Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Oh, Boys! Dating Suggestions

The Chicago Reader has recently launched its online dating service, called the Chicago Reader Matches. It's free until August 25th, so women, go there now if you're interested (you'll understand why I leave men out of this invitation in a moment). I think their questionnaire is one of the most original that I've seen and I had fun filling it out. The usual photo-posting option is available, but you can also record a voice message. I really like that feature since for me the voice is almost more important than the photo. And I strongly suggest that users do one or the other, preferably both, because when a user hasn’t posted his photo or recorded a greeting, I tend to pass up their profile. Guys, you gotta give me more to go on besides that you like movies and dining out and are looking for a thin woman.

As usual, online there are plenty of men who want my attention. Through the Reader Matches I've heard from about 10 or 15 guys. But when it comes to the "live" and "in person" dating services, like speed dating and singles organizations, the men are scarce. This past spring I joined Social and Service Chicago, which is a singles volunteer organization. We meet each other by working on tasks for non-profits. At the social events I've been to, the women WAY outnumber the men (usually 8 or 12 women to 3 guys). This makes me wonder if the men who use only online services and not live dating services only have the nerve to approach women through a glowing screen, with no real contact at all. Are they just too scared of us? Why would there be this huge difference in the male to female ratios of online and live dating services?

So I'd like to make some suggestions for men who are single and want to meet single women. I stress single men because in my opinion there is nothing lower than a married man who pretends to be single to an unsuspecting single woman (which is why I think Scott Peterson should hang, regardless of what he did with Laci). Alternately, if a guy has been separated for years and years and in his mind the marriage is over (and maybe his wife is even with someone else now) and that's why he doesn't mention her, that's a slightly different case. That means he has yet to clean up his life. Either way, technically married men are in the UNDATABLE category (possible exception: if the woman is technically married, too).

So for legally single men, the following:

1. Join Social and Service Chicago .

2. Join Eight at Eight, a dating service that sets up four women and four men at a dinner at a nice restaurant and then whomever likes whom can exchange info at the end. I haven't been able to join for a YEAR because they have too many women and not enough men.

3. Try speed dating. The one I went to had about 20 women and maybe 15 men.

4. Give up the online dating services which don't work in your favor. The numbers are way too skewed with a huge male:female ratio.

5. Especially forget eharmony.com. I and a male friend tried this service over the past three months and we’ve both been disappointed and disgusted with it.

Women, I can’t really help you with dating tips because if I knew how to find that long-term, solid relationship with a great guy, I’d have it by now.

Any input on my theory that the reason men dominate the online dating services and are scarce at live dating services is that they’re too scared of women to meet us face to face? I'd like to be wrong on this one. Comments?

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