My single friend Tina signed me up for an internet dating site. She insisted that if I was going to fill my little black book with potential roots and get some free dinners in the process (not kidding, her exact words), then this was the way to do it. I’m not sure how I feel about this. After my sexting encounter a few weeks back I’ve become suspicious of technology. (When I say this, I picture an adorable, crotchety old man ranting about “kids these days, with their darn pogo sticks, and Facepage, and the Interwebs…”)
So I’m out there, in the land of profile pictures and compatibility matching. And I’m not at all comfortable with it. I don’t like the idea of turning dating into a consumer item, lining prospective suitors up and comparing them like different brands of toilet paper. My second issue with the whole online dating thing is that I’m a people person. I’m at my best in a room full of people, talking, laughing, making jokes, and I’m afraid that my attempts at breezy, funny conversation in the online dating world come across as awkward or offensive.
The next problem faced is, of course, the suitors themselves. Thus far, they have all been either ridiculously polite and insipid, or disgustingly forward. I actually had one guy start our first conversation with the words “just woke up, I’m horny,” while I tried to recover the situation with awkward small talk. It didn’t go well. Then there are the moments when you realise the guy you’ve accepted contact from doesn’t really speak much English (hello, i am happy you talk with me, and very pretty and nice i think from your pic, i like to go club and gym sometime), or that they are looking for a very serious relationship (I’m really looking for a genuine, sweet woman who I can share my life with), or that they are just too socially inept for real dating (I usually start by asking a girl her bra size. Hahaha no just kidding. But you can tell me if you want hahaha). The pie chart below demonstrates my findings and helps to illustrate my point.
What gets me is the perception by some of my friends that I need this tool in order to find men who will a) talk to me, and b) have sex with me. I don’t know where this perception came from. Just because I’m single does not mean I’m desperate! As a twenty-something, employed, reasonably attractive (not in an Angelina way, but I’m no minga) and sociable woman I think I’m entitled to have some standards. And while it’s fair to say that I don’t attract flocks of dudes like some kind of babelicious shepherd, I do ok. I am certainly not ready to resort to ‘notspeakenglish_81’ or ‘Donkey69’ as a means to an end.
All I want is to have a bit of conversation, a few laughs, maybe a sneaky pash and then see where things go. Can’t I just do that in a bar, the old-fashioned way? At least then there’s a clear sense between both parties of what the other one is in for, and I’d feel less like I was selecting from the reject stock in that trolley near the milk fridge in Woolworth’s.