Making a move and introduce oneself is a complicated process. The social conventions of the past no longer exist and showing an interest in someone is difficult. How does someone grab the attention of another without sounding creepy, weird or just plain crazy?
The first part to comment on is the greeting. Do we keep it casual? How do we address a person that we do not know and what will be polite and respectful. Now, my perspective is automatically gender biased, as I am only able to comment from a woman’s point of view, and realistically, I may have a very different outlook to most woman, but in all honesty, will I feel flattered or impressed with the following greetings:
“How are you today?”
“I wait to hear from u”
“hello there, your eyes are lovely….!!!!”
an emoticon and question marks ???
“You are a beautiful woman”
and my personal favourite from a man in Turkey:
“Do you want some Bhm sex”- Can anyone tell me what BHM sex is?
and then my other personal favourite, which bizarrely comes from the Americans is:
Now, I agree this is a very difficult challenge, especially since we have no rules in terms of email or real time conversation, so depending on the individual people may be more open to these greetings than perhaps I am. Plus we are all using cheesy pseudonyms as our internet name, as giving one’s real name can be dangerous. However, the main reason I have an issue with the above is that they do not write anything further. They do not show that they have read your profile blurb and they do not look at the generation that you perhaps come from, for example, emoticons are fine to use once you have gotten to know the person but to try and initiate contact?
Then there are comments about your physical appearance, now this takes us back to the period in time when women were objectified. I know we still are- the excuse being that men are more visual than women. But commenting on a physical aspect of a woman to initiate conversation, doesn’t offer good prospects for us as women!
In fact, I am still confused as to how men can go on many dates, sleep with women and then tell them that they are physically not their match but that is the way it can be!
And then the Turkish man, well one wonders what he is doing on a dating website, he should be on Tinder, swipe left for no, right for yes!
It is hard to write a decent greeting but perhaps a little more than a ‘Hi’ explaining what one likes about their profile may be a little more enticing!
When it comes to the summary of ourselves we often find that we are all the life and soul of a party; an incredibly successful person who loves their job and we are all Gods in the bedroom. As for hobbies we all tend to like travelling, exotic locations and crazy adventurous holidays. We create this persona that is so fantastic that it is hard to recognise who we actually are!
Don Draper would be out of a job, as far as an advertising campaign goes. But in truth this perfection that we have created to sell ourselves to men or women, does very little to entice our audience, especially since the product is similar to the next product we are going to view; so how does one get a person engage and reading their profile?
Perhaps we should watch a few episodes of Mad Men to gather some advertising ideas or turn to Edward Bernays, the father of public relations, and his 1920’s women’s cigarette smoking campaign and work out what we are selling.
For women, we are selling everything and in that everything is contradictory. We need to sell our looks, sell our sexuality and at the same time sell our stability, we need to be the perfect person and hit all the aspects of the man’s tick list- good with children, we may need to be independent and fun and flirty. We are sex, we are mother, we are innocent vulnerable girl, we are virginal, we are devils…
Personally, I have experimented with my online dating blurb as language can mean so many things. When I started internet dating, I innocently put the words ‘open-minded’ on my profile. This was probably the worst and yet most effective two words I have ever put on a dating profile, as I was popular and the dates were rolling in. I went on a number of the dates, only to find I was being contacted because ‘open-minded’ meant I was ready to do anything, the term ‘open-minded’ which I took as to be accepting of others opinions and beliefs, has so many sexual connotations that most men thought I was just a woman who was ready to try anything with random strangers and that does probably include all your sexual fantasies that you can imagine. Naturally, I removed it.
I then went for brief, fun-loving and with the idea that one would want to introduce me to their family. This got a relatively busy response and whilst I was not as popular as I was when I was being ‘open-minded’, I did manage to meet some lovely people. One who I had a true honest connection with, which is incredibly rare now that we have so many choices that we have become indecisive and would rather continue searching because a person does not meet all our standards and when they do meet the standards we find excuses or we increase the bar- that is a conversation for another blog.
My final blurb, is probably the most honest and truthful one I have ever written.
And here is my edited profile:
“I am a really lovely person, often too kind, often too generous. I see the world as beautiful and that we are all living in our own tragicomedies, for no one is exempt from pain, especially if they are willing to risk being in love.
I do not need someone to support me, I work and I enjoy my job but I would like to share my life with someone.
Whilst we have all been emotionally hurt and have experienced pain. I am now in a position where I feel whole, it takes ‘two’ to work at a relationship and ‘two’ to break a relationship. I am willing to share the responsibility.
I have a fairly traditional value system
I know that to fall in love, one needs to be physically attracted to each other, sexually matching or developing together sexually and share similar beliefs and values. One needs interdependence and that ability to be free but together.”
The problem with this profile blurb is that it is too wordy. People don’t read it. Naturally, I think it is a brilliant piece of writing, it shares my beliefs, hopes and desires. And sadly, this new profile blurb has had two responses. The truth doesn’t sell me.
So in order to get a date, I need to sell myself in a glossy and I am beginning to tire of the word but ‘superficial’ way. I need to hide my true identity just to meet a person. Therefore to seek out the man that I can grow old with I need to revert back to the stereotypical blurb, were I tell everyone that I love my life, I am happy, but there is something missing that I am seeking, will you be it? Oh and that I am well travelled- in fact I travelled the world twice!
And this raises the question: Why do we lie to ourselves?
The truth is we are products, and we are selling ourselves to the highest bidder. Ready to be thrown away when we tire of the one or the desire for a better model comes out. In fact, we are pretty much just like an Apple product!
Don Draper, can you sell me as a product that will last a lifetime?
There are many significant moments in ones’ life like: graduation, first job, first child and then second child and these moments are lived instantly, as we seize the experience in our lives and lock it away in our treasure box of memories.
However, as we walk through life and we experience a range of emotions, we sometimes hold onto those emotions until a moment in time when we are ready to have that portentous moment- a moment in time where there is such clarity and understanding that we can realise, we have been wrong for many years. We let go of the emotions and we learn from our own folly.
It is today at this moment in time, that I wish my mother was alive so that I could apologise to her for my anger and judgement. I am lucky today that I can and will apologise to my father for my anger and judgement in his and my mother’s attitude in bringing my brother and I up.
Family is a complicated thing and family dynamics are lessons in negotiating; formulations in personality and it informs our present future. In my childhood, I was very much the observer of the family. My brother had a stormy temper- he was unpredictable and something to be feared. It was complicated to say the least. I was eager to grow up and leave and that I did…
As the observer, the person who knew better, I became and expert in how my parents should be parenting my older ‘screw up’ of a brother. He stole from them, lied to them and stormed out of my father’s business and I wondered when will they cut him off? When will enough be enough?
I judged my parents harshly and cruelly. And yet they have done something so incredibly right in their actions towards my brother. Time upon time and even now they have given him unconditional love. They have found a way to accept (even when they may disagree or be hurt by his actions) and they have found a way to forgive him and still love him.
My parents have never cut him off, sure they got their parenting wrong at times but they have always and will always be there for him and me, as long as we breathe the air into our lungs and they breathe air into their lungs. They have given him and they have given me unconditional love.
And they have taught me to love unconditionally! So when my daughter acts out angrily (perhaps by writing irrational angry and in her perspective justified letters) or my son doesn’t call me regularly enough (only calls when he requires a little extra cash flow.) I know that I will never cut them off nor will I stop loving them because my love is unconditional.
This portentous moment happened yesterday and I am grateful to my parents for teaching me to love and I am sorry for being so cruel and judgmental towards them. I am grateful that my father and my mother have always and will always love me.
It is a portentous moment to know I will always be loved. It is a portentous moment to know I will always love.
Parenting is a funny thing. As children get older, one begins to worry less and I can truly say I believe both my children will be successful in their own life’s journey. But there are times when one wishes that they never had to have experiences that causes them so much pain.
It seems it is human nature to seek love, we all search for it, and I am currently seeking it and in reality we all deserve it and need it to help us through life.
So it is difficult to watch your children feel and experience pain, especially since I know that the pain is derived from their desire to experience love from another parental figure. It is hard to know that no matter how much you love your children, you will never fill this void, simply because you are not the person that they desire the love from!
It leaves one relatively powerless as you become an observer of you children, as your children go through the experience that the feeling of not being loved can cause: hate, anger, disappointment and then finally acceptance and forgiveness.
I am in no doubt that they will experience this many times, as we all have experienced this, many times but it would be lovely if we could protect them from this pain.
If only I could, I would wipe away their pain with my love.
Various internet dating sites have different ways in which the photo is used and released but ultimately, it is the photo that determines whether you get a message or not.
So all of us single, open-relationship and polyamourous people use this picture as a way of enticing the other to read our profile. The picture has become crucially important and we are in a way using this picture to ‘Brand’ ourselves and ‘sell’ ourselves; we have become a product.
So why then do some people think that it is acceptable to post photos that show:
and most concerning
I know the internet culture has shifted and changed all conventions and in reality, we have no rules, for example, there are no rules in terms of how and what one writes about when writing a blog. But I am beginning to wonder whether we actually need standards in terms of internet dating?
As I scroll through photos and read profiles of men, I have a habit of not contacting people who post pictures with their children, not because I am not interested in meeting someone with a child, that does not matter, but because I do feel the child/ren should be protected. If someone wants to present themselves with their child/ren because that is important to them, I would recommend that perhaps they blank out their child’s face. It does not make a man more appealing when posing with their children. Surely, they can just write in their profile that their children are very important to them and they love them dearly. It does provide smacks of ‘I am trying too hard’, from a women’s perspective. I know if I were to provide a profile picture with my children, I would probably scare the man off; (my two are stunningly gorgeous- by the way!) But it does give the idea that I am seeking someone who will take care of me and my children.
The six pack and crotch or any close to naked photos (my favourite photo in this category is the ‘man walking out of the sea like James Bond’,) provides the idea that they are sex ‘gods’ and are looking for a good time; often if you communicate with one of these people and you provide them with an email address is etc. they may send you a picture of their penis and I can only assume breasts if it is a woman.
I don’t really understand why one would post a picture of themselves with another woman, is this kind of man trying to say they are ‘quite a good catch’ or ‘they don’t need to make the effort’?
And since we have become products that we are metaphorically, ‘trying before buying’, one needs to pay attention to the profile picture. The picture needs to be honest and yet appealing to the target audience. It needs to entice a person to send you an email and therefore, I would highly recommend the classic head and shoulders shot where one is smiling, although I know that in the internet dating world, this honest photo will not lure the target audience into a response.
The profile picture has created the illusion that we can find perfection and so we continue to develop into a global culture that is becoming superficial.
Being single and being ready to date again, it seems that the normal way of dating has become internet dating. So I have joined a couple of websites in my pursuit of developing a positive fun and loving relationship that can become long-term.
But seriously, how can one compete in this world where women are willingly putting themselves out there for a brief encounter in their desire to meet a man? I am not sure who to feel sorry for, the men or these woman?
It raises the question: Has the internet made us superficial creatures?
I have recently been rejected because of the way my body looks and whilst I no longer have the flat stomach and I am slightly overweight, I am far from grotesque. Further to this, I recently had the opportunity to explore the images that women are putting out there to attract their future potential mate and it is not surprising I am unable to meet someone and it is not surprising that men believe they can get perfection!
The images I have encountered have been women, virtually exposing most of their large breasts; women in see-through bikinis and women in all sorts of seductive poses and postures, either clothed or completely naked on a couch.
Now, all is fair in love and war and I commend these ladies for their eagerness but it does raise more questions about our sexuality and our perceived equality to men, if we ourselves are still objectifying ourselves. In this modern Western world, why do we think it is still necessary to act in this manner and equally, why is it still necessary for a man to attempt to attract a women through the size of his wallet?
I am not a prude and I can appreciate that physical attraction is a crucial ingredient in the development of a relationship but of the profiles I have read where most men claim to be seeking a long-term relationship, it seems the long-term is based on the physical fitness rather than the intellectual and emotional intelligence of women.
If our society is moving along these lines, I think we are doomed and I do wonder whether it is time to reflect and consider what makes us unique and why are we allowing this seductive superficiality into our lives!
Brief encounters are hollow and lonely. It seems like we are treating people just like our wardrobe, our gadgets and sometimes our jobs. We need the latest upgrade to our partner as soon as they become physically defunct.
Or is there a counter-argument to this?