Now that the sting of another Valentine’s Day has worn off, I’ve learned a few things about online dating. Here’s what you see in the TV ads:
• The girl in the denim skirt, black boots and Jennifer Aniston hair embracing her new flame with overt sexiness and the unspoken promise of lasting happiness.
• The couple twirling together on the beach in matching fisherman sweaters and graying hair.
• The dreadlocked young man grinning at his perfectly complected honey of a girl.
Now, here’s the reality:
• A woman with a bad perm taking a cell-phone photo of herself in the bathroom, toilet slightly out of focus.
• A man posing stiffly on the beach, gut sucked in, with no other human or animal in sight. (Even the ocean looks single.)
• A woman sandwiched between two kids, wearing a tired smile.
Appearances aside, what troubles me most about matchmaking in cyberspace is knowing so much about people before you meet them—or at least knowing what they like. Do I want to be with someone just like me? No. I’ve been trying to get away from me my whole life.
Isn’t the best part of falling in love slowly realizing this person you’ve known casually just might be “the one”?
“You like those stories about hens in Nebraska on Sunday morning TV, too?
“And you hate people who go to the mall in sweats or their pajamas?”
Eyes lock. Magical kiss.
Shopping for love on something that runs on batteries and electricity can be depressing. But you wanna know what’s more depressing? Realizing about 50 women just rejected you since you last logged on. Now, that hurts.
An attractive girl from Bryn Mawr claims she’s neither materialistic nor judgmental. I ask her out, she requests another picture, and she never replies again. Hmm.
I must admit, the hobbies and interests listed in many online profiles are pretty impressive, though perhaps a little daunting. One woman says “going to the gym” is nothing less than a lifestyle for her. Sounds like a “life” without “style” to me.
Another single girl likes to backpack, ski and snorkel in her favorite vacation spots. Listing her favorite iPod songs would’ve told me more about her. I always head right to a person’s music collection whenever I’m in her home for the first time anyway. (Not a single Beatles album and two Gloria Estefan CDs? I’m outta here.)
I’ve got my own take on online dating. I call it “Jerky Dating.”
“Hey, how’s it going,” says the man in the stained undershirt. “My wife was a real pain in the butt, so I kicked her out. So, uh, you want in?”
The honesty might be refreshing.
Scot Sax co-wrote the Grammy-winning hit, “Like We Never Loved at All,” sung by Faith Hill and Tim McGraw. He’s written and performed songs for American Pie and other films, and toured with Robert Plant and Alison Krauss. He lives and works in Ardmore.