Online Dating – How to find Mr or Ms Right

Online Dating – How to find Mr. Right.

Last night was my occasional attempt at a trivia night with work colleagues and friends. We all admit we only go to trivia to catch up with each other and have lots of laughs – for a bunch of academics we are terrible at trivia. Without fail our conversation ends up on the topic of sex, online dating and a bit of vulgar banter. Often this conversation focuses on me and a male colleague as we are having such difficulty finding someone. Our gender makes our experiences quite different to the other, and we know that if he was gay he would have much better luck. Anyone who has been dating online for a while knows this but for him it is new territory. He seems so nervous and doesn’t know what to say to a girl online…because of course there must be some magical thing to say that ‘works’. He is also so lovely and I am amazed he has any difficulty. His biggest issue is which site to go on. Having used most of them I have an idea of the general type of person or purpose for each site and now adjust accordingly. So it was good to come across this article today ‘How to find Mr Right’. The post gives such easy pointers about where to start with online dating. Although it refers to “Mr” I feel the ideas apply to anyone so will pass it along to him.

My break-down of sites often used in Australia:

RSVP – good general site for anyone, there are enough questions that have to be answered to at least do some of the weeding out of the really gross people for you. The small fee for tokens to be able to email someone can also act to indicate genuineness and interest. There does seem to be a bit of debate about who actually does the token buying – mostly men are expected to do this it seems.

Blendr – can be confusing as many believe the site/app is about hooking up (aka the gay equivalent of Grindr), so be up front and get to the point about what you want. Attracts ANYONE. Beware of scammers.

POF (Plenty of Fish) – it’s free, it has an option to say upfront what you are looking for although it isn’t necessarily clear enough sometimes…as people have a variety of wants and needs. If someone has actually completed their profile it gives a reasonably good indication of who they are.

Oasis – completely about hooking up, one night stands, a bit of home video action, and exchanging dirty talk.

Craigslist – if you have a specific request (ie. for the weird, dirty, fetish, kink etc), or even just to advertise yourself and what you want, and want to remain totally anonymous until a point where you are comfortable this is the one for you. This site is used very differently in Aus than it is often is in the US etc. Beware the scammers and trols.

OkCupid – not bad, but I didn’t find there were enough people on this to provide ongoing use…especially outside of metropolitan areas (eg. Melbourne,Sydney).

eHarmony – I think this is the best with regards to the quality of people, although it is expensive. Once you are signed up though it is all included – no buying tokens. There are A LOT of sign-up questions but they are worth answering. The process is also good as you don’t have to communicate directly with the person first, instead requesting to see some of their core values etc.




Online dating scammers

I’m currently casually chatting with a man who identifies himself as a 40-something US military soldier posted in Libya.

What strikes me first is his language use.

You see I have marked many many student essays and am very familiar with international students writing style. I can pick a student who doesn’t have English as a first or primary language. Interestingly this skill has come in handy for online dating and avoiding scammers.

Of course I am immediately suspicious – which I am anyway because afterall how many soldiers from the US can possibly contact me in a lifetime …I am in Aus by the way. So what alerts me is this: “I see your online, was hoping I get talking to you, hoping we be friends and see how it goes from eyes would be glued to the computer waiting for your reply”.

There are more things wrong with this than just poor literacy or grammar.

My experience communicating with men across the world tells me that it is men from middle eastern or African countries that hope to be friends straight away.

When I ask questions about what he is looking for he delivers lines such as “love…a long lasting relationship” and in a woman he wants “a beautiful heart”. When there are multiple compliments in unnecessary places in the conversation that isn’t really happening I am also dubious. When I am the only one asking questions to seek some sort of an idea of who the person is that is wanting to be my friend and hopefully more I am dubious. And these points don’t just apply to those I know are scammers … This is part of my criteria for anyone I talk to – be interested as well as interesting, show me you are genuinely interested by asking questions or clarifying details. This also tells me you can think and hopefully communicate.

I always give them a chance…just incase I am wrong. I ask a few questions, and may even re-ask in slightly different ways because maybe they misunderstood. Nope, my intuition is usually right. In this case I thought I would be clever in my answer to his only question of “what time is it there”, to which I replied “just past 1900”. Nothing, he doesn’t even notice. In my experience of communicating with real army/military personnel they are usually impressed with my use of the 24 hour system.

So this is a warning…learn by reading what isn’t being said rather than having to experience the tragedy that might unfold without you even realising it.