Thursday, June 23, 2005

Internet Dating- Jessica Bloch

Jessica Bloch of the Bangor Daily News has written a piece about the prevalence of lying on internet-dating profiles, especially the photos and descriptions. My wife and I met via the internet, and I have a few pointers for those who are looking to start a relationship in such a way.

First, as Jessica says, be honest. If you're worried someone might know (or find out) who you are, it's better to be vague than to lie. My wife lied a little bit about her appearance on her profile, but was immediately open about that when we started corresponding, and soon sent a picture that was really hers. At the time, I had no digital photography capability, so I had to mail her a Polaroid snapshot to a carefully disguised post office box. I dropped the camera after I took the shot, so an eerie green slime seemed to be dripping over my picture. That was an improvement to my appearance, I thought.

Second, read the profiles before you respond to them. If someone says, "no smokers," they probably don't mean, "I'll learn to tolerate your smoking because you're such a stud/babe." Don't just respond to someone because they're in the same town as you, and you see their IM is on. It wastes your time, and theirs.

Third, go with a premium service. My wife and I met through Matchmaker, which requires a fee to be able to view more than a few profiles or respond to more than a few people per month. When I listed my profile on that, I also had one on Yahoo Personals. At the time, it was totally free, and I got tons of useless correspondence from that. There were a few sincere soulmate searchers, but only one that I ended up meeting. Now it looks like Yahoo is charging money, which might weed out some of the chaff.



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