Hello, friends. How’s your love life? Going well? You and your significant other are happy and content? Great. Get the fuck out. I mean, you can stay, but we’re not talking about you. You get Valentine’s Day, anniversaries and a wedding industrial complex that tells you you’ve been given a ticket straight up to heaven because you get to have a fancy ass party with your SO. You’ve got enough. I’m talking to those that are single, and actively looking to change that. Whether the change you’re looking for is permanent or temporary is irrelevant. What I want to talk about is the process of looking for a short/ long term partner.
It blows, right?
Not all of it. Some of it is fun. When you get into a really good texting rhythm with a new prospective, it can feel like a lot of fun. And a successful first date is the goddamn best. But a lot of it is basically boring rejection. Not people saying they don’t want you, just a steady stream of possible suitors not picking you. Especially if you’re online dating. Online dating has reached a really weird stage. It’s commonplace and accepted enough that it’s lost a large part of the stigma. What was once relegated to creeps and weirdos has now been opened up to people from every walk of life, and creeps and weirdos. Yeah, bitch, this is still the Internet.
Now instead of just watching out for the creepers, you have to watch out for the creepers while being openly and actively charming to the non- creepers. It’s a hell of a balancing act. So with that difficulty in mind, I’ve drawn on some of my own experiences to help guide you through the Do’s and Don’ts of online dating. Bear in mind, inherent in each of these is the overwhelming first commandment: Don’t be an asshole.
DO include a recent, clear pictures of yourself which gives an accurate representation of your overall appearance.
DO message people you’re interested in including specific items from their profile and open ended questions they can easily respond to.
DON’T include a graphically detailed, 2000 word account of your sexual fantasies including hitting and choke play with a goddamn belt under the “Things I Think About A Lot” section because what the fuck, dude?
Don’t try to force a “maybe” into a “yes.” They want kids, you don’t. You’d rather spend the night at a foreign film fest, they’re up for clubbing till the wee hours. Online dating has wildly opened your options. Pass on more than you don’t.
Don’t try to force a “no” into a “yes.” If he/ she says no to a date, they mean no. Talking them into one is gross and weird, and will be an uncomfortable story when people ask how you met.
And once you get that date (without coercion):
Do try to enjoy yourself on the first, casual “getting to know you” coffee/ drinks/ walk. Plan on a shorter, less intensive first date in case you don’t hit it off.
Do let a friend know that the date was successful/ terrible and that you didn’t get date murdered. Unfortunately safety is still a major concern. Make sure people know where you are and who you’re with.
Don’t accidentally text your date instead of your friend with the message about how your date went like you’re in some sort of fucking Katherine Heigl movie because WHO THE FUCK DOESN’T DOUBLE CHECK WHO THEY’RE TEXTING FIRST? THIS IS WHY YOU CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS, EMILY.
Now, bear in mind, that first however successful date doesn’t automatically mean you and your date are now in love. Online dating is a process. So after that first date:
Don’t immediately delete your profile. It was one date, man. Slow your roll.
Do continue to use online dating services to see if there’s anyone else you connect with. You paid for 6 months, you’re going to goddamn use them.
Don’t make any promises to someone you’re seeing if you’re not really ready to commit. It’s OK to take your time with a relationship. Be honest about what you’re looking for, what you expect from the person you’re seeing, and what they can expect from you. If you met on a dating site, they’ll be able to see if you’re still active. They can see you. Don’t lie.
Do try to get a friend to online date with you. This part is actually the best. Swapping bad messages, asking for second opinions on a profile, that beautiful moment when you and your friend are matched with the same person! Online dating can feel lonely so like with swimming, bring a buddy.
Don’t. That’s not what I meant. Don’t ever send that message.
Don’t let yourself get discouraged. Online dating is no more rife with rejection than any other form of dating, it’s just slightly amplified. That person you liked visited your profile, and decided “nah, I’m good.” That stings. So just remember that there could be a million little things that made them opt not to message you, and that doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong. There are 7 billion people in the world; you’re not going to click with everyone. I’d strongly recommend you keep in mind what I do: every time someone has chosen not to pursue a relationship with you, it’s because immediately after they viewed your sparkling profile, they were hit by a bus and killed instantly. It’s the only logical explanation. Which actually brings me to my real last Do
Do encourage your local media to investigate the rash of recent deaths by bus. It’s becoming a large problem.