Think about anyone you know who has met somebody on the internet and are still with that person. Not people who had a good relationship from it but it’s over now, I mean people who are actually going the whole hog and getting married and stuff (unlike the example given to me of someone who had ‘met the love of their life – twice’).
I bet they’re just the nicest couple you know. Without wanting to offend (and yet doing so, all in the same sentence), I bet they’re vanilla. You know you love them and like having them in your life and they’re kind of comforting, but they’ll never be as exciting as your Neapolitan friends (and when I say that I’m obviously using 1980s ice cream references rather than any Italian chums you may have – man, I loved that triple-whammy of an ice cream, I mean what’s better than chocolate, strawberry and vanilla in one bowl? In one bowl people!!!).
First let us clarify which websites I’m talking about – without mentioning names because I’d hate to upset any of them as they have vast amounts of power and dosh and could possibly sue or something. Anyway, it’s not the ones that possibly offer more short-term, ahem, liaisons. Or the ones that go for quite specific groups (i.e. those who have a thing for public sector workers). It’s the ones that basically imply: ‘hey, you’re cool like the people in our ads, you can meet your soulmate here, get married and have two children possibly called Poppy and Jack’. Presuming you’re vanilla, that is.
Now, I’ve been on these websites, and been on dates with people on these websites but never did I meet anyone due to anything other than a decent profile pic and the fact they ‘seemed alright’. Initially I thought it was just all the women whose profiles were so incredibly generic that it made it impossible to find ‘the one’ because everyone was the effing same. But, to research this piece and not make it read like something cobbled together barely hours before deadline and after far too much to drink, I decided to look at some of the male profiles. And the men are just as bad…
Firstly, in some instances, they say ‘I’m going to keep this short because it’s only when you meet somebody that you get to know them’. No shit. This however is a dating website and therefore you only have words and pictures to get somebody on a date in the first place – so don’t walk before you can run and make a bloody effort. Which is where the problem lies, people just write the same old crap as everyone else.
Basically, the defining characteristics of single people in the UK that will make them stand out to members of the opposite sex are – if their profiles are to be believed – as follows…
– They like having a night out and a bit of a dance…
– … are just as happy having a night in with a bottle of red (it’s always red for some reason, do single people only drink red? Or is it that single people drink white, but when you’re in a couple you drink red – so in a way, saying you’d be happy to drink red means you’re willing to commit or something?)
– Their friends are always amazed that they’re single (possibly easily amazed friends).
– On Sundays they like having a roast dinner and walking in the park (no doubt kicking leaves at the same time! Who the bloody hell doesn’t like roast dinners? Vegetarians, do not respond).
– They’re as beautiful on the inside as they are on the outside (going by their profile pic I hope not).
– They have an infectious personality (oooh, should you use words like ‘infectious’ when trying to find a mate?)
The point which I’m taking what seems like an ice age to get to (you’ll notice a theme here if you’ve read any of my other posts), is that everybody casts their net so far on dating websites that it’s only ‘nice’ people looking for other ‘nice’ people that meet anyone and are happy with it. The rest of us looking for somebody who is exceptional in some way in order to capture (and keep) our attention (rather than effectively a jack of all trades), are rarely going to find somebody among the mass of mediocrity that you’ll find on dating websites.
So scared are people of putting somebody off that they’re going for pretty much anyone who shares even two of their 50 or so interests or daily habits – ‘you clean your teeth twice a day? No way, I do that too! Let’s get married’. It’s not even that their aren’t exceptional people out there, it’s just finding them takes some digging.
And that’s just one of the perils, there are also a vast amount of blokes on there just to get a shag, which is fine if you’re on there for the same reason (which I’m sure some of you are, but possibly not in such great numbers as the bloke side). Likewise, I’ve heard many a tale of people who are just looking ‘for a bit on the side’ in addition to their everyday partner (risky – but some blokes are nothing if not risk-takers and stupid!)
All of the pitfalls aside, you can obviously meet your future husband/wife/whatever on a dating website. And hence to wrap this up and give this piece purpose – something it’s possibly been lacking despite my having rambled on for a good 946 words (that’s including the words ‘words’, not including the title and not taking into account any ‘editing’ done by Phoebe), it seems fitting that – despite being totally unqualified to do so – I should end with three tips for meeting someone online. Not that you’ll ever admit to doing so even if you succeed, you’ll have ‘met them in a bar’ or ‘through friends of friends’…
1. Choose a picture that actually looks like you.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a plumper lady or even ginger, loads of us are into both types, some even like bigger, ginger ladies… But what will piss us off – as it would you – would be if we go on a date thinking we’re meeting a big-boned, flame-haired beauty only to be met by a peroxide blonde waif. Such misrepresentation of the facts has got to be illegal or something.
2. Go for specifics – not generics.
Everybody eats Sunday dinner, everybody watches DVDs, everybody goes out/stays in, everybody’s friends think they’re awesome (why else would they be ‘friends’ – unless you have money of course).
3. Don’t be too ‘nice’ or settle for ‘nice’
As per my ‘drama queen’ effort of last week, blokes don’t like just ‘nice’, it’s no way near enough of a challenge – so put some crazy shit in your profile. Say how much you like eating lightbulbs/organising illegal cock fights/wrestling alligators – that kind of thing… And, on the flipside, if somebody is writing all the generic stuff, chances are he’s probably a bit dull, and just ‘nice’, which isn’t going to please anyone – well, unless you’re a nice person yourself, in which case, fill yer boots.