An Idiot’s Guide To Online Dating
Online dating isn’t just for geeks anymore. No sir. Dorks and nerds are also hopping on board the e-train to crippling romantic disappointment. I’m not saying that only geeks, dorks and nerds use online dating, only that I’m one of the coolest people doing it, and I named my cat Amy Adams, so I can say ‘I love you Amy Adams’ each day when I wake up (I have…issues).
No, I’m kidding – almost everyone uses online dating these days. In fact, a cursory poll of people in my bedroom right now bedroom shows that 100% of people use online dating as a way to quell ‘the soul crushing thought that they’re going to die alone’ (their words, not mine).
Sites like RSVP, Match.com and others promise to find you love, or at least the digital equivalent. Now, I know what you’re thinking, and no, online dating isn’t as complicated as it seems. In fact, I can tell you all about it. After all, I’ve been using it for almost twenty four hours, so I’m the perfect person to give an introduction to its desperate world.
What’s a good name to use?
Be as creative as you want. Think of telling the great stories you’ll have of meeting your future spouse. He was named “Souljaboyplaya1986.” You were “dippinitlow19.” He messaged you drunk at 2 AM to enquire as to why your legs refused to cease.
Can you imagine how more romantic Gone With The Wind would be if it was set in the modern day and that sort of stuff happened? Clark Gable would be all “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn, because I have your Facebook and I’ll know if you’re cheating on me.”
Should I use a picture?
Yes, but it shouldn’t be an accurate portrayal of yourself. If you’re large, make yourself look skinnier. If you’re skinnier, then make yourself look several hundred pounds heavier. If you’re a lion, then use a picture of a Zebra drinking from a nearby waterhole (feel free to eat the Zebra after taking its picture). Surprise is one of the most important parts of dating, and just imagine how shocked your date will be when you look totally different in real life. They’ll love the surprise.
For extra points: Find a picture of somebody else on the internet and use that. SUPER SURPRISE!
What things should I put in my profile?
Your sex: Surprisingly important. Unlike most questions, it’s best not to lie this one.
Personal details: This proves you are a person and not a robot or a hairy primate who’s mastered computer skills in a remote government testing facility. The more details the better. Posting your Tax File and Credit Card Numbers almost guarantee that you’ll be inundated with potential suitors happy to not be talking to some chimp in Guam with battleships for legs.
Be specific: Give specific examples of what you’d like in a mate. For example, mine could read:
“Hi, I’m Sam and I’m looking for a nice brown-haired girl who likes Death Cab for Cutie and isn’t already engaged to my dick of a brother. By the way – he’s cheating on you and everyone knows it!”
See? It’s specific without scaring off potential dates by trying to mold them into someone else.
Now that your profile is set up and your identity certainly hasn’t been stolen yet, you may find yourself receiving messages such as the following:
“hey girl/boy. U fine. Let’s ****
While it may seem vulgar – even crude – at first glance, many of these messages are often from fans of Shakespeare’s famous musing:
Therefore, since brevity is the soul of wit,
And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes,
I will be brief.
These humble fans of the Bard are simply looking for romance. Approach these messages with the some enthusiasm and respect that you would any patron of the arts.
What shouldn’t I put in my profile?
That you bear any resemblance whatsoever to Amy Adams. Did you know there are really weird people out there who just go insane for girls (or potentially boys) who look like they walked right out of Night at the Museum 2 or Julie and Julia? Gross right? If you’re one of these people, then you need to email me right away for really specific instructions about online dating. The rest of you, good luck!
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If you’ve been looking for a chance to say something then this very well could be it.
I wish to God I’d had a list like this when I was 23.
Answer phones better than anyone else has answered phones before. Relay messages so brilliant, they bring people to tears. Turn the coffee run into the choreography of Swan Lake. Become best friends with every intern and every underling and every taxi driver you encounter.
I remember taking the pen and notebook from that woman outside the courtroom, flipping to a clean page in the book, and writing, JESSICA IS SAD in big, bold, uncoordinated letters. “My sister is going to be a good writer someday! Look at how nice her lines are!”