I’ve dabbled in online dating for a good two years now. Before I turned 21, I made a promise to myself to try and meet men organically – in class, on the train and out with friends. If I find someone by then, I won’t even need a website!
Long story short, it didn’t happen.
These days, online dating is – thankfully – a lot less taboo. But I know many people who’d rather stay home alone than actually pay for a dating service, which is probably why OkCupid and Tinder are so popular. Sure, there are perks – like OkCupid’s A-List where you can browse profiles anonymously and change your username – but they’re not completely unnecessary. That is, until your profile starts getting more views and less messages. And then basically no views at all.
After reactivating my page, I got a fair amount of attention for the first few days…but then it started to wane. I used all of the tricks in the book – like updating my “about me” section and changing my picture every few hours – but nope. Nothing.
I looked at my profile to see what was wrong and then spotted something I never normally paid attention to – the “promote me” button.
It was like Alice in Wonderland and the “drink me” bottle. I couldn’t not get closer. I couldn’t not touch it. I couldn’t not try it. It wasn’t like I’d be breaking the bank or anything…a profile boost was only $0.99. Way less than my daily grande iced green tea with one pump of sweetener. You know, for the antioxidants. So I let myself fall down the rabbit hole and boosted my profile.
After confirming my purchase, the countdown started. For 15 minutes, my profile was pushed to the front of the line. At least 200 users saw me in a span of five minutes. I felt like OkCupid’s resident Yoncé. Kiki all on the site like liquor.
The numbers crept up, and I got really excited. All of these people could “see” me? What if one of them were the one? What if this $0.99 cent in-app purchase just bought me the best gift of all – love? Or at least true like? Or even a decent date? Okay. My best hopes were for a texting buddy, but still. For a minute, it looked like the boost was worth it.
I had plenty of new visitors and a few quickmatches but no messages, which was the reason why I bought it. What gave?
I watched the clock, praying to the online dating Gods for a breakthrough. I changed my profile pic like three times and added extra punctuation to my “What I’m doing with my life” section (“Trying to get past level nine on Flappy Bird…”) to attract more men, but it didn’t help. I reached the end of my 15 minute claim to fame with 6,911 “just saw you”s, 18 actual views and no messages.
I don’t regret boosting my profile. I did get a couple of messages a few hours later and was able to see who liked me, which was helpful. For a buck, you can’t really beat the buying the boost. It’s sort of addictive, seeing all those numbers and all those hot guys in the little bubbles. I’ve already purchased two in the span of a few months. That’s my limit, though. A few more dollars could buy me a drink at an actual bar with actual men.
When she’s not watching for Blue Ivy sightings or doing some serious Facebook creeping, Khalea, a recent Howard University graduate, moonlights as a magazine intern and a freelancer in New York City. Follow her on Twitter at @letsbeKHAlear, or feel free to Twatch. Whatever works for you.
[Lead image via bizu.tv]