Wednesday, July 26, 2017

20 Experiences From Online Dating With a Facial Difference


I'm pretty sure my last blog entry about starting the online dating journey has been one of my most popular entries in the comment section on social media. I was amazed to how many of you responded, related, and told me, "It's about time you joined!" (At least, that's what my mom said when I told her I joined.)

Since the first blog post last week, many of you keep saying, "I'm anxiously awaiting your next post about this."

Well, update: I joined one more site. (But is anyone really that surprised?)

I know, I know. I was already on three. But, since so many people went on and on about OkCupid, I decided I had to experience it for myself. Also, it's a blog project (with a side of hope to potentially finding someone to connect with)... So why not?

As a pro: So far it's the most interactive site, and out of all four of the ones I'm on, it's the cheapest. Not only that, but after a week on the site, it sent me a map showing me my top five states and countries that I hear from, and my weakest states and countries I hear from. Oh - and if you're considering online dating - you don't have pay to receive and send messages, like so many other sites require you to do.

I'm still not sure where it ranks with all the other sites, but it does have a variety of features most don't seem to have. (At least, in regards to the other three I joined.)

Anyways, here's the online dating update you have all been waiting for.

It's another list, but a little more in-depth. Odds are, not all entries will be in the form of a list. And, if I continue to get this much content every week or two, there will be many more entries to come.

1. I think I'm too sassy for online dating. One guy told me, "I miss your voice." I replied, "You've never heard it."

2. Sending me a message for the very first time, a guy told me, "Sexy - what happened to your face?" I don't even know where to begin with this one... I'm not sure that he realizes those two phrases don't really go together, and that they feel rather contradictory. Also, not all women feel comfortable with a stranger calling them, "sexy." (Or at all, rather.)

3. Another guy sent me a message for the first time. His message read, "FYI, you can use dermablend to cover it." (Referring to my facial birthmark.) I messaged back, "FYI, you clearly didn't read my profile." Told you, online dating is bringing out my sassy side. But, I did hold back from pointing out that "dermablend" should have a capital "d" since it's a name brand. It took all the restraint I had.

4. One guy wanted to meet for a date. He wanted to go for a movie and dinner. I asked, "What about coffee in the afternoon?" He agreed... and proceeded to tell me I'd have to drive to his city 45 miles away to pick him up as he didn't have a "working car."

Bro, it's 2017. Borrow a car. Call an Uber. I'm not going to get in a stranger's car, nor am I letting one in mine.

5. When someone messages me, but they don't show their face in their photos, I don't respond. I feel that if I can share my face in such a public format and be upfront about my birthmark, I don't need to reply to someone who can't show their face too.

6. Chatting with one guy, he told me, "I'm a lot shorter than you." I replied, "Yeah, maybe. But I'm a lot more purple than you." Quick-witted, he messaged back, "You don't know that. I could have my whole body tattooed purple." Instant kudos to him for rolling with my birthmark joke.

7. Texting with a guy, he wrote me and said, "You're one of the best texters I've seen in years." Jokingly, he continued with, "That alone is engagement ring worthy."

What can I say? I'm quite the texting catch.

8. To add to my list of conditions other guys have been open about, I've now also seen profiles that mention missing limbs, diabetes, and facial differences - including one guy who has the same birthmark that I have. Talking with him, he said, "I've tried treatments and read blogs from other people with the same condition." Little did he know, he'd make it into mine.

9. When I glance at people's profiles, I've realized that many 60-something year olds think they can pass at 25 year olds.  Although, I'm sure plenty of women are not honest about their age as well.

10. I've had a couple of guys express that they'd like to take me on a date. For some, asking me out was their first-ever message to me, and for others, we had already been talking for a few days. Yet, anytime a guy asks me, I freak out, "What if they're a serial killer - or something else super dramatic?" Then I rationalize, "Wait. I'm online on the same app, and I'm not a serial killer."

Realization: I think I've seen too many episodes of "Criminal Minds."

However, for a variety of reasons, I still have yet to agree to anyone who wants to take me out. So far they've either been a bit too pushy with too many red flags, it was too fast for them to ask, or it just didn't feel right.

11. Chatting with one guy on the phone for the first time, he was instantly ready to delete his profile 30 minutes into the discussion. And he kept trying to convince me to delete mine. I kept insisting that I had to meet him first and get to know him before I made that decision - while not wanting to also explain, "I'd like to meet someone - but this is also for a blogging project." Regardless if I were blogging about the online dating experience or not, that's a bit fast to ask someone to delete their profile.

12. Having a retired correctional officer as a dad has not gone to waste. All my childhood training on types of tattoos has come in handy as I sift through profiles. Tear drop tattoos on the face? Spider web tats on the elbow? Who knew this knowledge would come in so handy in my adulthood.

13. As I was talking with a guy who messaged me, this is how our conversation went:

Him: What do you do for a living?
Me: I'm an editor.
Him: Ohhhh that is very good.
Me: Yeah, I like it.
Him: I like that!!!!
Him: Wow.
Him: You are very very intelligent!!!!! Very good.
Me: Thanks. It's really just like a grammatical Easter egg hunt.
Him: You're very positive, I like that. And you have a very nice spark. I love that!!!
Me: Thanks.

Eventually I let the conversation die down. I couldn't handle the redundancy of, "I love that," or "I like that." He used those phrases so much, it felt a bit condescending. (There were also a few other annoyances.) Eventually he started messaging me every hour, saying "hi" and "hello." Growing tired of him blowing up my phone through the app, I took away his "chatting privileges" - an option Zoosk offers that I'm incredibly thankful for.

14. After a guy asked me, "Do you know any Spanish?" I explained I only knew a few words here and there - I didn't know it well at all. And I asked if he knew the language. He explained that he was Mexican and that he did know the language. Shortly after, he asked, "Can you tell me in Spanish?" I didn't know what to say, so I said nothing at all. Language wise, all I currently have to offer in Spanish is basically, "Hola quesadilla, underwear, and chicken taco. How are you?" (Although, I really do want to learn more.)

15. Many "men" aren't very gentlemen-like. Real talk. I know I'm on the more conservative side on the sex issue. Just writing number two on this list made me feel awkward, and I doubled checked with several people if it was OK to share the comment that was made to me. Once I had the approval of a pastor's wife, I decided to just go with it and share the blunt realities of this experience.

Yet, I'm not sure why a good chunk of men think they can get away with some of the personal and invasive questions they ask. I've even found myself bluntly asking, "Why is this such a common question on these stupid sites?" Four times in one day I was asked the same question, being told that I hadn't had "certain experiences" yet, that they wouldn't date me. That it "wouldn't work out." Not to be redundant with a line I used in my last blog entry, but... #ByeFelicia

16. I feel like I'm paying for guys to treat me disrespectfully. From comments about covering my birthmark with makeup to other innapropriate topics... A true gentlemen would not say, nor ask, the things 98 percent of these men are saying and asking. And, to clarify, it doesn't matter if I'm on Christian Mingle, OkCupid, Zoosk, or

17. A guy messaged me on one of the apps. As we got talking, he asked me if I went to a specific high school - and I had. Turns out we went to high school together. I was surprised he remembered me, as I don't think we ever talked... Then again, I guess I do have an unforgettable face. ;-)

18. One guy's initial message read, "You are so beautiful. I love the color purple, and it looks so good on you." Another guy told me I had an "exquisite look." Again... I love the instant comfortability that some guys show.

19. When you share that you're online dating, people on your Facebook friend list (who don't even know each other) bond over digital "romance" stories - the good and the bad. Also, the singles randomly appearing in your inbox can turn out to be a nice surprise. (I even have had stranger a in Spain who read my blog email me about my singleness, wanting to set up Skype conversations if I am still "looking for a relationship.") If anything, I'm glad people have reached out - whether it was to inquire about putting an end to my singleness, or to relate to the tales never-ending.

20. I'm starting to think it would have been much easier to ask friends on social media if they had any single friends they thought would be compatible. There has to be a better, classier way to find someone.

Nearly a month in, I'm still trying to figure out what I think about online dating. There are days where I don't like it - at all. There are days where, like I said above, I feel like I'm paying to be disrespected. Then there are days where I can't help but think, "This is awesome!" as I chat with a really kind guy, who is more gentlemen-like than the majority I've interacted with on all the sites combined.

Yet, if I'm honest... By seeing the reactions from family and friends about my online dating experiences, I'm starting to wonder if just doing a basic, classy, non-desperate post of, "I'm single and ready to mingle," is all that it could potentially take. Who knows - you might see that kind of post and reply, "Oh, I know someone who is perfect for you!" to, "Hey. Remember me? I'd love to chat and see if there's something there worth pursuing between us."

And, as I relay all the stories and experiences to my mom, she even pointed out to me last night, "You know what's interesting? It seems, so far, that the guy you're interested in the most isn't even one you met on any of the sites."

Maybe, just maybe, being honest and saying to the world, "This is where I'm at," is all it takes.

The Travelin' Chick,

Monday, July 17, 2017

25 Insights to Online Dating – From a Gal With a Facial Difference

You guys. I did it. I joined a dating site.


Actually, I joined three.

About 75 percent was due to thinking, "This would provide great blogging content," and 25 percent was because I'm curious to see what the odds are I might meet someone. I've done a lot of traveling and have made my way around the world, but I've never had much luck in the dating department. And, now that I work from home, I don't leave the house as much as I used to, which means I don't meet a lot of new people - unless I'm out speaking, traveling, or at the Dutch Bros or Target check-out line.

I've been trying to decide when to reveal my new online dating hobby. Should I sign up, complete my subscriptions to the sites I joined, and then share on my blog? Or should I share as it is taking place? But then my friend told me I should do it as I go along, to help keep people enlightened on the experiences - and entertained. (She also told me, "then you can do a highlight reel once you've married Prince Charming" - so stay tuned for that one, y'all.)

While doing some research, some sites recommended not to join more than one to two sites at a time, in fear that the subscribed member will be overwhelmed with too many fish in the sea. But real talk. It takes a special kind of guy who will date a girl with a facial difference. And he has to be a Christian. I don't think I'll be swimming in an overstuffed ocean, so two weeks ago, I joined three sites (in this order):

1. Christian Mingle

2. Match (#2 Dating Site)

3. Zoosk (#1 Dating Site)

Christian Mingle was oddly silent, which is why I added Match to the list. But curiosity for the number one dating site also struck, and that's where I decided to add one last site.

While creating my profile, I mentioned I didn't care where people lived, that I wanted a Christian man, and my birthmark is obvious in my profile pictures - and I even mention it in my profile.

The concept of online dating has always been an odd one as someone with a facial difference. There was fear of honesty, "Will someone steal my image and turn me into a meme again?" But, I also embrace who I am as I am, and my birthmark is usually pretty good about weeding shallow people out of my life. After hearing from women who have been in makeup since the age of two, and women who have been forced to wear makeup to bed by their husbands - I needed to let the men know that this is me, and I don't feel the need to hide how God has made me. And, as I made the decision to be bluntly honest about my birthmark, I thought, "Well, I've already been a meme once." And I don't want to live in a mindset of fear. I wanted to be me, without the filters - whether they be digitally or cosmetically created.

My profile bio slightly varies from site to site, but here is the core of all three:

"I'm a 'God-sized' dreamer filled with humor, compassion, and adventure. I'm a frequent baker, photographer, and traveller. My beat-up passport has taken me to 14 countries - most recently to Taiwan. American Sign Language is my second language, although I'd love to learn Spanish next. I make it a point to laugh every day - even if means laughing at myself...because hey, laughter is the best. My favorite color is blue, unless glitter is an option. Then it's glitter...always, always glitter. 

Currently I'm an editor for a news organization in the LA area, but I work from home. Distance isn't an issue for me as I can take my work with me wherever I go.

I'm not like most gals. I mean, no one is exactly the same - which is one thing that makes this world such an incredible, beautiful place. We're all different, I just wear one of my differences on the outside. I have a purple birthmark that has been hanging out on the left side of my face my whole life. My birthmark doesn't define me, but the tales are never ending as it continues to help me grow as a person. I'm 100% open about it and don't feel the need to hide it. I mean, seriously...Purple is one of my favorite colors, and I get to wear it every single day. What's not to love? ;-) 

I'd love to meet someone here who loves a good adventure, has a good sense of humor, and who values their family. Also, someone who sees the beauty and importance of putting God in the middle of the relationship."
My profile photo on all the sites.
As I spend time online, connecting with a variety of people, here are some of my thoughts and experiences as an online dating newbie:

1. Online dating makes me feel like I'm Amazon shopping for men. Though, I have been told I'm a pro and finding awesome things online... So, maybe the odds are in my favor. But, I figure I've met many of my dear friends online - why not a potential future husband?

2. My photos of my birthmark made a 48-year-old man "tear up," but that's OK. He's an "emotional man." (I'm still trying to figure out why a 48-year-old man was viewing my profile, as a 25-year-old.)

3. The Christian dating site is a lot quieter than the non-Christian dating site. In the back of my mind, I can't help but wonder if silence is why so many Christian singles I know (including myself) are struggling to find someone.

4. Within the first discussion, a man insisted to know how much cooking and cleaning I'd do if we got married, and how much money I was willing to contribute for buying a house. When I refused to answer, he replied, "I guess you expect the man to pay for everything." Replying, I told him that I felt he was wanting to get to know my assets before he got to know me, to deem if I were dateable. I then decided I wasn't going to reply to any more of his messages.

5. After being asked if I wanted to have children one day, a man went on a long rant about how most women only want children so they can "feed off the man the old fashioned way..." and that we need to make sure we don't overwhelm ourselves in the "awful economy."

6. I've noticed that most men don't like showing happiness or joy in their profile photos, and many "forget" to put on a shirt. Unless their shirt was stolen, then I can't blame them for looking mad. (Smile guys - your smile is much hotter than an angry looking man who forgot to get dressed.)

7. It's interesting to see what people pick up on their first message. For one, it was that I'm bilingual in sign language. One man also replied that my username made them laugh, and that purple is their favorite color. Both won instant gold stickers for reading my profile...but the second guy got even more props due to instant comfortability with my birthmark.

8. Holding a conversation with a guy, he asked me, "Have you ever dated a black dude before?" But, it wasn't his first time asking me that question. So, I pointed out his repetitiveness and added, "Have you ever dated a gal with a half a purple face before?" showed he read the message, but he never replied.  Oops.

9. I felt very awkward sharing with anyone I joined the online dating world. Two weeks in, I finally shared about it with one of my closest of friends, and then a few days later I finally told my mom. After those initial two people, I the nerves were gone and I didn't mind telling anyone else.

10. Others are open about their medical conditions on their profiles as well. And it doesn't matter whether they have an "invisible" condition or a physical difference. So far I've seen guys open up about their eye patches (due to cancer), vitiligo, epilepsy, and autism.

11. At least half the men that I've started a conversation with have wanted to instantly figure out our lives together before we even know each other's names. Reading their quickly written, passionate messages, I'm left on my end with a loss of words.

12. A man wrote on his profile that his aunt, who is a nun, visits regularly. I love a guy with a close family, but I'm still perplexed as to why that was news worthy on his profile.

13. It's awkward to see someone you know on the same dating site. It shouldn't be. You're single, he's single... and it's 2017. Although, that may just be an awkward thing for me, considering I'm always awkward around people I have a slight interest in - and that includes this guy.

14. One guy shared on his profile, "I don't judge women by their appearances." But, on a lot of these dating sites, you can get very specific about the kind of person you're looking for. According to his list, he was very particular about the kind of woman he was looking for, ranging from her height, hair and eye color, to her body type.

15. Online dating makes me question my writing abilities, from my own profile to the messages I send. Do guys not reply because they haven't fully subscribed to the site? Because my profile says I'm an "editor," and I have a typo in the mix? I don't feel natural when I'm in the online dating world, and find myself often fumbling over my keyboard.

16. I was chatting with a nice guy, until he told me he produces porn. #ByeFelicia

17. When I asked one man about his faith and if he went to church, he told me, "I do have a church in the area. (I) was more involved in attending services while in a relationship. Maybe (I) just need the direction of a good woman holding my hand and guiding us back into the church together." Yeah, uh, no...That's not how this works. That's not how any of this works.

18. Grammar matters to me more than I realized was possible. (Proof: I edited the message I shared on number 15 before sharing it on my blog.)

19. Most men don't pay attention that I'm an editor, or maybe they don't care when they type their messages without punctuation or capitalization. And when they message me, I have a hard time turning my editor side off when reading what they send. But, I'm the kind of gal who, when sees a typo on a website, emails the person running it to let them know there is an error.

20. I've realized it's hard to know when you should give your number, if asked, or when it's OK to ask if you can send yours.

21. Apparently every man online is "funny," according to every profile that is filled out.

22. It's hard to balance people wanting to add me on Facebook, and my thinking, "But I want to blog about you..."

23. On these sites, they have you judge if you want to meet someone by their photo alone. They show the photo online, not sharing their username or giving you the ability to view their profile - until you rank you want to meet them. It feels very shallow to me to judge if I want to meet someone by their looks alone, like some of these sites ask you to do. A guy's appearance is not why I'm on there. Looks are ever fleeting, their foundation and core of who they are is what lasts.

24. On all three profiles, I told the dating sites I only wanted to date Christian men. I didn't mark any specifics on how much he had to earn, his body type, height, hair color or eye color...I didn't even care about distance. ('Cause you know, I'm the "travelin' chick.") Yet, the two non-Christian ones are constantly sending me profiles of people with different religious beliefs, atheists, and agnostics... Which I think is super odd.

25. Several guys have written to me to ask, "What happened to your face?" This is another sign that many didn't read my profile.

Two weeks into the online dating world, that's pretty much the basics of where I'm at - with both my experiences, observations and feelings.

...But don't worry, I'll keep you posted as I go from an online dating novice to becoming a pro. ;-)

The Travelin' Chick,