yet responded like a much younger woman. The rules of attraction do not change significantly with age. This is an important lesson for my male readers. 25 or 65, men can deal successfully with women in the context of attraction and dating if men know the essential truths.
UPDATE: This woman sent me a message yesterday with a mildly entertaining joke. I responded by continuing to qualify her with that point system. I double downed. In our subsequent IM chat later in the evening she was clearly pissed off, obviously not used to a man continuing to qualify her. I might post that IM chat log. Stay tuned.