Online dating: the up and downs | The conversation | Opinion | The Guardian
It seems we are not keen on facing the January blues alone: this month typically sees some of the year's highest traffic on dating websites. sheptonmallet.info: Popular: The Ups and Downs of Online Dating from the Most Popular Girl in New York City (Audible Audio Edition): Lauren Urasek, Laura Barcella. Learn to use the features of dating online to your advantage. able to tell you your perfect match, but they can help narrow down the options.
I've been doing it for about three years, and it was helpful for me in figuring out what I want in a person. There are baseline things that have to be met — I couldn't date someone who was a rightwinger.
Me neither, but I've also had people who misrepresent their politics. I had someone from Guardian Soulmates who, you'd think would be at least vaguely left of centre, and he started spouting about how all benefits claimants are spongers. I'm a feminist writer. For me, it's a nice opportunity to feel that, as a woman, I'm not just saying yes or no to somebody asking me out, I get to be more forward in selecting who I'm interested in.
As a gay man, I see online dating, on one hand, as a lifeline — in rural areas where they don't have access to gay life, or for people in the closet. But it can be worrying when a teenager who has not come out yet, or ventured into gay life, goes on to a dating site and are immersed in everything — not just people looking for a stable relationship, but every sexual fetish and risky behaviour.
Twenty years ago, when I first went to a gay bar, you had human social contact, which was more useful and valuable than sex. I have interviewed young guys who go online and suddenly they've got a year-old saying "come round for a threesome, don't bother bringing condoms". I have also interviewed people from ethnic minorities who have experienced horrific racial abuse while online dating.
I would get hundreds of extremely sexually explicit messages. It is disturbing, especially for younger people — do they know how to laugh it off or do they think that's a normal way to interact? What I find as disturbing as the racism is the racial fetishism. I have friends, who are women of colour, who will get messages like "I love a sweet little Asian girl" from white guys.
At least if somebody is explicitly racist in their profile, you can avoid them. If you're dealing with somebody who only wants to date you because of your ethnic background, they can be harder to weed out. What I find concerning is the way a lot of women end up selling ourselves as sexy, and the thing you're putting forward is what you look like. And there's that complaint from men — she shows up and she's completely different from what they expected from her photos, and they act as if they have been radically deceived.
My photos are the best I could find — I look thinner, prettier etc. But I've gone on dates where I didn't even recognise the person from their photos.
I've had some rude comments. He looked at me, straight-faced, and said, "what happened? On our first date, I didn't really think anything of him. It was fine, but I had no idea of the wondrous depths and inner beauty beneath. Generally, I find it's perfectly pleasant, but there's no spark and you say goodbye and never see them again.
4 Things I've Learned About Online Dating as the 'Most Popular Girl in New York' | HuffPost
That's mostly been my experience, too. Most dates have been fine. Steven and I were getting along almost too well for the first couple hours of our date at an East Village bar. He was covered in tattoos and looked very put together. It felt really natural, like we had been seeing each other for longer than um, less than one date. After a while we moved to another bar, and he asked if it was OK if his cousin joined us. It seemed a little bizarre to let another dude tag along on your date, but he said he was only asking because his cousin was new to the city and had time to kill.
Said "cousin" showed up and was a skeezy-looking, skinny European dandy wearing a sheer pink button-up and pleated black dress pants. That's when shit started to get real weird. Drinks were flowing, and soon Steven's personality started to change. He started obsessing over everything I did and complimenting me every other sentence.
Author uncovers ups & downs of online dating in 'Popular'
It was the first time I'd seen a dude get extremely vulnerable on a first date and tell me about how badly he wanted to find the love of his life to settle down and have kids with. It was desperate, unappealing, and crystal clear that he was trying to force a relationship down any female's throat without even bothering to get to know her.
He stepped away from the table to go to the bathroom and actually texted me from there. I know, I know. But don't judge me for sticking around -- I was semi-drunk and therefore willing to tolerate much more than I would have sober. Plus, I knew this experience would turn into a great story. I was right, right? The three of us hopped in a cab and Steven launched into a heated argument with the driver about an obscure country in Asia.
I jumped in and broke up the argument as Steven's creep cousin just sat there dumbly in his see-through shirt. Each new turn of events just became more ridiculous than the last, so I felt like I had to tag along to this classy establishment where food was thrown casually at your face.
Steven started telling everyone at our communal, tourist-stuffed Benihana table that we were engaged, which I pretty much laughed off without confirming or denying. He bought the whole table mai tais and several bottles of sake. I don't know exactly why mai tais were one of Benihana's "signature cocktails" since they obvs have no Japanese connection whatsoever, but maybe I shouldn't expect authenticity from a cheesy, generic chain restaurant. With a full mouth of delicious fried rice, we'd almost made it through dinner when Steven turned to me and sternly said, "This isn't going to work.
He continued to mumble, seeming to have a legit conversation with the split personalities battling it out in his head. He then accused me of "sabotaging our love," saying I wasn't paying attention to him, that it seemed like I actually wanted to date the tourist girl I'd been politely chatting with. Then Steven abruptly called the waitress over and asked for the bill, demanding that I pay half of it.
I laughed; I would never have agreed to hit up an overpriced chain near Times Square if I knew I'd be paying, and it certainly hadn't been my decision to pass out free drinks to old Swedish ladies. With food still on our plates and the tourists just as confused as I was, Steven stood and theatrically walked out after paying a portion of the check. I sat there for a good five minutes finishing my food, because duh. When I got to the bottom of the stairs on my way out, I found Steven waiting.
The look on his face was that of a guilty dude who had cheated on his wife. He lunged toward me. I high-tailed it out of that restaurant as fast as I could and headed for the train.
Steven followed me for two blocks, begging for forgiveness. People will sacrifice hours of their lives, bored out of their minds on bad dates, in an attempt not to offend someone. I can't tell you how many times I've gone out with someone and knew, within the first 30 seconds, that it just wasn't going to click.
That doesn't mean I left, however.