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Single Mom: Adventures in Online Dating

Single Mom: Adventures in Online Dating

By Kristen Chase

When I decided to dip my foot back into dating circuit, I had absolutely no good reason for picking over any other service other than my fall-back decision making technique I learned back in the 3rd grade.

Everybody’s doing it so I should too. 

A few single people in my life kept talking about Match-this and Match-that like it was some sort of exclusive club where they got to enjoy adult drinks with adult humans in clothes that were not made specifically for sweating in and the more they talked about it the more I wanted in.

Give me the key, the password, the secret knock, dammit. 

But like most things that sound good in theory, in the reality of my life as a single mom with four kids running a business and attempting to dodge the verbal bullets of my disgruntled ex, it was like a full-time job.

These services suck you in by allowing you to peruse the guys in your area for free, all of whom they must somehow save to bait new, prospective members like me and inject us with a huge spark of hope that forces us to blindly hand over our credit card so we can actually talk to these people, not realizing that in doing that you open up a veritable pandora’s box of men who are, not surprisingly, single.

“But, but that pretty one, where did he go?” I thought to myself as I flipped through profile page after profile page with weird screen names like EZGOIN56 and LASTNICEGUY4REALZ and photos of themselves that were basically a mugshot without the number across their chest.

But worse, if that’s possible, is the grammar. I mean, I’m not sure what these people typed last: a text to their teenager or an English 101 paper on a word processor?

Seriously, when did everyone become so illiterate? Why can people not write a single sentence without ending it with an emoticon? 🙂

Now sure, I get an errant comma, a hanging quotation mark, even a smiley face after a sarcastic line (way better than JK in my book) but when it’s amidst a jumble of words that reads like a bad newspaper wanted ad, you have to wonder how these people survive on Earth. And procreate, even.

I long for the days where you just met someone in a bar or a club or your Psychology class and you didn’t know that he couldn’t spell or hell, make complete sentences until after you went out a few times or at least got a good screw out of it.

And you certainly had no knowledge of his emoticon prowess. I mean, if you send me this — :* — which, by the way, what is that? A butthole face? How can I take you seriously whatsoever?

You might even have gotten married to bad-grammar-emoticon guy and had a couple of kids not even knowing that he didn’t understand the difference between it’s and its and a regular face and winky face you and you would have been perfectly fine, happy ever after even.

And even if you did finally discover that he couldn’t correctly use an apostrophe it was too late; you were two cars, two and a half kids in and while you might imagine life with that sexy good-grammar guy, it would require way too many pairs of Spanx and actual clothing (vs. those yoga pants) and yeah, carry on with your wrong use of possessive, husband.

These days, you can’t even get to his photos because you just can’t get past the fact that at 44 he’s an emoticon abuser who doesn’t have a mastery of the English language.

Is there a scientific correlation between bedroom prowess and punctuation use because I would like to know what the survey says, please. Do men who use emoticons get laid more or less than men who don’t? 

I did try to swallow my pride and graduate education to give a few cute guys who had similar interests to me, like “eating out” and “breathing air,” a fair shake, but in the back of my mind, I just couldn’t put aside the knowledge that they thought it was okay to publicly end sentences with a smiley face.

Of course, all the grammarians I went out with turned out to be complete duds who probably spent all their time and energy crafting the funniest, most well-written bio and not so much on an actual personality, so maybe I need to go back to the drawing board. Or at least, get my priorities straight.

“So, how big is your…?”

About the Author

Kristen Chase

Kristen Chase is a writer, author, and a single mom of four. It’s as exhausting as it sounds (at least the mom part). Also, awesome.

Kristen is also co-founder of

Kristen Chase is a writer, author, and a single mom of four. It’s as exhausting as it sounds (at least the mom part). Also, awesome.

Kristen is also co-founder of Cool Mom Picks and author of The Mominatrix’s Guide to Sex.


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  • Doug

    June 19, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    … vocabulary?

  • Kristen Chase

    June 19, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    Yes! Is that what they’re calling it these days? 

  • Ally

    June 19, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    I feel like the last one to know this, but you’re single?! Where have I been?

  • Rachel

    June 19, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    Oh, online dating. I know about twenty people who have tried it and only one who is in a happy, successful, lasting relationship as a result. No matter how great that one friend’s marriage is, the super low success rate does not make me confident it would ever work for me. Even he admitted that he had to sort through thousands of terrible responses before finding his wife.

  • MD

    June 19, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    You’re doing it all wrong, K. You’re not supposed to DATE the illiterate, emoticon-using morons. You’re just supposed to sleep with as many of them as possible!

    And for the record, I’m pretty sure guys who use emoticons get laid a lot less. Unless they’re 25. All the kids are doing it. 

    You need a hot guy who knows how to use an Oxford comma. 

  • Clark Kent's Lunchbox

    June 19, 2014 at 5:53 pm

    Ohhhhhh, do I have some stories about my experience on Match. What a swell place.

    • Kristen Chase

      June 19, 2014 at 10:19 pm

      Is “how to use an Oxford comma a euphemism?” I hope so. 

      • Clark Kent's Lunchbox

        June 20, 2014 at 1:03 pm

        Oddly enough my old profile on Match still exists. Here’s my profile summary. 

        “Girls keep saying they want guys that are honest, well then here goes. I’m thirty-five. I live at home with my mom. I have no job and I don’t want one. My hair is thinning and my beer gut isn’t getting any smaller. I don’t use fancy words like “Excuse me” or “Thank you” to impress women, and you can open your own door. I like hanging out with my buddies watching sports and playing video games. I don’t like to be nagged on and that’s why I ain’t got no cell phone so my match won’t be pestering me about wanting to go shopping and stuff during “my time.” I don’t like puppies or butterflies so if you have them as pets leave them at home or keep them outside when I come over.
        I’m not going to waste a lot of cash on a date unless I think it’s going to be worth it for me. I need money to keep my car running. I have a 1972 pinto that I painted to look like the general lee on the dukes of hazard. It has three white-walls and a snow tire but it’s pretty fast and has a lot of space in the back seat. I think it’s fun to honk at old people or to run over animals playing on the side of the road. If my match has a better car than me I will probably need to borrow it especially when delivering pizza.
        I know girls want a guy who’s healthy so I can sure eat a healthy amount of food at every meal. My mom is a great cook so my match needs to learn all she can from her. I have been watching my weight and now I only drink lite beers. Being that I’m an honest guy I’ll tell you I don’t exercise, but I used to be a big deal in high school and I still have my varsity jacket to prove it. I don’t wear it much anymore cause at my age it just looks silly. I can only snap the bottom button. But I do dress pretty good for a guy my size. My match should work out a lot and not be… well, you know. I don’t have any back hair which all my men’s magazines say women like. By the way, I score pretty high on the relationship surveys that they have printed inside. I am disease free now and should be fine, and I also don’t do drugs anymore. 
        I joined match cause this was an easy way to find hot girls without all the work of talking to them first. I already have a girl friend but it’s not going to last because we’re related… by marriage. Besides, I’m a one-woman man and will dump her as soon as I hook up with you. We won’t need to worry about my ex cause my aunt already promised she’d keep her out of my business if I find someone better. I also joined because I’m a pretty sensitive guy. I don’t like rejection. It really hurts when I go up to a girl and she slaps me. It’s harder to do that to me on a computer. 
        So basically what I’m looking for is a girl who’s totally hot, 25 – 35 years old (you have to have a photo on here to prove it), has a good job, buys me stuff, lets me hang at her place and drink beer, lends me her car, gives me money, doesn’t nag me and really digs strip clubs. If I turned up in your search then the computer thinks we’re a match and we should totally hook up.”

  • Janice

    June 19, 2014 at 10:17 pm

    I have never tried online dating. It does seem fun… ok… terrifying.

    I met my man at Starbucks a few years ago and thankfully he is fabulous and has saved me from testing out, plenty of fish, etc. But, those sites must work because I meet so many people who have met their mates online – especially on Plenty of Fish. And yes — I agree — emoticons do not project masculinity..

  • Avitable

    June 20, 2014 at 10:46 am

    Four years of post-divorce dating has reduced me to someone who now uses emoticons and, shudder, LOL, because everyone else does it. EVERYONE. And I felt like some lone intellectual snob hiding in the corner when I tried to avoid it.

    Now I just see it as a form of communication, and have embraced it. lol.

  • Mona

    June 23, 2014 at 9:33 pm

    I met my husband on Match. He leaves his socks around, but is generally a great husband, terrific dad, and my best friend.
    But- oh, there were a lot of frogs to kiss. I think that’s true of dating in general- sites like Match just expose you to a higher volume of frogs. It’s sort of a Walmart approach to dating! But I swear it worked for me!

  • Missi

    June 26, 2014 at 8:00 pm

    I met my husband on Match, as well. I couldn’t imagine being with anyone better – really! That said, the one nice thing about online dating is that you can at least filter through the duds before you’ve agreed to spend an evening with them. Or even just a drink. I used various sites on and off for a couple of years, viewed hundreds of profiles, had many email exchanges, and went on dates with five different people. The Friday nights where I went through page after page after page of duds were particularly depressing, but it was at page 78 that I found my person.