Thursday, January 27, 2011

MyLARC Update: The Approach

So I was talking to a friend about my experiences with online dating, and strangely enough, I found myself saying, "I actually do want to learn how to write that first message to someone you meet online. It's definitely an art form, and as a writer, I'm just interested in knowing how to do it."

Now, I never consciously thought of writing an introductory message on an online dating site as an art form, but here's why it is:

*Unlike a business introduction, it MUST be short. Anything more than 3 sentences is a monologue that makes you come off as a self-important bore

*It must be breezy but not stupid. So less formal than an Jane Austen letter, but with the appropriate use of capital letters, i.e., do not write "i'm really impressed w/ ur profile"

*It must not be lame or stalker-like. And while this is relatively easy for me to avoid in real-life, it's actually quite hard online. Mainly because a person's profile can give you a lot of clues and info about a person, but it's still stalker-like to open cold with what you read about them. And personally, I try not to be witty in e-mails to people I've never met--if they don't know the cadence of my voice, there's a high chance they'll misinterpret what I'm saying.

Perhaps you'd like some examples of failed approaches I've received:

"sorry for bothering you. I am new to this so wanted to give it a try. I came across your profile so thought to message you.
I am tall white good looking from doctor from Pakistan currently here for my interviews in different hospitals. I was bored so thought to explore few things here. If you are interested kindly reply"

Also, I personally think that calling yourself white when you're from Pakistan is a possible sign of some serious self-hate.

"...think you're absolutely adorable. And I'd like to
get to know you better.

Who am I?

Hmm....I was born in England, have lived in
Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island, Los Angeles and now
NYC. I work in NYC as well.

After discovering the cure for cancer, I climbed Mt.
Everest (without supplemental oxygen), studied with
the Dalai Lama, and dated (briefly) Cindy Crawford.

My career as a Yankees third baseman was going
nowhere, and rather than accept the grant from the
Salk Institute, I went to work at a television
network in New York.

And you?

Please write back because it would put a smile on my face."

"how are you? so, did you find anyone interesting here yet? "
"So how is this whole okcupid thing working out for you?"
It's a bit like asking a girl at a bar, "So how do you like the single's scene?" Best not bring attention to the elephant in the room just yet. Maybe after 2 dates.

If any of these have made you gringe, then I need your help! Clearly, there's a need for someone to market-test how to effectively approach guys online. Send me your opening lines, and I'll test the top 3 on some of the hottest guys on the site to see what kind of a response they get overall.

Just add your best opening lines to the comments box below.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

My Life As a Romantic Comedy (MLARC) update

So I had a blind date last night. I thought it went well enough (meaning, I wasn't completely repulsed by the idea of kissing him but wasn't so inclined to do so either).

We decided to meet at Ayza. Funnily enough, my co-worker told me just before leaving that she was heading there to meet a friend. We decided it would be best to act like we didn't know about each other's plans if we saw each other. So when I got there and settled down at the bar, she didn't say anything when she saw me, assuming maybe I was pretending I didn't see her. In all honesty, I didn't.

So I talked to blind date guy for about an hour, and had to cut it a bit short because I had an important meeting today to prep for. We end the night by putting on our coats and he asks where I'm headed. He says he's headed in the other direction, and that he's just going to go to the restroom before taking off. Which is fine by me. I'm a big girl and don't need him to walk me to the bus stop. So I take off.

But then this morning, I come in to work and my co-worker starts giving me crap for not seeing her. THEN she says, "Yeah, he stayed for about an hour talking to another girl at the bar."

Which makes me laugh out loud. Cuz honestly, I never thought of placing spies at a date spot, but now see the strategic importance of it. After all, a modern woman has to know how to do good reconnaissance.

Monday, January 10, 2011

My Life as a Romantic Comedy

I recently signed up for OKCupid, mainly because I heard about it on NPR, and while I hate dating, I was encouraged by the idea of meeting other people who actually listen to NPR. That being said, I'm really hoping I don't meet anyone promising, as it would disallow me to use the site as a source of comic fodder. And let me tell you, it's rich with comedy. I only filled out my profile 48 hours ago, and here are some gems I've already received:

"How are you? I just saw your page and thought I'd say hi. My wife and I were hoping to meet someone cool on here and thought you were really attractive. How is your weekend going? Up to... anything fun? Anyway, hope all is well!"

What I really appreciate about this is it's breezy tone. As if trolling for a threesome partner is the most normal thing a married couple would do on a Sunday afternoon.

And then last night I missed an IM that simple said: "I will see you in my dream..."

I wish there was an emoticon for being creeped out. But I take comfort that Carrie Fisher (aka Princess Leia) once had a fan tell her that he thought about her every day from age 12 to 22. She asked, "Really? Every day?" And he said, "Well, 4 times a day."

(I should also note that I heard this bit when watching Fisher's one-woman show "Wishful Drinking" on HBO with my dad and had to then explain to him what that joke meant.)

And here's one that just confused me:
"hey there pather panchali, [I think he meant "panther" but I don't know why] you should answer more okc questions because your comments there are cracking me up :) Very straightforward with your opinions, arent you; its refreshing and i guess i'm the same way.
we could have some great fights :) despite being a 91% match so far. I'll bet the "3% enemy" part is a doosey ;)... You're relatively young (I think i'm looking for late 30s to be honest) but I feel like you could crush a man with your words and well I just wanted to give you some props. :) Good luck out there; and if you ever want a good argument or fight, game on as you say ;)"

Why would I want to meet someone to fight with? And when have I ever said "game on"?

Now I don't attribtue this to the Y chromosomes--my male friends have told me the ladies are just as likely to write weird stuff. So keep that in mind when you're laughing your head off at the tragic-comedy story of my love life.