Tuesday, July 18, 2006

You Can't Do Internet Dating All The Time

The people who become 'addicted' to internet dating are the ones that don't realise you can just walk away from it for months at a time (or years, in my case). It's always there. You're not going to miss someone speshul because you decided you just can't be arsed with it for a bit. It's there for you to use when it suits you. Do it when you're in the mood. When you're feeling perky about yourself and nothing much is worrying you. Or you're very bored. Any of those. They're all good. It's just another way of meeting people.

Internet Dating Is A Seasonal Pursuit

Early Spring (rain), Autumn (wind, rain, leaves, etc) and Winter (rain, snow, hail, freezing Arctic winds, freak Mistrals due to global warming), are the times for internet dating. It's dark, everyone's pissed off, and everyone's wearing slightly too tight jerseys and thick socks. That's when to do it, when you can meet in dark pubs or in galleries on rainy afternoons. Not turn up sweating slightly because you're running late and have had to run from the bus stop.

Summer only lasts 3 weeks anyway, so it's no great loss. So, put down your laptops, put on your most flattering t-shirt and 'shades' (whatever they are), and get outside. Buy someone an ice cream. Offer that pretty girl on the train your spare bottle of water. No-one cares. They're all half-dead from heat exhaustion anyway.

Monday, July 17, 2006

My New Internet Dating Profile

I've had a pop, and I'm liking it. If it gets your dogs barking and you fit the description, get in touch. Please supply photo. I look like my Blogger profile photograph (up on the far right: are you blind? And if so, how can you read this?), so if you like hairy hands in a lady, you're laughing.

"Unemployed, porky (but quite good-looking), bird seeks man who won't fall over if I run at him. I will cook, do some washing, pay for other people to do basic DIY that I have neither the time nor the inclination to do, speak French on French holidays (or in French-speaking countries), type fast and be in a good and reasonable mood 90% of the time. I am a clean homeowner with more than ten friends, a cat I despise who lives on a cardboard box, and a cheerful family. I enjoy watching home improvement television programmes during the day, going to the gymnasium, eating North Staffordshire Oatcakes, and reading books.

Things I like in a gentleman include kind eyes, large hands, thick jerseys in winter and the ability to grow a beard. Thick socks and hair preferable, but I have no objection to a baldy if he's got a way with words. Employment status and bank balance relatively unimportant, but should be able to pay for own bus fare. At least three out of four limbs and pulse preferred. Ability to use apostrophes correctly vital. Must not use any of the following expressions, ever:

- "take a pew"
- "me and my better half"
- "pardon me"
- "moist, thick slices"
- "shall I pop James Blunt on the soundsystem?"
- "Pappy wants a special cuddle"
- "I've always liked fat lasses. More to grab hold of"
- "If I'm honest, I've always wanted to live in the Surrey area. Better class of person"
- "I've made raita for dinner."

Must not be weird, but odd is acceptable. Proof of at least 2 years of Freudian psychotherapy preferred, or written statement confirming sanity from local Justice of the Peace. Must dislike but be able to tolerate mentally deficient, overweight cats that live on cardboard boxes, and be good at kissing. Must not take himself seriously. Should bear in mind that I am 37 in October, so more in the mood for visits to Homebase than smoking crack. I am fond of children, but do not press my face against the window of Mothercare keening into the empty evening.

London area preferable, although will relocate if it goes well for a year or so and we can't think of anything else to do."

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

I Thought You Had To Be Clever To Read The Guardian

But no, for they feel it necessary to email their members (including past members, e.g. me) with some truly excellent advice, including:

Enhance your profile with a great photograph and we're sure you'll see your success rate increase. A few tips for looking good:

* Choose a clear well-focused photo that has you as the main subject.

Funny, that. I always thought you should post a picture of your cat wearing a fez and smoking a pipe. But thanks to The Guardian, I'll get it right next time.

Monday, July 10, 2006

How Long Should I Wait Before We Meet?

Dear Datingmonkey,

How long should you wait before you actually meet someone you meet online? I've just started and I've been emailing with someone for about a week and he seems like a very nice guy. But I'm afraid if we wait too long to meet and he or I are disappointed, it will be a lot more of a letdown. Plus, Ithink I've already told him too much and it will be awkward meeting him at all.

So what's a good amount of time to wait?



Dearest Ellen

Thank you for your excellent question.

Before you wonder about when you will meet, SPEAK TO HIM ON THE PHONE. Someone who sounds great on email may have a voice like Pee Wee, or a tongue that's too big for his mouth. Neither of these lead to good dates, in my experience. (If he doesn't want to speak on the phone he's either married or insane, so avoid him.)

Anyway, assuming you speak on the phone and you like the sound of him, arrange to meet. (The cunning thing about speaking on the phone is that it usually comes up in conversation, so you don't have to worry about it.)

When? Well, I've met people on the same day and after 3 months of emailing. I suggest within 2 weeks, if you can. That way, as you say, you avoid 'disappointment' (which is in fact just being pissed off that you've spent that amount of time emailing a total idiot with a tongue that's too big for his mouth), and you get it over and done with. Because the longer you leave it, the bigger a deal it becomes.

And finally: it's only a date. In the grand scheme of things, if it goes wrong it doesn't matter. And if it goes wrong? Just get online and find someone nicer to go on a date with. And if it goes right, it means you haven't wasted weeks emailing someone you'd rather be with in person. Result all round, I say.

Oh, and don't worry about having told him too much. What's said in email suddenly seems totally unimportant once you meet. I'm not sure why; it just does.

Good luck!

DM x

Saturday, July 08, 2006

How To Make Money From Internet Dating

Genius. If you're strapped for cash and find yourself without true romance after a spell of high-intensity internet dating, just sue the internet dating site. How I wish I'd thought of this myself. I'd be fucking rolling in it.

The monkey hotline tells me of a woman who is suing a site for 'mis-matching' her after she had to 'endure' 8 terrible dates with men that she felt weren't suitable. Very clever. This way, not only does she make a complete arse of herself by bothering to make such a fuss, but she also - somehow - takes no responsibility for the fact that the dates didn't go well. Strange, really, as she's obviously a fuckwit (which would have had no bearing on how the date went, of course).

If that route doesn't suit you, you can follow the example of some people in the Americas who are suing Match.com and Yahoo! Personals for posting fake profiles (to suggest there are more foxes online than there actually are), and intercepting emails. A brief consideration of online dating sites' business models would suggest:

1. They have millions of members
2. Posting fake profiles takes time
3. They probably couldn't be arsed to post fake profiles, as it takes time, and they've got millions of members anyway.

Still, makes for a good reason why you're not shacked up, however unlikely it seems.

Then - and how I laughed - there's another. When you join a dating site, you fill in your search criteria. With the best will in the world, even I - with my limited ability to use a keyboard due to the monkey paws/12" Powerbook keyboard size ratio - can fill in an internet dating site 'search criteria' form without too many mishaps.

Anyroad up, some bird in America is apparently suing a site for not setting her up with a nice Jewish boy. Their argument is that she didn't accurately fill in her search criteria. For a month. Poor love. Still, she reckons they owe her $4,000.

And finally, the married man suing a site for not letting him join because - well, he's married, and theirs is a singles-only site. 'But how can I start my life again?', he bleats from across the ocean. By finishing the relationship you're in before you start another one, would be my tip.

I'm getting on the phone to my solicitor RIGHT NOW. Some 6ft 9 fat bloke I was on a date with once said 'bite my balls, and hard' over a drink of wine and a bowl of peanuts in a fashionable West End drinking venue, and I think I'm still from suffering post-traumatic stress syndrome. And that, obviously, is Match.com's fault.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Inter-species Love: A Reader Complains

Dear Fallacious Blogger,

I am writing to say how disappointed I am in your highly misleading web page. I have dropped in on three occasions now and have yet to find any material relating to simian-human relationships. As a regular animal lover, I was expecting a service similar to the excellent findafox.net or chihuahuachat.com, facilitating relaxed interaction (and maybe something more) between open-minded people and other species.

Imagine my confusion, then, at finding only the turgid repetitive rehearsal of the man-woman, woman-man, same-species tedium that the more enlightened of us have left behind.

This type of deception seems to be the stock in trade of so-called dating sites: I was similarly let down last year when I approached the Singles Network in search of a tennis partner.


K.E. Babhouse

Dear Babhouse

What do you want me to do about it? I'll happily 'open the floor' to supporters of inter-species love, but it's a specialist market. Know what I'm saying?

So saying, I'm a monkey, you're a man, and I'm in the Purley area on Friday. Fancy a go?



P.S. I don't do fellacious though - hope that's OK.