Online Dating Advice for the Lovelorn

Step One: Rearrange the buttons on your keyboard to write cute things.  Step Two: Take a piocture of it! (Image from datelessndallas.com)

I checked my keyboard – this is not the actual orientation of keys on my laptop.  (Image from datelessndallas.com)

A Vermont woman named Christine Billis recently pled guilty to manslaughter after she intentionally drove her car into a tree, causing her husband’s death.  Ms. Billis would have gotten away with it, but shortly after the accident, she joined the online dating website okcupid.com, then confessed the deed to a prospective beau.  The guy decided to go to the authorities instead of pursuing a relationship with her.  It seems wearing a wire and becoming an undercover informant is preferable to finding love for some people.

No one will dispute that it’s wrong to hasten the demise of your spouse by driving into a tree, no matter how much he snores over there in the passenger seat.  The old “thou shalt not kill” credo is pretty standard.  In her defense, Ms. Billis later claimed her husband was controlling and abusive.  Mental note: If you’re controlling and abusive, you should do the driving.

What’s glaringly apparent to me is that Christine, and possibly others, need some guidance in the dos and don’ts in the world of online dating.  Being an old guy who’s been married since Moses was a pup, I’m clearly not the most knowledgable about dating in these modern times, much less the new-fangled internet variety.  Despite my lack of expertise, I don’t see anyone else volunteering much advice for you folks, so here goes.

Do - be honest about yourself, particularly in the “Likes and Dislikes” portion of the initial questionaire.  If a potential love-interest doesn’t enjoy scrap-booking, it’s better to find out right away.

Don’t - admit to killing your husband by driving his side of the Ford Fiesta into a sugar maple.  Save that story for when the guy doesn’t want to see you anymore.  He’ll think twice about breaking things off – especially if you’ve gotten the Fiesta repaired and on the road again.

. _ . _ .

Do – bend the truth a little bit when describing your best features.  A little creativity can’t hurt.  Who hasn’t accidentally dropped five years off their sentence or twenty-five pounds off their derriere for the sake of embellishment?

Don’t - go nuts on the fabrications.  Describing yourself as looking like a young Meryl Streep when you look more like an old Merle Haggard will make for an awkward first date.

. _ . _ .

Do – realize that there’s going to be a bit of fabrication on both sides of the ball.  If the guy describes himself as “an outdoorsman”, there’s a chance he lives in his car.

Don’t – rush to judgement.  Living in a car has its upside, especially if you haven’t gotten the Fiesta fixed yet because the twits at the insurance company are fussing about that pesky manslaughter charge.

. _ . _ .

Do - post a picture of yourself if the website requires it.  Try to find a shot which highlights your best features while minimizing the negatives.

Don’t -  use video-stills from your trial.  Also, very few people have complexions which are complimented by orange prison jumpsuits, so consider a black and white shot.

. _ . _ .

Do – agree to meet in a public place for your first date.  It takes the pressure off and keeps expectations in line.

Don’t – worry about the presence of onlookers, or as some people call them, witnesses.

. _ . _ .

Do - come up with a cute, catchy screen name for yourself, which reflects your interests and personality, like “CatsMeow21” or “iLuvSunsetz365

Don’t - choose a name which might have a negative connotation, like “DeptOfCorrexuns3167239” or “iMakeLicPlates4u

. _ . _ .

Those are just a few of the thoughts I came up with so far.  I hope people find them helpful.  Hopefully by the time Christine gets back out on the dating scene, I’ll have a more comprehensive list of tips ready for her.

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182 responses

  1. I’ve mentioned very little on my “We Never Would Have Met Had It Not Been For….”
    escort/dating service (can I say escort here?) except…that my real passion is for men in boots. Barn boots. The shoveling-shite, moving barges and lifting bales kind of boots. So far only one inquirey…a Mr. Claus…..

  2. Thank goodness you mentioned that using video stills from the trial wouldn’t be wise, some might think otherwise. Honestly, I’m still stuck on the fact that this woman was blabbing about the killing on a dating site. I really hate when a member of my own sex proves to be a complete ass….she is an embarrassment to us all!

  3. I imagine there’s a lot fabrication going on out there and your advice is hilarious. I especially love “If the guy describes himself as “an outdoorsman”, there’s a chance he lives in his car.” HA! Very possible.

  4. I am sorry, but I’ve always been against online dating. You cannot simulate tangible love between two people online and expect it to be like a true relationship in real life. Face-to-face contact has always been proven to be the much better option. You can’t fake intimacy.

  5. Didn’t your last post say you would NEVER be Freshly Pressed?? HA. Congrats! Great post. I met a guy on match.com hyped up on Aderrall. He had a thing for guy p*rn, but wasn’t gay. Hmmmm…..maybe, not something you let a potential date in on right away. These are Hilarious, then again so is online dating. :-) Enjoy your special day.

    • The hilarity will continue, if I have to go read quirky news stories on Yahoo to find inspiration. My blog followers will not be let down (unlike my religious sect followers, who are still bitter about the whole collection plate fiasco)

  6. I met my boyfriend of 4 years (and counting) on OKCupid – this is great advice. In order to be successful, you have to take everything with a grain of salt, don’t over-share but don’t under-share and lie, and you have to sift through a lot of bad dates.

    There is nothing worse than learning, upon the first date, something very dark about someone – even if it’s there, don’t let it show, people! And certainly don’t confess to murder.

    • The more I learn, the more computer dating sounds like the actual face to face dating of my youth.

      As an example of full vs. partial disclosure; my wife and I were married for over 5 years before I found out she was capable of farting. Live and learn I suppose.

  7. Thought about on-line dating. After drafting profile info and looking it over decided that I would be hesitant to go out with a woman who found it appealing. Even without prior or pending convictions. So for now I’m happy in my heart, loving myself. On-line, maybe later, thanks!

  8. Holy Crap! Congratulations! HA! This was hilarious you were just talking about Freshly Pressed the other day Ahhhhhhhhhhh this was too funny. So glad it happened for you here. Truly awesome. Well deserved and definitely about time :)

  9. So THAT’s what I’ve been doing wrong. =) I’ll leave it to you to decide which faux pas I’ve been committing.

    Very amusing, congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

    • Glad you liked it.

      Freshly Pressed has been an elusive quarry, but now that I’ve finally made it, it’s time to set the bar a little higher. My next literary goal is getting something published which could actually earn me a penny or two.

  10. The Ford Fiesta and the sugar maple, that did it! LMHO

    We’re such bad judges of ourselves in the first place to come up with a realistic description, but we can also be delusional when it comes to the search for a future partner. I had a 63-yr old friend who was what you call one of those crazy old cat ladies (11 cats) and she was quite obese too but nevertheless her goal was a young, fit guy, 48 or so, because she perceived herself as young at heart.

    So many people wish for ‘the world’, but they should ask for nothing that they cannot offer themselves.

    • Thanks for the “like” Glad you enjoyed it.

      One need only look at personal ads to see how delusional people can be about themselves – It’s an especially enjoyable pursuit for rakishly handsome, witty gents like me, and demure, sophisticated ladies like you!

  11. Oh, look at you…you look so FRESHLY PRESSED!! Worth the wait, I hope.

    I pray I never have to date again. My husband claims he has spoiled me so that no other man could compare. I, on the other hand, claim that he has ruined me…depends on your perspective, I guess.

  12. Great timing that I came across this well informed post with a comedic spin. haha Thank you! I recently wrote my two close friends online dating profiles and just posted two of them on my Word Press. Care to critique? You sound savvy in the world of online dating do’s and don’ts. :)

  13. I liked the post – but disagree with ‘bending the truth’. This is someone that, if you share good banter, you’ll want to meet fairly soon. Imagine how disappointing it ends up being when – up close – it’s clear you’ve ditched 5 years and 15 kg from your reality.

    I think the fibbing on profiles is part of the problem with online dating. jmho

    • I used to feel the same way back when I was in Harvard. One of my professors used to talk about this all the time. I raised my hand in the lecture and questioned him about it, and he changed his mind.

      Later, in my training as an astronaut, I wondered if he wasn’t right after all. I asked my supermodel girlfriend, but she just shugged her gorgeous shoulders and smiled at me the special way she did.

      Glad you enjoyed the post.

  14. I have experienced online dating before…therefore the do’s and don’ts one listed happen to be correct in sense. When dating online one just has to be not only open minded but for carefully because no everyone is who they say they are. no one would want a catfish moment (for those of you who have seen that show).

    • I don’t think failure to use your turn signal really counts as a crime, but I applaud your honesty.

      I’m thrilled that you enjoyed the post. It isn’t my favorite, but Freshly Pressed is Freshly Pressed, who am I to complain?

      Let me know if you’re interested in seeing some others, I’ve even got a few which I illustrated.

  15. So funny!! “Describing yourself as looking like a young Meryl Streep when you look more like an old Merle Haggard will make for an awkward first date.”

    That would be very awkward. And make for interesting stares at the ole Starbucks!

  16. Everyone should know the real ABCs of Online Dating – Anything But Craigslist. Luckily, I’ve not had to embellish, fabricate and will keep my current stats just what they should be – current. There’s no question on the 5 wisemen: Who will be paying for the meal/venue BEFORE you set the date, where we’ll meet, how to get there [you’d be surprised how many places have the same name and similar addresses], when to get there [be on time if not early] and how you’ll be dressed. Full frontal honesty with a good helping of the Golden Rule. I’ve married well, divorced poorly – but my exes say kind things about even behind my back. The marriage failed so cause no harm and make no fouls.

    Face it we’re all “grading on the curve” once we’ve passed a “certain age”. And no matter how far off the mark and the “embellishment”, don’t pretend not to see your date or excuse yourself to go to the bathroom and not come back. Make it fun no matter if the dude or dudette’s a dud. Respect is the key and just have fun!

  17. Hi 1Point – I’m hoping to find a letter from eHarmony begging me to sign a nondisclosure agreement due to their setting me up with a “verified” person who had stolen someone’s identity and probably murdered or knew of the demise of a foreign national. Heh – I did get a date out of it – not from eHarmony however. One of the ATF guys that came by for a debrief and deposition was my paramour for a year. In any case, I’ll post the long and the short of it – it’s kind of funny – in retrospect.

  18. I once dated a guy who lived in his car, it was a van. He gave me crabs. Don’t date anybody who lives in their car. He looked just like a young clint eastwood, but I should have overlooked that.

    • The start of your comment sounded like one of those Direct TV ads where the guy ends up bloody in a roadside ditch.

      I have to admit that a young Clint Eastwood look would be pretty appealing to many women and a few men (if you didn’t know about the crabs, that is)

    • The start of your comment sounded like one of those Direct TV ads where the guy ends up bloody in a roadside ditch.

      I have to admit that a young Clint Eastwood look would be pretty appealing to many women and a few men (if you didn’t know about the crabs, that is)

  19. Pingback: Weekly Men-in-Skirts Links « The Harlequin Tea Set

  20. Being honest is very important when it comes to online dating. But you never know about person opposite you. Online dating is generally safe if you use authentic websites. Be careful regarding the privacy settings of the website. Do read them carefully before signing up. Keep Dating. Keep Sharing Love. :)

  21. I don’t disagree with anything you say, but as I have tried it (and hatted it) I can say from an online-dater to a non-online dater, you really have to have done it to know about it.

  22. I’ve been off the blogs (like they’re drugs…they kinda are) for a while, so I figured I better catch up on WordPress and see if any of my homies were Freshly Pressed the past month. Well whaddya know. Seems like just yesterday I was talking with you about blueberry cobbler and how making it and photographing it was your best shot at getting picked. This was a much better way to go. This was perfect.

    I’m of course glad you are married and have the rest of your life to argue with someone on how to load the dishwasher properly. But if you weren’t, I’d suggest your blog Gravatar would be a great pick for your online dating profile. Mysterious, leaves a little to the imagination.

    Congrats!!!

  23. I’m not quite sure what entertained me more… the astute online dating advice or the comments and comments on the comments. You just can’t buy good witty repartee these days! :)

      • Well, as a single person who has waded into the murky, somewhat amusing world of online dating (and then thrown my arms up in frustration over the never ending lunacy that exists there), there was no way I couldn’t see the humor. There’s nothing quite like being matched up to someone you actually know and being horrified that any algorithm on God’s green earth thought the two of us were compatible, or being hit on by someone who is 25-30 years my senior… as such, I can see the value in your sage advice.

        Congrats on being Freshly Pressed… I have yet to figure out what their criteria is because I’ve read some of the FP stuff and gone away wondering how it happened to them… you, on the other hand were a fun find. (I liked the post in which you waxed philosophical on “Gilligan’s Island” as well… did you know you can sing the words of “Amazing Grace” to the tune of the GI theme? Well, you can. And now you know.)

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