The world of online dating can be a frustrating one. So I wondered… what is online dating like for someone like me? A woman who isn’t looking to online date anyone? I was about to find out.
I decided to try this experiment for at least a month. I spoke to my friends about it and they all said, “Glenn, OKCupid is a dating website. You have a boyfriend.”
And of course, my boyfriend was a bit hesitant. “What do you mean you want to sign up for OKCupid?” He said. “Is this some messed up way of telling me you want to break up? Glenn? ANSWER YOUR TEXTS.”
I signed up the next day.
I understood my friends’ concerns, but I couldn’t back off now. I wanted to do this for the truth, to do it for women everywhere, and most of all to expose how tough online dating can be for people who are in committed, monogamous relationships. My editors agreed to pay for the subscription* and I made myself a profile that very night.
*(editor’s note: No we did not. Also OKCupid is a free service. Who Glenn was giving money to, we do not know.)
I uploaded a photo of me hugging my boyfriend as my profile picture, just to let people know up front what exactly my deal was. No beating around the bush. After a couple glasses of Malbec and a confusing conversation with my boyfriend, I scrounged up the courage and clicked “Sign Up.”
I knew I was going to get at least a couple pokes, because I’m easily the hottest person I know. Like, I’m a goddamn fox.
But I wasn’t prepared for the incredible amount of messages that were to follow. Within a week, I received FOUR responses. I know what you’re thinking: “Glenn, you’re literally so beautiful, why did you not assume this would happen?” And my answer would be: I’m humble. It was hard sloughing through all of them, so I had a few interns help me out.*
*(editor’s note: This was a complete mismanagement of human resources which we did NOT approve of. To our interns, we are so sorry.)
The messages ranged from mild to downright awful:
“So is that your brother in your prof pic or what?”
“I don’t think this website is for people like you.”
“Did you come here just to make all the single people feel bad?”
“Hi, this is OKCupid’s moderator, we’ve gotten a few complaints about your profile?”
I like to consider myself a strong person, but the comments got to me so I went to my boyfriend for comfort. I lamented about how horrible online dating was and he told me that I didn’t have to be online dating because I’m already exclusively dating someone (him). Then we made out and I felt better.
But when all felt lost, a lone gem shone through the pile of poop. I received a message from YesTonyStark92:
So I asked him on a date, which my boyfriend really hated and almost ended our relationship over. I met the guy at an expensive steakhouse in Brooklyn. He was very handsome, in a Ron Howard kind of way. Right up top I told him I was never going to kiss him because I had a boyfriend already. He was very upset at having been tricked into going on a date with someone who wasn’t interested in forming a relationship. Needless to say, he didn’t pay. He left in a huff. I left in a cab.
The stigma against women with boyfriends has always been part of the dark side of online dating. As someone who’s spent a significant part of her life in relationships, I had to learn to drown out the comments. Trust me, Tinder wasn’t any better (I swiped right to literally everyone and they all got upset when they found out I wasn’t interested in DTF-ing).
So, is the online dating world safe for women of boyfriends? In my experience, I’d say no. Maybe in 40 years society will be ready. But not today. Until then, I’ll just have to meet people the old fashioned way: by already being in a relationship with them.
Glenn Boozan is a journalist who has written for places like the New York Times*, The Wall Street Journal**, and the Esquire Sun***.
*(editor’s note: No.)
**(editor’s note: Not even close.)
***(editor’s note: Not a real publication.)