Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I'm only writing this title because I felt sorry for it.

I've done it, and I'd do it again. I just hope I don't have to.

There really is nothing wrong with internet dating, though.

Hahahahaha - you thought I was talking about burying my neighbours under the azaleas, didn't you? Ah haha. No no. I collect stamps now.

Really, though, internet dating is not the dip into the sleeze pool so many people make it out to be. You have to have a special membership for that. For the main part, internet people are a lot like real life people. It's almost as if the two were connected in some strange, mysterious way.

One of the greatest concerns people have when considering online dating is misrepresentation. Most women worry that the people they're talking to might not really be single. Most men worry that the people they're talking to might not really be women. Everybody worries that the person they're talking to might not really look like their picture, almost as much as they worry about whether or not anybody's going to notice the "Happy New Year 1987" banner in the background of their own picture.

Thank you, yes, some people do say I look young for my age.

The next most common concern is the matter of how does one describe oneself? A lot of people have realized that the simplest approach is to just write "I never know what to say in these little boxes LOL anything you want to know just ask". As I honestly have no idea how they keep up with the torrential responses from people afire with intrigue and probing questions I can't in good conscience recommend this approach.

Another popular method of self description is to describe yourself using nothing but cringingly obvious references to painful dating experiences:

"I believe in HONESTY and TRUTH in a relationship. Game players NEED NOT APPLY. If you just want someone to take you out and buy you drinks all night and pay for a cab to wait while you make out with the obviously underage cashier and then never return so much as a single one of forty six phone messages even though your mother said you were home and your car was in the driveway you know LOOK ELSEWHERE. I'm not willing to settle."

Some don't even get as far as the date:

"I'm not here to play games. If I write you the nice thing to do is write back, even if just to say you're not interested. Why are you even here if you aren't even going to write people back? I would write you back! IT'S THE DECENT THING TO DO."

These latter approaches manage to circumvent the torrential responses from people afire with intrigue and probing questions problem very effectively.

Those among us with basic powers of observation have likely noticed something of a pattern developing here. The two elements that are evidently very commonly believed to be essential for a successful dating site profile are:

1) Informing people that you do not play games, do not like games, are not on the site to play games, don't like people who play games, and don't care if they didn't ask you to play their stupid games anyway because you just said you didn't want to so there.

2) Remembering that if you need to share with people an important insight about the kind of person you are and what you're looking for in a relationship, ALL CAPS AUTOMATICALLY MAKE ANYTHING YOU WRITE POIGNANT. They're especially effective in conveying just how deeply sincere you are about the fact that you DON'T PLAY GAMES.

The self description component need not be an issue, however. If unsure of what to say or how to say it, simply post a clear picture of as much cleavage as the site censors will allow and/or an annual income of $100,000+, and you can write "Wheeeeeeeeeeee I'm a gumdrop!" and still hit in-box capacity within an hour.

In-boxes are someplace else entirely. Equal parts Christmas morning and visiting your mean aunt at the nursing home. Gardens of delights and cat poops.

The first thing you learn is not to open your mail. That is, not all of it. Open the profiles of the people who sent it first, then decide if you want to open their mail. If the profile features, for example, a webcam image of someone holding a ruler alongside their fully extended tongue, you might not be interested in learning their impression of the photo you posted of yourself holding a cat. If their profile is illegible l33t and emoticon soup you don't need to open the letter. I'll tell you what it says right now. It says "What's up?" or some witty variation such as "howru2nite?" or "40SS#%^?" which I mostly just made up but could possibly mean something (and I apologize if it made anybody cry), which in dating site-ese means "I'm bored, entertain me". If you want to help someone achieve the world record for most chat windows open at any given time by all means involve yourself. If you're hoping for a more romantic interaction I would suggest placing an order at a take-out window. You can play Chris Isaak on the car stereo and let your fingers touch when they hand you your change if it helps.

Letters with a subject line that clearly references something you wrote in your profile and indicates that they totally get your sense of humor? Clear your schedule, get a fresh cup of coffee, turn off the music and give every word every ounce of your attention. Those are the gold you're mining for.

If you're serious about finding someone to date, find other people who are serious about finding someone to date.

If they can't take the time to type full words for you, they're not going to go to much effort to win your affection later on, either. Delete.

If they're full of compliments for your photo and mention nothing about what you wrote, that's because they didn't bother to read anything that you wrote. Save your time for people who care as much about your contents as your packaging. Delete.

If, after reading their letter, you can imagine it being addressed to a someone completely different and still being completely relevant, it's a form letter. Delete.

You will get fewer responses if you don't post an income. That's a good thing.

You will get fewer responses if you don't post a hyper-flattering photo. That's also a good thing.

You will get bored, disappointed, frustrated, disillusioned, and fed up. So will the person looking for you. That's okay. If you both persist, the internet really isn't all that damn big. You'll find each other.

Just remember - always wear protection when kissing frogs.

39 comments:

Brian Miller said...

cause frog will give you warts...lol.

Krimmyk said...

If it wasn't for online dating, my husband and I would have never met...our friends met through there, and we met through them.

Eva Gallant said...

My stepson met his wife on line and they've been together for about 5 years.
That is great advice for people who are looking to meet someone on line, btw.

injaynesworld said...

I dipped a toe in those waters once. The title to my profile read: "Not 4 Amateurs." Good post, although I don't think I'll be traveling that way again.

Oh My Goddess said...

I am so lucky I got back with my first true love! I'm not sure I could handle all of this!

Brndoutw8ress said...

"Gardens of delights and cat poops". Haha that's a great one liner! In all seriousness that was a great post. I tried one of those sites before I really knew anything about the internet and what to watch out for so it wasn't very successful. Now though I would be willing to test the waters again, so thanks for the tips I'll definately use this as a reference.

Sarah said...

Lol...love this post! I've been trying the internet match making for a few months and it is fun...:) I came to your blog from SITS!

Michael said...

Completely agree with the full sentence tip. I've tried online dating, but it seems that everybody my age is devoid of the ability to write completely.

Michael.
Do you hate it too?
"If you're going through Hell, keep going."

cinner said...

My sister and her fiance met online and are getting married next fall. he is a very nice fellow. great advise.

Tamara said...

This post was the perfect balance of vaulable insight and stand-up comedy material. I dunno how you do it. But I'm glad you do. Stopping by here has left me smiling. Again.

Gaston Studio said...

Some great advice here lady! I tried online when I first repatriated back stateside... and got very frustrated with all those negative things you just mentioned... and I really hated men who sent responses who evidently couldn't spell and had no idea (or were too lazy to use) about spellcheck. I really, really hate that!

SPEAKING FROM THE CRIB said...

just wanted to leave you a quick note to let you know you got an award over at my place today. you just have to scroll down a little bit

M.M.E. said...

I had the pleasure of meeting my boyfriend of 2 years through work (he was a college-student/maintenance guy and I checked him out each time he reached down to empty the garbage at my visitor service's desk). But I think you've offered fantastic advice to people who do turn to internet dating. And yes, when it comes to chocolate, my mother is a creative genius.

f1trey said...

gotta tell ya...I really havent blogged much about my bad experiences in internet dating...but a long time a go I had a profile and I have to tell ya......EVERY SINGLE girl that I had a date with misrepresented themselves...badly.......I really tried to be honest and open about it........but man..it was bad!

MamaOtwins+1 said...

I'm married - so not into online dating - but I enjoyed your post and good for you for doing it!

Stopping by from sits

blognut said...

I will keep all of this advice in mind should I ever need to hit the internet dating sites. Thanks for looking out for us. :)

ellen abbott said...

My BIL actually found his wife via an internet dating site. They haven't been married for a year yet and there's an almost teenage daughter of BIL who was on her good behavior while they were dating. So we'll see.

Thanks for visiting my blog and taking the time to comment. Come back anytime.

AJ said...

I love the post title on this one.

this is a funny blog! PRAISE GOD that I don't have to do this!

lol!

Slyde said...

i really dont think theres any negative stigma anymore with personal ad dating..

i did it a few times in the 90's (i used the newspaper, not the internet), but it never worked out for me, but i made a really good friend out of it..

otin said...

Dear God! That was funny! I did some personal ad dating in the 90's, and the same things seemed to apply. deception was rampant! Some one sends you their picture, and they are 27 and in their photo they are holding school books! LMAO!

Muthering Heights said...

Oh my...it sounds slightly treacherous!

HalfAsstic.com said...

Damn, I'm glad I'm married. ;-)

The Zadge said...

I just canceled my match.com membership....I'm a HORRIBLE (notice the caps) on-line dater...but it did make for good blog fodder! better luck to you!

Joanie M said...

This is a great post! Lots of good, sound advice.

I met John on the internet and we've been together for more than 3 years now.

I DID meet my fair share of weird guys and married guys and guys just wanting sex, didn't matter how old you were or what you looked like.

Nanny Goats In Panties said...

Holy cow, what has taken me so long to stumble onto YOU? What a fantastic post. Not only is it hysterical, but it's awesome advice on internet dating. I love the title. And the cringingly obvious references to painful dating experiences just KILLED! I'm dying to know if you made that up (in which case, you're an observant genius), or if you are actually quoting real descriptions. Either way: awesome.

Christine Forest, M.D. said...

I think we should all be careful when trying to kiss a pig with all this swine flu going around.

Great post. There can never be enough good advice for on line dating. My friends tell me it's so much harder but we do now pretty much everything on line so we all need to adjust to the "remote" way of relating to each other. We may be in a great realtionship and never meet face to face. Things are changing.

Jeanne said...

Thanks for visiting!

This was a great mix of hilarious and dirt practical.

Signing up as a follower, although you won't see me again until December, when f-ing NaNoWriMo is over....

I Wonder Wye said...

Oh, LOL. You need a column -- you are goooodddd. I know 3 couples who have been married for ages who met through online sites or the classified ads...krimmyk said it - keep pushing through.......

Joanna Jenkins said...

I remind my husband all the time how lucky we are to be married because neither of us would be able to figure out online dating or dating in general these days :-)

This was a very interesting post-- The ultrasound pic was a hoot!

Have a GREAT Thanksgiving. I'll be cooking most of the week and won't be around much.

Enjoy!

Jason, as himself said...

I met my spouse through a want ad in the newspaper...just prior to the advent of internet dating. I think its a very good way to meet people, but you're right, you have proceed carefully. Before him, I had met a whole slew of guys that were very much not my type...nor I theirs.

thatgirlblogs said...

never tried it, but met my husband in a bar so can't really talk...

Montag said...

Hmmm...kissing frogs...

I was in the green grocer's yesterday, and I had a bunch of what I assumed was cilantro. The good-looking young girl at check-out said "Italian parsley?" as she put it on the scale...I felt a slight panic, and said "Better not be."

So I picked it up, stuck my nose in the bag, and smelled it.
She said she didn't know how to tell them apart; I said by smell; she said she couldn't stick her nose into my groceries; I said that her supervisors probably would hear about it.

But, when someone is good-looking and a pleasure to behold, it really doesn't seem to bother us too much where they stick their noses, I thought to myself.

Debbie said...

Dropped by from SITS and I'm so glad I did! I love your sense of humor. This was great.

Captain Dumbass said...

There's always blog dating. I know a couple of people who've hooked up after following each other for awhile.

tattytiara said...

That's true too, Captain. I actually discovered blogging when a friend of mine in Australia announced that she was marrying a man in Florida, and sent me a link to where they met.

kristibonney.wordpress.com said...

Stopping by from SITS...
Loved your post! You've got a great sense of humor. Good luck with the internet dating. Hope you meet someone great or at least get a lot of really good blog material out of it!
Have a lovely...

Sara said...

That's actually pretty damn interesting.

I'll admit, it scares the piss out of me, but someday, should I have the stones, I'll give it a shot.

Summer said...

I have been reading through your blog, and I'm mesmerized and fascinated by your thoughts and writing.

Amazing you are my dear!

Just Brande said...

This is a good one!! bmh

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