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The Beginning Of The Nightmare: The Online Dating Introduction

Updated on September 4, 2016
Henry Bemis profile image

Adam Stier is a professional writer and desktop publisher who also dabbles in Website Auditing. Adam resides in Portland, Oregon.

The Endless Nightmare: The Truth About Online Dating

Follow the link for an excellent article on why it's hard for introverts to do online dating,
Follow the link for an excellent article on why it's hard for introverts to do online dating, | Source

Welcome, Dear Reader, Welcome To Onlineville

The Slow Descent

I am going to share my experience with online dating. Nothing new, right? Well, that will be decided at the end, won't it? I've read a lot of reviews, rants, blogs, and texts yet there is a concurrent theme; they either hated or they loved it. They all have reasons, however, the reason is simple; hated it because they didn't find anyone and those that loved it they did. You'd be hard pressed to find a review that transposes the reasons but not the feelings.

Now you have. Online dating is a lot like trail mix: mostly nuts, albeit, occasionally an M&M. Like most things in life you have to skim through a lot of bullshit to get to the good. Well, I suppose anyway. I wouldn't know. While I don't have a lot of experience as far as the dating part goes, I do have plenty when it comes to producing content and profiles. Something gets lost in translation.

What's Real In A Virtual World?

Here we will not only hear my tiny violin playing but the article will also display analytics and statistics associated with dating sites. There is a lot of rumor out there about how sites match and stats, some think they have been fabricated. There's this method known as research, if applied, answers can be found with hard work. No, just Google it!

Let's dispel some myths anyways, give you some odds and laughs, well, not really that funny in Onlineville's single scene. But, all the same you'll laugh, you'll read, you'll shake your head while questioning my cognitive abilities. It will be three and half minutes you can never get back. I hope my learned mistakes will be helpful.

Down The Rabbit Hole; A Strangely Accept Form Of Dating

It's easy to think that dating would have gotten easier with the Internet. Everything else did; shopping, music, movies, and even mail order brides. What? I was researching this one sentence and I had to go, just window shopping.

Suffice it to say that dating is not any easier in fact it is harder than ever. You are competing against a multitude. No that's not a misspelling, multi dude is my word for the universe of men on these sites. Men who before couldn't speak to a woman now can without fear of embarrassment. Well, as long as they're using an alias. Then there's the how do you know you are even talking to the person you think you are talking to? That's not a spooky thought, is it. Sure, go, you can trust someone you've never met.

I met a woman on an off brand dating site, she was very adamant about hanging out on Saturday morning at 7am. In fact, it was the primary subject of chat on Friday. Just kept confirming with me. Again and again. Finally, I decided to look up her address on a my map software, on street view the house was abandon. Boarded up windows, an overgrown lawn, and broken down vehicles in the driveway. I went for a drive by the house and it was exactly like the picture. My mind raced with the possibilities. Was I being lured there? Would there have been a gang of robbers waiting for me? Who the hell robs someone at 7 am?

Most likely it was some asshole kids who wanted to video morons like me pulling up and 7am was my time slot.

I got one final message from her;

"You didn't show,.. Why u hurt me?"

When I responded that I knew her house was abandon, she asked how I knew and when I told her. I think she was cussing at me in .. Mandarin. Well, maybe, "she" did say in English that I was going to regret it.

If she meant online dating, she's right. I do.

Truth is it's easier to personify anyone but one's self usually or ,sometimes much worse, be who they really want to be.


We Can Build It, We Have The Technology. Can We Use It For Sex?

The greatest tool of knowledge we have is in the palm of our hand. With a few clicks you can; earn a degree, become a business owner, learn a language or any other self-betterment pursuit. All the information in the world delivered to you at the speed of light. The world is your oyster on screen and to become a wise, self-educated individual takes only a few keystrokes. But, what do most people use the Internet for? Social Media, Porn, Craigslist, Porn and, of course, dating.

Online dating. I am in and out of the game frequently. In politically correct society, we have a term for everyone and their lifestyle. When I recently reenlisted on OK Cupid I noticed you no longer had the choices; Straight, Gay, or Bi. No, now there are over ten options to identify orientation. I had to look most of them up.

Even for people like me there is a term; Quirkyalone, which is a person who loves to be alone but is not opposed to dating, as long as it's the right person. These people won't date just for the sake of it, just because they feel they have too. That is the category I fit under best, quirkyalone, or what we use to call it, an introvert.

Oh Noes! He's Making Us Participate!

Do you or would you have an online dating profile?

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Now I Remember What I Forgot

I'll forget the last time I tried online dating and return thinking it will be different. I will write a stellar profile, present my best, show my witty charm, and my transparent honesty. Of course that I have a job, a car, and other material possessions. Those are important in Onlineville. I couldn't care less what someone's educational, social or economical standings are. Those are not reasons to like anybody, unless you're a politician or a psychologist.

I always use the free sites, which arguably may be my problem, however, I refuse to pay the hefty fees to meet someone. Especially when sites will send me emails containing pictures of women who are "interested in me", women that I know wouldn't give me a mild shock if I was having a heart attack let alone want to date me. Not putting myself down, it's not about beauty either, there are many reasons why two are not compatible, even so, if you were paying attention I said I don't use pay sites, ergo, how could these women be into me if they don't even know I exist? These sites are trying to "bait and switch."

Back In The Day ...

I had a cousin who would bait and switch selling marijuana. He would invite the customer over, get them stoned on really good weed, then sell them the swhag, poor quality, for the same price. Some noticed, most did not. He made a killing.

Essentially, that is what sites like Match are doing. Tempting you with beautiful people, then once you sign up, suddenly those individuals are no longer on your match list or if they are, no response to your inquires. Bait and Switch.

World Dating Site Reliability and Monthly Visitors

2014 Statistics of online dating sites trustworthiness and unique monthly visitors.
2014 Statistics of online dating sites trustworthiness and unique monthly visitors. | Source

Back To The Future In The Past

That's just one of pitfalls of Onlineville's dating world. It's becoming a dark recess, best to be avoided, well, if only we could. The truth is that it's getting harder to meet people in reality then online. I've seen some refer an interested person to their dating site profile, as if applying for a job. It's asinine.

This online world is filled with flakes, liars, players, nesters, bunkers, PCS suffers(Prince Charming Syndrome) and Feels Better Than Looks people. It's crazy, it's frustrating, It's scary, It's gross, mostly it's funny. Come down the barb wire lined rabbit hole with me as we explore the nightmare that is online dating,

Message Example Of What NOT To Send

Source

Choose. But Choose Wisely.

These days, you almost need to hire an analyst, a strategist and might as well get a Rhodes Scholar, to help formulate the best profile. Mine are always fluid, if I am not getting any messages or returns I know something is driving people away. I mean, look at me! I'm an Adonis! It must be my profile. I have tried slapstick funny, dry funny, satirical, professional, witty, charming, plain speak, and even generic. I have yet to find the gold of profiles, I hear they exist, and indeed every once in awhile a mixed media site will feature a gem and that gives birth to several thousand copycats.

So, this time around, I am just keeping it real, as they say. All honest, some shtick, cannot be helped, mostly though, I am just being regular old me. Big mistake. A lot of women state that they are tired of games and lies and just want a nice, honest man. I am here to assure you there are plenty of these guys out there, alas, most women, and men for that matter, are Shampoo daters. They get a certain brand of shampoo-- they don't really like it-- but, hey, it's shampoo. So they rinse and repeat. They use that same shampoo they don't like, rinse it out, and put more in. Rinse and Repeat. My best advice is; If you keep having relationship problems either change your shampoo or examine the common denominator.

Despite it, you've made up your mind and are going to go for it. What's the worse that could happen? We'll get to that later. First, you have to choose which site or sites you are going to join, some are free to use, free to try, and others cost twice that of a Netflix subscription per month. Some say you get better quality dates from the pay sites, while others do just fine with the free sites. It's a matter of opinion, desire and marketing.

Do your research and avoid certain sites and apps altogether. Here's lists of the most trusted, I won't say best, because the best one is the one you actually meet someone on. That could be any of them really. Then I list some that are proved scams yet still out there.

Desperation Is A Stinky Cologne

5 Best Online Dating Sites

  1. OkCupid - Free To Use Everything - Typical user in non-religious, sexual driven, against hard drug use, hygienic and educated. They are also kinkier, 58% of users said they would at least try bondage and 1 in 4 said they would date a transgender. However, demographics play a role while southern states are more relationship seeking, more liberal states seem to choose the status Casual Sex; Oregon holds the top spot for most Casual Sex seekers in the country. Basic setup and theme, navigation is easy. The mobile app has some issues, however, for being free, it's really good. OKC uses demographic data, analytics, and algorithms to match users. The user increases their matchability by answering multi choice questions to determine personality. Nevertheless, I am not sold on the functionality of OKC's matching software.
  2. eHarmony - Pay site with monthly and yearly options. It starts out with a rather long personality test, one that I am sure is a deterrent for trollers and seekers of the elusive "booty call", after the exam you are matched based on results. Or, like me, you get an email that pretty much says you are so awkward and different that no one in a five hundred mile radius matches with you. Well, that explains a lot. Take heart, even after that self-esteem lifting message your inbox will soon be filled with matches on a daily basis. The process is guided and most, if not all, users are marriage minded. Some a little too minded. Use caution.
  3. Match.com - Pay site with different funding options. Personally, I have never tried it, however, I hear it's a lot like OKC except streamlined and other singles want to meet in person for an actual date. So I hear. I have never had but a few issues with Bunkers, name for those who always message but never meet since they live in a bunker underground afraid of the surface. Besides that, I went on plenty of dates with OKC users. Nevertheless, since it's a paid site, generally you find more sincere users who are committed to the idea of pursuing a relationship. Remember, I live in Oregon. Apparently the horniest state in the Union.
  4. Plenty of Fish (POF) - Free, to a point. You gain general access however you have to upgrade your account to ensure your messages display first, see who "likes" you, and other so-called VIP features. I have actually met more women on this site than any other, however, people embellish their dating resume; just note that walking in a park is NOT hiking and if you like philosophy, probably a good idea to know how to talk about it.
  5. Zoosk - Pay site. All dating sites, for the most part, will say Free to Sign Up, however, that's it; It's free to sign up. To send or receive messages, chat, view profiles and pictures you must upgrade to a paid account. This is another one I have never tried and like Match it's hard to get honest reviews. It sucks according to some, yet the sentence should finish "because I didn't meet anybody or got rejected too much." totally the sites fault. On the other hand some say it's a great! Again, the end of that sentence should read "because I met my wonderful partner there." I have never heard someone say "Well, I never made a solid connection, but, it's a good site and people are friendly and engaging. Even though I didn't benefit from a year of paid service, I would still recommend it." I'm sure that one person is out there somewhere.

Sources -

The Hangover - OkCupid In Numbers 2015

Pew Research Center

Statista

Oh Noes!! He's Making Us Participate!

Which Of The Above Sites Would You Recommend?

See results

Warning! These Sites May Be Scammy

(click column header to sort results)
Site Name  
How Do I Know?  
Is It Worth The Effort  
Tagged
Experience
No.
Christian Mingle
Research
Maybe
hi5
Experience
No
Nearby Chat & Meet
Research
No
Just About Any App Based Site
Exp./Research
No
There Are A Multitude of Sites and Apps That Are Charlatans Cashing In On Love. Always Research Before Signing Up

Just Ask, I'm An Open Book - Profile Pitfalls

The profile is the largest challenge in online dating, maybe even the world!

OK, I doubt that too. However, it is exceedingly difficult for a majority of the users. I know I suck at it and I am a (supposed) writer! I have never liked writing about myself, I dreaded the author bio and that's generally three sentences. Until I found a good one ten years ago and just paste it over and over. What? Don't judge me!

The worst rated profiles are the one's that the About Me section say things like;

  • I don't know what to write!
  • I'll get to this later (they never do)
  • Just ask me, I'm an open book.
  • (blank)

So, away I go writing it, posting it, reading it the next day, hating it, writing it again, posting it, going back to add something a girl I really like likes, removing it when she never responds, writing a smart ass nonsensical one. Which seems to do the best, sorta. Suffice it to say, trial and error will play heavy hand, unless, you use analytics. While there is still trial and error using a analytical approach can reduce time spent and streamline your profile. First, you gotta write that damn profile. But how?


Male To Female Ratio On Popular Dating Sites

  1. OkCupid : 53/47
  2. PlentyOfFish (POF) : 55/45
  3. eHarmony : 47/53
  4. Match.com : 49/51
  5. Zoosk : Site has hidden data, however, sources agree it's most like similar.

"It's important to note that quantcasts data is not 100% accurate and there can be variations up or down, with at least a 5% skew. Even more so when the figures are estimated."

OkCupid's Director of Engineering, Tom Jacques, provided the above accuracy information along with the confirmed ratio statistics on quora.com.


source; www.quantcast.com ; www.quora.com

The Sublime Profile

Original, funny, storytelling is the way to go. Here is the outline I Frankenstein-esqued together for my A Better Than Most Profile Outline (patent pending)

A Better Than Most Profile Outline

  • Intro - About you, who you are, what you do, and what you want in no more than three to four sentences. This is what we journalists call; "The Lead" It should grab the readers attention and entice them to read on. Be creative, be funny, most of all be yourself.
  • Stuff You Like - Don't just list off hobbies and activities. Use a storytelling system, meaning if you like hiking (every user does, it's on every profile. Besides mine. F Hiking), tell about a recent ascent you went on, who you went with, and how much fun you had. Show them you know what you are talking about, you have friends which means people can be around you, and it's refreshingly delivered in an uncommon way.
  • Conclusion - This is your final pitch. To make the sale you should strength positive points made, state clearly what you are looking for and what you don't want, and end with a cliffhanger. Something that will make the user wonder, thus, want to ask. Ergo, message sent.

Profiles should be quick reads. No more than four paragraphs maximum. If they wanted to read a book they would have, uh, read a book.


Profile Picture - Smile! It's A Variable!

Pro Profiling - The Pic

Hey, I get it. I don't like having my picture taken either. I have been using the same head shot for portfolios and profiles alike for the last eight years. Do I look different? No, not really. Nevertheless, I should freshen up, I just dread the idea. I never take good photos and I have even worse ones taken of me. Always making that awkward face that makes me look like an idiot. Which, I am, so, it's not giving a wrong impression. But, being an idiot and looking like one are two different things. Oh well, let's get back to what's important; you! I'm sure..

Taking a good profile picture is important. Many of the sites have the Russian Roulette of dating; Tinder began the trend and just about every site followed suit; Swipe Right for No, Left for Yes. No profiles to be read, no getting to know the person they are, just a picture that in less than five seconds you are judged and sentenced by. It's all physical attraction. Again, no one lies on the internet after all, so, of course it's a representation of the user. Of course.

Online Dating Nightmares Compilation

Picture Day!

Here's some tips for the good pic

  • Clearly, undeniably, verifiable you.
  • Just you, not your friends, not people with Microsoft Paint blacked out faces. YOU!
  • Enough of the holding the camera up and down, we get it, your brooding and deep.
  • No black and white. While singles in the 19th century would marvel at it, they are also marveling at the toothbrush and stores selling ice. Color brings out details and highlights present you for you. Besides, B&W, Effects, Shading this implies you are trying to hide something. Even if you're not. Arm Chair Psychologists,
  • For God's Sake - Smile!! Not only is it not the 1800's when it took so long to snap a pic your face would hurt from smiling that long, it's proved that pics of users smiling deliver more messages and responses versus those of unsmiling users. I mean, unless you are a baddy gangster, then, don't smile. I mean, we're cool? Right?
  • Add more than one picture. You're profile pic ideally should be a head shot, clear and smiling. The other pics should be you doing things you love, working, hanging out, being natural. Marketing. You are the product. Better get good at selling yourself.

And Now, My Personal Experience

You've been reading this thinking "If this tool has got so many good ideas why is he still on dating sites?" That's a good question. I do have an answer; I am me.

Date #1 - Terra

My first POF sponsored date. I had high expectations , according to her profile she was exactly what I wanted. An intelligent, snarky woman who could hold discourse about a wide array of subjects. We plan to meet down at Waterfront Park and go for a walk to a small cafe and have dinner. I got there fifteen minutes early, I am always early, I have no concept of time. I was looking for her, I knew her by her picture, however, that was adequate.

Time passed and no Terra. I waited an hour and nothing. Disheartened, I was walking back to my car when I heard someone calling out my name. "Adam!, Adam!" a sweet little voice was calling out, it was Terra. At least I think it was Terra. She looked nothing like her picture. Still a beautiful woman, still 5'2" but not anything else. Was she thick? Yes. Is that bad? No, I happen to like it. However, if you are going to lie about something that will be blatantly obvious what more is false?

It turns out all of it. The subjects she listed as obtaining college degrees in, she knew nothing about. Her love of poetry was proven erroneous. The stake to the proverbial heart was that she stated she loved Philosophy, alas, I imagine a deer standing in the middle of a freeway wondering what the bright thing is coming towards it had the same look on its face she did when I started talking about it.

The dated ended not an hour, well two if you count me waiting, after it began. Her reason for being late; She didn't know if she could trust me.

How You Feel After Joining Online Dating

Conjecture At Best! - There Is No Answer

Sweet Release

Well, those are the basics. To go further, while entertaining, is individual experience. Which is what everyone that does Onlineville's dating game gets. Some success, some failures, plenty of awkward messages, dic pics, and the creation of countless singles throwing in the towel.

Here's a radical concept. Next time you see someone you are attracted to, go up and say "Hi". I know, they would have burned me at the stake way back when. Happy dating, dear reader.

Useful or Twaddle?

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Sources

www.quora.com

www.quantcast.com

www.forbes.com

www.okc.com

www.pof.com

www.match.com

www.reddit.com

© 2016 Adam Stier

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    • Laurinzo Scott profile image

      Live To Write 15 months ago from Phoenix, Az.

      Very enlightening hub... great food for thought ...