mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The flaw-o-matic, or why MadAnthony is still single...

A while ago, I came across two interesting articles on the NYTimes I meant to blog about but didn't. They were on a subject very relevant to me - online dating.

The first article talks about how online dating makes it easy to be picky. People essentially come up with their ideal mate - the dream person, with every positive quality and no negative qualities - and go online shopping for a person with those qualities. But much like you can look at a thousand real estate ads online and not find an 8 bedroom mansion with 10 car garage on 12 acres for $250,000, you probably aren't going to find a millionaire nymphomaniac supermodel who enjoys going to yard sales and fixing computers.

I've signed up with several dating sites - OKCupid,,, and most recently with Plenty Of Fish. I have yet to contact anyone or have anyone contact me.

I tend to be picky when I read ads - there are certain big things, like having kids, but I've also found myself worrying about women who like sports or the outdoors or have cats or any number of things. I've even held off on women who seemed too out of my reach.

I'm guessing that women reading ads are probably the same way. PlentyOfFish actually has a feature that lets you see who viewed your ad, so you can know who rejected you. I signed up a couple days ago, and I've only gotten two views - I don't know if that's my bad title, my bad picture (taken with the iSight camera on my MacBook), or just because women don't need to look at ads - they can just post a profile and the men come to them.

And to further turn the knife into MadAnthony, the Tierney article also cites research that found that one of the primary things chicks look for is height - and that if you are really short, the only way you can compensate is by being really rich. Since MadAnthony works in higher ed and is towered over by many 12 year olds, I don't have a lot of hope.

Tierney sees much more hope for speed dating, because people tend to be a lot less picky in in-person meetings than they do online. But the research also seems to indicate that it's the more selective people who suceed in speed dating - in person, you evidently can smell the despiration on a potential mate, and it's a turn off.

My own despiration, and the fact that I'm tend to be shy around new people, suggests that speed dating isn't really going to work for me. Although I don't get the despiration thing - speed dating seems like something that is inherently going to appeal to people who are a little bit desprite, at least to people who have already exhausted all other avenues.

Ahh, other avenues. The places other people seem to meet women, but not MadAnthony.
Places like:

Bars: - besides my weekly trips to Field's, which probably falls more into the "family resturant" catagory than a bar, I can count the number of times I've been to a bar in the last couple years on one hand. Part of it is because I don't really have any single friends who go to bars to go with, and I'm not the kind of person who goes to bars alone. Part of it is because, when I started losing weight, I pretty much stopped drinking. I have a beer or two every now and again, but lack of drinking and being about 100 pounds lighter have turned me into a lightweight. Not that I ever could drink anyone under the table, but now after about 2 beers I find myself getting slightly silly for a few minutes, then having to repress a strong urge to curl up and go to sleep. Even though alcohol is supposed to losen inabitions, it doesn't help one to work up the courage to talk to someone you otherwise wouldn't when instead of trying to get them into bed, you just want to pass out in bed.

Work: supposedly, something like 58% of people have dated something they work with. I wish I worked at one of those places. I work in IT for a college, which means that my department is male-dominated. The women who do work for my department tend to be middle-aged and married. There is exactly, as far as I know, one single women near my age in my department, and I don't thnk she likes me very much. Even in other departments, most of the women - secreataries and the like - tend to be older and married.

Working for a college is kind of weird - I'm surrounded by 1600 attractive co-eds - who are strictly off-limits. We have a very explicit no-humping-the-undergrads policy, so that's out. And while we are allowed to date grad students if we aren't in a "position of power" (something I don't think I'll be in for a long time), almost all the women in my grad classes were either married, engaged, or in a relationship. I guess the outgoing, career-oriented, get-what-they-want kind of women who are going to be sucessful in business are also going to be sucessful in dating.

hobbies: - I don't really have any that get me in contact with people of the opposite sex. I tend to gravitate towards solitary activities - eBay, reading, ect. The things I do that put me in contact with other people - like Hamfests - tend to put me around lots of guys.

Church: - people always talk about what a great place church is to meet people. Heck, my parents met at a church dance. But the church I usually go to big and anonymous (which I kind of like). They have had a few Theology on Tap things in the past, but they were always on nights I either had to work or had grad classes.
Most of the women my age who I see at church seem to be married with kids by now. Even when you see someone who appears single, how do you start a conversation - walk up to them on the way out and ask them if they thing good works or faith are more important?

Grocery stores and other public places - once again, it takes guts to walk up to someone you don't know and try to start a conversation. And guts are something I don't have.


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