It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for. You subscribed to a website. Your profile is live and filled with all the witty nuggets necessary to attract someone of the opposite sex. And then DING, your email alerts you to the fact that BOOM, you’ve been matched and love is just on the horizon. What have you been complaining about for so many years? Getting a date is easy. All you have to do log in and review the plethora of single, attractive, educated, well to-do, Jesus-loving members of the opposite sex waiting for you. Right?
Wrong. Because what you’ll quickly find is that eHarmony mistook your appreciation for Battlestar Gallactica to mean you must have an affinity for Trekkies who live in their mom’s basement. And Match.com feels like since you’re so open to having a family, maybe you’d like to date 40 or 50 single mothers in the tri-state area whose “babies daddies” aren’t quite out of the picture.
Suffice it to say, you’re going to need to narrow down your choices. There is no clear cut science to filtering through your online dating matches to find a prospect for an actual date. Some people immediately disregard people based on age or profession. Others let the profile picture be the deciding factor (Random Fact: OK Cupid says men looking away from the camera and not smiling are most appealing to women). Still others eliminate matches based on certain specific buzz words in their profile.
We asked two of our readers how they weed through their online dating matches and what kind of criteria helps them narrow the list. Here’s what they had to say:
For the positives, if a girl’s profile can make me laugh, I’m on board. Being a film nerd myself, I also like if a girl lists her favorite movies and, specifically, if her favorites line up with some of mine. This may sound a bit ignorant, but if you don’t watch movies, then I’m not sure I have a whole lot to say to you. I also look for a girl who doesn’t just list “Christian” under the religion section, but who references it somewhere in her profile. Dating profiles are viewable to anybody and everybody so mentioning how seriously a girl takes her religion shows that it’s something she wants people to know about her.
For the negatives, if someone writes in text speak – “u” instead of “you,” “4″ instead of “four” – then she’s got no time for dignity and I’ve got no time for her. Also not looking for a smoker, a partier or an atheist. Those are ideologies that are polar opposites to me. Similarly, the “spiritual, but not religious” option under the beliefs category is a load of garbage. Oh, I’m sorry – was I supposed to be writing out my profile?
Age range and faith are the two options that remain standard in my search/filter. I would be lying if I didn’t say that attractiveness mattered, but we all have a different idea of what’s attractive right? So for me, if someone happens to be shirtless in front of a bathroom mirror or their car, or actually puts a salary range on their profile, or didn’t use spell-check… I happen to find those things unattractive. My search criteria has evolved some since the get-go, but not much.
Truthfully, I still can’t decide if I think that guys who claim “Christian/other” or “Spiritual but not religious” are more on track with what I want. When the faith option on your profile comes up, I’ve found that some people just mark whatever way they were raised. I’ve really found that searching for both types turns up approximately the same percentage of non-practicing vs. those who are actively practicing Christians.