Our female Seedster’s search for Mr. Right.

Thursday, Feb. 23

Today is the big date, and you better believe I’m excited. I could be only eight or so hours away from meeting my perfect match. Have my date and I been exchanging anticipatory messages for the past few days?  Sharing anecdotes and experiences?  Creating fodder for tonight’s conversation?  Leaving each other begging for more?

Absolutely not.

Although I did get this message last night: “just confirming tomorrow night at 7pm.”  To which I responded, “yes, see you there.” I wonder what he is thinking right now? Is he actually looking forward to this? I better come up with a good web of lies about:

1.  What I do for a living (not work for Seed magazine.  No reason to get on the Seed website.  It doesn’t even exist)
2. Why I haven’t responded to his messages   (I’ve been so busy)
3.  Why I’m on Chemistry.com in the first place (looking for someone “special”/tired of getting “burned”/fed up with the “bar scene”)
4.  Why I’m going to betray the Chemistry.com “honesty” policy and blog about our date, i.e why do I wanna break his heart?  (I’m dead inside)

I think I actually am going to take the website’s advice and brush up on his profile. Then I can ask pointed questions ( “so…you mentioned that you’ve been alive for the last 28 years…how’s that working out?”)

Of course this is not to say that things haven’t been jumping between me and other potential matches on Chemistry.com. I’ve moved on to short answers with at least 3 other guys. I can’t wait to start a meaningful relationship with them. And I’ll be able to say it all began with the questions: “What’s the best vacation you’ve ever taken and why?” and “Who is your role model?” I’m not getting too many new matches now, though, because I refuse to release some of the gems that I’ve racked up. Most recently—and I’m tempted to use his real name—one of my new matches included 10(!) photos of himself, and the final one was a vaseline-on-the-lens photo montage of all the previous ones. Genius. He sounds pretty wonderful, is interested in getting MAs and PhDs (plural!) AND is moving to his family’s “estate” in Pennsylvania. At first I was scared. I mean, why would someone with his credentials be interested in me? Sure I actually HAVE a Masters, but only one. I’m glad I kept reading his profile, though, because by the time I got to the end, all my insecurities were put to rest:  He writes that I should “not be intimidated by what he wants.” And you know what else?  His Chemistry.com assessment says that he “doesn’t like boring people.” I think he must be a really eclectic individual, and since I “like to engage in creative theorizing,” well…it’s going to be hard to put this fire out.

On a less subjective (read, snarky) note I got a match over the weekend who seemed pretty normal (read, kind of cool). My profile says that I’m slender. His profile says that he’s looking for girls who are curvy/more full figured. Huh. Does chemistry conquer all? I guess we’ll find out.

Friday, Feb. 17

Not much to report today. I continue to wait to hear back from my potential matches. Everyday the list of bachelors who have not reciprocated my advances mocks me.

I got an email from my date for next week which was a little disconcerting. He keeps asking if I’ve received the photos of him. I’m not sure what he expects me to say to that. “Oh, baby, you’re so hot?” It’s weird. In all the scrambling around to get a date and subsequent giggling around the computer screen with my coworkers, I haven’t really thought so much about what my date thinks about this whole thing. He wanted to meet about 3 steps ago
(and it’s only a 4 step process). I think we were supposed to exchange a flurry of emails before we scheduled a meeting. I feel zero connection to this man. Is this what chemistry feels like?

On another note, I can’t help noticing that my new matches for today were back to normal, i.e., undesirable. I also noticed that I seem to be, I don’t know, NOT so compatible with my matches. I know, I know the people at Chemistry.com are experts who have seen into my head at a molecular level, but I seem to be the opposite of what some of these guys say they want in their profile (i.e., “conservative and family-oriented”).  And some of my matches are the opposite of what I actually say I want in my profile (i.e., they use the word ‘kind.’).  I don’t know if I WANT to believe in a world in which a Negotiator/Director and a BUILDER/Negotiator don’t get along.  I have to remember that Chemistry.com warned me that there wouldn’t always be chemistry. I’ll just take the recommended one day hiatus to recover from my disappointment…

Thursday, Feb. 16

Mission accomplished: I got a date. And i set it up only two days after Valentine’s Day. That’s better than in the past when I haven’t scored a Valentine’s Day date until five months after the fact—and by then all the “Be Mine” balloons had deflated). After rejecting Chemistry.com’s meeting place suggestion (Starbucks), and my date reviewing MY suggestion (somewhere that’s not Starbucks), we’ve settled on his suggestion which is close to both our offices.  I’m treated to some more helpful date hints from Chemistry.com which fall under the following four categories:

Tips for a Successful First Meeting
What to Expect on Your First Meeting
What’s Next?
Safety Tips

“Tips for a Successful First Meeting” cautions me to “be on time, dress appropriately, and be courteous.” They warn me not to screw it up “by not looking my best.”  (I’m starting to feel really pressured here).  Another suggestion is that I “brush up on his profile and our communications,” so it will “look like I’m interested.”  Now why didn’t I think of that? I kind of love the assumption that all the site’s users are setting up so many dates that they can’t keep them all straight.

I’m glad we’ve settled on a bar that’s near work, because it’s not until I read “What to Expect” that I find out that they don’t recommend that a “First-Meeting” go longer than 20 or 30 minutes.  Now I see why I need to review his profile: there’s no time to be covering old ground here.  Nor is there time to have a drink AND a discussion.  I wonder if the 20 minutes includes all the time spent staring dreamily into each others’ eyes…

Can I just say this: What DON’T these people do for you?  I don’t even have to give my date the bad news if it doesn’t work out.  You fill out a review through the website, and they do it for you in a “carefully-worded email!”  Well, now I’m really excited for what I’m sure will be the best 20 minutes of my young life.

Wednesday, Feb. 15

Today I rejected Chemistry.com’s lackluster meeting place suggestion, which was Starbucks.  It’s strange that you cannot reject a meeting place until you provide an address and name for a new spot. I guess they’re trying to move things along. For once. I suggested a swanky bar that I would never be able to afford but seems like it would suit my match. And now I wait.

As much as it pains me to say this, my matches have improved. They’re closer, location-wise, and less objectionable-looking. One is even kind of… good-looking.  They also seem to be a little more eclectic, I guess I would say. Chemistry.com has been holding out on me. (Have I mentioned that when you express interest in someone, the site says: “We’re so excited for you and Bob!”  That’s weird.) I’ve started to notice some strange things about the guys on the site, such as how a 33-year-old man is interested in women between the ages of 18 and 35.  Eighteen, really? 

Update: Even as I type this, someone has reciprocated my interest! I’ve sent him my “relationship essentials.” And now I wait. Again.

Tuesday, Feb. 14 (Valentine’s Day)

Today I get the big date invite. Getting through this process has been like pulling teeth. Another creepy twist to the experience: Chemistry.com helps you set up your first meeting! After filling out my availability on a calendar, they recommend that we meet at a Starbucks a week from now. They also make you go through a “safety tips” page where they recommend that you watch your alcohol intake and that you always keep your cell phone handy. Creepy.
I’m now on round three with another match, but he lives in another state, and I’m pretty sure it’s outside of my 25 mile radius (the lowest distance range you can select). This means that my profile was reset when I updated it last week since my matches are consistently located far away. It seems unlikely that I’ll get out to whichever Starbucks is halfway between here and Pennsylvania to meet a guy who includes a picture of his sports car in his profile. Although, maybe he can pick me up—I’m sure that’s not against all the safety rules.

Monday, Feb. 13

I continue to get new matches everyday, and—shocker—they continue to be kind of glorified frat boys. There’s lots of pictures of dogs. I think my blunt profile might be too dark for this sunny crowd. The profiles also continue to blur into each other. It reminds me of that episode of Seinfeld: “Jimmy thinks you’re cute.  Jimmy like Elaine.”

There is something kind of off-putting about a website telling me that “everyone likes Billy.” I think Friendster is better in this respect, because at least then you can read (or consciously note the absence of) personal testimonials about your match. I just don’t think that the size of someone’s index finger indicates whether or not everyone likes him.

Sunday, Feb. 12

My match is not so fond of following this website’s rules and keeps trying to sneak in his personal email address, etc. I don’t take him up on the offer. I don’t really get the attraction. It’s hard to feel a “spark” with someone when it’s being filtered through and monitored by an anonymous third party. 

Saturday, Feb. 11

The warm, fuzzy feelings aroused by this website’s continual repetition of my glowingly positive personality assessment are counterbalanced by the fact that there is a lengthy queue of guys who have not yet reciprocated my interest in them. Even guys who first expressed interest in me have apparently had second thoughts. Either that, or they are just really, really slammed at their banking jobs. 

I’m now onto the “Short Answer” section with one of my matches. For the sake of time, I choose two questions from the list provided, although you can create your own. I take it that no one’s that pleased with the Chemistry.com set up, because one of the questions sent to me by my match wonders why this process takes so long. (Wait. We both agree on this point. Maybe he is my match.) 

Friday, Feb. 10

I’m beginning to be a little suspicious of Chemistry.com’s approach, since upon closer examination of some of my matches, I find that some of them haven’t actually filled out a profile yet. That means that what we do know is that Bachelor #1 and I might be a good match based on the following criteria:

1. We’re both white.
2. He’s over 6 ft.
3. We live within 25 miles of each other. 

This information is listed next to the slightly disconcerting Chemistry.com logo—two red wedding bands linked together. (Here’s hoping. I mean, we’re both white, how could it go wrong?) 

I have managed to progress with one match to the second stage which is “Relationship Essentials.”  We both choose 10 values from a pretty limited list, including “extreme cleanliness and neatness,” “active family life,” “good education,” “finds humor to be a key aspect to life,” etc.  You rate five of them as possessing various degrees of importance, and the other five as not so important.  Then you blindly rate each other’s values, essentially describing what your mate would look for in a relationship.  This provides, oh I don’t know, zero insight into the other person. 

Is chemistry really just when both of you stop your arrow at the same point on the “shares deep emotions every day” spectrum?  (God, I hope so.)

Thursday, Feb. 9

I’ve already lost interest, but maybe that’s because I could not be less attracted to my matches.  And when you consider that it takes me 24 seconds to move the first 5 matches to the “Archive” bin and 24 HOURS to get new ones, you’ll understand my frustration. 

However, I express interest for the sake of science. In fact, I will express interest in more men over the next few days than I have in all my post-pubescent years combined. 

Wednesday, Feb. 8

I’m assuming that what makes the Chemistry.com profile different from the Match.com profile is all the fun visual games—like “Make this hexagon the same size as the other hexagon”—in addition to all the probing personal questions, such as, “Is appearance important to you?” Anyway, the profile process takes awhile, and it turns out that I’m a Negotiator/Director. (Although really they’re only one point off each other. I wonder which question kept me from being a Director/Negotiator?  Probably that one about talking the suicidal person down from a ledge.)  As I will soon find out, this means that I will be lambasted with the same self-esteem affirming summary of my “warm and charming” personality any and every time I access this site.

As for my matches, they were all very similar, which is the problem w/ Chemistry.com.  You keep getting paired up with the same guys— for me, Director/Negotiator or Director/Builder. Steve is ambitious. Tom is driven.  Allan likes to travel, but so does John. And Eric. And everyone else. All the profiles start to run together, because they’re worded in a similar way. 

The site, from my perspective, feels a little like an escort service,  since all these guys are in their late 20s, make six figures and are in finance or real estate.  I guess that could be very appealing to some girls…

Originally published February 14, 2006


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