Being a man in his early 20’s who has had his share of difficulties seducing the ladies, turning to online dating seemed like a natural progression. Unfortunately, not being a Romeo in the real world translates to the electronic world as well. It is time the world learned the following lessons, before you get your hopes up as well.
LESSON 1: Not much matters besides pictures.
One of the more unfortunate truths. Why? Everybody’s profile says absolutely nothing about them as a person.
“Hi! I’m a female that wants to date a boy. I have some sort of career. I like going out and having fun, and staying in and having fun. Basically I want the kind of guy that everyone wants, and exists, but as a woman I’m forced to blow off this amazing man when I meet him!”
Ok, my bitterness had a hand in embellishing one of those sentences. Still, when reading a profile, the goods are in the matter of fact questions: do you smoke, do you drink, what is your age and height.
(I will make it known my profiles were no better).
Thus, in the end, the picture is going to dictate whether I want to talk more. A good picture won’t save you if you are boring, but it will at least spark my attention. Which really isn’t much different than the bar. Crap. Wasn’t internet dating supposed to save us from the bar?
LESSON 2: Don’t freely offer up contact info.
A lot of people use the same instant messaging screen name as their online dating name. So, eventually the “smarter” ones will catch on anyway. But don’t ever give anyone else the hint. The beauty of the e-mail as the conversation starter is you can do your reconnaissance before replying (or ignoring) appropriately. However, when that instant message (IM) window pops up with a new name, you better act FAST. Here is a conversation held with my friend Eric when I was in such a situation:
Me: Some girl is talking to me, and I don’t know who she is yet. I can’t find her profile!
Eric: How old is she?
Me: I haven’t asked! If I could find her damn profile, I would know!
Eric: She could be 19.
Me: She could be younger!
Eric: Dammit man, block her.
Eric: She’s probably an incoming freshman.
Me: Dammit I need to see her profile NOW
From here, obviously you like talking, or not. If so, great! Then you can deal with all the “when should we talk again?” strategies. If not, watch out. You may have to ask yourself, “Do I feel comfortable ignoring someone?”
I tried to indicate to my new admirer that the interest was not mutual. I tried the equivocal “I’m really busy, I will talk to you when I get a chance”; the straightforward “I’m sorry, but I’m just not interested”, even pulling out the “I’m seeing someone” when all else failed. She didn’t get the hint.
*Note to my readers: if someone blocks or unfriends you, it’s for a reason. Don’t change screen names and try and keep talking. I can’t emphasize that enough. “Stalker” is not a term of endearment for a reason.
LESSON 3: Just because it’s you using online dating, doesn’t mean your experiences will be any different.
Here is a bold, overarching truth: even online, guys are still guys and girls are still girls.
There was one girl I found and liked a lot! Great picture, and she even broke my aforementioned stereotype of a boring profile. I emailed her, she emailed back, the process was repeated, and the next thing I know I had a series of digits that I could type in succession to achieve telephonic communications with my newfound temptress.
The end of said conversation went like this:
Me: Would you like to go out sometime?
Temptress: Yeah, that sounds great! How about I give you a call in a couple of days to arrange things?
I never heard from her again. Online dating sucks.
Those of you that are astute will realize I came to my ultimatum from limited experience. Yes, you would be correct. But baby, don’t forget: I’m always right.