“I love online dating,” said no one ever. My recent foray into internet matchmaking was shocking in many ways, but mainly because I couldn’t believe how much the virtual anonymity afforded people permission to do and say things they could not normally do (or never would normally do!) if they’d met someone “live” out in the actual world.
Let’s start with the actual profile. The very first impression you’ll give, and also an “advertisement” that’s supposed to not only entice someone to “pick you” but should illuminate your potential compatibility.
Let’s examine how an online dating presentation might translate in real life, shall we?
Online — This is a screen-name representing how you wish to be publicly known when you come up in search engines — most people don’t use their given birth name. Instead they get uh, rather original. Or just the opposite — they could care less about this aspect and let the website generate any old number for them. In my case I got creative and put down, “MissWriteRight4U.”
Real Life — “Hi, I’m EatPrayLoveSex — so nice to meet you.” OR “Allow me to introduce myself, my first name is Size Truly Does. And my last name is Matter. But you can just shorten my first name to STD.” OR in the case of a random number, “Hello! I’m #24601. Seems like we’ve met before . . . like in the musical Les Miserables, perhaps?” OR in my particular case, they’re in for a 2-for-1 — “Hey there! MissWriteRight4U at your service. Wanna hire me to write an article for your website, or get married on your wedsite? It’s all good!”
Online — This is a phrase following your name that’s sorta like a pick-up line. Currently (for reasons totally unknown and extremely baffling to me, except they think they’re being cute n’ clever) everybody seems to use this one, “Seeking a Partner-in-Crime!” (My female friends tell me they all just swoon for that one??)
Real Life — “Hey baby, wanna knock off a bank on our first date? You be Bonnie and I’ll be Clyde, and we be digging our own private crime scene. Then later on in the jail cell, you can drop the soap in the shower. Heh heh heh.” (Where’s your fainting face now, ladies?)
Online — Photoshopped, bedroom eyes, shirtless, muscles flexed, not from this decade.
Real Life — “So I know we’ve just met here in this grocery store and I’m pretty disheveled, but imagine this 5 o’clock shadow gone, my hair combed back, I won’t look so hungover, zero holes in my shirt, and I’ll smell like I own a bottle of cologne. Whadya say?” OR “Come over my place right now and I’ll take a bathroom Selfie in my mirror with a strategic bulge. I’ll even break out the Windex for a spotless shine.”
Online — With a few quick keystrokes, it’s easy to falsify your age to become younger, your height to become taller, your religion, location, education, career, smoking, drinking, all modified in print.
Real Life — “Alright, so here’s my passport and driver’s license. (From 1988) And a Harvard diploma. (My father’s) Will you be needing any more documentation as proof that I’m a very thorough liar?” OR “This cigarette? Haha, someone asked me to hold it while they went to the bathroom. Personally, I NEVER touch a cancer-on-a-stick.” OR (Standing on tippy toes) “You betcha I’m 6 ft tall, sweetheart.” (Google for stores selling elevator shoe lifts.)
INITIAL MESSAGES FROM MEN
Online — Hey Gorgeous! OR Hey Sexy! OR Hey Beautiful! OR Hey Adorable! OR Hey Pretty Lady! OR Hey Hotness! OR Hey Lil’ Darlin’! OR Hey Cutie Pie! OR Hey Good-Looking! OR Hey Glam Girl! OR Hey Stunning! OR Hey Wonderful Woman! OR Hey Delicious Dame! OR Hey Ravishing Raven-Haired Rebel! (last one should only be sent to a brunette like me)
Real Life — “Hey uh . . . Striking, Savory, Sweet, Special, Scrumptious, Stylish, Savvy, Satisfying, Splendid, Spectacular, Sassy, Scintillating, Sophisticated, Seductive, Sanctimonious Starlet!” (Quickly hides book titled, “Thesaurus For Bedding Women Who’ve Heard it All Before Online — Alliteration
SECOND INTERACTIONS FROM MEN
Online — “Everyone else is a Suspect. But I’m a Prospect. Thought you’d appreciate the wit!” OR “If you were a chicken, you’d be impeccable! Get it?” OR “Hey Baby. To B or Not to B? That is the Question. And please let your answer be Double D!”
Real Life — (Gosh so she’s a real author. She likes wordplay. I like foreplay. There’s gotta be some common ground to be found there.) “So can you guess what’s on tonight’s menu? ME N’ U!” OR “If I could rearrange the alphabet, I’d put ‘I’ and ‘U’ together.” OR “Honey, if you were words on a page, you’d be fine print!”
Okay, okay . . . so there is absolutely ZERO difference between online and real life second interactions once they find out you’re a writer. Both are cheesy to the max!
Stay Tuned for Part TWO “Taking Online Dating Offline! (The First Meeting)”
Readers: Can you think of any other ways that online dating behavior would be preposterous in real life? Please comment!