Online Dating

Hot topic! How true are the romantic ideas propagated by older films like “Sleepless in Seattle”?  Or how mean are some internet users to play jokes on each other, like in the film “Closer”?  How do teenagers interact with each other, is it like in the American version of “LOL”?  Who is responsible for spreading news like in “Gossip Girls” or “Pretty little liars”?
Nowadays a great deal of our lives occurs, either we want it or not, online:  you look for a job, you buy and sell stuff, you communicate with family, friends, acquaintances and merely strangers,  you join discussion groups or movements against and for something…  
And for many of us who are single, the internet and the online dating sites are almost the only possibility of getting to know an appropriate candidate. Of course, you can meet someone special at work… in school… at the university… in the club… But many of the encounters with a special person occur online.

 

Asking around among friends, men and women, we’ve come to the conclusion that it is indeed very hard to get to know someone spontaneously at a bar or cinema or restaurant.   It may be a national phenomenon, but people here don’t like to talk to strangers and men hardly address women freely or invite them for a cup of coffee or a drink.  If you’re very outgoing, you may end up talking about the weather with that handsome man standing in the supermarket at the cashier in front of you. But usually that will be it… Rain or no rain, but for sure, no coffee, no coke, no going out… I’ve asked some male friends around and most of them wouldn’t dare to “flirt” openly with you… Yes., you may be thinking, I’m not Brigitte Bardot, but B.B. would have even more trouble than a normal woman, believe me… 😉
So what has happened? Why is it so?  
Many have told me that as they don’t know, if the nice lady is taken, they better don’t ask. Wearing a ring or not isn’t always a hint. Others say that they would just get an estranged look and no answer or an impolite answer at all… So in conclusion, they don’t ask rather than risking to lose their face. You are maybe thinking, why do you, ladies, wait to be asked?  Well, the little experience we’ve had with trying to make conversation or contact in a restaurant or bar is that we get the very exact answer to the very exact question. E.g. She, nice looking and friendly: “ Sorry, have you got a match?”  He: “No, I don’t smoke.“ Or  “Yes, here you are. “   and they leave the scene…  There may be some exceptions, but we’ve encountered very few on our way.

 

The most hilarious thing I have found is on the home site of the Munich Public Transportation, MVV Munich. There is a special area called:  “Re-encountering people with MVV flirt” which would be more or less the translation of the name. The MVV is the Munich Transportation System. Here you find the original text:

“Menschen wiederfinden, mit MVV Flirt”
Angenommen, Sie sehen Ihre Traumfrau in der S-Bahn fahren. Lächeln kurz – und schwupps, steigt sie aus. Nein, dann ist noch nicht alles vorbei. Suchen Sie sie! Oder suchen Sie ihn, den Traummann. …”

and the translation:
“Re-encountering people with MVV flirt”
“Supposing that you see your dream woman traveling by train. You smile briefly at her and — ooops, she gets out of the train… No, not everything is lost. Look for her! Or look for him, your dream man. “  The description continues lightly for another paragraph.


And here you can read one of the contact texts:

U3 — Er sucht…
Du gefällst mir. Sehr. Schade, dass ich Dich am Holzapfelkreuth schon wieder verlassen musste. Hätte Dich gern zum Kennenlernen mit Cappucino eingeladen. Fahre jeden Mittag 11:50 und stehe im letzten Wagen. Wann kommst Du ?”
 
U3 ( Line 3 of the subway) He is loooking for…
“I like you. A lot. What a pity, that I had to leave you at “Holzapfelkreuth” (a subway station) again. I would have invited you for a capuccino. I travel every noon at 11:50 and I’m usually standing in the last wagon. When do you come?”
 
Well, what do you think? Is this a better way of flirting or dating? 😉  Do you think this guy, we don’t even know how he looks like, young, old, hair no hair, glasses, etc. … will find his beloved one? I really doubt it!
 
There is then one possibility left: real online dating.  And that is the problem, the word “real”…
 
This image is from a Spanish book, and if you look at the descriptions, you’ll soon find the “errors”. She’s supposed to be 25 years old, tall, thin, while he should be dark, very strong and 35…
 
We cannot generalize and think that everybody with an online dating profile fakes their appearance, but there are cases… The disappointment waiting for a tall, handsome, nice guy can be big, if you instead meet a short, ugly and unpleasant guy.  That would be only on the physical aspect, which is very subjective. A man that I find attractive may be considered “horrible” by another friend of mine.   But how about the personality? Everybody can write about themselves: nice, intelligent, educated, etc…. Everybody wants to make a good impression.  The first impression counts and listening to our inner voice during the first real encounter may be of some help in getting acquainted with someone we only know from a dating site.
 
There are then dating portals for every need and “almost” every age. There is even one specialized in “seniors” where the texts are written in extra big letters and you can find a step-by-step description for every action: subscribing, reading, writing,  uploading a picture. 
Other dating web sites are proud of their psychological tests and the exclusive selection of their well educated members, for example elitepartner.de or parship.de. However, they charge up from 60 EUR and on for a month implying that three months are not long enough to get to know the love of your life. You should subscribe for 3 months, a year or even longer!  
Is it worth it? I’ve heard of some people who have met their current partner on one of these sites, but other friends have said that it didn’t work out and they just had lost a bunch of money. There weren’t many candidates on that age range and the interesting ones were living very far away. There was no option to limit the search to Munich and surroundings.
 
There are not so exclusive sites, that cost nothing or very little, with a big risk of meeting fakes, swindlers or perverts.  There was a group of North African guys who subscribed to these pages trying to attract desperate middle aged women who were looking for a partner.  They presented themselves as nice British guys working in humanitarian projects out of Europe and later on started asking for financial aids for their projects or a contact address in Europe. Very dangerous and disappointing for the ladies involved! There were warnings about these cases in the local radio.
 
Many sites offer some special interest, especially sports, as Germans love sports… Dating in the Alps… I think of  “Lederhose” or leather breeches and fatiguing expeditions to the top of the mountain…  I personally don’t think those dating pages would be adequate to my needs 😉
 
And of course on the dark side… There are dating sites for every other interest, a special site for cheating… Believe it or not! and all kinds of dating platforms for s-e-x. Well, we’re living in Germany with quite an open minded society.
 
I don’t know, if online dating has the same weight in Mexico, Brazil, the USA or France, and would like to know your views about it.  Young people have other needs and I imagine that it’s easier for them to find dates. That’s maybe why online dating is so popular between people from 30 to 60 years of age. 
 

 I’m in a hurry!  I’ll leave you now and start writing my online profile  😉

 
 
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6 thoughts on “Online Dating

  1. There are actually a lot of sites like “MVV Flirt”. Most of them are on Facebook. They are called “Spotted”. Every town has got one. People can search for their crushes and ask other people in their town if they've seen this person! 😀

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  2. I personally have never used an online dating site, but know a few people (in their 30's and up) that have. The results are mixed in the sense that many of them say it's a waste of time & money and others saying it was a good experience… the thing is, I don't know anyone who has had a steady relationship as a result of using those services. They might see the same person twice or three times and that's it… on to the next one or they stop using the dating sites completely.

    On the other hand, I met my partner online… way back when the whole internet craze started, in 1998. Maybe because it wasn't through an online dating site (they didn't exist back then) and that takes the “pressure” off or maybe because it was destined to be. The fact is that we started our relationship in 1999 and have been living together since 2001. So, obviously, I personally have no idea how hard it is nowadays to find a date, but I do know quite a few singles (males & females) that complain about not only not being able to get a date, but meeting people!! The funny thing is, unless one lives in the middle of nowhere, we are constantly surrounded by people… all kinds of people. Yet, most of us have (if we're lucky) our families, a handful of friends, many acquaintances and we already know everyone in those circles. So, what's a person to do in order to expand those circles and meet new people?

    As you pointed out, Tona, we try the school/work/club/church/new hobbies path, hoping that we will meet The One … or at least a few interesting people that can introduce us to someone that turns out to be it. In the meantime, we keep going, hoping, and (if we are smart enough) in the process, we keep growing as human beings…

    saludos!
    cristina

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  3. En México, la situación de los sitios de citas y encuentros en línea es real y similar al resto del mundo (creo yo que su fuerza viene por influencia de los vecinos norteamericanos quienes fueron los originadores de la idea). Los números al respecto no sé qué tan confiables son, puesto que bien sabes que aquí las encuestas no son del todo imparciales ni precisas.

    Existen sitios, de igual manera, para todas las preferencias, gustos, intenciones y costos (desde gratuitos hasta de paga). Lo curioso es que en sí no son sitios originalmente mexicanos, sino extranjeros (gringos o alguno que otro europeo), con servicio para el público mexicano, o latinoamericano o, de plano, hispanohablante.

    He sabido de casos donde ha habido éxito y he sabido de otros, donde no.

    Pienso que el riesgo se corre por igual si se entra en comunicación con alguien en forma virtual, como real, Las mentiras y engaños no tienen patente virtual exclusiva, y los peligros, tampoco. De igual manera, la opción de encontrar personas gratamente sorprendentes es equivalente.

    Esta época tan globalizada lo único que ha producido en el modus vivendi humano actual es: deshumanización, soledad y complicación para el trato directo. Ha acercado tecnológicamente a los humanos, pero los ha aislado física y, a veces, hasta emocionalmente.

    Es también un fenómeno novedoso que debe asentarse, es decir, irá de un extremo al otro hasta que encuentre su justo medio y se mejoren, se humanicen, las relaciones entre nosotros.

    Abrazobesos, Tona.

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  4. Dear Cristina,
    thanks a lot for your comment. As you mentioned, ironically it is hard to find a date that will last longer. I find it difficult to find people, well me, who are willing to make concessions and I'm not speaking of a long lasting exclusive relationship… Being online they don't have to change anything and they don't have to leave the couch… But don't worry, I'm happy being a single, and enjoy the benefits of it! 😉 Un abrazo! Tona

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  5. Querido Ernie, estoy completamente de acuerdo con tu observación, el riesgo que se corre al conocer a alguien nuevo con más interés que el de ser amigos, es igual. Uno nunca sabe… No sé si me tranquiliza o me inquieta saber que la situación en México es muy similar a la de acá, el trato directo es muy superficial o inexistente y las relaciones humanas se han “deshumanizado”… Por otro lado, encuentro maravilloso el poder intercambiar ideas con amigos y conocidos de los que nunca pensé volver a saber y esto gracias a la informática y el Internet! Abrazobesos electrónicos y hasta pronto, querido amigo.

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