Sergio here! Today's topic: online dating...
Where do I begin...?
With the dawn of the internet, one of the first forms of interaction between people were chat rooms. The earliest form of online
dating. Back then it had a little pristine, yet ambiguous connotation to it, but naively trusting, for those who still believed in someone's word, even if they were miles away and had never met. In the last decade though, it's become a source for all kinds of trouble, profit and the occasional good that undoubtedly can still come out for some. However, my take on it, is mostly negative.
I am not someone to spend my time, money and patience with online dating, but I certainly have had my fair share of experiences. My very first one was about 14 years ago, and it ended up in a solid relationship of 4 years.
With all the negativity the internet dating situation was getting through the years, I definitely lost all interest and it wasn't until a few years ago when I decided to try it, to see "how it goes".
But I won't deny, that mostly I just wanted to get laid, without putting too much effort and complicating myself with what dating, actually entailed. See, dating sites, to me are the perfect places for men to find an occasional tryst, without having to spend huge amounts of time, effort and energy into delivering and marketing a personality worth paying attention to. While this is an easy way to gamble and find a potential someone, it wasn't something I felt I wanted to devote a form of extra effort.
POF was an interesting source for trouble. Even though I had my own profile and did a little browsing, I couldn't help but notice the dullness of the whole experience and the lack of character even the best of profiles would actually portray. It got old the moment I signed up.
However, one of my closest female friends, who happened to be on it, asked me to help her find a "buddy" and that's when things got interesting.
The first thing I noticed was how easily men can be manipulated and get their attention for just a piece of ass. Within a few days, she and I managed to find what she was looking for, in terms of casual encounters and anything that did not mean attachment or seriousness. Additionally, it gave me a deeper glimpse into the male's psyche and from a third person point of view, i just found the men in these sites to be very, very pathetic. My apologies for being so radically biased.
One place I did give it a try a couple of years ago, was singleparentmatch.com. (yes I wanted to try a cougar... there, I said it). A few hits here and there but one in particular one caught my attention, mostly because she established communication first. (Something that doesn't happen often). A few exchanges later I was sure, the girl was either a clingy psycho or someone totally fake, looking to get into my wallet instead of my pants. (Oh and not a cougar either. Boo hoo.)
The latter turned out to be true, when some of these emails contained poems apparently composed by her. Consulting quickly with the all-seeing, all-knowing Google, it turned out to be these poems were written by other regular people who innocently shared them with the world. Emails kept getting exchanged and some responses were the exact same lines that I had read in a previous messages, and that does not include the tone her grammatical errors gave to the conversations, as someone who was probably not American. Her profile indicated she lived in NY, but according to her, she currently was in California pursuing a modeling career and with a job opportunity in Arizona. The only times I've heard something similar was in a VH1 especial edition of Behind The Music-type of documentary on adult entertainers.
The person in question gave me a phone number, however she explicitly instructed for texts only. But because we men don't follow instructions or directions, I did call it from a couple of private land lines and it would immediately cut off. One more red flag.
Since I had previously worked in telecommunications, I found the number was from Colorado, belonging to some hard to pronounce male name and the IP addresses of the emails were from Nigeria, which proved to me I was being taken for a fool and discovered it right in time before I could have gotten kidnapped and quartered, or sold to the black market as a high grade lover or commodity of sorts, due to my exotic accent and skin color.
Or have my identity stolen.
That might as well have been the case, because the latest flood of emails contained questionnaires with random personal questions, such as my full name, what city I was born, where I have lived before, where my job is etc. etc., because she wanted to know me more. Not to mention, she wanted to make sure I was that person who would treat her like a queen, was ready for "life time love" (sic). She wanted to see where things go, if only I would answer more love questionnaires.
E-harmony, on the other hand, was an interesting investment, lured into it thanks to my best friend Heather.
Being that membership is not exactly cheap, there is no other way to get your money's worth than to put enough effort into it, create an appealing profile, download the app and waste your time browsing, sending winks and emails.
The big difference between this and the other sites I mentioned, is probably the compatibility, eye-rolling, time consuming questionnaire you fill out in order to get your best matches. I found it very clever and indeed more chances of communicating with someone with similar interest. In no time I had exchanged emails with a few potentials and indeed a few meet ups took place.
While the e-harmony experience yielded good results, there is really not much that I can say about the dates I went on during that period, other than they were mellow and positive. It also included one super hyper chatter box, with an insatiable love for sports, but coupled with my busy work and travel schedule, I did not pursue it further and also as a result of more interesting ventures which were more in the human interaction form through social networking than online dating.