Monday, 22 July 2013

Online dating

I have been online dating for a grand total of 7 weeks.

Well, OK, I admit I only started paying for my account on Thursday last week, but the time during which I was scoping prospective males without any communication lends weight to the tirade I am about to subject you to.

I have learned things. Things which I must communicate for the preservation of our species. Because it is abundantly clear to me that if certain things aren't pointed out then - following the escalating trend of reliance upon internet dating within our society to its inevitable conclusion and extrapolating from my few days of communication on a dating site - I can conclusively prove that our society will die out.

Tip number one for gentlemen undertaking online dating: If you wouldn't say it in to my face, while you are sober and preferably in front of your parents, don't say it online.

By this I don't just mean the awful "Ur hot, wud u cum for drinks xx" (Yeesh. For the record, I'm not that easy). I am also referring to (in no particular order):

The Interrogation.

Nothing says "I'm interested in YOU" as much as a barrage of questions which you don't even give me time to answer. Beyond the fact that clearly you don't care about my responses, you're also not giving me any indication of who you are. So if I put up with this, I actually don't know anything about you by the end of the conversation except that I don not, under any circumstances, want to subject myself to that again.

The Essay.

Picture this: I'm in an art gallery, attending an exclusive opening (because, obv. I'm that sort of person) admiring the general scene. Up you come and you talk to me. But you don't actually talk to me - you talk at me. For about 5 minutes you hold forth on you, what you deduced about me from a minute analysis of my guest pass and at the end of it you say one of the three following closers:

  1. I think you're pretty should we go on a date
  2. So tell me about you
  3. Well, that was fun, if you enjoyed it we should meet up some time.
Clearly: 1 & 3 are the conversational foreplay to a life spent being submitted to it all being about you, you, you. You had so much fun during that time in which I didn't open my mouth that you want to repeat the experience. Again, I don't. 

And 2? Well, here's how I operate. I have a CONVERSATION. I start with something specific: a shared hobby, for instance. We talk briefly about why we each like it and what we get from it. We *share* information. From there talk becomes more general - discussions about where we have been in pursuit of a hobby may become a chat about holiday destinations: desired or previously experienced. Beyond that we may discuss other ambitions, dreams, hopes or simply preferences (I want to climb Everest. I always wanted to go on safari where you can really experience wild life. One day I'll see the Northern Lights. I enjoy camping but these days I'm really a 5* spa hotel type girl.) And from then we just talk.

If you present me with an essay, and I respond with a conversational gambit, how do you respond? Well, according to my experience you go straight for another essay.

The "Direct Approach"

I don't think I'm being overly general when I say that women who are online dating, as a rule, don't respond well to "If you liked my resume maybe you should immediately jump into my physical presence!" Because nothing says "I'm willing to establish what sort of distance and time frame you're comfortable with and will respect that" like "I want it NOW!"

This paragraph is just about me: I've actually had an email that said "I hope my profile didn't scare you. If it didn't we should meet for a drink some time." All I know about this man is that he a) thinks I *might* be scared of him and b) that if I'm not scared of the profile I'm clearly brave enough to immediately chuck away a few hours of my life finding out whether he's the kind of guy who will beat me in an alley way. Well, no, actually. I appreciate that I'm typically very cautious, but the implication that I could be scared coupled with an immediate pressure to meet up *and* a disinclination on his part to use the site to get to know me better *before* applying said pressure would surely send alarm bells off in anyone's head!

Bottom line: if you don't let a woman know you're interested in discovering 
  1. What she is comfortable with (and then tailoring your approach appropriately)
  2. Who she is as a person
  3. Whether she, as a person, is compatible with you
She won't usually be interested in you. And before you cry out about how unfair that is and how much effort you're putting in remember this: If the subtext to all your "effort" is "I'm not interested in you as a person, I'm just looking for a blow up doll based on your picture", then you have no right to complain about the fact that the person on the receiving end of your effort is just as uninterested in you as you are in her.

End rant.

Alicia.

PS, for clarity, I have this weekend also online-met (is there a word for that yet?) three genuinely nice guys who are capable of conversation and who I am interested in. It's not all bad.