Saturday, March 2, 2013

Kilts And On-line Dating

Once again time sure flies by. We have made it to March. That is a good thing as March is a month where the temperature finally starts to rise to something more liking to my comfort zone. So what have I been doing all winter? Gosh, not much when it comes down to it. I had a number of projects in the queue and not many have been finished. I always under estimate how long something will take. Of course, my estimates might be on target but I let myself get distracted and change priorities. During the past year I have been playing around with something I thought I would never do: online dating.

 The first site I was on a year ago was Match. This is supposed to be one of the best. This one requires a subscription to be useful. The free account is on this site is useless. I signed up for a six month membership. If you ever get on this site take the optional feature for a timestamp of when your messages are read. I found that to be useful. Also, be careful of requests to chat with someone off of the Match chat network. These will mostly be scammers. You may just want to turn off the chat feature. I found no legitimate women used chat. All the chat requests I got were scammers or fake profiles. Ok, so much for the general warnings. So how did I do on Match? To be honest it was a waste of time. I sent out 25 messages in three months. I got back 5 replies. All but one was negative. By that I mean the lady was not interested. Now I was not expecting to get 25 positive responses for 25 outgoing messages. Gosh, I can’t be doing 25 first dates or trying to contact 25 women and keep it all straight. So I expected negative responses to way out number positive ones. In theory you really only need ONE good response. What I did not expect was the lack of responses. When I send out an initial message I would study the person’s profile and comment on what was there. I did not send out canned messages or simple “hi how are you” messages. I took the time to read the profile and respond. I expected the lady to at least read the message and acknowledge it. Instead most just ignored the message. This is where the read receipt comes in handy. You can also tell when someone looks at your profile. I sent a message to one lady and she looked at my profile but NEVER read the message. Sorry, but that shows lack of character in my book. You are on this site so play the game.

From a woman’s stand point my profile is nothing to get anyone excited. I think you have to be a good BS’er to write a good profile. You should be honest and not put anything in there that is not true. You need to write up whatever you are about in a manner that will make someone want to find out more about you. So you need to be a good wordsmith more or less. That I am not. You also need very good profile pictures. Guys, don’t do the bare chest thing. I understand that is a turn off unless you are young and really have six-pack abs. Also, none of this standing in front of a mirror with a cell phone camera. Get some good pictures of yourself dressed nice. Forget the expensive cars in the shot too.

 I have come to the conclusion, at least for my age group, that women want a guy that fits the standard template of the American male. I am not sure what that is but something along the lines of he plays a little golf or some sport, wears his Levis a certain way, can wear a suit, does not have comb-over, never wears socks with sandals, never wears shorts or if he does they are never higher than the knee, has a boat, etc. I always wanted to test this theory by creating a fake profile and go back to the same women where I got no response and see what happens. Of course I could never follow through with any ongoing messages. I never took the time to do this.

 In my profile I don’t fit the typical American male. First I am not sports inclined. I don’t have a boat. I do keep physically fit and ride a recumbent bike which helps. Also, no surprise here if you read this blog, I wear kilts. Not just for Celtic fests but at least 50% of the time. So what impact does the kilt have when it comes to on-line dating. I figured it would be negative at least in the part of the country I live in. To test that theory when I was on match I changed my profile to remove all pictures and kilt comments. Unfortunately I did not stay on Match long enough afterwards to see if anything had changed. I dumped the subscription three months into the six month term.

 Later I signed up one on of the free sites. Made some changes to the profile but again all real and the kilts were still there. On this free site I received a better response rate to messages but still most were a no-response. I did get two dates out of the free site. I only got one out of match. For the most part men are going to have to initiate the first contact. I hate to say this but when I did get a first contact initiated by the lady it was from someone that I doubt was getting any messages from men so they were getting a little more aggressive. I did get one first contact from a lady that was ok. She contacted me because of the kilts. We exchanged a few messages. I got the feeling that she thought I only wore the kilt for Celtic fests and Celtic music performances. When she found out I have 20 kilts she started to ask more questions. Once she found out I wear them more often her attitude completely changed. I got a message from her and she went off on me about the wind blowing up a kilt and not wanting see what was under the kilt. Good grief! Chill out chick. I responded about how a traditional heavy wool kilt is made with the pleats sewn down to the fell and the sporran in the front will limit what blows up where. Never heard back from her. Thankful for that!

The second one was even stranger. I got a first response from a lady five years older than myself. She was attractive and looked like she took care of herself. She was in shape and not overweight. She did not say anything about the kilts in the messages we exchanged. She commented more about the dog I had in one of my pictures. In fact, when we meet, she wanted me to bring along the dog. OK, maybe she just wanted to date my dog. We decided to meet in a park where we could walk the dog then go to a coffee shop nearby. The few times I actually got to meet someone (once on Match and now twice on the free site) I suggested we have lunch or dinner at an Irish restaurant/pub. That way the kilt would not be entirely out of place. Meeting at park caused a problem. Jeans might be more appropriate. The day we were to meet was a nice day so I wore the kilt in a more casual configuration. When I arrived she was not surprised I had on the kilt. We talked some about the tartan and kilt history. We then went to the coffee shop. I must have spent about 2 hours with her. She asked if I wanted her phone number. Sure, I thought I would go out with her again so we exchanged information. When I returned home I sent her a message thanking her for the nice afternoon and I would be in touch. I figured I would call her the following evening. There is a Celtic band playing in town next week and I thought I would take her to that. The next morning I had a message from her.

This message came via the dating site and was time stamped a little after midnight. I was shocked at the content of the message. She went off about how it was inappropriate to wear a kilt, they were for formal events only, yada, yada, yada. I was very tempted to disagree and send her a link to a document about the kilt being the only MALE garment that can be dressed up or down from casual to formal (examples in pictures included in the document). And good grief when the kilts were first commonly worn they sure as hell were not formal garments. I ended up just sending a reply that stated kilts were not for everyone and I wished her the best. I figure she must have talked to someone or maybe spent the evening looking up kilts on Google to find something she did not like.

That is the reason why my profile and first encounter includes the kilt. I want to uncover any rejections before we get too far into a relationship. Unfortunately with my first wife that did not happen. When she discovered I had an interest in kilts she went ballistic over them. There are a few ladies that appreciate the kilt just hard to find. Western society really has a hang-up with non-bifurcated garments on men.

Overall online dating sites are a waste of time for most people (male and female). You don’t get the chemistry that two people have then they meet person-to-person in the course of daily life. What you get is an unrealistic expectation based on what the computer says you should be. So when you do meet this person more than likely it will be a let-down. I don’t expect I will continue online dating much longer. I really have better things to do and would be more productive getting out in public to find that someone special. I have never been one to think that there is someone for everyone. If you find someone great, but otherwise you can still have a great life as a single person.

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