Online Blind Dating: Adding Insult to Injury

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What happens when a dating site blocks all pictures?  CHAOS!!!  And probably a major decline in traffic.  Let’s be honest.  Most people on dating websites are there to find people they’re attracted to, at least initially.  The profile serves as a supplement but many users don’t even take a glimpse at your efforts to be witty, sexy, and attractive through the written word.  Recently, one of these dating sites implemented a “Crazy Blind Dating” app and blocked all pictures for a whole day.  People went nuts and were writing really hostile statuses while probably 1% of the site was ok with it.  Newsflash- That 1% probably never shows a picture.  Personally, I think they should implement a day when you HAVE to show a picture…and one that’s not a decade old. My assumption is that this new app is not a huge hit and someone is probably jobless.

Why would you choose to go on a blind date when you can see what they look like?  Blind dates served a purpose when you were unable to show a picture but we’re not in 1989 or in North Korea.  Dating online is awkward enough, I don’t think it needs blind dating to add another element of surprise.  And from personal experience, they are usually shocking and not in a good way.

My friends and parents (ahem MOTHER) try to set me up all the time.  My grandma is the worst though.  She always tries to set me up with an orthodox cousin at some family function.  Brings a new meaning to “keeping it in the family”.  Flattered, but not interested.  I did however go on a few blind dates that support my stance on the subject.

My top three blind date stories:

1.  I was set up with a friend of a friend’s brother because we were both single in New York.  Usually that is a starting off point for commonalities but that’s all the information I got about him besides his age and location.  We were off to a great stop, but I agreed to go because hey, you never know!  Plus I figured my friend knows me enough to judge if I’d be a good fit with someone.  So, I got to the bar early and got a bar table.  All of a sudden a surge of men came in, one better looking than the next.  Some would glance at me and I’d get excited but they would either walk by or wave to someone they know.  Then a short potbelly guy with an acid washed shirt and fleece vest walks in and my stomach sank.  I was thinking, “Please don’t be my date, please don’t be my date”.  Then I hear, “Bev?”.  Despite every instinct I had to walk out, I stayed and gave him a chance.  Maybe he had a really good personality or was really funny?  Nope, the only thing good about him was his appetite.  I had to sit through an entire dinner with him, having only ordered a salad while he ordered the left side of the menu.  When the check comes I always offer to pay but before I had the chance to he asked if we could split it.  Then the check came back and there were $3.00 to split.  He pocketed the $2.00 and was like, “Here you want this?” and slid the dollar over to me.  Thanks for your generosity but you definitely need that more than I do.  Needless to say, we never spoke again.

2.  I get a call from my Mom and had no idea what I was getting myself into by picking up the phone.  She was standing with her friend’s son and his fiance and asked me in front of them if I wanted to get set up with the girl’s brother.  I got the whole pitch and got cornered into saying yes.  The girl was standing next to my mother describing her brother and could probably hear our phone conversation.  I couldn’t say no!  So I agree to meet him and again go to a bar to meet.  I had a hard day so needed a drink before he came.  When he showed up he said hi and then went straight to the bar.  Despite noticing my empty glass he did not offer to order me a drink.  Strike 1.  Then he sits down and I immediately notice his wandering eye (maybe he didn’t notice the empty glass after all).  It might have been nice to have mentioned that minor detail.  I had no idea where he was looking the entire time.  What was more off putting was that he was cocky and had an attitude.  Strike 2.  He had his phone out the entire time and was texting.  Then after he finished his drink (which was probably 10 minutes later) he picks his phone up- it didn’t ring or buzz- and tells me he has to leave for a work emergency.  Before I could get my coat on and look up he was halfway across the street running like his ass was on fire.  Strike 3!!

3.  The Ukrainian.  This was right after I had a bad break up with someone I had dated from Jdate.  So I immediately went back online to try and get my mind off of him by dating right away.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t paying enough attention to who I was actually agreeing to meet.  With the Ukrainian, there were so many red flags that I chose to ignore and they bit me in the ass.  First, he barely wrote anything in his two emails and had a sparse profile.  Second, he lived with his parents in Brooklyn (at age 29).  Third, his picture was about 500 feet away standing next to an American Flag pole.  That should have deterred me off the bat.  But I go to meet him outside Barnes and Noble in Union Square and see a guy with a striking resemblance to Sloth from The Goonies and, of course, that was my date.  I had that familiar sinking feeling in my stomach but I couldn’t just leave him there so I went and introduced myself.  We decided to go to a bar as opposed to dinner.  I could not understand a word he was saying because he spoke broken English with a thick Ukrainian accent.  So the conversation was a lot of “sorry what?” and dead silence.  The bar was loud and crowded which didn’t help.  What I could tell was that we had nothing in common and a lack of conversation.  We get to the bar and I order a Kettle One and club soda.  He goes, “Thank god, I thought you were going to order vodka”.  That was my cue to go.

I saved the Ukrainian for last because that was the closest thing to an online blind date.  It was the worst date I’ve ever had and probably will ever have.  Now thinking back, that flagpole picture was probably when he literally got off the boat to Ellis Island.  If that was any indicator of what online blind dates would be like, then count me out.

Lesson learned: Photos, a profile, and an email are barely enough to know someone before a regular date.  Taking the picture away only lessens the chance that you will have a successful meeting.

If you are into uncomfortable situations then by all means try the Crazy Blind Dating app.  I prefer to keep the element of surprise strictly to presents…you can always return and exchange.  What I can’t get back is my time and the permanent image of Urkainian Sloth out of my head.

Thank you blind dates for the memories…and the nightmares.

-Bev

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