UPDATE

AS OF JANUARY 1, 2013 - POSTING ON THIS BLOG WILL NO LONGER BE 'DAILY'. SWITCHING TO 'OCCASIONAL' POSTING.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

"Find Your Perfect NIGHTMARE Online"

"Find Your Perfect Date at Match.com", reads this online dating service's current banner ad. "Find a Nightmare", reads the banner ad attached to the inside of my skull. Because online dating, at least in my experience, is one of the unfunniest jokes around.

What am I ranting about? Well, the six months that I spent on Match.com, and the 120 dollars I coughed up were complete wastes of time and money.

I first joined Match.com because it seemed to have the biggest database, and its friendly, photo-driven database let me actually look at the people I was sending e-mail to. Unfortunately, the database underwent a complete restructuring shortly after I joined, destoying several evening's worth of work creating an an earnest, heartfelt personal profile. So I had to painstakingly re-enter all this information.

After re-building my personal information, reconstructing my personal search criteria, and uploading a new picture of myself, I waited patiently for some incoming e-mail to arrive. After two weeks had gone by, with nary a response, I went on the offensive, and started to actively search for women matching my criteria (heavy-smoking divorced caucasion atheists).

I quickly found that there were forty-one of these people within a 50 mile radius of my location. Because I don't believe that love is blind, I narrowed my search criteria to the twenty-five who had actually uploaded pictures of themselves, and immediately screened out another seven for being butt-ugly. That left me with eighteen, so I composed one heartfelt, sincere, earnest e-mail, and sent the same message to the group using a "blind copy BCC".
Five women of the eighteen replied, and over the next several weeks, I began trading e-mails with three of them. Here is a brief summary of the resulting encounters.

Date 1: A Candle-Lit Dinner
J*** seemed to have everything going for her. A cute face, a paying job at a prominent New York film institute, a wry way of expressing herself in e-mail, and realistic expectations about the prospects of meeting Mr. Right through an online dating service. She wrote: "I really don't think we'll know if there's a real connection between us until we actually sit down together and make eye contact". She suggested we meet at an intimate Italian restaurant near her workplace on the West Side, and I hung out at the bar until she showed up.

I remember sitting there with a Diet Coke, with my back to the entrance and my mind swirling with fantasies about what we'd talk about - the arts, Giuliani, the Yankees - whatever seemed most conducive to romance. But then, my reverie was broken when an extremely large woman tapped me on the shoulder, I turned around, and it was J*** - about 80 pounds heavier than her picture had indicated. I could hardly even see her eyes peering out from within the folds of fat, much less make contact with them.

Because I consider myself a gentleman, I bought her dinner (Lasagna), and talked exclusively about Giuliani, which seemed to please her to no end. But as soon as I could dump her in the subway, I ran screaming back to the East side, and never sent her e-mail again.
Date 2: Romantic Phone Sex
With the J*** experience safely behind me, I began to more carefully analyze the pictures that my six "hot" prospects had uploaded of themselves, to look for obvious signs of retouching or Loch Ness monster-style fakery. Using software originally developed by the CIA Global Maps Division, I began blowing up and enhancing some of these grainy JPEGs, and sure enough, several contained dead giveways that they were taken many years ago, when the subject was in much better (or at least much younger) shape. These background clues included biplanes flying in the distance, cars with tailfins, and an old Nixon: Now More Than Ever poster.

I was left with two prospects whose pictures seemed honest. One was an exotic belly-dancer, and I had made all the arrangements to meet her when she requested that we talk on the phone first.

There was scratchy Middle Eastern music playing in the background when I called, and what seemed to be a couple of hungry kids screaming. This is in itself wasn't a turnoff - in fact it was almost a turn-on. But when this poor woman began talking, I knew that there was no way on earth that we could ever communicate earnestly and heartfeltly about anything, at least in any extant language. She sounded like just like Brezhnev did after a hard night of drinking, so I told her I was feeling ill (which I was), and I moved our date into the far-distant future (2006).
Date 3: Sexy E-Mail
Older, wiser, but still horny as hell, I was now down to just one prospect, so I sent her another piece of earnest e-mail. By this time, I was becoming increasingly desperate to meet someone under 800 lbs. who actually spoke the English language, but I was also getting gunshy.

So I began asking a few personal questions about her - what kind of food she liked eating, whether she liked music from the Middle East, or had a thing for vodka - innocuous things like that. I had become accustomed to this kind of probing behavior - (one of my correspondents had actually asked for my Social Security Number, and I stupidly complied, and of course never heard from her again).

To this day, I don't think I was being overly intrusive, but my correspondent clearly thought differently. Maybe she got my e-mail at the end of a long day, or her real boyfriend had dumped her - I'll never know. But here's the reply I got back after sending her a simple "request for clarification of one of your earlier points" message:

WHAT THE HELL IS THE MATTER WITH YOU. DO YOU WANT TO MEET ME OR NOT? ARE YOU ONE OF THOSE AMBIVALENT SONS OF B*TCHES WHO CANT MAKE UP THEIR MIND - ARE YOU SRIOUS ABOUT MEETING ME OR JUST WANT TO TORTURE ME AND F*CK WITH MY HEAD? DON'T BOTHER REPONDING - IM UP TO HERE WTH YOUR DUMB QUESTIONS. N**
Epilogue:
I cancelled my Match.com subscription, spent the money I saved on two reasonably good subscription porn services, and tried to forget the whole thing. But I can't really forget, because every day, I receive junk mail about some wretched new Match.com event - a wine tasting, or a boat cruise, or a getaway weekend.

Someday, I'm sure I'll meet someone, and maybe, God willing, we'll wind up having grandchildren together. But I'm 100% sure that I'd be better off taking my chances with a random, in-your-face encounter than by flying blind in a world of illusion. And I'll certainly never date online again, until such time as they can screen out the imposters, the losers, the psychos, and the women who sound like Brezhnev.

I actually do know people who have met compatible mates online, but I believe these success stories are vastly outnumbered by the number of empty, unhappy, soul-searing experiences that nobody publicizes - the victims are too ashamed, and the service doesn't want to know either. Match.com and its brethren are, in my opinion, seamy lonely-hearts clubs where deception, trickery, and paranoia run rampant, scarring the gullible and the guileless.

But then again, I guess I'm one of those "ambivalent sons-of-b*tches who can't make up their mind" - at least about throwing myself blindly into the arms of these cyber-weirdos.

ORIGINAL POST HERE

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting such an insightful article....Match.com, YahooPersonals, AmericanSingles.com, DreamMates.com, etc., etc., are interested in but one thing...YOUR HARD EARNED dollars. They allow multiple ads from cyberpaths masquerading as as The Good Guy or Gal of the hour behind their computer screen. They do absolutely no background checks whatsoever and have their so-called tips for online dating so well hidden that the average user could never find it. The do not advertise such sites as Don't Date Him Girl, TrueDater, Cheaters Database, or Dating Psychos that allow women and men to post their online dating experiences. A word to the wise from the much wise now...FORGET THE ONLINE DATING, TRY MEETING SOMEONE THE OLD FASHIONED WAY...AT A COFFEESHOP, LIBRARY, BOOKSTORE, AT CHURCH. AND ABOVE ALL, FIND OUT WHO THEY ARE...EVEN IF THAT MEANS RUNNING A FULL BACKGROUND CHECK

Jill said...

Hmm... well, I don't expect the site to screen *for* me, so I have no complaint there. Was also on Match; I did like the fact that they couldn't send attachments with email through the site - I have received more pics of male genitalia on other sites than I can recall!

Your post did point out two of the big things *I* hated about it - and actually to some degree, *dating* at all.

You admit that you prepared and sent a 'bulk' email - something I quickly learned to detect and ignore. You also point out that your purpose for dating was that you were 'horny' - another thing I've learned to detect - and ignore those so motivated. Some of us are looking for a LOT more than sex. Face it - as females, if sex were what we were looking for, pretty much all we'd have to do is select a male and propose it. We could do that without writing a profile.

We get quite tired of all the "hey baby, wanna f*ck?" emails from men who obviously have not bothered to read our profile (because they meet NONE of OUR criteria), and many men don't communicate terribly well (not pointing fingers, wasn't there) and come off as if they're accusing you of being a fake from the beginning. So... I can see the final one flaking out on you.

What online dating IS - is a really big waste of time - And a source of stalkers!