In September, a report by online dating site Are You Interested crowned Brooklyn women the pickiest online daters in the nation. As a fervent advocate of Internet dating and someone who just celebrated her 10-year New Yorkiversary, I found this entirely believable. This is, after all, a city of people who demand their coffee cold-pressed and their yoga studios WTF-hot.
The filters on dating sites give us license to be equally persnickety, sorting suitors by everything ranging from age to astrological sign. With a few clicks, you;ve got a bunch of algorithmically determined Prince Charmings waiting for you.
Or so it would seem. After years of off-and-on activity, none of my 70 percent-plus mathematical matches has proven to be an everlasting real-life match. Maybe, if this study holds true, I really should stop keyword-searching for world travelers and roboticists (hey, we all have our quirks).
And so I decided to embark on a week of being completely unpicky, seeking out OKCupid guys who ranked as close to 0 percent match/100 percent opposite as possible. I mean, this could possibly net me my soulmate — right?
No. Not at all. In fact, none of my “enemies” (as the site calls mismatches) even wanted to meet me.
Let’s get real: The most plausible reason for my failure is because it’s not just Brooklyn women who are picky. It’s all New Yorkers, period — both male and female. And there’s nothing wrong with this. Because even if you’re open to dating anyone with a pulse, you still aren’t guaranteed a match — or, hell, in my case, even a returned e-mail.
At the start, I kept my usual filters and messaged men who were at least 90 percent enemy. Then 80 percent. Then 70 percent. Eventually I was contacting guys who were only 50 percent enemy — practically my soulmate! — and still no bites. Then I changed my filters: Within 100 miles. Any romantic status. Age 18+. Basically, any man in the tri-state area who has a pulse and is legally classified as an adult.
I got radio silence from shotsshotsshots, letsdothisnow69 and Lovethicsistas (although I think the latter rejection is self-explanatory). A 25-year-old guy who only likes “rich old white lady’s” ignored me, as did a 35-year-old Brooklynite who wanted a woman who’s employed but “not so as you’ll interfere with our sexual activities” and “knows not to complain when I watch MMA with my friends.” In all fairness, though, he did state that all applicants needed to have less than 8 percent body fat and be under age 31 because, he notes, “This is most women’s expiration date.” (Clearly, those last two qualifications did me in.)
Now, it’s possible that they didn’t want to waste their time with someone who clearly had little in common with them. (Many had profiles so bare, I was grasping at straws on how to message them: “YOU like Sriracha? I like Sriracha! Let’s date!”) It’s also possible that I’ve been misinformed and that my blue hair, in fact, is not a universal turn-on.
So in the meantime, I’m going to keep swinging for the fences, because no matter how many times I’ve tripped down the dugout stairs, I still believe eventually I’ll round home plate.