I have spent a great deal of time on internet dating sites and have learned quite a bit about male/female relationships during my stint in this micro chasm of “real” life. Fortunately for the man who wants to see how people react when they don’t have any need to use social skills (you can do almost anything you want when you are a nameless person hiding behind a screen) the internet dating world is the perfect arena.
I also have spent countless hours reading books and articles about relationships. There seems to be a common thread among the experts when it comes to finding the “one”. Whether you are looking for NSA sex or the love of your life to settle with and have children with, the general theme is the same, lie. Almost every chapter written about finding, impressing and keeping the object of your desire has to do with creating and presenting an artificial vision of the real you.
The truth is whether we read a book about how to do it or we do it on our own, we tend to produce for the rest of the world to see, a “vision” of ourselves as opposed to the “real” person under the mask. Why? A combination of self-consciousness in that we “feel” that the “real” us will not be as readily accepted, or that we KNOW we won’t be accepted because our day-to-day conduct in reality is very unappealing and the fact that we are trying to “sell” ourselves. If any readers have bought or sold a house or car before you know it is typical to clean it up, dress it up. Maybe even change the outwards appearance to make it more saleable. A fresh coat of paint can hide the high miles, a couple of sheets of drywall and some paint can hide that big crack in the foundation. When you are selling, you keep your place more neat and tidy in those few weeks than it ever was in the preceding decade. Fresh cut flowers on the table, not a toy or dust bunny in sight…close to perfect.
The ironic thing about internet dating is that there is no real need while talking online to adjust our outer appearance to make ourselves more saleable. There is no need to mislead or twist the truth to make us look bigger and better than we are. There is no need to create a “fake” version of ourselves, yet it seems to be done online even more so than in “real” life.
I feel that because we find something online that we don’t find in the grocery store. There is the possibility and probability that someone is going to find you interesting, maybe only your nickname at first and they will say hello. Over time you realize that by “twisting” what someone sees on your profile you can increase your popularity. In a short time, the serious issue of self-confidence you have in the “outside” world is gone. On here, safe behind the screen, safe from having the truth of which you are questioned, you are appealing, desired and powerful. I have known people who would have an overall attractiveness and appeal rating of 3 out of 10 on the street, but online they are shining examples of the girl or guy most would kill for an opportunity to date. It is all about creating a “perception” of the truth, not providing real information that a potential suitor could make an educated decision from.
What I found when it came to women on dating sites is that many of them had created for themselves a perceived value…even if that value only existed virtually. I remember talking to one woman a few days after she joined a site. She was shy, but nice to talk with. For me, there was a high probability that I would pursue further opportunity with her. She seemed like someone who I would like to get to know. I lost track of her for a while and caught up with her a year later. She had changed. Even though I didn’t know this person, the online “persona” that she presented had changed and not in a good way. Now she had an attitude, she had value, she had men that wanted to talk to her, she knew how to play the game…and she didn’t have time for me. Still later I went to a “meeting” of people from this particular site and met her in person. She was shy, self-conscious and not overly attractive in looks or in her ability to sustain conversation. In the real world where we found ourselves at this point in time, she was more than happy to have my attention, but online she had elevated her worth beyond spending time talking to the mere likes of me.
One other point of significance is the fact this “elevation” of value online seems to mess with some people’s better judgement. I was on these sites for almost 10 years so I would say that I am VERY experienced. The biggest complaint from women was that the guys were players. I was accused of being a player many, many times. The reason was not that I REALLY was, it was the fact that I didn’t follow the woman’s game the way that she had intended.
The women on dating sites have a unique perception that goes something like this:
You contact her. Queen B is her nick. She takes 2 full days (48 hours) to respond IF she responds at all. This is designed to make you feel that next time you had better put more effort into your note. She is after all, very busy and has far too many suitors to be bothered with your “simple” introduction.
If your conversations go past 3 back and forth notes…you are getting somewhere. SHE has decided that she will suffer though the agony of conversing with you…providing she has nothing better to do. She adds you to her favorites. You might think this means something of significance and it does. You are special? No, you are EXPECTED to be impressed that she added you and you now must watch the way in which you conduct yourself.
She will continue from that point as if nothing happened. She will continue with her search for her “virtual” knight in shining armor and NO big boy, you are not he. You on the other hand had better watch who you talk to. God forbid you continue your search for Ms. Right. After all, Queen B. Didn’t ask or give you any sort of commitment. You aren’t going steady, hell you don’t even know her real name. Don’t kid yourself.
It happened to me in one case. I wrote a note to Queen B. On a Friday night and she didn’t write back. This site would let you know if the other was online, and she was. I assumed she was busy so I went about filling my boring night with potential for conversation by sending out a few more “hellos”. Turns out that I contacted one of Queen B.’s friends. A few minutes later I get a note from the Queen herself stating that she deliberately hadn’t been writing to me to test me. Seems like this silent treatment she had devised was to see if the guy was a player. A player it turns out is not a deceitful, manipulative, heart-breaking womanizer as he would be in “real” life. On here a player is a man who is smart enough to “move on” as soon as he feels that the woman that he initially contacted, that he originally had interest in was now only trying to add him to her “corral” of so-so potentials just in case she:
A) gets really bored
B) Let’s the reality of the situation infiltrate her fantasy to the point that she realizes that George Clooney does not frequent this site and if he did all of her artificial value will not be enough to bed him.
I personally found that if I could initiate conversation with a “new” member and could hold her attention so that she didn’t have the desire to follow her friend’s advice and virtually “whore” herself out, that there was a good chance that we could continue our conversation and with time go from virtual to reality.
I miss the online “social” experience because I liked having a different view on life arriving in my inbox every day or so. What I don’t miss is women that somehow feel that they have a value (above and beyond reason or reality), have the right or need to manipulate men because they can easily do this online or being called a player by every one that didn’t get her own way, exactly the way in which she had IMAGINED her way should be.
I will miss you Princess!