There’s no doubt that the stigma surrounding online dating is in significant retreat. At the same time, traditional online dating, while not statistically in decline, is finding its dominance challenged by the emergence of dating apps.
What began as a mobile based adjunct to online dating sites has become, in no small part thanks to the extraordinary success of the app-that-shall-not-be-named, a meeting hub in and of itself.
Combine this with the continuing rise of general social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram, Kik et. al. and the language by which we communicate who we are and why we’re worthy of attention has changed.
Again, this is most notable on the app-that-shall-not-be-named – from now on to be referred to as ATSNBN. A quick literal and metaphorical flick through ATSNBN profiles shows the majority with no profile at all, a lower number with an Instagram or kik address, a few less with a single, brief line and then a few old die hards with more than 50 characters.
But some old favourites still remain. And this is true of both traditional sites and dating apps.
Looking for good banter
Well, how lovely.
There are a couple of problems here.
First of all why mention it? It’s not as if the contraposition is popular thus making you stand out from the non-banter loving majority.
Secondly, the term banter was being overused on social media circa 2010. This doesn’t make you sound young and carefree. It makes you sound like a middle aged geography teacher who makes himself egg sandwiches for lunch and is desperately trying to connect with the kids.
Thirdly, publicly proclaiming your quest to find banter of quality feels a bit like you’re on an Indiana Jones adventure. Indy never went looking for something he actually possessed. Banter is about dialogue. If you don’t possess bantering ability it’s highly unlikely you’ll be able to communicate with someone who does.
Be gentle. I’m new to this.
No you’re not.
If you’re below 45 you are not new to this or at least you’re not unfamiliar with what has been the biggest cultural change in the West since The Enlightenment.
You still feel there is something embarrassing about all of this. Unfortunately, it’s probably not the fact of internet dating but more likely the very fact you’re looking. We all feel for you but you’re not the only single person out there. Get over it.
“If you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best”
This oft cited quote is generally used to assert an independent spirit and a no bullshit approach to life.
Unfortunately, using this quote from Marilyn Monroe to try and describe yourself does not show you as a strong powerful Feminist - Unless your understanding of Feminism began and ended with the Spice Girls.
The types of men you will attract are invariably older, misogynist idiots who drive souped up Mitsubishi’s and wear gold rimmed sunglasses indoors. Marilyn is turning in her grave.
Looking for D/s
Wrong website/app (google it).
Looking for a partner in crime
This does not present you as a happy go lucky wit with a self-deprecating sense of humour and the occasional foray into flirtatiousness.
And what crime exactly are you looking for a partner in? The crime of unrivalled unoriginality and cheesiness?
Thatcher is in power, the Falklands war has just finished and I’m still wearing 100% polyester superhero t-shirts and sandals.
Have a cup of Horlicks and good lie down.
If u lookin 4 fun hit me up
What day is it? Oh bugger. Yesterday was fun day. Maybe next time.
I would, however, still like to ‘hit you up’. Just perhaps not in the way you envisaged. I won’t though because the police don’t take kindly to grown-ups hitting 5 year olds.
Sorry for the cynicism
You may have guessed I’m in a slightly cynical mood. To be fair to today’s daters it’s becoming increasingly difficult to be original. With so many different methods of meeting people online we need to constantly adapt the ways in which we communicate who we are and what we’re looking for. It’s no wonder we resort to cliché.
Technology, at least in the era of mobile internet, is supposed to make things more efficient. Instead we’re presented with a rapidly increasing breadth of choice. Unfortunately, the choice we’re offered is between myriad mediocrities.
In order to give ourselves the best chances of finding someone we can connect with we’re forced to – quite literally – connect through as many portals as possible. The only way to keep up is to rely on what we know and then copy and paste. To not do so makes us feel we’re being unfair to ourselves. Surely, in order to help ourselves we should be engaging with as much facilitating technology as we can. Shouldn't we?
Better than IMAX
As always, I will conclude with my bias.
It’s not the size of the wave it’s the motion of the ocean. Less is sometimes more. Bigger is not always better… Um… and any other clichés you wish to use to promote quality over quantity.
For my money, such technology should be used as a facilitator, not an end in itself – a facilitator to actually, y'know, meet someone. Like Tinder but in full 4D.
So take your internet ready device, type in www.originaldating.com, pick an event and step out of the matrix.
I promise it’s even better than IMAX.
WORDS BY JOHN DAVIS