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Aw, atheists finding love.

Found while perusing Craigslist.org:

cute atheist girl on the amtrak from New York – m4w – 26

Date: 2007-05-23, 12:09AM EDT

Hi. You were with your sister and were having a conversation about religion. I told you to go pick up Christopher Hitchens new book “God is not Great”. I thought you were really cute and wished I could have asked you to continue the conversation with me some time. So, maybe you’ll read this.

Helpful tip to fellow nonbelievers looking for love: carry a good book. (Not thee good book, per se.)

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca leads a team of skeptical female activists at Skepchick.org. She travels around the world delivering entertaining talks on science, atheism, feminism, and skepticism. There is currently an asteroid orbiting the sun with her name on it. You can follow her every fascinating move on Twitter or on Google+.

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22 Comments

  1. I have almost no faith in Craigslist personals. As I'm pretty much crap at meeting people socially, I've perused the London version every once in a while since arriving here in Sept. The VAST majority of ads seem to have been placed by women from the US looking to meet rich British men with whom they can have extravagant flings. As a poor American student, I don't think I'm qualified to answer any of those (not to mention that I've got little to no interest in people who are solely focused on money!)

    Do ads on Craigslist ever succeed? I'm very curious, and feel doubtful that the sorts of women I'd like to meet would ever be looking through them seriously. I also worry about getting mostly spam replies, as that seems to be a bit of an issue. But honestly, I don't even know what I'd write that could possibly be of interest to anyone:

    Skeptical atheist American postgrad student, 25/m, in London through the summer, seeking intelligent, funny women with whom to share my time. Non-drinker, uninterested in clubs/most nightlife. Enjoys cinema, music, and humor, museums, dining out, and having long discussions about science, pop culture, and just about anything else. Would like to meet interesting, confident, creative women to hang out with and possibly start a relationship.

    See? Most boring thing EVER. Don't think such an ad would get much of a response, gauging by the types of women who place ads there. Plus, my pic would probably seal most deals in the negative anyway…Eh, oh well. Loneliness never killed anyone…did it? :-P

    (PS. I've tried reading books by Dawkins and Pinker on the Tube…doesn't generate the sort of interest that the above 'Missed Connection' would make one think! Perhaps it only works for Skepchicks and not us skinny, socially awkward Skepdudes! )

  2. Do ads on Craigslist ever succeed?

    I found my apartment on Craigslist. Does that count?

    Actually, I haven't personally used the Craigslist personals, but one of my friends met her current boyfriend, with whom she is simply crazy in love, via Craigslist. Perhaps ironically, he had posted an ad under the "Strictly Platonic" section asking if anybody wanted to see Pan's Labyrinth with him.

    After years of scientific study, I've come to the conclusion that dating is pretty much a crap shoot. There's simply no way to guarantee meeting someone you'll have chemistry with.

    That said, I've actually had a reasonable amount of success on the Nerve/Onion personals, although not so much lately. But I did meet two girlfriends, a couple of dates that didn't pan out, one super-close friend, and a pen-pal that way, so in all I have to call it a success by most measures. Damned things seem to be heavily weighted towards New York, though. What the fuck, New York?

  3. Expat:

    1.) A few months ago, I found and responded to a Missed Connection ad that was placed for me, so it would have worked had the guy in question not turned out to be odd in follow-up e-mails.

    2.) I responded to the above Missed Connection ad to let the poster know I was blogging about him. We've exchanged some e-mails and now even if the girl never responds, at least he's met another fellow atheist. I think you can call that a semi-success!

    3.) I'm pretty sure your photo would scare away approximately no one.

    4.) Way to work your personal ad in there! Ladies, if anyone is interested, comment here and we'll have a Skepchick Love Connection!

  4. This is fun! Rebecca already has my picture, so let's see what I can do for a capsule description:

    Skeptical atheist MIT graduate, 23/m, in Boston for the indefinite future, seeking funny and intelligent women for friendship and amusing stories to tell after failed attempts at romance. Occasional drinker of mojitos, Young's Double Chocolate Stout, strawberry syrup. Enjoys cinema, cooking. Varied taste in music. Knows all the words to Aqua's "Barbie Girl" and "Lollipop"; can lip-sync to Björk's "Pagan Poetry" and will sing aloud to anything by Tom Lehrer or Mary Prankster.

    Hmmm. Maybe I should follow Time Magazine's example and contract the description-writing job out to Michael Behe.

    My manner is imperious

    My logic is empirical

    and I'm bad at bein' a girlfriend

    so I'm hopin' for a miracle.

    I fear your disappointment

    when I don't turn out ethereal

    though either way for me I know

    it means some new material!

    Mary Prankster

  5. "carry a good book."

    I have a habit of taking religious texts from anyone who offers it on campus. For a while, I had a bag with the Bible, Koran, Bhagavad-Gita(spelled right?), and a host of pamphlets. They were always good to read and laugh about with friends.

    This also reminds me that my God Delusion is currently on a…*sigh*…religious tour of Islamic sites, with it's carrier's overly-religious brother. Poor girl.

    Now then! What's this about love connections?

  6. Actually, what you both have failed to do is to employ Richard Wiseman's 70/30 rule! You did at least mention something about the gal, but you could flesh it out a little more I bet. Gotta go for the "Hey, that's me!" factor.

  7. Aside from Craigslist, does anyone have any other thoughts as to how to meet available skepchicks? (or skepguys, depending on which team your're on)

    Do such dating sites exist? If not, you should start one Rebecca. The "Skepchick Love Connection" idea just might take off!

  8. Judging by the posts here, it would seem that (not so surprisingly) the guys are a bit more interested in this than the girls. Methinks such a Skepchick Dating Connection would end up being a list of Skepdudes for the rarer Skepchicks to browse and take their pick from. Ah well, let's see what I can come up with:

    No pictures of me seem to exist, so if you're into vampires, I just might turn out to be one. I'm a grad student at the University of Waterloo who heads south to Chicago for the summers. No, I'm not avoiding the geese; the geese are avoiding me. Seriously, geese fear vampires; look it up. I'm a skeptic/atheist/scientist with a sense of humor that's best described as "relentless" and a hidden romantic streak (how hidden is up to you to find out).

  9. SkyeLight said,

    May 23, 2007 at 5:01 pm

    Aside from Craigslist, does anyone have any other thoughts as to how to meet available skepchicks? (or skepguys, depending on which team your’re on)

    Do such dating sites exist? If not, you should start one Rebecca. The “Skepchick Love Connection” idea just might take off!

    I fear such an initiative would suffer from a serious supply/demand problem.

  10. Hmm. I like the joke-filled approach that Blake and Info utilized! In fact, when I was on Match.com during my undergraduate days, my whole profile was filled with jokes. It didn't work terribly well, I'm afraid, though the few people who did respond found it sort of amusing.

    I agree with exarch and Info about the inutility of the Skepchick Love Connection…a more appropriate name would be 'The Skepdude Sausage Party', and that's just not appealing to anyone.

    Oh, and Rebecca, you responded to a Missed Connections?? That's actually the first time I've heard of someone doing that within the circles through which I travel. I'm actually somewhat heartened to hear that, on occasion, attractive ladies look through those in a non-Ghost World way…

    And in regards to my photo not being scary…hmm. Perhaps I should have linked THIS one from that time I caught the Rage virus instead…

  11. "The VAST majority of ads seem to have been placed by women from the US looking to meet rich British men with whom they can have extravagant flings."

    Damn… does this mean that it would just get lost in the multitude if I posted on Craigslist to meet British men I can marry for citizenship? London is my favorite place in the whole world, but I can't work in my chosen profession there unless I'm a national. :(

    And the only story about online dating I know is that my ex tried online dating once, only to have his friend pose as his perfect girl and trick him. I've always thought that was really mean. Incidentally, I met this guy at a gay bar. Even though neither of us are in fact gay. So you really never know, I guess.

    ~Kelly~

  12. I haven't ever used personal ads (marry your high school boyfriend – it simplifies dating enormously!) but I think although the funny ones are, well, funny and may attract people with a similar sense of humor it may also seem you are not seriously looking for a date. So maybe one joke for an ad you really want a response to?

    And hey – what is wrong with a list of skepdudes we rare skepchicks can take our pick from?

    I love the rage virus picture – very scary – was that a costume party or did you just want to make sure you got a seat on the train?

  13. Monika:

    Regarding the Rage virus picture…sadly, none of the above. It's the result of procrastination over reading for my dissertation, boredom, and the GIMP open source image editing program. But now that you mention it, that would be an EXCELLENT way to get a seat on the overcrowded Central line trains from my area!

    Kelly, that story about your Ex's friend's trick…ugh, that IS mean! I am always worried about something like that, or about someone wanting to prank a nice, vulnerable gent like me out of malice. Terrifying!

  14. Hey, I totally agree with Monika – the odds are definitely on our side!

    And yes, Expatria, it was really mean. Apparantly the lesson you can take from this is: don't let your friends know you've signed up with an online dating service!

    ~Kelly~

  15. New to the blog:

    Hm… I'm leery of meeting girls online after my sole experience in which

    a) she turned out to be 38 years old

    b) was closer to bat-shit insane than I'm normally comfortable with

    c) sent me very "interesting" stalker-ish text messages and e-mails for two months after our one date to the point that my roommates kept expecting to find dead squirrels pinned to our door.

    Cheers,

    Mike

  16. Well, love can be detected (various chemicals coursing around in your veins), and the brain activity/responses can be measured.

    Regarding the Rage-virus-picture, is it me, or does that look a little like that guy from "Heroes", you know, Peter Petrelli.

  17. Missed connections resulted in a response (and a date) the only time I posted one.

    The chances of the intended person actually reading the post seem so hopelessly small that I was really surprised she responded to mine. In fact, the only reason she even saw it was the title (our apartment building was burning down) caught her coworker's attention and he forwarded it to her.

    They are fun to read from time to time, but I don't really see them (or most of anything on CL) as more than casual amusement.

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