Dear Online Dating Service Participants:
Hi! How’s it going? Believe me, I understand “the struggle.” I am writing because I find you interesting; there are just so many things I want to share with you!
Now that we’ve observed the social/conversational norms, I think it’s high time we addressed a few of the reasons you are having such a hard time and/or causing everyone with whom you come into contact to have an even harder time, by discussing a few online dating dos and don’ts:
DO: OBSERVE SOCIAL/CONVERSATIONAL NORMS
Before regaling your potential date with epic tales of all of your past romantic disappointments, and/or a laundry list of all the hopes and expectations you hold for future soulmates, take time to observe the social/conversational norms. You’ve already seen how this is done.
DON’T: REGALE YOUR POTENTIAL DATE WITH EPIC TALES OF ALL OF YOUR PAST ROMANTIC DISAPPOINTMENT
Don’t do this, ever. Look, I’m no scientist, but if 32 of your previous (actual or potential) romantic partners saw fit to abandon/reject you, I’m going to have to go ahead and put my faith in the validity of empircal research.
I, personally, never voluntarily disclose information about former partners. If I am asked, I tell them my last lover was wrongfully imprisoned for a crime he did not commit; that he recently escaped from maximum security stockade into the Los Angeles underground, and that the last I heard, he is still wanted by the government and is currently surviving as a soldier of fortune. I think it’s a good idea to let your date know right up front that you don’t go for just anybody.
DO: BE “MYSTERIOUS”
Is your real job boring? Do you have a lot of “issues” with persons, places, or things? Your potential date does not want to hear about those things! It’s not like they know where you REALLY work, or how you REALLY feel about anything! For Christ’s sake, leave a little something to the imagination. And nothing helps people “imagine” you as interesting more than you making up something interesting. Tell them you’re a pirate. Or…a paleontologist. Or a motherfucking cage fighter.
DON’T: MAKE THIS YOUR FIRST CORRESPONDENCE
555-1234. call or txt sumtime if u want.
What?! I don’t even know you! That’s not how you spell “sometime!” Next!
DO: ASK THEM FOR THEIR PHONE NUMBER WITHIN A REASONABLE TIME PERIOD
If you’ve corresponded enough to feel reasonably comfortable that your potential date is not wanted by the authorities (unless that’s your thing), understands the basic rules of grammar (if you care about such things, and clearly, everyone does not) and is actually interested in you (note: if they’re responding to your emails, they’re probably interested), go ahead and ask for their phone number. It is the logical next step. Duh.
**LADIES: DON’T ask men for their phone number. I understand that the rules for dating have changed, but they are not improved by evolution. In my opinion, which is always correct, nearly everything that is wrong with relationships/dating today can be traced back to an enabling/compromising woman in your potential date’s past. Do your part to right the wrongs of your forebears by not asking men for their phone number — or for anything else at this stage. “But what if he’s shy?” some of you may ask. What?! Who wants to go out with that?! Shy = scared. And I’ve got news for you, ladies — “scared” ain’t gonna want to sleep on whichever side of the bed is likely to be the first approached by ghosts/aliens, thereby increasing YOUR odds of escape. Better to be single than to have to worry about tripping over a “shy” person when every second counts.
DON’T: BE ALL “EXTREME” ABOUT YOUR KIDS
Look. It really should (but rarely ever does) go without saying that kids come first. But if your kids are your “entire world,” you’ve got problems. And one of those problems is that you are full of shit. Worst case scenarios are compelled to up the *extreme* ante right up front by saying that anyone who can’t understand and/or accept that their kids are their entire world should never contact them. Lol. Is that really a problem for you? I mean, really? If you are plagued by hoardes of kid-hating, would-be soulmates hellbent on having every ounce of your time and attention — hey, I get it. Otherwise, argh/no. C’mon. If your kids were your *ENTIRE WORLD* there’s no way you’d achieve that level of badassedness at (insert videogame title or recreational pursuit here)! People whose kids are their entire world don’t have time for internet whoring. They’re too busy minding those kids.
DO: KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
Look. I believe in aiming high. In fact, its the only way I aim. I have heard it said that there is a fine line between confidence and narcissism, and I like to use that line as a jump rope. For comedic effect, mostly. But that is beside the point. Reading those profiles is the point. I know it’s hard. There are like…all these words that are saying things that are boring and can’t possibly have anything to do with how much you like that picture. Or *do* they?
Not knowing your audience is like flying blind. You might survive it, but the odds are not in your favor. You’re taking a real chance on waking up one day and discovering that the object of your affection *doesn’t* hate drama. And you know how much you hate that! Or waking up to the sounds of NASCAR coming from a den with a severed-animal head decorating scheme. Maybe you’ll discover that they *don’t* work hard/play hard. Or that they hate hiking or long walks on beaches you don’t live near. Or that their kids are their entire world. Is that a chance you’re willing to take? If so, by all means, proceed. I admire bravery wherever I find it. But reading is the best. Or, at least, better than regret. I bet there were clues.
I trust you have found this informative. And it is with the sincerest wishes that you enjoy/survive your romantic entanglements that I remain