Tag Archives: dating sites

Online Dating and Valentines

love, dating, dating sites, valentines day, hooking up, bliind dates

Dating sites can have too much choice to make a decision. Creative Commons: webdesignhot.com

The history of online dating is an interesting one. From a personal point of view, I’ve been online since the screen was black and the text green, when there were no graphics and it was all DOS. The moment people could send their desires and quests across the great digital ether, they have looked for all types of information and much of it has been sexual.

During those first days of the internet, when a friend in New York said I should get a modem and I had to ask what that was, there weren’t many people or groups online. In fact, I went online to do research for writing and I would shout into that big black hole, hoping for an answer from who knows where. Chat groups began to appear but it was like a quest with a blindfold on to find them. The local internet service provider (ISP) in Vancouver was also the only one: mindlink. When I went online I would see a list of all the users, no more than 20 in Vancouver. Yes, it was that small. Anyone on the ISP could instant chat with anyone else. There were a few chat rooms but this was outside of the rooms. Right away (being one of very few women) I would get people asking how old I was, was I single, etc. Then there would be the inevitable request for “hot chat.” Bear in mind that I’m a writer, and I could hot chat anyone up to probably a good time, but really, it’s rare that hot chat would work for me. Besides, I didn’t know if this was a 14-year-old guy or some creepy decrepit pervert. I just wasn’t interested.

Then the internet blossomed with chat rooms and minimal graphics and about 90% of all chat sites were sexually oriented, one way or another. Bulletin Boards (BBS) came about but I never went through that maze. Lavalife came along, which was actually phone personals at first. I tried that for a while and at least you could listen to a person’s voice but there were some crazy ranters on there with issues. I dropped off, then I got on the internet Lavalife but it was not a great site for me. No matter what you put in your profile it seemed no one read it and still wanted to “hook up” for the evening. I also got stood up more times than I ever have in my life. Although I have friends who met and married off of Lavalife, I compared it to boys in a candy shop with too many choices to make a decision. I left.

love, dating, relationships, culture, internet dating, online dating, sex

Is love still possible? Creative Commons: Aaron, Flickr

I already posted about Plenty of Fish. I think I tried eHarmony for a month but at $30/month for about the same results. I’m a little too creative for many of these sites and don’t have the patience. These days, there is a plethora of places for dating, for hooking up, for long term fun. OKCupid blends friendship and dating and I have made friends on that site. There are a variety of styles and predilections, but I think with all the instant media we’re forgetting how to interact with a live person. We let Hallmark tell us that to love someone we just say it on Valentine’s Day, we give pre-prescribed candies and flowers, and that will be enough. You can try to sugar coat a relationship, put up pretty pictures, and write flattering partial truths, but the true taste of the heart (or pudding) is in the tasting. If we just got out there and socialized more, didn’t expect instant gratification, and slowed things down we might find that a relationship is worth doing and more rewarding than a thousand Facebook friends.

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How to Bomb Out on Dating Sites

dating, love, dating sites, sex, men, chatting

Creative Commons by Motoyen (Flickr)

I’m in a state of singlehood at the moment, which some liken to being a leper while others might see as being a lion amongst a herd of gazelles. People often have different requirements on a dating site. Some want short-term dating, some long-term leading to a permanent relationship. Others want casual companions or to hook up with a bed buddy for the night. In the last situation you might start your online chat with, “Do you like it doggy style?”

But for me, there is no faster turnoff than a guy who doesn’t bother to chat about life, the universe and other intriguing things (notice I didn’t say “everything”) but instead begins with “I’m very physical. I like to cuddle/neck/be oral/snuggle/have a high libido/enjoy holding hands. What do you like?” To me, it’s rude and crass. Stick it in your profile, if you must. Often, we haven’t exchanged names yet so it’s like a guy on the street flashing open his trenchcoat.

If you met someone at a friend’s dinner party, would you start out saying, “Do you like it hard and fast or slow and soft?” Perhaps it’s suitable in some cases but in most it would be crossing a line way too soon. And without the benefit of alcohol when online (I presume here) it’s certainly a rude slap. A guy that starts with the 20 questions about sex may as well stick a picture of his penis up online as well. And if that’s all he can really think of to talk about he should just say he’s looking for sex. I couldn’t lose interest faster.

The other way to bomb in the dating field is to do another twenty questions about the age and ethnicity of guys I’ve dated. It’s one thing to know if I would date someone younger or older than me but another to want me to list their nationalities. In my bomb shelter I will hide from the barrage of such questions and wonder what the reason for asking is. If I’m willing to talk to a person younger or older and of any color it already shows I’ll likely date them. Listing every nationality or religion is bizarre.

I’d prefer not to be bombed with a multitude of questions but to trade questions and answers back and forth, even discussions about life and interests. Guys like the top two examples make me think they wouldn’t be good dating material because in one way or another they’re more hung up on sex than on relationships and on who to date by looks than just who is compatible. I do believe sex is part of a good partnership but it’s not all. If it was, I wouldn’t worry about being single or not. A great mind is more likely to get me into bed than a sex fiend is.

If you’re a guy or a woman and you think you’d like a relationship but all you can think to talk about is sex then I would suggest learning how to carry a conversation. You certainly don’t want to arrow in on the genitals in the first few chats online with someone. Unless a relationship is established, to me, it will always be crass. Those intimate questions are better left to discussions in person. If all you want is to have online sex, go for it. Just don’t bother chatting with me. Forget about love; let’s start with a decent conversation.

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Plenty of Fish is For Suckers

There are many dating sites out there and some are better than others. Some of course are better for one person over another depending on how it’s set up and what you’re looking for. Of the ones I’ve tried Plenty of Fish was pretty much a stagnant sea. I had a male friend who liked it though because he called it Plenty of F**ks. He wanted one-night stands and women were happy to comply. I didn’t want that, so it wasn’t that good. In fact, I found communication with potentials lacking so completely that I decided to not just inactivate my account but delete it.

Plenty of Fish = Plenty of Leeches

Plenty of Fish = Plenty of Leeches Creative Commons: http://monkeyfilter.com/link.php/14452

That was over two years ago. I removed my profile, but I was still getting notices. I removed it again, went deeper in and tried to remove it all the way to the bone. I deleted the account, which means I shouldn’t exist in POF’s database anymore. That seemed to do it, so I thought. But oddly, when they were hacked a couple of months back I got warnings about changing my password. WTF? I sent them an email saying I had no idea what my password was anymore, and to remove me from their site as I had already done this once. I got another computer generated message, and another, and another.

I sent messages each time that bounced back to me. Yes, this was their customer service email. Some customer service. I sincerely hope no one pays for this crap. This last week I’ve received three emails with my “matches” even though I no longer have an account according to their deletion instructions. I’ve sent them two cease and desist emails and let me tell you, it’s not easy. You have to go to their website and dig around. There is something that actually says “contact us”, but if you click on the header that says “Delete/Hide My Account” you get nothing. Oh sorry, you get more little messages telling you what to do but you don’t get to send them an email. Click again, yet another layer of message.

When you finally find a way in to to send an email, you get no answer as I can attest with the ones I’ve sent. I shouldn’t have to deactivate an account I deleted over two years ago. Here’s what they say about getting rid of the notification messages:

I do not want any more email notifications.

You can stop message notifications (sent out when you get a message) in Mail Settings. Unfortunately you cannot stop the “latest match” emails usually sent out on Mondays – if these are a problem we’ll delete your account upon request.

Oddly enough I’ve asked POF at least four times to delete me permanently. And try to find a place to contact them to do this deletion. It’s a blatant lie. I have received neither an answer nor a deletion from the continual messages. And of course, I can’t delete my account because I no longer know my username or password. I finally had to email for it again and you have to go through many messages of “wait, don’t go” to get to deleting, if it works. My next step will be to see if I can charge them with harassment, and report them to any place or regulatory body I can. If you know of any such bodies on this, and on them storing my information after I expressly deleted it, let me know.

But for your own sakes, do not ever join up with Plenty of Fish. Obviously they treat their clients as suckers and you’ll have better luck getting barnacles off your ship than these leeches off your back. My rating on this dating site: -5. Stay far away.
Addendum: here it is Feb. 22, nearly a year after this post. I did send a letter to the Privacy Commissioner last year and received a letter back saying it didn’t fall in their jurisdiction but to try the provincial Privacy Commissioner. I was going to toss the letter as I thought POF had stopped harassing me and guess what, last week more spam from POF. They will go against the law and keep your information forever because they probably know how hard it is to track down even who to send this to.

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How to Date

This is a summation of some aspects of dating profiles that I’ve seen. I’ve tried dating sites and I understand that it’s hard to sound interesting, well-rounded and like a particularly unique individual. But there are some things that will deter men or women from having anything to do with you depending on what your profile says.

  • Try updating those pics, and making sure you have a range of clear ones that show you as you are now, not when you were in high school, twenty pounds lighter or you only dressed as Count Dracula.
  • This also means don’t put pictures of movie stars or models up on your page. Unless you only ever want a virtual relationship you will be discovered the first time you meet your date if he or she even recognizes you.
  • Be honest. Saying you’re completely active and bungee jump every weekend, or like to be a couch potato all of the time is only good if that’s what the person is looking for. Duping them into one date might be how you get your jollies but it won’t help for a repeat performance.
  • Don’t say, “I like romantic, candlelit dinners and walks on the beach.” It’s been used so often no one believes it, like those bad chick flicks. You may very well like these things but say it in your own words.
  • Don’t say things because you think the gals (or guys) will like it.
  • If you’re looking for sex for the night, then make sure you’re in the correct area or section. Don’t troll the dating and long term relationship sections.
  • Don’t chat someone up, ask if they’d like to meet for a drink and when they say yes, you don’t answer. In fact, be honest. Say (nicely), sorry I’ve changed my mind. Most people can handle that.
  • Don’t lead people on. Seriously. If you’re such a social misfit that this is the only thing you like to do and you find it funny, then I’m just happy you’re not getting closer to potential dates.
  • Spellcheck your profile information. You may suck as a speller. You may have a learning disability. That’s okay; that’s why God and Gates invented spellcheckers. Use them to make your words readable. Likewise, if English is your second language, get a friend to proofread for you. Spelling is not a sign of intelligence, but some people will equate it that way.
  • Don’t leave a blank profile, or no pictures and then ask others for pictures or to chat when they know nothing about you. I’m not interested in chatting up someone I can’t see and could be 12.
  • Watch the sarcasm. It may come across well in a group of people but on a dating profile it can come across as bitter. Save it until you get to know the person or be really obvious, such as saying, “That was a joke.”
  • Don’t be rude, condescending, antagonistic, bigoted or angry. Save those for your blog. You can rant there, but if you want to meet people, it’s the best foot, face and words forward.
  • Try to be original. In fact, I’ve read many wonderful and original profiles. People are individuals. No two are alike. The picture and the words are the first step. If someone likes what they see, they may be willing to take the next step and talk to you. But you have to be accessible.
  • Don’t say that looks don’t matter (or activity level) and when you go on a date you tell the person they’re not active enough. Again, be honest in what you really want. For most of us, looks do count to some degree.

So that’s it, a few tips that can make a difference between garnering dates and a howling wasteland. People don’t want games so don’t play them. Don’t lie. Be honest. Stick to your commitments or communicate and say no thanks.

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Dating Site Pictures

So it’s just past that big day brought to you by Hallmark, florists and chocolate companies. I’ve never been big into it, single for a lot of it and find it contrived. On Saturday I bellydanced at a 50th birthday party, then stopped in the local watering hole for a drink or two before home. A woman was writing up a note to pass to a band member because she said she was there with her boyfriend, it was Valentine’s Day and he wouldn’t hold her hand. I kinda wondered if he knew he was supposed to and was thankful not to be in that boat.

But it got me thinking of the dating sites I’ve tried before (Okay Cupid, Plenty of  Fish, Lavalife) and the pictures men post. I wrote this up a while back but it’s still apropos to dating.

I have this word (many in fact) of advice for people:

  • Try updating those pics, or more likely your fashion sense. Giganto aviator glasses went out in the 70s or the latest, the 80s, and even if you were going to wear them, you’d need to have a way funkier wardrobe than is revealed by your pic.
  • And the moustache, gah! If you’re going to go with something that only cops wear you may as well go crazy and have handlebars on it or a Hitler style brushstroke.
  • Don’t stand like tweedle dee with your belly sticking out and your hands down by your sides. You look retarded.
  • Try getting a picture that is actually clear. A fuzzy pic in low light does you no justice. Unless you really want to defeat yourself at the dating thing before you start.
  • Having one eye doing something way weird from the other one makes you look like a psychopathic killer and although it may do to weed out the nonserious, it will also get rid of any sane thinking person too.
  • Putting a picture of a monkey, a horse, a tiger or any other wildlife is nice. But I don’t want to date them. And if I think you look like a tiger or a monkey’s ass I’m not going to want to date you either.
  • Likewise, lovely landscapes are nice but if I want to see them I’ll go for a walk. You are a landscape of flesh, eyes, nose, mouth. Show it.
  • Putting up your game geek pics (where you’re almost drooling, overly dishevelled, somewhat crazed looking) with words like “blank mindless stare” as the caption, well, hmm, you sound like too much of a winner for me.
  • Looking like you just puked over the side of the boat after downing a keg is not so attractive either.
  • Oh, and a picture of you covered in blood and gore (even if it is simulated) is just downright not gonna have me meeting you for a first date.
  • Pictures from South Park are original…for South Park. But not for you. Try your face. It’s unique.
  • A picture of your hand, or belly, or eyeball, or other lascivious body part, although of you does not tell me what you look like. And if I’m going to meet a stranger from online I want to at least know what you look like beforehand in case my body is never found. Oh, and silly me, I’m really not interested in what your dong looks like (unless it’s Adult Friend Finder where that’s what you’d expect).
  • Wearing your pagan/Dungeons and Dragons/Lord of the Rings robe for a picture might be something you wanna save until you get to know the person. Just listing you play RPGs or are a pagan should be enough.

Pictures in different types of clothes: sporty, tux, costume, can be okay as long as you show normal attire as well. Now, albeit there are some perfectly fine pics and you can enlighten with a caption. But trust me, one of the above with: “I’m a perfectly average chap,” or “I’m an outgoing guy who likes walks on the beach,” are just not going to cut it. If you go with the freakish pics, then you better be downright entertaining, erudite and interesting in your profile. Now if you don’t wanna date, no problem. I’m jes sayin’.

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