Internet dating is all about the over-promise. If all the online matchmaking companies told the truth, they’d broadcast all of the social rejects, losers, undesirables and just-plain-weirdos that show up on their sites, and they’d say “Here’s your last for mating, you desperate cow.” By showing photo montages of happy couples, and promising first encounters, the Eharmony’s and the Match.com’s of the world are telling you, “Dating is just as easy a pressing a button..see how these people did it?”
Meeting people online is hard work, or rather sifting through the people you don’t want to meet, and the ones that should be meeting with a shrink once a week, is hard work. Then why do it? For someone like me, who has been out of the game for a number of years, dating is like a muscle that needs to be flexed. In the same way that you can’t run a 10K without training, or at least stretching out a bit, you can’t jump headlong into a relationship without warming up the witty banter, emotional tolerance and sharing. Also, internet dating is great fodder for this blog!
“Don’t just leave them hanging!”
Anyway, I’ve learned a lot about men, and a lot about myself, “meeting” all kinds of men online. Trust me when I say that there are thousands of people that you need to leave behind. However, I think I can give you ladies (and a few of you gentlemen) the benefit of my ridiculous experiences in case you find yourself about to meet someone for the first time in 3-D. First, be prepared for a lot of dumbassness, no matter how un-dumbass you portray yourself. I tend to lead off my dating profile with my multiple degrees, global travel, and my salary if I can. It’s not my intention to be snobbish, just to weed out the people who’d be intimidated by certain facts of my life. However, although I portray the image of a wealthy, well-traveled snob, I get responses of the vein below which have been lifted directly from my inbox.
“You have as much juice in your lips as Nicki Minaj has in her ass.”
Uh, thanks for the “compliment”, which I suppose juicy lips is supposed to be. I’m utterly flattered, grossed out and turned off, all at the same time. Here’s another one.
“Your to pretty to be boring.”
I know men think this way, that they could never be bored with a woman they found really attractive. But I have way more going for me than the way I look and my lips, like knowing the correct uses for “your” and “to”. I’m gonna need a man who’s all about loving the grammar AND loving my looks. Is that a lot to ask?
Then there are pictures. Men who take photos of their cars, their motorcycles or (yes I’ve seen it), their speedometer need not apply. What in the
world can I learn about you by knowing that your car goes up to 140 MPH? (By the way, dude, all cars these days are marked to go that fast, so you’re nothing special.) And, by the way, the speedometer reading in the picture is 80 MPH, so let’s hope you weren’t driving while playing shutterbug. Actually, keep on driving and snapping pics: natural selection is a motherfucka.
Pictures worth a thousand words, all of them no.
Right, so to get to the dumb shit that men say when meeting you online, you have to get past their picture. Here are a few types of photos that you’re bound to run into. Don’t say you haven’t been warned.
Mr I Might Shank Your Mama: This dude is mean-mugging all up in his main profile picture. Actually, he’s posted from 5 to 10 photos that look like they were taken while staring down an inmate in the prison yard. I know, some women like thugs and roughnecks and all manner of ‘hood masculine posturings. But the number of females attracted by some dumb-looking scowl is probably the same number caught by a man sucking his teeth and yelling “hey gal” from a moving car. If any single men are reading this, or any women who care about single men, please remember this: smiling is good. It conveys happiness, joy, mirth. It shows that you are capable of experiencing a positive emotion and, on at least one occasion, have actually enjoyed something. Potential enjoyment, my friends, is the desired outcome of dating and relationships. Otherwise, we’d just be alone. Anyway, look for the guy who’s smiling, or at least not frowning.
Mr. NO-lympus: Shirt off, flexing like he’s some kind of athlete or body builder, though he’s not cut or ripped, and the only curls he does involve bottles of beer. This is the kind of guy who’s 40 lbs overweight but wears Under Armour to the club, as though all the spandex would somehow carve his flabby upper arms into a pair of guns. As someone who could also stand to lose some weight, I have nothing against the pleasingly plump, though I’m not posting bikini pictures of myself all over the internet, thinking I look like Halle Berry. All I’m saying is that people should know their strengths, play their position, and not try to be something they aren’t. (For more on this kind of internet dater, see also “I’m shirtless at the computer and I have a webcam”)
Objects in this Bathroom Mirror are More Attached than they Appear: So, you have to close your bathroom door to get a photo of yourself? Or, better yet, a picture of you in the bathroom at some public place (the black and white checkered tile and wall-mounted foaming anti-bacterial soap dispenser are pretty obvious). I’m looking a the man in the mirror and I’m asking him to change his stupid-ass ways and come clean. If you’re taking a photo on your bathroom mirror you must be hiding from someone. Either it’s your mother, your kids, or your woman. Even if you’re not, you look a little janky with the flash from your phone camera reflecting against the glass. Get a friend to take a picture with THEIR camera phone and use that. Or go to a photo booth. If you don’t, I’m not even going to give you a second glance.
AWOL – these are the dudes with no pic, who I simply don’t trust. OK, so everyone isn’t as open as I am about the whole dating scene, but in 2011 there’s really nothing to be ashamed of, so the only folks without pictures are prohibitively ugly, or cheating. I have a friend who thought guys she met on Yahoo personals were just being private by withholding their photos. I wonder why all the men she met on the site were married… Lookit, if someone you know finds you on a dating site, there’s no reason to be embarrassed. Hell, they’re on it too, so you can commiserate and swear each other to secrecy.
Seriously, though, I’m gonna keep on with this internet thing. There are some honest people out there. Actually, someone confessed to being shorter than me because I said in my profile that I wanted total honesty. Not a bad start, I thought. Then he canceled our date, confessing that by “I’m divorced” he really meant “I’m going through a divorce”, which is code for “I have no idea which way is up, I’m sleeping in a place where my kids don’t live, and I’m barely holding it together enough to leave the house, let alone go on a date.” Guess that means I’m back to the virtual trolling. If you see me out there, just give me a shout and promise never, ever to speak of it again.