The Matchmaker for Week 3 is my cousin Emily, who is like an older sister to me. She lives in Atlanta and when I told her about the experiment she offered to be a Matchmaker. She briefly tried online dating a few years ago and found the experience not very pleasant, and is currently in a long-term relationship.
Emily and I worked on revising the profile together because it was really important to her that I was comfortable with all the information on the profile. The OkCupid profile questions also prompted interesting discussions we wouldn't normally have, like how I describe what I'm doing with my life, or what I spend a lot of time thinking about.
One of the things we discussed were specific words/interests that might attract certain types of guys. I'd been hanging out with friends last week and discussing the dating experiment and online dating. One guy said that in the "You should message me if" section of his profile he wrote, "You still get excited when you see a lizard on a hike" because then it appeals to girls that a) hike, b) get excited about things, and c) think that lizards are cool. When Emily and I were working on the "Favorite books, movies, shows, music and food" section (far too many topics for one category in my opinion) we were talking about TV shows and I said, "I don't even have a TV or cable, I just have a projector and watch Netflix and Hulu." Emily said, "Write exactly that!" because it would appeal to other film nerds/tech savvy/non-mainstream guys. It had never occurred to me to write in an online dating profile that I have a projector, but Emily's logic makes sense!
One of the best parts about having someone's help writing an OkCupid profile is the "I'm really good at" section. Most people hate filling this out for themselves, but I get to have other people do the bragging for me! Emily's answer was heart-warming for me, she said:
"Loving life. It sounds cheesy but you're someone who figures out how to love your life and if you don't like something you fix it."
It's so meaningful to me because that's exactly the type of person that I try to be, so it's really encouraging for someone who's known me my whole life to describe me that way! It's also important because it's also the type of person I want to be with. One of my biggest pet peeves is when people complain about things but don't do anything to change/improve what they're complaining about. We all need to vent at times, but as the Serenity Prayer says:
"Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, The courage to change the things I can, And the wisdom to know the difference." (I'm not in AA, I just like how succinct the Serenity Prayer is.)
Another change we made to the profile this week was adding a photo of me with my parents and brother. I don't think I'd ever had a family photo on a dating profile before, but Emily and I both like the photo (it's fun, playful photos from a photobooth) and I'm curious to see if it changes the response at all. I'm close with my family and would prefer to date someone who is at least on good terms with their family, so a family photo could help cue that.
I'm really glad to have the balance of family members and friends as Matchmakers, I think it helps give different perspectives on me and dating. And I like the new version of the profile we came up with, it combines parts of the profile I was using before the experiment (which was rather tongue-in-cheek and sometimes a bit absurd) with the softer, more sincere tone that we'd had in the profile Week 1 and 2.
After last week I've been a bit concerned about whether we'll get enough of a response or not, but we are getting some messages. I've wondered if having a full description of the experiment at the very beginning of the profile is a deterrent, and in future weeks may want to explore editing that down. I don't think I want to take all mentions of the experiment out entirely, but it's definitely a variable to play with in future weeks!
Update on Week 2 Bachelors, we'll call them Bachelor #4 and Bachelor #5:
Bachelor #4 sent me an email and we're setting up a date (he even read some of the blog, which the other Bachelors hadn't before the date).
Bachelor #5 is MIA. Interestingly, that's one guy per week that has flaked (Bachelor #2 rain checked due to health problems but hasn't emailed since). People flake a lot in online dating, so it makes sense that it's part of the experiment too. I even used to say in my profile that I don't like literally or figuratively flakey people! Bachelor #5 had sent a rather generic message and didn't respond to the message we sent letting him know Tracy had selected him, so I'm not sure if he'd read the profile at all. According to OkCupid we are a 77% Match and 20% Enemy (which is a high Enemy percentage) so maybe it's for the best. I'm keeping track of each of the Bachelors and their OkC Match % and Enemy %, we'll see if that yields any interesting data!