I gave in. I signed up for Match.com again. Awesome new men were not appearing in my life without any effort on my part, so I decided to try online dating again.

Online dating has its pros and cons. The main pro is meeting new people pretty easily. The main con is that these people can be terrible. I have had good, long-term relationships with a couple of the Match.com men. I have also gone on some awful dates.

Things have not changed a lot since I was previously part of the Match.com world. The only thing that has changed is my outlook on it. Because it can take up a lot of time, I no longer spend time emailing with anyone who does not appear awesome. In the past, I’ve given people a shot because they seemed nice. No more – dating isn’t a charity and I don’t have time for people I’m not really interested in, but feel I should give a chance. Just because you are nice does not mean I have to go out with you. Lots of people are nice; it doesn’t mean that I should date them all.

By being extra-picky, I have been able to cut down on the time I spend dealing with Match.com. When you start emailing with someone, you are making an initial impression. For me, this means that I want my emails to be as interesting and grammatically correct as possible. There’s nothing worse than someone who wants to discuss the weather and does not know the difference between “your” and “you’re.” I judge other people on their emails and other people judge me. This means that while I may spend three seconds dashing off an email to a good friend, I want to spend more time thinking about what I am writing to the Match.com people. Because this time adds up, I try not to communicate with more than a few people at once. Even writing to a few people takes up around an hour a day.

Right now, I have four interesting contenders. I have not yet met any of these people in person. Hopefully one of them has real potential.

Bachelor No. 1 is a 37-year-old grad student. We live in the same town, so he is geographically desirable. From his photos, he appears to be attractive. For two weeks now, we have exchanged short emails about nothing. He keeps it going by asking a random, but entertaining question, which I answer and perhaps ask another question back. A few times I have purposely not asked a return question to see if he keeps writing. He always keeps writing. Granted, I started this exchange by emailing him a random, one sentence inquiry, but I did not see it going on for this long.

Bachelor No. 1 asked me to hang out last weekend. I only had one evening last weekend when I did not have plans, so I suggested we grab a drink during that time. Bachelor No. 1 was busy that evening. Rather than suggest another time, he went back to emailing me his random questions. Maybe I will meet this guy someday, maybe I won’t. At some point soon, I likely will tire of this back-and-forth and stop writing.

Bachelor No. 2 is a 31–year-old web programmer. He also lives in my town, making him geographically desirable. He has only two photos on his Match.com page and they seem okay, but it is hard to tell.

Everything about this guy seems good except for one issue. He does not drink. It’s not only that he does not drink alcohol, he does not like drinking beverages in general. I find this extremely strange. Going out for a beer or a coffee is something I do all the time. It’s an accepted and normal thing to do when being social. If Bachelor No. 2 does not like bars or coffee shops, this cuts us off from something I enjoy doing.

Other than his lack of enjoyment of liquids, so far everything else seems good with this man. We have exchanged lengthy emails every day for the last week or two. While we have not had communication about anything particularly deep (as I think it is odd to tell a stranger anything hugely personal), I know a fair amount about his taste in movies, food, and jobs. I am down with his opinions on surface matters.

On Friday, I am meeting this man at a coffee shop. He seemed to be okay with that. We’ll see if he orders a beverage.

Bachelor No. 3 is a 37-year-old teacher. I have mixed feelings about this. I have only gone out with a teacher once and it did not go well. I felt like the teacher I went out with had a teacherish-schtick. He talked to me like I was one of his ninth grade students, not a woman he hoped to see naked. It was not an enjoyable evening. Yes, I can’t project my one experience dating a teacher onto everyone, but if Bachelor No. 3 has a similar demeanor, I may not date any more teachers.

Bachelor No. 3 lives with seven other men in a former convent. Yes, nuns used to live where Bachelor No. 3 resides with seven other single men. He has said that the things that go on there would make Jesus weep. I totally believe him, it sounds like a frat house. He said that when they first moved in it was a lot like the movie Old School but the men who lived there have mellowed with age.

Bachelor No. 3 has offered me entertaining emails about topics such as tuna fish and karaoke. He seems like a funny guy and I’ll give him a shot. We are supposed to go out next week sometime.

Bachelor No. 4 is a 36-year-old marketing and web development person. My situation with him is particularly odd. He has seen me in person and knows exactly who I am. My job is pretty public – he saw me at work and recognized me from Match.com. I received an initial email from him stating that he had seen me and hoped that wasn’t weird. Yes, it is weird, but I knew it was possible that would happen. Because he has seen me, I feel like this man has the advantage in this situation.

Bachelor No. 4 is incredibly active. He is into running and cycling and all sorts of physical activity. So am I. I like that he is so active and he writes funny emails. However, I hate to say this, I have a suspicion that he is not very attractive. I think his Match.com photos are pretty old. In my opinion, anyone who says that attraction and physical appearance do not matter at all is completely full of it. I require some sort of attraction to the person I am dating.

We’ll see what happens with this one. The bad thing is that if I go out with this guy and don’t like him, I will still have to see him at my workplace.

Conclusion: Who knows, one of these people, none of these people, or all of these people could be awesome to date. I have to meet them all to consider their potential. As I go out with these men, I will keep you posted.