Musicians and Online Personals

Online Personals – Good or Bad?

I know this post isn’t music related and may be the first time I’ve posted anything not music related and perhaps the first of a “personal” nature (sorry for the pun). However, I hope it is of some help to musicians out there. Let’s face it, we are often spending time practicing, recording, composing or performing and don’t always have time to find someone to date. Yes, we have time to date and have good relationships, I think. I believe being involved with a musician can be a very fulfilling relationship. So, to find someone, as with much of the modern world, we turn to online personals.

But to quote from The Mentalist, Rhapsody in Red S03E22:
“You’re musicians. Professional obsessives. Most kids spend their teen years having fun, you spent them practicing. It’s a noble pursuit, but as a result, you’re all nutty.”
So maybe we should avoid all romantic and intimate relationships.

While reading this, why not listen to my music on Spotify or Apple Music? Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/1Lwd3crEb3YBoQnmIHY6ZY
Apple Music: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/james-gilbert/id5103640?uo=4

I will admit to being a bit older than the normal dating crowd, but I have always thought I would get married and raise my own family. When I was younger and internet personals were kinda frowned upon, I had the same results as I discuss here, but at other sites. If the (married) senior adults and (married) parents of children I teach are right when they say I would make a great husband and father, I don’t think I’m too old to give it a try. So, I decided to try out a few dating sites. In hindsight I should have spent the money on something to help out my music career instead, but, what’s done is done.

First of all, I will never understand why so many women, if they are real people and not con-artists or worse, would be in such a hurry to exchange personal email addresses and/or cell phone numbers. To go “offline” as they say. I would much rather get to know a person well enough that I have no reason to doubt that they are who they claim to be before exchanging personal contact information. I am also suspicious of mid-30’s women who want to find a man who is 45-75 years old and even more suspicious of women below 50 who would like to find a man between 18 and 102! Of course, if the old saying, “half the age of the man and add 7 to find the ideal age of the woman to marry” is true, then someone in her 30’s would be ideally suited for someone in their 50’s and so forth.

For me, being a church musician, I thought I’d try out two Christian oriented sites as well as two general dating sites.

I will add that to get the most out of any of these sites, with the possible exception of POF, you are going to have to shell out some money.

My two biggest complaints

First, there is nobody within a 50 mile radius on any of the sites that meets the criteria that I am after. Of course, within a 5-mile radius of where I live I believe there are less than 5,000 people. That’s part of the reason I’m single.

But my biggest gripe is the way the sites do their “matching” and search algorithms. The automatic matching takes all of one’s profile and presents matches that fit what you are looking for. But, in one important area, I’m rarely what that woman is looking for. That is, someone of my age. If I search, say for someone 18-20, I’ll find them that match most of my criteria. HOWEVER, none of the sites narrow the search down to show *only* women who are looking for someone of my age. It is doubtful anyone between 18 & 20 would want someone of my age (and I know better than to search for them), but even when I do search for women in a reasonable age range to mine, most don’t want someone my age. So, I may have to go through hundreds of profiles to find anyone who is at all interested in someone of my age. It would be an easy search to implement if they made sure that I never saw a profile if that woman wasn’t interested in someone of my age. I do give credit to ChristianCupid for making their “match” feature only show people interested in someone of my age. But, their general search shows far too many women who aren’t interested in my age range. More below on that.

Match.com

Probably one of the oldest services available. To get anything out of it, you’re going to have to pay. They ask a lot of general questions about you and the type of woman (in my case) that I’m looking for. That info is displayed in your profile. You are presented with a list of recommended matches that most of the time consist of women who are not interested in someone of my age. Match uses icons to indicate if the person has been online recently or in the past week or so or is online. For me 90% of my recommended matches haven’t been using the system in a long time, so no need to even bother looking at their profiles as they aren’t going to respond if I send a message. Their search function is good and they offer a way to call your match without them knowing your phone number (or you theirs). I never tried that.

For me, my ideal search only produced six results within a 5000 mile range! Only two of those had been online recently.

I’ve sent a total of 5 messages and have not gotten a single response. I’ve “Liked” some others, but they have never looked at my profile, “liked” me or sent me a message.

POF.COM

Plenty of fish. The most confusing to use site of all of them to navigate. I get the distinct impression that the site is more about potential hookups (one-night stands) than anything serious, although given my age I think I’m a target for gold-diggers. The “my matches” shows a bunch of thumbnail images of women but tells you nothing about where they are or how old they are unless you click on each one. Very time confusing. Almost all of my matches included women who have children or who were divorced which are two criteria that I stated in my profile I wasn’t interested in. Their “ultra match” was not any better.

I did get 115 results from a search. However, none of the first dozen or so I checked met the criteria I had specified in my profile.

I did get some messages. After a few days of sending messages back & forth, they either quit messaging me or disappeared off the system. In one case, their picture disappeared, their profile changed to that of a man looking for women. A week later, their profile picture showed a rather ugly middle aged man. I reported numerous profiles for obvious fraudulent behavior as well as profiles that did not show their face as the main picture (a requirement of the site). After a month, nothing had changed. The frauds were still there, the woman’s profile that became that of the ugly man was still there, etc. I also doubt that the 34 year old from Denver who was “currently out of the country studying medicine” and who quit emailing me after a few exchanges was at all real or really interested in me.

Christian Cupid

Without a doubt, the worse. (That is, except for high marks on having proper match results, but still poor search results). Based on my criteria, which I don’t think is that restrictive, I only had 3 matches, none of whom had been active on the system in the past year! I did get many messages, in Spanish, from numerous Latin and South American countries, but, I don’t speak Spanish so I’d have no way to communicate with them. I also specified in my discovery criteria that I wasn’t interested in anyone from a non-English speaking country. I did get one message from a woman who, when she actually read my profile, informed me she was just looking for a fling, nothing serious. Christian Cupid does offer a “verification” service (for free) where you have to send a driver’s license or passport photo to them and they then mark your profile as verified. I’ve yet to run across a verified profile in my searching.

I would avoid this site at all costs.

Christian Mingle

I found this site to have the best layout and functionality, but also the most number of apparent fake profiles or con-artists. The method of searching is a bit different, but as with all the sites, I ended up with a large number of women who were simply not interested in someone of my age. So, I had to go through and block a lot of women so they wouldn’t keep showing up in the search results.

I did have a dozen or so women reply to and/or start conversations. After two or three messages, many of them disappeared from the site. I suspect they were fake, but they could have blocked me. I know for a fact that 3 women who messaged me were suspended from the site. Most of those who disappeared from the site were the ones that insisted (after only a couple of messages and not knowing hardly anything about one another) that we exchange email and/or cell phone information and “go offline.” There were many who never answered basic questions I asked like “what’s the weather like there” or “what type of nursing do you do” and simple, basic questions one might ask on a first date face to face.

When I am online I get a lot of “smiles” and a few likes from people with the username “mingler_xxxx” where the x’s are hexadecimal values. After a few days, most of those accounts disappeared from my list of activity. It was also very interesting how some women would “like” me or send me messages but had never looked at my profile. (Yes, it was possible to turn off one’s visibility, but I don’t think that was the case).

I had one woman who did enough to convince me that she was on the level and I gave her my email. (As I run my own website I can setup a temporary email account that I can delete if I start to get spam). She said she was from San Antonio, TX and was very disappointed with the web site and all the fakes. She said she was going to probably cancel her account. She only emailed me every other day to start with and when she did, she really didn’t say a whole lot. I wrote appropriate emails for someone interested in a long term relationship, but never provided enough personal info for her to use to potentially manipulate me. One day there just weren’t any more messages. About two weeks after first contacting her on the site, and 3 days after sending my first email to her, I noticed her location is now Los Angeles, CA and not San Antonio. I don’t know if the mobile app reports your current location or the location you entered when you signed up (which can be easily changed) but I don’t think that’s the case. Either way, she never mentioned planning to visit LA or moving there and after two weeks, she is, surprise, surprise, still on Christian Mingle. I know not to send anything in emails that could could come back to haunt me. I’m going to keep this avenue of communication open and see if she ever contacts me. I did finally report her and her profile is no longer visible to me.

The website constantly displays a “we are having network issues please try later” and is slow at loading matches. I have tried for a week now to view the list of blocked women only to be greeted with the network issues message.

Conclusion

Unless you are in your early 20’s, maybe early 30’s and don’t have any specific expectations in those you date, then I can’t recommend any personals site to anyone. Even the 20 & 30’s age group should be extra cautious. Of course, if you are lucky to have people within 50 miles of you, you can meet and find out for yourself how real they are, but for anyone out of your area, especially if you are older, tread with caution. If you live in a relatively large city, I would suggest that you get out of the studio, stop practicing so much and go places where you’ll meet the type of person you want to date (or potentially marry) and not settle for 2nd best. And please, don’t wait until you are in your 30’s to think about getting married or having children. It will be much harder by then.

Oh, me, I’m 57, never married, no children, but still hopeful. You can look at my website and get a good feel for who I am. Pictures and video are available on this website and youtube. Ideally, I’d like to find someone young enough to have her own children with me. If my family history is any indication, I’m good for another 30 years or so, so even a younger woman would not be disappointed. I’m in it for the long run and am very good at sticking to commitments. If you are white, born a female, never married, don’t have any children of any age, feel free to drop me a note using the contact page on my website and who knows? https://jamesgilbertmusic.com/contact.php

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