Internet dating has become an extremely popular way to meet people, and has indeed brought a lot of lonely souls together. But not every date turns out like a Match.com ad. Catfish, lonely people, broken hearts, false claims, failed expectations, doctored photos, no-shows, and even frauds --it's all part of the online dating experience. I gathered a few observations from my own experience and stories I heard from people around me.
On some online dating sites, if a member wants to express attraction for another member after reading their profile, but without going to the extreme of sending them an e-mail, they can send an electronic wink. I was overloaded with winks and messages in my inbox, Over 2000 members viewed my profile. Of those, at least half were winks.Usually, though, what the winks actually mean is: "I saw your picture and I think you're hot, but I'm too lazy to read your profile and it costs me nothing to just shoot you a wink on the off chance that you think my overweight body is sexy, or that you're a nymphomaniac."
You'd think the anonymity of online interaction would make it easier for guys to come off as smooth and in control. But the opposite is often the case. That same anonymity seems to give some men a license to be rude perverts. One guy came right out in the subject line of his message and let me know he wanted to meet me and do "bad things" to me. Another claimed he was a real cowboy, and wanted to have sex with me bareback on his horse. Oy.
A few tips from my male friend to girls trying too hard to be cool online. “First of all, the screen name. Stop putting 'sassy' into your screen name. Stop putting 'city girl' into your screen name. When registering, if you tried to use 'giantfan' as your screen name and it came back telling you that you'd have to settle for 'giantfan57836,' that should have been your first clue that you have picked a disgustingly unoriginal name.. Speaking of Giant fans, stop saying you love sports and that you 'act just like a guy.'”
And the same is true of the men. I started to whittle the list down by deleting those with eyebrow-raising or just plain sad screen names, such as variations on "loverboy," "mr. romantic," "lonely guy," "lonely one," "kiss me," "true love MD," "huggy bear," "party man," "sexy upndown", “ladies man “, etc.--I am not making these up--and subject lines such as "Hi Beautiful", "Wow!", "Hi Baby Pretty", "Hey there, sexy", and "Me wink; you reply".
I guess pictures of guys posing with a cat or fresh-caught barracuda are not so bad compared to few sparks that I have found. Just to name a few : a picture of a guy holding a small cup of what looked to be urine and a headline saying “I am drug free and I can prove it". Another one half my age kissing a beer bottle, his caption read “ hey cougar looking for a cub meow”, guy dressed like a Zorro, a store trooper figure – no face, just a toy- how can I know this is not a 10 year old? I already have one son, don’t need another one. Left and left.
The Onion's Online Dating Tips offer this suggestion: Set yourself apart by choosing a descriptive user name like SocialRetard321, CuteFaceFatAss, or WhiteRihno
The worst part of online dating is the first awkward face-to-face hello. Your preconception of the person you have been speaking to is always very oddly different from the person you meet. And I also seem to make my mind up very quickly on how the night will go.
I once heard a story about a man who turns up to dates early and buys himself a drink, so that when the girl arrives, he can send her up to the bar to get a drink and do a runner if he thinks they aren’t up to his exacting standards. That’s almost a reason to give up.
Many, many people agree to a drink and then never reply. I’m almost not sure how to deal with any response to “Do you want to discuss this over a drink?” that isn’t silence. One guy asked me which person I was in one of my profile pictures; he said my friend looked like a much hotter version of me. I replied, “Oh, really?” He said, “You’re an angry woman, you would fall in love with me but also hate me a little bit. I bet you would slap me during sex.”
Bumble is rumored to be an app that has a hotter population of men. But it doesn’t actually put the female in control: it simply means vain men can read and smugly ignore your overthought openers. Happn is trying to add the cute “fate” dimension to app dating, but it just means you find your flatmate’s boyfriend on it as he is upstairs and the location tracker lands you in a dubious situation.
A friend of mine commented that no one hooks up with anyone on a night out any more. I reckon this is due to everyone prearranging their hook-ups on apps. Spontaneity can be overrated.
Probably the best online profile I read was from a guy with one arm “Not the best at juggling (fought a shark, lost an arm)”. I think he may have lost it in an actual shark attack.
The trick is to assume that the ugliest photo he sends is the truest representation. After all, we all try to present the most attractive profiles of ourselves. From experience, it’s also a good idea to avoid freelance models.
I think people are a bit more dismissive on online dates than they would be if they were with a friend of a friend or someone they had met in a bar – although seriously, does that ever happen? If there isn’t a spark you don’t feel any obligation to immediately say, “I had a really nice time but I didn’t think we quite clicked.” Whereas you might if you thought you would see them again. Online dating becomes a numbers game; the more people you meet the more likely you think you are to find “the one”.
Online dating has delivered some very random and entertaining evenings. I have gone on dates that have led to flirtations and friendships, and that have introduced me to new parts of New York, and places to go out. The highlight so far was definitely sharing a boozy evening with a pretty famous and rather attractive tv anchor. That’s one of the real, sincere joys of online dating – it can open your world up to people who you would never ordinarily get the chance to meet.
Some people are truly looking for a relationship, for others online dating becomes an addiction. One of my friends started on craigslist. At times she would try to stop the madness. Would take down her ads, tell people she was taking a "break" from dating, she would arrange to see the same guy several times just to keep herself from going on new dates. But always, inevitably, she would log in just to see who were out there, what new ads were posted in her absence ... and she would get reeled back in.
Soon, Match.com wasn't enough. She branched out to Nerve and Yahoo, even Jdate (not that she is Jewish). As a result, she started having more dates than free evenings. She became an expert stacker. Her performance at work started to suffer. Between arranging dates and answering e-mails, she rarely finished her projects on time. And she started taking long date lunches, because her evenings were already chock-full. At that point, her dating itself started to suffer. She started losing track of which one was the human rights lawyer and which one hiked Mt. Everest. Her ability to combine witty banter with piercing intellectual observations and shy but come-hither glances (the ingredients, she knew, of a successful date) was plummeting. Slack-jawed, bleary-eyed, she could only listen with faux enthusiasm and nod at appropriate intervals to their monologues....There were times she woke up and couldn't remember whom she had gone out with the previous night, nor whom she was supposed to meet that night. And she could no longer rely on just first names--there were scores of Robs, and Daves, and Mikes. She had to make up nicknames for all of them, and designed a spreadsheet with relevant details of each to keep track of it all.
Sometimes when you think you’ve met the perfect partner through an online dating website or app, the other person is using a fake profile to form a relationship with you. They’re using the site to gain your trust and ask you for money or enough personal information to steal your identity. This is an extreme scenario but it happens. It happened to my best friend. A guy she met online and soon started to date would tell her how wonderful and beautiful she was, how much he loved her (after a month of dating)he would cook her dinners, do shopping, paint her apartment, etc. Very soon he won her heart, who wouldn't ? he seemed like a perfect guy, almost too perfect. The fact that he was wearing the same shirt over and over, getting gas only for 5$ at a time or rarely buying her a drink or paying for dinner or didn't have a Facebook account weren’t good enough reasons to raise her suspicion. But when all of the sudden both of his parents died within one month and he was trying to keep her away from meeting the rest of the family or friends something clicked. She called his work place; nobody knew his name, his mom’s funeral was never scheduled at the cemetery he gave her. Although he kept insisting he was there during the ceremony. She had to hire a private detective to find out if he was only after her money or maybe a psychopath or a former convict.
Despite some setbacks, online dating has generally delivered a pleasing source of distraction and periodic amusement for me. Nonetheless, I do wonder if having constant access to so many potential partners is such a good thing. Such opportunity seems to mean that there are fewer incentives to see what happens when you do meet someone you like, and to stick with it when it gets hard. I confess I have been guilty of thinking, “Well, he is nice, but New Jersey is a bit far away,” from time to time. I do have a few friends who have found lasting relationships online, so keep on swiping people I believe you can find your true love and online dating is as good as any other way of meeting the only one for you.
Everything tuna salad was introduced to me on one of my online dates by a very nice guy, who apparently can cook. We went out a few times but there wasn’t enough sparks to continue it. I hope he will forgive me for using his recipe without asking.
2 cans of tuna in water or olive oil
bunch of crunchy lettuce ( romaine works well )
10 baby carrots , chopped in 1 inch cubes
1 pear chopped
bunch of scallion, dill and parsley
juice of 5 lemons
1/3 cup of olive oil
salt and pepper
chop everything and mix well. Serve with nice French bread.