Online Dating is a misnomer, the internet is full of fakes and liars and the industry has got it all wrong. At least so thinks our regular blogger John Davis. So here’s John’s top 5 reasons why online dating isn't all it’s cracked up to be.
1) Not a model? Give up
Whatever the marketing blurb says, or however you spin it, all statistics show that the better looking someone is, the more success they will have REGARDLESS of personality or lack thereof in their profile.
Being witty, erudite, funny and intelligent will almost always lose out to a six pack/cleavage/chiselled jaw. Particularly if you’re looking for all three from the same person although there are specialist websites out there for such meetings.
You may be the most extraordinary company but if you don’t surf, have a loyalty card to the local tanning salon or look like a hybrid of FHM’s top 10 it’s gonna be tough.
2) It’s not who you are. It’s who you pretend to be
Of course we can all make up a profile. This doesn’t mean that we’re going to. After all, many people using online dating sites are normal, sane and all on there for the same reasons.
But when confronted by the statistical anomaly that is Darwinian selection in an electronic age – See my point above – people get desperate. So in order to appeal to a broader range of people, some truths are tweaked. The more these truths are tweaked, the more the average profile ‘improves’ making everyone feel increasingly insecure and thus tweaking just that little bit more.
And even before we get to this exponentially increasing race to fiction, from the start studies have shown that most men will naturally lie about their height, and women their weight.
3) Sold as seen
Have you ever ordered something on-line? It takes twice as long to arrive but you’ve been assured it’s on its way. Your excitement increases daily until finally, the courier arrives and you sign on one of those weird digital thingies that don’t even write properly, noticing how your hand is shaking in anticipation.
You rip open the packaging and… It’s not quite what you expected. Welcome to on-line dating meet ups.
There really is no reliable way to make sure the person you’re meeting is who they say they are. Sure you can request a video chat but this adds one more layer to the already convoluted dating process.
Remember, men generally lie about their height and women generally lie about their weight. This simple fact should be enough to make you very cautious indeed.
And sometimes it’s not even a lie. It’s just a particularly good photo taken when the sun was oh so right, your skin was glowing with health, the lens was uber expensive and the friend who took it just happens to be a rather good photographer. It’s a photo of you. Just not on a normal day.
4) Stop! Scammer time!
A significant proportion of the profiles you see are fakes. They’re often set up by organisations trying to direct you to www.whatever.com. It may not even be that whatever.com is aware it’s happening. They will often pay for the number of redirects to their site. Thus if someone wants to earn commission for what are essentially worthless clicks, they put up myriad profiles making them tantalising enough to warrant further investigation.
And in the time it takes to have such profiles reported and removed, three more have sprung up in their place.
There is virtually no security software capable of preventing this happening. Granted it is happening less and less, particularly on the more, ahem, ‘reputable’ sites but they’re still out there.
You have been warned.
5) There’s nothing ‘datelike’ or even ‘meetlike’ about online
I know I’m a writer and this may make me unnecessarily pedantic when it comes to language but seriously, think about it. If you had a phone conversation with a stranger would you say you’d ‘dated’ them? Would you even say you’d ‘met’ them? Of course not.
‘But John’ I hear you cry, ‘it’s so much more interactive! There’s pictures and everything! Look, he’s cuddling a Tiger! How can this not be real!?’
I think I’ve made my point. Albeit facetiously.
Look, I’m not against making the process of contacting people more efficient. But that’s all it is. The first step to actually, y’know, meeting someone. In 3D. Flesh ‘n’ all.
The term ‘online dating’ gives a false impression of how much of a relationship you’re establishing.
Tread with care.
And if you'd prefer to meet up to 20 people in one night we are just the people to help. Our events in London attract some great people and you can find out about them here.
WORDS BY JOHN DAVIS