Online Dating….

A while back I decided that it would be fun to write an article about the goofy things that guys do when trying to date online. (It was inspired by the misadventures of a female friend of mine.)

So, I contacted a bunch of women who have been in the trenches and asked them some questions. I got some great replies and wrote the article.

It was at that point that a confluence of events derailed my plans.

1) I found out that half of the newspapers in Canada are, apparently, laying off large chunks of their staff.

2) I found out that articles about online dating have been done… and done… and done.

3) I realized that I didn’t exactly set the world on fire with my writing in the article. (You like how I mentioned that part last?)

So, I forgot about it and moved on.

And then I remembered it this morning. So, I figured that I’d share it with you suckers valued readers now.


Online Dating: What Women Want… Men to Stop Doing

A funny thing happened on the way to writing this article. What started off as something sarcastic and silly, has turned into something different. Well, mostly.

With every passing day, more and more people are meeting online through dating websites. It is possible that meeting this way will soon become more common than meeting at a bar or a party.

What’s the appeal of the online hook up? Maybe it’s a teensy bit more prudent to decide on a potential mate based on the careful reading of exchanged e-mails, while sipping on a coffee in the sober daylight of morning, than, say, based on a discussion held while outside of a bar at closing time. Especially if you are half-soused on tequila and trying to figure out how to button up your coat – that still has a hanger in it.

You know, hypothetically speaking.

Let’s take a deeper look into the lives of the women on the front lines of online dating. And, fellas, they have some complaints.

Lucy, 35, says that “women put more into their profiles and pictures than men. They seem to present themselves better.” And she wasn’t alone in this feeling. Harper, 30, tells of meeting a guy for lunch who looked nothing like this photo. As did 23 year old Laura. As did– well, let’s just say that it was a recurring theme.

In addition to sneaky photo use, women are also unhappy with men who try to fudge the numbers when it comes to their height. While Catherine, 29, admits that “the most common lie from women seems to be about weight,” a large number of women accused men being a little creative when divulging their height.

34 year old Stacey recalled one such instance, “after staring at the top of this man’s head for an entire dinner, and then being asked for a kiss goodnight, my immediate reaction was ‘I don’t think I can bend down that far.'”

Aliya, 28, had a similar experience. “The guy lied. His profile said he was six feet tall. He must have been five-foot-four. For a girl who is five-foot-eight, and wearing four inch heels, it was not a comfortable situation.”

I can see him going over his mental check-list as he arrived at the restaurant, “Shower. Check.. Shave. Check. Stop at bone stretching shop. Dang!”

As bad as lying about height is, Catherine can go it one better. “One guy was not how he described himself – in terms of ethnicity. He assumed that I’d only meet him if he was Asian American, as I am Asian Canadian.”

I’m guessing that it would take some pretty slick spin control to be able convince someone that you are Asian when you very obviously are not.

If the height-challenged and the inexplicably faux-Asians were the worst things about on line dating, it would likely be even more popular. Sadly that’s not the case. Even if the man looks exactly like his picture, it is still entirely possible that the evening is going to go completely off the rails. And quickly.

To say that Lisa, 35, had a bad first date, is an understatement. After a dinner conversation consisting of complaints about his life, and prying personal questions, he was good enough to walk her to her car. Then he tried to invite himself to her house. She declined. After she made it clear that she didn’t really want to pursue the relationship, “He said that I must be a lesbian.”

And you thought that only happened on TV.

Samantha, 46, also had a less than stellar date with one eligible bachelor, “I met a born-again Christian who was grilling me about my spirituality and my religious beliefs.” It got better. “He said that I was everything he was looking for in a woman except for ‘that’ and since I seem to have had a good ‘religious’ upbringing (I was raised Catholic), he had hopes that I would, ‘come around’ some day.” Now,
wait for it. “Then he proceeded to ask me if I wanted to join him in his hot tub.”

We’ll just assume that it was full of holy water and had a Pope Pius XII floating thermometer.

Sometimes a woman doesn’t even need a first date to figure out that someone is already Mr. Wrong. Wendy is 36, from Toronto, and has this story to tell, “I had one person emailing me for at least half a year, telling me I was the one. I received emails from him (sometimes weekly) and he wouldn’t give up for the longest time, even with never receiving one reply from me. He lived in Colorado!”

Guys, persistence is not always a good thing. Don’t be “the little engine that could… get hit with a restraining order.”

But, all is not lost. Despite a plethora of bad experiences, not yet finding Mr. Right, and sometimes becoming a tad jaded, many of the women still held out hope. There was talk of having to kiss many toads – and a willingness to do so.

Maybe we men should work on being frogs from the start. Just a thought.

Lucy summed up the optimism well, “It is interesting though that when you read profiles of a lot of guys they seem to be looking for someone too… so that provides some sense of the fact that you are not alone in your quest for that someone to spend your time with.”

A funny thing happened on the way to this article. What started off as something designed to poke fun at my fellow men, has turned into a warning. Fellas, there are some wonderful women out there. You just have to approach them the right way… and tell the truth.

Or don’t.

Frankly, we single men have enough competition.

And I really am six-foot-four.


16 thoughts on “Online Dating….

  1. Nice.

    So does this mean you really look like your picture? ;)

    And where can I get one of those Pope thermometers?!

    Is there the other side of the coin?

  2. And do you have an adorable Scottish/Canadian accent, too? Don’t deny it – I have family from NS.

    See, now I go into matchmaker mode. I didn’t think you were single. Now I have all these ladies in mind if only!


  3. OK, so the newspaper article thing didn’t exactly work out. Put a new spin on it. This would make a great documentary for your short film festival project.

  4. Had to laugh when I saw the topic for this post – having just had a “date” this afternoon with a guy I’d “met” through one of the online dating services here.

    In this case the problem was the height not exactly fitting the “advert” as well as the not exactly looking like the photo anymore issue.

    According to this guy’s profile he is 180cm and, whilst he does list himself as being ‘slim’, his photo didn’t make me think “Wow, that guy is SKINNNNY!”

    So there I am, sitting in The Merchant Tea & Coffee shop, waiting to meet this tall, slim, but not emaciated, guy… you can understand my dismay when a guy who would stand maybe an inch shorter than me (I'm 5'10") and whose limbs I could probably snap with two fingers, stops at my table in the coffee shop, looks at me for a second and then says, "Umm, is your name 'MissE'?"

    I wanted to say no. I really really really did. But I was raised better than that. So I smiled and said hi. I have 14 year old students you are bigger than this guy!!

    Truthfully, I felt like some gigantic woman sitting opposite him and that made me feel uncomfortable withthe whole encounter. I just wanted it to end.

    How hard is it to be honest about these things? Seriously?

    I think that’s why I prefer the Speed Dating option – it’s just a little closer to WYSIWYG.


  5. This was spot on. Nobody should post a 10 year old picture online, as though they still look that way. Especially if they’ve gone bald since!
    I met my sweetie online, but not through any dating site. This was a great post.

  6. jazz: That was my favourite reply story from the women.

    eve: Oddly enough, I look much more Asian in person. I’m sure that there are guys that could tell some stories as well. Perhaps it calls for a future sequel.

    jurgen nation: I am not sure about the accent thing. Though now you can check the vlog posted above!

    amy: interesting idea. Though I suspect I’m much more of a mockumentary dude.

    stormin’: I know, right? That is gold. Are you hoping that your charm and wit is going to blind her to the fact.

    steph: I should do a version of this with Aussie women. Now THAT would yield some interesting responses, I’m sure. ;)

    misse: Ouch. You know, I think when people use these services, they should post a buttload of pics. And not just the most flattering one they can find.

    DariDonovan: and thanks to you for stopping by!

    jane: Thanks so much! the biggest complaint I got from women was that the men looked nothing like their pics. If it was me, I think I’d share my crappiest pic. Under promise and over deliver!

  7. I second the height lie. I am itty-bitty at 5ft nothing and I went on a date with a guy who said he was 5’5″…

    Except, I was looking directly into his eyes, sans heals.

    The only cool part was that he was the body-stand in for Joey Jeremiah…to all my fellow Canadians….(ahem…Degrassi!) Just goes to show how short Joey really was!

  8. Well hello and thanks for sending the link! I haven’t met any faux Asians since, but as for faux bachelors… That’s a whole other article waiting to be pitched…

  9. Everything that applies to the Internet, applies to online dating as well. The Internet as we know allows for unlimited possibilities in communication, and it is this feature that has proved to be at the same time the biggest boon, as well as bane for online dating.

    But at the same time this possibility for unlimited communication leaves a lot of space for guile as well. The human race is endowed with a remarkable ability to use, misuse and abuse the same thing. And naturally, online dating too has been and is still being used for vile purposes.

    The person who is misusing this facility may either be a practical joker or may be someone with more devious intentions who is out to get some victims. It is because of this reason that a little bit of homework is good before you actually hit the road. “5 Steps To Online Dating Success” is a great e-book that offers easy to follow guidelines to help with online dating.

  10. I truly appreciate for the service that it offers!

    I met a wonderful man through this site & we had many wonderful experiences together. In fact, it was the best dating experience that I ever had.

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