So dating’s not what it once was, is it? Certainly not the way it was in my parent’s day, when you met at high tea, your parents negotiating your future child’s baptism long before you get to see each other naked. I’ve even heard that you heathens over in the States have given up on your quaint customs like “pinning” and class rings as a way of reserving women. Ah, the colonies.
Regardless, a few years ago I was between my third and fourth wives, and I was wondering exactly how it is one meets the young ladies these days. Let’s just say I wasn’t welcome at church any more, and that river had run dry anyway, if you catch my drift.
So my good friend Wilfred Baileythwaite Ponsonby sat me down in front of his laptop and introduced me to online dating.
And I made a fascinating discovery. It’s exactly like real dating, only with a lengthy application/trial period. Just like with coming on to birds in bars, it is a numbers game. You’ll have to put out a LOT of feelers for just one response. Maybe even at odds of 50 to 1, especially since women tend to do the waiting online more than the hunting. You may even wind up being friends with some of the people you went on dates with. Just like in real life, too!
We live in an insular world. The smaller it gets, thanks to technology and transportation, the more isolated we seem to get. Online dating can be a great benefit to that, but it is a sword that cuts both ways. If you move to a new town, say, or are getting over a break up and want to put yourself back out there, it is a great way to see what’s what, to get used to those feelings again, to build a social network.
However, everyone that logs on, including you, has a tiny fantasy in the back of the mind, that when they meet you, you might be the person that causes those fireworks. This is equally true when people are just trawling for tail, but in that case they’re only looking for sexy sparks, and that can be even harder to come by. There’s a terrible joke there, I’m sure of it.
The more you put yourself out there, the more response you will get, no doubt. And some people online have figured out that the best thing to do is meet quickly. The shy ones may converse with you for weeks before agreeing to meet, and by that time you’re expecting sparks, and if there aren’t any, or if they go only one way, especially after some intimate conversations, well that’s a hell of a disappointment, isn’t it?
The fact that there are success stories from online dating shouldn’t be a surprise, any more than stories of successes from people who met at a party on New Year’s Eve. One strength of online dating is you’ll be sure to meet people you wouldn’t meet otherwise. It’ll stretch your social skills, and ideally, your social pool. One hell of a drawback is that one of your most attractive traits, your badass confidence, may not translate very well. Guys who are funny, average looking, talented, or have other non-visible traits that make them attractive, will have a hard time communicating that through a few pictures and some text. That magic only comes from you in person.
So, hell, by all means, especially if you have the gift of gab or look good on camera, enjoy online dating. You probably have by now anyway. Just remember that it’s only one arrow in your quiver, it’s not your whole arsenal. Women like a guy who’s well rounded anyway, so take a class (I recommend theater, there’s always a good woman to man ratio, and the women there either crave attention or are trying to come out of their shells), join a group, ask your friends to set you up. If you’re really serious about getting out there, online dating is a great step, but don’t let it be your only one.
—Thaddeus McDickery III
Featured image photo credit: “Hipster Speed Dating” by Todd Shaffer on Flickr. CC, Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic, Some Rights Reserved.