If you’re new to these parts, last month we launched our SingleRoots Online Dating Experiment. The gist: We gave away 3-month online dating subscriptions to each of the top-rated online dating sites in our Best Christian Dating Sites reviews. In exchange, the recipients will allow us to ride along on their online dating experience. And by “ride along,” we don’t mean we’re actually going on a date with them; the recipients just promise to share their experiences with us.
MJ is 31 and from Appleton, Wisconsin. (You can read her introductory interview here.) She received a 3-month subscription to Match.com. When we checked in with MJ about her first month, here’s what she had to say:
On a scale of 1 to solving a Rubik’s cube, how difficult was the process of signing up and completing your profile?
MJ: I would definitely say Match was definitely more confusing than eharmony and Christian Mingle. There were a lot of different steps and I really like to have an example of what they are looking for, so when all I got were simplistic prompts of “Write your headline & summary,” I did some googling on the side to find out what they meant by that. It took longer than I expected to get it all set up, but once I had it all up, it was pretty simple to go back and adjust anything I wanted to change after reading through some other profiles. In the summary section, it seems like it really varies as to what people will put there. The first prompt made it seem like it should just be a paragraph or so, but some people really write a novel! But it is a space that at least I can get a little more information sometimes, over the multiple choice options in the preference section.
What are your first impressions?
MJ: First impressions, I’m not expecting a lot from this site overall. I still think it will be a good experience, and I definitely feel like there is a higher possibility of me going on some actual dates through this site, but I haven’t seen much evidence so far that I’m really going to find a guy who actually walks with Jesus and wants a relationship based on that. My other impression is that people on this site want to move right to meeting, as opposed to a longer online process before getting together or exchanging phone numbers. That is both encouraging and frightening at the same time.
Have you had any dates yet?
MJ: I haven’t gone on any dates yet. There are so many ways to show interest in someone on Match.com, that I’m just now feeling like I know how to navigate that and found a communication method that fits me. You can like someone’s overall profile, like their individual photos, like or comment on a particular part of their profile, email them, chat with them… It was a little overwhelming at first! My inbox was flooded with emails about people liking different things. I did have one guy offer to go out for drinks and make out with me, then wanted to know if I would move in with him. When I responded with the fact that I wouldn’t move in with someone unless I was married, he then asked if I would marry him! And that was just in the first week! That definitely creeped me out a bit, along with another message that just said, “Wanna cuddle?” There are a few guys that I started e-mailing with and one that I’ve texted a bit with, so we will see how those go.
What is the most frustrating thing about online dating so far?
MJ: I think this first month, the most frustrating thing has been figuring out what method of communication works for me. Like I said, there are so many options and it’s kind of just a free-for-all on Match.com. There’s no step-by-step process. So I tried a few different things to see how that worked, and have come to the conclusion that winks are just useless! I get daily matches and if someone seems interesting, I’ll like their profile. If I really see something that grabs my attention, I will e-mail them. Most of the time I will respond to an email that is sent to me, unless there is something in their profile that really turns me off, like the fact that their relationship status is separated. I don’t think I have it all figured out yet, but at least I’m not so overwhelmed or confused by all the options!
What’s been the most exciting thing about online dating so far?
MJ: I think I’m most excited (and a little nervous!) about the chance I have to actually go on dates through this site. Even if nothing turns out and I don’t find the type of guy I’m looking for, at least I’ve actually met some guys and gotten some dating practice! Because it has been quite a while since I’ve been on a real date.
Okay, so you’re one month in. On a scale of 1 to Tom Cruise jumping on Oprah’s couch, how do you feel about online dating at this point?
MJ: Overall I’m still feeling hopeful. The amount of matches I’ve gotten has been more than on other sites, which I like. I’m not sold on it yet, due to the seeming lack of guys who love Jesus and a few more creepers. I am still open to seeing if something can happen though. I’m not sure I will continue with it past the 3-month trial, but that could change yet.
Have you ever paid for a Match.com subscription? Was your initial experience similar or different to MJ’s? Share with us below.