Folks, this is getting as old as the people who allegedly lie about their age on the Internet. Are we really still slamming internet dating? It’s kind of like saying cell phones are bad, or “technology.” In the latest crabby smackdown, Rhodri Marsden, writing in The Independent, “reveals” the “truth” about Internet dating: things don’t work out more often than they do. Stop the presses? Because um, that is also true of bricks-and-mortar dating as well — it’s probability, not cynicism — not to mention, well, life. Saying that he has — aha! — found people who’ve been bruised by Internet dating! is like saying he’s found people who have been bruised by…dating. Duh. Everyone said it was handy. No one said it was magic.
To be sure, there are differences, concrete and ineffable, between dating online and IRL. Each has advantages and disadvantages. The fact that you can likely “meet” more people online than off does translate into more rejection: again, that’s math. And the Internet probably makes for more colorful before/after bait/switch experiences, but that’s because of the built-in online -> real-life progression; that’s story structure, folks. (Said it before: you mean all the people you meet on singles hikes tell the truth from day 1?) So to throw the Internet babes out with the bathwater is, to put a fine point on it, just dumb. So, too, is — if you’re single and would like to change that — not making Internet dating part of a diversified meeting-people portfolio.
So, enough. I’m outta here. Because BG spends some of her time online, and some of her time “getting out there.” See?
Ooh! “Singles for Foursquare builds a dating and messaging service on top of the location-sharing application. The result is a mashup that could match up hip iPhone-using, Foursquare-playing, same-bar-going early adopters.”
ProgrammableWeb also has this keen idea for version 2.0: “The concept could actually be expanded to connect users in a time-shifted manner. Rather than needing to be at the same place at the same time, Singles could recognize two of its users that frequent a particular restaurant and suggest they go at the same time. With dating sites based on even more tangential commonalities, it seems like a reasonable service to give to Foursquare users who tend to love their local businesses.” Plus, no LDRs.
Filed under: News — posted by Breakup Girl @ 2:35 am
You know that charming but not TOO charming, witty but not TOO witty, flirty but not TOO flirty back-and-forth you’ve struck up with that guy at CouldThisBeTheOne.com? You might actually be flirting back not with that guy himself, but with virtual-virtual him: a correspondent hired to take care of the pre-meeting nitty-gritty online half of online dating.
The Washington Post reports that more and more singles (roughly 80% men) are getting some very personal assistants — whether their own secretaries or via a new cottage industry of ghost writers — to manage their online dating correspondence for them: creating their profiles and handling all correspondence up to but not including the actual, real-life date. Why? Mostly, they tell the Post, because they’re busy. Really busy. And yes, to be fair, the online part of online dating — while efficient — can indeed be time-consuming. Then again, so can explaining why it was not actually YOU that they’d been flirting with the whole time. So.
Part of me wants to say “Hey, we’re all ‘busy.’ Make time, hosers.” But part of me can summon a little more rachmones than that. I mean, they’re trying. They’re not giving up. They’re not getting all Up in the Air and letting “busy” be an excuse for not searching at all. Tacky, maybe, but there’s some hope there, too. And I can always get behind hope.
What do you think? Acceptable compromise, or Cyrano-no?
Filed under: Comedy — posted by Breakup Girl @ 10:55 am
In the future…Allie pretty much has dated the last man on earth — and he broke her heart. Even as the biological clock ticks for her entire species, can Allie find love on DateAHuman.com? Tune into this camptastic A-Handmaid’s-Tale-meets-Earth-Girls-Are-Easy Web series (featuring FOBG Phil Lamarr) to find out!
Filed under: pop culture — posted by Breakup Girl @ 11:30 am
What if BG’s The Big To Do was an iPhone app? It’s a herd, it’s a plan … it’s Super Dates, a brand-new partly crowd-sourced activity-idea generator for social iButterflies like your bad self. Basically: “Super Dates puts more than 350 unique, high quality date ideas at your fingertips — a number that grows with each update. Ideas are rated and reviewed by users, with the best percolating to the top. Our recommendation system compares your ratings with those of other users to help you find the best ideas that match your interests and situation in life, whether single or married, young or old. All ideas are categorized, fully searchable by title and description, and available even when you don’t have a connection to the Internet.” Ideas include “Public Transit Dice Roll,” wherein you roll a die to decide how many stops you’re going to ride, and then get off and find a restaurant wherever you land. Of course, that would work only in certain cities, and even then could result in a triangular tuna sandwich box from a hospital vending machine, but you get the idea!
Meanwhile, a new website takes a similar activity-based approach (does this micro-trend mean that you guys have SO MANY DATES that you’re plum OUT OF IDEAS?): How About We has you start with the idea (”How about we…sip tea and slurp noodles?”), and then find a date who’s up for that. It’s like niche-based Internet dating, but without limiting yourself to one niche. For now, it’s still in beta, and New York only, but it costs only a bit more than an iPhone app (and its single employees pay, too!). Founded by two dudes who used to teach high school, How About We’s goal is to “put the date back in dating.” Love it.
Filed under: Psychology — posted by Breakup Girl @ 6:33 am
From the Charlotte Observer: “A forthcoming study by a Duke University researcher and several colleagues confirms what not-so-thin women and short, broke men have long suspected: They don’t get nearly as much romantic attention as skinny women and tall, financially secure guys.” You need a study for that? Here, I got a study. It’s called pay my rent, food, and Netflix. Fund that, science people.
The study, out of the University of Chicago, is still under peer review before publication. But here’s what we know: analyzing 22,000 online daters, researchers found that “women put a premium on income and height when deciding which men to contact.” They did the math: the study showed that a 5-foot-9-inch man needs to make $30,000 more than a 5-foot-10-inch one to be as successful in the dating pool.
Men in the study demonstrated a strong, and depressing, preference for women with a BMI of 18 or 19, which basically means if you’re 5′ 6″ you’ve gotta weigh 115. So okay, women want men who can afford to take them to dinner, but the men don’t want us to eat. This should work just fine.
Sarcasm aside, I’m still annoyed with this study — or at least, to some degree, this article about it — and the way it only, and unnecessarily, perhaps even misleadingly, perpetuates and underscores that same-old same-old depressing, needlessly divisive message: “The only thing men and women have in common is that they’re shallow.” ‘Cause here’s the thing: the article and the researchers talk about what a fertile field for study these online sites are, because there are just so many people on them. Right: there are just so many people on them. That’s why people go in — or at least online — with those faux-”high” standards. Because they can. There are so many eligible singles there, at least in urban and urbanish areas, that you can afford to impose a minimum height or maximum BMI standard. You know? Then later, at a party, you happen across someone who — for whatever ineffable reason — makes your heart go pitter-pat, maybe someone whose attributes you wouldn’t have click-clicked and checklisted, and boom, you give them a chance. I’m not saying some people aren’t shallow, but still.
As the article, to be fair, does state: “Since the study focuses on first impressions and initial contacts rather than marriage, it doesn’t rule out the chance of true love winning despite appearance or income. ‘If you had to sit down and write what you wanted in your dream guy, most girls would write ‘tall, hot and well-off,’” said Kari Castle, a 27-year-old online dater in Charlotte. ‘But in reality, is that the only thing they’d settle for? Probably not.’” Right.
So, I guess, since the study doesn’t really tell us much, the reporter is forced to fill in with dumb cranky unhelpful — and dare I say self-fulfilling — quotes like, “It’s got nothing to do with anything but green,” [said one bachelor]. “If you’ve got enough money, you’ll have women swarming all over you.” Attitude, people! Actually, it might be a guy in the comments who said it best: “If you think women will only like you if you have a sizable bank account, you are the one who makes that happen.”
God! Would you just let me have a LIFE?! According to CNN — dateline: Opposite World — this is what some parents are, or need to be, saying to their kids. Specifically, parents (in the story, mothers) who are looking online for a new partner, and kids (mainly adults themselves) who are, true story, hacking into their mothers’ email and sending rejections to potential suitors. (Another reportedly drove back and forth yelling at her mom while on an outdoor date with an online beau. Check, please!)
Who knew that the “younger generation” — those perhaps most likely to be Tweeting/Facebooking/LiveJournaling about how gross it is that mom’s on eHarmony– would (along with CNN, just a bit) be the ones perpetuating the ancient-in-Internet-years canard that online dating is WhereYouMeetLyingWeirdos.com? Why is online so different from real life? Who says that guy/gal in a bar is telling the truth? How often does the person you meet in person come right out and say, “I enjoy snowboarding and film noir, and in about three months I’m going to start to pull away”? (or “Please enjoy my backyard compound?”) True, some parents, unseasoned daters and e-flirters, might be a tad fuzzy regarding red flags; fair enough. But at the same time, depending on the circumstances — and speaking of bars — their brick-and-mortar options for meeting people might be limited. Online seems ideal for second-timers (if not, like, everyone).
Of course, it’s pretty obvious that what’s really going on here is not “Yikes, mom’s dating online!” but rather, simply, “Yikes, mom’s dating!” — circa 2009. There’s no doubt that seeing a marriage end and a parent move on can be challenging, even devastating. But sometimes, I guess, we just have to let them grow up.