I’m not sure how many of you know this, but I met my hubby online over 5 1/2 years ago. I never thought I’d online date, especially back in 2007 when it was still sort of new and not many people I knew had done it, but I thank God every day that I did.
Here’s how it went down (warning: I’m going to sound like a snobby bitch here in just a moment, but remember, online dating had a less-than-good reputation back in 2007). I was working at a place where I traveled 4 weeks a month. Yep. I stayed home only 4-6 weeks a year. It was HELL! So, I was in NY on a business trip training a bunch of new hires alongside a more seasoned trainer (I’d only been with the company for about a month) and they were all making fun of me for being single (fairly newly divorced). I didn’t care for all the making fun of me. I’m usually pretty good about laughing at myself, but having 10 people give me shit for being single every day for 4 days was a bit annoying. Finally, I tried to explain. First, I’m NEVER HOME! How the hell am I supposed to meet anyone when I’m on the road every week? Second, I’m not a fan of what we in AZ call “Scottsdale boys” or “$35,000 millionaires.” If some guy tells me (lies to me about) how much he makes and what kind of car he drives within 5 minutes of meeting me (while living in a one bedroom apartment with 10 other guys so he can afford the drinks in the fancy Scottsdale clubs), then I have no interest. I’m not that cheap and you can’t buy me on a first date. Sorry, there’s a street in downtown Phoenix if you are looking for that–and, she won’t expect a call the next day!
Back to NY. Finally, they asked me if I’d tried online dating (here comes the slightly bitchy moment). I said, “Um, no. I think I can get a date without going online.” OUCH!!! Every time I think about saying that I wanna kick myself. It’s not at all like me. I think I was just annoyed at being harassed about being single all week, so I was a little snappy. Well, swat my ass–it turned out that EVERY person in the room met their significant other online. What is the chance of that? Statistically speaking, back in 2007, the likelihood of that happening was slim to none. So, after pulling my bitchy, short-tempered foot outta my mouth, I said, “Okay. I’ll do it. I’ll sign up tonight.” And I did!
I went back to my hotel (slum) and wrote up my online profile on match.com. And I did not fuck around. I told it like it is. I remember when my sister read my profile she gently suggested that I might want to temper it a bit as it was pretty blunt (bless her heart for trying to help her Sissy out) but I told her that if a man couldn’t handle me in writing that there was NO way he could handle me in person. Trust me, that mouth of mine is even mouthier face to face! I remember saying that I didn’t want to lure anyone to my table under false pretenses because then when they met the real Jodi they might freak. I did not want freaking–though I met a fair share of freaks!
Here are a few things I learned about online dating before I found the love of my life:
- Read between the lines and make sure to analyze their word choice. You can learn a lot about a person by paying attention to how they phrase sentences. Do they use a lot of negative words? Positive words? Too many positive words? Do they not respond to questions you ask? Do they get too sexual too fast? If they make you uncomfortable in an email, it ain’t gonna get any better in person.
- While you may start off politely responding “no” to everyone that emails you, you’ll eventually give up on that (probably). At first, I thought it would be horribly rude to not respond to every email. Then I realized that some of the people who emailed me were clearly sending form letters that they’d created so that they wouldn’t have to personalize emails to every girl they wanted to bang. Ummmm…no. If you can’t invest 10 minutes in drafting a personalized email to someone you’d like to meet, then you can go blow.
- If you are a girl, I recommend letting guys come to you. I know that sounds old fashioned, and it is, but when you reach out to a guy through online dating they often misconstrue it as you being an easy target for wham bam thank ya ma’am. Not ALL guys are like that. But on a dating site a lot of them are. I prefer to let them approach me so that they don’t get the impression that they’re getting laid halfway through dinner on our first date. NOT!
- Be picky! Just because they ask does not mean you have to say yes. If they are jerky when you say no, then just imagine how much jerkier they likely are to be in “real” life. Screw that.
- Cyber stalk them before going on a date. I know, I know…that sounds awful. But I met more than one guy whose best friends were Photoshop and a 10 year old picture. Ummmm…not cool, mo fo. Not cool. (I don’t say that to be shallow. I say it because if someone lies from the get-go, that isn’t a good sign.) So, see if they have a Facebook page or Twitter. Do a Google search. A little research in this day and age is not a bad thing. A girl (and guy) must be smart and safe.
- Tell at least 3 people where you are going and with whom. Give them as much info as possible. Sneak a pic of your date if you can so if they find your corpse in a ditch a month from now, your phone will have a picture of the last person you saw alive. Yeah…grim! 😉
So, how did my dating go? Here’s a synopsis of the online dating misery I primarily experienced:
- First guy met me at happy hour. He looked nothing like his pic. He started our date by telling me about his other Match.com dates. I felt so special! Yep, great way to begin. Then he went on to tell me he was the victim of a criminal chick duo he met on Match. Long story short: 2 girls showed up for the date instead of one. He was excited because he thought it was his lucky night for a threesome (charming to hear on a first date). They took him out then took him to their lair (cheap hotel). They tried to knock him out and take his wallet but he got away from them and then, and I quote, “Kicked their assess all over the room.” Yep. I wanna date a man who beats up women even after he’s escaped their evil clutches. He got away from them. He didn’t need to go back in and beat them up–he did it “to teach them a lesson.” I left halfway through the appetizers.
- Second guy had no teeth. I mean seriously. No teeth. Maybe one molar. Now, as a broken-tooth nightmare myself I understand tooth issues. But NO teeth!? I could barely understand a word he said. I thought I was being punked by Ashton Kutcher.
- Third guy was a HOT FBI agent. Damn he was good lookin’! But I made an ass of myself and we never went out again. While we were having dinner he asked me if I wanted to go to the bathroom. I thought that was such an odd question. Did he have some supernatural connection to my bladder? It wasn’t talking to me, was it talking to him? Only when I got home did I look in the mirror and realize that one of my hair extensions had escaped my head and was hanging off my arm (long story as to why I wore them and I don’t anymore, thank God). Talk about embarrassing!!! Clearly, he didn’t like chicks who wore other people’s hair. Oh well, we had opposite political views anyway. It wouldn’t have worked. Still…stupid hair extension!! Totally humiliating!
- Fourth guy I went on about 6 dates with until we went out for the 4th of July on his friend’s boat. They thought it would be funny to fly the boat across the lake at top speed and then do a super sharp turn, which sent me flying and bloodied my face, just to see if I was up for a good time and was a cool chick. Good time? GOOD TIME? You guys actually planned to hurt me (they held on to handles as they knew what was coming so they didn’t go flying across the entire boat and smash their faces into the back of the captain’s chair–ASSHOLES!) to see if I’d pass the “cool chick” test???? Fuckheads. Then he had the balls to email ME and tell me that I was a primadonna princess because I didn’t join them in cleaning up all the empty beer cans on the boat (of which I had exactly zero). Oh, don’t forget, they bloodied my face! Why the fuck would I clean up after them? About a year later he sent me the longest email apologizing for his behavior. Apparently he was in a “misogynistic” phase after a bad divorce. Then DON’T DATE GIRLS YOU DUMB FUCK ASS HAT!!!
Finally, I was like, screw this, I’m done. I stayed on Match.com until October but didn’t go out on any more dates. Ugh. Then one night, while in Chicago on business, I was forced to go to dinner with this wretched bitch from work who I hated. Longest dinner of my life. But thank God for it because by the time I got back to the hotel it was late, but I was determined to cancel my Match.com membership. I logged in and as I was about to cancel one last email popped into my inbox. I read it. Turns out the short and charming email was from my future husband!
Had I not gone to dinner with bitchface, I’d have canceled my membership before he had a chance to email me. Talk about God intervening because he knows what’s best.
So, why did his email stand out from the rest? He addressed a rather unusual comment from my profile (which few had done). And he didn’t give me a single compliment. It was all about personality. I loved it. I emailed him back and we continued to email for 7 hours until we were both ready to pass out from exhaustion and half-broken typing fingers. It was AWESOME!
We met 2 days later for our first date and it’s been just the two of us from that day forward. One of the things he liked so much about me was that my profile was full of spunk and turned out not to contain even one lie (though at the time I wrote my profile I’d just quit smoking and listed myself as a non-smoker, but by the time I met him I’d started again–so that was a bit misleading, but he smoked too so it wasn’t an issue. I’d simply not thought about updating my profile when I lit up again–never crossed my mind.). One of the things I learned about him over time was that his profile was 98% true (and the other 2% wasn’t a lie–it was just slightly fuzzy).
Moral of the story? Be honest on your profile. If you are looking for a one-eyed, 6’2″ man with a vestigial tail, then list that. If you don’t put out there who you are and what you really want, chances are you won’t find it easily.
One more moral? Use pics that look like you. The future hubby’s pics made him look mean, but his profile didn’t read as mean at all so I took a chance. Turns out there’s not a mean bone in his body, even if he did look a little grumpy in the pics.
Before he and I canceled our accounts, I grabbed screenshots of our profiles. I’m going to put them here for you to read (yeah, mine’s long–shocking!). I love rereading them every couple of years. They always make me giggle.
For those of you out there in search of love–much luck to you!!! I kissed a frog or two along the way, but it was worth it since it led me to the love of my life. I wish the same blessing on all of you!!!!
Good luck to all my single peeps out there!!! 🙂 XOXOXO