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.

Wait.

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?" Match.com 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,
Crystal

5 comments:

  1. When I was online dating, I liked Coffee Meets Bagel app, and then there's the Christian one, Crosspaths. :) Good luck out there!

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    1. I've never heard of Crosspaths. But, a part of me wants to try them ALL. But I am super analytical, and I want to see the differences of all the sites - and the people on them. But, if I were to add two more - it would definitely be eHarmony and the Coffee Meets Bagel one. I just don't think my time, nor wallet, would appreciate it. Haha.

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  2. Replies
    1. I don't remember his username at this point to do so... Bummer.

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