I got dumped several weeks ago. I thought she was the one, she thought otherwise. It happens.
I’m not one to sit around and stew in the agony of being what they call “newly single.” So, for the first time in my life, I decided to give online dating a try.
After five days prowling the interweb, scouring various dating websites in search of relatively young (pre-30, post community college), preferably single (or close enough to a divorce where I’m not going to get shot in the gut by a disgruntled spouse) and reasonably sane (no wiccans or self-described ‘clairvoyants’) women I’ve come to the following conclusions:
Response Time Is Critical
When you’re initially messaging a potential suitor, response time is critical. The rule of thumb, the longer you wait between messages, the more control you have over the conversation.
In other words, it does not pay to be the eager beaver. Enthusiasm gets easily confused with desperation.
What does this mean in practical terms?
If you message someone and he/she instantaneously replies, wait at least 30 minutes to an hour before responding.
After you get to “know” someone (you exchange multiple messages and maybe a few erotic pics) you can shorten the window.
But always give it time and play it cool.
Know Your Dating Pool
In fairness to ‘Pre-Op-Randie-88,’ I should have known by the handle that something was up. But to be honest, it was 2 AM, I had been out boozing all night, and I didn’t even think to read the fine print (the about me, the likes/etc).
Instead, what caught my eye was the profile pic, a platinum blond with great breasts. I clicked on the photo tab and bam! At least fifteen, flesh-filled photos of Pre-Op-Randie-88. For savvy online daters, you know that ten pics is a lot – but fifteen-plus is crazy, and a sure sign of an exhibitionist.
In any event, I decided to message Randie. I immediately got a reply. “Got pics?”
I broke my first rule; I didn’t play it cool. I sent pics. Within seconds, Randie returned in kind, sending some X-rated pics and it immediately occurred to me that something was wrong. Horribly wrong.
To make a long story short, I learned why ‘Pre-Op-Randie-88’ had chosen that very informative screen name (handle/display name). She had more than a pair, she had a whole package… downstairs.
Lesson: be aware that there’re a lot of different people lurking about in your dating pool.
My sixth grade teacher Ms. Stanwick was the strictest grammarian I ever encountered– until I began dating online.
You ladies are brutal.
Not only do you murder a dude’s soul if he confuses ‘your’ with ‘you’re’ (a mistake I make from time to time, not because I’m illiterate, but because I’m a fallible human being and my correspondences are often written in haste) in the one-on-one dialogue, but some of you publicize the error-riddled messages on your own profile:
BackDoorMan43 wrote this to me: “Hey gurl, your sexy!” Memo to BDM43: it’s “you’re” not “your. Loser!
It’s cold blooded.
Though, I suppose sometimes it’s warranted, i.e. if the dude is a real jerk and says something extremely perverted or creepy e.g. “I like to smell tricycle seats,” but lighting a guy up for poor syntax or the occasional dangling modifier seems petty.
Nevertheless, it appears that grammar counts.
Everything Is So Post-Modern
Post-modernism is cool. I get it.
But does everything have to be viewed through this hyper-aware, hyper-self-conscious lens?
Why, for example, do we have to draw attention to the activity of online dating while we’re dating online?
I’m sure it has something to do with our insecurity and the anxiety that comes with putting ourselves on the digital market to be judged, instantaneously, by complete strangers – but still, do we have to critique every automated profile question as being “limited in scope” or “insufficiently tailored to the complexities of real life.”
Why is a question about whether you’re a cat person or a dog person turned into some sort of existential tirade about traditional archetypes and double binds and ways in which the dating matrix undermines natural human experience?
I don’t know. But I think for the sanity of everyone involved, it might be best to just answer the freaking questions in standard and conventional way.
BTW, I’m a dog person.
Plenty Of Fish
Probably the thing I was most shocked by was: all the attractive women that were online. I’m not being facetious. That old stupid cliché is true, “There’re plenty of fish in the sea.”
I suppose, with the emergence of Facebook and other popular social networking sites, meeting someone on the Internet is no longer taboo. That’s not a revelation to many of you, but for me it was.
See, before trying online dating in earnest, I was under the impression that the Internet was reserved for cretins or chicks who take pictures with horses and bear a striking resemblance to Willem Defoe. But I was wrong. There are a lot of beautiful women online.
And hopefully, if I play my cards right and follow my own rules I’ll get a chance to meet a few.