The world is a scary place. Every day you wake up and you’re confronted with the same old terrifying ordeals. I don’t know about you, but I’ve got to the point where my first reaction when opening my eyes in the morning is to emit a bloodcurdling howl while grabbing hold of my genitals, and then fleeing to the bathroom to check my reflection to see if I’m still human. I once read that Kafka novel about the bloke who turns into a massive beetle, and I’m still not sure that it’s not going to happen to me, although I’ve had hangovers that have come pretty close.
To find some sort of self-validation, we get ourselves entangled in relationships with other humans (because relationships with beetles are pretty dull, and they never want to go down the pub or eat anything other than stuff from behind the oven), but finding other humans in these modern times is like trying to find a fart in a bubble bath. It’s nigh on impossible by conventional means. Going up to strangers in the street can get you a smack in the head. So what do we do, as a collective mass of cattle? We turn to the Internet.
Today, I met a really nice couple at a bar. We talked and the conversation eventually drifted towards online dating. I casually commented that hooking up through the Internet was sad and pathetic. Turns out they met on Myspace. FML
The effin’ Internet. The place where dreams not only go to die, but then become pixel-shaped zombies that haunt you forever. It’s a great way to get into contact with someone on the other side of the world, to find out what they are having for breakfast, or to offer them the chance to become a mail-order bride. And that’s what we do now. We sit at home, typing away, staring at a screen, hoping for some sort of redemption through virtual love, only to wind up pouring money into some sort of scam where you think you’re going to meet Olga, the beautiful Russian maiden from Moscow, but in fact you’re probably going to get a brick through your window if you even think of calling the police.
Here on FML, we get a lot of stories about Internet dating. Or lack of it.
Today, I signed up for an online dating site. After completing their personality quiz, I set the distance to a 60 mile radius of where I live. Then to the country. Then to the whole world. I got no matches for any of the settings. FML
I’m guessing that if you’re on FML, you’re probably a bit a loner; you live with cats. You have one of those Peruvian hats that covers your ears that you bought one day when the wind was quite nippy. You don’t like going out to fashionable nightspots because you can’t hear what people are saying over that shitty music. You have too many sad pop music recordings… Oh, hang on, that’s not you, that’s me. Anyway, maybe you’re like me. But I’m guessing that maybe you’ve tried online dating, maybe even a dating website. I have. It was awful. I can smile about it now but at the time it was terrible. A lot of people out there are weirder than you could ever imagine.
Today, I was excited for my first date in a while, with a "tall handsome business man." Turns out he "doesn't feel emotions anymore", likes getting peed on, and "doesn't do condoms." Thanks, Internet dating. FML
I’ve been there, sort of. Nothing as bad. But enough to make me want to give up. The Carpenters sang the wonderful “Goodbye to love”. I’d rather sing something along the lines of “Goodbye to Internet weirdoes”. A lot of people around me have the same sort of horror stories to tell. It’s like the Internet dating pool is a holding pen for the worst kind of individual: sexist idiots, crazy-eyed single mums, lonely, deluded people who are looking for an impossible ideal mate, My Little Pony fans, ego-driven nitwits with an over-inflated self-worth for whom no one will ever do (except mummy or daddy, hello Freud), people who find it acceptable to fart on a first date, people who will reject you for the most ridiculous reason (wrong hair colour, religion, car, boots, pets, attitude to cycle lanes…). It’s a twisted world out there.
Today, I went on a date with a seemingly nice guy I met online. He was drunk when I got there. Within the first 10 minutes, he had told me I was "like Hitler but with boobs", and I was "offensive to the ninja community." Then he said I just wasn't all he had hoped for and left. FML
The Internet is obviously scam-central. Be warned: people are out to get you. No need to be totally paranoid, just a little bit wary. Don’t sign anything. Don’t give your credit card details. Don’t be an idiot. Keep an eye out for the signs.
Today, I overheard my mother Skyping with her new "boyfriend" about the $1,000 she just sent him. She barely knew what Internet dating was three weeks ago. FML
The obvious traps are obvious. You should get to know the people online properly first before meeting them. Otherwise, this might happen:
Today, I decided to go meet up with a guy that I met online for the first time. All he could talk about was how he expects me to "clean, cook, and submit" my body for sex at least twice a day when we get married. FML
If you stay true to yourself, talk openly and are honest, you should be OK. Despite crap experiences, I’ve met some wonderful people via the Internet. You just have to make sure you’re not talking to a complete nutcase by asking the right questions. If they start talking about their snow-globe collection or they mention Jesus every 10 words, you might be in trouble. It’s probably best to pretend that you have to go abroad to dig tunnels in a desert. However, writing to someone can strip away the superficial crap; it can bring out the best in people. The hardest part is sustaining the momentum when you meet in person. If you sparkle in writing but have the body language of a telegraph pole, you’re in trouble. But that’s a subject for another article. For now, you can use FML’s PM system to meet new people and engage in thoughtful conversations. Just don’t go hitting on people by asking them questions about their genitals. Not straight away.