(We don't know where we'll end up ... but we're all starting at single.)

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Introducing: The Playboy

Hello world. I'm a brother, guncle, GBF, bestie, and most recently have been dubbed "The Playboy". I must say "The Playboy" seems kind of fitting given that I'm the only gay male of the group. I don't know if I would consider myself a playboy these days, but if you knew me 10-12 year ago, I was definitely living the life of a twenty-something gay playboy.

Now for some back story...I was born on the west coast (too young to remember). I spent my adolescent and young adult years in South Carolina with a few stops in North Carolina and Georgia during my pre-pubescent years. I spent my pre-high school years as the "teacher's pet" and the "cool white boy nerd" that everybody liked. I was fortunate to not be that nerd that everyone picked on. I had an afro and spectacles which I ditched the first chance I got freshman year. Freshman year was also the year that I gained resounding popularity through sports, ROTC, and numerous other student organizations. Insert long list of pre-baccalaureate accomplishments. 

A lot of people ask me when I first knew I was gay. If you must know his name was Dean and we had gone to school together since 5th grade. It wasn't until high school that I began to realize that there were certain "feelings" there, although, I did not know what the were at the time. He was a football player and ironically enough, I was a cheerleader. Every girl wanted to date him and every guy wanted to be him. One summer day during cheerleading practice, he ran into our practice session - shirt off and dripping with sweat. Even though I spent all four years of high school dating girls, breaking hearts, stealing girls from their boyfriends, etc.; that will always be the moment I knew I was gay.

College was a time of exploration, experimentation, random hookups, and the occasional threesome. During my freshman year I struggled with my identity. Online chat was a great way to connect with others like myself and "test the waters". I came out to my family and friends during my Sophomore year and the rest is history. I joined the local LGBT group on campus to meet friends and my social life took off. I also became a Resident Advisor in hopes that I would make a difference by mentoring others like myself who aspired to do great things academically.

Coming out was not as hard as most people think it to be given that I grew up in the south. I kind of lucked out in the family department. They are my biggest supporters and encourage me to be the best me I can be. My mother and sister of course replied, "Duh...it's about time." I always felt comfortable introducing my boyfriends to the family. I know for most of you that's a huge step, but for me it's more of formality. My family is an integral part of my life and I need to know that potential husbands can charm their socks off!

Dating in a large,transient city like DC is intimidating. Add in the fact that I'm a gay male and it's like hormone overload. Everyone wants to have fun and not be tied down. Don't get me wrong, I like to act on my urges. However, there comes a point when it all gets old. I've slept with people not knowing their name. I've danced and drank until my heart's content. I went to Southern Decadence in New Orleans, twice. For those of you who don't know, Southern Decadence is basically a gay Mardi Gras combined with every white party, red party, or any other circuit party you can think of. It's 3 days of alcohol, dancing, casual sex, and debauchery. I threw in some touristy things as well! Nowadays it's all about connecting with people and hopefully meeting someone that is worthy of spending and sharing my life with.

My last few relationships took a devastating toll on my life. In the last 4 years, I've attempted suicide 3 times with the latest attempt landing me in the hospital and subsequently the psychiatric ward. Like a lot of you, I suffer from a lack of self-esteem. For me, hearing the words, "you did nothing wrong," is gut-wrenching. I couldn't see how someone could say that I did nothing wrong and leave you without an explanation. I've spent every month since then successfully focusing on my career, education, friendships, family, happiness, developing plans for my future, and learning how to take things as they come. I'm finally in a that place where when I meet the ideal partner will seamlessly fit into my life and I, his.

Monday, August 27, 2012

A Weird Thing Happened

Okay guys, so a weird thing happened.

Yesterday date one, henceforth known as RH, sent me a text. Later in the day I texted him back and he called me - using some excuse as to why, yet keeping it brief. I believe within the exchange he called me "babe" and definitely within the exchange set up another date. Okay, fine.

But here's the weird part. I signed onto OkC today and found that he had looked at my profile again mid-afternoon yesterday. I only know this because his name was listed in my "recent visitors", but not his face. Why not his face? Because apparently he deleted his profile. What. the. fuck.

Now I am over-analyzing that OkC has served its purpose for him as bait and here I am a helpless hapless fish out of water (man, that line would be so much better if we used Plenty of Fish). And having only discovered this deletion after I agreed to see him again next week, I am afraid I'm going to end up disappeared. I don't want to disappear.

So it begs the question: How common is it for someone you meet to hide or deactivate their account after meeting you? Just coincidence? Should I be afraid? Or am I oh-so-clearly over-reacting? (Cause that's weird, right?)

Guys. Guys! LISTEN. If you can't find me after next week, you know who took me. Please come find me.

xoxo, The Window Shopper

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Introducing: The Pool Boy

Hi There,

I am the pool boy, but I am also well seasoned so I am also the wizard. This game of online dating is a trip isn't it? If there is one constant in this adventure, it is that nothing stays the same. We change as we meet and venture new emotions with new people, and everyone else is doing the same thing. We are victims and opportunists of our past and we are all wondering what the future will bring.  If you are starting at single, I invite you to join the rest of us, and take a shot at this online dating thing. To hell with opinions, to hell with stereotypes, and to hell with waiting for what you want to come to you. I cordially invite you to live life on purpose and go out there and find what you want.

This is my introduction so I will not delve too deep in this go around. As the pool boy, I am a tentative dater. As my description says, I let the opportunities come to me, I value what others think, and I play by the rules. If I tried harder, maybe I would find what I am really looking for, but for some reason the motivation never comes. As for online dating, I know what I am doing and I rely on my high level of empathy to tell me what is going on in these online dating situations. I will share what has worked, and what hasn't. I will tell you how I have failed miserably, and how I have shown promise. I cannot tell you how I have succeeded because I too am starting at single.

In 2005 I was living in Minneapolis, and I was on match.com in its infancy. The interface was not too good, and the photo limit was like 3, and the file size was like 60K. Needless to say, what you saw in the pictures was not really what showed up to meet you. I was at a happy hour with a bunch of colleagues at an Irish Pub called The Local. This girl showed up, and all kidding and shallowness aside, she was a far better fit for an offensive lineman than I was. I was shocked, because that was not what her profile showed at all. As I play by the rules, I excused myself from my wide-eyed set of colleagues and offered her a drink. I told her that it was nice of  her to meet me, but that I was not interested. She left with her friends and that was the last I ever saw of her.

My first and foremost point is, you can be no one other than yourself. No one else in the universe was picked to be you, but you. So be you, and stand proud. Sure, we all have things we want to work on, emotionally, mentally, and physically. But if there is one thing I have learned over the years, its that you truly have no idea what you really want. You have to experience to know it. An online profile exists merely to allow one to decide if who and what they are viewing possesses traits that are a deal breaker or not. So when you write your profile, be yourself. Only the true you will be able to insight true passion in anyone else, and only you will be able to reach a state where you are satisfied by what you have found in someone else. Everything else may create something that lasts awhile, but it will not sustain you for life. Trust yourself, whether or not you can put it into words, you know what you want.

More to come my friends. Stay tuned, and welcome  to Starting at Single.


Saturday, August 25, 2012

Introducing: The Sonnet

Sonnet here. As defined by my name I am kind of a bitch who has way too high of standards for men. Sorry I'm not sorry. Why shouldn't I have high standards? I'm not trying to go out with some creature or douche bag. I thought the guys on online dating would be different. I don't know why? Maybe because they are on the site for a purpose. The question is what is that purpose. Considering I originally joined to laugh at random guys and potentially get a free dinner or two, my logic might not have been the best. I am pretty doubtful about these online guys. Are they really any different than that douche bag guy at the bar who wants to take me home to his bed (if I am lucky enough to make it there :-/)? I am approaching this entire process apprehensively, but none the less open.

My OKCupid experience so far has been interesting. I have received numerous messages ranging from "hey sweetie" to long, drawn out messages opening with a really bad joke. I particularly enjoy the old men who write messages or the young guys who just look like they are old men.

A few messages that I particularly enjoyed: 

1. "You are beautiful. I bet you hear that a lot. If not they are assholes." - um okay no you are an asshole. What does this guy expect me to say back?

2. "I see that you like food. I love to cook. I will make you a delicious array of wild animals to show you how 'wild' I am about you" - Bahahahahahaha for real?

3. "Hi, I was looking at your profile when my roommate walked in. She said if I didnt message you she would. I'm pretty sure she's into guys so It was probably an empty threat. But my mom typically has good advice so I thought I would say hi." - Oh my GOD

I am (of course because I am a Sonnet blah blah blah) being very selective about which (if any) messages I respond to. At first I was getting really pissed off at these guys messaging me. I only responded to one person and that was only because he asked me a question related to golf and I felt obligated to help the guy out. Recently my experience has improved. I actually found a guy who seems pretty amazing - I am questioning if he is actually real or if he's fake. I'll see how it goes and of course I will keep you posted =)

So ... my realization from my first month on OKCupid is that online dating really isn't much different then regular dating. The only plus is I don't have to physically run and hide to get away from these guys. I assume there are at least a few normal people out there or maybe not and I am delusional in my own world. Either way I will see what type of excitement month two brings. Cross your fingers it's not a disaster.

Sonnet out.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Shopping. But First, An Explanation.

Week 2 has passed. And it's been an accumulating-ly interesting experience. I'll tell you all about it, including - shockingly - my first (online) date, but first: an explanation.

The Window Shopper persona does describe me well. I am a hopeless romantic and I do believe in fate. I think that the universe will send you on your way and into love when it is ready - not when you are - and thus, online dating might just be a lesson in futility for those who take it too seriously. That might seem cynical to some, but it is simply my personal belief that we are all Fate's bitches. And when the time is right, *he will find me and no amount of looking will take me to him. *He, of course, being my "soul mate". (Yes, I believe in that too.)

With that said, I have made my way to love - or rather the Universe has sent it to me - three times in my life. I was 17 the first time I fell in love: It was fast and ferocious and ended in absolute heartbreak in mere months, when he went back to his ex (who he described to me as psycho) and proposed her four months later. (They divorced after a few years.) About eight months later, I began to date the next man I loved. We dated for nearly three years - till it ended with my total devastation...continued on a bit later (if you know what I mean) and ended when I was the devastator. About a year after our official break up I started to date the man I now refer to as The Ex. We were together for five years; we lived together for three. (Six months of which we were broken up: I do not suggest this scenario.)

I think it is safe to surmise that I am, in fact, in love with love.

Love became a habit I had to break. I made a conscious decision that the time after The Ex would be spent alone, dating and gathering all these stories and experiences of which to share with my eventual children. In that time, I have never online dated - not because I judge it, per say - because I don't believe that it is the story that I want to have. What if oops! I did find my mate online - because the Universe is also a silly bitch, along with being controlling and stubborn - and then what a story that wouldn't be. So, then, I find it surprising that I went on my first online date last night.

Two months ago I told my mother that I would never online date and if she found me doing so to shoot me (or something just as melodramatic and if it happened, I would be 35 and seeking a sperm). Then, a month ago, when we decided to do the "Book Club", I declared on my (personal) blog "I have no intentions on going on any dates" and was simply there to watch from the observation deck of dating. So I find it strange that after a little over a week online, I agreed to a date. And after two weeks online, I went on the date. And, even more surprisingly, on the heels of week three, I actually enjoyed the date. It started with apple pie and hot toddies (I wasn't feeling well, but don't like to break commitments) and ended with a kiss. A good one. Go figure.

I'm supposed to have another first date next week. And I begin to wonder how a person who takes love so seriously, can actually like a guy and just keep moving (or date more than one). Maybe I can't: A quagmire indeed.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Nursing: the First Two Weeks

The first couple of weeks of online dating have been pretty interesting. I am a nerd and freely admit so on my profile. Apparently, some guys on OKC have no idea what to talk about when speaking with girls. As a female engineer I thought I had been exposed to guys who can't interact with girls, and believe me I have. However, it's been quite a while since I was on the "girl" end of the equation. I'm usually the engineer they can ask about those mythical, magical creatures called girls.

Here are some of things I have heard or been accused of since I joined:

  • I must be a fake profile, "I am interested and I do have a pic but because of the number of fakes, I have to make sure. Let me know if you are real and I will send you a pic."
    • Uh, thanks? I guess? I never did get to see a pic - not that I asked.
  • Another take on the fake profile, "Yeah, this cannot be a real profile. You must be some 400 lbs. dude living in his mom's basement and laughing his ass off at all the responses you are getting."
    • Giving this guy a chance because he's pretty funny.
  • I've had a long conversation about the Oxford Comma.
    • No seriously that was his opening line (eye rolling).
  • I've been given numbered lists of questions to answer.
    • Seriously, I hate essays please don't make talking to you into a chore.
  • One guy said all he knew about Computer Science was "... that department always smells like a men's locker room."
    • Um, really? That is supposed to make me want to talk to you? Did you just miss the part where I said I studied CS in school? So ... you think I smell like a men's locker room?
  • And one of my favorites: "P.S. I wouldn't have used so many parenthetical comments, but this thing doesn't allow footnotes."
    • Wait, you need footnotes to introduce yourself? Also, there were triply nested parenthesis ... ugh!
  • Also, I've been challenged on my nerdiness, "You say you're nerdy, but you don't look or seem nerdy. Let's hear what nerd qualities you have before I hand out the nerd goddess title :)"
    • Wait, did you actually read my profile? People are more likely to stop a conversation to inject how nerdy I am, and this guy wants me to "prove" that I'm nerdy? Let me just find my nerd card ... I think it's in here some where ... oh yes it was hiding between Star Trek and Big Bang Theory.

I'm not convinced this is going to work out any better than other attempts at dating, but at least there is an entertainment factor. At least I don't have to worry about offending these guys when I start laughing at the ridiculousness of it all.

Introducing: The Dirty Little Secret

Hi all! The DLS here and I am probably overdue on this, LE SIGH. Perhaps that's the first of my "dirty little secrets" to dish: I'm consistently inconsistent. If you like unpredictable, I'm your girl, and my experience with OKC and the persona quiz captures that sentiment perfectly.

I joined OKC almost 2.5 years ago, right before my last serious relationship, before a lot of heartbreak, tears, and growth. To be fair, I cannot say I have ever done it with any consistency (ha!) and in fact, I deactivated once, then came back to support a girlfriend only to ignore it for a year. So despite achieving online dating level "experienced", I'm a relative novice when it actually comes to moving forward from online to in-person. But I digress (another "secret"?)...

Apparently, I took the persona quiz way back when and was The Sonnet. Imagine my delightful surprise when upon retaking it recently I was dubbed "The Dirty Little Secret" or the "finger" of the dating world! Now on first thought, I not sure I'd want to be associated with an appendage, especially in a romantic/sexual sense, but "innocent but fundamentally sexual" just fit. Reading my description, I felt as if I was overhearing a best friend talking about me, uncomfortable at first, but then settled, like putting on your favorite tee and yoga pants to curl up on the couch after a long day.

I am not sure what I want out of this project - more aptly, what I want to admit I want - for now I'll say, I want love but I want my "freedom". My mate will ultimately have to get that. I do know this much: I am The DLS and proud of it.


P.S. More secrets to come...

My dearest pen pal...

I think there should be an understanding on the online dating sites: if you exchange multiple lengthy messages (say 2 each) and find them delightful to read, either admit you want a pen pal or ask the girl out. I keep getting handsome pen pals. That is great if I were a few hundred miles away, if I were married and elusive, or if I didn't look anything like my photos; but I’m right here… within 25 miles of my alleged zip code. I want a guy with the confidence to ask me out; because if you are too shy to ask me out, you are probably too shy to say ‘no’ when I ask you out. So, handsome pen pal, the ball is in your court. <Ask yourself, is that really where you want your ball(s)?>

Introducing: The Boy Next Door

Hola my cyber amigos,

My description of being The Boy Next Door is pretty close (other than the odd picture and MND joke). I believe that I am an amiable guy that can get along with most people: I want to get involved with as many people and places as possible shown through my devotion to traveling. I have a strong sensitive side of me that can shed tears during a chick flick and awe at a puppy as well as a little cockiness when it comes to passionate things like Pittsburgh sports. So being the BND would definitely fit my comical and passionate personality. I hope that being the sensitive type can overcome the stereotypical male in the modern world.

I joined a dating site for a couple of reasons: First off, I am getting older and for some reason meeting new potential mates is a rarity. Throughout the last few years in DC, I have come to meet many people that have become only friends.   I had a few girls along the way that I dated however the relationships only lasted a few months.  Maybe I was too friendly and not assertive enough to pursue more girls. So now I think it would be healthy to get out into the dating world for a longer-term relationship. Secondly, I want to experience all that the world has to offer.  Dating services and similar websites are part of our generation.  I think online dating services are one of these experiences that everyone should try at some point.

It’s funny; I said many times to people in the past that the perfect girl for me has The Girl Next Door personality: She is the cute, sensitive girl that wants to travel everywhere. It is definitely fitting that my result is the BND persona. Lets hope that I find this neighborhood girl sometime soon.



Sunday, August 19, 2012

Introducing: The Slow Dancer

The description for being the Slow Dancer implies that slow and steady wins the race, which I'm hoping will be my story. I haven't had many relationships in my past and did not start dating until late in college. I attribute some of this to my parents' desire that I focus on schoolwork and not date, pretty much through high school. Growing up, I had the typical Asian parents that focused on school work all the time and emphasized a strong sense of family. I was very rarely allowed to go hang out at friend's houses, and was never allowed to invite people over. In college, I was an engineer and <sarcasm> everybody knows that they are the most social people. We spend all of our time slacking off and meeting new people. </sarcasm> All of this led to a late development in many social skills that are necessary for starting and maintaining relationships.

I've been contemplating joining online dating for a few months now, after watching it become more and more acceptable/popular. I've heard many friends do it, and I recently had a talk with some of my cousins that recently joined in, and had great things to say about it. My excuse to not joining it, has been that I've been too lazy or too busy to do it, but more and more I realized that I was just terrified of putting myself out there and giving it an honest shot. Then I heard about this "Book Club" from fellow members and it gave me the kick start that I needed to get out there. It has provided me a support network, so things aren't so awkward and has been an invaluable resource.

I've been single for longer than I'd like to really admit, but I'm hoping that this foray into online dating may help me find somebody, and will be entertaining to the readers.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Introducing: The Nurse

Hello, I'm The Nurse; the jaded cynic in the "Book Club". While I'm apprehensive about online dating, I agree with The Window Shopper all the attention has been really good for some of my insecurities. What I'm hoping to accomplish with all of this is simply getting myself back out there and over my fears about dating. What I'm not looking for is anything serious or long-term; I'm in the process of finding myself.

I must admit I am one of the ones "peer pressured" into joining the online dating site. I'm not sure I'm ready to be dating. It scares me quite thoroughly. Since the beginning of the month there have been a couple dates of "importance" in my dating life: the 8 month anniversary of my break-up and what would have been 14 years with the ex, also I turned 34. The first two are the kind of thing that no one but you notices, but I found both affected me more than I thought they would.

I have been "single" for the last 8 months, and I've been taking the time to rediscover myself. I haven't been focusing on dating and the few times I did attempt to get my feet wet with dating, it didn't really work that well (or ended in disaster). I don't know what I'm doing; I was 19 the last time I wasn't in a relationship. I was in that relationship for nearly half my life. We were never married or engaged, but it sort of worked for us.

So, here's to getting back out there, starting at single :)

Friday, August 17, 2012

Introducing: The Gentleman

My persona has a boring name: The Gentleman. On the surface, I'm a dull archetype: I'm the guy women actually want to introduce to their parents. I'm responsible, considerate, and have my shit together. I've lead a relatively unique life, and engage in interesting activities. I'm a stable, soothing presence. I pay attention. Friends and former flames alike give me glowing reviews. Babies love me, and notoriously fickle pets show me affection within minutes of meeting me. I'm not even making this up.

But underneath my principled and personable exterior lurks an approach to dating that's racier than you might expect. I freely confess that my OKC profile description describes me to the letter. I've been around the block a few times. What's that?  Okay, fine: several times. Over the last half-decade or so, I've finally lived long enough in one place to buckle down and get serious about meeting a special someone.  It's true -- I'm looking for a companion to help smooth out the rough edges of life, etc etc. You probably already figured as much.

As I seek her out, I'll have as much fun as I can...in an honest and safe manner, of course. Whether these dates lead to lasting relationships or not, there are two important rules: 1) No regrets; and 2) No hard feelings (on either side). A true gentleman always holds his conduct to this standard.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Window Shopping, Week 1

So it's been a little over a week since I signed up for OkC. I have had probably 100s of visitors to my page and 75 messages: Three of which I found potentially interesting. It used to be four: We started a conversation last week about Running with Scissors, that I later gave up on, finding it only mildly interesting (the convo, not the book). 

The fourth dropped off yesterday when I conversation went as follows:

Guy: Well hello again
Me: Hello. 
Guy: How are you doing today?
Me: Well. And yourself?
Guy: Not so hot, just kind of relaxing. Been a bit of a stressful day, and tomorrow will be just as much fun. 
Me: Sorry to hear. Eat ice cream. It makes everything better. 
Guy: But I have no ice cream, are you buying? :P
Me: Nope! Maybe throw some ice and milk in a bag - see what happens. haha. 
Guy: So mean, why not help me out?

Here's the Window Shopper's advice, guys: No one wants to be your mother. No one wants to clean up after you. And no one, particularly a stranger you're trying to get to like you, wants to listen to you whine. Get your own damn ice cream and call your mother, is all I really wanted to type. Instead, radio silence. You're 28, cheer yourself up. Or find a hug.

Or perhaps I should drop it down to two. Because I was having the best exchange between myself and this guy up until I got bored at work and typed a response that probably amused myself more than him, but really it was all a legit response to his correspondence. The debate topic about fat people being sent to an island to lose weight to save on health insurance from high school may have been too much (which, to be fair, was health clinic argument angled to piss off my teacher that I didn't like - but didn't tell him that).Who knows. Note to self: Keep responses 3 paragraphs or less. But what can I say? I like to write and I like to talk about myself. So I'll probably just continue to do whatever I want and listen to crickets.

Otherwise the experience has been a positive one - minus one trolling 44 year old with only his torso pictured who called me 35...like that was an insult. I'm getting much more actual, positive attention once they read my profile. (I say "actual" because I'm hoot, hollered and whistled at all the time real life, but "actual" dates...not so much.) It's some how liberating, validating and sort of overwhelming all at once. It's great to get messages from people who actually like what you have to say (and photos while camping with no makeup) versus just judging blonde hair and a big rack (in person) at stereotypical face value, and then trying to win you over  Has our courtship turned viral? Have we met the 1950s wooing all over but Internet plays matchmaker? Either way, it's a really good ego fluff.

And then I wonder - since I was asked to drinks by one of the three - what to do in this situation since I'm not, in fact, seeking any type of relationship at the moment. Earlier in the year, I put myself on a sabbatical until at least October. I have allowed myself casual dating, but I think some of the men on the site are actually looking for something serious; real. I am both of those things - hopeless romantic extraordinaire - but not right now. So how do I handle that...

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Introducing: The Peach

There are lots of reasons to join online dating sites: peer pressure, desire to date, urge to find an easy lay, a humorous way to laugh at single people desperately uploading bathroom mirror photos of themselves awkwardly wet and with nauseating profile summaries that display grammar and punctuation that should make a second grader get held back a year… sadly, my desire is to find Mr. Right, get married, and breed. I’m THAT girl on the Starting at Single site; the one who is looking for mushy love that will last forever.

I'm also the closet borderline sex addict who would love to jump on anything for a good orgasm. Animal, mineral, vegetable... anything. But I get attached when I sleep with someone, and I want to make sure the next person I get attached to I might be able to keep. It's like being a noble volunteer at an animal shelter and really caring about all the pets, but I'm ready to take one of these animals home. I might not always sound romantic through the sarcasm and laughter, but I'd really like to find someone who I can't imagine living without. To deal with daily stress and thwart my sexual frustration, I've taken up running. Right now, I'm running 10-12 miles a week. I'm The Peach, and I'm on a mission to find love.


Window Shopper here, President and staple hopeless romantic of the bunch. I'm here to introduce our Book Club...which isn't really a book club at all. You see, a couple of weeks ago, my friends and I were sitting around on a typical hungover Sunday after a typical night out in DC when someone had their OkCupid account open. I have never done online dating and said as recently as last month that I "never" would; honestly it didn't interest me and it is not the story I want. However, scrolling through my friends' accounts, everyone seemed to get a kick out of what I had to say about them all - grammatical errors and uni-brows included. Judgement-free judgement, so sue me. On my girlfriend's list of matches, a guy had this list of the "10 Most Terrible Chicks on OkCupid" and with all this adding up, I made the proclamation, that we all needed to sign up for dating accounts and start a bi-monthly "book club", wherein we sit around and talk about the most ridiculous thing to come out of OkCupid that week.

And so, apprehensive or already a member, we all typed away to join, reactivate or continue an online dating membership. Our first meeting was this past Sunday, wherein we realized that this may be as much about what's not out there, as it is about the weird ins and outs and women vs. men and do's and don't's and WTF's of dating.

We all single. And we're all here to tell you about it. We hope you'll we'll laugh and learn.

Magically, we ended up with five six girls and five guys (21 to 35) all of different "personalities", according to the OkCupid "Dating Persona Test" - which we all realized is terrifyingly accurate. Who knew flossing had anything to do with love?! These personas will be our handles as well as our introductions. Here we go:

The Sonnet (Female, 21, Straight, BS - New to Online Dating)
Romantic, hopeful, and composed. You are the Sonnet. Get it? Composed?

Sonnets want Love and have high ideals about it. They're conscientious people, caring & careful. You yourself have deep convictions, and you devote a lot of thought to romance and what it should be. This will frighten away most potential mates, but that's okay, because you're very choosy with your affections anyway. You'd absolutely refuse to date someone dumber than you, for instance.

Lovers who share your idealized perspective, or who are at least willing to totally throw themselves into a relationship, will be very, very happy with you. And you with them. You're already selfless and compassionate, and with the right partner, there's no doubt you can be sensual, even adventurously so.

You probably have lots of female friends, and they have a special soft spot for you. Babies do, too, at the tippy-top of their baby skulls.

The Maid of Honor (Female, 25, Straight, BS - Veteran Online Dater)
Charismatic, affectionate, and terrific in relationships, you are what many guys would call a "perfect catch" and you probably have many admirers, each wishing to capture your long-term love. You're careful, extra careful, because the last thing you want is to hurt anyone. Especially some poor boy whose only crime was liking you.

We've deduced you're fully capable of a dirty fling, but you do feel that post-coital attachment after hooking up. So, conscientious person that you are, you do your best to reserve physical affection for those you respect...so you can respect yourself.

Your biggest negative is the byproduct of your careful nature: indecision. You're just as slow rejecting someone as you are accepting them.

The Slow Dancer (Male, 27, Straight, BS - New to Online Dating)
Steady, reliable, and cradling tenderly. Take a deep breath, and let it out real easy...you are The Slow Dancer. 
Your focus is love, not sex, and for your age, you have average experience. But you're a great, thoughtful guy, and your love life improves every year. There's also a powerful elimination process working in your favor: most Playboy types get stuck raising unwanted kids before you even begin settling down. The women left over will be hot and yours. Your ideal is someone intimate, intelligent, and very supportive.
While you're not exactly the life of the party, you do thrive in small groups of smart people. Your circle of friends is extra tight and it's HIGHLY likely they're just like you. You appreciate symmetry in relationships.

The Boy Next Door (Male, 27, Straight, MS - New to Online Dating)

Kind, yearning, playful, you are The Boy Next Door. You're looking for real Love, a lot like girls do. It might not be manly, but it's sweet.
We think the next three years will be very exciting and fruitful ones for you. Your spontaneous, creative side makes you a charming date, and we think you have a horny side just waiting to shine. Or glisten, rather. You enter new relationships unusually hopeful, and the first moments are especially glorious. If you've had some things not work out before, so what.

On paper, most girls would name the Boy Next Door as their ideal mate. In the real world, however, you're often passed over for more dangerous or masculine men. You're the typical "nice guy" without just a touch of cockiness, you're doomed with girls. A shoulder to cry on? Okay, sure. But never a penis to hold.
More than any other type, Boys Next Door evolve as they get older. As we said, many find true love, but some fail miserably in the search. These tarnished few grow up to be The Men Next Door, who are creepy as hell, offering back rubs to kids and what not.

The Dirty Little Secret (Female, 28, Straight, MS - Experienced Online Dater)

Innocent but fundamentally sexual, like the word "€œfinger"€. You are the Dirty Little Secret. 
Few women have the confidence for sex mastery, and among nice girls, like you, it's almost unheard of. So congratulations. You've had plenty of adventures, but you've remained a kind, thoughtful person. Your friends appreciate your exploits. They even live vicariously through you. 
You seek pleasure, but you're not irresponsible. You are organized and cautious, and you choose your lovers wisely. One, you don't like dirtbags. And two, you like to maintain control. Or at least lose it selectively. You might notice that older men single you out. They have an eye for your sensual nature. Take it as a compliment. 
You enjoy making people happy, and it's inevitable that many guys will fall harder for you than you for them. You're not completely comfortable in a serious, long-term relationship right now. Our guess is that the key to extended happiness will be finding a responsible, but kinky, mate.

The Window Shopper (Female, 28, Straight, MA - New to Online Dating)
Loving, hopeful, open. Likely to carry on an romance from afar. You are The Window Shopper. 
You take love as opportunities come, which can lead to a high-anxiety, but high-flying romantic life. You're a genuinely sweet person, not saccharine at all, so it's likely that the relationships you have had and will have will be happy ones. You've had a fair amount of love experience for your age, and there'll be much more to come.

Part of why we know this is that, of all female types, you are the most prone to sudden, ferocious crushes. Your results indicate that you're especially capable of obsessing over a guy you just met. Obviously, passion like this makes for an intense existence. It can also make for soul-destroying letdowns.

Your ideal match is someone who'll love you back with equal fire, and someone you've grown to love slowly. A self-involved or pessimistic man is especially bad. Though you're drawn to them, avoid artists at all costs.

The Playboy (Male, 30, Gay, BA - Veteran)
Clean. Smooth. Successful. You're The Playboy.

You're spontaneous, and your energy is highly contagious. Guys therefore find you fun to be around, and girls find you compelling. You have lots of sex, and you manage it all without seeming cheap or being hurtful. Well done. You probably know karate, too.

It's obvious to us, and probably everyone else, that you're after physical rather than emotional relationships, but you're straight up with potential partners. And if a guy you want isn't into something casual, it's no big deal. You move on. BEFORE sleeping with him. Usually. At least you try to. Such control is rare.

If you're feeling unfulfilled, maybe you should raise your standards. New conquests will only be satisfying if there's a possibility of rejection.

The Poolboy (Male, 32, Straight, MA - Veteran)
Friendly and eager. You are The Pool Boy.

A teen at heart, you anxiously move about your daily tasks, hoping, praying for a good, instant lay. You're carefree, enthusiastic, and rarely discouraged. Love is cool, but it's not for you right now. You know what is? Crotches.

You're a fun person in both big and small groups, and your friends trust and love you. Inside you, meanwhile, your lust is only growing. Imagine your beating heart sprouting pubic hair. Exactly. Try shaving that.

If you're not scoring enough - which you aren't - €”you should adopt new strategies. Lower your standards. Be aggressive. Pool Boys are often submissive and hope (desperately) sex will find them. Realize that passiveness will not hook the horny girls you desire. A bolder approach and sheer repetition will.

The Nurse (Female, 34, Straight, MS - New to Online Dating)
Friendly and eager. Sexy in white. You are The Nurse.
Like your male counterpart, The Poolboy, you're a fun and goofy, but giving, friend. You believe that life and love should be taken with a grain of salt. We'll bet you smile a lot, which people find contagious.
If only they knew the reason...the fact is, you spend WAY more time fantasizing than the average girl. While your friends lean desperately towards love, you're chemically biased towards anti-love: sex. You'd never date someone you didn't find immediately kissable.
To maximize satisfaction, you should find someone carefree and sexual, just like you. Avoid Brutal types at all costs. A final bit of advice: experience doesn't matter. You didn't qualify as a Master, and your perfect match need not either.

The Peach (Female, 34, Straight, MS - Veteran)
Playful, kind, and well-loved, you are The Peach.
For such a warm-hearted, generous person, you're surprisingly experienced in both love and sex. We credit your spontaneous side; you tend to live in the moment, and you don't get bogged down by inhibitions like most women your age. If you see something wonderful, you confidently embrace it.
You are a fun flirt and an instant sweetheart, but our guess is you're becoming more selective about long-term love. It's getting tougher for you to become permanently attached; and a [guy] who's in a different place emotionally might misunderstand your early enthusiasm. You can wreck someone simply by enjoying [him].
Your ideal mate is adventurous and giving, like you. But not overly intense.
The Gentleman (Male, 35, Straight, MA - Veteran)
Steady & mature. You are The Gentleman.
For anyone looking for an even-keeled, considerate lover, you're their man. You're sophisticated. You know what you want both in a relationship and outside of it. You have a substantial romantic side, and you're experienced enough sexually to handle yourself in that arena, too. Your future relationships will be long-lasting; you're classic "€œmarrying material," a prize in the eyes of many.
It's possible that behind it all, you're a bit of a male slut. Your best friends know that in relationships you're fundamentally sex-driven. You're a safe, reliable guy, who does get laid. In a lot of ways, you're like a well-worn, comfortable pair of socks. Did you ever jack off into one of those? All the time.

Your ideal mate is NOT a nut-job. She is giving and loving, like you, but also experienced.

Welcome to our blog. We don't know we're we'll end up - or who we'll end up with - but we're all starting at single.