2008-07-11

Online Dating is Aggravating

Why is online dating such work? I mean, really, having success before, when I was ready to date again I headed back to the websites that worked for me in the past. But wow, as the internet has grown, it’s only gotten worse. And there are few things worse than trying to figure out some personal ads. Let me start at the beginning:

1. The Profile.

Why are women who are so afraid to tell you who they are and what they like and want? Is it fear of being classified high maintenance or just fear of being called a bitch by some boy you reject or who doesn’t fit your wants/needs/lifestyle? I’d rather read and pass you by for not fitting than struggle through some generic pathetic attempt to fill up the minimum character requirements, or read the one who tries to cast a wide net by claiming to be able to be everything to everybody. Case in point: (her misspellings left as they were entered. Which is another peeve. Spell-check. Learn it. Use it. Love it.)

  • I can watch the History Channel and then go Fly a kite and be equally entertained.
  • I can go from a tee and jeans to a french twist and a littel black dress in under 15 minutes.
  • I can enjoy a glass of wine by candlelight or a bottle of beer at the rodeo.
  • I love companionship and autonomy equally.

Those are all from the same profile. There were more, too. She can also equally enjoy sporting events or museums, a day at the beach or on the couch watching movies. She’s written four paragraphs without saying anything definitive about herself. That’s either trying way too hard or being afraid to admit who you are. And she’s not the only one. I’ve run across dozens of women who are either really that flexible in life or are using the broad appeal to get more responses. (In a way I can understand it, nobody likes an empty mailbox, but no attraction is better than the wrong kind.)

What happens in this situation? You meet her. You date. Six weeks later you find out she’s not all that. She’s the one who doesn’t want to do anything but watch the History Channel or movies, wearing jeans and a tee, drinking wine. And gods forbid you’re not there, beside her. And you’re the guy who likes the kite flying, little black dress, sporting event, museum and the beach and hates sitting at home? Bored. And ready to move on, wondering how he got stuck with someone who claimed to be everything, and ended up being nothing.

At least she cropped her photos so it’s obvious what she looks like. Which is my next complaint:

2. The Photos.

Ladies - when you have other people with you in the pictures, and your hair is in various colors, styles and lengths in said photos, or you are wearing hats or sunglasses, please point out which one you are. “I’m on the left” or “I’m in the white shirt” work rather well. When you are in photos with random other guys, either crop them out or tell us who they are. I’m sure your brother-in-law is a great guy, however, how do I know that’s who he is. As far as the photos with other women, if I can’t figure out who you are, odds are good I’m not responding.

Oh, and lets not even go to the photos being anywhere from 5-7 years old. Digital cameras are under $100; trying to find a cell phone these days without some rudimentary camera is darn near impossible. Saying you don’t have a current photo is just not acceptable. If nothing else you know someone who has a camera and can get you a photo. I take photos of people all the time that are used in all sorts of online places. I can understand not posting it due to your job or other reasons, but you won’t get many responses. Guys are visual. As for emailing me without a photo? Odds are good I won’t respond. But I’m honest about it. Which brings up the last, but most important, thing:

3. Honesty

This goes hand in hand with a proper profile that states who you are and what you want, with current photos that show what you look like. State your true age, if you smoke, where you live, your true CURRENT relationship status (meaning if you’re single, divorced, or merely separated). This is where it really all matters.

I found a profile from a woman who stated who she was, what she liked, what she wanted, had current photos, cropped, that identified her when there were others. And identified the others, too. Well done. She wanted an honest man, specifically saying “Liars need not apply.” And she listed a location that was just around the corner from me. So I write to her.

Her response: She actually lives on the OTHER SIDE OF THE COUNTRY. She was born in the town listed, and has family here and is considering moving here to be closer to them. So much for the honesty, eh?

Another I met is still married (yes, separated still counts as legally married) and has neither the plans or the money to get divorced, mainly because she can’t find the husband who packed up and left. She lists herself as divorced. Sorry, I’m not going to wait for you to get off your lazy ass, find the loser and get divorced. You don’t have kids with him, he’s not paying spousal support now, nor will he ever so there’s no financial reason to remain married to a man you’ve not seen in three years, and is probably not even in the country.

Honesty isn’t hard. You can’t be true to another if you’re lying to yourself.

For the record, I know my gender is no better. I’ve heard a lot of same things from women about photos being out of date, age/weight being misstated; finding out after the fact he’s gay, married or otherwise involved and cheating. Just like I know not all women on dating websites have fake, generic profiles filled with half-truths featuring old photos.

There are those of us out there, like me, who are honest about it. My profile is who I am and what I want. My photos are current. My town is correct. I’m divorced and can show you the papers. But those good ones out there get a bum rap because of the bad apples, and we have to struggle through the the profiles of the lame to find that one shining honest person we’re drawn to.

Right now I’m in the struggle, because I know who I am, what I want, and I believe I’ll find her. It’s just frustrating. Why is dating this hard?

It surprises me sometimes how we’ve survived this long as a species.

2 comments:

Harry said...

I am a gay and Gay.com is my most favorite online dating site.

Eric said...

Hi Harry. Thanks for the comment. Hope that works out for you. I'd take a peak, but I love the mommy parts far too much to be gay.

Oh, and I can't accessorize for shit.

Oh, and my doctor says I have a narrow throat.

- Eric