Debating or Deliberating (Online) Dating? 8 Weird Tips!

The time has come. You’ve moved into the age of digital technology with reading your books on Amazon Kindle, conducting online banking, posting social media, streaming movies, downloading music, applying to job websites, placing restaurant To-G0 orders, and a whole host of other realms. Now you’re gonna matchmake for yourself on the world wide web!

Here are 8 Unique Do’s and Don’t’s you won’t read elsewhere:

  1. If given the choice between making up a personalized User Name (Like Love4Life4U) or just a plain assigned number, (like 24601 for you Les Mis fans) opt for the latter. That way when you write to potential dates you can say witty things in your salutation messages like, “Your days are numbered!” or “Your number’s up.” And if your assigned digits turn out to be 157391, you can always open with, “Hi there! I’d sure love to get ‘even’ with you!”
  2. A new online dating catchphrase is, “Looking for my partner in crime!” Now everyone knows your future mate doesn’t want your vague generalities, so take great pains to spell out the nitty gritty details — specify who will be the getaway driver and who hands the teller the hold-up note. This way your Bonnie and Clyde relationship is sure to start off getting a life sentence . . . of happiness.
  3. Some people purposely set up their profiles to sound like used clothing, cars, or furniture “For Sale” ads on Craigs list. While it’s okay to be cute and describe yourself with adjectives like, “Well loved” or “Gently distressed” or “Comes from a smoke-free home” — for goodness sake don’t say, “Carefully ridden!” unless you truly are offering your bicycle to the highest bidder.
  4. Always attempt to write a bit more than just a single word under the category called “Personality.” Sometimes I’ll only see, “Terrific!” or “Radiant!” or simply, “Humble” and I’m thinking, “Who is this I’m gonna be dating? The spider from Charlotte’s Web?”
  5. NEVER read the site’s question prompts very carefully before answering. For instance, Plenty of Fish asks everyone, “Are you ambitious?” and most people just fill in the blank with “Yes!” Or “Very!” Unless of course they’re honest and just state, “Not really!” But one guy wrote, “I try never to be vague or puzzling. I hope I’ve made myself clear!” I couldn’t resist messaging him for an explanation on his answer. It turns out he thought he was being asked, “Are you ambiguous?” Weeks later I noticed that even after I made him aware of the real question, he kept his answer the same . . . he was no dummy, he was receiving more attention from baffled women like me than if he’d given the standard boring answer every other guy did!
  6. It’s been said before, but be sure and put up VERY recent photos of yourself because they’re just going to meet you in real life eventually and feel misled and fooled if you don’t look like your image. However there seems to be a popular new trend of peopling posting photographs of themselves back from their heyday (and captioning them with the true date so there’s no confusion) as if to say, “See what you missed out on by not answering this ad twenty years ago??” If you choose to take this tact, definitely also post a photo of you 15 years from now looking especially decrepit and feeble with the words, “And if you hesitate even longer, here’s what our future holds!” That will surely make them respond in a heartbeat….or at least hopefully before yours ceases.
  7. Try to write back to those people you aren’t interested in with some sort of constructive criticism so they can improve their odds the next time around. Say, “Nice eyes, but maybe lose the tarantula.” Or once you’re absolutely certain they live very far away, you could encourage them by saying, “Sorry, geographically undesirable, but I’m sure some nice woman on Mars will fall hard for you!” Or just do what I do and send them a screenshot of their profile and your red pen marks throughout with obnoxious editing suggestions inviting them to try again. So far I’ve gotten 18 resubmitted back to me with all the corrections made and improved hooks and conclusions, leading me to publish an Anthology of Online Dating Profiles in 2019. Look for it!
  8. Stop putting “Must Love . . . ” i.e. “Must Love Dogs, or Cats, or Kids, or Handmaid’s Tale, or Democrats” or whatever you need them to adore fervently. And switch to what they must detest. That’s right, you can bond over mutual hatred. Personally I like to write, “Must totally loathe mushrooms, olives, and anchovies!” so I know that when they show up disinterested in robbing a bank with me, not looking anything like their photo, or holding a tarantula, we can at least share a decent pizza.

Readers:  Any unusual dating profile advice you might want to give one another?? Feel free to leave it in the comments.

Illustrative of couple representing online dating

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If People Behaved In Real Life Like They Do On Dating Websites . . .

“I just found the Skipper’s profile online at “Plenty of Fish!” I don’t think it’s a little pond anymore — it’s a big swamp.”

 

PART ONE

“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?

YOUR NAME

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!”

TAGLINE

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?)

PHOTOGRAPH

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.”

STATISTICS

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  Addition  Edition”)

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!

A cute profile pic that also screens out allergic guys!