“Open Office Hours”

After six months on, dozens of dates, and countless emails later, I’ve decided I’m sick of online dating! I’ve been putting in way too much effort to schedule and attend all of these dates, and with only lackluster results to show for it.  You see, on, you spend all this time looking over profiles, reading and responding to emails, and finally scheduling a date–only to discover with 5 seconds of meeting the guy that he’s definitely not the one. He’s too short, or smelly, or his voice is like nails on a chalkboard–all flaws that can be easily hidden on an online profile.

This is the fundamental problem with online dating: it completely flips the tried-and-true human courtship process on its head. Over thousands of years of evolution, our genes have developed ways of quickly and subconsciously evaluating a potential mate’s desirability. Within milliseconds of meeting a strange man, your brain is already sizing up his appearance, smell, voice, and body language to make an instant judgment as to whether he’s “hot” or “not.” Yes, it’s a cognitive shortcut, but psych studies show that first impressions actually tend to be very stable and reliable. Within 2 seconds, you have determined whether you want to get to know this guy better (or politely excuse yourself to go get another drink).  From there, a conversation takes place and you begin to learn more about each other, ultimately deciding over a number of dates whether you are well-matched in terms of intellect, emotions, and practical matters. Physical chemistry is just the baseline.

Compare that process to the modern methods of online dating, where you get to know each other and start to form attachments BEFORE even meeting in person to see if there’s any chemistry.  The net result is that you spend time getting to know lots of guys that look good on paper, but maybe are not so hot in real life.  It’s an endless disappointment.

And so, going forward, in order to save myself all the time and aggravation, I will no longer be accepting dates.  Instead, I will be holding “Open Office Hours” where suitors are welcome to come to a public place and say hi to me and my group of lovely girlfriends.  Sort of a group date or “meetup,” if you will.

Excited by my genius idea, I cut-and-pasted this email to a dozen guys in my inbox:

I’m a little burned out on Match and thinking about giving up. But my girlfriends and I have one more idea we wanted to try first. At the risk of being completely obnoxious, I’m pleased to announce our first-ever “Open Office Hours”! This Friday, May 11, from 9-11:00, my single girlfriends and I will be hanging out at Drink in Boston. Feel free to come by and say hi.  I’ll have a squadron of lovely single ladies with me (some of them are pictured in my Match photos, in case you want to scout out the talent in advance). 😉 Maybe we’ll see you there!

How would the men react?  Surprisingly, the reception was mostly warm.  I got one no:

The Office Hours idea is interesting but makes it seem very one way 🙂 One minor issue with your plan though – Drink usually has a line on Fridays and Saturdays so getting in is always a pain. it will have to be some really committed (or desperate) men that will wait in line for an hour just to get in 🙂 I will not be one of them.  -M

But I also had at least one taker:

I would be happy to meet with you and I could probably make it on Friday night. I am not sure about your girlfriends, but I certainly look forward to meeting you 🙂  Also, how many guys interested in you (i.e. that e-mailed you on Match) have you invited to your “Open Office Hours”?  -D

To find out how my “Open Office Hours” went, stay tuned for the next blog post!

May 14, 2012. Uncategorized.

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