Dear friends of Peter,
My deepest apologies for not updating you on this little dating profile experiment in a more timely manner. Life, ya know? But I appreciate your curiosity and investment in my romantic life, and I certainly appreciate all the time Peter has invested in me. (Both in terms of writing me a fascinating profile and listening to me whine on gchat.)
Every few months I seem to have a brief bout of amnesia and I begin to think that perhaps online dating will be a little less bad this time around, and I eventually work up the energy to rewrite my profile and put my hat in the ring again. It’s not a perfect system, but as a 20-something worker bee who spends a lot of time in the office and even more time sitting in traffic every day, meeting people becomes more and more difficult. My social life is not what it once was and neither is my energy level (though my skepticism is at an all time high) so what’s the harm in embracing this newly en vogue way of meeting people?
Despite my best attempts at positivity, my hopes for success in the online dating world inevitably come crashing down around me and I begin to rue the day I thought this was a good idea. That was my mindset at the beginning of Peter’s experiment and why I so readily jumped on board – I was preparing to call it quits and delete my profile anyway, so why not let him have a little fun in the meantime.
We debated about whether or not he would be the one to respond to the messages and who got to choose the photos, but in the end I let him write the entire thing with no edits from me, and he did most of the photo choosing. (I can be very persuasive when I dislike a photo of myself.) So after two weeks with Peter’s Version of Jenn being presented to the men of OKCupid, here is what I learned.
1. I hated most of the things that Peter wrote about me. Don’t get me wrong, they were incredibly nice things, but they were things I would never say about myself and I felt very uncomfortable using those words to represent me without people knowing they came from someone else.
2. The men loved most of the things that Peter wrote about me. Let no one ever say that Peter doesn’t know how to appeal to men.
3. The quality and quantity of messages I received decreased. I don’t have scientific data to back this up, but there was a decline in personalized messages and a rise in the “Hey wuts up” variety. This could be attributed to my already decreased interest in OKCupid and therefore I did not appear as a match to as many people, but I have another theory. My old profile had a lot of mentions of specific things I like – Settlers of Catan, John Mayer, Atlas Shrugged, Law & Order: SVU – and I believe those details gave men an in, something to comment on about a shared interest or activity.
4. Having a trusted male friend to help write and edit your profile is a huge asset. We as people are rarely self-aware enough to accurately describe ourselves, and having a friend of the opposite sex look things over can only help you. (Be wary of allowing them to choose your photos because they will always lean towards cleavage.)
Overall, I received a small handful of messages that I replied to. There was one who was incredibly interesting (and foreign!) who struck me as someone I’d love to meet one day. His messages were brief but interesting, and although I deleted my profile for other reasons before exchanging phone numbers or meeting him, I think we would have had a nice time.
Better to leave things on a hypothetical high note rather than ruin the fantasy, right?
If y’all have any questions or want more details, feel free to ask me in the comments or shoot me an email and I’ll do my best to share. Thanks for checking in!
Peter note: So Jenn was much nicer to me in this post than I expected. I had starting pre-writing my little disclaimer in advance. “We have a special friendship. I could give Jenn a unicorn for her birthday and she’d complain about the upkeep needed on the horn.” Also I was very curious to see how things would have progressed with the foreign dude. (I named him Zoltan.) Though I may have scared Jenn off from meeting him when I asked her “Would it be weird if you kept your phone on the table with me on speakerphone during the date?”