My Life

Is there any Truth in Online Dating?

March 15, 2011

So I decided to go on an adventure. This adventure is called Online Dating.

Just like any form of dating, whether it be blind dating, speed dating, or just general bar hopping; Id heard some good stories and Id heard some bad. The good stories included online dates that developed into wonderful friendships, some steamy encounters, long-term relationships and even a marriage. The bad stories included, well, some very bad dates….

A friend of mine explained a story about a really nice guy she was talking to online for several weeks, she told me she had good conversation with him and his pictures looked great, so after a lot of getting to know each other via the web, they finally decided to meet up. She recalled how she got a bit of a shock when her date arrived and gave her a big smile, revealing “about five”ย missing front teeth. And the ones that were left were not looking so hygienic. Only then did she realise that not one of his pictures on his profile had shown him smiling open mouthed.

Fail!

Another pal of mine told me how she met a guy online who looked gorgeous in his online profile pictures – with all his teeth! She was desperate to snatch him up before someone else did. Worried that he might lose interest if she tried to slowly get to know him first, after swapping just a few brief messages with him, she arranged to meet him for a hot date. Had she gotten to know him first, my friend wouldn’t have been so shocked (and slightly terrified) when her hot date opened up the evening with a conversation about his extreme rubber gloves fetish, confessing he had been looking for someone to fulfil his rubber glove fantasy!

Scary!

Now, I’m not one to judge – okay, so I can judge a fair bit – but if someone has a fetish for rubber gloves, or a fetish of any sort, thats their prerogative. But had my friend met this guy in a bar, its unlikely he would have opened up with a chat-up line about getting her into a kinky pair of yellow marigolds and have her wash-up in front of him. Yet, because their first encounter was on a website, and because they met-up with very little knowledge of each other, he took their meeting as an opportunity to find a stranger to fulfil his fantasies (marigolds-man needs to realise there are other kind of websites for that!) Having said this, had my friend taken the time to converse with him a little more and get to know him, maybe they wouldn’t have been complete strangers.

As for the teeth bloke, or rather no-teeth bloke, I think that was just silly (and a tad ambitious of him). My friend was mildly gutted about her no-teeth guy, she felt she had invested good time (and lots of megabytes) in getting to know him, but most of all she was concerned that she was being really shallow. However, after a long hard think, she reassured herself that physical attraction to a partner, or a potential partner, is vital – as well as good dental hygiene!

Despite hearing these two somewhat creepy stories, and others, the good stories stayed at the forefront of my mind and I decided to go ahead and give it a go. And after hearing the horror stories of online dating, I felt like I knew all the rules, all the do’s and dont’s and I definitely had it in the bag.

I was advised by friends to treat online dating just as normal dating, if a guy approached me in a bar and said “Nice Tits”ย I wouldn’t speak to him. Its the same online. If a guy sent me a message with any sort of pervy/tacky/creepy line, I wouldn’t speak to him. Block straight away.

I was honest in my profile, I kept the description of myself and my interests short but sweet, simply explaining where I’m from, what I do, and I listed of few likes and dislikes. I put up a few photos from nights out in which I think I look nice, but I also put up some not-so great photos. They’re not terrible photos, no-one needs to see how rough I can look first thing in the morning or last thing at night, but just more average photos of myself were I’m not caked in make-up. I made a rule that if I met someone online, I would chat to them and get to know them a little before meeting up. And of course I had to like their photos (which must include teeth-shots).

I got talking to a guy who contacted me with a really cute message. Lets call him The Officer, as he was in fact a Police Officer. We spoke for three weeks before meeting; lots of long emails and even more texting. We had great banter, and he looked great in his photos. It was so strange, but I actually felt smitten – with someone I’d never met. Weird. I felt like I knew him really well. I was uber-excited about meeting him. We arranged to meet in central London after work one evening for drinks, I even went out and bought a new outfit (sad!) and on the day of the date I was sick with nerves all afternoon.

And soon it was time to meet my Officer.

Don’t worry, no scary story, he had all his teeth and didn’t announce any sort of weird fetish. But he was stood at our meeting point, and as I walked closer to greet him, I realised that he wasn’t as tall as he had said in his profile; in fact you wouldn’t really class him as a tall bloke. His profile had said 6ft. Now, I’m not a mega tall girl, around 5’6, but there was no way he was 6ft, because if he was 6ft, then that means I’m 6ft too!

I dont have some pretentious rule against dating short guys; in fact I was once upon a time crazy about a guy who was a wee little-un, and I was madly in-love with his little short arse. I just didnt understand why the Officer had lied about his height. He was obviously insecure about it – that was the only reason I could think of. Luckily I was wearing flats, but I imagine had I turned up in heels, he probably would have felt sufficiently awkward and embarrassed, as I would have towered above him. Which ultimately would have made me feel – and look – really uncomfortable.

But it seemed he felt awkward enough anyway, or maybe I was just as much as a disappointment to him too, because as pleasant as the date was, it became obvious that neither of us were really feeling it. I felt so let down that he’d lied that there was a slight sense of discomfort in the air. The amazing viral banter we’d had unfortunately failed to convert to real life conversation.

We thanked each other for a nice evening and both ended the date with “it was nice to meet you” which is basically code for “I probably won’t see you ever again”ย. And me and the Officer haven’t spoken since.

Like I said, it was no horror story, it was fairly pleasant, and for my first ever online date, I suppose it didn’t go down too bad. But lying about your height? Really? I don’t get it. Did the Officer think I was that stupid that I wouldn’t notice … it’s actually a tad insulting.

Fortunately, it wasn’t enough to scare me off, make me delete my profile and run to the nearest bar to find a date the old-fashioned way … Im going to stick it out and try again. But I just think the best policy when it comes to all this internet dating is to be honest. Whether its that youre missing several teeth or you dont come up too tall, or even that you think youre too tall, just be honest. Surely the one big pro of internet dating is that you have the means to search for someone who shares your interests, or even your fears, or someone who is even the perfect height?

Although I think people with obscure fetishes should leave that information off their online profiles. Maybe save Fetish-confession time for much, much further into a relationship!

  • Kristian

    This is a great post, I love it (no pun intended). It’s really nice to read.

    I often contemplate if I should try online dating; there are so many out there and they’re always in your face whether it’s TV ads or ads in programs (IMs being one thing that annoys me quite a bit).

    Will see how it goes, but at least I have a nice list of what to do and what not to do. ;)

  • Tinkerbell Jayne

    Thanks Kristian … I would definitely recommend Online Dating. As long as your careful, and treat it like any other form of dating, you’ll be fine.
    Since my first online date with the Officer, I have since met some nice people, non of whom lied about their height!

  • If you think regular online dating is hit and miss, you should try single parent online dating…. whole other can of worms!