iDate: A Personal Account of My Venture into Online Dating… Part 6 – The Finale, Epilogue, and Ending Notes

idate6.jpg
Original cover art by the talented Jenn Guo

This is the final part of a 6 part series about my personal experience with online dating. Click here to see other parts to this series.

So here we are at the big finale. I had set out to give online dating a test drive for one month. My time was almost up (this was in June, and I was leaving for Japan in July).

Let’s take a quick review. The bad: frustration at the difficulty of getting responses from girls. The good: the hilarious light-saber story, the fun of being an attention getting girl online, and of course, the prospect of a real life date. Things were looking more good than bad. However, let me warn you that the ending is rather anti-climactic.

Finale

So let me tell you a bit more about this girl I had planned a real-life date with. We’ll call her L. Her cute profile picture and nice profile description caught my eye on Lavalife, so I sent her a smile. After she smiled back, I sent her a short polite message with some casual pleasantries, to which she responded in a similar manner. Shortly after, we added each other on Facebook and chatted on MSN before arranging a date.

L seemed like a very sweet and positive girl. Among her Facebook quotations are idealistic and inspirational lines like “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” A little cheesy? Probably. But I still thought it was cute. L had just graduated from the University of Waterloo. She seemed smart, fun, and adventurous. It was around the time of the ROM opening, and we talked about our separate plans to attend the overnight opening event.

So, for the first date, I suggested this lovely little tea salon on Queen St. W. called Red Tea Box. I had just discovered the place a few months ago and absolutely loved taking people there. It’s a very cozy place with delicious tea and delectable snacks. In the summer, the courtyard opens up and offers a beautiful sun-splashed piece of heaven. We set the date for Sunday June 16th.

I was looking forward to it and even a little excited to have my first real-life date that resulted from an online dating site. Sunday rolls around and I roll out of bed around noon. The date was sometime in the afternoon around tea time, maybe 2 or 3 pm. Soon after getting out of bed and about 2 hours before our date, I receive a message on my cell.

Hi JP, I forgot today is fathers day. I have to spend it with my fam. Can we go meet up next time? *L

So that, ladies and gentlemen, was the anti-climactic ending to my online dating story. Hey, I did warn you!

I think the excuse for cancelling the date was borderline acceptable. I can understand the importance of family. One day, when I’m a father, I’d love it if my daughter cancelled her date to spend father’s day with me. But still, did she honestly only realize it was Father’s Day 2 hours before our date?

My reaction went something like this:

Self Doubt: WTF. Did I say something to screw this up? I put in too many smileys in our last MSN chat didn’t I? Damn it!! I should have know.
Voice of Reason: Dude, it sounds like a pretty valid reason to cancel. It probably has nothing to do with you. Don’t beat yourself up about it.
Cynicism: Hahaha, I bet she found a hotter guy on Lavalife. Hey, why don’t we play for the gay team? Maybe we’d actually get some action now and then.
Voice of Reason: Yeah… real funny!
Idealism: Now, now, let’s not look at this too negatively. She’ll probably suggest another date. She did mention “next time” right?
Cynicism: Shut up you dumb ass. What do you know about women anyway? The last time you saw ass, it was the first three letters of “assignment”.
Pragmatism: Hey guys, what are we gonna have for lunch. Hunger’s calling here.
Hunger: Hello? … Hi. Hunger here. … No, I won’t please hold!

Anyway, I don’t remember what I had for lunch that day and this brings us to the end of my online dating story. Why did my online dating adventure end here you ask? I guess I could have tried to arrange another date, or hit on more girls, but I was leaving for Japan in two weeks and I had a lot of stuff on my hands. Plus, I really didn’t feel like throwing more time and effort into online dating. The effort to return ratio worked out rather poorly for me.

Epilogue

So what did I learn from my one month of online dating?

Online dating actually requires quite a bit of time and effort: clicking through profiles, thinking of thing to say, sending messages… it starts getting tedious after a while. In the end, I find it’s easier for me to talk to strangers in a social setting and strike up a connection than it is to jump through the hoops of online dating to get a real date. But this is very much a personal preference. In real life, I’m not particularly shy, I enjoy going out, and I’m fairly comfortable with hitting on strangers. Online, I probably don’t get much attention because I’m not dashingly handsome. I can imagine how online dating would work out quite well for the guys who are smart, nice, good looking, but a little shy (which applies to quite a few of my friends in engineering). If that sounds like you, I’d suggest giving it a try. It’s actually quite fun for the first few days due to the novelty of it all.

As for girls, it’s quite a different story. Girls get way more attention than guys in online dating. It might seem like a good thing at first, but it gets rather tiring very quickly… especially if the guys messaging you don’t really stand out from one another. I actually thought of a good solution to this. First, I suggest girls take off the pictures in their profile and write up a good description about themselves. Sure, you’ll get a lot fewer messages, but you’ll be sure that the guys who message you are not simply interested in your looks. Second, browse through men’s profiles and send messages and pictures to the ones you’re interested in. Be sure to include a photo with your first message so they know you’ve got nothing to hide. I think guys will be flattered by the attention. Plus, why be the fish when you can go fishing?

Ending Notes

As for L, I’ve exchanged a few messages with her since then. I think she’s in Taiwan now, so I doubt that we’ll be going on a date anytime soon.

As for me, I’m still single. I won’t be doing any more online dating. Personally, I’m more interested in fun ways of meeting new people in real life. So far, I’ve found salsa dancing to be a great avenue.

As for the readers who read this series, I’d love it if you left a brief comment. Let me know what you think of the articles. Perhaps you have an interesting online dating story to share?

13 comments for “iDate: A Personal Account of My Venture into Online Dating… Part 6 – The Finale, Epilogue, and Ending Notes

  1. J
    September 7, 2007 at 11:19 am

    Real interaction is so much better, don’t believe in online dating :)

  2. Y2kenny
    September 7, 2007 at 12:48 pm

    You should go and try speed dating next :-P

  3. Jeffson
    September 7, 2007 at 5:19 pm

    Nice story! I couldn’t stop reading! Great effort. This is the kinda thing that I imagine people would do secretly, but you shared your experience and I think we all benefited from that.

    Haven’t talked to you in a while. Didn’t know about this whole thing until I saw it on Facebook. How have you been? Still in Japan? And dude, I TOLD you to come to Taiwan to visit me! You clearly had multiple reasons to be in Taiwan!

    Anyway, talk to you later. Hope you’re still going to the gym! Which is where I’m headed!

  4. Keely
    September 7, 2007 at 5:23 pm

    i will totally go speed dating with you. :P HAHAHA!

  5. Kobe
    September 7, 2007 at 7:59 pm

    great series, JP. Well done.

  6. starlight
    September 7, 2007 at 8:42 pm

    Very well written and engaging! :) Usually I’m not a sucker for dating-related articles but you had something quite novel and interesting to say. It was refreshing! Kudos!

  7. Amy
    September 12, 2007 at 5:43 am

    Ha ha, “Hunger: No I won’t please hold”. Hi-larious.

    Hope you’re meeting lots of interesting, smart and funny women in Japan. They’d be the lucky ones. ;)

  8. AIMRA
    January 20, 2008 at 1:07 am

    Hey JP ,
    Great article man, If I had to write my experience , I wouldn’t write it better than you did.
    Pretty much I had the same results like you. I am an engineer, but, I am more aggressive and less sarcastic than you ( or so do I think, and I wish I have your writing ability and sense of sarcasm).
    So, I chose to write an aggressive and to a degree sarcastic profile . I also chose not to contact girls and have them contact me first. The result …. I did get around 15 to 20 e-mails in the first 6 months and had 4 or 5 dates and 1 GF. out of it. After that nothing ……and for a very long time.
    You are right , real interaction in real life is much better and more rewarding.
    Thanks for the laughter JP

  9. June 6, 2008 at 12:36 am

    Loved reading these. Hilarious! Sounds like it was quite the adventure.

  10. June 22, 2008 at 10:57 am

    Yo, good read. Very well written. And you confirmed the beliefs I had with online dating.

    I’m in a similar situation. I’m a computer scientist, a degree which doesn’t teach you human interaction — a trait very important in not staying single.

    I’ve tried online dating, but I gave up in less than a month: too much work involved to get replies.

  11. maria
    August 20, 2008 at 1:50 pm

    That was just awesome! I loved the experiment!

    Thank you for sharing!

    I hope things start looking up for you in the dating department! Next time you meet someone new perhaps you could show her this article to break the ice:D She will def have a good laugh and see your amazing personality shining though in this little piece.

    Good Job!

  12. Vee
    September 1, 2008 at 7:22 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing your experience with us; it made for a really great story. :) I’ve been online dating for about a little less than a year, and it was fun at first cuz I tend to be a bit shy, and I’m not really into the club/bar scene at all. But the whole thing got tiring real fast (I think I might look into the whole club/bar thing, after all lol). My very first online date early this year was with this guy that I ended up dating for 5 months, and the two of us were kinda like H&M that you mentioned. lol Although we’re not dating anymore, it was a good experience. It never hurts to try something new–you might learn something from it!

    Anyway, good luck with your dating ventures, and I hope you find that awesome girl that you’re seeking. :)

  13. JF
    September 10, 2009 at 10:22 pm

    This is a fantastic article. Well written, realistic, and oddly humble. Online dating is quite a bit of work for guys, since as you described you go through stages of selection, advertising (e.g. smiles), throwing the sales pitch, and securing the deal. It all seems like a lot of work, considering you can go to the local cafe and hit on any girl sitting alone. Of course, the rejection element, more particularly public rejection is what we all fear. I’ve used a mix of both methods, and I really couldn’t argue which one is better. There are positives and negatives to both.

    The main advantage of online is the increased selection. As a graduate student the odds of finding someone on the same page in a bar is minimal, while you can actually search for that online.

    It worked for me though.

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