1) My dad was like "TRY IT!" and I was pretty adamantly opposed to it, because of the same stigma a lot of people have towards online dating... so I wanted to see if it would actually work
2) Kennigit's blog about it helped get me to the "ok fuck it I'll give it a shot" level.
This may or may not be a long blog post, split off into sections...
A: The girls
There is a sort of well accepted belief that all the girls that use online dating are ugly. I know a RL friend of mine who I told said that, and I even thought that as well. This isn't true - there ARE pretty girls to be found online. However, this does have a bit of a caveat. I believe that it is highly dependent on location, let me explain.
I've searched for people in the three different areas I've lived over the past year (Los Angeles, San Diego, Washington DC)... and seen a bunch of different results depending on location. For example, overall, the girls I found from LA were a lot better on average, than San Diego and D.C. (there were hardly any people in the DC area on there, and I never found anyone I thought was worth messaging). I know Kennigit said there were tons of girls to be found, I had a somewhat different view - if I was doing a search for example, I'd go through 20 pages (each page is 10-15 people, sorted by when they were last online), and maybe find 10-15 who were pretty, and maybe 3-4 I would actually send a message to.
Here are some classifications I came up with (you can compare to Kennigit's)
1) Really hot girls who clearly are there just to grow their E-Peen
2) Pretty girls with personalities I'm not a fan of (I.E. profiles that say, I love drinking and clubbing all the time)
3) Pretty girls with personalities I liked (I guess, people who are artsy fartsy and shit like that... I'd usually message these people)
4) Girls who didn't look bad, but had personalities I didn't like
5) Girls who didn't look bad but had personalities I liked
6) Unattractive girls
I'd get a lot of messages from 6's, 5's, and sometimes 3's. I usually sent messages to 3's, and sometimes 2's (they mostly didn't respond to me, or the conversations didn't go anywhere). I totally stayed away from 1's and 6's. (Hopefully that made sense)
Side note: I also stayed away from anyone under 20 years old, and from time to time, I got messages from older women (28-30s)... which I thought was pretty creepy so I ignored them.
B: My mentality
I feel I should also mention my mentality, to make the previous section make a little more sense. I'm not a person who really likes dating all the time and going out with lots of girls, not really my thing. I'm more the type of person who likes to be in more serious relationships. So that's why I generally messaged people I thought were really pretty, and why I didn't actually meet many people, but I shall get into that later!
My whole goal of online dating was either: a) to find a relationship (so far, didn't work), or b) find one really cool person who I enjoy hanging out with and talking to (mission accomplished).
Because I accomplished one of my goals, I didn't feel to bad about closing my account (more to come on this in a bit).
I met 4 people, and had several other conversations with people in which I ended up not meeting... I'll explain a bit.
1) The first girl I met was insanely pretty, almost model status. She was also pretty artsy fartsy, which is why I think she talked to me in the first place. (I think I might have written a blog about this in September?) Anyways, the problem was, as I found out, she had a big drawback... and that was that she was really rich and spoiled. Our first date ended up in us going to a fancy restauraunt and me paying about $130 for dinner.
I basically told her that I couldn't afford that kind of lifestyle, and that was that.
2) The next person I started talking to while I was in D.C. (she was in LA). I talked to her for 1-2 months while I was there, more and more. First it was messaging, then we started texting, then talking on the phone. I had some pictures of her, I thought everything was cool. BUT, I committed a cardinal sin, and didn't get her facebook or anything like that.
You may be able to guess how this goes. I get back to LA, and end up meeting her. UGLY. I was like "whoa those 3 pictures I saw of you were fucking deceptive as shit" ... and ya, that was that. Ok, I didn't actually say that, but we just went out to eat at In-n-out and I also found that she was pretty boring to talk to in person, so ya.
3) This is the person that I'm still friends with and is very cool. She's really pretty, and I've been on 4 dates with her now, pretty cool.
4) Pretty average, kinda nerdy.. not much to say here.
So I've experienced I think most of the possibilities. I've gone out with a "out-of-my-league" pretty girl, an ugly girl, a pretty girl, and an average looking one. I've made a lot of mistakes in terms of messaging people, but finally came up with a sort of formula that almost guarantees a first response and led to me meeting the 3rd and 4th person (basically I just came up with a really funny and embarrassing personal story... people seemed to like that).
There are also a handful of people who I talked to, exchanged facebooks, phone numbers, talked some more, but mutually ended up not meeting.
I think your goals and mindset play an important role in online dating. For example, I know I was looking for something more serious, so I probably limited my options quite a bit. So make sure you're clear with what you want when you're going into it (if you want to try online dating)
D: Thoughts on People and What I learned
1) I sort of went through a kind of evolution in the ~10 months I tried this. At first, I was jumping the gun really quickly and probably turning a lot of people off, I'd send these really detailed first messages, and really lame followups (in the beginning I barely got responses from anyone). My first date went alright, although I revealed I think a bit too much about myself in a way that I think you shouldn't on a first date (for some reason, I let the conversation dwell a lot on childhood, which is bad for me because I had a really bad childhood and I think it's probably a bad idea to reveal that kinda stuff on a first date). By the third date though I had figured out a messaging "formula" that worked effectively and I'd developed a lot more confidence in just meeting people and being myself.
**Side note: Online dating actually helped me a LOT in that it sort of taught me how to be more outgoing and such. I'm a naturally introverted person, and over the past 2-3 years I've been slowly trying to be more outgoing, sociable, etc. This online dating thing really helped in that respect. You're basically thrust in a social situation with an almost complete stranger (who is hopefully attractive). In these situations, you learn pretty fast what works and what doesn't, what things you should and shouldn't do, etc. In that way, I'd rate my online dating experience as highly successful because it helped me grow as a person.
2) The next thing I learned is about other people. While I did meet a really cool person, I think that the whole anonymity of the internet creates some inherent problems.
For example: a girl messages me, says basically "you seem really cool, I think we have a lot in common" ... we exchange a few messages, and then add on facebook. We talk on facebook for about 15 minutes and then she has to go. A few days later I see her online so I say hi, and she says "I just want to be upfront, I don't think you're my type, etc etc," fine.
That would never really happen in real life though. Think about it. If you meet a person in real life, say at a coffee shop or something, unless you're acting like a sleazeball or a douchebag, nobody is going to tell you after 15 minutes of conversation "hey this isn't gonna work out." The anonymity of the internet creates this sort of falsehood, in that the amount of time, or the ability you have to convey yourself is drastically limited.
Think about real life interactions. If you meet somebody, attraction isn't (in most cases) immediately felt. First you get to know the person, become friends, feelings grow, you act on them... that sort of process takes awhile. Online, it essentially takes places instantaneously in a sense. (Think about the immediacy of information available on the internet). It doesn't matter that maybe you (or me, in this example) would be a good fit for the person, because they can read some info about you, and make value judgments based on limited information - it's almost like a coin flip in some cases.
Example 2: You see some profile of a girl who's very pretty, seems interesting, etc. You send a nice thoughtful message. No response. GG no re!
Again, think about a real life comparison. If you see a girl and go up to talk to her, as long as you do it in a polite and friendly manner (assuming she's single, not doing anything, etc) - no half-decent person would flat out ignore someone like that. But again, the internet changes the game. A person who you might have had a chance with in real life, you may have NO chance with on the internet.
E: What else...
So I decided to stop online dating for now, mostly because I think that over the past month I was spending too much time thinking about it. I still have this problem (trying to work on it), where I obsess about stuff. For example, I was talking with this girl (who basically seemed perfect , really pretty, interesting, etc) on there. We exchanged messages for a few weeks, she seemed into me, everything was goin nice. She went on vacation for two weeks at the start of summer, so I was like "okay after she gets back, we'll meet and it's gonna be awesome!" Pretty much every sign pointed to that being the case.
So I waited, and after two weeks had passed (when I thought she probably would be back) - I sent another message saying basically "hope you had fun on your trip bla bla." That night I saw that she was online, I saw that she read my message, was like "oh.. finally!" Waited awhile, then I saw.... "user deleted her account." Boom! GG no Re to me!
I didn't necessarily feel rejected, I was sad for a little bit. Mostly though, I thought, "wow.... that was incredibly rude of her." Everything she said was like "ya you seem super cool lets meet up when I get back" to all of a sudden deleting her account and not bothering to say something like "hey, not interested" or anything. I thought that was really rude - nobody would really do that in real life.
Then I said, why I am worrying about crap like this? I can't let some random person I've never met bug me like that. So, I decided I'm going to go out in the world and try to meet somebody the normal way (maybe) and give online dating a rest (for now, maybe I'll try again at some point in the next few months)... all in all I think my experience was a success, I learned about myself and met one person that I have actually built a solid friendship with. So despite the fact that I didn't find EXACTLY what I wanted (a girlfriend), I did get a lot out of it!
So that's my story with online dating.