Wednesday, December 28, 2005

More Why I Don't do Internet Dating

Lonely Hearts columns, dating agencies etc - the last refuge of the tragically desperate, weird and friendless. Right?

Er, nope, not any more, Spinny. Speed-dating, internet-dating, singles events - they've all become de rigeur for the urban singleton in the past couple of years. In fact, there almost seems to be something quaintly optimistic about expecting to meet someone through traditional means (er, having a life and getting drunk a lot).

Several of my friends have given it a go. Not, it must be said, with overwhelmingly positive results.

E's story

"I've got loads of friends but most of them are married now. And I'm never going to meet anyone through work. So I'm just expanding my social horizons and trying to meet some more people"

Fair enough. So E spent probably the best part of a year internet-dating. She did go out with one guy for a few months before chucking him when he went on holiday with his ex-girlfriend. But otherwise it was a relentless procession of Just-About-OK guys. It all seems like such a lot of effort. First of all, checking emails constantly: wading through the nutcases, people who can't spell, the men who obviously send the same generic mail to every woman on the entire site, etc., to eventually find someone capable of a bit of (hopefully) intelligent, friendly, flirty banter. And if that all goes swimmingly, it's time to move on to a.....phone call.

This can be pretty painful, according to E, and filters out an awful lot more potentials, but if the chat goes OK, then it's time to Meet Up.

But despite E's careful assessment process, there are still plenty of men who don't make it past one date - for a myriad of reasons. Preposterously inaccurate photographs, disturbing table manners, shyness, arrogance, and every social tic in-between. What do you do, I wondered, if he's a perfectly nice guy, but you just don't fancy him at all? Especially if it's obvious that he quite likes you...

Well, E's got a well rehearsed speech prepared, which goes something like this...

"I've had a lovely time this evening and it's been great to meet you, but I think we both know that neither of us has found what we're looking for, so good luck with the rest of your dating and I really hope you find the right person."

Frig. It's all a bit business-like, but as E explained, if you've met on a dating site, your cards are already on the table, so there's absolutely no point in being all coy.
E's having a hiatus from the whole dating thing at the minute. She found it exhausting - having to be 'up' all the time, making yourself presentable for mid-week dates, often miles from home, when you'd rather be in your pyjamas watching Corrie. She doesn't see it as a complete disaster, but she reckons that one of the reasons that it isn't more successful is because it's imposing an American-style dating system, which as previously discussed, doesn't really happen over here.

M's story.

M's experience of internet-dating was a lot less frenetic than his friend E's. He posted a photo and a profile (with the help of E) and no-one ever contacted him. Which is a mystery to me. As well as being a really great bloke, and tall, and really Quite-Good-Looking, and being sporty and having lots of interesting holidays, he has an extremely good job and is therefore fucking minted. Quite a catch, really. Of course, being a modest, non-vulgar type, he wouldn't have mentioned the money thing, but otherwise, I'd have thought that women would have been flocking in their droves. I don't know. Perhaps women feel the need to be chased in internet-dating-world. Maybe he posted a really hideous picture. Anyhow, in a happy post-script, he has since met someone (through mutual friends) and she's just lovely.


  • Sometimes blogger gets unnervingly close to a vast e-singles bar. "No, man it is just, like, an outlet for my creativity!" Yeah right!

    By Blogger hen, at 5:44 PM  

  • Just-About-OK Guy.

    At last, the perfect inscription for my gravestone. Thank you, Spinny. Enjoy work.

    By Blogger Wyndham, at 7:30 PM  

  • I was going to say whay hen said, or something like it.

    Not that I blog as a way of attracting females, of course.

    By Blogger Who is this Dave?, at 10:58 AM  

  • oh bum - I was just about to offer to take M off your hands.

    I fully endorse E's experience except that she seems to deal with the 'perfectly nice but no way do I want to see you naked' scenario far better than I ever did.

    By Blogger GreatSheElephant, at 11:19 AM  

  • It's a SPINSTER blog!

    That's the THEME.

    So therefore it's ALL ABOUT being a SPINSTER. And everything that goes along with urban singledom nowadays.

    If you want to know what I've had for my dinner, what I'm listening to, or how much I loathe and despise my slurry-for-brains work colleagues, you'll have to stumble upon one of my other (not-so-interesting) blogs.


    (slightly touchy) Spinny

    By Blogger Spinsterella, at 11:21 AM  

  • Ok ok. Actually I quite like the other one - but you have more?

    By Blogger hen, at 1:35 PM  

  • my brother met his fiance' through internet dating (Eharmony). having met her, that is NOT an endorsement for internet dating.

    he's trying to talk me into trying it. it's true i'm a desperate spinster, but i'm not sure i'm ready to chuck dignity to the wind and try the whole net-dating thing.

    By Blogger Chaucer's Bitch, at 6:33 PM  

  • I'm not convinced about internet dating, have got some friends with terrifying tales about seemingly-normal people met on the net that turn out to be pychos. The most scary is a male friend who went on a first 'flesh' date who woke up the morning after to find himself handcuffed to a bed and not quite sure what had happened (last recollection being in a pub - and none of us knew where he had gone on the date).

    By Blogger Tabby Rabbit, at 4:20 PM  

  • People misrepresent themselves to an outrageous degree on these sites. You have to discount all their claims by about 90% to get anywhere near what they'll be like "in the flesh". So far every date I've had has been a ghastly washout.

    By Anonymous Dave F, at 11:38 AM  

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