let me begin with some of my personal truths:

  1. i  am a busybody.
  2. there is not a single topic within my realm of experiences on which i am qualified to give expert advice. i don’t even trust my ability to give relatively decent advice on things. i am barely a six of all trades. on a good day. and i am a master of this conversation: “why did you do that thing i said to do? i told you not to listen to me! it’s cool though. i’m sure your mom will post bail.”
  3. despite #2 above, i often shove my two cents in the faces of those who did not ask me for any cents whatsoever, because #1.
  4. also despite #2 above, i am happily married to a man who is better than me at nearly everything important; i, however, proudly lord over him my superiority in trivial things. like making sure all the hangers face the right direction.
  5. also despite #2, i was asked by my friend lauren, a single woman, to share my married woman’s perspective on online dating.*

happy to oblige lauren, though i’m more than a little confident that this is not exactly what you had in mind – unless of course you were, in fact, imagining a verbal trainwreck). alas, here we are. the world is now precisely one verbal trainwreck richer. dat’s on you, lauren. don’t say i didn’t warn you  (even though i didn’t warn you.)

now. i have been retired from the dating world since getting engaged to my husband in 2013. i therefore have no current use for the myriad ‘plenty of mingling harmonic matches, so tinder off, ok cupid?’ sites out there. but if i did have use for them, here are some things i imagine i’d want to know my own thoughts on, and my own response to my own hypothetical ponderings.

which site(s) should you use? 
i don’t know if this matters much because i’ve often heard that everyone who’s in the pool is in pretty much every pool, so chances are, you’ll run into the same group of potentially worthy suitors and rando creepers on match as you would on okcupid as you would on eHarmony. but let’s humor me and pretend that it does matter so that i can share my wisdom on a few select sites. if your end game is a relatively successful relationship, you should be on match and/or okcupid. i feel like these sites have the best normals:creepers ratio. if you want to get really stressed out trying to come up with clever, engaging, and thoughtful answers to seventy-three thousand questions about yourself only to give up halfway through because “god dammit, why is this like a damn college application? F this S, i’ll just get seven cats” then eHarmony is your jam. if your objective is ‘swipe right, fun night, lose dis number aiight?’, 1) don’t front like you ain’t know where you need to go, and 2) ummmm, why are you reading my blog, the situation? are you lost?

far more important than the question of which sites to use, however, is that of which not to use. and you’re in luck, friends. i have some things to say about that too. don’t use christian mingle. i am saying this as a christian whose sole dating dealbreaker was ‘must be christian.’ from what i’ve heard about that place, it sounds like even Jesus would tell those people to chill. don’t use ashley madison, because…come on.

ok, you chose your site(s). any tips for putting together the perfect profile?

  • treat it like a resumé, and by that i mean observe the following tried and true resumé-writing rules:
    • use proper grammar and spelling.
    • show; don’t tell. for example, instead of stating that you like to travel, include a photo of you on your trip to cambodia or the south of france or newark.
    • it’s ok to embellish a little (e.g. you can describe yourself as a sports lover as long as you can name at least one guy on at least one team in your major metropolitan area), but don’t tell easily fact-find-able lies. it’s just as easy to google whether you were the first runner-up in the 2014 miss universe pageant as it is to google whether you graduated summa cum laude from yale law.
  • other than as expressly set forth above, don’t treat it like a resumé in any other way. that’s weird.
  • be sure to include at least one honest photo. you know what i mean. one that represents what you look like – what you actually look like. not like while you were accepting your runner-up crown at the 2014 miss universe pageant, but like…on a tuesday in february. it doesn’t need to be your main photo, but it’s important to include it among your photos. you will end up weeding out the superficial weens who aren’t worth your time, and he/she will carry on swiping right, fun night, lose dis number aiight? you’re both better off. but mostly you. that guy/girl is a ween.
  • be funny. be as funny as you possibly can be. funny is the new ‘hot’ for girls and the new ‘rich’ for guys. (ugh that is so trite, forget i said that.) if you are not funny, find a funny friend to help you…but not a friend who is so funny that you will not be able to maintain the dazzling mystique when it’s just you on your own. so…not me, obviously.

cool, you (we. you’re welcome) got yourself a date! do you google him/her beforehand?
i’ve extensively researched this. there appears to be an unequivocal consensus among contemporary pundits of all things romance in the digital age. that consensus is: no. don’t google.

but they’re all wrong and you should listen to me. yes. google. why not do your due diligence?  you don’t go on interviews without researching the business; you don’t pick a restaurant without yelping; and you don’t just start binge-watching a rando new netflix series without at least two of your bougiest friends asking you for the ninth time (each, respectively) “have you started watching ‘artisanal  brunch with anderson cooper’s banjo’ yet?” this is 2017. you have nothing but resources at your fingertips, so why not exploit them? also, take it from me and my personal experience. before i had even met my husband face-to-face, he knew that i once contributed to senator joe lieberman’s campaign, and that i had single-handedly destroyed a die-hard trekkie’s dream of writing the ultimate star trek fan-fic with a cease and desist letter i wrote in my former capacity as an anti-piracy attorney at cbs. now, as sexy as all that was to him, let’s face it. that’s not even remotely sexy at all to the rest of us normals. but hey, i survived the google pre-screen, and, if it is meant to be, i am sure your future Person will too. and if it isn’t meant to be because he/she is in fact a first degree felon who is wanted in four states for kidnapping eleven people, aren’t you glad you googled before you became twelve?

ok, you googled. he/she checks out. you are officially dating. now what?
i have little to say about this because ultimately, if you have actually followed all of my grossly unqualified advice above, and you’ve actually made it this far, congratulations. that poor idiot is going to marry you because clearly, nothing is going to scare him/her away. the one thing i will say is that you should unquestionably ignore the ‘rules’. and i’m not just talking about the antiquated “THE RULES” rules from the nineties, like ‘don’t accept any other time than saturday night for a first date’, or ‘wait exactly one and a half times the amount of time he/she took to reply to your last text before you reply’. i’m talking about any and all rules. because that’s stupid. there are no rules. do whatever makes sense to you, because if this thing is going to go the distance, it’s going to be because you are you and you do you, and not because you do what some yahoo on the idiot tells you to do.

but if you are going to follow one rule this yahoo on the internet has for you, please let it be this: if you can, avoid going to a place where it is customary to share food on a first date. now, i am not speaking from personal experience or anything, but i guarantee you, you will feel compelled to under-eat out of fear that your date will think you are a gluttonous, grubby little tapas hoarder who ate more than his/her fair share, and for some reason, restaurants always serve things in odd numbers, and now it’s awkward because neither of you will eat the last croqueta, but you keep staring at it and now he/she sees you staring at it so it’s even more awkward, and you’re just praying the waiter drops the check soon so you can get the heck out of there and hit up chipotle. i mean…hypothetically, for example.

so. those were my thoughts on online dating. just fyi,  i’m going to need at least a month’s notice to prepare my maid of honor/best woman speech at your wedding. and i’ll have the filet.

- lisa

*i have never online dated. proceed reading what i have to say about it anyway with the proverbial grain of salt. if you already read it all and have consequently arrived here…well, this is awkward. i must revoke my salt grain but no, you may not have your 4-9 minutes back.

‘swipe right, fun night, lose dis number aiight?’ is an unregistered trademark of this guy right here.

Published by lisa marie riad