Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Day 24...the online dating profile...

It's ok...welcome to the safe place. And by safe place, I mean the place where anyone who's single can admit that at one point of another they've been on a dating website without anyone casting judgement.
And in all honesty, most of us who are single in the their late 20's have tried online dating at some point. Now I know...your friend's brother's cousin twice removed found the love of their life on a dating website, so if it worked for them it can work for you right? Sure. As long as you're willing to wade through a whole mess of people that, if we're honest, just kinda creep you out.

Now before I get any farther, let me just say...there are plenty of nice people on dating websites. Or so I've been told. I'll let you know when I meet them. I kid, I kid. There actually are a small number of people on dating websites that are cool peeps, that even if it didn't work out, I wouldn't mind getting together with again over a cold one and some Brewers chit chat. And then there are the other 99%. One of my girl friends and I joke that we're going to write a book about the interesting people that we have met on dating websites and gone out with. Sometimes we leave a date thinking, "And I know why THEY're on a dating website." But that only leads us down the "so why am I on a dating website" path, and for a 20 something female...well let's just say it's a dangerous path.

For those of you who's never created a dating profile before, think of it as taking your Facebook profile and bending the truths more than you did on FB to make your ex boyfriend jealous (we know that guy in your profile pic is just your cousin...but the ex doesn't...). Now you're trying to coax a gentleman suitor into thinking you're 1- hot enough to show your pic to his buddy to get the bro approval, 2- funny/sarcastic enough to spend the money to at least buy you a drink, 3- interesting enough to spend an hour with, 4- have enough pictures up to make you think that they've been taken within the last 5 years and might be accurate, and 5- have enough pictures up with people in them so that it looks like you have friends.

So now you've attracted someone to write you a message (assuming of course that you've paid the $40 per month to be judged by countless people within a given radius more so than if you'd walked down the block to the local bar, so that you can actually read the message unless you're using a free dating website, in which case that might deserve it's own blog post all together). You have a new message waiting for YOU in your inbox! *Insert "You're Got Mail! complete with dialup connection noises here* You click the link and are greeting with the linguistic styles somewhere in between Homer Simpson, Hank Hill, and Peter Griffin.

- Hi.
- ur cute wanna chat
- red ur post. lets git to no each other
- yur eyez r gorgus. i think we have alot in common. we should chat.
- your so pretty.

Please. Hold me back. (And if you think I'm joking, I'd be more than happy to send you a screen shot sometime of an actual online dating inbox...I have one around here somewhere.) Ok, people. I get it. So you're not Billy Shakespeare. But would it kill you to at least run the spellcheck? Heck, on most computers the misspelled words are even underlined in red. I can overlook a your/you're every now and then, but when it's constantly misspelled, I go into a bit of a grammatical coma.

This is usually the point at which I say this is for the birds, log off, and call up a friend to drink wine. You don't get to know someone over a computer screen. You get to know someone by spilling wine on them during your first date. Or tripping over the sidewalk as you walk up to meet them. Or forgetting about that spinach salad you ate before meeting up with them for coffee. (Oh wait...that's just me? My bad.) But in all seriousness, you get to know someone by the look in their eyes when you're sitting across from them. By that first time that they reach over and take your hand. By the conversation that starts at 11pm and the next thing you know it's 4am. By the way they wrap their arms around you and it's the best place in the entire world. By the time they help you back up when you're down (this could be physically or my case it would definitely be both). By realizing that you were both nerdy show choir/band people. By learning the sound of their voice that tells you when they're overly
tired, beyond the point of hungry (ladies, watch out for this one with your men...they become ravenous wolves), frustrated with themselves, frustrated with you, excited about something but want you to guess what they're excited about because they might have mentioned it but you were in the middle of something and now you're wracking your brain to try and remember what was happening Thursday afternoon this week, looking for sympathy, needing support, are asking you to do something without actually asking you, and all the other emotions and feelings that fill in the rest of the little cracks. 

I guess what I'm saying is this (took me awhile to get here, huh?)...if you're going to get to know someone...get to know them. Not what's on their Facebook. Not what's on their Twitter. Not on Google+. Not on their Instagram. Not on their MySpace (haha, only one's there anymore anyway). Not on their dating profile. Not on their text message.
(<--Important one folks...pick up the phone and actually have some voice on voice contact. Back in my day, {old geezer talking now} there wasn't any of this new fangled text messaging. If you wanted to talk to the boy you actually had to talk to him. And relationships were better for it!) Get to know the person that they are in real life, not in digital life. Because the moment that they look at you, and you hear them tell you "I love you," well, that's more than any text message could say.

Until tomorrow...

P.S. If you want to read the inspiration for today's blog, head on over to Single Dad Laughing and read this article about online dating profiles. Funny stuff.

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