The plan was dinner at home then happy hour at a bar that could promise loads of handsome and single Prince Charmings who would, of course, be hypnotized and transfixed by our intellect and ravishing beauty. Yes, that was how our Thursday night was designed to play out.
My friend poured a glass of wine as I finished off a crude and hasty version of homemade marinara sauce. A few bites in and her phone chimed in with a message, seconds later a bright pink notification light shined from my phone as well.
She had a new message from OkCupid, while I had a new five-star rating from the same site. Just a couple of days before, we both joined the free online dating site. Several of our friends were on it, we’re both single, and it’s free to use – “Why not?” we thought.
Since our profiles were fresh and new, the site’s search algorithms ensured that we showed up more often in search results and appeared more frequently for the array of eligible bachelors on the site. All of which adds up to loads of messages, five-star ratings, and uncomfortably high amounts of profile views.
“Oooh! He’s cute! Should I message him?” asked my friend as she showed me photos of a guy just shy of 30. He was good looking and his photos showed him out with friends, smiling from the top of some mountain, and hugging his dog.
She decided to keep shopping around.
“How come he hasn’t replied to my message? We would sort of be perfect for each other, I mean we’re an 84% match,” I said out of frustration as I showed my friend photos of a dashing tall, dark and handsome type who OkCupid rated as one who “replies selectively.”
I guess I didn’t make the cut on that one, time for another glass of wine.
Soon enough, we migrated from the app on our phones to our laptops so we could have a full-screen view of all of the potential dates or mates we might meet. All too quickly, two glasses of wine turned into three and before long the entire bottle was empty.
“WHAT?! How is he a match?!” my friend exclaimed as she quickly turned around her computer to reveal a super overweight guy with way too much hair on his face and a joint with smoke shrouding any sort of recognizable features on his face. Sexy.
“Umm, I don’t even know what to do with this,” I said as I turned my computer to show my friend.
“TieMeUp4u, sweet screen name. Totally appropriate, all he has are bondage pics in his underwear! What the hell?!”
It was after 9:00, happy hour was definitely out of the question at this point in the evening. We both mustered up the courage to message some of our top picks. My friend carefully selected only the cream of the crop, whereas I, suffering from a bout of intense professional networking, messaged anyone and everyone who seemed like they had a good story attached to them.
Around midnight we finished our OkCupid marathon and went to sleep in a wine-induced haze. The next day, the hangover headache wasn’t the only consequence from the night before, I had an inbox full of several messages from guys I vaguely recalled messaging, all of whom had date proposals. My friend, on the other hand, had a single reply from someone who turned out to be a fantastic first date for her.
Ooops. Never ever mix wine with fake online dates. It’s like creeping on Facebook, except not nearly as anonymous as one might hope. Lesson learned, indeed.