Let's break it down:
The matches are only trickling in a few at a time every few days. Many get rejected immediately because they have young children (the site refuses to distinguish between people who have partial custody and people who don't have kids, so there's no way to filter them out). Many are a lot older than me and really look it.
Currently, I am 35. I have long found that I tend to be most attracted to men who are within 5 years of my age. If you're much older or younger, it's a lot more rare that I'll both be attracted to you and feel like we relate to one another well. For example, there are some men who, at 45, I think are sexy as hell - but they're fairly few and far between. In the interest of being as inclusive as possible, I formed my own age/attraction bell curve, and set my acceptable age range on the site to 27-46 (as the chances of me being into someone older or younger than that is slim enough that it's not worth including them in my matches). This is about the outside age range I would feel comfortable dating - but I'd much prefer someone between 30 and 40.
But out of 64 total matches I've received in the last 3 weeks, 45 (70%) are over 40. It seems my matches are skewing quite a bit to the older end of my age range, don't you think? I really have a hard time believing that with their supposed millions of members, there are really that many fewer good matches for me in their 30s. I've considered making my age range end at 40, but am concerned that I'd receive even FEWER matches, and as I've previously said, there are SOME guys over 40 that I really dig.
So, out of hose 64 matches:
46 were immediately rejected
15 I sent initial communication but they've not responded (most haven't even viewed my profile)
1 I've had a few brief unexciting online chats
1 I went out with and rejected following misleading photos
1 I went out with the other night (more on that later)
So far this isn't boding well for their supposedly superior matching process. I want their process to work, but when they're only sending me 2 or 3 matches every few days, and the overwhelming majority have children and/or are much older than I'd like to date, the chances of it working aren't so good. Of the 64 matches they've sent me, only FOUR have led to actual open communication and/or meeting (that's less than 5%).
Let's hope their record improves in the coming weeks.
But more on my date the other night...
I was pleasantly surprised to meet him in that he was very very attractive. But that pleased feeling was very short lived. Within the first 3 minutes I knew it wasn't going to work. He asked me how my day had been, and I responded and asked him how his had been. He responded happily that his concealed carry permit had just been renewed, so he'd spent the afternoon shopping for handguns.
Oh. Um. Ok....
I suppose I should interject at this point in the story and say that I don't like guns. I was raised by parents who were ardent pacifists, and we weren't even allowed to have toy guns in the house growing up. I consider myself a pacifist as well, and I'm not at all a fan of guns, nor do I see any reason whatsoever why the average non-law enforcement citizen needs to walk around packing heat. I wold not be comfortable dating someone who felt the need to carry a handgun on them most of the time.
So, to hear my date say he'd been shopping for handguns that afternoon did not please me. I thought I'd ask him more about it to probe just how unseemly this situation was for me. Over the next couple of minutes I learned that you're not allowed to bring a handgun into any establishment that sells alcohol in our state, so he didn't have one with him at the restaurant, but otherwise, yes, he usually carries a handgun. He was concerned, however, that the two "hip cannons" (his term) he currently owned were too bulky to be concealed in a holster on his hip in summer wear. He was looking for a smaller, more easily concealed handgun.
Yeah, this wasn't making me feel any better.
He also asked, as he was answering my questions, what my politics were like. It is generally considered to be a terrible idea to talk politics on a first date. I tried to avoid it. When asked directly, I said gingerly that my politics are somewhat liberal (in actuality, most people would probably consider me to be quite liberal). He said that while he's liberal on some issues, on others he's basically neoconservative. Oh joy.
When I asked for examples of issues on which he is liberal, his response was "Well, surprisingly, women's issues..."
I stopped him and asked "Wait a minute, why is it surprising that you support women's issues?"
He didn't really answer that, but said that he's pro-choice by way of giving an example of his support of liberal women's issues. He then went on to tell me that he small government and lots of personal freedoms and and and...
I was REALLY tempted to probe further and see if he knew what he was talking about or if he was just spouting conservative talking points he's learned from watching Fox News, but I was afraid I wouldn't like the answers. I was really REALLY tempted to ask him what he thinks of Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin, but if he told me he thought they were just the bee's knees, I knew I couldn't stay silent, I'd have to get into a political debate with him and give him verbal spanking for being such a dumbass. And I had another hour to sit through dinner with this guy.
So I didn't say a word about politics beyond telling him I was somewhat liberal, and changed the topic as quickly as I could. I told myself to reserve judgment and just hope that he had a fantastic personality that could make up for the incompatibilities I'd already uncovered.
But sadly, this was not the case.
He may have been super cute, but he was also super DULL.
He had zero personality, he had very little of interest to say. I struggled to keep the conversation going, it would lull again and again and if I didn't come up with some new "get to know you" question for him each time, we'd have sat there in silence. We had very little in common. His interests included: Fly fishing, shooting guns, working on BMWs, hanging out with his BMW-enthusiast friends, tattoos, and playing the guitar. Tattoos and music were the ONLY things we had in common, and I jumped on those topics to try and draw out the conversation - but still, he had little of interest to stay. I was bored silly, and counting the minutes until the meal was over and I could make my escape.
I did, however, discover yet another in a long string of small world connections I encounter in my large metro area... not only did this bore know someone else that I know, he used to work with my ex-husband's current wife.
But alas that little point of interest did nothing to improve his terribly boring personality, so after dinner, I made my goodbyes and made my escape.
I'm really hoping my luck with OtherPayVanilla improves soon, because so far, they are full of FAIL.