Thursday, August 03, 2006

Does Internet Dating Work?

It depends on what you want, of course. From a new hobby, to selecting from a range of foreign ladies in search of a Green Card, internet dating will provide all you require. The only conditions? Patience. Oh, and honesty. It generally gets you what's good for you, rather than what you think you want.

I would like to be entertained.

Absolutely guaranteed, my cheeky friends. End of story. Reading profiles, sending emails, meeting strangers for dates; telling all your mates about the bloke with the spit: all immensely entertaining. Particularly now that internet dating is so mainstream that only people who live in boxes and eat insects think it's weird.

I would like to enter into a long distance relationship with someone in Alaska, converse via webcam every night for 8 months, then get married. Then I would like to instal them in my house in a suburb of Glasgow and feed them packet noodles. And we will be happy.

Easier than meeting a single man in London who is over the age of 37 and isn't a cock, to be frank - so yes, the superweb will you this thing if that's what you want.

I would like to find someone with whom to conduct an extra-marital affair.

I think there are sites dedicated to this very thing. However, you should be ashamed of yourself, you bad dog. And when your spouse finds out, may they burn the hair from your head with a cheap lighter.

Has it worked for you?

Yes. And no. I'll do it again when I'm not such a porker though, THAT'S for sure.

Could you give me at least 10 other examples of other people who have met online and are now happily shacked up?

Yes, now piss off. This isn't a competition.

I want casual sex with strangers

Do you? Why's that then? Luckily for you, internet dating is jolly good for this. It is remarkably easy to find a number of people willing to sleep with you with virtually no introduction. And these people can be found on all types of sites: the 'normal' ones and 'specialist' ones.

People on 'specialist' sites tend to be honest about it, whereas 'normal' sites conceal people up for a bit of opportunistic relationship-free shagging. Some people are honest about it in their profile; some aren't.

I want to meet new people and make friends

Again, no problem here. Easy peasy. Just be honest about what you're after (i.e., don't lead people into thinking you're up for a relationship when you're not) and go and meet people. You may like some of them. You may not like others. Either way, there's lots of people out there, most of them probably perfectly nice. And a lot of them are probably like you, even if you only like weasels and cake.

I want to get married

Calm down, for God's sake. You have to go through the 'meeting someone and starting a relationship and sustaining it over a long period of time' bit first. Call me old fashioned. However, if you really just want to get married to any old person, you can probably buy a Thai bride or a Russian husband, both keen to get passports. Your life will be a cavalcade of horror, but that's up to you.

I would like a relationship. Any old one will do. Don't really want commitment.

If you don't want commitment at some point, why do you want a 'relationship'? Sounds like you want someone to sleep with regularly and go to the cinema with when you haven't got anything else to do.

Not particularly fair on the other person, but if you are absolutely honest in your profile, you may find someone else who'll put up with it. But you + the person who'll put up with that = probably both a bit unhappy, so I'd try and see if you can understand that most people want a good relationship because, on the whole, a good relationship makes life a bit more enjoyable. (And there's a reason why people have been getting shacked up and trying to be monogamous since the dawn of humanity, but that's another story.)

I would really like to meet someone and have a relationship that both of us enjoy, see what happens, but approach it with a desire for it to succeed.

Oh, why is it that the 'nicest' things sound vomit-inducingly cheesy? Shame really. Anyway, well, yes, internet dating does work for this. But (oh, but, but, but): as Feargal Sharkey once said, "A good love these days is hard to find."

You probably will find it, but it will take time, a lot of dates, a lot of honesty, a lot of patience and a bit of resilience. And that's without taking into account your own habitual approach to relationships. You may find someone you want to have a relationship with through the internet, but the internet won't guarantee its success. Obviously.

I want a new job.

Um, no, probably not good for that.

I really need a recipe for cake.

No, not good for that either.

I am looking for a timeshare apartment in Malaga

No.

Monkey?

Very possibly.

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