Perhaps saying “everything” about online dating is bad is going a bit far. I mean, online dating has its virtues, right? Absolutely not.
In fact, I have a new theory. The reason that anyone ever tries online dating is that they know of heard of “someone” who has meet “someone” online.
I submit to you the following: WE ARE ALL TALKING ABOUT THE SAME COUPLE (who just happen to have a wide circle of friends).
If it sounds like I have just had a bad experience on lonely.people.are.suckers.com*, then you’re right. (*fictional website: so far. millions can no doubt be made.)
The sad truth is, it wasn’t even the worst experience I have ever had using my computer to find a future… whatever.
It’s just that when I recently gave online dating another try, enough time had passed that I forgotten what a stinking cesspool it can be.
But to be serious, I realized that the key problem that haunts all but the Kens and Barbies amongst us are the photos which accompany a person’s online profile.And it’s not even that most people are not photogenic, though that’s a given.
But if any guy happens to be reading this, I gotta tell you: I never, ever open a profile where the photo features a guy taking a picture of himself in the bathroom, and you can see his reflection in the mirror, holding the camera. So cheesy. Even worse: the webcam shot.
Please show me that you:
1) Have enough social skills and/or friends that you can convince someone to take your picture
2) You occasionally get up from your computer and leave the house.
And if you haven’t posted a profile photo? Oh, come on. At least wait until after I meet you to find out you’re a Neanderthal.
The real problem, however, with conducting an online search on these dating sites and receiving a list of profile photos is this: the worst possible way to judge someone that is by his or her appearance*, and that’s exactly what we’re doing by selecting someone through an online dating site. (*Unless, that is, a person’s appearance reveals a lack of attention to basic hygiene. In that case, judge away!)
Okay, I’m going to get specific here, and just trust that the benefit of having an obscure blog means that I can talk about people I know (except my boss: never a good idea) and they’ll be none the wiser.
Anyway, my most recent delve into the online dating universe was with christiancafe.com. It took me a while to find a legitimate Christian dating website. I hadn’t been impressed with christianmingle, although it has been some years since I’ve tried it. Ironically, the most disturbing dating sites I have encountered have been “Christian.” But perhaps I’ll post about that another time.
But feeling how I do about celibacy before marriage, sites like match.com, where you can select something meaningless such as “Spiritual, But Not Religious,” as your “religion” had become out of the question.
The only problem with christiancafe – and it’s a big one – is that those folks must have an advertising budget of zero. Thus, few have heard of it, and therefore there simply aren’t enough users.
However, despite the user shortage, I actually had better luck finding potential matches that lived, say, 50 miles or so away from me than I ever did with eharm_your_ego_ny_dot_com, which sent me mostly matches from Arizona and Oregon. I’m in San Francisco, and I rarely even received matches from within California!
EDIT: I just deleted an anecdote from my experience at christiancafe that would no doubt hurt the feelings of the guy who is the subject of the tale. However unlikely it is that he would find and read my blog, it was uncool of me to be so specific.
I can complain all I want about the male fixation on good lucks — for instance, why one earth would an overweight guy in his 50s admit that he is “looking” for a woman in her 20s with a hot bod? And yet. I have certainly selected people to write based on their profile photos.
If this makes me sound like the most shallow person in the world, well, I’m aware of that. And maybe until I look like (insert name of current hot female celebrity in her late thirties: hopefully, that’s not a paradox!) — well, who am I to criticize?
But if you simply aren’t attracted to someone, well, there’s not much you can do right?
And therein lies the real problem: when you meet someone in real life, you may find them initially unattractive. But we all have known someone, surely, who objectively speaking is not at all pleasing to the eye, but his or her personality is such where they are actually really sexy.
And that dude that looks like Daniel Craig? Start talking to him, and you may begin to long for the attention of one of the creepier Bond villains, as their company would be preferable.
To be honest, I don’t think anything would induce me to long for the company of “Fat Bastard” of Austin Powers fame, but honestly, that mostly had to do with his vulgur behavior.