• Many years ago, I decided to try online dating. I assumed that it would be a place that one could get to know another person through electronic conversation better than they could in, say, a bar or a club where music tends to overpower the human voice.

    As it turned out, I was quite right that one could communicate with words instead of gestures online, but I was startled to discover that many women were shy about saying anything unique about themselves, and instead would simply state that they “loved to laugh” or “live life to the fullest”. In spite of the popularity of these claims, I found them to be surprisingly empty. How many people, after all, don’t enjoy a good laugh now and then, and who among us isn’t hoping for a life that’s full to the brim with fun stuff? Thus, rather nobly, I decided to sacrifice my own profile by turning it into a profile-makeover column wherein I ever-so-helpfully offered suggestions to people for how they might describe themselves beyond cliches so that prospective suitors could get a distinguishing sense of them.

    Predictably, few people responded to my efforts, but I nevertheless felt that I was doing my part for the greater good of the online dating community.

    Finally, one day, I received a reply from a woman who said she liked my profile a lot. After brief e-mail correspondence, she asked me to call her. I did so and soon after found myself on a date, which was so unusual in its results that it provoked the cultivation of my dating motto: “Don’t worry too much about a date in advance – it’ll either be a good date or a good story”.

    I don’t want to give away which of those two categories this particular date fell into, but I will say that, nearly a decade later, I’ve entered it into CBC’s Bad Date Story Contest.

    If you’re interested to learn the details, my story, which begins from the above-mentioned phone call, can be found here.

    Note: given the CBC contest is now closed, you are invited to share, via comments here, any bad date tales that you think could have topped mine on the CBC charts.

    Posted by SethBlog @ 3:50 PM

  • 2 Responses

    • Natalie Says:

      I think that you should share this profile-makeover column with the rest of the class.

    • SethBlog Says:

      I think that you should share this profile-makeover column with the rest of the class.
      All right, fine, but I note, as I re-read the long-ago online advisory, that I pulled no punchlines in my depiction of the dull cyber daters. The result, if it is taken seriously, may read now as condescending, but I assure you I meant it instead to be merely mocking. Without further disclaimer, here is the relevant part of that ancient un-asked-for advice…

      “I’d like to make a tiny request of you online women out there.  Please don’t take offence to this: I’m sure most of you are very nice people; it’s just that I’m having trouble telling you apart.  It seems that almost all of you ‘love to laugh’ and ‘live life to the fullest’, and that’s great – I mean who really wants to meet someone who hates to laugh? 
      Now, you might be thinking, ‘Well that shows what he knows – I’ve been getting a lot of attention from my cliché-based profile’, and I don’t doubt it.  The tricky part, though, is do you really think that guys who respond to your profile, when you’ve given them nothing specific about you to go on, are really interested in who you are?  Women, I believe, are blessed and cursed by the fact that a lot of men will be fully enticed by a picture, regardless of her profile.  Now, if that’s okay with you, then great, but, based on what I’ve read, a lot of you are looking for a rather impressive guy who’s ambitious, funny, intelligent, knows what he wants in life, has a great as smile, works out, likes to cuddle by the fire on a Sunday afternoon, doesn’t have kids, but wants them, can hold a good conversation, and rescues small animals in his spare time.  Of course, I wouldn’t claim to be such a specimen myself, but I’ve met Orlando Bloom, and he explained to me that, when surfing online, he’s looking for someone whose personality he can actually detect in her profile.  So my humble advice to you online women out there is that, if you’re genuinely looking for a good guy who wants to get to know you, then perhaps you could give him something to go on.”

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