Harry Winser

The Trials and Tribulations of Online Courtship

Yep. You read that correctly; I'm going to discuss online dating.

Ah dating. The age old ritual that was first invented in 1769 by Richard Von Date, who created the concept to win a girls heart. Back then tea, biscuits, and pistols at dawn were used. Ah, simpler times. Anyway, enough history.

The invention of the internet has brought about many changes; an open forum for the world to share it's thoughts, a place where people can get news, and watch media instantly . So of course meeting and courting people would eventually shift into this virtual, instant realm.

Being an awkward software engineer (fucking nailing the stereotype there), I have little to no luck in the bar scene. Nope, that's jock territory. And as it turns out the library isn't the best place to pick up chicks (who knew?), so I decided to take the plunge into a rather known dating site called Ok!Cupid.

What happens online... Is documented forever and you can do nothing about it.

When you first sign up, you're assaulted with questions about yourself. I'm not particularly narcissistic, and filling out several lines on a self-summary is rather daunting. This is made worse by the sudden realisation that everything about yourself can be summed up in about 300 words, or roughly the length of a standard Tesco shopping receipt.

Next, onto the photos. I first thought this would be super simple but, turns out that past me thought it would be funny to always pull a stupid face (prick). So I'm left with a couple of half decent ones, and blind naive hope a prayer that my "funny" and "witty" 300 words wins the affection of some passing lady.

So, with some trepidation I started messaging people, and started conversations with people from all over the country. Ok!Cupid has the great feature that gives you compatibility score based on the questions you've answered, and for the logical nerd within this was a total plus.

So, how was my experience? Actually, not the nose diving plane I thought it would be.

I've made friends, gone on dates, had some awkward conversations, had some weird messages, and pretty much everything else you'd expect from an online dating experience. Actually, this links in with the title. Once a message has been sent, that's it. There's no hoping the other person didn't hear, or they might laugh it off as a joke. Text is a cruel bitch, and one that doesn't convey tone particularly well.

"Like a kid in the candy store where the candy is flying off the shelves. At your face."

When I signed up, a friend of mine also did. They had a very different experience. Why? Because they are female.

sausage factory cat

Basically, she's inundated with messages from guys. A mix of genuine nice messages, such as "hey, how's it going. " and messages like "Sup babes, sex?". I've read one from a friend where the guy described how their first date would lead to his bed, do the deed, and then they'd cuddle. Definitely not the opening Von Date had in mind for his invention. All jokes aside, how can anyone think that's a valid opening to any conversion, let alone a pick up line?

On a whole, girls and guys have very different experiences.

So, should I just die alone then?

Do not despair reader (especially if you're a girl; it's like a German butchers who care very little for their stock in there) for there is still hope. Like I said, I've made some great friends online. Plus, I've met a lot of people who have gotten together online, and are now in like super committed relationships and stuff. So it does happen.

However, if you want to just cut out the human aspect of the whole process there is always this (or this).