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Friday, October 19, 2012

143

"Let’s enjoy a cookie."

"Internet dating alerted me to the fact that our notions of human behaviour and achievement, expressed in the agglomerative text of hundreds of internet dating profiles, are all much the same and therefore boring and not a good way to attract other people. The body, I also learned, is not a secondary entity. The mind contains very few truths that the body withholds. There is little of import in an encounter between two bodies that would fail to be revealed rather quickly. Until the bodies are introduced, seduction is only provisional."

—We're kind of having a moment with Emily Witt's London Review of Books diary right now.



143 Comments / Post A Comment

Decca

"In Miami Kremen recounted the genesis of his ideas about internet dating to a room full of matchmakers. In 1992, he was a 29-year-old computer scientist and one of the many graduates of Stanford Business School running software companies in the Bay Area. One afternoon a routine email with a purchase order attached to it arrived in his inbox. But it wasn’t routine: the email was from a woman. At the time, emails from women in his line of work were exceedingly rare. He stared at it. He showed the email to his colleagues. He tried to imagine the woman behind it. ‘I wonder if she would date me?’ Then he had another idea: what if he had a database of all the single women in the world? If he could create such a database and charge a fee to access it, he would most probably turn a profit."

I found this kind of horrific?

anachronistique

@Decca Electronic binders full of women.

frigwiggin

@Decca

D:

Grosssssssssss

jule_b_sorry

@Decca Oh wow. Combine this story with the article on "astronaut secretary hookers" on the Awl, and I'm officially renouncing my heterosexuality. Although those articles are about past phenomena...I[m sure it's totally different now. Right? RIGHT?

jhonsons

Well that is my favorite thing of the day so far...@j

redheaded&crazy

What are 6 things you couldn't live without?

1. Family
2. Friends
3. My phone/computer/TV
4. Gym/Working out/Going for runs/Walking in nature
5. My dog
6. My job

I AM JUST SIMPLY BLOWN AWAY BY YOUR ORIGINALITY. DOOOOOO MEEEEEE.

Reginal T. Squirge

Back in the short period that I did OKCupid, I found everybody's profiles completely boring and I was unable to differentiate so I just started going by pictures. Then I quit.

dtowngirl

@redheaded&crazie
We are soul mates, clearly.

Decca

@redheaded&crazie The best (worst) are the "funny" ones where people are like "Oxygen! Food and water! LOL!"

redheaded&crazy

@Reginal T. Squirge Yeap my okc experience has been one big ol failure. The profiles are boring, the responses I receive are boring, it's overwhelming.

I remember when I first signed up and thought of myself as a kid in a candy shop. The good days before cold hard reality set in.

redheaded&crazy

@dtowngirl You couldn't live without your family and friends?! oh my god I couldn't live without my family and friends!! I LOVE THAT ABOUT YOU!

these comments brought to you by encroaching feelings of overwhelming and bitter loneliness

paddlepickle

@Reginal T. Squirge My problem was similar except I found everyone kind of adorable, but I just got overwhelmed because there are apparently six squillion cute boys with beards and glasses who like the same books as me, and I started to feel like my entire life is a caricature of itself and then I quit.

Decca

@redheaded&crazie "You couldn't live without your family and friends?! Oh my God, I couldn't live without your family and friends either! I'm outside your parents' house right now."

charmcity

@redheaded&crazie I like "What am I doing with my life/ Livin' it!" LOL, sir. El. Oh. EL.

Reginal T. Squirge

Yay, it's so much better being dead inside!

Also, I have no beard nor any tattoos nor any gingham shirts so I just felt like none of the Portland OKC people gave a shit.

City_Dater

@redheaded&crazie

And those guys who are "equally comfortable in jeans and a tux" -- OMG YOUR ABILITY TO WEAR DIFFERENT KINDS OF TROUSERS IS SUCH A TURN ON!

frigwiggin

@redheaded&crazie Better or worse when one of the options is God/Jesus Christ?

MilesofMountains

@redheaded&crazie People only seem to use Plenty of Fish were I am. It's even worse. Every profile is a blurry bathroom mirror photograph, a picture of a quad with or without the guy on it, and "i dont no ask me if u have questions" in the "about me" section. It was depressing.

redheaded&crazy

@MilesofMountains UGH! I know two friends who are in long-term relationships because of POF but the layout of that whole website is so godawful I don't understand how anybody gets past the first page.

PistolPackinMama

@charmcity Or Living It To The Fullest!

Thing is, how does anyone meet anyone without the internet? Seriously?

Also also, the London Review of Books. Their book of the best of their personal ads "They Call Me Naughty Lola" pretty much slays me. Why can't the internet be full of ads like those?

redheaded&crazy

@frigwiggin Oh I knew I was forgetting an important one! I guess ... better although it wouldn't really encourage ME to message that person!

redheaded&crazy

@PistolPackinMama Alls I know is that I don't mean anybody without the internet because I am shy as hell and by the time I've worked out what I'm going to say/how I'm going to say it it's three days later and I'm never going to see that person again.

PistolPackinMama

@redheaded&crazie Hah. I am insecure, so I figure if I meet you in a place people go to meet people to date, no one will be surprised?

Also I seem to exist in places where no single people exist. Aside from me, I mean.

Leanne

@City_Dater I wonder if as many women as men say they are "equally comfortable at a dive bar as at a black tie event!"

paddlepickle

@PistolPackinMama I've met everyone I was ever serious about not on the internet and it's always just sort of. . .magic I can't figure out how it happened but it did.. Or, I'm very very drunk and wake up with the boy in my bed and he tells me that I dragged him into a corner saying "HEY YOU CMERE I GOTTA TELL YOU SOMETHING" or some similar crazy thing (that is literally how I met my ex). So, booze and magic. Infinitely preferable to Okcupid IMHO.

Decca

@Leanne "I'm equally uncomfortable in formal wear and sweatpants. I'm living only about a fourth of my life, as I'm anxious of squandering the rest. Message me if you hate to have fun."

PistolPackinMama

@paddlepickle I am a squib. Apparently.

Reginal T. Squirge

I did meet this one girl this one time that only had "don't message me, I have three dicks" but I thought she was cute (in the pictures) so I messaged her anyway. Then the whole thing went on way longer than it should (several months) and when I called her out for being an asshole she was just like, "Yeah, but my profile said, 'Don't message me, I have three dicks'!"

She was a monster.

Decca

@Reginal T. Squirge Wait...did she actually have three dicks or is this just some slang I'm unaware of?

Judith Slutler

@paddlepickle Yeah, my basic answer to this conundrum is "friends-of-friends and booze".

SarahP

@Decca "I'm equally comfortable in sweatpants or in BELLE'S YELLOW DRESS FROM BEAUTY AND THE BEAST BECAUSE I AM A BEAUTIFUL PRINCESS WHO ALSO READS BOOKS!"

eiffeldesigns

@redheaded&crazie And let's not forget everyone's favorite online dating profile cliche: "I love to laugh." UGH. I think it's more prevalent on Match than OKC, but it would still come up. I refused to respond to or contact any dude with that line in their profile.

I actually messaged my current gentleman caller because his profile was unlike every other guys out there. It indicated he had put some thought into the whole endeavor. Which I appreciated. And it turns out he's quite lovely and I like him. A lot.

OhMarie

@Decca My favorite commentary on this is the second half of this Maria Bamford bit: http://www.comedycentral.com/video-clips/kjid92/john-oliver-s-new-york-stand-up-show-fear-of-relationships

Reginal T. Squirge

@Decca

Nope! Just a lone vagina! I think she was trying to be funny/weird with her profile but then used it against me like, "Oh, you can't expect me to be a decent person because the beginning of our courtship was based on a joke!"

leonstj

@Emmanuelle Cunt - I really love the idea of OKC, because I am a class-1 drama-avoider, and also INSANELY private about what I do within the context of dating/relationships so I kind of hate dating anyone who already knows people I know. The OKC experience has been, for me, fairly terrible?

The only time I really got many responses was when my profile was just like "This will probably happen, but maybe not" and described an average NYC 4 month relationship that started meh, got 'eh, alright I guess' and just fizzled out. I think people thought it was a joke.

Ugh, and I just looked - because I am horrible and there are no good answers, my six things? Wandering around the city (omg thank heavens i didn't call myself a flaneur), listening or dancing to soul & r&b, hard work in a hot kitchen to relax, the first saturday evening snowfall in the city, fizzy water, and long rambling conversations.

HI, I am another person who likes things everyone else on earth likes. I'm going to just change it to a list of my 5 favorite steely dan songs and say "THAT'S ALL".

redheaded&crazy

@leon s I feel that those six things are significantly better than the standard fare I have seen! Just sayin.

Decca

@leon s

5. Peg.
4. Peg.
3. Peg.
2. Time Out Of Mind.
1. Peg.

Judith Slutler

@leon s I think "flaneur" is legit but it is apparently a good way to get overly specific messages from urban design majors who are into Situationism i.e. me

eiffeldesigns

@leon s Those 6 things are good! I forget what mine exactly were but my dog and my friends were on the list. BORING (even though it is true). If I ever have to restart my account I will do better. I think the list will include "pretty things" and "sparkly shoes"

leonstj

@Decca
5-Do It Again
4-Hey Nineteen
3-Peg
2-Reelin' In The Years
1-Deacon Blues

(I swear, I am not a 44 year old recently-divorced father who sold his mini-van, bought a trans am and does coke at fantasy football parties, no matter how much my taste in music makes it seem like it. But I do love trans ams and jean jackets.)

Reginal T. Squirge

No "Kid Charlemagne"!?

Brunhilde

@leon s Isn't "THAT'S ALL" Genesis though?

meetapossum

@leon s I'm pretty sure it's impossible for anyone not to feel like a tool on an online dating profile when all the questions are so generic. Nerve has better questions, but ugh, I'm over online dating in general. Which pretty much means I have no dates.

Decca

@Reginal T. Squirge I refuse to consider any list that doesn't include the early, David Palmer-sung "Dirty Work".

leonstj

@Decca - UGH. Kid Charlemagne (especially) and also Dirty Work came so close.

Speaking of Genesis (and I'm including Phil Collins, because I like him more)

One More Night
Land of Confusion
Sussudio
Invisible Touch

UGH I wish I could date exclusively through naming songs and listening to other peoples lists. I once had this idea of making a dating service, and it matched people up based on their itunes library - play count, not just whether or not they had the song - so the more you listened to the same songs, the better a match you were - AND it was recursive too, so the LESS COMMON the commonalities were, the more 'weight' it carried - so like, I love Wu-Tang, Otis, Billy Joel, the Rolling Stones, and Kanye above all else. Lots of people love these things - but people who love THOSE SPECIFIC combos but only those 5 would have 'more pull' than people who each 5 Starred every Top 40 song form the last 3 years, because how often the common-ground exists would be key.

But then I realized I don't know how algorithms work, and every time I say that word I say "Al Gore Rhythms" and picture Tipper and Al salsa-dancing. So, i dunno, somebody else make that for me? I promise I'll join.

Reginal T. Squirge

"I love Wu-Tang, Otis, Billy Joel, the Rolling Stones, and Kanye above all else."

One of these things is not like the others.

leonstj

@Reginal T. Squirge - Why does something tell me that this is anti-Billy Joel?

I'm aware of the fact that nobody thinks he's good. But I love Billy Joel. And not in a Chuck Klosterman, "oh, glass houses has a lot of songs nobody knows which are awesome," kind of way. I unironically legit love the shit out of mainstream, cheesy, stupid Billy Joel songs. Well, I hate "We Didn't Start the Fire". But "Movin' Out"? "She's Always A Woman"? "Just The Way You Are"? I love them.

I love corny stupid shit. It is the best. The first time I had a crush on some girl in middle school I learned to play Elton John's "Your Song" on the piano, because I have been absurdly corny my entire life. And I slay parties when I DJ, because deep down inside, so is everyone else - most people won't admit it though.

[sic]

@leon s Tastebuds sort of does that (only with Last.fm profiles, not iTunes).

Reginal T. Squirge

I think the fact that you figured out what I meant so quickly tells you everything you need to know.

Seriously, though, I'm just being shitty. Love what you love! All love is good! I defend John Mayer all day so I think we should just call it even.

fondue with cheddar

@Reginal T. Squirge I was amusingly self-deprecating in mine and described some (hopefully endearing) flaws and quirks. I got a pretty good response.

werewolfbarmitzvah

@Decca GREAT SCOTT, one of the few times I miss a day of Hairpinning and I miss a favorite-Steely-Dan-song party?? This is as disconcerting as the day I missed a post about BB creams!

5. Haitian Divorce
4. Babylon Sisters
3. Black Cow
2. Kid Charlemagne
1. Caves of Altamira

Honorable Mention to Your Gold Teeth Part I, but not Part II. Heyooooo!

Anyway, way back in my online dating days I found the best success by having an absolutely RUTHLESS filtering process that ruled out almost everyone right off the bat. Botched the your/you're, there/their/they're, to/too, etc.? YER OUTTA HERE. Have a hairdo that looks like it took longer than 60 seconds to style? ZAP, YOU'RE GONE. A jaunty hat? DUNZO. Describe yourself as "spiritual?" NOT GONNA HAPPEN. No R&B artists among your favorite music? A POX UPON YOU AND YOUR ONLINE DATING PROFILE. You like Bret Easton Ellis? YOU ARE SLEEPING WITH NO ONE BUT THE FISHES TONIGHT.

The filtering process eliminated 99.999% of all online dating prospects, but I met my husband this way, so I guess it was effective?

Super Nintendo Chalmers

@Decca I got so sick of reading those "I'm laid back and love to have fun" entries that I specify in my profile that I'm uptight and hate fun. Maybe not the best ever dating strategy? It amuses me at least.

sevanetta

@redheaded&crazie and others: I got to that point - I started drafting a profile that said I was highly anxious, hated to laugh and particularly disliked going for walks on the beach.

lamesauce

@werewolfbarmitzvah Filtering FTW. Especially all of these things:

'Botched the your/you're, there/their/they're, to/too, etc.? YER OUTTA HERE. Have a hairdo that looks like it took longer than 60 seconds to style? ZAP, YOU'RE GONE. A jaunty hat? DUNZO.'

My friend and I refer to dudes with jaunty hats as 'Twats in Hats'. They are abundant in our hood...

Anyway being picky totally pays off and it really really helps not being shy about initiating the conversation (this goes for IRL too!!!!!) Have met some cool dudes this way and my last long-term man was procured in this fashion.

paddlepickle

Holy crap. She just explained why I deleted my Okcupid profile and I hadn't even been able to explain it to myself better than "I kind of hate everyone and they all look the same"

Leanne

I have something on my OKCupid profile about how I always Irish exit, and I get approximately 3 messages a week asking what it is. But but but you were USING THE INTERNET to write me that message! Why didn't you google it? Also, who doesn't know what Irish exiting is? Maybe it is time to delete.
Thank you Hairpin for helping me work through this.

Decca

@Leanne I had never heard of this term!

Speaking of cake, I have cake

@Leanne I didn't know, well I didn't know the term but I sure know the phenomenon. There's few things more joyous than the peace and freedom that accompanies a successfully executed Irish exit. Especially if it involves kebabs on the way home.

Leanne

@Decca oh! well, this makes me feel better about that part of my complaint. I cannot endorse this manner of exiting more highly.

Judith Slutler

@Leanne ... Weird, in German this is a "Polish exit". I always excuse myself afterwards by pointing out that I'm half Polish, so what do you expect?

frigwiggin

@Leanne I'd never heard of the term, or even knew there was a term for doing that! Also, maybe they're just using it as a slightly-more-interesting intro than just "wanna bone" or whatever?

Leanne

@Emmanuelle Cunt Amazing! I love that! I'm 3/4 Irish, so I will be stealing that moving forward.

par_parenthese

@Leanne lmgtfy.com was INVENTED for situations like that. I would get so much satisfaction out of just sending them back a short lmgtfy link.

SarahP

@Leanne I've never heard that term, and I'm half Irish! But I like it and do it all the time so ha!

Leanne

@frigwiggin I think once you said "wanna bone" it set me to wondering if these gentlemen think an Irish Exit is one of those terms for interesting/demeaning sexual acts like the dirty sanchez or what have you, and I'm just putting it right out there that it's "my specialty." Hm.

Blushingflwr

@Leanne THANK YOU!
I hate that - when dudes email me to ask me about stuff in my profile that they could just google. I KNOW they're trying to make conversation, but it just makes me think they are lazy and dumb.
I wouldn't mind something like "hey, I had never heard of X till your profile, but I googled X and it/they sound interesting. Can you tell me more about how you first got into X?" because that's an actual conversation, but I hate "what is X?". It takes a lot of willpower not to send them a link to justfuckinggoogleit

Leanne

@Blushingflwr correct. I have been tempted to do this (and to the person above, let me google that for you, too!) but I don't wish to feed the animals.

eiffeldesigns

@Leanne This is entering my lexicon. I Irish exit more than I care to admit. Yikes. Maybe I need to stop drinking so much.

Lyesmith

@Blushingflwr Yep - my profile says I love sushi and shawarma like any good Torontonian and I got this message "where would one find sushi or shawarma in toronto?"

redheaded&crazy

@Lyesmith not even ... GOOD sushi or shawarma? Just ... ANY???

good god these people are animals.

Blushingflwr

@Lyesmith Argh. So simple to reword that, too. "I love sushi too. What's your favorite sushi place? Mine's XYZ" And then you could even have a date where you compared each other's favorite places or something.

Rock and Roll Ken Doll

What's the phrase for when you leave a show without telling me, apparently thinking I'll just text you if I care whether you went home on your own or got dragged off limp from roofies? Which I wish you would stop doing because you are my little sister and I am prone to worry?

miss buenos aires

@Leanne I always thought this was called "taking French leave." And the French call it "filer à l'anglaise."

Lyesmith

@redheaded&crazie I know! And it's especially ridiculous because sushi and shawarma are a five minute walk away in most parts of the city.

redheaded&crazy

@Lyesmith Yah I mean if you're going to be indiscriminate ... the answer is "probably on every block"????

adorable-eggplant

@Emmanuelle Cunt In Mrs Beaton's it's called a French Leave. My favorite way to ditch a party, and miss manners of the 19th century says it's more polite, so I never feel any guilt whatsoever.

meetapossum

@Leanne My friend calls it "Shawshanking", which I prefer.

Lily Rowan

Not to be whatever, but calling it Irish OR French OR Polish OR English is pretty much offensive toward that group.

I would love to have a different kind of name for it, because I also love doing it.

adorable-eggplant

@Lily Rowan The French term in the 19th century was filer à l'anglaise, so I think the idea is it's an unusual style of exit so let's attribute it to our near neighbor.

I wouldn't say it's hugely offensive (unlike say the history of names for syphilis) because leaving without announcing is mostly considered a refined style of leave (at least in British manners books from the Victorian era: I haven't got a clue about modern versions).

meetapossum

@Lily Rowan Shawshanking! Let's make it a worldwide thing!

Lily Rowan

@adorable-eggplant I'm willing to be the Irish version is some kind of slur. But of course, not a huge deal.

@meetapossum Shawshanking makes me laugh! "What happened to you last night?" "Oh, I just shawshanked at about 1:30."

le mango

@meetapossum Huh. I use the term "Shawshanking", but it refers to a partner in a relationship who is mentally and emotionally preparing to leave, without alerting the other partner to the fact that there's any trouble. "Sleeping in the same bed, but digging a tunnel out."
Leaving a social event without alerting anyone you're doing so? That's an "Irish goodbye."

meetapossum

@le mango That is so sad :(

CubeRootOfPi

IMO, online dating feels like shoe shopping on Zappos, which just doesn't sit right.

On another note, Carolyn Hax just sort of said the same thing in her chat today (though she's focusing on how people should be cautious): "Our senses aren't always perfect, but they're our best screening tool. By taking in someone's inflections, mannerisms, eye contact, etc., we learn a lot. And meeting people online puts people together before that crucial sensory-screening stage."

Megasus

@CubeRootOfPi Except shopping on Zappos is awesome

dj pomegranate

This paragraph so perfectly summarizes my experience with online dating. When I describe it to people I usually say something like "It takes a week of constant emailing to maybe figure out something that I can know after 5 seconds in the same room with the dude." I have spent most of my life trying to figure people out, finely honing my flirting, body language, and general "how to figure out other humans while in the same room" technique and now I have to learn a whole new "skill set" to appeal to those same people online? I don't think so.

ETA: I know lots of people who met online, so clearly it works for some!

SarahP

@dj pomegranate The paragraph bothered me because it's the opposite of my experience! I am very good at saying what I want to say and understanding what has been said in written communication. But in person I get nervous and awkward and stumble over my own words/meaning and misinterpret tones/words, etc. I was maybe made for internet dating.

Judith Slutler

@SarahP You know, I do know a couple people who have met awesome partners online. I can't quite imagine it ever working out for me (though this might be a failure of imagination), but I think this is one of those "you do you" things.

SarahP

@Emmanuelle Cunt Yessss! I don't think that internet dating works for everyone, but I don't like it when people tell me it doesn't work for anyone just because it doesn't work for them.

adorable-eggplant

@SarahP I agree so much! I am much better at communicating through writing and I feel like I am more clear and honest and all that good stuff than when I am trying to speak to someone (especially in a flirty environment).

dj pomegranate

@all I think "you do you" is totally right! I guess what I was trying to say, to be more specific, is that while online dating I spent lots of time emailing dudes and then knowing in one second upon meeting them that I did not want to date them ever. There's a LOT to be said for written communication and relationship maintenance and/or growth via emails and the written word. But you can also tell a whole lot about a person after five seconds of meeting them: everything from "This guy gives me the creeps and I am not sure why" and "It's been ten minutes and he hasn't even asked me a question yet!" to "He is very nice to the waitress and also he noticed my TARDIS earrings" and "I dig this guy's sense of humor." A lot of those really subtle things are subconscious gut feelings that we hone just be being a person who hangs out with other people, and a lot of them you can't pick up on via e-mail. But email is also a great way to start/meet/communicate, as long as (in my experience!) it's balanced with in-person hanging out/trusting your gut.

Danzig!

@adorable-eggplant I've been online for a long time, met people online and then offline, and it's been my experience in general that people are more "themselves" online. A lot of people seem to attribute that to anonymity but I don't think it's that, exactly. It's more that for a certain type of person, that person who can reside comfortably in an "online community", interactions in the real, substantial world are fraught, for whatever reason. We're vivacious, buoyant people on the internet and unsure of ourselves in person.

I've had good and bad luck with online dating. I've got good luck in that I'm very articulate when I message people, I read profiles and respond to specifics and I can strike a strong written rapport with women easily. I've got bad luck in that that rapport doesn't seem to carry into the physical realm, so to speak.

Maybe it's that I'm nervous and less sharp, maybe I say the wrong things. Maybe it's that, contrary to what I've always thought, cameras are flattering and I'm much uglier than my profile pics suggest. Maybe there's something off-putting about me that's ineffable, I don't know. But I know this: Who you are online matters less than who you are in person. I think this is more or less true with everyone, and it seems like a simple thing but it isn't. When you make a profile on a site like OKC you're putting forth your best self as you see it, but that's not the person who's going to be showing up when you set up a meet with someone.

damselfish

@SarahP Yeah this! I am much better at picking up on a douchebag online than I am off, because comments and context that pass you by can be read back over when you're like "wait, is this really...?"

Of course, it's not about dating. But I can also spot lady douchebags more easily via the written word, though their tells are not quite so blatantly awful as a dude douchebag's.

Also that line about how there are few things in the mind that the body can't tell us grosses me out, because that is SO not true. Plenty of nice bodies with pleasant body language and beatific smiles hide awful, awful brains. Stripped of that charm online? Yup. You can see the douchebag for what they are. Also works for good people who are awkward in person, but in reverse!

Lyesmith

I got this message recently: "You're so tiny and adorable at 5'5, I could probably crush you with my bare hands. Alright maybe I'll just crush you just a little bit. Not too much, just about right ;)" and when I responded with "If you think that talking about inflicting physical violence on someone is funny, you are mistaken," I got this lovely diatribe: "You're the lowest scum of evolution. I cannot believe natural selection has let you be. Answer me this, why is it that every feminist I come across is buttfuckingugly and looks like a lab-expermiment gone wrong? Ah. I know why, it's because you don't have the balls to end your life, nor to change your life and embrace who you actually are. Stop being such a fucking cunt and see past my first message which was obviously harmless. Too bad you have the intellectual capability of a 16 year old hence why you weren't able to decipher what I meant. "

People! They kind of suck. And then you report them to the OkCupid moderators.

hahahaha, ja.

@Lyesmith: Ahhhhh! Oh my god that's so horrifying. I'm so sorry you had to deal with that person. D:

Judith Slutler

@Lyesmith D:

Yeah it's always pleasant when people get SUPER SCARY for no reason. This is one thing online dating might actually be awesome for - you never had to be in the same room with that fucker.

TheBelleWitch

@Lyesmith "Please look past my first message to my second message, in which I call you a fucking cunt." God, what a creep.

Leanne

@Lyesmith :( ew. that is way worse than my stupid story. i'm sorry you got that icky message.

PistolPackinMama

@Emmanuelle Cunt Yup. I think it's also some of that Internet Anonymity thing, too. They might not fly their creep flag right away in person. But if they don't like how things are going online... there is a short route from what they think is nice/normal/attractive to hostile/entitled/awful.

Tells you a lot, really.

tea sonata

@Lyesmith That... made me a little angry.
More than better off without, yeeeeesh.

Summer Somewhere

@Lyesmith aww, but you hurt his fee-fees. don't you know that it's your job as a woman to take care of him at all times? :P

City_Dater

@Lyesmith

Very early in my online dating odyssey, I learned a valuable lesson: if a guy sends a message that is off-putting in any way, do not respond at all, even if you suspect he's just clueless and might welcome a constructive word. I received a couple of those screeds before I figured it out. *shudder*
Sorry you had to get one of those. It sucks.

Leanne

@Summer Somewhere Seriously. Put this woman back in a binder, where she belongs.

Lyesmith

@City_Dater This is really stellar advice and I normally just ignore the dumb/creepy messages. This time, I didn't and regretted it!

WaityKatie

@Lyesmith Back in the day when I was posting on Craigslist (this was a long-ago day, when people actually did this), some guy sent me a message telling me my post sucked so much and I was so horrible that he thought it would be hilarious to throw me down a flight of stairs. And then he attached his picture! Needless to say, I reported him.

Beatrix Kiddo

@Lyesmith Wow. It's pretty scary how barely-repressed all that vitriol was.

redheaded&crazy

@WaityKatie I still actually post on craigslist. I've had more luck with that than with anything else, but it does raise the dilemma of how to tell people I met somebody on fucking craigslist.

sigh.

Lyesmith

@WaityKatie Some people just naturally gravitate towards negging as the default method of interaction. I bet he still wanted to go out with you, too.

WaityKatie

@redheaded&crazie I loved craiglist, it was the only online place I met anyone that I dated for any length of time and/or became friends with, but I noticed it took a really bad turn a few years back and my posts started getting constantly "flagged" immediately after posting, tons of hate mail, low quality responses, etc. I would love to use it now but it was so discouraging the last time I tried.

Rock and Roll Ken Doll

@redheaded&crazie
I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that Craigslist Toronto might be more civilized that other Craigslists.

MilesofMountains

@City_Dater Yup, this right here should be sent to every guy who ever whines that women don't politely turn him down, they just ignore his messages.

redheaded&crazy

@Rock and Roll Ken Doll Ohhhh craigslist toronto still has its share of assholes. I just delete 'em. I got one that I did engage with (never engaaaaaaage) and he was like "call me right now to prove you're real" and I was like "yeah I'm gonna go ... talk to these guys who are not making weird demands of me" and he was like "WELL THAT'S SOCIALLY NORMAL YOU CRAIGSLIST POSTING PERSON"

@WaityKatie I just feel like there is more room for me to be original when I'm posting what I'm looking for, as opposed to answering generic questions. But yeah, some of the responses are discouraging. I guess I've had just as much failure over there. But more success. I guess.

Faintly Macabre

@PistolPackinMama I wrote about this in Hairpin comments when it happened, but I once had a guy send me an oddly condescending and accusatory message that, among other things, included his suspicion that I might be (horror!) a manic pixie dream girl because I don't like Diet Pepsi. After some Hairpin debate, I decided not to bother responding. Right before I quit OKC shortly after, I looked at his profile again. He'd updated it to whine about how "frightfully earnest" and sensitive people on OKC seemed to be. (Or maybe you're just an assshooole)

WaityKatie

@Faintly Macabre They can be just as "charming" once you meet them in real life, for example, the dude I went on two seemingly good dates with who effusively declared his liking of me on several occasions, and then decided at some point in the 5 days between the second and third dates that I totally sucked and he was going to be annoyed by everything I said or did. Who then never spoke to me again after that date, but did promptly update his profile with a whole paragraph pretty clearly directed as a criticism of me and everything he had decided I lacked. (Apparently I'm not a feminist, not sufficiently "leftist," and I'm also kind of an airhead, who knew I could be criticized with the exact opposite of the criticisms I usually get?) I never did figure out what flipped the switch on that guy, but on the third date he succeeded in repulsing me sufficiently that I felt no need to contact him ever again either.

par_parenthese

@Lyesmith YE GODS now I need a shower. And a self-defense class. And a .45. And a concealed-carry license.

PistolPackinMama

@Faintly Macabre Aie! Yeah, that's a classic.

My USE YOUR GOOGLE SKILLS is the part where I say "if HWP appears anywhere in your profile, please don't message me." So. Many. Requests. For. Definitions. Read the syllabus people.

Also, speaking of syllabi. Maybe being a teacher is the end of all things? Because I feel like a lot of profiles suffer from what a lot of first year writing suffers from. (From which freshman writing suffers.)

1) Inaccurate use of facts.
2) Failure to consider audience.
3) No examples.
4) Weak proofing/editing skills. (I tend not to get worked up about these because I suck at the spelling, so. But it seems to bother other people.)
5) A serious case of Tell, Not Show. If you're funny, say funny things. If you're caring, discuss the ways you care for people. If you're into fitness, discuss what you do for your endorphin high.

When people start to talk about their actual lives, they become infinitely more interesting. Someone over on the phone photo thread observed... those pictures! There are 6 billion people on the planet living interesting lives, and the first photo on your phone is an amazing, tiny, slice of that life. We all wanted to see more! More tiny snapshots of lives!

I love when people's profiles are little snapshots of their lives, rather than a CV of their humanity.

Also, the guys who use their profiles as coaching opportunities. I... wow. Thank you for your opinion on how to write a profile to appeal to you, even though you are married? As opposed to writing a profile who shows who the writer is in the world? I guess a lot of men feel infinitely offended when women don't email them back, which. I dunno. Safety and such. Get over it, dudes.

SarahP

Author is disappointed with results of internet dating, decides that internet dating is a disappointing experience for everyone.

Blushingflwr

Is this the place where we share our online dating lulz? Because I have so many.
The best one recently was on OKCupid. I am in a poly relationship, and I am also into BDSM, and both of these facts are stated pretty clearly at the beginning of my profile
I got a message from a guy whose screen name was Christian Grey (some number or other), about a day after I had finished reading 50 Shades (and mocking it a lot on Twitter and my LJ). He declared himself dominant, I told him that Christian Grey was a domineering asshole (which he is). He fired back that the character changes in the later books. I said "well, okay, fine, but I still think we wouldn't work out". At some point I referenced my existing relationship. He replied with "WHAT?" and I pointed out that my boyfriend is mentioned in the first two sentences of my profile. He told me he gets so many messages that he can't keep track. I told him that he shouldn't tell women he can't pay attention to salient details about them, as it doesn't make them feel special. He was apparently hurt that I thought he didn't care. And then he wanted to tell me what online dating was like for men. I told him that I knew all about it, and if it was so hard, perhaps he should have accepted the first two dismissals I gave him and moved on to someone else. I haven't heard back yet.

tea sonata

@Blushingflwr Yikes.

SarahP

@Blushingflwr A Dom who is not okay with his sub having a boyfriend: fine. A Dom who has apparently never heard of polyamory? Aw, honey, go back to reading fan fiction.

Blushingflwr

@SarahP I think it was more that he didn't REALIZE I had one, even though it's pretty clear. Like, c'mon, keep track of which girl is which, we're not actually interchangable slots.
I don't mind people not wanting to date someone who's poly, that's why it's flat out at the top of my profile. I do mind people not READING my profile.

yeah-elle

I don't know how I feel about this: "The body, I also learned, is not a secondary entity. The mind contains very few truths that the body withholds."

I don't think I agree? But then I also feel like maybe I am fooling myself. But not? Ugghhhh

jule_b_sorry

@yeah-elle I don't even know what it means. I mean, I guess you can tell that I truly love drinking b/c of my adorably red little nose...but what kind of drinks, eh, smart guy? (buy one for me and find out, please please...)

yeah-elle

@jule_b_sorry I think it's true that we reveal probably more than we assume through how we present ourselves, body language, the way we do things, and even more so when we're in a potentially physically vulnerable or intimate situation.

But I don't think it goes that far. There's plenty going on in everyone's minds that the body never reveals.

adorable-eggplant

@yeah-elle Yeah, I'm contrary so I will probably go around making a grumpy face at strangers while thinking, "You have no idea how happy I am right now."

I think (?) the idea was that we can tell a lot more about our own attraction to a person, in person. And we'll be more sure whether we want to sleep with them.

Eliza Wharton

I had to stop reading the article after she misquoted "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock." I had one of those quiet moments as I closed the tab where I thought, "Yup, this is probably part of why internet dating is not working for me." Well that and messages that read "hi :) how are you" and my intense desire to have a whole entire profile that reads only "MY THERAPIST IS MAKING ME DO THIS."

Decca

@Eliza Wharton Lettuce go then, you and I

Beatrix Kiddo

@Eliza Wharton Seriously, that's so lazy of her to not even bother to confirm and quote it correctly.

WaityKatie

@Eliza Wharton I think (hope?) she was just being cute and fitting it into the "let's do this..." sentence structure.

jule_b_sorry

@Eliza Wharton I should have been a pair of ragged claws, doin' stuff on the beach, b/c you know how I do gurl....

Decca

@jule_b_sorry I'm equally comfortable pinned and wriggling on the wall as I am wearing a necktie rich and modest. Don't message me if you're a player or if you constantly come and go, talking of Michelangelo.

PistolPackinMama

@Decca Shall you compare me to a Summer's day? I am more lovely and more temperate, so don't waste your time. Especially if you are a rough wind, because this darling bud of May don't play that.

(Oh god. So many travesties of literature waiting to happen... I am not ready for this trend.)

Slutface

Online dating makes me feel very lonely.

redheaded&crazy

@Slutface I will come and site beside you as I feel the same way.

redheaded&crazy

@redheaded&crazie UGHHHH ... WHERE DID THAT TYPO COME FROM

WaityKatie

@Slutface It's definitely in the top 5 lonely-making things. The other things include living in NYC and getting yelled at on the internet. (the last two would probably be holidays spent with family.)

SarahP

@redheaded&crazie I loved that typo, it was so Freudian.

JessicaLovejoy

@Slutface The Internet in generally makes me feel very lonely, yet here I am?

fondue with cheddar

@JessicaLovejoy EXCEPT ON THE HAIRPIN WHERE WE ARE ALL FRIENDS.

ayo nicole

This piece was spot-on for me and now I am depressed. And no matter what I write on my profile, I only get messages that say "hey" or "whats up" and recently just "." (yes, a period). So I think I'm about to be OUT.

Lisa Frank

@ayo nicole I got a message from a dude saying that I reminded him of a female Skrillex. For the record, no part of my head is shaved, I don't wear glasses, and I'm smiling in all my pictures.

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