Monday, 6 October 2014

The online dating 'game'.

It's here! My long awaited article regarding the delights of Internet Dating.  They say to write about what you know, so here goes....although I'm starting to think I know absolutely nothing about how to go about dating as it's been such a disaster of biblical proportions.  When I said this blog was long awaited, I obviously mean by me, Mr Procrastinator.....nobody else would be aware of this forthcoming title, in fact I'd be amazed if anybody read it, you know what I mean though, shut your faces!

So yes, I've been on the online 'dating scene' for 2 and a half years now, on and off.  I say on and off because I have, on numerous occasions, decided that it wasn't working for me.....the problem is that it's so bloody addictive, I always find myself going back for more punishment. Anyway, it's been good research for this very blog you're reading right now......every cloud.

I've labelled it a "game" for good reason, that's exactly what it becomes as you scroll though the neverending line of faces.  Like 'Guess Who' for singletons....and married people looking for sex, lot's of those too apparently. "Tut, she wears glasses, next......ooh now she looks lovely and classy with glasses, but she only wears them for reading, TUT, next......COR! If she wore glasses I'd definitely give her one", and so on. Firstly, like any good game, it's addictive, like I said.....you're also constantly rolling the dice, convinced you can do better, because you're high on baseless enthusiasm and the fact these people don't even seem real to you. They're just faces on a computer screen, it's not real! I can say whatever I like and it doesn't matter! Actually, in some cases, they aren't real....I've finally managed to spot those profiles a mile off.  What usually gives away a catfish profile is that they're stunning, like a picture out of the lingerie section of Littlewoods catalogue, prepubescent porn, if you look closely you might get to see half an ariola, it's a guilty pleasure of mine. The key tell-tale sign that it's a catfish, is that they reply, even when all you've written is "Phwooooar, you're lush!". What makes things even more exciting is when you can juggle at least half a dozen conversations simultaneously, trying to confuse one persons life story with another....awks, see how down with the kids' lingo I am?

Now I know I sound very negative so far, not like me I hear you say, adoring followers. The thing that makes me so skeptical about it, is that I know that it won't work for me.  If you're the sort of person that doesn't make a good first impression, it's going to be very difficult.  It all rides on the first date, most of the time, you've 95% made your mind up whether or not they're for you within the first 5 seconds and the fact I know the other person is going through the same processes doesn't make things any easier!  Not that I'm self conscious or anything.  How many times have you met someone and not even looked at them in a romantic light at all, only for them to become more appealing after spending time with them at work for example.  It's sad that we may disregard someone purely on looks (come on, we all do it), when given time that person might have become someone that you looked deeper into, for things that we find attractive.

There's also the format....the long line of thumbnails, the human catalogue, it's all quite depressing. I'm basing this all on the infamous Plenty Of Fish website by the way, Tinder is even more shallow. Most people ask you to write something original in your first message, which I find a bit rich, considering most peoples profile write-ups consist of the same type of formula.  "I'm so and so, I do this, I like staying in but also going out, I'm shy at first but once you get to know me, I'm mental!"  You get the picture. I've come to the conclusion that if the person you're messaging likes your pictures and maybe even likes what you've written in the 'raging narcissist box', they're going to message you back even if you've only written "Hi".

I've been in the game so long now, I don't even see people, I see situations and outcomes that haven't and probably never will occur......snog, marry, avoid scenario. Like that guy in The Matrix who says he doesn't even see the code anymore, just a brunette, a blonde or a redhead.  It's actually making me feel guilty for being so dismissive of people......although I've met that many "fruitloops", some of the edge has been taken off said guilt for that reason alone.

I know it's worked for some people, I've heard the stories. This one girl I dated, let's call her Laura, as that was her name, uttered a beautiful tale of her friend meeting someone from "POF" that was a bit of a "munter". She wasn't sure whether she wanted to meet him again, due to his unsightliness....but persuaded herself to put herself through the torture once more.....she probably got people to sponsor her.  Anyway, after forcing him into a lobotomy, a lifestyle change and a complete wardrobe alteration, they're now an item. Yep, she basically built her own boyfriend.....like a test tube baby....he just had to go through the humiliating, degrading and immoral process consciously, during his adulthood. Well as long as they're happy, who am I to rock the boat?!  I'd had a similar experience with someone who was perfectly happy to be seen with me in public, if only I drastically altered my choices of attire. Needless to say, it didn't last very long. If you're reading this, you know who you are! What's wrong with wearing flares and frilly shirts anyway? Prince wore them and nobody batted an eyelid.

One thing I have learnt during my dating tenure, is that men and women are pretty much the same.  All the annoying tendencies and neurosis that women complain about within men, I've seen in women.  We might display our negative aspects in different ways, but we all have them.  I could go through all my horror stories, but I'll refrain out of respect....more likely I'm just holding them back for a later blog, or should I say novel, as there have been that many!  I think most people make the cardinal sin of going for the type of person we think we 'should' be with, not the person that is right for us, and end up making all sorts of adjustments and amendments to our characters to satisfy their needs. In truth, they're not for you and never will be....the right person for you was the one you binned off 24 first dates ago, because she said "amazeballs" in an american accent....ok that was one of the aforementioned horror stories, just a sneak peak.

Far be it from me to claim to be indifferent to all this behaviour mind. I'm equally shallow, I've joked many a time that the list of people who want to meet me look like a who's who of the 1980's darts scene. That's a bit harsh I know, Bobby George was a fine looking young man back in the day.

All that stuff just goes back to my nature v nurture blog really, which can you peruse if you haven't already. Using one pointless blog to link to an equally pointless blog there!  Anyway, I guess what I'm trying to say, is that there needs to be a huge shift in the public perception of what they should be looking for in a partner, that's assuming there is even a need for a long term partner, or whether we're even designed to be with the same person on a day to day basis. There's another pointless blog to be squeezed out of that information.

Now if you'll excuse me I have some coffee to drink.....and I have a private message.....from Jocky Wilson.


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