My friend and guest blogger, Elodin Pendragon continues his tales of online dating…Love these posts!
I always thought dating websites existed to help reluctant singles discover love. Ironically, I had chosen the only dating website in the world that seemed to value chastity and singleness over romance. It was crippled with an awful search function – mainly because you couldn’t actually use it to search. You could only go back through profiles in the reverse chronological order they had been created. So people had clearly created duplicate profiles with different names and photos so their profile was at the top of the list. For all I know, there might have only been three women on that site.
How does that help me?
A cursory look through profiles gave me a lie of the land. The site had a mixture of genuine people on their own Quest For Love, but also a fair number of socially awkward and strange people, many of whom I could look at or read and straight away identify why they were single. I felt degraded and humiliated, my self view attacked as I wondered if I was better than this. Thoughts flooded my mind: “I don’t want to be judging people on looks alone,
I don’t have to resort to this, I’m done with this website, I’m deleting my profile, *click* wow, she’s hot, must send her a message.”
Some people's profile names – called handles, I learnt – merely indicated the level of questionable grammar some people had. The handles were inspiringly uninspired. Angel, Star, Girl and Lady were prevalent, oddly enough equally popular was the use of the number 69. I’m betting you probably don’t even get what kind of signals that one sends off, Wildfire Angel69. On inspection, some of these people didn’t need handles, they needed handlers.
Hilariously, I discovered some of my friends on it – male and female. It was brilliant reading how they described themselves. Athletic? Yeah sure, you’re in shape. Round. An awkward message entails from me. Some laugh. Some reply nervously. Some delete their profiles, change their names and move counties. To this day, I’d love to know why.
Let’s be honest: internet dating starts any potential interaction from the basis of looks. If they looked attractive to me, I messaged. No doubt I didn’t get any messages from anyone who considered my face to be offensive to mirrors. This fact must have been lost of some people who didn’t include photos with their profiles. Or bizarre selfies in front of the bathroom mirror, where I can see not only your toilet in the background, but the brand of tampon you use.
I sent about ten or so messages to people – I had a bit of bread to cast. For a single paragraph, I must have taken an hour. Don’t want to be too keen, arrogant, mental or desperate. Humour helps. Toilet humour doesn’t. I settled on a “Hi (informal), loved reading your profile (read after you passed my photo vetting phase), noticed you enjoy X (I’m interested in you as a person), I enjoy X too (most of the time, I did). Anyway (attempt at nonchalantly showing interest without coming across over-keen) if you’d like to chat (more informality) I’d love to hear from you soon. X (that’s where my handle went, not a kiss. That’d be internet dating suicide.)
With that, I logged off. It was 9pm. I felt a non-Zinfandel combination of nerves and excitement. I was wondering who would reply, who would message me, who would create a profile tomorrow. If the Good Lord would lead me to my Princess. And with that, I was hooked. The Quest For Love was truly alive and well!