<editorsnote> DUDES!!! I am so so so so SOOO excited about this!! I got a tweet yesterday from this duderino reaching out, and asking if he could write for us! I was all … sure! Send me a sample! And he did! And it totes didn’t suck!!! Nerds, meet Kenny. He’s going to provide a male perspective on his adventures in OkCupiding. HIT IT KENNY!!! </editorsnote>
I came across Jen and Talk Nerdy to Me Lover through her profile on OkCupid, as I’m sure many people have. Of course what appealed to me most at first was the “103 dates in 9 months” study. As a guy who has done his fair share of online dating (and clearly still single and doing online dating) I wanted to read about what her experiences were like.
I had no idea what to expect. I honestly have always been curious about what it would be like to be a “hot chick” and not in the Snip/Tuck kind of way. Just in the manner that “What goes on behind those walls?” kind of way. Girls have been keeping secrets from boys since we were first-graders and that’s why we created the He-Man Woman Haters Club. As we get older, not much changes except the cooties do become more serious and itchy. Girls still keep their secrets and so I’m left only to make assumptions.
Don’t let me just make assumptions girls. Now we are both asses.
Upon seeing that Jen had gone on 103 dates, right off the bat I realized that many of my assumptions about girls were wrong. It’s not just that 103 seems like a prolific number, but more like “How could a girl not find Mr. Right on date 28? Or date 47? Or date 73?” That’s nothing against Jen, that’s just me being an idiot for thinking that girls have it so much easier. Sure, I could probably never get 103 dates in such a short amount of time, but still it opened my eyes to the fact that dating or finding Mr. Right or Mrs. Perfect isn’t always as easy as it seems in the movies. Ethan Embry couldn’t “hardly wait” for Jennifer Love Hewitt, but in the movie he only had to wait 90 minutes before getting the girl of his dreams.
Damn movies always messing up my expectations. I’m still waiting for hoverboards and it’s only four years until we are supposed to get Jaws 19.
Talk Nerdy To Me Lover was the perfect avenue into understanding where a girl comes from and an understanding of what a girl wants, what a girl needs, whatever makes them happy and sets them free. It was like “Oh, so that is what you want? How could I not see that? It’s so simple!”
The site also has numbers and me being a stat-junky, I was all-in like Stalin.
There was however something I thought the site was missing. A side of the story I wanted to hear told but a side of the story Jen could not tell. She was missing something very important and critical when telling the story of her experience on OkCupid: a penis. The times when a guy she went out with posted on the site, I found that side to be very interesting as well. But there were only so many guys that were willing and able to come onto TNTML to tell their side of the story. Then I thought to myself. “Wait, I am a writer too!” and then I looked down just to be sure and said “Oh hey, I have a penis!” which was re-assuring for a number of reasons.
I have never gone on a date with Jen. I have never even met Jen. But I was a fan of the site, I am currently an online-dater, and I also happen to be a writer. I also am a huge fan of the idea of her lifecasting her dating experiences out to everybody, something I have considered documenting several times before but something I didn’t have time to do with my other commitments. Maybe if I was lucky, Jen would let me contribute to her wonderful site. (I guess if you are reading this, she has!)
A little bit about me:
I was a late bloomer on the dating scene, and that’s another story. That’s like, my life story. That would take too long to tell because I’m not an infant. So I’ll spare you the details, but after college and a two-year relationship after that, I moved down to Los Angeles from Seattle and really hit the dating scene hard for the first time.
I don’t know if it’s good or bad to hit the dating scene for the first time in Los Angeles, but it’s certainly difficult. I have found some girls that I would consider girlfriend material, and some girls have found me that would consider me boyfriend material, but none of those girls on either side are the same girl. I’d say its kind of an important foundation in any relationship to find someone that wants to be with you and vice versa.
After awhile of doing the bar scene, I decided to give online dating a try for the first time. The stigma that online dating is “embarrassing” or “shameful” is really a thing of the past. We spend most of our lives online now and clearly American culture is headed into a direction that takes us further and further into our computers until we are finally Tron. Remember when Rachel would do something so Rachel on Friends and we’d say “It’s the nineties!” (Wait, that’s not just me is it?)
Well, these days if you are spending more time online than you are at the mall or Starbucks, people will say “It’s the tens!” It’s the ten’s people, lets get over our apprehensions about admitting to being an online dater. Frankly, it just works better anyway. Find out if you’ve got some compatability before you bone.
So I was prepared to make the next step into online dating, and once I admitted that to my friends, they actually told me that they’ve been doing the same thing for awhile! Literally, all of my friends. It was something nobody talked about unless you knew the other person was doing the same thing. Basically online dating is Fight Club.
I am an average-looking guy. A lot of people will reply to that with “Oh hey, don’t say that about yourself! Have confidence!” I have plenty of confidence. I also have a mirror, and I’m not ashamed to say that I’m a six. I’m proud to be a six. As Jen says, “Own it.” I do own that shit. I am inside of it like the devil in Linda Blair. It’s possessed by me and I’m bringing sixxy back. By you telling me “Oh don’t say that,” you’re basically perpetuating the stereotype that there’s something wrong with being average looking.
I’m not down on being a six, I’m just a realist. I’m as real a realist as the Mentalist is mental. I might be a six physically, but I loaded up on other special powers to bring my overall rating up. That’s what matters.
Still, there is a difficulty in online dating if you’re not a super attractive person and it’s something we all need to admit: The first place we go on a profile is the pictures. Period. So you better put some up and show who you are. But even then a guy can overcome with an awesome message.
Oh yeah, the messages.
For Jen, and other girls, it’s about signing on and reading through your full inbox. The male orangutans have all stuck their proverbial butts up in the air and now the female must decide which one to sniff. (These is how I imagine orangutan mating rituals. I don’t imagine them often though, so I could be wrong.)
For a guy, it’s about the sending of messages. That can be really difficult and it took me a lot of trial and error (a LOT of error) before I finally started to get it right. There’s not really an available how-to guide on what to do and what not to do… at least, there wasn’t until TNTML came along and if I had read this site a year and a half ago, I could have saved myself a lot of trouble. But I didn’t have this site, so I had to make all of the mistakes on my own.
At this point, I feel like I’ve really gotten the hang of how to send a proper message, and if the girl reads it and goes to my profile and decides not to reply, I’ve also learned how to have a really thick skin about it. Growing a thicker skin is something that’s helped me a lot too. Because as much as I might look at a profile and say “Wow, this girl is like a female me!” and think that “of course she will reply, she’ll see how alike we are!” the truth is that it’s just not always going to happen like that. If she’s not into you, she’s not into you. You just have to have the balls to keep trying (with other girls. Give up on one that doesn’t reply, and move on.)
That’s the other funny thing about online dating; the balls it gives guys to talk to girls. I think a lot of the guys would never approach a lot of the girls that they message online, and wouldn’t say the things they say online, but online dating is the new liquid courage. It’s incredible how much confidence a guy has when he knows that the rejection will be such a softer blow than one that takes place in real life. Online dating and half-a-dozen shots of jager are like the two things that seem to give the guys the confidence they wish they had when they were sober. Online dating is to being drunk, what American Idol is to karaoke.
The courage to make an ass out of yourself that you wouldn’t normally have.
And that’s what it really comes down to: Not being afraid to make an ass out of yourself. We are all in some ways a dork. A nerd. A geek. An outcast. Or to put it another way, we are all in some ways unique. Different. Individuals. Amazing.
That’s what makes this whole social media scene so incredible. We now don’t hide our differences, we peacock them. We post them in our profiles to say “I LIKE SHAUN OF THE DEAD!” “I LIKE EATING PEANUT BUTTER OFF OF A SPOON AT 2 AM!” “I LIKE GOLDEN GIRLS!” and somewhere out there someone will say, “ME TOO!!”
Maybe you hit it off. Maybe you don’t. Maybe you make an ass out of yourself. Maybe that’s actually not so scary afterall.
Want some more from Kenny? Follow him on twitter over yonder!