Tag Archives: dating

Exclusive: 2 Months of Online Dating… What I Learned

“So, what are you even doing on OkCupid?” A friend once asked me.

~

“I don’t know.”

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THERE IS A TALL, DIRTY BLONDE DRINK OF AN HAPPY ENDING at the end of this tale–the tale of my brief dip into the world of online dating.

OkCupid(.com) was as pleasantly normal a foray into online dating as to be expected in 2015.

  • No more tacit weirdoes-only policy
  • MUCH better pervert filters
  • Smarter ways of match-making (level-of-desirability-based, Myers-Briggs-esque personality question-based, etc.)

OkCupid turned out to be, well, more than OK. Hahahha. Allow time for pun humor to digest.

BUT… there were plenty of oddities I stumbled upon using this app (the desktop version is so much less cool) which I MUST divulge to you, the world and God–all from my single-at-the-time, young-in-NYC girl perspective.

1. THE “SPAMMERS”

It had not, nor should it ever have, occurred to me that there might have been automated accounts fluttering around on OkCupid. They may not even be spammers, but they sure sound as if they’re operated by robots. Not a whole lot better for a service based around the members’ ability to showcase their personalities (and looks, of course, obviously).

After I got done with the racket of registration forms, personality questions, personal profile write-ups and picture uploads, I was immediately stricken with a “Like” from a cute 26 year-old guy whose profile mentioned he was into “making music, doing photography, and learning Spanish and Japanese.” Just quaint enough to be believably human, not generated by some algorithm. I “Liked” him back within seconds, which, on OkCupid, means that they notify you the moment you guys have made a mutual match. This guy never messaged me. And he wasn’t the only shy lurker:

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SOME “MUTUAL LIKERS” WHO HAVE NEVER MESSAGED ME:

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There is a likely explanation for most of these men not even shooting out a short “Hi”– They’re too shy and/or too passionate about this whole newfangled “women should make the first move” nonsense (I did make the first move with my tall, blonde happy ending, that said).

2. THE PICK-UP LINES

Now, there are the men who actually did message me. In the hundreds in my inbox, most were… non-threatening. Easygoing, relaxed come-ons like “hi, what’s up?” and “you’re beautiful. May I take you out for dinner?” The ones I did take note of were:

CLICHÉ:

These are the truly hackneyed pickup lines you feel bad even mocking. Even though, here we go. One guy ACTUALLY used the oldest line in the book (I swear to God, there have got to be thousands of books on pick-up lines):

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At least he spit it out right. Another guy had similar thoughts, wooing me with, “If you were a triangle, you would be cute.” Struck by a smooooth criminal.

The cheesiest, however, are those who use the happenings of recent or upcoming holidays as icebreakers. At first, I thought it was just human-to-human chitchat. Until it happened with back-to-back messages every time there was so much as a long weekend:

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KINKY:

When I say my experience on OKCupid was happily banal and serial-killer/pervert-free, I meant it. There were no men who seemed in touch with their Hannibal Lecter or John Wayne Gacy side. There WERE plenty, however, who seemed more than comfortable questioning me about my boudoir habits right off the bat. These same men would make me feel safe and at ease discussing our common interests one second (films, public figures, sports, etc.) and flick a switch and ask me, “Do you prefer @#$% or @#$%?” the next. Um, watch out for the sexual Jekyll & Hydes of the Internet, ladies.

AND DOUCHEY:

One message from a guy became emblazoned in my memory forever.

“Let’s say that you were taking me out for sushi. I’m in a rush. How long does it take you to get ready?”

I’m sure lots of people will remark on how reasonable that question is, and within the right context, they would be right. But four things:

1. His default picture was of him at a nightclub, crossing his arms around four girls, each of their faces classily blurred out. Now, sure, display yourself as a fun guy who has friends, but I strenuously doubt his most consistent party buddies were those four specific ladies. Also, if you happened to just like the way you look in that photo, how about a good, old simple crop-out?

2. ME take YOU out? I am more than happy treating my man on a date.  But introducing yourself to a girl by telling her she is arranging and paying for a first date is NOT how you get the girl, fellas.

3. How long would it take me to get ready? In your hypothetical situation? F**KING FOREVER.

4. I’m pretty sure he sends this as an introductory message to “all” the girls.

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Hate to admit it, but a flattering number to any girl

3. THE GUYS I DID DATE:

Of the guys who liked me and, and out of those guys who’ve messaged me, I’ve only actually dated less than a handful. Of those less-than-a-handful men, there were zero crazies, just your standard-issue stage-3 (and 5) clingers, flakes (stood me up; claimed family emergency), and guys with sincerely-busy schedules. Two examples who did not make the cut:

1. One who worked topsy-turvy hours as a television camera operator; Also, he did not understand any references or jokes that weren’t completely literal (he is Jersey-born and raised).

2. One who was WAY too quick to accept my offer to go Dutch on a first date to the movies.. an offer I made in sincerity when he already had his wallet out but took forever finding the cash to pay for both tickets. That wasn’t a deal-breaker but definitely a dampener. Ick.

  • THE DEAL-BREAKER were the many daily texts I received saying really nothing when he knew I was definitely at work. Oh, and his constant need to talk to me on the phone, any time or day. He’s a Millennial like me. We don’t talk on the phone, unless it is with a parent or long-distance friend. Or boyfriend, which he was not even close to being, at least not in my book. Clearly, we were reading from two completely separate chapters.

My biggest revelation from OkCupid.com?

Men get catfished WAY more than women do.

From all the dates I have attended (and from simply chatting with other men who have online-dated), I have learned one thing: Apparently, guys are catfished WAY more frequently than women are. Every guy I’ve met in person looked more or less how they did in their selective profile pics.

According to the men, however, they have hoards of stories about girls showing up looking insanely different than expected. Some only chose to post photos of themselves in professionally made-up instances (weddings and the like) and some simply had gained a tremendous amount of weight (whether in muscle or fat) after those posted photos were taken.

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Catfish, much, ladies?

The WORST catfish story, of course, has nothing to do with looks. My date dished about a young lady who, during wintertime on their first date, had stuffed the fingers of her gloves with her dog’s fur for warmth and offered him use of such gloves. This was the same date on which the girl proudly declared that she uses her cat’s insulin needles to draw her own blood and paint with it on a canvas.

Dog fur in gloves. Paints with own blood using pet insulin needles. Got it.

The same guy who told me this story? My blonde, tall, and handsome drink of hot tea (oh, so punny, I am). One crazy girl’s loss turned out to be my win. He’s Chicagoan by roots, random and morbid in sense of humor, and ambitious and daring enough to simultaneously pursue law and entrepreneurship. He’s also super-loving despite his sardonic shell and disturbing desensitization to horror movies. There is hope for love on the Internet after all, ladies.

Much love,

Lil xx

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ENGLAND Vs. AMERICA: An Englishman and I on Royal Babies, Dating in the UK vs. the U.S., and Classism

#LILGRIPESInterview

~Lillian Gao with Danny Watkins

FROM LILY ALLEN TO BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH and all the way back to the Mod fashion and British invasion of the ’60s, I think it’s safe to say most Americans are Anglophiles. We consider England our forefather, our closest ally politically, and our United Nations BFF. I have always yearned for an extended dialogue with an authentic Englishman/woman about the comparisons between our countries. Luckily, my London pal, Danny Watkins (@DannyWatty on Twitter) volunteered for the gig.

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Yes, he’s a Ginger (“I’d call myself a semi-Ginger.”) Our two-nation tête-à-tête covered all from classism to One Direction and I must note that neither of us speak for our respective nations, the peoples who live in them, or the creeds those peoples may hold.

Comedy

LI’L GRIPES (Henceforth referred to as USA):

Do English people like “Seinfeld?”

DANNY WATKINS (Henceforth as ENG):

We love “Seinfeld.” Jerry is God.

USA: I figured! That show is sooo British at heart. Random. Understated. How about the American “Office”?

ENG: The American “Office” has its moments. Steve Carrell is great; it took me about an hour into “Foxcatcher” to take him seriously.

USA: I feel like that the U.S. “Office” was too dry for many Americans, despite its success, and probably too on-the-nose for Brits.

ENG: We’re not generally fans of America taking our shows and changing things round so that Americans “get them”

USA: Yeah, we get it. You guys think we’re dumb.

Besides “Seinfeld,” what ARE your favorite American shows?

ENG: “Modern Family,” “30 Rock,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm”

USA: Oh, those are 3 of my top 10 favorite comedies of all time, no joke. Probably top 5.

ENG: Oh, I must say Lil, you got good taste in humour.

USA: Thank you. Because you’re British, that means SO much more.

Ricky Gervais

USA: Do Brits in general like Ricky?

ENG: I really like him personally. I followed him from the start.

USA: I think he’s caused, intentionally in part, quite a stir trolling the internet and Twitter about atheism.

ENG: I think there’s a 60/40 split in his favour here. Also, I’d rather people had opinions than sit on the fence. He’s a brilliant writer–I challenge anyone not to be moved by the UK “Office”…the relationship between Tim and Dawn.

Royal Babies

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Prince George and Princess Charlotte. Are those their official titles? I don’t know. Don’t care. (Photo courtesy of the AP)

ENG: American views on this?

USA: “Look boring as f***.” -Official American statement.

They’re babies. We’ve seen them before… Seriously, how does the general English public feel about the Royal Family?

ENG: Actually, a majority really like what the whole royalness brings for tourism here. Plus, we think Americans are well into the royalness.

USA: Some people with nothing else to do are.

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Outside the hospital of Princess Charlotte’s delivery. Photo courtesy of the AP

Colloquialisms

What is “LDN”?

Official shortening of London (I personally learned this first from a Lily Allen song)

“MONG” is a popular bad word over there.

USA: What is up with the term “Mong?” Ricky Gervais constantly takes those hideous bathtub pics and captions them “Mongs.” I can only surmise that’s short for “Mongoloid,” but Americans do not use that term, ever. That is as bad an insult over there as calling someone a “retard” here, right?

ENG: Amazing! Love how you know we call them “Mongs.” Ha-ha, Mong is so not acceptable. If you call someone a Mong, it is the same as “retard” here. If you call someone with Down Syndrome a Mong, that is so wrong.

After Ricky got in a TON of hot water in the UK for his incessant use of the word “Mong” to caption his distorted-face selfies. He later publicly apologized, saying he didn’t know people actually still used that word to describe people afflicted with Down Syndrome.

Twitter - @rickygervais- Good Monging everybody h ____1319720798730 article-2050854-0E72C12F00000578-238_468x348

USA: Funny how this story didn’t make it in the US, given our oblivion to the roots of that term.

“BANTER”

ENG:  The word “banter” is so overused here… it’s kinda cringe-inducing.

USA: “Banter” is not used enough here. Well, it’s used adequately but not ad nauseum.

“YOLO” and “BAE”

ENG: YOLO has just left social speech over here, slowly drip-feeding banter out of the consciousness. The irony is that YOLO has only lived once.

USA: YOLO died in America a year ago, I think. I can’t wait for “Bae” to do so as well, here. I didn’t hate YOLO, I admit. People said it ironically after a while. With “Bae,” nobody says it any other way but seriously. What’s wrong with good old “babe”? It’s the same number of syllables!

ENG: I agree, it’s awful. If “Bae” is ever used in a sexual situation, there should be an eject button that shoots the penis right outta there.

“PROPER” means something different there.

British for “very,” as in “He’s gone proper insane.”

“RIDE OR DIE” is not used in the UK.

USA: Our countries are Ride or Die.

ENG: “Ride or Die…That sounds like a porn film.”

USA: Ha-ha…that’s a common term here used to express undying loyalty. I think. I’m not one for street cred.

Dating

USA: Do you think I would do well in England?

ENG: Ha-ha…do well? With men or businesswise? Or both?

USA: Well, both if I’m going to relocate! Actually, my best friend since 4th grade–that’s whatever school-level English 9 year olds are at–lives there… Like, are employed and good-looking Englishmen shy about asking girls out?

ENG: Ahaha, you considering moving over here? I think we assume New York ladies ooze confidence and are definitely the initiators. But then again, I also just assumed New York Men weren’t shy?

USA: That’s the problem! Europeans think American girls are all sluts so they don’t have to try with us!

Hahaha…I’m exaggerating but you get it. But if I asked an English guy out, would he take me seriously? Because in NYC, the problem isn’t that the GOOD men are shy. It’s that they’re almost all taken.

ENG: Wait, American girls aren’t sluts? F*** movies for their unrealistic expectations of women.

National Lampoon's European Vacation (Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.)
National Lampoon’s European Vacation (Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.)

USA: The straight men population in New York is scarily low, as far as dating goes. Hahhaha stop watching Van Wilder!!!

ENG: If you asked a guy out, I imagine he’d take you seriously. Ha-ha wait, I thought spring break was like a whole year thing, every year. And that Pornhub.com was a live stream of everyday American life. Dayum, i feel proper dumb right now.

Classism

USA: What did you for college–sorry, UNIVERSITY, for?

ENG: I didn’t do university–I did high school and left and got a job working in retail, worked my way up, and manage a store now.

USA: Oh, nice…

Is the issue of class really that much bigger a deal there than here? Obviously, it’s hard for u to gauge–I’ve just always heard that class is a big deal in the UK.

ENG: Ohhh absolutely!!! Massive here. The Tories are pretty much well-off elitists. And it’s quite worrying with them being in charge. The poorer stay poorer and the richer get richer. It does feel like these people in charge of our country are out of touch with the rest of us.

USA: That’s fascinating–You don’t see England like that at all from the outside. But yeah, class is viewed so differently in America. There is the super-elite and there’s the super-poor. But there isn’t as huge a sense of separation between the two groups.

The American class system is a bit more complicated than in England. There are more factors at play. There are plenty of poor conservatives and plenty of ultra-wealthy liberals.

Entertainment

USA: Which American actors do you think do the closest or worst Brit accents?

ENG: I watched “Nymphomaniac” quite recently and Shia LaBeouf’s British accent is a thing of death. Meanwhile, my favourite accent to do is pretend to be in “The Sopranos.” …. And this is where you hate me, Dr. Who & Sherlock… they just go over my head. it just drags for me. “Luther,” however, big fan.

USA: I need to start Luther ha-ha. I know Idris Elba from everywhere but his own show.

ENG: Idris is a Don. We love him. Mainly because he’s a successful black man.

That’s another thing, over here, black actors feel like they have to go to America because they don’t get chances here.

IDRIS ELBA FOR THE NEXT JAMES BOND (Photo courtesy of GQ)
IDRIS ELBA FOR THE NEXT JAMES BOND (Photo courtesy of GQ)

USA: Benny–I call him “Cumbie”–it’s kinda OUR thing–said the same thing you did. About black British actors having to go to America for good roles. Explains a lot.

ENG: Also, I’d love to follow Steve Buscemi about for the day, watch him decide what cereal to buy in the supermarket…

Does he use shampoo and conditioner? How long does Buscemi take to decide on which pajamas to wear to bed and does he lounge about the house in them or just put them on to sleep in?

One Direction

USA: By the way, is Cumberbatch like your Bieber? I mean, Bieber is your Bieber. But I imagine Cumby is 10,000x even bigger in the UK.

ENG: We don’t want Bieber. Actually, I’d say Zayn EX One Direction is our Justin Bieber.

USA: Ohhhh, true. Hahaha Zayn. Why did he drop out? I did not care enough to Google that for myself.

ENG: The statement claimed it all got a bit too much for Zayn.

If I had to choose one of [One Direction] to die of an overdose, it’d be Zayn.

USA: Well, to be honest, I loved that one song, “Story of My Life.” It sounded like an actual band’s song. Harry has the strongest voice by far, though–so, not a big loss.

ENG: I think I’m a secret fan–I mean, it’s not a secret but yeah.

Political Parties

USA: On Twitter, your bio says as in the Labour Party? Is that the big liberal party over there?

ENG: As in a big fan of watching pregnancies. No, they’re Centre Left.

USA: What’s the big “true Left” party? Like, you know for us, it’s Democrats, the lefties, vs. Republican, the right-wingers?

ENG: They’re the Liberal Democrats–but nobody likes them… Labour and the Tories/Conservatives are essentially our Democrats and Republicans. Also, that makes me think,

“House of Cards” is one of the few shows American TV has gone and improved. Kevin Spacey is my hero.

USA: See… Now I feel really moronic. I had no idea that was a Brit show first. The Daily Mail published an article about the recent Labour candidates attending some segregated ban-Islamophobia rally.

ENG: Yeah, The Daily Mail is a notorious right-wing paper that tries to scare people into believing all of Islam is bad. That story didn’t make it here. It’s owned by Rupert Murdoch, who owns two of the big papers over here, plus SKY TV. His papers are very politically biased and anti-Labour and Pro-Tory.

A run-of-the-mill Daily Mail front page. (Photo courtesy of the Daily Mail)
A run-of-the-mill Daily Mail front page. (Photo courtesy of the Daily Mail)

USA: He owns Fox News and the New York Post here.

ENG: Yeah, [Rupert Murdoch]’s a massive wanker. It’s insane how an old Australian man can control this country’s thought process before an election through his media.

USA: Murdoch is definitely an enigma. Sometimes it seems he’s closer to being a Libertarian. Well, he says he does not officially support the Republican party here. He’s an “independent.” Who knows?

ENG: America is harder to control, too, I feel.

So considering how Murdoch pretty much helped this current government into power, they owe him a favour now. It all leaves a bitter taste in the mouth.

USA: Yes. Exactly.

Australia did very well with its anti-gun laws a while ago… That law would never work here. [America is]  too populated, too diverse, too factional…

ENG: We’ve gone really deep, Lil… I feel both our governments may be watching this right now.

USA: Our nations have a solid bro status. I think we didn’t do much harm today.

England and America... Best buds 'til the end. (Photo courtesy of richardfalk.wordpress.com)
England and America… Best buds ’til the end. (Photo courtesy of richardfalk.wordpress.com)