Tip #01 Include a Profile Photo No Matter How Confident, or Insecure You Feel About Your Appearance
I’m not reinventing the wheel. I like young women and I’m on the dole so I need them living nearby to avoid the expensive extraction costs of cab fares at the end of the night. And I apologise in advance but I can’t help associate profiles without photos to less than polite rotund sounding adjectives – the same way I equate a strict vegan, non smoker who loves cats advertising a spare room in a flatshare to an anal retentive nightmare.
This is the internet and detachment comes at a fair price.
Of course everyone on internet dating is a virgin – trying it for the first time because of a friend, or time, or something more esoteric in life like fortune cookie told them to. And invariably many candidates are still ‘looking for that spark,’ which makes it sound like something possibly too rare or lost to ever be found – and bequeathing them continued poisoned nights of solitude with a marathon of romcom DVDs.
Was I sailing in the same boat?
I admit I was sailing in the same waters, but I wouldn’t be so laconic to say I was giving it ‘a crack’ in my profile status. Giving anything ‘a crack,’ always sounded slightly boorish and painful to me.
You possibly think what a pretentious twat, no wonder he’s on internet dating. But internet dating is hostile terrain. And I suspect these preconceptions of love impoverished individuals, or conversely loose-loined folk, promoted by the slurry of internet dating sites is also partly responsible for contaminating the psychology of online dating. Because despite the misleading sense of abject desperation and prurience, everyone on internet dating seems engendered with a bizarre and fickle righteousness – while still purporting to be unlucky in love, compassionate and longing for someone special.
Tip #02 Avoid Common Expectations About Internet Dating Because Not Everyone is Abject and Lovesick
I found clichés regarding internet dating began & ended with the prominent number of amateurs on dating sites. These are examples from my slim search criteria:
Despite my search criteria and the internet dating scene in general supporting both the whimsical and prolix of introductions, rather worrying trends soon became apparent.
Tip #03 Avoid EHarmony & Match.Com
Subscription sites that sell compatibility add to the intuitive abomination of internet dating.
Being on the dole I was aware I couldn’t fund any sort of courtship, real or virtual. And I’m old and ordinary enough to know entertaining a woman in any spectrum of legality costs money.
However, I was naive to sites likes EHarmony,Match.com,Matchmaker & RSVP which promoted themselves as being free. I was also lured by the verdancy of clichés regarding internet dating and in the ennui of unemployment I imagined a montage of failed and goofy Hollywood encounters to punctuate my week.
Beyond the judgemental prerogative of being online, internet dating sites that advertise free membership then make everyone pay to communicate, to me oddly reverts back to a familiar arena of sitting in a busy beer garden on a summer’s evening – minus the booze and natural physical process of connectivity. Everyone is basically sitting back, on their own winking at everyone else (because it’s free) waiting for the other person to bridge the gap and make a move – either by purchasing stamps or some other bullshit form of virtual currency, or paying to upgrade their account so they can communicate.
I obviously couldn’t take such initiative since I’m broke and on the dole, which leads me to my next recommendation.
Tip #04 If You Don’t Want to Pay For Internet Dating & Subsequently Want to Delete Your Profile Fuck Up Your Personal Information First!
One of the more pernicious elements to internet dating sites is an account can be harder to delete than Facebook. As far as I am aware currently there is no way to completely delete personal information from EHarmony’s database. There’s probably some clause in all that shit that no one reads when everyone clicks ‘I Agree’ that allows them to hold onto your psychological profile forever. And Match.Com keeps your personal information for an entire year before it says it deletes it.
What I just realised that’s even more fucked up is Microsoft Word recognises EHarmony as a legitimate word while Facebook still has a red squiggly line under it to indicate it’s misspelt or not a real word.
So before you deactivate your internet dating account, delete or fuck up as much of your profile, photos and personal data. And change your email address to your boss, or someone you hate, or something made up like email@example.com. Because if the fake email address sounds real, it possibly is another person’s real email address – and that’s just mean to subscript their inbox into your abortive attempt to find true love.
Tip #05 Be Wary of Compatibility
Again sites like EHarmony and Match.Com trade and compete on the concept of compatibility. I was aware before I joined EHarmony it was a paid site but I was told it was free to join and search, which I blindly understood to mean it was ‘free to fish.’
However, I didn’t realise I would be subjected to an exhaustive, hundred page, pop psych analysis.
It reminded me of high school religious education classes at the apogee of adolescence cynicism when teachers, struggling to fill lessons relied on Degrassi High and popular psych quizzes that conveniently and neatly categorised us into employment groups like Negotiators, Creators, or Builders and some other shite. There were never accurate, useful or relevant categories, like ‘the sportos, the motorheads, geeks, sluts, bloods, wastoids, dweebies, dickheads.’
We had to rely on movies and directors like John Hughes, Allen Moyle, Richard Linklater and Greg Mottola to vindicate our teenage existence.
I’m not saying this analysis is necessarily wrong, but why didn’t EHarmony just say, ‘you’re a selfish prick.’ And even if I am centred about myself how does an internet dating site assist me by highlighting and promoting negative characteristics?
When I finally completed EHarmony’s secret-sauce algorithm of questions to ensure compatibility and activated the search engine to find possible matches to freely view, EHarmony found a total of ‘0’ matches.
I can absorb a fair amount of discouragement. But what about the despondent and dateless out there whose resolve, flattened and corroded by consistent rejection has reluctantly turned to EHarmony as a final resort. Imbued by stories about the universe providing a soul mate for every person, or some shite about everyone is a unwitting soul mate for someone else, and images of couples holding hands on desolate white sand beaches like they’re trapped in a cigarette advertising campaign – a result of ‘0’ matches could be suicidal to an internet dating neophyte.
EHarmony even had the audacity to suggest I loosen my search criteria. So I became the loosest bitch out there in cyber space, caring a total of 1 out of 10 for smoking, boozing, fitness, religion and anything that may matter. EHarmony again responded with a total of ‘0’ possible matches.
Tip 06# Beware – Internet Dating is addictive
Despite my criticisms internet dating does wield immense voyeuristic tendencies, which on its own is not necessarily a bad thing (unless you’re a peeping tom). But our aptitude for adaption and reduction soon has us ensnared – by which time we’re rapidly scrolling down profiles as casually as skipping through underwear catalogues. It makes me wonder if the same perfunctory contentment is shared by men searching for brides on the internet.
Soon it’s like counting fence posts and our motivations to select and invest in reading a profile is degraded to an instinctive reaction when glancing at the moving line of profile photos.
We don’t realise it at the time, but like houseshare hunting we intrinsically begin to analyse, interpret and compartmentalise based on a primary photo. This is an average sequence based on my browsing experience:
- Extreme Close-Up
- The Head Tilt
- Crazy Camera Rotation
- Downward POV
- Sucking on a Straw
- Another Downward POV
- Action Shot
- Again a Downward POV
Because of our reliance on sight, the internet is overwhelming a visual medium so I thought my next tip was relatively obvious. Turns out it’s not so that’s why I’ve included it.
Tip #07 Primary Profile Photos Should Predominately Frame the Face in a Crisp & Natural Demeanour
I was initially shocked by the general lack of concern about appearance on internet dating sites. Part of me was quietly impressed by this. In a world of narcissism, supported by Photoshop, Instagram, digital filters, cosmetics and fashion where much of what surrounds us is not what it seems, it was a pleasant surprise.
I considered the visual element of searching for possible matches was the primary appeal to internet dating. So I wondered if there was an unspoken directive by the majority of the internet dating community to publish truthful photographic representations to avoid future disappointments (which have added so much weight to one’s past). Or perhaps people just didn’t give a shit, because so many chicks’ photo galleries exhibited an array of bad or unhelpful pictures.
There’s the low light pixelated smudges of head and hair as if electronic rain has turned faces into a thumbnail puddle of make-up.
Then there is the holiday photo capturing an adventurous or spontaneous spirit, but taken from across the road, at the rear of a long convoy of camels, an adjacent summit, or obscured by extreme clothing and a safety helmet. And these threaten to invade similar implications given to profiles conspicuously missing a photo where because of distance you could be suggesting, ‘I look like a minga but I’m fucking fit.’
Some women have simply stood in front of a mirror with a digital camera. I mean just because you’re out of love doesn’t mean you should suggest you’re out of friends as well. Even if you are, digital cameras have timers. And there is plenty household furniture to place a camera on for an authentic mise-en-scéne image.
Equally tragic are profiles that think more is better and photo galleries inevitably reach the clubbing snap where the offender is clearly boiled and wrapped around a bottle of booze with one eye gone to the shops while the other one is left waiting.
I don’t mean to sound hypocritical. I love a bloody drink to the near barside of an alcoholic but there are possibly more charming ways than a greased up mobile phone photo to express how much you enjoy life.
Tip #08 Don’t Tell People You’re On The Dole
That includes writing a blog like this then highlighting it to someone you just connected with on OasisActive and are chatting online for the first time.
She wanted to see more photos of me. But because I store most of my photos and music on a separate hard drive I tell her, without consideration to check out my first blog Cuteness as a Survival Tactic in a Large Catholic Family. Although the photos aren’t recent I say, I’ve at least retained the bemused cheeky look I stumbled across as a baby.
She soon signs off saying she’s very tired after a massive day at work and has another massive day tomorrow.
I responded glibly, ‘Don’t work too hard.’
‘I work in the mining industry trying to better the planet,’ she replied, ‘so I work as hard as I possibly can.’
For fuck’s sake I thought, with everyone out there saving the world, including miners why it still so broken? But with equal aplomb I write back, ‘Cool, work really hard tomorrow. The world needs people like you.’ And I mean it.
My sincerity was repaid with a final message, ‘You don’t work do you so I suppose it’s alright for some.’
At that point I realised she must have read my most recent blog at the time Help Dave Get A Job and noticed the prompt at the end promoting this future blog Internet Dating on the Dole.
The following day she still must have found time in her hectic schedule to block me from her contact list. The slightly humiliating thing about a member blocking you on OasisActive is they don’t discreetly disappear from your contact list like being defriended on Facebook – they remain, shaded a different colour to remind you of the rejection.
I suspect another girl blocked me following a positive initial chat because the next time I saw her online I didn’t initiate a correspondence for the simple reason I didn’t feel like chatting and she possible felt ignored.
A third contact deleted me after I got tanked late on a Friday night and logged on started chatting with her.
There’s no need really to expound on how online chatting and booze is an amateur combination. And of course the natural consequence of booze is I’m still convinced I was both hilarious and completely appropriate. So I guess she was sober.
This brings me to the most important point.
Tip #09 All Dating is Brutal
Just because the internet has made loads of stuff easier and more convenient doesn’t necessarily translate to internet dating – or anything else whatsoever now that I think about it. It’s as fucking brutal and trumped up out there as reality TV eliminations.
Don’t ever think of internet dating as some final solution that if you get desperate enough you’ll give it a crack, because people are people, men are men, and women and women no matter what stage they’re on – men are arseholes, and women are cunts. Gender shouldn’t prescribe any unique endowments or righteousness over the other. And while men might always struggle to commit to one set of lady parts while women still fuck the funny man over for the arsehole, the key has always been finding a balance. Taoists call these competing masculine and feminine forces yin and yang energies – and it’s something much more comprehensive and enlightening than a popular eighties tattoo and neck chain decoration.
Tip #10 As With Everything in Life, Expect the Unexpected
During my time of internet dating on the dole I did also sign up for a Connecting Singles, and EziFriends account. And I admit I kept both these faintly active after my online flirtation came to a quick and quiet abjuration.
I liked Connecting Singles and Ezifriends primarily because they’re free. Connecting Singles also had that damaged goods veneer to the site, a bit like Myspace – where I sensed it was a possibly an early instigator and pioneer in the realm of online dating, and had since fallen into relative obscurity for which it is desperately trying to recover from.
It made sense this was partly responsible for attracting the ambiguous array of global members – an itinerant collection of vaguely romantic souls ranging from the newly relocated, newly separated, newly divorced, and short-term contract operative to temporary visitor and traveller. The lack of members and participation was also the reason I was infrequently bothered by requests, which I also appreciated.
Rating for my photo
Photo Rating: 6.2
Total Votes: 34
Voting status for my photo
Age | Vote | Avg. Vote
- 18-25 | 0 | 0
- 26-32 | 5 | 9.2
- 33-40 | 10 | 6.2
- 41+ | 19 | 6.37
- ALL | 34 | 6.74
However, as I was about to publish this blog, and also feeling my journey and experiences on internet dating were an end, I decided to deactivate these two remaining accounts.
Following my own advice I logged onto Connecting Singles and navigated to my profile page to delete my profile photo, in case the account could only be deactivated, and not deleted.
I had no idea my photo had been under the passing idle scrutiny of females member up until now – with option for anyone flitting over my profile to rate my appearance out of 10.
Was I surprised by the results? And that my own age group judged me most harshly?
Not not really – I have a lot of anecdotal evidence to support this trend.
I also has always felt a bit above average. And while I didn’t expect those results I can’t complain about the right score.