I REMEMBER! when Internet dating was reserved for the VERY shy and people without the ability to read social ‘cues’. I remember being on TANGOWIRE, BLACK PLANET, even MYSPACE became the new not-so-obvious/obvious pick-up site.
Then there was YAHOO PERSONALS, holding my head down:( What I referred to as the last DANCE for meeting women. If you couldn’t find a girl on YAHOO, chances are you never would! I remember not even sharing with my closest friends that I had an online account. My picture was private, which means I didn’t get many hits in the beginning because ‘no pics, no response’ 😦
But what I did learn about Internet dating is my writing skills were a force to be reckoned with! Who knew you could literally woo a beautiful woman by writing some witty diatribe in your profile. My clever mind, kept my inbox full. Well, go ahead and ask yourself what is the point of this post. It’s not to pontificate on my internet profile awesomeness!
It’s to point out the fatal flaws to internet dating: THE FIVE PERILS OF INTERNET DATING.
1.) YOU MUST PAY TO PLAY, I had to learn this the hard way. If you won’t pay for a subscription essentially you get what you pay for i.e., NOTHING! The only people who are poking, winking and all those other phrases for being cheap are the same people who you would find on CRAIG’s list. Ask yourself: Do you really want a girl/guy from CRAIG’S list? If you can’t commit to 24.95 a month, then what are you expecting the person on other side to commit too? How serious are you about finding a legit date. Look at this way, a monthly subscription means they at least have a bank account. That’s a start.
2.) LYING ON YOUR PROFILE, Yes I agree this goes without saying, but people continue to do it. The only thing you will get from a lie is some rude a## behavior and anger. Why, because no one likes to be deceived. Give a person a chance to make a choice. NOTE: People feel like their emotions are being played with when you misrepresent yourself. I have found making your flaws funny or not taking yourself to seriously is the way to approach. After all you are not going to die if he/she doesn’t write you back and if you can’t take a little rejection you probably shouldn’t be dating.
3.) NEGOTIATING THE LINE, LESS IS REALLY MORE, So in the beginning after those first awkward emails, deciding whether to give out your number, and finally after day three of typing diarrhea with your new e-boo: REMIND yourself, LESS IS MORE. Save some for later, the first phone conversation or first date if it even gets that far. Don’t tell all!
A.) Because you really don’t know this person, although anonymity creates that illusion.
B.) You are more than likely to show something that is perceived as unforgivable in the beginning of a courtship, which after a person knows you better, might not be that big of a deal. For example, if you cleaned your ex-girl/boyfriends’ toilet with his toothbrush: AWFUL. But in context: s/he cheated on you with your sister or left you at the alter. In hindsight might not be such a major offense. Or it’s the same principle as in 3D dating; people like to chase. YES, it’s a game. NO, I don’t like it either, but I have abandoned trying to change the world and decided to sharpen my own strategy. Can’t beat em, join em!
Call it the SCRAPS OF MEAT PROTOCOL, enough to whet the appetite, then leaving them returning for more.
4.) DON’T wait more than THREE weeks to meet.
When I was e-dating, I had a hard and steadfast rule: NEVER talk to a person more than three weeks without meeting in PERSON. Unless they are out-of-state in which case, they are essentially your pen pal. What can happen in three weeks? Well, attachment. Three weeks is just around the time you start wondering about sex and imagining them in your house. If you haven’t seen this person, there is no reason to believe they actually exist. If you don’t believe me, I suggest you rent the movie CATFISH ‘shaking my head’, see the trailer at the end of this column.
5.) The last Peril, although this list could go on and on: NEUTRAL GROUND FIRST DATE. Do NOT go to a fancy/expensive restaurant, DO NOT go to their house, DO NOT GO to a strip club or any sexually charged environment (unfortunately, I speak from personal experience. My twenties were a special time, enough said). GO TO STARBUCKS, yes I can hear the shock and awe ladies. But let’s think about this: what have you really done in three weeks that warrants more than a cup of coffee. Gentlemen this is not an out to be cheap, but shouldn’t you know whether she/he has etiquette and grace before sharing a meal. There is so much lost via email that is answered in body language and natural attraction. There is nothing worse than being stuck at a table with someone who is: painfully shy, i.e., quiet as Sunday mass. Someone obnoxious with a poor sense of humor, and quite simply someone you are not even remotely attracted to and looks like a bizarre version of their full-body picture.
This ends what I call the FIVE PERILS OF INTERNET DATING. Use them wisely and be safe.