Online dating is just so darned efficient. If you were looking for a significant other before the interwebs, you were limited to the people who randomly showed up in your life as classmates or friends-of-friends, or someone who actually met your glance at a coffee shop. And then you had to
waste spend valuable weeks and months “getting to know them” before you discovered a fatal flaw, like murdering kittens or not liking Firefly.
But online dating comes with its own set of hazards and horrors. There’s no guarantee that your new potential soulmate is representing themselves accurately – but more than that, clicking with someone online doesn’t mean you’ll have any chemistry in real life. For a hilarious, cringe-worthy example, check out the pilot episode of the new scripted web series LoveFail.com:
So how can you make sure your date stays for longer than five minutes?
1. Be honest in your profile and your profile picture. If you work at Best Buy, don’t call yourself “Vice President of Customer-Technology Relationships.” And – does this really need to be said? – for the love of God, use a picture that accurately represents your current appearance. Using that fancy pic from ten years ago might snag you a date, but the other person will see through your little ruse the instant they meet you, and know you for the lying little shit that you are.
2. Remember which person you’re there to meet. Look, if you’ve jumped into online dating, you’re talking to 25 different people on five different dating websites, and that’s just fine. But do your date the courtesy of remembering which one he or she is, and try not to refer to conversations that you actually had with someone else.
3. Don’t overdo it. The preferred first-date ritual is casual coffee at lunch or a drink after work – the operative word being “casual.” I once went to dinner with a guy who brought me flowers . . . in a heavy, glass, water-filled vase. I looked like I was stealing a centerpiece from the restaurant. Then he gave me a stuffed panda. This came across as mildly desperate.
4. Don’t stab your date with an acupuncture needle. This actually happened to my friend Julia, who wrote the LoveFail video above. Her date, who was getting certified in acupuncture, whipped out a set of needles in the middle of the first date and stabbed her in the hand. She did not fall madly in love with him.
5. Be a decent human being. Ask the other person questions about themselves, and actually listen to the answers. Talking about yourself nonstop is a huge turn-off, whereas showing interest in your date makes them feel respected, valued, and good about themselves. All of which makes it more likely that you can get naked later on. Or, you know, get a second date. Whatever you’re going for.
If you liked LoveFail.com and want to see more, please give them a few bucks over at their Kickstarter! The second episode is filmed, but they need some funding to bring it to us, and to make more online dating horror-story hilarity!