The Online Saga Part One: Here Goes Nothing

Yep, I made the leap. So far it’s been about what I expected, a couple possibilities and infinitely more walking disasters. So, it’s basically the bar scene, with computers and less make up.

In order to get the full experience from every angle, I joined a handful of sites to see which one yields the best results. After the first month, I will (hopefully) narrow it down to one (site, not guy). I haven’t signed up for Match, because it would get damn expensive to test drive every paid site. I also stayed away from Plenty of Fish (a few friends warned me against it) and OK Cupid (in the interest of full disclosure, I only avoided this one because Julian Assange was on it, and, as neurotic as it may be, that fact left a bad taste in my mouth).

My grievances thus far are mostly about particular user (as I see them) blunders that many men (and maybe women, I haven’t explored profiles of the gentler sex) repeat.

First of all, unnatural shirtless photos scream “douche!” not “I’m attractive!” It’s even more baffling when these individuals don’t possess a body to brag about, and there they are, self photographed in their bathroom mirror, proud as can be. Even if you are a modern-day Adonis, there is no reason for you to post a contrived shirtless picture on your dating profile. (I lied, If you look like this, you get a reprieve.)

Also, the profiles are so one note; it’s disheartening. I’ve lamented this nature of men before and Libby pointed out that they perhaps aren’t capable of embodying facets. Sorry guys, I wanted to give you the benefit of the doubt (feel free to ream me out in the comments section). However, the many, many profiles I’ve read that mention sports as their greatest passion, the one thing they couldn’t live without, the way they spend their leisure time and the best first date suggest you really have only one thing on your mind (well, two, but you know better than to talk about the other on a dating profile). Sometimes athletics even make a cameo appearance in the “more about me” section. I get it, you’re a dude, you loves the sports. I’m not opposed to them; I just want to know if there is anything else in your life you enjoy.

* Sigh * Then there is the poor grammar. I know I’m a bit (ok a lot a bit) of a grammar Nazi, but I don’t expect everyone in the world to have perfect grammar. I screw up a lot too (I’m sure you can find a few errors in this post), so I try to be forgiving about a rogue comma here or a misplaced quotation mark there. Still, is it all that difficult to give your profile a quick once over to catch the blatant misspellings? And, for the love of William Safire, save the “LOL” and emoticons for texting and (if you must) e-mailing.

Ok this is the last complaint of this particular diatribe, I promise. What is with the “winking” feature? It gives me absolutely nothing to respond to. It may (on an off night) work to draw me over while in a crowded bar. But online it tells me you were too lazy to come up with anything of substance. The same goes for the “you’re hot,” “hi” and “what’s up?” messages. If you want me to correspond with you, give me something to go off from.

I’m probably being way too snotty and particular about a dating avenue that was originally reserved for those viewed as desperate, but there have been a few individuals who have avoided these irritating landmines, and I’ve had some potentially promising interaction with them. For this reason, I feel like it is possible to have a nice, fully clothed profile picture, mention three or four different interests, use spell check and send an opener like “I noticed you love Barry Manilow, did you see him when he came to town? It was a great show.” Alas, alack my snobbish expectations may be too high, even (or especially) on the Internets.