Wednesday 14 September 2011


I met a woman the other night that was about to go on her first internet date. She was trying to figure out what to wear, whilst simultaneously get our opinion on the mere notion of dating via the internet. Let’s be honest, you could tell she was nervous and unsure about the whole idea. Of course we did the only thing we could do: we told her to opt for jeans instead of the micro mini she was planning on wearing and to meet him in a public place in case he was an axe wielding maniac (not sure that part was helpful).

Internet dating is definitely a generational phenomenon, not to mention a clear divider between individuals. In short, there are those that do it, and those that would rather stay home alone for the rest of eternity counting the hairs on their cat’s backs. I happily fall into the generation that still views internet dating with some suspicion. For me, it’s a bit like shopping online, if I can’t see it in the flesh, touch it, try it on etc, then I am not necessarily convinced I will like it. It's also just inorganic in its nature and feels like society is inching closer to never having to leave one's home whilst ordering anything and everything online. 
Hmmm, we may be there actually.

Now before I continue, I can already hear the masses out there with stories of how internet dating changed his/her life for the better. And trust me, I’m sure it has. So let’s wander down that path and discuss the positives before my jaded sensibilities show through. For starters, it beats a sweaty, beer soaked bar where you have to get dressed up to then sit on a stool and fend off drunken men who drool on your shoulder and throw one liners at you that are sure to be god awful. “Baby, you’re a thief, cause you stole my heart after just one look.” Lord. Please stop. 

Then there is the fact that you can pretty much shop for all the qualities you are seeking in a man and more importantly, things you are NOT seeking. If successful at the above, one can then weed through the inbox and start up conversations with Bill, Harry and John and continue doing so in a safe, harmless environment for as long as you see fit – or until you build up the nerve to meet Mr. Internet at the local Starbucks (oh yeah, always meet for coffee your first time out, never a meal. Far too big of a commitment). The other good thing about the prolonged conversation is that as sure as I'm sitting here typing, the man on the other end of the computer will say something to put you off; which means you can save yourself a bad date in your near future. A positive. See. 

The problem lies however in the fact that despite what one has put down in their profile or the photo they have chosen, does not make it fact or reality in anyway. I mean who doesn’t embellish on their personal CV? It’s not like one is going to put all the ugly and hideous idiosyncrasies out there for the world to see. Not to mention, most people use their ‘hot’ photo. You know the one where you finally think, damn I look hot; the angle was right, the stars aligned, the jeans fit well and make you look like you haven't eaten since last week. You know, the photo that makes you look better than you really do. Sorry, I know it’s harsh, but humans are inherently vain and insecure. We’re certainly not going to put a photo up there that shows our eye bags and adult acne.

I suppose the other thing that alarms me about internet dating is that anyone can do it. Serial killers can have a profile. Let’s just put it that way. And on that profile they can claim they have a six pack, will bake you muffins and just want to take care of a woman and show them all the love they have to give....and then bury them in the backyard after smacking them over the head with a shovel.

I told you. Jaded. It’s a hard road, but someone has to walk it.
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