The following ramblings are based on real-life experiences, mishaps, and downright screw-ups. Names (of past, present, and future boyfriends) have been changed or omitted to protect the innocent. And the guilty...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Somebody's Watching Me

So, in a moment of weakness/sadness - immediately post-breakup - I had the bright idea of joining Match.com. Sound crazy? Yeah, probably. But, I did it for two reasons: 1. I needed to remind myself that there ARE, in fact, plenty of other fish in the sea; and 2. nothing strokes a bruised ego quite like a barrage of virtual "winks" and emailed pick-up lines. My Match profile definitely served those two purposes, but two days and over 1,000 profile views into it, I remembered why I hate that site.

If you decide to online date (as many people do these days), really think about how many people you are comfortable with having the ability to view your profile. You have two privacy selections in Match, and they are either to completely hide your profile, or to completely expose it. You can block certain users, but that usually doesn't become an option until the trouble's already started.

Point in case - I was matched with a self-proclaimed "Bachelor", who was pushing 40 and had never been married. I'm not really one to talk on that point, so I figured I wouldn't judge. Yet. He seemed nice enough, at first, but one email into our interaction and he was asking for my number, and had given me his. Call me old-fashioned, but if I'm taking the online plunge, I want to take it SLOWLY. That's one of the greatest advantages of this medium of social networking. You have plenty of time to decide if the guy's a psycho BEFORE you give him (or inadvertently divulge via caller ID) any information that could indicate where you live, where you work, or what your last name might be. The first request, I didn't acknowledge. Instead of calling him, I simply wrote an email back, responding to the questions and comments in his prior email. He responded to that by telling me he hates email (um, why are you online dating then?), and would rather call me. I told him, very nicely, that while I was interested in continuing communications with him, I would rather hold off on the phone calls, and just email for a while. I was quite surprised at his reaction. Instead of indulging - no, RESPECTING - my very polite and reasonable request, he basically stated that he was not amenable to that arrangement, and I should just block my number and call him, if I were worried about my privacy and security. Well, this kind of weirded me out (Why is this guy so obsessed with getting me on the phone? And what's so darn difficult about sending a couple of emails?), and it seemed pretty frickin' pushy to me. Since I was already turned off by the whole Match process altogether at that point, I decided to take the mature and responsible route and just never respond to him again. Surely, he'd just go away.

Or not... Relentless much?? He has since emailed me four or five times (in a matter of days) - at one point going so far as to ask if I had been abducted by aliens or run off with Brad Pitt. Seriously. I know I'm not a mind-reader by any means, and I understand that guys can be particularly dense sometimes, but WHAT THE HECK? What would make this guy think that I am even remotely interested at this point, or that his behavior is even somewhat un-crazy? And further, for a guy who supposedly hates emailing, he sure has that whole electronic stalker thing down pat! I think I now know why he's a 40-year-old bachelor...

So, to celebrate all the crazies in this world, and the fact that - clearly - I am one HELLUVA catch, a lyrical and musical salute:

Here's to you Bachelor Bill!

And Just For Jill...

Alright so this is a song about anyone, it could be anyone.
You're just doing your own thing and some one comes out the blue,
They're like,"Alright"What ya saying,
"Yeah can I take your digits?"
And you're like, "no not in a million years,
you're nasty. Please leave me alone."
- Lily Allen, Knock 'Em Out

Have a special stalker in your life? Click HERE for a list of the top ten stalker songs!

Custom Glitter Text Graphics - http://www.glittertextgraphics.com

A Post-Script: I have since cancelled my Match subscription. I hid my profile after about three days. The very second - and I mean, INSTANTLY - I would try to un-hide it (so I could see my matches), the aforementioned Creepy McCreeperson would email, or a couple of other particularly forward guys would repeatedly message me. I guess they have no jobs and can just monitor profile activity all day?? So, I'm done. Back to relishing The Single Life for this girl.

What do you guys think?

Am I overreacting?

How would my readers out there feel about having over 1,000 people view their profiles in 2 days?

And what would you have said to Bachelor Bill?



Beth said...

Well since I am getting married to my "match" from match.com in 9 months I obviously had a different experience than you ;) I definitely went on some wierd dates though, but I found it more funny than anything. I would see if you could block the creepy guy, or even see if you can report him to match.com, but if you really just don't like guys seeing things about you when you don't know them, maybe the online thing isn't for you! Good luck!

Abacus said...

I wouldn't say you're overreacting, but know what environment you're in. Of course there will be a lot of people with too much time on their hands to stalk profiles (is there a notification function you can set to be notified when a particular user is on?) that you have to somehow filter out. I haven't tried it before, but I have browsed on some free ones and I just don't like the meat market feel of it. Who wants to go "shopping" for a partner? There's a lot of room for abuse in something that capitalizes off people's romantic needs and insecurities. I would try to meet people the old fashioned way, in the flesh. Not that you wont meet crazies (like, the random climber who takes your picture, asks you too many personal questions, then insists he "hugs all of my climbing partners"). :)

Stolen Sentiments said...

Hey Beth!

Yes, and congrats again! :) You're part of the reason I gave Match another shot! I've had some luck with online dating before. Met "The Ex" on eHarmony, and two boyfriends ago on Match (but I had the same experience and hid my profile after a couple of days). I just like sites where you can control your privacy a little better, I think. I wish you had the option on Match to only make your entire profile visible to people you're actually matched with (to weed out that guy from Oklahoma with 2 teeth and 12 kids who emails 20 times). But then, that wouldn't have helped with Creepy. He was apparently a pretty good match for me...

hannah said...

You're brave! The whole time I was reading your post I was thinking, "For a guy who doesn't like emailing, he sure has the email stalker role down." Great minds think alike!

Laura said...

Whoa-1000 views is overwhelming... especially considering Creepy dude's recent behavior. I probably would've done the same thing. I had a stalker once a long time ago (stole my clarinet from the high school band room when he didn't even go to school there anymore, snuck in through the back & wouldn't give it back to me until I talked to him)... I found the best way to deal w/a stalker was to remove myself from the situation as much as possible. PS, I like virtual Rupert--I miss real Rupert! (And you of course!!) :)

Anonymous said...

Hmm. I believe in the possibilities a site like match offers, but I also am pretty into privacy, so I don't know. I wish you had the opportunity to continue to communicate with some of the sane matches, you know?

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