Online Dating – a guide to the insanity

Posted: July 1, 2011 in Uncategorized

I had been thinking about going on an internet dating site for a while, but all the ones I knew about cost a monthly fee. When I heard about Plenty of Fish about a year back (and the fact that it was free to use) I finally decided to bite the damn bullet and join. Expectations were high, common sense was lacking and pandemonium ensued. Here is all the stuff I wish someone had told me before I started. Maybe they can save you some time and anxiety.

1) Get some good pictures first – This is where pretty much every single person stumbles out of the gate. You write the perfect profile, you add in all the details on age and height and profession, you are all ready to post and start raking in the attentions of lonely single women (or men) in your town. Then it asks for a recent photo. Unless your an actor or model or incredibly vain then odds are your not sitting on a stack of professional headshots. After combing through any Facebook photos or vacation shots or grad photos from ten years back you finally decide to take matters into your own hands. You grab a camera and head to the bathroom mirror to cook up the ultimate in enticing fish pucker faces.

First, If you are going to do this please remember to flush first…goddamn that is gross. I shouldn’t have to remind you of that. I don’t care how awesome the shot was or how you finally found a position that showed off your butt and your winning smile at the same time you should not be posting that.

Second, if you use the flash on your camera it is going to pretty much obliterate your face in the mirror. Turn it off or find some creative way to shoot the picture that doesn’t leave a giant white splotch where your face used to be. Also, while you are flushing and cleaning the toilet maybe clean the mirror too. No one wants to see the crust of toothpaste splatter you left on there.

Third, you will forever be the kind of person who takes a picture of yourself in a bathroom mirror…live with that shame or make a better plan for getting good photos.

2) Your profile needs to be unique – My profile was probably the hardest thing I have ever had to write. They really should have some sort of learning annex class on how to make a useful and attention getting profile. The only advice I gleaned was

Keep it positive – No one wants to date your sorry, depressed and bitter ass. Fake it if you have to but try to stay positive and upbeat. No one on the site is going to be interested in your story about how your ex screwed you over and made you into the twisted shell of a person you are today.

Keep it short – No one but you really cares about the tedium of your job unless you tame lions for a living. Nor does anyone need to know a complete list of bands you like. Open with a joke, talk about your life, mention some future plans, list your hobbies. The profile is a means to an end and the end is the awkward coffee date.

Make some damn sense – “I like the outdoors.” I swear to god I saw this on EVERY profile. There is only the 2 options and I can’t imagine anyone getting excited by your love of the indoors.

Skip the full disclosure – “Just so you are aware, I have a 2 inch penis and a personal odor problem…wait, where are you going?!!”

3) No matter what you do, you will be called a jerk – Inevitable you will get contacted by people you are not interested in. At first I tried to ignore them. I was called a jerk. Then I tried to lie so I didn’t hurt their feelings. I was called a jerk. Lastly I tried to be honest about my thinking it just wouldn’t work. Yep, still a jerk. My advice here is do whatever you feel comfortable with and meets your moral needs, cause your just going to be called a jerk anyway.

4) The things people can be shallow about are MIND-BLOWING – “I need a guy who is over 6 feet because I like to wear high heels” Well I like to wear crotchless panties and a french maid outfit but that doesn’t require a special mention in my ad, that is third date info. At 5’10” I was apparently incompatible with this persons need to wear stilettos to all occasions. I will of course go away shamed by my choice to not grow an extra inch to better match your evening wear.

5) Niche sites aren’t worth it – At the same time that I joined Plenty of Fish I also joined every other site I found advertising itself on Plenty of Fish (which is a pretty weird advertising style but I digress). The most obviously intriguing was a site called Geek2Geek. I’m a geek, I like being a geek, perhaps meeting a fellow geek would bring meaning to my life on a whole new level. First off let me say that a crippling addiction to World of Warcraft is not sexy on either side of the gender line. Second, it had the same problem all niche sites had – lack of users. It wanted me to pay 5 bucks a month to peruse the same 30 profiles from my area. Plus it seemed to think of my entire province as an acceptable pool to draw from, possible as a way to look like it was worth the money they wanted me to spend on a full access membership. Nothing is as disappointing as finding a great profile only to realize they are 2 cities over and a 4 hour drive away. That is a long way to go for an awkward coffee date.

6) This isn’t something you should be paying for – I also checked out e-harmony. I had seen all the ads and heard all the stories and I was ready to get down to the business of finding a serious relationship so it just made sense. So I went through the 20 page multiple choice exam that passes for a questionnaire so they could start matching me on the 2000 levels of compatibility that only questions like “If you decided to stay at home for the evening would you tend to do:” could generate (None of the listed options for that one were “masturbate like a bonobo chimp” so the results were already tainted).

Well, the thing e-harmony doesn’t tell you is they won’t show you the images of the profiles they send your way unless you pay for it. Well played e-harmony, I will go get my wallet. $15 later and I was a full fledged member capable of viewing the bathroom mirror pucker faced pics. Hey wow…these are the same women who rejected me on plenty of fish…well then…Crap!

Don’t waste your money folks, when I tried to quit e-harmony it explained that I should give it time. Apparently it takes the average e-harmony user up to a year to find their soulmate. That didn’t seem any statistically better than random encounters at a grocery store…where the hell was all this compatibility bullcrap? Why did I have to tell you my deepest darkest secrets in multiple choice form?

7) There will be Nazi’s – That isn’t a euphemism or witty catchphrase. I was once messaged by an attractive young woman from the next province over. We chatted over the course of several days and I ended up giving here the info to find me on Facebook. She friended me and made a few witty remarks on my current status. I decided to check out here photos because I was both nosy and generally horny and all evidence so far was that she was smokin’ hot. There was several of her in a bikini mixed in with the regular nonsense that ends up on a Facebook profile. So her I am thinking “JACKPOT” until I notice one photo out of place. It was a picture of a women in a bikini’s back, someone had thoughtfully applied sunscreen to the back in a distinctly swastika-like arrangement. WHA?!

A quick perusal of her remaining photos brought up various other logos of a racially intolerant nature. I never did find a picture of her in a white sheet and hood but I figured I had all I needed. We aren’t talking some crap she found on a Google search, she had posted official logos from some serious white supremacy groups. I wasn’t actually aware that such groups had a need for graphic design on this level, the thing looked like some sort of family crest with hatefulness at the center. Meanwhile, back on my profile she was having a lighthearted back and forth on my status with my Malaysian art teacher. Before it all went any further down the crapper I de-friended her and sent a polite but firm note suggesting she go sell her brand of crazy elsewhere. I believe she called me a jerk.

Rancid Monke

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