guest post series two: navigating the dating world

Happy Tuesday, friends! Last week, I introduced you to my hilarious friend Shannon, who let us in on her lessons learned from her singles bowling league. Today she's back with one of my favorite stories of hers about online dating sites. Take it away, Miss Shannon!


In April, inspired by the music video for Britney Spears' "Would you Hold it Against Me?", I signed up for the free dating website,  I was bored one night, watching music videos on On Demand, and in her brilliant and life-changing music video, Britney Spears logs on to  I have a policy of blinding imitating whatever Britney Spears does (I did draw the line at head shaving) and so decided, well, Britney knows best…time for a free online dating experiment.

In attempting online dating, it helps to have a degree in marketing and a member of the opposite sex (or whatever sex you’re interested in) to read through your profile and tell you, “No one will ever contact you if you talk about your obsession with Abraham Lincoln.”  It’s all about choosing the right pictures, the right profile name and the right opening.  In short, it’s a crash course in advertising.  A few years ago, I created a profile on OkCupid, another free dating site, without any luck.  As any female user will tell you, I did receive plenty of totally creepy messages…but not much more.  I was hopeful that things on PlentyofFish would be different.

I set about trying to create a profile that captured my personality and sense of humor.  I wanted to be brief but intriguing – no one wants to read a novel.  At first, as a new user, I received a lot of random messages.  I also sent a boatload of messages to potential prospects.  My response rate?  A whopping one out of twelve users actually responded to my carefully crafted and somewhat witty (if I do say so myself) messages.  The one who responded seemed very nice and we ended up going on a completely pleasant but relatively unexciting date.  After the lack of responses, I must admit, my ego was hurting.  Online dating is just as stressful as the real-world dating scene.  You constantly feel like you’re being judged on your ability to package yourself and your good(ies).  But at least I hadn’t wasted any money on a membership to PlentyofFish right?  As a result of my free online dating experiment I had attained a new collection of ridiculous, "I took this in the mirror of myself" shirtless photos of men, an offer by an older gentleman to take me shopping (not yet redeemed), and a mildly wounded ego.

Have you guys ever tried online dating sites? I had an embarrassingly horrid experience with e-harmony, which I tried on a dare and was off of a month later, but I have countless friends who have either met their bf/husband on there, or who have at least had a great night out with a hot boy.  I'd love to hear your stories! And to hear more of Shannon's, head over to her sharply written blog SheBang. She'll be back next week--thanks again Shannon!


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