I have been on Match.com since the fall and I honestly believe I have looked at every profile within a 50 mile radius of my house. Even though I have only been on one date with a live person in the past four months, it feels like I have burned through the entire population of single males in my area. Or at least the ones who are out searching for love on Match.com.
My sister and I are convinced that Detroit is the problem. We keep telling ourselves that if we lived in another city, it would be easier to meet someone. So I decided to test that theory. This month I changed my zip code on Match.com to see if it would be any different.
While I could have "moved" anywhere, I decided to start with something close to home. Since my other sister lives in Ohio, I changed my location to Akron. Every time I visit down there it seems like a much happier place. Plus, I figured that if I did meet someone, there would be a possibility that we could actually start dating.
The first thing I noticed about Ohio is that the guys are really active on Match. Almost everyone I viewed or winked at immediately viewed my profile. A few of them even wrote back. In Michigan, I would view and e-mail tons of guys and never hear anything back. It was exciting to get such a positive response out in the virtual dating world.
There seems to be an overall sense of politeness that exists in Ohio and does not translate to Michigan, or at least the Detroit area. The other thing I noticed in reading the profiles and the e-mail messages is that the guys in Ohio seemed to be more sincere in their desire to meet someone.
In Michigan, there is a sense of negativity and/or entitlement in a lot of the profiles. The guys talk about what they don't want in a relationship or what they want for themselves, but they do not seem to focus on things that a girl might want to see in a potential mate. On the other hand, the guys in Ohio wrote about finding true love and walking hand in hand through life. There was even one guy who crafted this really amazing short story as part of his profile.
I noticed that changing my zip code also impacted my approach to online dating. For some reason I was more inclined to take a chance on the guys in Ohio. Maybe in part because of the really nice things they said in their profiles. In Michigan, whenever I would see a profile I liked, I would just file it away in my "favorites" and think about whether I wanted to send a note to the guy. But the Ohio version of me would see a guy I liked and immediately send him a wink to let him know I was interested.
And I was also less judgmental of the guys that wrote to me. If I got a message from someone who seemed sincere, I would take a minute to write him back even if he was not the exact physical type I was looking for. Maybe some of that Ohio politeness rubbed off on me. Although I did not find a love connection in my two weeks on the Ohio dating scene, I did have some really nice conversations with some great guys.
That open minded attitude has trickled down into other areas of my life. As I have mentioned before, I am in the midst of a mid-life crisis. Phase 1 seemed to revolve around focusing on all of the choices I have made in life (i.e. not getting married or having a baby) and trying to decide if I should have done things differently.
It seems that I have entered into Phase 2 of my mid-life crisis. Instead of pressuring myself about all of the choices I didn't make, I have a very strong urge to go out and try as many new things as I can before its too late. Let's just say that I am now starting to understand why men go out and buy that brand new red sports car.
So I guess the question is how to translate my new found curiosity into my everyday life. One thing that jumps out at me is to stop telling myself why I cannot or should not do things. Whether it is writing a script for a new Hallmark movie or writing to that cute guy on Match.com.
I have spent way too much time listening to my logical self. In fact, she has gotten to make most of the decisions since I was about 21 years old. I would like to spend some time getting to know my emotional self. I think she and I are going to have a lot of fun this spring.
Today, the Match.com version of me moved back to Michigan. It is good to be home. I feel like I am more willing to take chances and hopefully that will bring me one step closer to finding my true love, wherever he may be.