Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Second thoughts on online dating

I've made a couple hundred posts on this blog since I started it, and I think the post about online dating got the most reaction. Did I hit a nerve there? Was I the most honest at that moment 6 months ago, and as a result sparked a lot of replies? Yeah, I think so.

Since then I had a few dates that originated from one of the popular online sites, and I did my share of cruising around the lake casting my bait to see who I might catch. Can't say that I landed any keepers, but it was - interesting. And like a lot of other people I've talked to, eventually you realize you're seeing the same faces on the screen and you're thinking "is she still on here? Must be something really wrong with her" and it's likely they're seeing you the same way - "is that guy still on here? Must be something really wrong with him!" - and so the whole thing stops being interesting real quick, and then it feels kind of desperate and sad and unhealthy, and so you cancel.

Along the way you meet a few people who seem really incredible but, like Seinfeld, you soon discover they have some kind of trait or behavior that turns on the stoplight, and you toss them aside and start trolling again, and you remind yourself that "there are a lot of hopeless losers on these online dating sites" and try to still the voice in your head that says you are one of them.

Along the way you start figuring out that maybe it's not so horrible to spend some time with yourself, and maybe you don't have to be with someone else to have value, and so what if all your friends are coupled up, and so what if no one invites you to their parties because you've become a fifth wheel, because you can just stay home and pop in a DVD, right? And eat soup from a can, and drink the whole bottle yourself, and -- wait, that's starting to sound desperate and sad and unhealthy again. Well, anyway.

Along the way you think maybe life in the monastery wouldn't be all that bad really, or if you just left your car and clothes on the beach somewhere and disappeared that wouldn't be all that bad really, or if you just stopped trying and stopped caring maybe that wouldn't be all that bad really, and some days it all seems bleak, and you feel like you may never laugh again.

But soft! What light through yonder email breaks? It is the east, and something funny is the sun.

So even though I don't subscribe anymore, I still get these emails from online dating sites I signed up for - and ok, sure, I was drunk when I signed up, I'm sure. What the hell, anyway - mostly I just delete them, but once in awhile I look, and once in awhile I am amazed at what I see. For example:


Here are some actual posts of "profile pictures" on an unnamed site. I have obscured the screen names in hopes I will not be sued, harassed or firebombed as a result of this post. But even so, I must simply ask - WTF??

Person 1 on the left - are you telling the world that (a) you have a cat that's really important in your life, or (b) you actually ARE a cat that has learned to use the internet, or (c) you identify with cats more than people and are on your way to becoming a "cat lady" news story, or (d) bottom line you just really don't want any men to contact you at all so this seems like a good tactic to remain alone? Just asking.

Person 2 in the middle - are you telling the world that (a) you actually are Cruella DeVille, or (b) you wish you were Cruella DeVille (which is way scary) or (c) you actually have no pictures of yourself at all and must result to clip art, or (d) bottom line you just really don't want any men to contact you at all so this seems like a good tactic to remain alone? Just asking once again.

Person 3 on the right - Um...never mind, ok? Just don't hurt me.

Moral of our story: All things considered, being alone really isn't all that bad.