I asked for my friend’s permission to use her and her husband’s names in this article. Permission was not granted. She told her parents that she had met her husband at work. I replied that the stigma of online dating has long passed, but she says that’s not the issue. She says she’s covering up for the fact that she wasn’t working at the time of these events, and she told her parents that she was. So, on with the story of how “Ellen” and “Jacque” met. As a hockey fan, the husband has requested that I name him “Jacque.”
Their romance started with Match.com. I asked her why she joined Match, a paid dating site, when she didn’t have a job. She said it was an investment.
When filling out her profile, she went the individual rather than generic route. Generic is safe, but it’s also boring, the classic example being, “I enjoy long walks on the beach.” Instead she wrote, “I like Disney and ‘80s death metal.” Don’t judge her on the Disney; go ahead and judge her on the ‘80s death metal.
Writing about her–arguably goofy–interests helped her to stand out from the beach-walking, yoga-practicing masses. For every guy who was turned off by Bambi and Aladdin, another guy would write and ask her which Disney movies she liked and which bands were her favorite. It’s a whole lot better than the slew of messages that read, “Hey sexy” and “What’s up?”
For pictures, she combed through her Facebook albums. She knew it would be a bad idea to include too many selfies; it just screams “loner!” It’s also important to include photos with other people, but too many of those can get confusing. People may have a hard time figuring out which person is you, or worse, they may hope that some other person in the photo is you. It’s important to be the only option. Always have at least some photos where you’re alone, and label the ones where you’re in a group. It certainly worked for Ellen.
Some guys didn’t look past the pictures, a reality that is all too common in the online dating world. Ellen heard from a number of people who skipped right past her profile and attempted to woo her with eloquent, Byronic verses like “What’s up?”
But she also heard from Jacque.
Initially, we had doubts about Jacque’s profile (yes, girls show guys’ pictures to their friends; deal with it). For starters, he was shirtless in his main profile photo. And although he had muscle tone, he also had some gut. Both of these factors are potentially damning. Another picture of Jacque showed him holding a hockey stick; no surprise there. In a third photo, he was wearing a Slayer (death metal band) t-shirt. That’s the photo that stood out. That’s the one that suggested he had potential. That’s the one that made it possible to overlook his ill-advised shirtless photo.
His profile also revealed that he had a real job and real interests and that he loved his parents but didn’t live with them. These were all points in his favor. Of course Ellen and Jacque attended a concert for their first date; they didn’t even bother with drinks or coffee first. They did drive separately to the venue, but I don’t know if they went home separately. For their next date, they went to Disneyland, together.
Ellen and Jacque are still together. They dated and then lived together for nearly a year before getting married. They did have one historic fight after which Jacque slept in his office and had to wear a company t-shirt the next day, but aside from that, they have proven an inseparable and enviable couple.
They now have a little boy with silly long rocker hair that they refuse to cut. But I knew that they were truly committed to one another long before they started their family. I knew it when Jacque got a Mickey Mouse tattoo on his thigh (yes, really), so that he could curl it around the Minnie Mouse tattoo on her thigh. Mickey and Minnie can now embrace one another while the couple sleeps.