Thursday, August 28, 2008

Dating Websites

One of the greatest examples of the idiom In Principle, viz: Dating websites are great, in principle. The principle in this case, is that if you're a sad, single misanthrope like me and you want to meet other sad, single misanthropes to share the bad times, go shopping with, and become as one in the most intimate, beautiful and intense physical expressions of love (which, let's face it, if you're single, that's pretty much the Olympic gold), then dating websites are fantastic.

In principle.

The truth is, they can make you feel more lonely than you were before signing up. There's a time arc here that begins with creating your profile, viewing lots of dateless people and thinking 'Fucking hell, this is an Aladdin's Cave of totty!' (this is the arc's zenith), until crucially, over time, you realise that you've been on the same site for years and all you can see are the same old faces. Then, particularly if you're me, you start to feel strange and reflective, pondering on why these people are still alone. Like you.

Although the principal of sticking all the single people in one place is very intriguing, there's something harsh about it too; spirit and personality gets sidelined for a description. Physical attraction is relegated to some holiday snaps or worse, the bespoke website pose. There's no room on a dating website for laughter. There is no actual conversation. There is no chemistry. To give you an example, I can be turned off by bad grammar, and that's just fucking stupid.

As I get older and more rational, I'm less inclined to believe in fate and destiny. That said, there's something beautiful about meeting The One (if she exists), in a random moment. There's always a story too; "I wasn't in the mood to go out, but..." or, "I decided to grab a coffee - which I never do - when..."

There's nothing romantic about "I was paying 30 quid a month to sift through nature's rejects when I happened upon 'Whizzkid76.'" Doesn't quite have the same zing, particularly when you're telling the grandchildren.

Don't get me wrong. I'm just being a miserable, cynical old twat. Perhaps dating websites are great. Perhaps that ridiculously attractive girl who wrote the following...

i am looking for a man who will give me true happiness,show me love and care humble yet very strong in his words and a very hardworking man

actually meant all that, and isn't just a fiction created by bored male teenagers or a Russian crime syndicate targeting the lovelorn and wealthy.

(There must be some explanation for that. After all, what woman on planet Earth would ever write the following gem: "I the lonely woman, wish to get acquainted with the man for serious relations. I live with mum. At present I work in a beauty salon...My hobbies also I like to prepare to eat, especially hot dishes or salads. I very much like to spend a free time on fresh air"
- That was another 'genuine' profile so again, I'd like to offer my Russian crime syndicate theory. I still think it's plausible.)

So that's my tuppence worth. Dating sites are great. They're just not much cop when it comes to dating.


Dom said...

God, I found dating websites to be the most soul destroying experience of my pathetic little life. There's me, a man who, for 15 years, has been almost permanently in a relationship with attractive women all of a sudden getting dumped by text by a woman I've never seen before and was only agreeing to meet up with because they'd actually replied to my email. Even the Russian fraudsters only tried to get me once. In the end I decided it was quicker and cheaper to stop writing emails to girls and stop paying for the sites. The net result: I have more time on my hands, I have more money and I still have precisely 0 replied from people on dating site. An improvement if you ask me.

Id Entity said...

Well, fweng, all I can say is you're obviously not on the same site that I'm on.

JamieSmitten said...

Bad grammar IS a turn off. I'm convinced dating websites RECRUIT poor spellers just to torment me. Although I do get the occasional chuckle -- like when someone is "most thankful for his upbrining" (rope and vinegar?) or spends his leisure time on "the golf coarse" (in the rough?).

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

I actually think the last one's being quite clever. Notice how she says "My hobbies also I like to prepare to eat, especially hot dishes or salads". She's chosen her words carefully. That is one sly anorexic.

Quote said...

Nice one.

I stumbled across the worst website address ever the other day, and it was a dating website.

No wonder they're all single.

Bloody aloof twats.

Carnalis said...

we could be on the same dating site ..

It is the grammar which makes me cringe too. Regardless of a decent pic or an intriguing byline, if the guy can't string 5 words without falling over i am turned off immediately. It would be funny if it weren't so prevalent.

looby said...

My experience is that every few weeks I sit in a pub with someone for a couple of hours, we don't fancy each other, then make vague promises to keep in touch which fizzle out after a while.

I mean, I can fail to meet girls for free. I am an expert in it.

I still do hope that something (someone?) is going to happen though. Going down pubs, being sociable, joining things...none of that is working for me so I'm cancelling the direct debit yet.

looby said...

Oh shit...I mean I'm *not* cancelling the direct debit yet.

Trixie said...

URgh, I'm with you on that. I can't be fucking arsed anymore with it all.

Anonymous said...

Thought you might be interested to know you're not the only one who's inept when it comes to getting laid... Just discovered this new website - literally "a compendium of coitus rejectus"

fwengebola said...

Dom ~ Exactly. I still think there's a better way. I'm going to hassle my friends more to attend their work get-togethers. That makes sense. After all, friends give you jobs, sex, and a sounding board to complain at. (IMHO).
IE ~ You're a lady, ID. All you ever have to do to get any is turn up.
JS ~ That's betR thn txt spk. u gotta be rtrded to tlk lk 1 of those cnts.
Jo ~ I couldn't date a woman that doesn't eat. Only 10% of my waking hours are spent with my mouth not chewing.
Q ~ I like their statement that "We banish anyone who is extremely rude, has anger management issues... or is otherwise unfit to date."
That's me fucked.
Or not (etc etc)
Car ~ No, you're absolutely right, but in the Real World of meeting Actual People, you may find yourself face to face with a gorgeous person who you click with instantly. But you won't know they're a crap speller for days.
You just put more emphasis on non-verbal communication via the Internet. And that's a shame.
Poor spelling should still be a hanging offence, mind.
Loob ~ I think you should avoid the pub for bars, and hang around more single-specific haunts. And as I mentioned to Dom above, meet your friend's workmates. You'll have an automatic seal of approval with anyone you meet.
Hang on, why aren't I following my own advice?
Loob2 ~ I did get that initially.
Trix ~ See? It's soul destroying. Fancy joining me for a swinging social experiment?*
(This offer is only good for the next ten minutes and in my head, where it remains an intriguing idea.)
Anon ~ Do you win a prize for guessing what the initials stand for? I should submit something, really. This, for example.

Han said...

I feel exactly the same...I gave up on dating websites a long time ago.
Can't you just start one on here?

fwengebola said...

I think you'd be rather unspoilt for choice. There's only me, Dom, Quote, Huw, and a few anonymous mates.