Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The Rules of INTERNET Dating

Internet Dating is like playing the board game "Mystery Date"-- but with all the good date cards taken out. Ok, maybe not ALL, but a significant portion of the good ones. And the captain of the football team card is DEFINITELY missing.

Internet dating is not for the squeamish or faint of heart. It can be a rather dodgy affair usually ending in heartbreak. Or crabs.

But there IS a chance that you could meet Mr. Right. Therefore, I have put together 10 rules that I think can help out. This rule grouping is a subset of the previously posted over-arching rule set. So without further ado, the rules:


1) No pic, no meet. There are only three types of men who don't have at least SOME sort of picture posted online: (a) men who are grody, (b)men who are married and/or hiding something, (c) men who are technologically inept. All three types should be avoided at all cost.

Caveat: unless you like blowing the occasional married dude, then its ok. Just be sure he IS married and not a poser.

2) Do a phone screen first. A simple phone test will be very revealing about the other guy (i.e. it will let you know if the guy is ultra-nelly or not). Plus it will give you a good idea of how conversation will flow when you do meet in person.

3) ONLY agree to a beverage date the first time out. Do not do dinner or a movie- they can take an eternity when the date is going poorly. A drink can be quaffed quickly in case of emergency. (I once chugged a glass of wine during an especially bad outing.)

4) Always make your first meeting at a place centrally located to each of you, preferably with lots of witnesses about. Caribou Coffee = good. Jeffrey Dahmer-esque secluded wooded area = bad. Plus, if you agree to drive all the way to his neck of the woods, it gives him tacit control of the date (and you don't want to roll over for him just yet, right?)

5) Do not plan a first date at your place or his place. Too much stress accompanies dates at an individual's abode. Is it clean enough? What'll we do- watch a movie or talk? How do I get him to leave? How do I leave gracefully? What if he has a knife collection? Etc. Plus, agreeing to a date at a person's house implies that you are agreeing to some sort of sexual activity.

Caveat: If you ARE agreeing to some sort of sexual activity, then its ok.

6) Expect the worst. Go into the date knowing that the guy has a third arm extending from his forehead, and that he has merely photoshopped it out of his online photo. Tis the nature of online profiles. People 'exaggerate' themselves. Some more than others. And unless you see multiple (recent) pictures from multiple camera angles with the guy in different outfits-- just know that he has 'changed'. And probably not for the better.

7) Don't oversell yourself. During the phone screen, give the other guy an honest appraisal of your faults. Remember it is far better to see a smile of approval on your date's face than a grimmace of disgust.

8) Never agree to a date with anyone who seems a bit too eager. The eager guys are generally the ones without pictures, so if you use rule #1, you should never get this far. But occasionally, you may find a guy who gets rather insistant that you meet as soon as possible. Overeager guys turn into stalkers. And while a good stalker can be fun, it isn't worth it in the long run, so nip it in the bud now.

9) Never agree to meet for the first time at a gay bar/club. One, there is an excellent chance that your date will be witnessed and picked apart by a most unforgiving peer group. Two, the other eye-candy at the bar will make it difficult to concentrate on your date. Three, its just far too loud in those places.

10) Always get a dick picture. Some say that this is immature. Others say that it is tantamount to snooping at your Christmas prezzies. I say, I want to know what I'm getting up front. After all, who hasn't wished that Santa would bring a chemistry set, only to find on christmas morning that you got wool socks instead?


At 9:03 AM, Blogger Six Shooter said...

I could have used this a week ago.

Although when they pass the phone test with flying colors, it's easy to want to overlook some of the other rules. I need to say DON'T! It's all a trap .... a horrible horrible trap.

At 9:12 AM, Blogger cb said...

Yes, the phone screen is like a phone interview. YOu can still misrepresent yourself with ease.

But sometimes you CAN hear heaviness. Like if they get easily out of breath.

Or sound like Jabba.

At 11:35 AM, Blogger BRETTCAJUN said...

Ha ha. These rules are actually good. About the dick pic request... you are terrible! (lol!) Can you pretend you want to date me? I need to see a pic of your member Sir! Email that to: brettcajun@aol.com. ;)

At 11:44 AM, Blogger Tom said...

I know exactly what you mean cb...

However, like you said, there are exceptions...

I was on gay.com early in the evening (yes a little bored) when someone privated me and typed in the appropriate word "homo" to get by my botguard... He did not have a picture... VERY BAD IN MY BOOK, I would never have initiated a conversation.

We chatted and over the course of a week talked on the phone and chatted some more...

I agreed to meet him for dinner one night at a restaurant in his neck of the woods... Toano, VA.

I was immediately taken by this guy, as was he... me... We are together to this day, and will wear each others' rings til the day we die...

Moral of story... and possibly rule #11... Ignore rules 1-10 and go with your gut feeling, you never know when Mr. Right doesn't know the rules...

Thanks for the entertaining blog though, I have book marked you and will visit back often.


At 7:24 AM, Blogger cb said...

You could SO have ended up as the main ingredient in a stew. Especially driving to Toano, VA!

At 9:57 AM, Blogger Tom said...

Indeed I could have... My point is some of us have pretty good instincts, avoid the bad ones, but take a chance every now and then (fORREST), you never know what you might get...



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