“I just love on-line dating!”
Find me a person – a real, living, oxygen inhaling person who has ever uttered those words.
Sure, if it works out it could be the greatest thing to ever happen to you. But that’s the end result you love, not the process. The process is a soul sucking exercise in humble perseverance. It requires patience- patience in abundance. Patience to suffer through the endless ridiculousness of people who hold themselves in very high esteem and have used every single space available in their “About Me” section to list every virtue, achievement, skill, and epic bowel movement that has ever happened in their very exciting and very fulfilled lives.
At the other end of the spectrum are the profiles run by what I can only assume to be lonely Neanderthals. You can identify them by their frequent use of the following:
- The use of “u” instead of “you”
- Fish lip photos (yep, guys take them too)
- The use of “2” for the words “to” or “too”
- Every single photo they have uploaded is some variation of their unsmiling selves flexing in front of various pieces of gym equipment
- When they message you with “waz up?” and nothing more (makes a girl feel special)
- Inability to express any type of thought in a complete and coherent sentence
(On second thought, comparing them to Neanderthals is a bit rude. At least Neanderthals gave us fire.)
And so I don’t sound like a complete snob, some of those can be acceptable – under the right circumstances. For example, when texting, numbers 1 and 3 could be appropriate- “could be” being the key words. But when you are trying to put your best foot forward in an introductory message or describing yourself, please just push the two or three extra keys required to spell the entire word. It makes a world of difference. I promise. Numbers 2, 4, 5, and 6? Nope.Never.
I’ve dabbled on various online dating sites over the years. I’ll actively interact for approximately a week or two before I get bored with the whole process and disengage. That is until I feel my biological clock ticking or re-watch “Love, Actually” and then I’m suddenly reminded that online dating might be the only chance I will ever, ever have and immediately rejoin or reactivate my membership.
The first site I signed up for made me take a really long personality test. I answered as well I could, filled out all the required information, and waited as the screen read “Just a minute! We’re connecting you with some great matches!” My excitement grew as I envisioned the mysterious and handsome young men who would float across my computer screen.
After what seemed like an hour, but in reality was really only a few minutes, the text was replaced by: “Sorry. There are no matches in our database for you at this time. Check back soon, we have new members join every day.” What it was really saying was: “Your personality is just not compatible with any of our 10 million active users across the entire continental US and Canada and you will probably die alone.” This was followed by an online coupon for cat food.
I exaggerate, but only a little; that first part was very much true. And, much to my relief, within a week they had finally managed to match me up with other members who might find me tolerable. But that’s when the real fun began.
Do you remember that old school SkiFree game that came installed on Microsoft computers? Online dating is like that Slalom Course: No matter how hard you try to maneuver around those obnoxious, narrow spaced flags and make it to the finish line intact, your poor little skier is a bruised, broken, flag-slapped mess. And then you run out of lives and the game is over.
As mentioned above, there are definite groups of online dating users. Based on my experience I would guess approximately 45% of them land in Group One- slick lipped and puffed up; another 45% in the Neanderthal category. These are the groups to avoid. That leaves a paltry 10% of users who have a basic grasp of English grammar, relatively sane and happy looking profile pictures, no bathroom selfies, and a simple and succinct self-summary of their likes, dislikes, and match preferences to make up Group Three. Those are who you zone in on.
Occasionally an uncategorized user will pop up, somewhat of a cross between all three groups. Most of his profile pictures appear to be from a low budget fashion shoot at a local gym, but at least he’s smiling. And even though he is a self-professed savant who can enjoy the finer things in life, he also loves dogs and his adorable niece and has read Jane Austen and enjoyed it. He is an anomaly and should be approached with caution.
Obviously, I haven’t had much luck with online dating. And maybe if I used it a bit more regularly and put in a bit of effort I would actually be writing about how I Love Online Dating. But, as this is not the case, I say kudos and congratulations to all of you who have found true love using the World Wide Web.
And double kudos and double congratulations for never having to use it again.