Online dating. Yes – it’s a thing. I’ve done it and it’s something I occasionally dip in and out of. The pattern is that I try it for a month, swear it off forever and then go back to it after a few months, only to be reminded that I hate it and it feels unnatural and so the cycle repeats ad infinitum.
Let’s discuss profiles:
Although I don’t think you have to be a prolific writer to write a decent few lines about yourself, it’s actually not as easy as one might think. It is surprisingly difficult to write an interesting and accurate paragraph about yourself without feeling incredibly arrogant (because you’re talking about how amazing you are) or without coming across like an actual mental (because you wrote something at 3am thinking it was hilarious when in fact the late night hour had lifted the brain to touch-typing filter and you spilled out a puddle of crazy.)
There are 2 things that repeatedly irritate me about online profiles.
1 – “Willing to lie about how we met.”
OH REALLY ARE YOU? THANKS GOSH BECAUSE I AM SO ASHAMED THAT I WANT TO MEET NEW PEOPLE.
This is not attractive. If the first thing I read about you is that you are happy, willing and able to lie, all I can think is “well, what else are you willing to lie about?”
There is nothing shameful about online dating now. It’s just another way to expand your social circle and meet new people. If you’re so ashamed, either get over it or get off it. No one is forcing you to create a profile on a dating website. OK, you don’t have to shout it from the rooftops, but if you’ve bothered to fill in your details and add photos and make up a stupid punny name, don’t be ashamed about it on the website filled with the people who are also online dating, and whom one assumes you are trying to attract. Know your audience!
2 – Variations on the basic theme of “I like going out. I also like staying in.”
This is the equivalent of saying any of the following examples:
*I like being awake. I also like being asleep.
*I like wearing shoes. I also like not wearing shoes.
*I like having cats. I also like having no cats.
*I like daytime. I also like night time.
*I like moving. I also like staying still.
*I like smells. I also like no smells.
*I like eating bananas. I also like eating things that are not bananas.
To clarify, for the cheap seats, what you’re saying is “I like life.”
Brilliant. I also like life. But don’t most people have something a little more specific and interesting than “I enjoy my existence options.” ?
I will accept “I like staying in BUT I PREFER to go out.” or vice versa. Expressing a preference is encouraged. Opinions are the best, are they not? No? Oh all right then, if that’s what you really think.
Are people really this generic? Don’t people like specific things any more like the theatre, literature, art, photography, politics, stimulating conversation, wine, flying, astrophysics, the 80s, silly themed parties? When did our imaginations and expressive abilities become so fenced in?
So to all the online daters out there:
I can only speak for myself, but I suspect there are other people out there who also want to know what *you* might be like. Yes, you. The unique, specific human being that is entirely and only you. I encourage you to be a bit braver and open up a teensy bit more. Because no one wants to date just anyone. We all want to be with the right person who makes us happy and who we can trust and know and love. But I think the first step on that terrifying path is being honest and saying something that might catch someone’s attention. So don’t be afraid to – because it simply cannot be that all those people who effectively put “I like going out and I like staying in” are actually that dull. It cannot be true, because that would be far too depressing for words.
As a side note – to approximately 85% of the people I’ve seen on dating websites: THAT CANNOT BE YOUR BEST PICTURE!! COME ON! GIVE ME SOMETHING HERE! Jeez.