A friend from work and I have both signed up to a certain dating website based around the old adage that should a man not realise how fuckawesome you are, that there are plenty of fish in the sea. We’ve been sharing horror stories of inappropriate advances such as can I have sex with you whilst my wife watches and of those fishies that slipped out of the net and got away (fecking Thundercats) and our general hypothesis is that because it’s free it attracts a higher percentage of freaks and time wasters than normal sites do and that perhaps lovely friend needed to cast her net a little wider.
Lovely friend decided to take the plunge and switch to a site where your have to part with cold hard cash to sign up in the hopes it would attract men who were classier than sending filthy messages to help them in wanking over their keyboards. I wrote a recommendation for her and after a bit of back and forth where she was worried I had over egged e pudding (I haven’t, shes a catch!) we were ready for her to compose a reply and get her profile live. But that brings with it a whole new set of challenges and before long we (collective, not royal) were in a little bit of a twizzy about how she should conduct herself on this new site. Should she add men to her “favourites” list in the hopes they would take the hint and contact her? Or is that a bit too passive and time wastey? Should she grab the bull by the horns and start sending out messages to men who take her fancy? Or does that go against the rules of “He’s Just Not That Into You”? Should she (we) just stop over thinking it and get on with finding a nice man? Probably. No scratch that, definitely.
I suggested she be assertive and send out messages to men who take her fancy but then there is the dilemma of what to say without sounding like Cheesy McCheesatron from Planet Cheeseball. I sent a message to a gentleman over on the freak site and was honest, said that the initial message was always the hardest, I never knew what to say but we both clearly knew that the subtext was “ooh you’re potentially a bit nice”. He didn’t reply… more fool him.
I have no qualms about talking about Internet dating, it’s surely acceptable now that I’m thirty, that most of my friends are married and running out of single eligible men friends for me to ogle and because I’ve never been a fan of approaching or being approached in bars (I always think people are taking the piss). There are plenty of profiles out there though where the potential date says they’re “happy to lie about how we met” as if it’s some sordid back alley affair or they rescued you from a knife wielding maniac back in the days when you were a crack smoking hooker. It’s not sordid (if you discard the freaks), there are some genuinely nice people online and I think more and more it’s going to move into mainstream.
It’s hard to know what timeline to follow with internet relationships though because inevitably until you meet the man or woman of your dreams and have “the chat” the other person is highly likely to still be casting their net and having a look around to see who else is out there. It can feel a bit “you snooze you lose” which runs the risk of adding unnecessary pressure to the already fairly fraught world of trying to find someone who wants to touch your lady parts on a hopefully regular and long term basis. I’m hilarious and witty in e-mails to potential partners and then I fret that I won’t live up to it in real life or I’ll go completely OTT and humour them into hating me. Lovely friend worries that she gives the impression that she’s very confident and outgoing in her messages but in real life she feels a bit shy until she opens up and then there’s no stopping her (not in a filthy way). Internet dating, whilst being like one massive man supermarket (Manisson’s? Manbury’s? Mansco’s?) which sounds like great fun, can actually be much more of a head fuck than just going out, getting drunk and face raping some unsuspecting gentleman.
Pass me the vodka.