Online Romance and My Cold Dark Heart

ID-100134395For someone who lives inside The Internet, it kinda shocks me that I never ended up doing any online dating. Okay, that’s not technically true: I did end up putting up a personal profile on Match.com back when it first came out and wasn’t like “hookup.com” but it wasn’t like, for real. A friend of mine put a profile together that included in the description of us as “floppy” and “meaty” just to see if we could actually attract someone. Included in the likes section, we added such gems as “beating people up,” “looking at photo albums of my cats” and “obsessively talking about our feelings.” In a potential mate, we requested that he be a very short but very beefy bodybuilder with a very tiny brain. The more well-built, the better. Basically, we wanted a buff midget to date us.

I was shocked when, two weeks later, I finally remembered to sign into my email and saw that we had actual responses. Our user name was the same as my email–Stinky Butt–and yet we’d somehow managed to find some guys that were interested in meeting this Stinky Butt freak of a woman. Badgered by my then-boyfriend, who thought what we were doing was mean, my friend and I reluctantly closed the account and said goodbye to Stinky Butt. May she live in eternal peace forevermore.

I’ve thought about online dating now and again, as I’ve had to fill out bio after ever-loving bio (that was my first experience in having to describe myself in 140 or less characters), describing myself in three sentences or less and realized that no matter what, I’d be a piss poor candidate for it. Sarcasm doesn’t translate well over the screen and, let’s be honest here, describing who you are or what you like in three sentences is an abysmal failure no matter who you are. Unless, I guess, your name is “Claudia Schiffer” and then you probably wouldn’t be trolling eHarmony for the love of your life.

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve watched as a number of blog and Twitter romances have started to blossom and I realized that perhaps the blog romance is the new medium for meeting the love of your life. I mean, if a freak like me can make friends through my blog (I have friends now! This is PROGRESS!) then certainly other people can meet potential dates through their blogs.

There’s no pressure on your blog to be anyone but yourself and with the exception of calling myself YOUR Aunt Becky, I am more honest on my blog than I am in real life. I’m not ACTUALLY your aunt, you see, so that may offend someone who thinks that we’re related, but then again, if they believed we were related without any proof other than my word, I probably should try and get them to give me gifts and money and stuff. Because obviously. Whereas on a dating site, I’d get the distinct impression that one might feel a bit like meat being judged for everything from picture—is it too old? New? Obviously photoshopped?–to wittiness of bio (is it too flip? Too coy? Too sarcastic? Too flirty? WHAT CAN YOU SAY ABOUT YOURSELF IN THREE LINES ANYWAY?).

It may be glaringly clear to you all that I was never much good at dating, anyway. I’ve always been excellent at monogamy, not so much at dating around.

I must admit, though, that seeing all of the people hooking up through their blogs is melting my cold, black heart and renewing my long-dead faith in romance. I shouldn’t have to tell you that my faith in romance died sometime back when flannel was in fashion, should I? Because it totally did. It’s just so flipping sweet to see other people falling in love after reading each other’s words (say it with me now, Toy With Me-ers, “AWWWWWW!”). It’s especially refreshing after writing articles about how people marry pillows and video game characters and other inanimate objects to be reminded that love might actually exist out there. And not, you know, require batteries. Or pillow cases.

I think what scares me the most about online dating is that I’d come across another person just like, uh, well, me. Because if, in all my mature glory, my friend and I had thought to make such a clever and delicious profile on an online dating site, then certainly others have as well. And since I still feel kind of guilty for bringing Stinky Butt into the world, it would be karmic justice that I would be taken for a proverbial ride by a couple of bored teenagers posing as an attractive multi-millionaire who is desperately in love with me and wants to buy me a castle AND a pony. I’m well aware that people NOT on dating sites can easily pretend to be a swarthy, yet desperately alluring mother of three living in Chicago rather than a single guy named Darryl living in Detroit, I’m somehow more trusting of non-dating-site people. Let’s not talk about how dumb that sounds, because I totally know it is.

So thank you, my friends in the computer who are all falling in love and shit, because you’re making me all gooey and mushy inside, which normally only happens when I eat burritos with extra hot salsa. You remind me that love is good and that it’s out there just around the bend and sometimes even Your Aunt Becky needs that reminder. Let’s keep this whole “emotions” thing between us, okay? And if any of you mention that I have actual feelings, I’ll cut you. Hard.

So tell me, Toy With Me-ers, what are your experiences with dating and the online world? Would you be more likely to find someone through a dating site or through a blog? Have you tried online dating? If so, what were your experiences?

Photo by Mister GC.

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0 comments

  1. I tried online dating, and before that asnwering personal ads. I met a guy who'd been dead twice (these were long stories) a man who worked at a bakery who called himself an oven operator, and a bunch of people even less interesting than that. The best part of internet dating for me was the stories I could tell to entertain my friends – that being said, I personally know five happily married couples who met through Match.com, it just didn't work out for me.

  2. mishedup

    oh god….
    online dating.
    what can i say?
    i'm in my 50's. a widow, the worst possible demographic, and the online dating thing is a bitch! because…i find myself far too often dating my dad, or young guys who think i have money hit on me. men my age-ish…they want 30-40 year olds. it's been incredibly frustrating. that said, i did meet a man who i enjoyed a nice little relationship with, but after many failures, and now..well. i don't know, i just don't care so much. i am a wedding professional, and there have been many people who i have worked with who met online, so i know it CAN work.

    just not sure it can work for me.

  3. Robin K

    I tried finding someone through a classified ads in a singles paper many (23), many (Oh my god! Is it that long ago?), years back. My aunt had met her second husband through this same paper. She asked my if I wanted to try placing an ad to find someone. Since we had both consumed the better part of a bottle of wine, I said yes–not thinking that she was serious at all. I quickly forgot about the conversation.

    A little more than a month later I got a large manilla envelope in the mail stuffed with a dozen letters. (People replied to the ads by sending letters to the paper, who in turn forwarded them to whoever had placed the ad. It was a way to stay anonymous and safe–we didn't have online dating then.) A lot of the replies were sort of so-so, and not worth the effort to reply. A few of them I could tell were actually form letters/replies that sort of told me that the guy hadn't taken the time to really read what the ad said about me. Some were shallow enough to demand that I send them my picture before they would even get in touch. (I realize that physical attraction is important, but do you have to be so shallow that you don't even take the time to get to know someone first?)

    One letter though really intrigued me. It was sweet and made me really want to reply back. So I sent a reply with more information about who I was with a phone number. The first time he called we talked for more than an hour before making plans to meet somewhere for a face to face chat. He never asked me about what I looked like–just what I would be wearing.

    When I arrived at the agreed upon restaurant and saw him I felt like I could have just melted into a puddle right then. I had never really given any credence to the idea of "love at first sight" but that was exactly what it was. His smile was just to die for, and he was smiling real big when he saw me (I may not be super model thin but I do have some rather generous curves in the right places.)

    After my initial reaction I thought maybe I was expecting too much and he wouldn't really meet my expectations of finally meeting someone I could feel good about spending my time with, but I was so wrong. We talked for hours and hours that first night. We dated for almost 3 years. He was the perfect (for me) boyfriend and lover….

    he still is. We just celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary and he still thinks I'm hot.

    I think that online dating is great, but, just like any other dating medium you are just going to have to eliminate all the frogs before you find a prince.

    • Mike the PW

      If you like pina coladas and getting caught in the rain…..if your not into yoga…….if you have half a brain. If you like making love at midnight…..in the dunes of the cape.

      Good old Jimmy workin there.

  4. SarahK

    I met my boyfriend through a dating site. I went into the date with zero expectations and found the love of my life. We're odd, slightly psychotic, full of "issues" and perfect for each other.

    That being said, my online dating experience was one helluva ride. Now I am BFF with a girl who pokes snarky fun at online dating profiles.

  5. I spent way too much on a Match.com profile, and since I was in a small town, options were limited.

    I gave one guy my number, he called me, and I was turned off by the fact that, for one, he kept talking about sex, and two, when asked three words to describe himself, he said, "Hot, Horny, and Happy." I'm guessing by "happy" he meant "in the pants."

    I made a date with him, but broke it in order to go to a high school football game.

    That was the end of my dating on the Internets.

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