Internet Dating – Plenty of Fish or a Sinking Ship?

June 29, 2012 7:17 pm

Depending on who you are, the single life is either a help or a hindrance.

If you’re single and decide that you want to be so, then nine times out of ten you’ll take the high road and indulge yourself in partying, meaningless sex, maybe reading, or perhaps you’ll use the “focussing on my career” cliché. Whatever it may be, you’ll decide that the world is your oyster.

But what if you don’t want this oyster? What if you just want a fish?

Plentyoffish.co.uk is one of the many internet dating sites that tend to distract you from whatever pornographic website you’re already looking at. Pretend you didn’t read that, guys. It promises you a free match-up with your dream partner, thousands of singles waiting for you in various locations. It promises a happy ending. Now I don’t wish to carp (first and only fish related pun, I promise) about this but I’m kinda struggling with the idea.

I mean not to discourage people from using them and each to their own n’all, but what has happened to us as a society? What’s happened to meeting people, face to face. Talking, laughing, wining and dining. The works.

You may wish not to read on from this point. I’m a bit of an old romantic. I like nothing better than the nerves that you go through when you meet somebody new, the excitement of looking across at someone and getting to know them, trying to suss out what they’re thinking, wondering if they’re doing the same back to you. The Internet doesn’t give us a chance to do this. It gives us a wall of information, hobbies, interests, vital statistics. That’s all well and good, but it doesn’t give us the intrigue, the sense of fear, the ability to surprise and be surprised back. Once the wall of Internet information goes up, you find yourself banging your head against it repeatedly trying to extract anything from that person that will work in your favour.

Now, you may think this slightly hypocritical of me, but I recently signed up to plentyoffish.com.

For two reasons, really. One, I wanted a change from the normal type of women I looked at on the internet. Okay, ignore that one too. But mainly, because I wanted to find out for myself just the sort of people I would meet on this site. I’m not in for anything long term, but I wanted to compare. My favoured method, talking to somebody in person, getting to know them and asking for a number, versus doing exactly the same but behind the comforts of your computer screen.

Surprisingly for somebody who thoroughly enjoys blogging, the hardest part of setting up my POF account was actually talking about myself. It’s difficult to know what to say. Part of you wants to invent a rich back story about yourself. For example, in my imagination, I’m a filthy rich environmental lawyer, I play in a rock band, I love children, I adore puppies, and all I want is somebody to cook for and clean for and to snuggle up and watch The Notebook with.

Sorry if I sound sexist, I really don’t understand women. Hence the single status.

But I’m not any of those things. I prefer to do things the old fashioned way, but if you put that sort of thing on a dating site it sounds incredibly cliche…and frankly I’m not too sure a lot of women nowadays believe it.

I do have a certain admiration for those who are adamant that they will find somebody via the internet. I appreciate that it happens, it’s happened to people close to me and sometimes it’s worked, sometimes it’s tanked in the most spectacular ways. You put yourself out there for the world to see and you have to sell yourself. That’s difficult, especially by using nothing but the written word. I struggle to do that every time I write one of these articles. It’s a bit of a pain though, frankly. The romantic novels and movies of today set us up to fail. Romances and happy endings are beamed in left right and centre from television and from the cinema, we hold on for Mr and Mrs Right and the vast majority of us believe in being swept off our feet. But you have to work for it.

Mr Darcy does exist, but nowadays he goes under a username and he’s looking for “casual friendship and maybe more”.

In the coming weeks and months, I will persist with using the POF site, merely just to see what happens. But in my opinion, and to end up with a fishy pun that I promised I wouldn’t use again, I don’t remain too hopeful of finding my catch of the day.

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  • Try uniformdating.com too, you’ll definitely find the woman of your dreams on there…

  • Definitely more of an internet dater: no money wasting on go-nowhere dates, can find out their likes and dislikes before the awkwardness of revealing your disgust face-to-face (my face can’t lie) and you get to perfect your typing skills. The old, romantic way can still be had, just after the modern way. Great article!

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