Why Isn't There a Mefi Personal Ad Filter? January 5, 2017 8:42 AM   Subscribe

I've been pondering mating and dating recently, and one massive void I keep noticing — and missing — is all-text personals. I was, in fact, just thinking about this when I happened to pop over here, and suddenly it struck me: We have nearly all the elements of a well-rounded culture within a single Website here, ranging from music, to jobs, to IRL meet ups, to advice, to podcasts, to projects, to the discussion of articles. But nowhere do we make room for those who might be potentially interested in pairing off. Why not?

So what do I mean by all-text personals for those of you who have no experience with them?

The most famous examples, in modern times, are probably in the London Review of Books where the Personals are known for their wit and wildly British self-disparagement. For those of you who've never seen them, I can't encourage you enough to go take a peek just for the pure entertainment value, and the massive disconnect between the ads and the LRB itself.

More earnestly, on this side of the Pond, the New York Review of Books was also long known for its Personals, though as far back as I can remember they seemed geared to the older set, say, past 50, 60, and even well into the 70s and 80s, reflecting their readership. More recently, N+1 experimented with Personals for their mostly 20-something audience.

But these are just recent examples. For a long time, they were standard fare in all the alternative newspapers. Then, bit by bit, the Web took over, and though for a while the indies had independent online dating sites, eventually all those were bought out, which is why Match, e-Harmony, and OKCupid are now, I believe, all owned by the same corporation, much as, you know, Old Navy, the Gap, and Banana Republic are.

Anyway, so what are the advantages (and why do I miss them)? Just to name the immediate reasons that come to mind:
I also think there are a lot of reasons they might be a good fit for Metafilter.
  • First of all, we *are* decidedly not an image-based community. To the contrary, our pages are probably among the most text-dense threads on the Web.
  • We also write exceedingly well. Again and again, I'm struck at how wittily, beautifully, thoughtfully (and enviably) people write on Metafilter.
  • We also have some history, here and there, when we're lucky, of pairing off. I know of one recent wedding, but I've heard tell of other past pairings.
  • I've also met maybe 40 or 50 New York-based Mefis, and I peruse the links regularly. There is strong natural commonality among Mefis. We tend to read more, write more, ponder more. (See all the text we produce.)
  • Our personal ads could also reflect our community better than most corporate personal ads do, making room for members whose gender identity and preferences have fewer outlets in online dating forums.
So what are the downsides/potential issues?
  • This is for the mods to weigh in on, of course, but it doesn't *seem* as though it would require that much more moderation than, well, certainly than the political threads. (And it would surely be a lot more fun!)
  • See disclaimer above, but it would *seem* that it would not be any different liability-wise than offering up a meet-up page, no?
  • See last two disclaimers, but it *seems* as though the greatest burden would be the bother of putting together a page with clear categories elastic enough to put your ad in the right spot, and respond easily and anonymously to other people's ads.
  • The last bit brings up the issue of whether personal ad users would want another layer of anonymity attached to their accounts for that purpose....
Okay, those are my arguments. Please have at it! I hope a whole heck of a lot of folks weigh in because I am curious to see what everyone says, and if anyone's ever seriously considered this proposition before.

p.s. For those of you apt to respond in the negative, please keep in mind your long-suffering brothers and sisters in New York City, as well as those of us who are introverts who find OkCupid and whatnot not merely horrendous but also harrowing. Thank you.
posted by Violet Blue to Feature Requests at 8:42 AM (172 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

So, the short answer to "why no personals/dating subsite or function" is that, while I get some folks think it'd be fun/handy, oh my gosh do I have zero interest in trying to facilitate all the extra logistics and drama and weirdness and after-the-fact regrets and privacy concerns that it'd entail. I totally get that you're bullish on notion and so taking an optimistic tack to the downsides and potential issues bit, but my analysis of how much of a pain in the ass it would be to manage is pretty different.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:46 AM on January 5 [45 favorites]


Sounds like it's a no-go, but I guess I'll just register my two cents that even though I am now happily partnered and not looking, I have always thought mefi personals was a good idea. I guess after various people asking for this over the years, what was finally decided was to include "status" on the user pages, but I don't get the sense anyone uses that for mate-finding purposes.
posted by latkes at 8:51 AM on January 5


I'm apparently already married to several of you, so.
posted by maxsparber at 8:52 AM on January 5 [32 favorites]


Wait! No I'm not! What happened to my contact spouses?
posted by maxsparber at 8:53 AM on January 5 [15 favorites]


I have no pressing interest in personals.metafilter but wanted to pop in and say this is a really well-done and interesting MetaTalk post.
posted by lalex at 9:04 AM on January 5 [27 favorites]


But some more detail: the idea of one or another variation on a personals/dating subsite has come up a few times over the years, and we've pretty consistently panned it for reasons related to the above. (Here's a couple of results from searching MetaTalk, 2007 and 2008, though there's been varyingly involved discussions of the general idea before and after that as well.)

And I get the idea: there are people who are dating or look to date, there's MetaFilter as this site where we have a sense of community and common interest, why not date those people? Nothing wrong with that idea, instinct totally makes sense. And it does actually happen sometimes, and that's great! More power to y'all. It makes me genuinely happy. (And sometimes it un-happens, and that sucks, but so it goes in relationships. Hugs to y'all.)

But the gap between "it'd be neat if MeFites in general dated or found love" and "MetaFilter should have a specific function to facilitate matchmaking" is a big one and basically all the downsides in practice of this idea fall to that second item, not the first one.

Of which, to tackle some line items listed in the post as potential downsides:

This is for the mods to weigh in on, of course, but it doesn't *seem* as though it would require that much more moderation than, well, certainly than the political threads. (And it would surely be a lot more fun!)

I don't share the belief that this wouldn't end up involving a fair amount of moderation effort. And some of the more complicated and taxing sorts, at that; it's one thing to say "stop rehashing that Bernie detail", and another entirely to try and resolve a conflict about whether someone's ad is okay, whether someone having responded to it was okay, who is being a creeper, what's an okay way to respond to a perceived come-on, how the site should deal with redacting a message post-bad-feelings, how to vet pseudonymity issues, and on and on.

This is off-the-top-of-my-head brainstorming just about kinds of things that we have had to deal with without a formal subsite or personals function, because people on the site end up in relationships anyway (again, great! Except when terrible!) and then we have to deal with the fallout when shit gets weird. It's always a damn mess. It's the stuff of moderation horror stories.

See disclaimer above, but it would *seem* that it would not be any different liability-wise than offering up a meet-up page, no?

Liability concerns are not my primary concern with this.

See last two disclaimers, but it *seems* as though the greatest burden would be the bother of putting together a page with clear categories elastic enough to put your ad in the right spot, and respond easily and anonymously to other people's ads.

I don't think that would be the greatest burden; systemic social and moderative issues are higher on the list. But you're right that it would require a bunch of work to establish and enforce guidelines and expectations, and technical work to set the whole thing up and address ongoing feature requests and maintenance. And managing/moderating anonymous follow-up communication tied to that is a whole gigantic can of worms.

The last bit brings up the issue of whether personal ad users would want another layer of anonymity attached to their accounts for that purpose....

Which is basically by itself tying this idea to a couple of horses and setting them galloping in opposite directions. The idea of dating specifically within the MeFi community more or less requires sharing more, not less, personal information and non-pseudonymous life stuff with at least a subset of the community. Which is fine for those who its fine for, but basically at odds with trying to introduce more privacy and anonymity functionality. MetaFilter, large as it is, is a small pond, and it's hard to manage a mix of anonymity and increased visibility under the best conditions and close to impossible to put the cat back in the bag when that goes wrong.

All of this is to say: I really do 100% understand where the idea comes from and why it reappears periodically. But I think that in practice, while it could be useful for some MeFites, it adds a ton of new work and downsides and potential awful social friction and drama to the site.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:09 AM on January 5 [9 favorites]


I have to imagine there's actually relatively little demand for this, as much as it seems like a fun idea. How many geographic locations have enough uncoupled-and-looking active Mefites to actually create any sort of dating demand. Dating apps work by having tons of local people in them. I could flip through more people on OKcupid in an hour than there are Mefites in Toronto, and that's not limiting Mefites by my gender preference or their relationship status.
posted by jacquilynne at 9:15 AM on January 5 [7 favorites]


I have seen your AskMe questions and I don't want to date any of you.
posted by phunniemee at 9:18 AM on January 5 [121 favorites]


Seems like just making a point to attending whatever local meetups are going on in your area (and based on your profile, Violet Blue, you're located in a place that might have a lot of them) and then meeting people there like you would at any other location, though conversation and sharing, would be the best strategy for this kind of thing.

Heck, why not even post a "MeFite Singles Meetup" for where you live?

I understand the appeal of what you are inquiring about here, but on some level, it ends up being more a "read entertaining personal ads written by insightful people" sort of request rather than an actual "I want to meet someone to date" kind of request.

If you want to date MeFites, it's easy enough to meet them, even to engineer the sort of meet you might want. Especially when you live in a major population center.
posted by hippybear at 9:24 AM on January 5 [4 favorites]


I have to agree with jacquilynne - in Milwaukee, a metro area of 1.5 million, we can barely scrape together 5-10 people for a meetup. Even then, 50% are married, 30% aren't looking, and 20% aren't interested in the others. Chicago has bigger meetups but it seems to be mostly the same people, again most of whom aren't looking (from the ones I know). So I can't imagine there's a demand for this and I think the lack of response would end up being frustrating. I think a better idea in larger cities to have frequent meetups - maybe some geared specifically to singles - and have people meet organically. Or, if you're interested in a particular person, just memail them.
posted by AFABulous at 9:25 AM on January 5 [4 favorites]


dangit hippybear
posted by AFABulous at 9:25 AM on January 5 [2 favorites]


Uh, there is chat.
posted by jeffamaphone at 9:26 AM on January 5


How about if you like a Mefite, you look at their profile to see if they're single. If they are, you could drop them a Mefi mail with something like, "You're comment on dogs in hats on the haberdashery thread was hysterical and I think funny people are awesome. Do you have plans to go to a nearby meet up? Can I buy you a drink and pick your brain about cats in booties?"

Viola. You're on your way to dating a Mefite and the mod crew don't have to do a single thing.
posted by 80 Cats in a Dog Suit at 9:29 AM on January 5 [12 favorites]


Yeah, AskMe notwithstanding I've asked two two and a half dudes out over memail and I didn't die or anything.
posted by phunniemee at 9:31 AM on January 5 [5 favorites]


I think this really is too much to ask of our mods, and frankly there is no MetaFilter without the firm hand of our mods. But I agree with hippybear's solution. Possibly Some of Us Might Date Each Other After This themed meet ups would likely do the trick, and have the advantage of allowing people who are within the same geographic area to make contact. I'd suggest you propose one like that in your area.
posted by bearwife at 9:34 AM on January 5 [4 favorites]


You're comment on dogs in hats on the haberdashery thread was hysterical and I think funny people are awesome.

Viola

Sorry, your disqualified. ;)
posted by AFABulous at 9:36 AM on January 5 [8 favorites]


:(

They're good dogs, Brant.
posted by 80 Cats in a Dog Suit at 9:38 AM on January 5 [41 favorites]


They're lousy cats, though.
posted by Etrigan at 9:39 AM on January 5 [4 favorites]


ಠ_ಠ
posted by 80 Cats in a Dog Suit at 9:41 AM on January 5 [16 favorites]


But great string instruments.
posted by ChuraChura at 9:49 AM on January 5 [7 favorites]


Now I want to hear the story about the half a dude.
posted by nebulawindphone at 10:13 AM on January 5 [3 favorites]


Now I want to hear the story about the half a dude.

I bet his name was Eric.
posted by briank at 10:27 AM on January 5 [23 favorites]


Half a ddue, philosophitude
Must, ipso facto, half elude
posted by maxsparber at 10:29 AM on January 5 [4 favorites]


I thought we were already doing this on the sly with all those "help me fix up my OKC profile" AskMes
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:36 AM on January 5 [43 favorites]


Shh, pbo.

I will also note that there is capability to put an OKC quicklink directly on a mefi profile - and, as that doesn't happen accidentally I think it is a reasonable invitation to any user who sees it to then visit said profile.

The creative writing left as an exercise for the reader.
posted by meinvt at 10:45 AM on January 5


Uh, there is chat.

Just poked my head in there. It is not exactly a romance factory.
posted by grumpybear69 at 10:49 AM on January 5 [7 favorites]


The romance in Chat doesn't start 'till a bit later, when evilspork breaks out the Bionicles. The orgies usually last into the night as long as we don't run out of jarritos or cool ranch dip.
posted by Freelance Demiurge at 11:02 AM on January 5 [9 favorites]


The orgies usually last into the night as long as we don't run out of jarritos or cool ranch dip.

Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit amphetamines.
posted by ApathyGirl at 11:21 AM on January 5 [7 favorites]


Just poked my head in there. It is not exactly a romance factory.

Chat really doesn't seem like the place for this anyway, but holy impatient.
posted by ODiV at 11:24 AM on January 5 [1 favorite]


Both the meow doggos and the barky floofs are good, okay? We don't need to be at odds.
posted by bookdragoness at 11:31 AM on January 5 [3 favorites]


Just poked my head in there. It is not exactly a romance factory.

Hey, wait‽ I looked in chat, saw a post from a wild, daring, mysterious and dashing character and replied to say that I was intrigued by their habits. Now I've come back here, and that same person calling it "not exactly a romance factory". Cheek!
posted by ambrosen at 11:46 AM on January 5 [7 favorites]


Can we please keep this site just plain ol' Metafilter without having a dating component? Surely the OP has, with her multitudinous blogs, videos, Insta, books, etc., etc., other ways to meet like-minded folks who can write well without (shudder) having a dating site as a component here?
posted by Lynsey at 11:46 AM on January 5 [1 favorite]


It is not exactly a romance factory.

LOOK I SAID I WAS SORRY
posted by Evilspork at 11:51 AM on January 5 [8 favorites]


It warms my heart that this idea has come up again, even though I understand why it won't/can't/shouldn't happen. After all these years, Mefites still got it!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 11:55 AM on January 5 [4 favorites]


One of the big problems that I see with adding something like this is how exclusionary it would be.

There are subsites that I, personally, don't use much (e.g. Music, Jobs, Projects), but that's purely because of a lack of interest on my part.

MeFi Personals, on the other hand, might not be explicitly exclusionary, but it would pretty much only exist for those looking to make a connection, which, for the most part, excludes happily partnered MeFites.

IRL is also kind of exclusionary in a geographical sense, but also kind of not, in the sense that I could choose to make a trip to attend a farflung meet-up. I can't choose* to go on dates.

And then there's the inevitable drama that will result from implementing a system to pair-off mefites. People will break up, one or more of the breakees will post a new Personal, the other will take it the wrong way. Obviously this is possible now via I'm-totally-not-talking-about-you AskMes, but I suspect it's not as common as it would be if Personals was actually successful in matching people up.

Anyways, this was a well written and thought out request, I just want to weigh in on the fact that I think this is a bad idea for Metafilter to implement.

*I mean, I could, but that would involve breaking commitments that are pretty standard between partnered folk
posted by sparklemotion at 11:59 AM on January 5 [1 favorite]


evilspork, you should've listened more carefully before you spent all that money building those Colosseum-shaped ant farms, and the anthill shaped like St Peter's basilica was frankly terrifying. A Rome-ants factory is very much not exactly a romance factory.
posted by ambrosen at 12:00 PM on January 5 [4 favorites]


man, I WISH I'd met my SO through MetaFilter mostly so we could talk about it all the time.
posted by lalex at 12:02 PM on January 5 [9 favorites]


Local MeFites are pretty much my entire social circle. When I joined Metafilter, before even attending my first meetup I made a conscious decision to not make Metafilter my personal dating pool, because if the relationship didn't work out it could very well put a major crimp in my social life. My friends are valuable to me, and that takes precedence over mate-searching.
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:06 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


Wait! No I'm not! What happened to my contact spouses?

devoured by astro zombie 3
posted by beerperson at 12:08 PM on January 5 [6 favorites]


MeFi Personals, on the other hand, might not be explicitly exclusionary, but it would pretty much only exist for those looking to make a connection, which, for the most part, excludes happily partnered MeFites.

That's easy to fix, though. Just have the "taken/available" toggle on your profile also change the name of the subsite from "MeetaFilter" or whatever to "Thank God I don't have to deal with that stuff any more".
posted by LionIndex at 12:15 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


Well, the domain www.mefightclub.com is already taken so that's a wash.
posted by RolandOfEld at 12:21 PM on January 5 [4 favorites]


> on some level, it ends up being more a "read entertaining personal ads written by insightful people" sort of request rather than an actual "I want to meet someone to date" kind of request.

Maybe a subsite in which people can write fictional personal ads for the diversion and edification of others, then. (Why is there not already a MetaFiction subsite?)
posted by Spathe Cadet at 12:23 PM on January 5 [4 favorites]


MeFi Personals, on the other hand, might not be explicitly exclusionary, but it would pretty much only exist for those looking to make a connection, which, for the most part, excludes happily partnered MeFites.

Jobs is pretty exclusionary to me, a flagrant layabout
posted by beerperson at 12:32 PM on January 5 [32 favorites]


One of the big problems that I see with adding something like this is how exclusionary it would be[...]MeFi Personals, on the other hand, might not be explicitly exclusionary, but it would pretty much only exist for those looking to make a connection, which, for the most part, excludes happily partnered MeFites.

IRL? Excludes misanthropes.
Projects? Excludes lazy people.
FanFare? Excludes people who don't consume media.

And beerperson already covered Jobs, although by now it should be clear how ridiculous this statement is. But I'll give it a 7/10 for torturing the use of the word "exclusionary."
posted by zombieflanders at 12:40 PM on January 5 [14 favorites]


I love this idea*, but I guess I (grudgingly) understand why it can't be so. Argh, it's so tough out there.

*Some of my best dates have been with MeFites; almost all of my worst have been on random dating sites. So yeah, there's selfish appeal to make a place I already love be my go-to for this as well.
posted by iamkimiam at 12:43 PM on January 5


GEORGE: "I had no idea the Daily Worker had personals!"
KRAMER [skeptical]: "It's called 'The Romance Factory'? That's not very ... romantic"
GEORGE: "They could call it the Romance Gulag for all I care. I'm not spending one more night having a struggle session with myself."
posted by griphus at 12:43 PM on January 5 [12 favorites]


There are subsites that I, personally, don't use much (e.g. Music, Jobs, Projects), but that's purely because of a lack of interest on my part.

MeFi Personals, on the other hand, might not be explicitly exclusionary, but it would pretty much only exist for those looking to make a connection, which, for the most part, excludes happily partnered MeFites.

IRL is also kind of exclusionary in a geographical sense, but also kind of not, in the sense that I could choose to make a trip to attend a farflung meet-up. I can't choose* to go on dates.


No subsite is exclusionary. You are choosing not to use Music, Jobs, Projects or make a trip for an IRL meet up. You say you would choose not to use Personals. Still a choice.

_Why_ doesn't matter. You have a choice and are not prevented from using them.
posted by qi at 12:49 PM on January 5 [2 favorites]


Wait, this isn't a dating site?
posted by ODiV at 12:51 PM on January 5 [2 favorites]


If it's not a dating site, why is it called HotYoungSingles.com?!
posted by beerperson at 12:52 PM on January 5 [2 favorites]


oh shoot
posted by beerperson at 12:53 PM on January 5


MeFi Personals, on the other hand, might not be explicitly exclusionary, but it would pretty much only exist for those looking to make a connection, which, for the most part, excludes happily partnered MeFites.

In addition to the "exclusionary" nature of Jobs, IRL, Projects, and FanFare pointed out, the whole fricking site is "exclusionary" of people who'd rather spend their time offline doing something else.

Please. This is ridiculous.
posted by Lexica at 12:53 PM on January 5 [10 favorites]


but on some level, it ends up being more a "read entertaining personal ads written by insightful people" sort of request rather than an actual "I want to meet someone to date" kind of request.

When you put it that way, you have my vote!
posted by the agents of KAOS at 12:59 PM on January 5 [5 favorites]


> MeFi Personals, on the other hand, might not be explicitly exclusionary, but it would pretty much only exist for those looking to make a connection, which, for the most part, excludes happily partnered MeFites.

Except for the polyamorous/open-relationship Mefites. (Of which there are plenty.)
posted by desuetude at 1:21 PM on January 5 [3 favorites]


If only sparklemotion had included "for the most part" in that part that includes "for the most part" that you quoted.
posted by Etrigan at 1:23 PM on January 5 [9 favorites]


I'm in favor of the idea that if you're looking, there's a lot of more subtle ways that one signals that in any social group that isn't strictly about posting a personal ad. Make it known that you're single, attend events, look for signals that other people you happen to get along with are also single, actually talk to them.

I don't think of this as "exclusionary", but I think it would suck to post an ad and get no response, here, in a way it wouldn't on other sites that're more expressly for that purpose. If nobody is expressly saying "yes, please, I want to settle down with someone from Metafilter", then nobody is left with the impression that "sorry, nobody on Metafilter wants you". I mean, I live in Omaha so I wouldn't expect much from such a thing anyway, but especially if I lived somewhere more populated, I don't think I'd want to post on such a subsite just because the rejection would sting more than usual.

The usual way of meeting someone in an actual social group you're in is way slower and more indirect, but it also means that you generally don't get around to actively expressing interest in someone until you've had some signals that this interest might be reciprocated. Much lower chance of problems.
posted by Sequence at 1:28 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]

In addition to the "exclusionary" nature of Jobs, IRL, Projects, and FanFare pointed out, the whole fricking site is "exclusionary" of people who'd rather spend their time offline doing something else.
I know everything there is to know about everything, so I find AskMe exclusionary. :(

~shifty eyes~
posted by winterhill at 1:29 PM on January 5 [8 favorites]


Has anyone here seen The Lobster? Because that's kinda how I feel a metafilter dating site would be.
posted by phunniemee at 1:31 PM on January 5 [16 favorites]


I feel like this is one of those great ideas that then set everything on fire.
posted by corb at 1:43 PM on January 5 [20 favorites]


I don't need this at the minute and I know the mod team would lose the remainder of their marbles at the prospect of it being implemented, but I would still love this to be a thing. I have always adored reading personal ads in the papers and I think MeFites could raise the art to fantastical heights.

So in the absence of it actually happening, why don't interested people use their MeFi profiles? There's only room for one tiny pic and that's optional anyway so it saves people from the photos nightmare, but you can already include as much personal information as you want. I suggest that in addition to what's there already, anyone who wants can write their own personal ad and put it in the "About" section at the bottom. This has the advantage of not needing to set up or link an OKCupid profile and it's a clear signal someone wants to be contacted (rather than going by someone's single status which is a bit presumptive and potentially skeevy). Also if you don't get any romantic memails you can remind yourself that not everyone reads profile pages.

I do, all the time. Pleeease some people go write their ads, I really want to read them in a non-stalkery way I swear
posted by billiebee at 2:16 PM on January 5 [4 favorites]


> If only sparklemotion had included "for the most part" in that part that includes "for the most part" that you quoted.

Yes, I read the words that I posted, all of them. My point is that the distinction between "subsites in which a user has a lack of personal interest" and "is exclusionary" is a claim with a lot of holes in it, even at the most literal level.
posted by desuetude at 2:20 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


(It will also have zero effect either way on my feelings about not making this, so.)
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:21 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


Not really in a personal-ad way, but I will say this did remind me that I keep telling myself I'm going to write a decent profile one of these days and that I plainly have actually failed to do so, so I guess at least the discussion's had one tiny positive impact. If I actually get around to it this time.
posted by Sequence at 2:22 PM on January 5


wait...so, "DTMFA" doesn't mean
"Date the MeFite Already?"
posted by calgirl at 2:27 PM on January 5 [11 favorites]


All the infrastructure of a dating site is in place already; as long as you're not stalkery about it, there's no reason you couldn't just use it as such. Put "seeking [type]" in your relationship status (and your "long walks on the beach" in your About), post and show up to IRL meetups, and send out feelers to Mefites you like via Memail. What more would a subsite add to that?

Plenty of Mefites have paired off and produced new Mefites without a matchmaking subsite.
posted by Sys Rq at 2:28 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


Has anyone here seen The Lobster ? Because that's kinda how I feel a metafilter dating site would be.

mostly the toaster scene
posted by beerperson at 2:36 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


I don't think people have really considered how wonderful it would be to require alternate pseudonyms/real names for the dating subsite so that people could hook up based on incredibly beguiling profiles and not find out until the morning after/a year into the relationship that their new lover is also the person whose comment history they hate THE MOST. this alone is a reason to do it. it makes my heart glow
posted by queenofbithynia at 2:44 PM on January 5 [25 favorites]


I've been pondering mating and dating recently,

I'd suggest reversing the sequence.
posted by jonmc at 2:44 PM on January 5 [4 favorites]


You traditionalist, you...
posted by Greg_Ace at 2:46 PM on January 5


call me old fashioned.

No, on second thought make me an old-fashioned, with a beer chaser.
posted by jonmc at 2:49 PM on January 5 [2 favorites]


Okay, here's mine:
Pasty white female, 41, with uncertain life expectancy but few assets. Enjoys solitude, being away from people, and researching additional ways to stay away from people. Indifferent lover, lousy housekeeper, terrible cook.
posted by mochapickle at 2:56 PM on January 5 [57 favorites]


The most famous examples, in modern times, are probably in the London Review of Books where the Personals are known for their wit and wildly British self-disparagement

Many of which were collected in They Call Me Naughty Lola.
posted by octobersurprise at 3:03 PM on January 5


OkCupid's experiments with "Blind" dating proved people were 44% more open to responding when they weren't distracted by photos.

Wasn't there an FPP on this? IIRC, it was pointed out that those people were more open to responding so they could ask for a photo.
posted by Melismata at 3:07 PM on January 5


Pasty white female, 41, with uncertain life expectancy but few assets. Enjoys solitude, being away from people, and researching additional ways to stay away from people. Indifferent lover, lousy housekeeper, terrible cook.

This is embarrassing, but I think perhaps I'm your long lost clone.
posted by 80 Cats in a Dog Suit at 3:15 PM on January 5 [14 favorites]


The system works!
posted by mochapickle at 3:18 PM on January 5 [6 favorites]


Now I'm thinking about what my imaginary FPP-style personal ad would be like...
- Single link?
- Massive link dump?
- Newsfiltery?
- Every letter a link?
- Clickbaity?
- SLYT?
- "More inside" revealing just one additional (but critical) line?
- Title funny, clever, or just factual?

Obviously mods would have to permit self-linking. And maybe discussion of circumcision.
posted by Kabanos at 3:33 PM on January 5


Plenty of Mefites have paired off and produced new Mefites

cortex, this is a terrible business plan to gain more members
posted by AFABulous at 3:33 PM on January 5 [24 favorites]


Gotta think loooooong term, AFABulous.
posted by soundguy99 at 3:37 PM on January 5 [4 favorites]


"I don't think people have really considered how wonderful it would be to require alternate pseudonyms/real names for the dating subsite so that people could hook up based on incredibly beguiling profiles and not find out until the morning after/a year into the relationship that their new lover is also the person whose comment history they hate THE MOST."

I feel like this was 90% of my dating experience on a small, very Republican college campus. "Oh wow, this guy is so fun and cool and we have great arguments about -- HOLY SHIT HE'S PRESIDENT OF THE COLLEGE REPUBLICANS UNLIKE UNLIKE UNLIKE."

" MetaFilter, large as it is, is a small pond, and it's hard to manage a mix of anonymity and increased visibility under the best conditions and close to impossible to put the cat back in the bag when that goes wrong."

As someone who lives in a small community I can attest to this problem. My book club friend's brother's fiancee's medical partner was married to my obstetrician and when they got divorced last year it was very awkward FOR ME.
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 3:48 PM on January 5 [18 favorites]


I have seen your AskMe questions and I don't want to date any of you.

That's a deal breaker.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:13 PM on January 5


So I made it through "book club friend's brother" and I could picture that. And he is apparently getting married, this book club friend's brother. Good for him. But when I hit "fiancee's medical partner," I thought it was one of those new fangled relationship statuses that I was probably just ignorant of, and then felt too dumb to finish the equation.
posted by Stanczyk at 5:02 PM on January 5 [6 favorites]


So what you do is:

* Create an OKCupid account.
* Link to that OKC account in your MeFi profile.
* Mention MeFi in your OKC profile.

You're covered in both directions.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:03 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


Clearly problematic but the benefits of ask to help the new couple navigate the relationship shoals, and then amazing meetup/wedding would be legendary, but the very best best best would be the post divorce insanely entertaining two person flame wars spontaneously breaking out in the most innocuous cute dog picture thread.
posted by sammyo at 5:03 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


"But when I hit "fiancee's medical partner," I thought it was one of those new fangled relationship statuses that I was probably just ignorant of, "

I have MULTIPLE stories of having a gynecologist in a small town where you routinely have to socialize with literally everyone, including your gynecologist. And their spouse's medical partner's fiance's sister's book club.
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 5:09 PM on January 5 [9 favorites]


Eh, if there's no majority of interest, then so be it, but I'm not convinced by several arguments amid the jokes.... So in the spirit of good debate:

Why would hurt feelings re: a personal ad be dealt with any differently than hurt feelings re: a meet-up post? Some get lots of responses; some don't. I'm also not sure why moderation for ads is any different than anything else. Either text is appropriate or it's not. Where there are questions and objections it gets discussed at the discretion of the mods. If something goes wrong in personal life, and someone writes an Ask about it, it's either appropriate for posting that Ask or it's not. Those are judgments the mods are already rendering. I'm not sure why that would change.

It is a small community of regular commentators, but there are a lot of lurkers. I lurk more than not. I mostly don't sign in. That speaks directly to those daydreamers who thinks that everyone comes out at all times for meet-ups. It may seem like NYC would get larger numbers than Salt Lake or Portland but, mostly, from my experience as host/attendee you get about 5 or 6 people; on a rare night 10—or 12 if it's really just crazy. There's a tiny core group that shows up semi-regularly, the rest are catch as catch can depending on the usuals (jobs, mates, schedules, energy). Also, and this isn't an insignificant point, people in certain age groups are more likely to come out than those in other age groups, regardless of relationship status.

For sure, I think singletons are more likely to respond to an ad if it interests them, then they necessarily will to a post if they're not in the habit of commenting. Still, no, I can't imagine that anything like this would be hugely trafficked. The jobs section isn't. Neither is the meet-ups for a lot of cities, New York included.

For those (coupled?) extroverts suggesting interested parties just host a singles Mefi meet-up, let me just say this: Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha. That's a good one!

For those suggesting we just contact commenters who post things we like, most of the time, I don't know the gender or the age of the people commenting. That's often not clarified by people's personal pages. People don't check their mefimail very often. And just no. I see the point of the suggestion, but I also think it's too subtle by half.

Finally, as to the question of anonymity, couldn't we, theoretically if there were interest, just identify by some sort of number system? There wouldn't need to be any links back to personal pages, posts, likes and whatnot. All that could be shared at the discretion of the poster.

Oh, and one other thing that has occurred. Something like this could be part of an overall mini classified section, with items for sale or for giveaway. I dunno, if you're gonna dream, might as well dream big, no?
posted by Violet Blue at 5:14 PM on January 5


Must like snark.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 5:15 PM on January 5 [2 favorites]


change the name of the subsite from "MeetaFilter" or whatever

Oh, c'mon.

MeatFilter or nothing.
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:18 PM on January 5 [16 favorites]


Pasty white female, 41, with uncertain life expectancy but few assets. Enjoys solitude, being away from people, and researching additional ways to stay away from people. Indifferent lover, lousy housekeeper, terrible cook.

OMG SOULMATE!!!
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:21 PM on January 5 [5 favorites]


It's like a verse from a Gilbert and Sullivan musical.

Because...
My book club friend's brother's
fiancee's medical partner
married my obstetrician
and then divorced last year
it was very awkward FOR ME.


[CHORUS]
It was very awkward for her
And the spouse's medical partner's
fiancee's sister's weekly book club
and the small town gynecologist
It was very awkward for them.

posted by Stanczyk at 5:21 PM on January 5 [15 favorites]


(except, of course, I don't want a partner because that violates the non-negotiable criteria of solitude & being away from people. unless we never see each other, ever. which means we're already doing great)
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:23 PM on January 5 [5 favorites]


Regardless of the general OKCupid experience, I always figured that a MeFi'er with a link to their OKC in their profile signalled a kind of availability.
posted by rhizome at 5:24 PM on January 5


When I was single I thought several times that a MeFi personals would be a great idea... and then much like every time I wade into online dating, the paranoia and loathing (of self and others) quickly set in and I figured it would just Get Weird too quickly in a place I like too much. I mean, look at how favoriting stresses some people out. Now imagine that your personal ad isn't getting a "favorite" from that MeFi you've set your eye on... Shudder.


(That said, the "exclusionary" argument was nonsense). (That also said, if I find myself single again I'd totally be interested in an IRL singles night or two...)
posted by TwoStride at 5:28 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


I mean, how awkward can socializing with your gynecologist really be.
posted by ChuraChura at 5:33 PM on January 5 [6 favorites]


The mefi dating thing has been proposed and nixed before. (Though it is actually not hard to hook up via mefi if that is a thing you want to do. This, also, has been discussed on the gray before.)

As for maxsparber: Ask and ye shall receive. You have been added to my personal harem.

(I am a bad mefite and have not read any further in the thread than that. So if I am stepping into the middle of some huge pile of doo: whoops! I had no idea.)

PS: Because I did not read further, any other random requests for spouses who are feeling left out can just memail me and I shall be happy to enspousen you too. Tis cool.
posted by Michele in California at 5:44 PM on January 5


I mean, how awkward can socializing with your gynecologist really be.

My gynecologist had opera season tickets on the same schedule and in the same section as me year before last and I waved at her every time and she never waved back.
posted by phunniemee at 5:45 PM on January 5 [15 favorites]


I always check my MeMail. Unfortunately no-one ever writes to me *forever alone* *single tear*.
posted by h00py at 5:49 PM on January 5 [7 favorites]


Maybe she didn't recognize you out of context? I mean, when I was a barista, none of my customers recognized me outside the shop when I was without my apron and my usual puff of steam. Next season, wear a paper gown?
posted by mochapickle at 5:49 PM on January 5 [9 favorites]


So one time I went to a new gyno and he was chatting with me about my husband during my pelvic and is suddenly like, "Wait, who's your husband?" and I was like, "Mr. McGee?" and he pops up between my legs and says, "Hey, he does my malpractice defense!" I was like "GET BACK DOWN THERE THIS IS NOT OKAY."

Some years later, with a new gyno practice, I went to my husband's office Christmas party and we were seated at a table with the lawyer with the office next to his, and that guy's wife, and his wife turned out to be my midwife! And I spent pretty much the whole dinner trying not to say, "So, Joe, you're the only person here not familiar with my lady parts ...." I told her this when we went to the bathroom and she was like, "That would not be the weirdest thing anyone has said to me at a dinner party!"

So when my ob grew a divorce-beard and had a messy facebook-public divorce while I was seeing him weekly for a difficult pregnancy, but pretending not to know he was mid ugly-divorce, it was awkward? But not THE MOST awkward.

"My gynecologist had opera season tickets on the same schedule and in the same section as me year before last and I waved at her every time and she never waved back."

That's just mean. I'm at least FB friends with mine.
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 5:49 PM on January 5 [15 favorites]


I would totally hang with my gyno, one of those 70s-era empowering-women feminist gynos. She seems pretty cool, like she'd have great parties.
posted by Miko at 6:04 PM on January 5 [2 favorites]


i dislike humans so when humans post here instead of cats it is exclusionary to me and my needs
posted by poffin boffin at 6:05 PM on January 5 [19 favorites]


(Why is there not already a MetaFiction subsite?)

Pending that, AskMe will remain the principle outlet for creative writing here.

I always check my MeMail. Unfortunately no-one ever writes to me *forever alone* *single tear*.

I always get so excited when the little red marker appears... and it is almost always an announcement of a get together a hundred miles away.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:10 PM on January 5 [2 favorites]


I think I've told this story on here before but I grew up in a very small town and the first time I went to the gynecologist - who everyone, including my mom, her 4 sisters, and my grandma went to - he popped up and asked me if I was related to any [mom's maiden name] and I was like, yeah, how did you know?! and he said oh I recognized you! Recognized me? Because I look like my dad, which I said, and he laughed and said, oh no, I recognized your lady parts! All the [mom's maiden name] are identical! It makes sense but who ever thinks about *that* being inherited?

Anyway, Eyebrows, I totally understand.
posted by barchan at 6:12 PM on January 5 [66 favorites]


oh no, I recognized your lady parts!

I am staring at my screen, silently sucking on a cough drop, in shock.
posted by delight at 6:19 PM on January 5 [22 favorites]


"oh no, I recognized your lady parts!"

Yeah, I think I dropped vicariously dead.
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 6:24 PM on January 5 [32 favorites]


So should I just add this to the memorable derails thread happening next door now or should I wait to see if this gets better?
posted by Stanczyk at 6:28 PM on January 5 [20 favorites]


I've been married since the 90s, so I have no experience with dating sites at all. They sound horrible. My introduction to Tinder was when I was talking to a much younger dudebro coworker who was fiddling with his phone the whole time without looking at it. When I asked him what he was doing he cryptically said he was "swiping them all to the right" and gave me a conspiratorial wink and nod like I knew what the fuck he was talking about. (I do now, of course. Pretty gross.)
posted by double block and bleed at 6:38 PM on January 5


Wow, and I thought my mother telling me that the gynecologist I hadn't seen in four years was asking after me socially and wanted to know how I was doing was weird....
posted by sciatrix at 6:41 PM on January 5 [3 favorites]


I mean, how awkward can socializing with your gynecologist really be.

Oooh oohh, I have a story too! I had to start seeing a gyn when I was 14 and it was of course my mom's ob/gyn, who had delivered me, and was sort of a family friend, and anyway he and his wife gave me a REALLY pretty bracelet at my high school graduation party, which I still sometimes wear JUST so when ppl say, "oh, that's a nice bracelet," I can reply, "Thanks! My gynecologist gave it to me!"
posted by leesh at 6:59 PM on January 5 [11 favorites]


There wouldn't need to be any links back to personal pages, posts, likes and whatnot. All that could be shared at the discretion of the poster.

Hi, my name is naju
posted by AFABulous at 7:12 PM on January 5 [5 favorites]


Totally taken but I so love this idea.
posted by arnicae at 7:12 PM on January 5


(in case that didn't translate - with anonymous numbers, people could pretend to be someone cooler than they are)
posted by AFABulous at 7:19 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


This is, hands down, the best derail ever. Ever.
posted by gt2 at 7:23 PM on January 5 [3 favorites]


Wow, and I thought my mother telling me that the gynecologist I hadn't seen in four years was asking after me socially and wanted to know how I was doing was weird....

Well, that's still weird.
posted by cotton dress sock at 7:35 PM on January 5


oh no, I recognized your lady parts!

Same thing happened to me with my proctologist. He said, "Yeah, all you [IRFH] assholes look alike!"
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 7:45 PM on January 5 [11 favorites]


unless we never see each other, ever. which means we're already doing great

This is nearly how me and my MeFite sweetheart manage our thing and it is perfect. I love the personal ad idea, mostly because I wouldn't have to manage it. These is no reason people couldn't use the wiki for this.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 7:56 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


So, I have finally read the entire thread (okay, okay, I skimmed a few of the longer answers) and I see the OP Violet Blue is asking some follow up questions. So I am going to respond to that a bit.

Why would hurt feelings re: a personal ad be dealt with any differently than hurt feelings re: a meet-up post? Some get lots of responses; some don't. I'm also not sure why moderation for ads is any different than anything else.

So, I kinda sorta hooked up with someone via metafilter. And it went kinda sideways. A mod advised me to block said individual on memail.

I took the advice. I don't normally block anyone on anything. It is rare that I use the block function. Said individual remains a member in good standing and so far hasn't harassed me on the site (that I am aware of).

Still, it has been weird at times when he shows up in the same discussions as me. I never know how to deal with that. Do I favorite his good comments because they were good? Do I not favorite anything of his so as to not encourage him to think he has a shot at getting back with me? What is the correct etiquette?

The point:

Mixing a dating aspect with a community site is potentially really complicated. If you join a dating site and it doesn't work with someone, you just stop interacting with them. But trying to deal with two people interacting with the larger site who dated once and now have a potentially ugly break up behind them gets super duper complicated.

There really are plenty of site functions on metafilter that are conducive to you getting to know someone and potentially dating (or hooking up or marrying or whatever -- and plenty of mefites do those sorts of things). Frankly, if you don't have the social skills to figure out how to use the existing functionality to arrange a romantic dealy of some sort via the site, then you probably do not have the social skills to keep interacting with the site in a healthy way after a hook up goes badly and now both of you are still community members. And the mods are not going to ban someone because your date with them went badly. So, at that point, you what? Kill your account? Leave the site entirely? Do a Brand New Day?

I fully concur with the longstanding mod position that "we don't need to add an explicit hook up function to Metafilter. NEXT!"

I like the idea of writing interesting stuff and sharing it. We could potentially do something like that as a MetaTalk community bonding thing once in a while, or whatever. But, no, adding an explicit personal ads/dating subsite to MetaFilter is something that I do not think works.
posted by Michele in California at 8:01 PM on January 5 [9 favorites]


Why would hurt feelings re: a personal ad be dealt with any differently than hurt feelings re: a meet-up post? Some get lots of responses; some don't.

Maybe it's just me, but yes, I consider "please consider being my romantic partner" to be much, much more personal than "please consider hanging out with me in a completely casual manner". Not that it wouldn't be kind of offputting either way, but yeah, one would be worse to get no responses to.

There wouldn't need to be any links back to personal pages, posts, likes and whatnot.

Having this kind of familiarity with people before knowing they were looking for somebody is really the only thing I could see this offering that OKC doesn't. Not because I would expect to be looking for a bunch of posts that suck, but like... I'd like to have a general feel for somebody before we really get to talking, because I have spent so many wasted hours talking to people who turned out to not be worth talking with. Some of them were really amazing people! But not amazing for me. There are many, many people on Metafilter who I think are amazing, but I'm not sure how many of those I could really see making heart eyes at, and even of those, there's a question of compatibility of baggage. If it was on this site but still relegated me back to only knowing a few paragraphs about the person beforehand... meh.
posted by Sequence at 8:08 PM on January 5 [3 favorites]


> Pasty white female, 41, with uncertain life expectancy but few assets. Enjoys solitude, being away from people, and researching additional ways to stay away from people. Indifferent lover, lousy housekeeper, terrible cook.

>> This is embarrassing, but I think perhaps I'm your long lost clone.

>> OMG SOULMATE!!!

>>>> MY PEOPLE, MY PEOPLE! Which of you is single??

Mission accomplished, OP, mission accomplished. (Except I am a good cook. Please make a note in your files, single misanthropic introverts of Metafilter.)
posted by mudpuppie at 9:01 PM on January 5 [5 favorites]


I run into my gyn at political events quite a bit. She's co-parenting an awesome kid with a friend of mine, who I see even more frequently at political events. The queer version of a small town. Fortunately, my gyn is really awesome and I'm happy to see her in social contexts.
posted by gingerbeer at 9:41 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


Wow, I feel there's a lesson in here about the wonders of the Blue and Green's tight moderation.... May all your gynecologists and proctologists have a Happy New Year!
posted by Violet Blue at 10:10 PM on January 5


"Your dating profile was... just, the entirety of the emotional labor thread. All of it, every word."
"Yup."
"I see."
"So... drinks?"
"Absolutely."
posted by naju at 10:26 PM on January 5 [20 favorites]


Hi, my name is naju

You have no idea the fright you just gave me
posted by naju at 10:36 PM on January 5 [18 favorites]


My first thought on seeing the derail was that we could hire an ob/gyn to match people based on their ladyparts, then I remembered we don't all have them (myself included). So IRFH's mention of arseholes makes a lot of sense.

At least it offers more variety than writing an ad, given that mochapickle's written the one that most of us would've written anyway.
posted by ambrosen at 10:57 PM on January 5


i am spartanaju
posted by poffin boffin at 11:25 PM on January 5 [9 favorites]


What happened to good old fashioned profile stalking? You can get way more useful information from that than you would from a dating profile.

This is of course something I heard people do and in no way something I did when I first met the mefite who is now my husband.
posted by greenish at 4:17 AM on January 6 [7 favorites]


Look, let's address the proboscis monkey in the room right now. cortex doesn't want to implement this for fear we'd all pair off and stop coming to MetaFilter in favour of sexytimes and visiting owl sanctuaries together. Then he'd lose that sweet, sweet monkey-punching ad dollar (I've never actually seen a ape-attack advert here, but that proves nothing as I get a better class of Internet on my receiver anyway).

Free the love, cortex! Kids, stay in school. Say no to bopping bonobos! TRUTH TO POWAAAHH!!!
posted by comealongpole at 4:59 AM on January 6 [1 favorite]


I'm naju and so is my wife.
posted by beerperson at 5:04 AM on January 6 [7 favorites]


Is this really the monkey you want to punch?
posted by ChuraChura at 5:05 AM on January 6 [2 favorites]


If something like this was ever implemented it would be overrun with spam so fast.
posted by shelleycat at 5:16 AM on January 6


ChuraChura, is he single?
posted by phunniemee at 5:19 AM on January 6 [9 favorites]


WANTED: Smart, outgoing woman with knowledge of early 21st century America political systems, election software, familiarity with rebuttals of Novikov's Self-Consistency Principle and a strong desire to fix the timeline. Must love sushi and Fury Road.

Libertarians need not apply.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:20 AM on January 6 [1 favorite]


Running something like that would be any administrator's nightmare. I think bloodritual.metafilter.com would be less trouble.
posted by ignignokt at 6:28 AM on January 6 [5 favorites]


ISO someone to help with bloodritual.metafilter.com. Must not be squeamish or faint at the sight of blood, sacrificial entities have already been obtained.
posted by Apoch at 6:30 AM on January 6 [4 favorites]


See it's the outgoing women thing that gets me. If it requires putting down the wine sippy cup and putting on pants, I need a damn good reason at this point.
posted by 80 Cats in a Dog Suit at 6:34 AM on January 6 [5 favorites]


Look, you can't change the timeline if you're not willing to put down the wine sippy cup, I know this from experience.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:56 AM on January 6 [8 favorites]


today, we are all naju
posted by AFABulous at 7:01 AM on January 6 [3 favorites]


Lexica: "the whole fricking site is "exclusionary" of people who'd rather spend their time offline doing something else. "

Those people tend not to make pissed off Metatalk posts though.

Sequence: " Make it known that you're single, attend events, look for signals that other people you happen to get along with are also single, actually talk to them."

Pshaw! Like that ever works.

Michele in California: "Though it is actually not hard to hook up via mefi if that is a thing you want to do."

Maybe if you don't live in a member desert. The three closest users to me are 56, 70 and 142 miles away.

None of which should be taken as endorsement of the idea; like cortex I see this as a trainwreck of uncomfortable mod interactions.
posted by Mitheral at 7:26 AM on January 6 [3 favorites]


The three closest users to me are 56, 70 and 142 miles away.

With an atlas, a pencil, a piece of string, and a lot of time, I can now find out where you live.

Also it's in your profile
posted by beerperson at 7:36 AM on January 6 [9 favorites]


I mean, how awkward can socializing with your gynecologist really be.

I get on great with mine. We have the same favorite New Haven pizza place.
posted by pemberkins at 7:52 AM on January 6 [1 favorite]


Is there where I admit that I haven't been to see a gynecologist in like 10 years? I really should make that appointment....
posted by cooker girl at 8:27 AM on January 6 [2 favorites]


Is there where I admit that I haven't been to see a gynecologist in like 10 years?

holy shit, is your gynecologist also my dentist
posted by beerperson at 8:32 AM on January 6 [17 favorites]


Pshaw! Like that ever works.

I seriously had not seen that thread before and now I feel a lot better about a lot of things that've happened in my life, that's for sure.

But still, being oblivious seems easier somehow than being really overt and it not going well.
posted by Sequence at 9:12 AM on January 6 [1 favorite]


Elephant in the room, maybe, but isn't this exactly what the "Fans" portion of the Infodumpster is for?
posted by The Gooch at 9:20 AM on January 6 [1 favorite]


Proofs and Refutations is going to be very busy, if so.
posted by Sequence at 9:30 AM on January 6 [4 favorites]


Now I'm thinking about what my imaginary FPP-style personal ad would be like...
- Single link?
- Massive link dump?
- Newsfiltery?
- Every letter a link?
- Clickbaity?
- SLYT?
- "More inside" revealing just one additional (but critical) line?
- Title funny, clever, or just factual?



CAPS LOCK DAY
posted by nickmark at 9:37 AM on January 6


If it requires putting down the wine sippy cup and putting on pants

I thought the whole point was taking off pants, not putting them on.
posted by nickmark at 9:41 AM on January 6 [2 favorites]


I'd wager about 75% of the posters would deploy "more inside" as a double entendre.
posted by mochapickle at 9:42 AM on January 6 [5 favorites]


Now I'm thinking about what my imaginary FPP-style personal ad would be like...

Back in the day I used to write internet dating profiles using only quotes from MST2K or Space Ghost or Aqua Teen Hunger Force or Achewood. . . . It never really worked, but I laughed my ass off doing it. (The profile that started off with "Guess who stopped at the Duty Free and and picked up his'n'hers copy of the new Wired!"; half of the lines from this Achewood comic; and ended with "Tuck me in and be my breakfast" was a clear "winner". . . .in my mind.)

Anyway, I didn't sleep for a whole hour last night trying to think of what new show I would use to make my MeFi dating profile. Adventure Time? Archer? Rick and Morty?

But obviously there's only one show I'd use for attracting the wild Mefite: BROOKLYN 99! "I work best alone. Except when it comes to sex. Actually, sometimes including sex." "So, what is this? Casual, serious? I need to know how to make fun of you." "Four hours is the most time I've ever spent alone with any human. It was the worst experience of my life.""Don't just tease my brain, captain. Really go to town on it."

how the hell did I manage to find someone to marry me
posted by barchan at 9:44 AM on January 6 [6 favorites]


Are you crazy? I'd be all over those profiles, barchan. Except, of course, that I'm married, and would never actually see them.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:52 AM on January 6 [2 favorites]


hahaha! well thanks IRFH, alas, I lived in an area/culture where women not taking the hunt for a man seriously was frowned upon.

(Golly discovering MeFi was such a relief, but I had so many crushes on Mefites back in the days when I was single, there was a time when I would have been screaming for this to be a feature for us poor desert souls as mentioned above)
posted by barchan at 10:04 AM on January 6


how the hell did I manage to find someone to marry me

Title of your sex tape.
posted by Etrigan at 10:18 AM on January 6 [4 favorites]


This morning a "Frisky with Whiskey" meetup got posted and when I looked at it tired, my first thought was that there had been more discussion in this thread and a rollout of Meatfilter.
posted by corb at 10:25 AM on January 6 [6 favorites]


Elephant in the room, maybe, but isn't this exactly what the "Fans" portion of the Infodumpster is for?

Bummer: the two users tied for my number one fan are taken and in Michigan.

Also, thanks: I always forget how fun the infodumpster is.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 10:52 AM on January 6


Anyway, I didn't sleep for a whole hour last night trying to think of what new show I would use to make my MeFi dating profile. Adventure Time? Archer? Rick and Morty?

DO YOU WANT SEXY TIMES? BECAUSE THIS IS HOW YOU GET SEXY TIMES.
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:54 AM on January 6 [4 favorites]


> We have the same favorite New Haven pizza place.

It better be Pepe's.
posted by languagehat at 11:31 AM on January 6 [2 favorites]


Michele in California: "Though it is actually not hard to hook up via mefi if that is a thing you want to do."

Maybe if you don't live in a member desert. The three closest users to me are 56, 70 and 142 miles away.


People tell me that all the time -- that meeting people online does not work because no one online lives near them. I have known too many couples who met online at a time when they lived very far apart and one or both of them moved (sometimes thousands of miles and/or to another country) and they ended up married. Plus, my mefi hookup was with someone on the opposite coast who crossed most of the country to come see me before I finally grew enough of a spine to put my foot down and say "Nope. I told: I am not looking for a relationship, just short term virtual hot sex. Thanks for all the fish. Bye!!!"

So, you know, I am just not capable of wrapping my brain around this objection. It simply does not compute for me. It does not fit with the reality I know.

Thank you for letting me get that off my chest. I have been wanting to say that for a million years.
posted by Michele in California at 11:43 AM on January 6 [3 favorites]


I went out with one mefite a few times, and it was an uncomfortable experience. I went to several meetups around that time, in hopes of meeting someone. During those meetups, including one that I organized, I never once found any man who was my age and single. And I remember watching two people outside my age range meet (cute) and start dating afterwards.

So, in other words, Metafilter meetups are just like the rest of my life. Metafilter is real life.
posted by Melismata at 11:55 AM on January 6 [4 favorites]


I like this idea, as a human who hasn't touched another in their bathing suit region in, like, years. Quite possibly because I say shit like "touched another in their bathing suit region," but whatevs.

Then I remember the soul-crushing performative self-branding rejection-laden shitshow that was attempting to date through dating sites years ago and I recoil. Please allow metafilter to continue to be the haven of the internet where I am judged solely by my craptacular spelling and grammar and relative market share contribution of cat and cat-adjacent photographs.
posted by bologna on wry at 12:04 PM on January 6 [15 favorites]


Personally, I don't see why this couldn't be handled by an unrelated offshoot in the vein of MeFightClub, which is all gaming stuff?

The easy jokes about meet/meet have been done, so why not name it like MetaFlirter?
posted by qcubed at 5:06 PM on January 6 [7 favorites]


... what new show I would use to make my MeFi dating profile ...

Sherlock, obvs.
posted by octobersurprise at 5:12 PM on January 6


But obviously there's only one show I'd use for attracting the wild Mefite: BROOKLYN 99!

as someone with a probably unhealthy level of self-identification with both Capt. Holt and Amy Santiago all at once, if I wasn't already married I would--um, actually, I've never seriously used a dating platform in my entire life and frankly I find dating confusing, so probably I would never see it. But the idea pleases me.

is brooklyn nine nine on Fanfare, I need to go to there
posted by sciatrix at 5:40 PM on January 6 [3 favorites]


People tell me that all the time -- that meeting people online does not work because no one online lives near them. I have known too many couples who met online at a time when they lived very far apart and one or both of them moved (sometimes thousands of miles and/or to another country) and they ended up married.

On a more serious note, hey, that's my life! It's how most of my serious relationships have started, usually by accident! Logistically, it blows wet rotting whale carcass!

I mean, like. I was in a long distance relationship that really did start out nearly a thousand miles apart (944 miles, actually) and in two separate countries. (The "my girlfriend who lives in Canada" jokes got old after a bit.) Then I got into grad school and moved away a further 700 miles, which tied me to one specific city in the US, shortly before we were actually becoming serious. We're same-sex, so they legally could not move to me without finding some way to get past immigration, and we were both way too broke to manage paying for that kind of travel on a regular basis.

So we kept our relationship long distance with zero actual expectation or workable plan for it to stop being long distance for three. fucking. years and then when DOMA came down and getting married for immigration was suddenly a possibility, the only way to manage getting to be in one place involved... well, getting married. I hadn't actually bothered to divulge my internet-only relationship to my family when we decided this, so that went down a treat, let me tell you, especially given all the weird feelings that people have about immigration.

It also cost at least a thousand dollars to do, which again we did not exactly have lying around, and that was with doing all the paperwork on our own, not counting travel expenses to do things like actually physically getting married, and not at any point so much as breathing near a lawyer. Oh, and it took about a year to get through after submitting the paperwork, so I was dealing with the emotional fallout from my family about you got married without our say-so without even getting to live with my partner, and meanwhile my partner is waiting with zero concrete timeline or transparency for the privilege of uprooting their entire life, social networks, and job situation in order to be able to live with me. Awesome.

Let's not even get into relationships I've had online with people in the UK or another significantly different time zone, when you also have to manage coordinating when you can both be online and seek connection. Again, I have done this thing. It is totally possible. Typing this with my partner making pasta sauce from the other room while our cat purrs on my lap, it was even worth it. I am just not entirely sure why anyone would want to do a relationship like that without having accidentally attached themselves to a specific person already, in case you could find someone compatible to you who doesn't come with those particular strings attached.
posted by sciatrix at 6:03 PM on January 6 [4 favorites]


I am just not entirely sure why anyone would want to do a relationship like that

I think most people don't go looking for it. I did -- because I had fantasies it would put natural limits on the relationship under circumstances where a real relationship just wasn't feasible.

Fat lotta good that did me.
posted by Michele in California at 9:21 PM on January 6 [1 favorite]


uh mefi already is a dating site

it's just hella subtle

right after i started dating this woman she introduced me to mefi

i married her in 2015

#longgame
posted by klangklangston at 9:58 PM on January 7 [6 favorites]


Englishman, occasional sesquipedalian, extremely late 30s. Into OoT, AC:NL, state fair cuisine, light bondage, cricket. Multiple library card holder; makes tea correctly. GSOH, tall, liberal. Sometimes ipsographic. Bearded but will shave for the right person. Retired sockpuppeter and online troll hunter; now prefers long beach sunset walks, ruricolous dwelling, comfortable restraints, cheese festivals, pomarious interests. WLTM similar for cross-country travel, montivagant adventures, minor scandals, smoked gouda, persiflage over well-made tea. No Trump/Brexit voters, ultracrepidarians, or people who think a Jaffa cake is a biscuit. TYVM.
posted by Wordshore at 8:46 PM on January 8 [8 favorites]


right after i started dating this woman she introduced me to mefi

What does woman? Imaginary don't count klang
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:16 PM on January 8


Okay, that was an awkward mail exchange, misinterpretation and clarification. Can I just make it unambiguously clear that AC:NL stands for Animal Crossing: New Leaf, as in the game I play a lot. It does not stand for anal, even if it "looks like that if you read it quickly". Animal Crossing; not anal.

And yeah, I think now Cortex does have an extremely valid point that this is not a good platform for personal or dating ads. Having a nice cup of tea with a Jaffa cake now to recover from this absurd tomfoolery.
posted by Wordshore at 4:50 AM on January 9 [5 favorites]


Okay, that was an awkward mail exchange, misinterpretation and clarification. Can I just make it unambiguously clear that AC:NL stands for Animal Crossing: New Leaf, as in the game I play a lot. It does not stand for anal, even if it "looks like that if you read it quickly". Animal Crossing; not anal.

Hey thanks for inserting that bit, it'll help ease the conversation along.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:05 AM on January 9 [1 favorite]


MetaFilter: not anal
posted by billiebee at 6:17 AM on January 9 [5 favorites]


MetaFilter: not anal

well ACTUALLY
posted by nebulawindphone at 6:22 AM on January 9 [17 favorites]


There's only a handful of mefites in my region. Not sure how many of those are single and in an appropriate age range for me, but I'm guessing not many.

Meetups seem like a nice way to target the end goal for those in more populous areas. If you don't want to have a meetup exclusively for singles, you could have little name tags with indicators of status or something like that.
posted by bunderful at 7:55 PM on January 9


Well, I now have 10 contact spouses, so begging works.
posted by maxsparber at 11:36 AM on January 10 [2 favorites]


MetaFilter: not anal

MetaFilter: where bean plating is a meme.
where there are long long threads on fonts
where we have a special delay edit feature so we can fix our typos
where mistaking a Jaffa cake for a biscuit/cookie can be an issue

*brain explodes*
posted by bearwife at 1:00 PM on January 10


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