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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

To discuss online dating: Jane Austen's worst nightmare

I am mediocre looking.
It's been confirmed. And not just by girls I hit on as a 7th grader.
Famously Single, who has a great blog, went out on a limb and said online dating is for people who are mediocre looking and who aren't content with waiting to meet the right person during daily life.

I agree with Famously on one point- I think there's nothing bad about waiting and going all traditional. It's how our parents did it. It's how every Jane Austen character has done it. It's how most people throughout history have done it. I can't imagine Helen of Troy would have filled out an eHarmony profile (Interests: Ships, Trojan condoms, war, Brad Pitt).
Still, I think online dating no longer has the scarlet letter attached to it anymore. It's just another way to meet people. Plus, it's harder to get an STD through e-mail- that's what a spam filter is for.

Here's how I got into online dating:
Last fall, I decided to sign up for Match.com.* Sure, it would have been more traditional to have met the woman of my dreams in day-to-day activities, but, as a reporter, there's a whole journalistic ethics** thing that says it's a no-no to boink your sources (or misquote them. Or misquote them while boinking them). That severely limits my options. Yes, you see journalists in movies doing their sources all the time, but let's remember Drew Barrymore and Tara Reid shouldn't be considered role models for journalistic integrity.

When I scanned the images of the available women within my area, yeah, sure, Famously Single is right: there are a lot of butterfaces (everything but her face), shovelfaces (looks like it got hit with a shovel), gaspfaces (make you gasp in horror), snickerfaces (they must love to eat candy bars... and pizza... and children), and genderfaces (did they accidentally click the wrong box for "gender"?)
They are all looking for love, and I believe there's the right person out there for everyone, although to get them, some have to rely more on personality, some slut it up, and some are Brody Jenner.

But there were several pretty girls. I e-mailed a few, and, surprisingly, got a few e-mails back.
The first date I went on was with XXX. If you haven't read about XXX, who doesn't get the dignity of a good fake name, please read. It's become my favorite story to tell.

Fortunately, dear readers, I soon got an e-mail back from Capricorn, who I couldn't quite believe needed online dating to find a good guy. We went on a date, and it turns out she was even more gorgeous in person than in her photo. No hidden flaw or secret life as a serial killer (it's no secret. She shot someone in the face. Just kidding. It was the chest). She's a great person who wanted a different way to find a man.
I would like the two of us to be on one of those Match.com commercials where we stare at each other and giggle in black-and-white and then Capricorn talks about how awesome I am and how I'm the best thing that's ever happened to her and then I get on with a big smile and say how Capricorn is fully aware of how awesome I am. Something like that.***
To further entrench me in the online dating camp, my brother recently found a funny, pretty girl online, and they've been dating for several weeks. We now double date (face-to-face, not online, although I suppose we could meet in a chat room and speak in emoticons).

So, give me your stance. Any horror stories? Am I completely off base about online dating being a viable option? Am I mediocre looking? (Don't answer the last one. The truth hurts). Famously Single, I applaud you taking a stance, even if it's the wrong one. If you want, I'll be your online dating coach and write your profile for you. I think J-Money even found some eligible bachelors.
----------------
* In hindsight, I should have auditioned for The Bachelor. Or Bromance.
** By ethics, I mean the ones that no one thinks we have. Thanks again, New York Times!
*** Yeah, I'm going to pay for that one. Love you, Capricorn.

29 comments:

BeckEye said...

I haven't tried any of the pay sites. I can't bring myself to do it. I've tried Plenty of Fish, which I should have known right away was bad when I typed in the URL: www.plentyoffish.com. Yeah, most of the guys on there are plenty offish, alright.

And my word ver is ficsh. How strange. How...off.

Amy xxoo said...

Ok, so i'm for online dating. It hasnt exactly worked for me yet, but i have made one good friend out of it. I dont think its only for mediocre looking people - what about those of us who are a little shy, and who find the first contact easier to make when there isnt the same face-to-face pressure.

So, if anyone is reading this and you totally want to date me, hit me up!

Amy xxoo said...

Oh,plus - the women ( at least ) in most Jane Austen stories dont wait very long.... Elizabeth Bennet is only 21ish when she marries Mr Darcy!

Rosie&James said...

A few of my cousins met their husbands through eHarmony, and that's worked out well for them. My brother meets his girlfriends in chat rooms and they are usually... how to I say this tactfully? Out of their freaking minds bat-stuff crazy.

I say online dating at your own risk. Better yet, meet your exboyfriend's co-worker and fall madly in love. I've been happily married for three years, but the ex-bf didn't feel so good. Moral of the story? Introduce your ex to your friends at your own risk as well.

wee-h said...

Recently registered for Match.com when i got dumped before xmas in frustration as i always meet men younger than me and i needed some maturity. Online dating is for anyone who wants to meet someone outside of their social circle.

I've found people recently have been more wierded out by folk meeting friends through the internet than partners...!

Herding Cats said...

I joined match.com after a bad breakup and a bottle of wine. Never thought I'd do it. I was on there for a week. There were so many creepy people, but then there was one.....

we've been dating for over two years. I thank that break-up, my lack of shame, and that bottle of wine everyday of my life. I'm glad I didn't wait around for prince charming. Also, I am not mediocre looking and neither is my boyfriend....so that's slightly unfair. Although I sometimes have a little shame when people ask how we met, I am just happy that we DID meet.

Liz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Liz said...

I met my Moonpie online...

Yeah, that worked out REAL well... :(

Jest said...

I joined Eharmony after Tea and I broke up and I got rid of it after one date. It was awful. The guy burped the entire time, made me pay and didn't ask me a single question about myself. And then he expected a second date. Which never happened. I think it's great for some people, but it's not for me.
Ps. You are not mediocre looking, from the pictures I've seen.
My word verification is dabnag, which makes me think of "dagnabbit!" which makes me laugh.

Kellie said...

My twin sister tried Match for a bit but was only on it for a few months b/c she kept meeting creeps. By creeps I mean men who would send her pictures of them nekkid or even one that as they were IM'ing back and forth told her she was so hot she gave him a knobby and sent her a picture of his erect (and crooked) penis. Wow. After that she decided to go back to the old fashioned way.

But anyway, I don't think it is just for mediocre people. It's just for people who want to meet more people than they can in usual circumstances. It's all about maximizing your opportunities!

FunnyGal KAT said...

Online dating did not work for me in a pretty spectacular way but, hey, I ended up with plenty of great stories about the really weird dudes I went out with. But a good friend of mine met her husband online (um, he wasn't her husband at the time because she probably would have been angry about finding her husband on a dating site, he was just some dude who eventually became her husband. BIG DIFFERENCE)

bex said...

No one would read Pride and Prejudice if Elizabeth met Mr. Darcy in a wealthy-stuffy-Englishmen chatroom instead of sludging through the mud to Mr. Bingley's crib like the poor country girl she is.

TishTash said...

You and Capricorn have a modern day romance. I think if it could get you love in the end, then it's worth it. At least from a girl's perspective though, you do have to go through a lot of turkeys to get a keeper. But perserverance is key. As is a sense of humor.

Mel said...

Eh - whatever works. Good or bad, who's to say? People have problems with whatever way people meet each other: work? don't ruin your career. school? you're too young. bar? were you drunk? online? you're a loser. What's left? An arranged marriage? Good god I'd hate to see who I was arranged with! Actually I went on a couple of blind dates set up by my mom, so I know who she'd arrange me with. So, no!

Diane said...

Well, I don't know what Famously Single looks like (no photos on her blog for the rest of us to determine, objectively, if she's in the top 20%) but I think she's full of hooey (no offense intended, FS, if you're reading).

Online dating didn't exist when I was in my 20's, so I can't speak for anyone that age who does it and what their reasons might be. But for a newly divorced, single mom in her early 40's, who works from home, and lives in Pigsknuckle, VA, there aren't a whole lot of dating options out there.

Anyone in this day and age(especially a blogger, who connects with people on a daily basis online) who discounts the viability of the Internet to make connections REGARDLESS of what the person looks like, is pretty short-sighted. It doesn't always work in terms of romance, but it gets you out there and meeting people you wouldn't otherwise know. And that's not a bad thing.

And Andy? You're not mediocre-looking. You're adorable. And I'm not just saying that because you're my bloggy crush. You are. Ask any of your girly readers. Ask Capricorn. We know.

Racquel Valencia said...

I met my current boyfriend on Plenty of Fish. While we may both actually be crazy, we're the same kind of crazy so it's cool. I was working in social services, where there's a "no boinking the crackheads" policy, and none of my friends had any elligible bachelors to hook me up with.

It kind of worked in our favour that we're from such a small town; we have a lot of mutual friends and acquaintances (he's actually in a hardcore band with my ex-boyfriend!)

So yes, I see no stigma with online dating. Hell, if we can bank, shop and take university classes online, why can't we meet people?

Astharis said...

I met my boyfriend through a community that I was part of online... So whereas it wasn't an actual dating site, there was no way that we would've met other wise.

I think that it can work or fall apart just in the same way that any other relationship can.

As the stigma attached to online dating drops, the more likely there are to be good matches online. It's good for everyone really. :p

Lump said...

I've never had any online dating experiences. But my brother's best friend met his wife from Match.com... unfortunately, I heard she's a bitch. I guess the dude likes the bitches.

Andy, you're not mediocre looking. I mean, that should say A LOT when it comes from me. ;) and from the little I've seen of Capricorn she's pretty hot.

Jossie Posie said...

Well as anyone who reads my blog is aware I met the ex-bf playing World of Warcraft online...and our relationship worked while it lasted. He wasn't odd looking or strange.

The latest crush I "met" through the blog and even though we haven't seen each other face to face yet, I am optimistic based on our conversations. However, these are both unorthodox online meetings. Match.com seems more normal than my two methods. But then again maybe not. I've never tried online dating sites but I don't know how I feel about being judged by my photos. So yeah. This comments had no real purpose.

Lizzie said...

I'm glad you got something great out of Match - it gives me hope. I went on a Match date about two years ago where the guy gave me a "trust test" and took me to Chuck E Cheese to see "how fun I was." Match is now dead to me.

KatieSaysSo said...

I have never tried online dating but at this point...I may have to give it a shot. Living in Nebraska in a town of 5000 isnt helping me out.....

Andy said...

Awwwwwww!

I personally think you got extremely lucky with Capricorn.

9 out of 10 times, you won't be satisfied!

Kylie said...

I have not experienced online dating, thank god!! So, I guess I have no advice for you. But, at least you found Capricorn! That should be reason enough to believe in the great miracles of online dating!

Erin said...

My brother met his wife online. My best friend met her husband online. I am currently trying to convince another friend to give online dating a try, since Prince Charming just isn't going to show up on her couch one day. She's morally opposed to the internet, though, so it's rough going.

*~Dani~* said...

B and I met on Match.com. Before that, however, plenty of creeps and losers. In fact, some of the same people would show up on all of the sites and even at speed dating events. Yes, I did speed dating. That was a riot! Do they even do that anymore?

~Sheila~ said...

Well, I'm not exactly sure where i stand on online dating. I've never tried it before (never had to). I think that if you and Capricorn found each other and each of you are still alive because no one turned into a stalking serial killer...Then that says it all.

I would love to see you guys in a commercial. You know you can set it up with your own camera for our viewing pleasure!!

P.S. You're not mediocre looking at all. I think you are very handsome and Capricorn is very lucky!

Thomas said...

I've never tried it, I've always goen the conventional route. I'm glad to hear it all turned out for the best though.

Who knows, you could have been kidnapped by a prostitution ring and forced into a life of crime and questionable behaviour.

Sam_I_am said...

Gotta love a good Capricandy story.

My best romances were ones that started online. The ones the started in real life were just f*ed up.

JenBun said...

I read this twice yesterday and could have SWORN I commented, but I don't see anything...

I think all I said was "Drew Barrymore and Tara Reid are my role models for everything, ESPECIALLY journalistic integrity."

There ya go-- wouldn't want you to miss a gem like that! ;)

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