Thursday, February 01, 2007

Who you gonna write?

In the world of online dating, there are emails you are thrilled to get and can't wait to answer. Then there are ones like this:
I'm Stan

How's it going. I work in Dc and Live in Springfield, just wondering if you would like to meet for coffee or dinner or both at the same time if that's humanly possible...


Love your smile and specs

Stan D

I can't bring myself to write back to this guy, even to give him a gentle "no." A few things that bother me about the message:
  1. The peremptory invite. No chit-chat, no warm up, just straight to: go out with me. In real life this can be a plus, but in the online dating world, not so much.
  2. He loves my smile and specs, and, hey, who doesn't? But he clearly hasn't read my specs. For example, on this site there is a place to state how you feel about kids and there is another place to state how the person you're looking for feels about kids. The answer I gave is not one of his acceptable answers, which suggests that he wasn't paying attention to what I wrote and just went by the pictures. This is normal but annoying.
  3. The inclusion of his real email address. Not a deal breaker, but I'll only go "off-site" with someone after a couple of friendly exchanges. This guy is pushing me to go there without finding out how I feel. It's aggressive and almost icky.

I feel a smidge of guilt about not responding but I don't want to deal with him.

In contrast, here's an exchange I initiated with another guy:
Jamy: [He has a pic where he appears to be in a mid-air jump.] Who says white men can't jump? Or is that just a favorable angle in the pic?

Jumper: HaHa! No camera trick or hidden wires, but this white man can't jump. (aka. I have ZERO ups) But...i enjoy trying.
So are you more of a Dupont, Adams Morgan, or ????? kinda gal?
[Redacted: comments that reflect that he's actually read my profile, including something about my cat.]

Jamy: I am also a "low" jumper, but I can set a mean pick. Or at least I used to be able to.
[Redacted: stuff about my neighborhood and my cat.]

Jumper: I'm definitely a pick setter as opposed to a jump shooter, so I can totally identify.
[Redacted: more info about where he lives and what he likes to do.]

Jamy: [Redacted: long response to questions about neighborhoods and what I like to do.]
Maybe we should have a beer sometime. Next week? You can write to me at [real email].
I'll probably never meet Jumper, but I went ahead and pulled the trigger because I enjoyed "talking" to him. The route we took makes a lot more sense to me. Some quick, pithy emails about tastes and habits (not about our deepest values) that helped us develop a rapport. When my messages got longer, he matched me. We didn't interview each other...all of that stuff can wait for an in-person meeting. Even if we never meet, at least the exchange was entertaining.

UPDATE: Jumper sent a message to my "real" email account and I responded. We're narrowing in on the place but have not yet discussed an actual time or date to meet. I say the odds are against it happening, but he's a decent correspondent and it would probably be fun to meet at least once.

Grateful for: good email.

Drop me a line.

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