Tag Archives: internet dating

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 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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