You’ve Got Male!

Zen and the Art of Internet Dating

As odd as this may sound, maybe not so much anymore, I have found and received (and had delivered right to my door!) a lot of great things from the internet. For example, I take pride in saying to whoever compliments me on my favourite red dress that yes, “I got it from the internet”! More recently, my straightening iron from a power seller in the States and a box of green tea from Mighty Leaf in Canada have helped to reduce the gong show that is my (current) morning routine. So if Ive been so lucky in finding material and food goods from the internet with little to no problems, I can’t help but be curious: why not try finding a man on the internet, or at the very least a date?

I know what you are thinking: “Carrie, that’s SKETCH CENTRAL. Why don’t you go out and meet people the normal way?” To this I reply: Thanks Einstein, but I already knew it was sketch central, but so are bars. And clubs. And shopping malls. And the gym. And anywhere else I’ve met these so called “normal” people. It is an overly-simplistic view that psychopaths ONLY congregate on the internet, leaving those of us who surf only to check our emails, check our status on the almighty Ebay, or Google the latest eliminated pair on “So You Think You Can Dance?” in consistant danger as supposed to being out there with the so called “normal” people out in the physical world. Hmmm… last time I checked you have a better chance of running into a sketch-bag at Bulldog than in my apartment through a computer screen, but who knows? I might be wrong.

Not to discount completely what you say. There is of course the risk of meeting a psychopath online, thank you “Dateline”, as the greatest advantage to online dating is being able to hide behind a screen, but I’ve met my fair share of psycho-men in real life and let me tell you, it’s a hell of a lot easier to shut your computer down, or remove your semi-anonymous listing from the site than changing your locks, moving out of your apartment and informing the police. So as I sit here sipping my internet tea, I ask the question: what is the good, the bad, and the oh em gee of internet dating?

I read an article once about how the semi-prevalence of ADD in todays society is in fact, caused by todays society. The fact that we as students, as workers, as friends, and as lovers are being asked, no, demanded, to multi-task and do as many things as possible all at once; like typing this out while working and on the phone sipping my non-fat-double-foam mocha latte. So if the amount of tasks we have to complete in a day have doubled, maybe even tripled, yet the number of hours in a day have clearly not, where and how is the modern girl supposed to squeeze in time to hunt for or be sought after by a man?

Enter the match-makers: you know, the well meaning friend, co-worker or even boss (don’t laugh: it HAS happened) who know the so-called “perfect guy” for you and when it turns out that they are, in fact, NOT the perfect guy for you the situation just gets messy. Don’t get me wrong here; match-makers are great. Their job or hobby is a lot harder than you think, and dating in general is a hit-or-miss situation. However the best person really to play matchmaker with your heart is you. As well as your girlfriends, or guy friends may know you, in the end you and only you know exactly what you want, who you are looking for, and what you are looking for.

Which brings me to my point: I’ve heard of a few internet dating sites, mostly from watching late late night television prevalent during an insomniacs morning. I agree that the majority of internet dating sites are sketch: the Ashley Madison;s and sites like that which encourage “exploration” while in a monogamous relationship are not the kinds I am speaking about. That is something I hope I never have to experience in any way, shape or form. No, I am talking about those local sites that are always advertised on the radio or in your email that really nobody pays attention to…. or do they?

I couldn’t help but remember my first run-in with internet dating: I was 17 and in Toronto visiting my cousin, who at the time was just about to turn 18. She had met this guy, apparently really nice, on Lavalife and spent the evening before we were to meet on the phone with him. Seriously, I went to bed and she was on the phone, and I woke up and you guess it, she was still on the phone with him. I was going as a sort of escort, which was good on her, however not 2 minutes before he walked over to us she turned and said to me “Oh by the way we are 19 and you go to university.” I stood there flabbergasted at this outrageous lie, as I was clearly in high school, grade 12, with no idea what it was like to be in university, and the same went for her. If my cousin, someone genuinely removed from some types of reality can fool a person she met on the internet… what chance do regular people have?

I was listening to the Team 1200 one morning, or evening, I don’t remember, when I heard the advert for one local dating site named after the infamous cherub, or Saint really, who makes February the reason for or bane of ones existance depending on if you are in a relationship or not. Figuring that I had tried the usual bar scene and got sick of it even before I could legally drink, and my lifestyle being what it is (read: not condusive to meeting said-normal people) I thought “hey, what the hell? Let’s give it a shot”. So about 10 minutes later as I sat in my sweatpants and scrunchie, I created my very first internet dating profile. I didn’t expect to get a lot of hits, especially since my profile has but a silhouette instead of a photograph, but you know what they say: nothing ventured, nothing gained. I figured the last date was so greviously awkward I really had nothing to lose, except maybe 10 minutes of my time. So I filled out the little boxes with descriptions of who I am and what I am looking for, clicked “saved” and off I was. This site claimed to be able to “match” you with men who, according to your profile and his, would be suitable for each other. Me being skeptical said “yeah uh-huh ok let me take a look for myself thank you very much..”. So I did.

And herein lies the rub. The problem with internet dating is that to me… when I was searching through this sites datase, it kind of felt and still feels like I am picking from an inventory of single men within 50 miles of my area code. It was like a “Google” search for a soulmate. Not to sound judgemental or anything, but it felt… well, awkard. You open up someones profile, headed by the usual one-liners, punch lines or song lyrics, take a look at what they say about themselves, and maybe even a picture of 2, and you go from there. I found myself being really, how do you say, picky, when choosing the people I’d actually click on/with… and about after half an hour I just got sick of it.

As modern as we are in the 21st century, and as fabulous as it is to search for a significant other while in your panties without it being awkward, it really isn’t as fun as searching in real life. Real time glances, eye contact and flirtatious moves cannot be replaced or replicated onto a server, no matter how good the site you sign up for is. Not to mention doing all of this while looking drop-dead gorgeous.

By the way, the date that my cousin ended up dragging me along to was hilarious. They had spent the night speaking to each other so much that when they finally met face to face, they had nothing to say. So, thanks said-internet-dating site, but no thanks… I’m sure you must have tonnes of matches out there for me just like you did for my cousin… now if only I could remember to check my inbox… I guess I’m too busy living life in real-time to find a soulmate online.

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~ by Carrie on July 24, 2006.

One Response to “You’ve Got Male!”

  1. […] never really came into my mind until after Corporate and I ended our first relationship and my string of men came and went.  When my brother and I chatted in the airport in August of my single summer, I […]

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