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Hi.

Welcome to my blog. I document my adventures in travel, wellness and navigating this wild world as a proud lesbian. Enjoy your stay!

Online Dating, Bitches

Online Dating, Bitches

It's fast. It's easy. But are you good at it?

The Basics

Many of my friends ask about my online dating experience. They seem shocked that someone can have any success at all online. I even had a friend who constantly told me about how awful her dates were. She'd get dressed up and meet someone out for dinner only to be trapped for hours as they discuss their suicidal tendencies and awful ex girlfriends.

My response was always the same. Did you vet them? My friend looked confused. Her technique was to have one or two conversations with a potential and immediately set up a time to meet. She thought meeting in real life was better than messaging, and it usually is, if you like the person.

Personally, I don't have the time, energy or cash to go on a hundred awful dates. My advice, take the time to get to know a person over text. Call them on the phone. Send a few photos back and forth. Then, if your interest is still peaked it's time to meet up. And don't ignore those red flags. If someone is weird over text, it's pretty likely they'll suck in real life (read about my dating mishaps in, Dating Lesbians Ain't Easy).

And all it takes is a little common sense to wade through someone's crap along with some honesty, not only with your potential but with yourself. What are you looking for? What are your deal breakers?

Overall, online dating gives you amazing odds. You can sort through hundreds of profiles in minutes. If they've filled in enough details, you can gauge whether or not you'll get along, as friends or possibly something more. Real life doesn't offer the chance to pick and choose through such a diverse group of people so quickly but keep in mind, people can misrepresent themselves.


Platforms

With that said, by no means am I an expert at online dating but I have had some success. Two of my previous relationships began online, one lasting two years and the other six months. Not to mention, I've made countless friends from online encounters and my dad and brother both found their wives through online dating - proof it works.

Because I've experienced mild success, I thought I'd share a few of my insights on the platforms and methods I use. Keep in mind I'm a woman looking for a woman (although I believe dating is dating, no matter what sex is involved). I also understand nothing online can match the spark you feel when you meet someone in real life but we're in the age of technology so why not join in on the fun.

OKCupid - My main platform and former favorite (until recent changes). A wide range of members worldwide. Accurate and in depth.

I'm not sure what's going on but they've changed many of the features. You can no longer see who's viewed you or who you've viewed and you have to "like" someone before messaging them. They are trying to force people into taking the first step. I just don't think most people work that way. Some (myself included) need that little push knowing someone has viewed their profile to make the first move.

From what I understand the math behind the site is quite accurate. It predicts commonalities with someone and measures how likely you are to get along. The only downfall is that chemistry cannot be predicted, obviously. Two of my previous girlfriends have come from this site. And chemistry aside, I've made a ton of amazing friends here. Two thumbs up.

Her - Fun and easy to use with a wide range of members, more on the queer side and local. I love the heart feature that notifies you when a potential likes you but I've never met anyone from this platform in person. Also, the app seems buggy and resets often so I have to re-look at the same faces again. 

Tinder - Chemistry (looks) based and easy to use. Tinder has it's purpose for sure, it's just not what I'm looking for so I tend to only use it superficially. Although, I have met a few very special people from this platform but nothing serious.

Bumble - I'm not sure what's going on with this site as far as gay women are concerned. I can't even tell if who I'm looking at is gay or just a woman looking for female friends. Am I the only one?

Match - I personally don't have experience with this site but both my dad and brother found their wives here. For me, I'm not at the point where I want to pay for an online dating service. It also seems best for heterosexuals. 


Tips for Success

No matter what your purpose, be authentic on your profile. It's the best way to attract someone. Put your best foot forward but don't mislead people. Be positive and lighthearted. And for God's sake, use common sense. No one wants to hear about your drama or see a picture of anything other than your face. Take a minute to figure out the timer on your phone or ask a friend to take a few flattering pics. They'll go a long way. I promise.

If you're going to message someone, READ THEIR PROFILE FIRST. Then find something interesting they mention that you can connect with. Introduce yourself and ask a question about that topic. It absolutely blows my mind how many people start off with, "Hey" or "You're hot". No thanks. Move along.

Post a wide range of appropriate photos on your profile to spark interest (not ten selfies with your dirty bedroom in the background). Talk about what excites you. And please, please SPELL CHECK.


Example Responses

Because I've gotten a number of compliments on my OKCupid profile I thought I'd share bits and pieces here. I will admit, it's a bit long winded but I'd rather someone get a good idea about me and decide I'm not the one than waste both our time.

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As with many platforms, OKCupid asks for a summary about yourself. Think about what is important to you and where you spend your time. What would your friends and family say about you? Start there. 

My self-summary

My friends and family are most important. I adore traveling and meeting new people. I like to push myself to try new things that otherwise might terrify me. I am honest, usually too honest. I enjoy yoga, reading and dancing like a fool (after a few drinks, of course).

I am pretty girly even though I grew up with four younger brothers but still love to get dirty. I'm a huge people watcher and enjoy my time alone. Sometimes people don't get my sarcasm because it's quite dry, but my intention isn't to offend. I work hard to be a good friend and am adventurous and loyal.

Chemistry is key and I rely heavily on my intuition. That said, my type is a bit like a unicorn so I am mostly here to meet friends.

Next up, what are you doing with your life? Take this opportunity to tell those reading your profile what you're passionate about and maybe even things you hope to get into.

What I’m doing with my life

I returned home from four years of teaching English in South Korea to attend graduate school for Interior Design. Living in Korea was an amazing time in my life that afforded me so many opportunities. Now, I'm beginning my new career.

I'd like to settle down in the next few years but make a good group of friends and still be social. I'd love to get involved in some way, relearn how to ride a bike, become an amazing cook, get my ass in shape... I'm always looking for my next adventure :)

Now, it's on to what you're good at. Don't be self loathing here. That's not attractive. And it's okay to be silly. Get creative.

I’m really good at

...using chopsticks, cleaning & organizing, puzzles, bouncing on a trampoline, tripping & choking, seeing in the dark, making & drinking mojitos and sending birthday cards.

Next, list six things you can't live without. Come up with something more unique than friends and family. That's a given. Do not put air. 

Six things I could never do without

Music, delicious food, my passport, hot showers, the sun & tennis shoes.

What do you spend most of your time thinking about? Be honest. What is it that makes you tick? Mention big things and the little things.

I spend a lot of time thinking about

I daydream about my next adventure. India, Australia, New Zealand, Maldives, Bora Bora, Africa, Sri Lanka, Mongolia & Nepal are a few on my list. I just got back from Peru and will be heading to Dinah in Palm Springs in March.

I wonder how to have a career without all the corporate nonsense.

If I'll find the right one at the right time or if I already missed my chance. If I'll have a family of my own some day.

Definitely food. If you feed me, I am happy. If not, watch out.

Another question on your OKCupid profile asks you to admit something private. Share something personal relevant to your potential date. Give people information that will help them decide if you're a match.

The most private thing I’m willing to admit

I don't like when people I don't know call me Jess but love when someone I care about does. Androgyny is sexy, so are veins and tattoos. I believe you can tell all you need to know about a person by their shoes and hands. I enjoy uncomfortable silence.

In person, I come off as shy/serious but it's just because I rarely choose to share myself. INFJ.

And finally, who should message you? Let others know who you're looking for. Take this opportunity to weed out anyone you're not interested in. It won't always work but it's worth a shot.

You should message me if

...you're not going to call me honey or cutie or baby unless I'm yours. I'm not looking to "hook up". I'm looking for real connections.

...we have anything in common & you're a good friend. I'm looking for those with positive energy who can hold a conversation (and yes, spelling & punctuation matter).

...you don't take life too seriously & are able to laugh at yourself (and me).

**Please do NOT message me if you are looking for some sort of experiment. I'm not interested.

There you have it. Good luck and happy hunting!


Main pic photo credit: eves_photogram

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