Sunday, March 6, 2011

Internet Dating - Threat or Menace?

I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaaack. Miss me? Of course you didn't, but I'm going to bother you all on Facebook and email until you start reading this again. Get used to it.

A lot has gone on in the two months or so since I've posted, and I think the most important is that I've come to terms with the essential nature of what's happening to me right now. My old life is over. I get it.

So, I realized a little while back that I had two choices. I could lay down and die (metaphorically, anyway.  I'm not sure it's medically possible to cease life functions by the power of your mind, or goth clubs and Wrigley Field would be mortuaries now), or I could decide to pick myself up and keep going. The Rocky theme played over the loudspeakers in my head, I heard the words of the great Al Pacino, exhorting me to live and die for that inch -  (  seriously, watch this. It's the most inspirational speech EVER.), and I hauled myself off the floor, wiped the blood from my face, and screamed to the sky - "THIS IS SPARTA!"

Okay. That didn't happen. Not even a little bit.

What DID happen, however, is that I truly did decide that I couldn't give in to despair and let the weight on my shoulders crush the life out of me. I decided I was going to LIVE, dammit, and that I was going to move on and try to find some happiness in my life that didn't come from sitting behind a drum kit or in a bottle of Ketel One. So, I did what any red-blooded, American male would do.

I joined OKCupid.

Oh yes. I decided that it would be of great benefit for me to maybe meet some new people and enter the dating world again. I also joined, and I made my profiles with tenderness and care. I was witty, entertaining, and even posted respectable pictures of myself in a black turtleneck. This sort of thing, I was given to understand, conveys maturity and worldliness.

It's been a few weeks now since I began this social experiment, and I am happy to report that I am ready to share my findings with the world. If you happen to be single, I hope you can glean some valuable insight from this. If you are happily married, or in a great relationship . . . . fuck you. Seriously. Hahaha, I kid you guys, but seriously . . . fuck you.

The very first thing I have to say about this whole experience is that it is unsettling, bizarre, and impossibly to quantify with the adjectives I have in my arsenal. Everything I know about meeting women and socializing with them is grounded in the art of face-to-face conversation. I'm a bit of a social butterfly, and I've never had a problem meeting people and getting on with them almost right off the bat. Seeing as how most young adults meet new people in bars or clubs, the element of alcohol also serves to lubricate the situation enough to make it almost effortless.

In the world of internet dating, the genesis of a potential relationship begins when you search for your matches. OKCupid, I must say, actually does a pretty bang-up job of lining you up with people that share your interests and may actually be interested in meeting you. seems to think that if Person A and Person B both like things like Dining Out or Live Music, you will be perfect for each other. As far as Chemistry goes, I will say two things: First, 99% of the users on that site seem to be overweight Korean women looking for someone to marry them and possibly validate their visas/get them a green card. Secondly, any woman on that site I would actually be interested in seems to hate everything about me personally. The matching system is terrible and not worth the money. So, that's that with Chemistry.

Back to OKCupid, and that actually brings up my next point. I have been browsing profiles for awhile now, and sent out a few messages. I have received exactly one back, and after two or three emails traded back and forth, the woman in question just stopped talking to me. I was a bit taken aback, until I really started paying attention to every aspect of women's profiles. Allow me to break down exactly what virtually every woman on this site seems to want:

"A tall man (6 foot and above, please . . . I like wearing high heels!), who doesn't smoke or drink to excess, with no kids or issues, drama-free, and has a great job and doesn't live with his mother! Please be attractive, interesting, and intelligent. I want a guy that can throw a football eighty yards, and then read Proust to me while giving me an expert pedicure."

Really, ladies? Is THAT all?

What I like about meeting women naturally, in person, is that you sort of have time to get to know someone, and make your flaws seem less egregious and terrible than they are. If you let someone warm up to you, the things that are bad or wrong in your life have a human edge. They almost make you seem more real and interesting, and you can still get someone's phone number even if you aren't some kind of fucking Superman.

OKCupid is like some sort of virtual buffet table, and unless you are the equivalent of a badass caviar hors d'oeuvres, you aren't getting noticed. People read a soulless assessment of yourself that you have written, can read the answers to the questions they ask you, and look at whatever pictures you post. On this scant information does your chances to "meet" live or die.

Most of the women that are attractive or interesting seem to respond to messages "Very Selectively", as per the menu that pops up when you attempt to message them. From the profiles I've read, this seems to be because the male side of OKCupid is littered with Jersey Shore rejects, who post shirtless muscle pics, murder the English language in their profile, and send women messages giving them the measurements of their genitals, their favorite sexual positions, and some variations of "Ur Cute! Also, ur totally sexxxxxxxy. We shud meet up and smush!"

I really wanted to think that in this environment, I could shine. I am fairly intelligent and witty, and I'm wearing a fucking TURTLENECK in my photos, for Christ's sake! I couldn't for the life of me figure out why I wasn't getting more responses . . . .

And then I thought about it some more. I'm 32, I have two kids, I smoke and drink, I play in a band, and I live with my mom.

Face it, I am undateable. Maybe I should be trolling Craigslist for hookers. . . . at this point (Al Pacino speeches aside), I'm not feeling too confident about the internet dating thing. My whole deal revolves around engaging people in conversation. The Digital Age has killed my mojo, baby. So, if you think you know someone that would be good for me, I'll be in the bar with Austin Powers and the rest of the Analog Age rejects, sipping vodka and chatting up the girls.


  1. Dude, if an ugly, overweight, live-at-home fuck like myself can end up with someone I found on OKCupid, so can you. I agree, their matchmaking system is pretty good, but you gotta sit there and do the "improve matches" questions quite a lot to get someone close.

    Keep your head up bro! You're a pretty stand-up guy in my opinion!


  2. First of all you are far from undateable, you are one of the most awesome people I know... and for the record I have had the same experience with OKC, it sucks because most people have unrealistic expectations when it comes to internet dating. The downside to internet dating is noone gets to see the true you, just a bunch of words that may or may not be true and a few pics that may or may not be real. I absolutely agree that face-to-face is so much better. Just be yourself Pat and you will come out ahead. I promise. Love ya!

  3. Dude the key is to take the conversation off their site as quick as possible.

    Either phone or email. Or gtalk.

    That takes the dating site weirdness out quicker.

  4. Great balls of fire, you're going about internet dating all wrong. STOP paying for internet dating sites. As you have seen, those women are all shallow and stupid and not worth your time.

    That being said, and please try to hold in your laughter, have you tried using StumbleUpon?

    Bear with me. When you join StumbleUpon, you click the various topics that interest you and the internet supplies you with pages upon pages of sites that match your interests. There's no point in lying about your interests because you only want pages you're interested in to pull up. It pulls these sites up from other people's favorites who have interests similar to yours. Click on their profile, look through their favorites...hey! You guys have 99% in common! Follow that person...share things. Strike up a message flow...hey, they live in your area! Look at that. Maybe meet for coffee?

    And YES, it does happen. Lots of relationships, even marriages, have resulted because of Stumble Upon. And it's free. WHY would you pay for anything else? If it's internet dating you're interested in trying, then do it the right way. Dating sites are all about the wrong things and people lie to impress you to get the kind of person they are looking for. Stumble Upon is more organic.

    Or you could just try going to a book store and talking to a random woman who is standing in a book section you like.

  5. "A tall man (6 foot and above, please . . . I like wearing high heels!), who doesn't smoke or drink to excess, with no kids or issues, drama-free, and has a great job and doesn't live with his mother! Please be attractive, interesting, and intelligent. I want a guy that can throw a football eighty yards, and then read Proust to me while giving me an expert pedicure."

    TRUTHBOMB. I think the way I described this once was "Congratulations! There are exactly four people on the planet who fit this description and three of them are pig farmers in Tajikistan. Good luck with that!"

  6. 1) I think the real reason you're having trouble is that turtlenecks make people look fat.
    2) Sean - I had NO IDEA that Proust was so common in Tajikistan!
    3) Welcome back to blogging man. Keep it up.

  7. Pat, you are a sarcastic son of a bitch. Much of your humor and much of your wit comes from the subtle communication of sarcasm. Unfortunately, the internet has failed to agree upon a universal "I'm being sarcastic" font. Until this happens, you will always be better face to face than online. Like Kashif said, get the conversation off-line as fast as possible.