When it comes to online dating, I’m all for cutting to the chase and cutting down on back and forth communication. Having said that, I think sometimes people are a little too quick to skip the basics — like, for example, actually reading a profile before initiating contact.
I recently received a lengthy message from an OkCupid guy who, in his haste to connect with as many women as possible, chose an unusual approach: a form letter. No personalization, just a five-paragraph missive along the lines of a job seeker who hasn’t taken the time to do his homework. Here’s an excerpt:
“Hi, my name is [A], I’m almost 35 and live in Northern NJ about 45 mins from Lincoln Tunnel, GW Bridge and Holland Tunnel… I am single, never married, never engaged, and no children, last relationship was a few years ago since then I have been focused and busy working on myself and putting my ducks in a row… You know the whole career, then mortgage and finance a house, and then eventually meet the right woman… Please do not think this means that you are the right woman. I just am trying to muddle through the dating scene as an adult. From the pictures I saw there was definitely an initial attraction, and I would love to know more about you. Like what is your name? Do you have any siblings? When was your last relationship? How long have you been using OKCupid?
I prefer quality to quantity, and I’d rather be alone and single then settle and be miserable. I do have to say I would really enjoy getting to know you better, perhaps online messenger, or via cellphone calling or texting. I believe the first step to a good foundation is communication. I believe communication is important with friendships, relationships, even networking. I do text but I prefer to use the phone so I can really get a feel for the person and vice versa. So I will be the first to ask if you would like to talk and get to know each other better. I do understand I may not meet what you are looking for, but you should be open to giving me a chance… Oh and by the way, if you really don’t think I’m your cup of tea, I just ask for a polite email saying Thanks but no thanks…”
Apart from being a bit wordy, there was one problem with this introductory missive — A and I already connected seven months ago. We exchanged emails for weeks, then played phone tag for nearly as long. Though none of this culminated in a date, we communicated enough that it’s a little strange A chose to include me in his mass messaging.
A male friend of mine says, during his online dating days, he used a spreadsheet to keep track of everyone he connected with. After receiving A’s misdirected introductory message, I think he may be onto something.