I feel like a doctor making her hospital rounds checking on patients. But instead of looking in on Mr. Hernandez after his gallbladder surgery, or Mrs. Fukumoto after her hemorrhoid removal, I check on D1ForU, DreamBeau, LoverBoy1951. I go from Match.com to YahooPersonals to Chemistry.com to SoulMate to see if I have any emails or winks. If I’m really curious, I look at those who’ve looked at my profile. I do this daily. Depending on how bored I am, sometimes more than once.
“Why,” you ask, “don’t you just let the service notify you when you have an email or flirt/wink/ice breaker?”
Good question. While some, like eHarmony and Chemistry email you immediately upon someone initiating contact, others aren’t as good. It seems there’s a lag in YahooPersonals of up to a day. And for some reason I’ve never received an email from Match telling me someone had made contact, even though I’ve double checked my notification settings.
“What’s the big deal?” you continue. “So what if a guy has to wait a day or two to hear back from you? It’s not like he’s a customer expecting same-day service.”
You’re right (which you already knew). In fact, the book The Rules for Online Dating says to always wait 24 hours before responding. So what’s the rush? Perhaps I have my business customer service quick response system embedded in my brain. I know in business often times the first person to respond to an inquiry gets the business. But in dating, if a guy can’t wait a day to hear back from you, there’s something wrong.
So why spend time making the rounds from one dating site to another to check on messages? It’s a diversion from doing things I don’t want to do. Work. Chores. Exercise.
There is also a thrill when someone contacts you, even if you have no interest in him. It shows you are desired, even if intellectually you know some men send messages/winks to masses of women to see who will bite. But when you get a message from someone who seems interesting, it’s an adrenaline rush. You’re thrilled. Could this be The One? You are hopeful, mixed with caution.
It’s that thrill that keeps me going back. Perhaps doctors feel the same thrill when they see their patients are recovering well after their treatment. You see some progress, which is encouraging.