Sunday, September 21, 2008

Following up on Post Separation Reader Comments

In a comment, reader and blogger sixdegrees writes:
So I gather that you've worn your wedding ring pretty much since your wedding. Taking it off - and leaving it off - will be nearly as big of a change as having the house to yourself.

That would be correct. Early on in the marriage, I would take the ring off when I went to bed at night just because I wasn't used to wearing rings. But then within a month or so after we were married, I forgot to put it on before going to work, and it my wife expressed disappointment in me. From then on, I just stopped taking it off.

After I stopped wearing the ring, I felt physically naked in some sense. I also had to cope with some lingering emotional fusion with those around me because my mind started to wonder whether people would notice the absence of the band and what they would think of it. I've since gotten past that.

One day, on my way to the bus stop, I looked at my hand sans the ring, and I noticed that my ring finger actually had a groove from where the ring usually sat.

You can see it in the photo above. The groove leaves a visible indentation near the gap between the ring and middle fingers.

While we're on the subject of physical changes, I know that my hair has gray in it. I got my first gray hair as a senior in high school, and every time that I get my hair cut, it seems like an increasing percentage of the clippings are gray. At work about a month ago, we had our pictures taken by a professional photographer. One of the head shots of mine was done in black and white, and it really brought the gray out, moreso than I had noticed before.

While I am grateful my hair remains, I can't help but feel just plain... old.

John writes:

I'll be curious to read about your experiences with the site. Part of me wants to believe that relationships can be quantified enough to make matches using computer algorithms. And another part of me isn't so sure. Either way, I suspect you won't really know until you finish the questions.

I think computerized matching has several limitations:

  • There is no universal formula for a successful relationship. We have empirical research, which gives us the characteristics of long lasting and maybe even happy relationships, but people are diverse enough that what works for one couple may not work for others.

  • Using multiple choice testing severely constrains the nuances of someone's preferences and motivations. Given a choice among four or five options, someone may not agree with any of them or agree for reasons that the question author may not have imagined, meaning that the conclusions inferred from the answer may be off base.

  • Not everyone completes a dating profile with the same goal in mind. While some may be answering honestly with the hopes of finding someone similar, there are others who try to answer the questions in a way that paints them in a way they want to be seen, or perhaps what they envision will be most popular.

  • Low levels of self awareness may result in an answer that is believed to be accurate by the person filling out the questionnaire, but may be way off base because the person has not really considered desires and motivations beyond the superficial, or worse yet, has illusions about the true state of their own nature.

The types of questions being posed on OKCupid, I would imagine, differ greatly from the 29 dimensions of compatibility patented formula used by eHarmony.

While I haven't taken the eHarmony test (and have no intention of doing so), I have taken 400+ questions of OKCupid's matching system. Many of the questions deal with sexual compatibility, recreational activity, ethics, fidelity, and spiritual leanings. A lot of these things are definitely questions that could highlight deal-breakers and give a rough idea where chemistry might be strongest, but I don't think it's any indication of the success potential of the relationship.

I have been reading some of the personals, more for entertainment value than serious prospects, and I think it would be safe to say that 75 percent of the profiles could follow the same formula. They are so generic and devoid of substance that you don't get much meaningful out of them.

The generic women's ads could be summarized as:
I've had a history of getting involved with men who are bad for me, but that's not my fault, and I'm going to avoid this by running an ad that says that's not what I want. It will cost you time and treasure to win me over. Don't expect sex.

If the ad involves a single mother, the following phrase or a semantic equivalent is mandatory:
I have X children and they are my world.

The ads over in the men section tend to read like this:
I'm not one of those guys.

The ones who dated or married all the women in the ads above have ads that read something like this:
I like to have fun.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Quizzes that Make You Go Hmmm...

The results of taking the Dating persona test.

The Backrubber

Deliberate Gentle Sex Dreamer (DGSD)

The Backrubber

Lusty but indirect. Kind, but also using friendship as a means to sex. Oh, that feels gooood. You are The Backrubber.

We call you "The Backrubber" because you straddle that fine line between coming on to someone and just treating her nicely. Backrubs are just one example; you'd meet for coffee, or talk about books/movies, or even argue a little bit, all the while mostly preferring to screw.

Your indirect approach is not some evil trickery, but rather a result of your open mind. You'd enjoy either love or sex, but the latter definitely doesn't require the former. While you are responsible and ambitious, you absolutely DON'T have uptight views on relationships. So ultimately, you just enjoy a woman, and let things take their course. If she wants you, great. If not, that's fine too.

Though you're not thinking too much about Love at this point in your life, odds are, when the time comes, you'll be very happy settling down. Your ideal mate is gentle and horny, just like you.

Your exact male opposite:

The Vapor Trail

The Vapor Trail

Random Brutal Love Master

Always avoid: The Peach (RGLM)

Consider: The Playstation (RGSM)

Link: The Online Dating Persona Test | OkCupid - free online dating | Dating

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Testing the Waters

A couple months ago, I signed up for a free online dating service that is heavy on questionnaires. The original reason for joining wasn't to find someone, but rather because a loyal and beloved reader wanted me to see someone's profile thereon.

In a fit of impulsiveness, I decided this weekend to start answering questions on the site. I've made it through a 150 or so of the base matching questions, and it seems based on that data collected this far, most of my closest matches seem to be bisesxual polyamorous women with Bohemian leanings who live in Oregon. Well, OK, maybe I'm exaggerating. It's more like bisexual polyamorous women with Bohemian leanings who live in places no less than 1,000 miles from my location. Not that I don't find free spirits attractive, but that when I do start dating, I'm not going to be hip on a long-distance relationship. :-p

But seriously, I did take the geekiness quiz on the site. I'm not surprised by the results because I've never really considered myself a full blown techie geek in the classical sense. Sci-fi and RPGs don't do it for me, and I'm quite comfortable hanging around with a more artsy set and plying my analytical ways outside the realm of math and science. Here's the raw breakdown of the quiz's analysis.

Your result for How geeky are you?...

Laboratory Geek

You scored 66% Geeky, 91% Cranial and 57% Introverted. You are quirky, intelligent, and like to fly solo. You're too curious to live a hermit's life and would much rather be working on some sort of interesting project though be it alone.

You might find it hard to connect with other people or you might have anxiety in social situations. It may be easier to avoid people as much as possible, but this will only limit the possiblies in your life. The world needs the contibution of people with brains like yours! So what to do? Baby steps. Whenever something feel uncomfortable socially, it's usually the right thing to do. Step outside your comfort zone a bit, take a deep breath and don't be afraid to ask the people around you for help.

I truly hope you enjoyed the test as much as I enjoyed making it! I always welcome email comments/suggestions! Thanks for taking it!

Take How geeky are you? at HelloQuizzy

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Lifehacker to the Rescue... a Bit Late

On the RSS feeds this afternoon, I saw where Lifehacker had a post today about opening a wine bottle without a corkscrew. Although this advice would have been more helpful to me had it been published a few days ago, I think I still would have been up-the-creek because my soon-to-be-ex-wife took the hammer with her.

I still need to get that corkscrew.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Maybe I Should have Registered a Trademark?

Note: Edited post at 11:30 pm on Sep. 3, 2008 to fix malformed href attribute on the hyperlink pointing to the Circulating Library blog. Hat tip to FTN for graciously pointing this to my attention.

In the 379 prior posts that have been made on this blog, I don't think I've ever explained the origin of the blog's name. If you go way back to the beginning, over two years ago, you will find that prior to starting this blog, I was reading and posting on a bulletin board about extramarital relationships. I used the moniker "2amSomewhere" as a concatenation of the Anna Nalick's "Breathe (2 AM)" and the Alan Jackson/Jimmy Buffett song "It's Five O'Clock Somewhere".

Every once in a while, I get vain and start hitting Google with queries about my blog and who links to me. I stumbled upon a post at HP's community wiki site that showcased a gift that the author had created for a close friend who was moving away. I was amused and surprised that someone might have fused together similar ideas in a different setting.

Another thing that I uncovered while doing the Googling was that my blog has sparked a mini-thread among some more academic thinkers over the proprieties and pitfalls of personal blogging. You might want to check them out.

I wound up leaving a comment on Gunders' post to add some notes about the relevance of validation on my own blogging.