The Rambles of Neil Monnery

Another pointless voice in the vast ocean that is the interweb

The (quite) interesting and bizarre world of online dating

with 9 comments

Ok so I’m single. I’m 28. I work from home and don’t exactly hit the town hard at the weekends. I am prime what you’d call ‘online dating’ territory. I have flitted about on some of these over the years to a varying degree of success. Well when I say that what I basically mean is in general no success at all but it has led to the odd amusing moment.

Last week some American guy was in all the papers because he kept a spreadsheet of all the people had contacted via Match.com and a lot of people berated and belittled him for it. One of the girls though was contacted by the Daily Mail and she was far more annoyed at the person who exposed it. She deemed it as sensible. So what do I have to say about online dating?

Well firstly the world of online dating is a lot colder than the real world of dating. Online all people see is a photo. They don’t really see a personality as so few people actually read a profile. Also it is a lot easier to ignore someone online than it is in real life. If you walked up to someone in a club and started talking to them and you had no interest in them it is harder to getaway without hurting his feelings and you could spend the rest of the night seeing him look at you. Awkward. Online you can get an introductory message and you can ignore it and you’ll never have to see or hear from them again if you ignore it. Awesome.

I was laying in bed last night and was planning this blog in my head (yes that is the type of thing that I do in bed – possibly an indicator for why I’m single?) but anyway I was trying to work out how many dates I had been on via dating websites. I think I worked out it was eight. So lets have a look at how they all worked out and see how successful it has been:

Girl 1: Met via Faceparty (is Faceparty a dating website?) it kinda was back in the day but not strictly. I am however counting it for the sake of this. Met in Ryde in 2004. Didn’t go well. She didn’t speak to me again but a few days later was drunk and called up wanting a booty call. That was never going to happen.

Girl 2: Faceparty again. Met up on three occasions but I wouldn’t sleep with her on dates one and two. She decided I wasn’t for her. Between dates 2&3 she met someone else. She wouldn’t speak to me for four years until she split up with said guy and promptly started talking to me again.

Girl 3: Bit of a gap here. 2010 is where we are now. Met up in town and it was ok but I knew there was nothing there. We had a second date planned but she cancelled saying – and I quote she had ‘washing up to do’ yes folks – not even washing her hair – just plain washing up. Not sure I could ever in my life top that excuse.

Girl 4: Here we get to the first I really had some sort of connection with. We had communicated for months. Got on well but there was another guy in the picture and she led me on for a long time before she realised she actually wanted other guy. We are still friends.

Girl 5: Girl was really into me online. We met up for lunch. She never spoke to me again.

Girl 6: A bit like Girl 5 but this has a more hilarious finish. We met up for dinner my one and only ever dinner date – there will never ever be another – never) and by the time I had gotten home she had deleted me from Facebook. Guessing she didn’t exactly have a great time…?

Girl 7: Guessing she thought it was a booty call and not a date. When she found out it wasn’t she disappeared saying ‘I’ll call you’ and promptly never spoke to me again.

Girl 8: I actually dated someone for a few weeks. Then she realised that she wasn’t over her ex and didn’t want to lead me on thinking it was unfair on me. Fair enough really. We are still friends.

So overall not exactly a great success but then we get to the really fun stuff that I look back on and just laugh.

A few years ago I was talking to a girl who seemingly liked me. She added me to Facebook and she saw my other photos. She remarked that I used to have a shaved head (which I did) and that she didn’t like shaved heads on guys. I said well I don’t any more but that wasn’t enough. I was promptly removed from Facebook and never spoken to again.

Not that long ago I spoke to someone and I realised I had messaged her maybe a year ago and she didn’t reply then. This time she did and said she’d add me to Facebook and we’d chat. She did but she never appeared on Facebook chat. I sent her a message a couple of days later to say I hadn’t seen her online and she ignored it and then deleted me from Facebook. So basically she had looked around my other photos and decided I was a bit too ugly for her and that she didn’t want to know me.

So I thought I’d just check again the type of guys she wants. Answering the question ‘You should message me if…’ (I wonder how many of you know what dating website that is from) she said thus:

You give good hugs and can make me laugh until I laugh so much I can’t breathe properly. Laughter is the best medicine :)

Now I’m not sure if you can tell who gives good hugs from an internet dating profile or from pictures. Also can you really work out if someone is hilariously funny just from one of two short introductory messages? I would contend that you can’t. What you can do though is looking at all their photos and decide ‘nah…’

These days I don’t think I’ll meet anyone online (or in real life – cue violins) but in a way I like to think of it as a game. I scan the profiles for girls who say that they either a) just like to talk and meeting new people no matter if its for dating or just to be friends or b) they just want a nice guy because they have been jerked around a lot and complain that there are no decent guys out there or finally c) those (and these are the best) who say they reply to everyone and/or have a codeword in their profile that if you use it’ll show you’ve read their profile and they guarantee to reply to you.

I do this as a personal test to see if they are just liars and what they really want is just someone drop dead gorgeous. So people who are happy to chat to anyone, those who just want a nice guy (which I contend I am) or those who promise to reply to all messages or have a codeword that ensures a reply. I have done this off and on for ages so I can’t give full numbers but I can do it for the past month. 28 people contacted that fulfil at least one of the above criteria. Amount of replies is zero. Yes zero.

Six of them are people who say they’ll reply to everyone – all of them have looked at my profile but decided their guarantee wasn’t valid for such an unattractive person. Five of them are people who just want to chat to anyone. Again all of them did check out my profile. Of the remaining 17 who just wanted a nice guy – 15 had at least looked at my profile.

So there we have it. A small experiment into the behaviour of people on dating websites. It must be pointed out that I am not Brad Pitt nor am I George Clooney. However I don’t think I’m exactly The Elephant Man either. I’m sure most people would ‘rate me’ at around four or five out of ten. Still a lot of people don’t say they are looking for the most handsome guy in the world. So maybe it is my personality where I fall short. Not sure you can really garner someone’s personality from a profile or one message unless they are being totally sleazy and I can assure you that is something that I am not.

If people said ‘look – I only want to talk to Greek Gods’ then you’d say fair enough but to say you’ll talk to anyone or just want a down to earth decent guy and then it turns out that you won’t or don’t then that is a bit off.

There was a profile I have seen before which had a hilarious blurb at the top of it but she must’ve deleted her profile as I can’t find it today. It basically said ‘look I know this is online dating but stop messaging me ugly guys. If I wouldn’t talk to guys as ugly as you in public then why would I online?’ and I would look at that profile all the time just to shake my head and laugh at her. She wasn’t unattractive but boy she wasn’t a young Audrey Hepburn. She just came across as ugly inside and she reeked of it.

To sum up. Online dating is an interesting beast. If you are sensitive then it probably isn’t the best place for you. It is easy to rack up rejection after rejection. If you aren’t then it can be a good laugh. If you are attractive then you’ll do a lot better online than in real life comparing it to less attractive people physically. In real life you see both looks and personality straight away. Online it is primarily looks and if you haven’t got them then prepare for a whole world of pain.

Update: I found that profile I was looking for earlier. She had changed her username. Cheeky so n so…

It amazes me where people get their confidence from on here… come on we all know roughly where we stand in life- just because you’re online it doesn’t really mean you can suddenly start messaging people out of you’re league. I don’t mean to sound harsh but the amount of people punching well above their weight seizes to amaze me. I sound like a complete ****… I’m really not just sick of time wasters :-)

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Written by neilmonnery

April 23rd, 2012 at 12:21 pm

Posted in Dating,Personal

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9 Responses to 'The (quite) interesting and bizarre world of online dating'

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  1. Interesting! There is so much controversial behaviour brought about by online dating – but who wouldn’t expect it, love is an unpredictable game that when combined with the internet can be even more confusing (as if it wasnt enough already!).

    I wouldn’t worry though, just as much shit happens in real life – I’ve never had the pleasure of online dating, but must say have had my share of weird experiences. For example a guy phoned me saying we had met dancing a month ago ( i didnt remember him but obviously we met – he had my number), he had been abroad, but was back now and wanted to go out. We went out, he bought some drinks, we sat down, then he had a mysterious phonecall which he had to take, promised me he would be right back, and didnt return having not even touched his drink. Never heard from him again!

    The biggest complaint I get from friends about online dating is ‘people never look like their picture’. So better people see the real you, than pretend you look like Johnny Depp & waste your time on a date to find they are not worth it. To be honest I would recommend instead of internet dating – try taking up a new female-friendly hobby, maybe yoga or drawing or something different – you will meet new people and thats the best way to meet genuine people rather than the twats you have had to encounter in your online endeavours.

    Sanaa

    23 Apr 12 at 6:06 pm

  2. I have got to say that the drink guy is quite awful but with regards to people not looking like their pictures. I have had that on at least one occasion. Girl 3 did not look anything like her pics and not in a good way. I didn’t exactly cry that she had washing up to do.

    I’m not really looking at the moment. If someone walks into my life then good times but I have enough on my plate at the mo.

    neilmonnery

    23 Apr 12 at 8:57 pm

  3. This amused me, but you must learn to not be so self-depreciating.

    Are you aware of Rhodri Marsden, who tweeted about bad dates and now has a book of them? My own contribution was a man who said on his online profile he was 6’1” then on the phone that he was just under 6′. On meeting him he was 5’6” and was wearing high heeled cowboy boots, velvet ski-pants and a paisley shirt. I was scared. (Height matters, I’m 5’8”)

    But in comparison, my good friends met online and have just bought their first house three years on and are getting married this year. So it can work.

    I’m amazed at all the ‘booty calls’ – I certainly didn’t get anything like that when I was dating.

    I’d also be inclined to ask mates to introduce you to people, or invite you to places where it isn’t a deliberate set up. For example, dinner parties, the pub, etc and see who you meet there. It’s much less superficial and much less forced than a deliberate blind date. I say that married, of course, but I would always happily assist friends.

    Politicalparry

    23 Apr 12 at 9:05 pm

  4. I enjoyed this but I wouldn’t be so down on yourself. Have you seen this:
    http://blog.okcupid.com/index.php/online-dating-advice-exactly-what-to-say-in-a-first-message/

    Matthew

    25 Apr 12 at 9:55 pm

  5. Kelly: I remember those tweets. They were all fantastic. I have met probably 100 people from the net (although only a tiny fraction are via dating websites) and I have yet to meet someone who weren’t who they said they were. Possibly I’ve been lucky that way.

    As for my future ways of finding love. Whatever will be will be. I’m sure as and when the time is right the right person will walk into my life, or whatever they say ;o)

    Matt: I haven’t seen that but I have just given it a peruse. I will report back on my findings for my next test cases ;o)

    neilmonnery

    25 Apr 12 at 10:04 pm

  6. [...] it really is. Yes folks following the worldwide acclaim* of my first entry on this subject entitled The (quite) interesting and bizarre world of online dating I was asked if I had any more stories to tell. Well actually I [...]

  7. If you’re a four, I’m a one.

    I’m not a one.

    Tommy

    5 Jun 12 at 9:16 pm

  8. I had to look up the meaning of ‘booty call’!

  9. [...] read I have blogged about the bizarre world of online dating. The first installment can be found here and the second can be found here. However I was always looking at from a male perspective – [...]

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