Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Internet Dating Disasters

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Man with bad teeth

I joined an internet-dating site a few years ago to try it out and as a result, learned something about what is out there on the cyber-dating networks. I have talked to others, both men and women, about their cyber experiences and while some of their dates were just downright hilarious, a greater amount were disastrous.

I did meet a few men in person, but I didn't have much success because who I thought I was meeting and who I met were sometimes two different things. Can anyone describe with 100% accuracy who he or she is? No, of course not, but there are some basic clues to other people's behavior that can help you with the selection process.

1) Don't lie.
The biggest mistake is lying about your age. If you are 60 and trying to pass yourself off as 40, what’s the point? If you just want to get laid, well okay, see if it works, but if you want a permanent relationship how are you going to get past all the giving-it-away wrinkles? If you lie about your age, what else are you going to lie about? Besides, isn’t a good relationship based on trust and feeling good about yourself whether you're 40 years old or 90?

2) Put in a recent picture of yourself.
When your date arrives and sees somebody 100 lbs overweight but the picture online showed a person on the brink of starvation, how will you explain your sudden weight gain? A friend once told me that he showed up to a restaurant to meet someone and a woman came up to him and said ‘you must be so and so’ and he said ‘yes, but who are you?’ He didn’t recognize her because she had put her daughter’s photo online. What’s the point? Nobody’s going to call you again. Put a recent picture of yourself up and own it and not a photograph of you with your children, your grandchildren, or a photo that’s been taken from three miles away.

3) Date someone who is interested in you.
Why date someone who is just going to talk about themselves all night? I once met a fellow from New York University who just talked about his job, his job and his job the whole night. I couldn’t get a word in and when I did talk about some of my interests I noticed that he started looking around the room and yawned. I realized very quickly that he just needed to hear himself talk. He called me again, he said, because I’m a good listener, but I told him to go call a psychiatrist because she’s a good listener, too.

4) Interests and values.
There’s no sense in going out with a real estate agent if you are a musician because you’d quickly become bored with each other. Common interests are important and these two would mix as well as teriyaki sauce and milk. I once went on a sail with an investment banker and four other people. It was a blind date and by the time the day was over, I wanted to rip out all his hair and set him on fire because he was such an excruciating bore. He talked about money, investments and real estate the whole day.

5) Compliments.
Uplifting comments are welcome, compliments are appreciated. It’s nice to be told you look great every once in a while. On the other hand, someone who puts you down (even subtly) or laughs at your ideas, is not interested in you, nor in helping you to attain your goals. He may wind up being an abusive clod. If you get a ‘no’ feeling in your gut when you’re with him, run. Women are intuitive and should go by their gut feelings on a first date. If you know it’s a ‘no’ then it’s a ‘no.’ How many times have you said, ‘I knew I should never have seen him again,’ but did?

6) Body language
What does his body language say? As I mentioned above, if you’re talking about something and your date starts yawning, what does that tell you? If your date ogles other women as they walk by that’s another red flag. All his attention should be on you when he is with you, not on some skirt that just walked by. Does he hold the door open for you? Does he look in your eyes when you’re talking, or is he glancing at his watch? Read the non-verbal clues. He’s just not that into you if he’s looking at his watch.

7) Cheapskates
If your date is continually counting his change, run. There is nothing worse than a cheapskate. I once shared a cab in Panama City with a fellow and the cab cost $2.00. He pulled out a wad of cash but frowned at me until I pulled out another dollar to match his. We wound up drinking wine at his friend’s house and then went out to buy more. At the cash register, the doser ducked into an aisle because he ‘forgot’ something. I paid the bill. He asked me tentatively later if I wanted reimbursement and I said no because I knew it would have killed him to part with his money. I’m positive he’s still alone.

8) Be yourself.
If you’re unsure of who and what you want, or how old you are, or you need to doctor up the photos, or worse, put in somebody else’s photo, then perhaps you’re not ready for a relationship. If you are serious, the best thing you can offer another human being is you, because you are unique. If you don’t love yourself, then don’t expect anyone else to, either. In the end, you will get tired of pretending you are somebody else in order to blend with somebody who is also pretending to be somebody else. Be yourself!