by Jake McMillan
It’s been around for quite a few years now and Internet Dating has become to most people a fairly acceptable way of meeting new people. Not the only way of meeting people, but just another way of meeting someone. Following some chats with both male and female friends who also partake in online dating I was surprised that they still believed some of the myths of internet dating and had not been aware of some of the cold realities of the process.
Myth: Online dating is a place where both men and women can and will make the first move with each other
Harsh Reality: Men have to make the first move in the vast majority of cases. Women who do make the first move are ‘probably’ not that attractive.
The virtual dating world unfortunately mirrors the real world and men have to approach women and send the first message. Men who do not bother and just sit back and wait for interest in them will not, unless they are Brad Pitt, get much attention and if or when they do, it will not be from hot chicks.
Hot chicks need only to create their account and wait for the messages from eager men and pick the best ones to reply to. Average-looking women may need to ‘wink’ (or equivalent function) to get a guy’s attention and make it clear they are receptive to a message from them. Minging women need to make more of an effort online and send messages. Whereas all men, minging or otherwise, have to make the effort.
Myth: Online dating is a quick and easy way to meet great new people
Harsh Reality: It actually takes up a lot of your time, especially if you are a bloke, as you have to play the numbers game to be successful.
You can spend ages trawling through pages of profile pictures, clicking on an individual profile to find out that the main photo was clearly taken a long time ago compared to the others. Rather than search the profile for positives, you end up searching it to see if they have things that put you off, like, for example, whether they are slim or fat, tall or short, divorced, have kids, whether they drink or not, or if they are religious and if they can write a coherent sentence? Why do so many people put up group photos when the photo is so small you cannot make out the person? Or if they do, they put up a picture where they are standing next to someone who is far more attractive? I’m always suspicious of profiles where you do not get to see their face that clearly in more than one photo.
Myth: Women will judge men on their witty and personal opening message
Harsh Reality: Rubbish. They may not even read it. Like men, they will judge you on your profile picture and if you don’t look too bad they may even read some of your profile and if they fancy you they will reply despite what your opening message says.
I’ve heard some women complain that the opening message from a guy seems like it has been copied and pasted or is not more of an effort than ‘How’s it going?’ The majority of the time this is probably true as men know there is absolutely no point spending ages crafting a personalised and humorous message as chances are it won’t even get read. A friend of mine had automated rejection emails from girls who hadn’t even read his message!
Not so much a myth, but it surprises a lot of people how impolite Internet Dating can be as it seems to have its own social conventions and etiquette. For example, if you start chatting/messaging someone it is perfectly acceptable to stop communicating with them without explanation or a goodbye. Even if you meet up with someone, people will just stop communicating without having to go through the awkward, “sorry, I’m just not interested” conversation.
I’ve noticed that in London particularly, and this is probably true of other big cities, that people tend to play games more, which I really hate. It all seems rather false.
That being said I have met some really nice people through online dating, but think I may take a break from it for a while. Of late, I seem to have done better meeting people I like the old fashioned way!