Apr 09

The Problems With Online Dating IMHO

Being a male in my 20’s I have used online dating to meet new women since I don’t get out to that many social events where there are a lot of available or worthwhile ladies. However after being in and out of the online dating pool over the last 6 years there are a lot of issues with it. I want to say this before I go any further. This is NOT meant to be a scientific or completely factual article but more or less my thoughts on online dating based on my personal and my friends experience with it. And while I will be writing from the standpoint of a man pursuing a woman this goes BOTH ways.

There are a few key issues that I want to cover here and they are as follows:

  • Misrepresentation
  • “The Options Illusion”
  • Communication Game

Misrepresentation

This is one that is sure to stir the pot so to speak, but the truth hurts. This is the first issue that I want to cover since it is probably the most frustrating one that I have encountered along with friends of mine (male and female) that have used online dating.

Take this scenario for example. You see a really attractive person and they seem like they would be a good fit. Now when you’re flipping through most of these sites you are usually going by a matching percentage or scale, then you have their age, distance, and a picture. Typically you want to have your most appealing picture as your first one so it catches the eye of a potential match. After reading this person’s profile, you decide you would be a good match and want to get to know them. After a varying amount of time (we will get to this on the 3rd point) you exchange numbers and setup a time to meet up in person.

Now since it is 2015 and most of us have Facebook I typically want to see their Facebook profile for a few reasons. One, they will usually always have recent photos of them that are true to how they are on a day to day basis. Two, to see if they are actually a real person/who they say they are.

A Handy Chart for Online Dating Profile Images

The issue here is that I have had NUMEROUS women put up pictures that are older (2+ years) and from when they were in better shape. Now before everyone jumps down my throat and I get flamed to hell and back for being “shallow” let me say this. If I can’t trust that you won’t do the courtesy of accurately portraying yourself with recent and truthful pictures what else are you lying about or stretching the truth on? The problem is that I have gone on too many 1st dates where the girl easily put on 50+lbs from the pictures that they were using on their profile. Now I don’t mind a little extra on my women but at least let me know what I am getting myself into. I have called people out on this and they always try to play it off like I am just being an asshole, I’m not (for that reason anyway) I am just calling you out on your bullshit – get over it and update your photos.

I will say that there are women with updated photos/ones that look like they do now and for that I thank you (my current girlfriend being one of them).

TLDR; Don’t use outdated photos if you don’t look like you do now. They will find out the real you.

“The Options Illusion”

This is not something along the lines of the illusion of options (aka Hobson’s choice) but the overwhelming amount of “options” that you are bombarded with in online dating and what it can do to you.

What are you talking about you’re probably asking? Let me elaborate. As you sit there scrolling or swiping through all these matches you are getting this false sense of options due to the sheer amount of people that are seemingly available to you. The problem that I have found with this is that it creates a “fuck this” mentality when you meet someone that may be VERY compatible with you but you find one flaw with them and decide to move on because of this feeling that there are so many other “options”. I can say that I have been guilty of this and if it wasn’t for people talking some sense to me and realizing that there is no “perfect” person out there for me it helped put a new perspective on dating. Have a watch of the video by Dan Savage called “The Price of Admission”. This perfectly conveys what I am saying here.

However do NOT take this as me telling you to settle for the first person that is kinda compatible with you, don’t just be with someone for the sake of not being single. Just be open-minded and you may find that what you are looking for may have been there all along instead of them becoming the “one that got away”. But like Dan said make sure their “price of admission” is one that you will be willing to pay if it is going to work.

TLDR; Don’t settle but don’t be quick to dismiss someone just because they have a quirk or annoying trait that bothers you. The good will probably outweigh the “bad”.

Communication Game

Now this section is going to be all over the place and more of a brain dump than anything else. This is really annoying to figure out because every person is different. I have had people that will chat up a storm online then when you get them in person they have nothing to say. I have also had people that will not talk very much online and in person they won’t stop talking! The problem is trying to get an accurate picture of the person from text and it just doesn’t work well at all. My suggestion is a little old fashioned and talk to them on the phone! Chances are that if you can have a natural flow on the phone you will be pretty good in person. There is nothing more awkward than being on a date and not being able to hold a conversation with another person.

love1

I addition to all that I have to say that you should always try to exchange numbers as quickly as possible so you can move the conversation to a phone call or at the least swap Snapchat names! I also will say that if someone is going to take more than 2 weeks or so to actually set up a date to meet then they probably will never meet up with you, it’s best to just cut them loose and find someone that will actually meet up.

TLDR; Pickup the phone and talk to them before you meet up. Don’t wait too long to ask for their number or meet up.

Closing

In closing, these are just some things I wanted to get out there that were on my mind and felt that someone could benefit from. If you have any thoughts on them let me know! You can reach me at Me@TimothyHoogland.com or through the contact form on this site. Thanks for reading and happy dating!

Apr 02

Need to switch your State Farm Agent? Read here.

This is a little random in terms of content on my site but I could not for the life of me find the information to transfer my State Farm insurance policy over from my existing agent to another one. Here is how you do it.

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  1. Call 877-277-8098 and tell them you want to transfer your policy. They will verify your information and note the account that you will be transferring the policies to another agent.
  2. Send an email to agentselection@statefarm.com with the subject line of ASR
  3. Include the following in the body of the email
    1. A statement saying that you want to transfer the policy over to the new agent, listing the new agents name, address, and phone number
    2. Your policy numbers
    3. Your phone number on the account
    4. Your address on the account
  4. Send the email!

You will get an email request from the system and then someone from State Farm will email you with an estimated ETA on how long it will take to transfer the policies over to the new agent.

Hopefully this saves someone else the time that it took me to gather this info!

Mar 31

Still Alive and Kicking! Early 2015 Update

I am glad to see that I still am getting traffic on the site and that my posts have been helping people!word cloud for year 2015

My last posts were about going my own way and doing the eJuice and IT consulting on my own. While it was a fun time for a few months after parting ways with my last employer I accepted a great offer from a client that I had worked with in the past. Since early January I have been working as an IT manager for a trucking company here in IL. I have to say that this is the one job that I would have given up the freedom of working for myself for. It’s been a few months now and I have to say that this is a great fit for me both mentally and professionally.

What about the businesses?

Now you are probably wondering what is happening with the eJuice business and the consulting, let me elaborate on that.

My eJuice business (H4KJUICE) is still going strong. I have reduced the amount of shops from 4 to 1 so that I can focus on boosting online sales and developing flavors. The one shop (Smoke Rings Etc in Bloomington, IL) that I continue to do business exclusively with has been fantastic in helping to shape the brand and improve the quality and image of it as a whole. I am very happy with them and it is a joy to see the brand taking off so strongly down there in Bloomington. I have a few new flavors in development right now and expect to have at least one of the three released by the end of April

As for the IT consulting this is how is has been since I have had a full time job and I still have been maintaining my loyal clients (some that I have had for over 10 years). They keep things interesting and I keep the ones that I enjoy working with.

Just some random things

All in all I am very happy with the changes that have taken place. I don’t put too much out there but in addition to the professional success I met a lovely woman that I am building a relationship with. Could she be the future Mrs. Hoogland? Only time will tell but I have a good feeling about her.

I should also say that I have also been working on improving my health in 2015. I am down about 45lbs as of the time of writing this and I plan on getting down another 35 to get to my goal weight. I also started running for multiple reasons and even have 2 5K runs coming up in the next few months.

In addition to all that I actually started keeping a freshwater aquarium at home and have really gotten hooked on that. I started with a 20 gallon that a friend of mine gave me and at the beginning of the month I upgraded to a 60 gallon and have it fully stocked. Who would have thought fish would be so entertaining? I certainly didn’t and was wrong.

2015-03-25 20.53.03

Site Direction?

As for the direction with this site I will be writing more technical articles to not only help others but to also help keep myself current with technology happenings. Thank you for reading and I hope your 2015 is off to a great start as mine is! Stay healthy and always be improving yourselves!

Dec 06

Vaping? Whats the big deal?

As a lot of you who know me know I am very involved with the vaping community here in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs. I started a small eJuice company called H4KJUICE back in July 2014 (I also build box mods under this name). I often get people that don’t understand why I love vaping so much. Is it to look cool? Is it because I constantly need something in my hands? Is it just another thing I am getting into only to stop in a few months? No.

Let me tell you the story of how I started vaping.

My ex-girlfriend used to be a smoker for a while and she would always try to sneak one in when we would go out with friends, especially at bars. I randomly decided to pickup a Blu disposable ecig from Walgreens to give to her to try and see if it helped with the cravings, it did. After that I purchased a starter kit from Adirondack Vapor for her since the refillable ones are cheaper in the long run (and create less waste). I have enjoyed Hookah for a while now and when it came in I decided to give it a try. I found that the flavors were much more delicious than Hookah and it was far less work.

After that I ended up getting my own setup (a kanger 1100 EGO battery and a mini protank 2). I started trying out ejuices and was immediately hooked. One of my friends added me to a Facebook group that was for vaping and they held meets every month. Through these meets I gained more experience and knowledge about the different kinds of equipment that people use to vape with. I went to Vape Bash this year and picked up my first dripper. I could go on for hours about all the different equipment that I had but I won’t.

The thing that keeps me in vaping is the community. I am in the ECR subreddit, I have a Facebook group for Chicagoland Vapers now, and I frequent all the local shops in the area. As with any group there are people that are not the best but I would have to wager that 90% or more of people in the vaping community are very nice and generous people. I have seen people give others hardware when they lost theirs in fires or they got stolen. I have seen many people help other vapers get jobs and even give them money when they are down on their luck. I myself give people ejuice all the time when they can’t afford it because I don’t want to see them go back to smoking. The vaping community as a whole across the world is more than just a hobby. It is about community and helping other people out. You can see this in most brick and mortar shops as well and it keeps people coming back.

In this short time I have met some of the nicest and genuine people through vaping and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Thank you everyone. Vape on and keep being awesome. I am beyond grateful to have my vape family in my life.

Dec 02

Embarking on the entrepreneur lifestyle

Hello there everyone! I am not sure how many people still visit this site as I haven’t been very diligent in updating it since my job that I have had for almost 4 years has kept me very busy. In the past 2 weeks I have had a lot of major life changes and I am embarking on my own with 2 separate businesses now.

As you may know I always have something going on the side whenever I had a regular “9-5″ job. Since I am no longer with them I am going my own way and starting up my IT consulting full time now (Desktops, Servers, Networking, Web Design, etc) as well as a new venture that I launched in July 2014 that has become a new passion for me, H4KJUICE. H4KJUICE is an eJuice company primiarly but I also sell custom built, high output vape boxes, aka box mods.

I will be adding more information and pricing for flat rate IT services in the next few days. I am currently looking around for a regular IT job just in case this doesn’t go as planned (however just in the week that I have been doing it things are going very well). I will give this a go as long as I can sustain it and if all goes to plan this will be my new “job”.

As for H4KJUICE I am expanding the stores that are carrying the eJuice and already have 4 official shops and there are 2 more pending. I plan on adding on at least 1 store per month. If you are a shop please contact me at Tim@H4KJUICE.com for pricing and selection. The H4KJUICE store will be migrated from the Square shop and be fully integrated with the website in the near future. I will also be adding on supplies to build your own box mods.

In closing there is a lot happening and I am looking forward to it all! Thank you to everyone that has been providing me with business on the IT side and the eJuice side. I couldn’t do this without you support and I thank each and every one of you for helping make my dreams a reality. On that note it is almost 2AM and I need to get some rest.