Sooner or later, every man must confront one or more of the Great Questions of Existence. How voluptuous can a beard really be? If a man farts in a forest, and no one is around to hear it, did it really happen? And of course: to (internet) troll, or not to (internet) troll?
Even if you’ve never thought seriously about online dating, chances are you have some opinion about looking for love (or easy ass) along the information superhighway. Although historically reserved for socially-stunted techheads and Dungeons and Dragons enthusiasts, web-enabled coupling seems to have lost some of its stigma in recent years, thanks no doubt to the rising popularity of online social networking sites and the unsettling dearth of yentas in modern America. In fact, it seems that more and more normies are looking to dot coms for help in the romance department, so if your family is on your case for never bringing someone to Thanksgiving, or if you’re just tired of hearing that nagging mental soundtrack played in the key of pathetic every time you go stag to a married-people party, then maybe – just maybe – it’s time to do as the incomprehensibly-successful-internet-couples do and get thee to the interwebs.
There are a few things to consider when deciding what kind of site might be right for your special brand of electronic lady-hunting. One: how creepy are you? As in, would you rather cyber-stalk in peace and anonymity or chat directly with a potential paramour? Two: do you want someone to do the work for you and send you an email roundup of possible dates, or are you the kind of person who likes to spread your net wide and see what gets caught in it? And three: what kind of woman do you want to meet? To get you started, here’s a thumbnail guide, based on our very own 99%-accurate snap judgments and some extremely informal on-the-street polling:
Match.com: One of the first dating sites to become popular, and thusly, a good place to find old-school online daters (cough, cougars. Fun fact! A Google search for “cougars” will yield a sponsored link for Match.com). Be prepared to feel like you’re back on MySpace, though, because there isn’t a lot of content filtering, and some women say they’re overwhelmed by spam messages from guys who don’t know how to spell very well. If you’re one of those guys, however, go with god.
Nerve.com personals: The place to find “alternative” girls (read: freaky, experimental) and girls who own at least one “I love nerds” t-shirt. Free to use, which is good if you’re broke, but not so good if you’re looking for a gold digger who will maintain her physique as long as you maintain your liquid assets.
OkCupid.com: A more recent addition to the online dating world, and one that seems to appeal to girls who enjoy Facebook-esque web aesthetics and who aren’t afraid to confront the prospect of chatting in real time. This is a good place to find easy ass, as you can just go around messaging any girl you think is cute with the short, to-the-point, “wanna hook up?” In fact, it’s practically required.
Chemistry.com: A less-intense version of eHarmony that promises to match you based on “chemistry” (how the internet figures out chemistry we’ll never know, but who are we to question science?). Women join this site after being tempted by commercials featuring mildly attractive couples discussing their mildly annoying promises to one another For All Eternity, though, so you’re probably going to have trouble finding one-nighters or threesome participants here.
Craigslist.com personals: A hit-or-miss repository for bizarre sexual needs and emotional desires, fit for anyone who can manage to sober up enough to type “craigslist.com” and click “enter”. If you’re interested in being videotaped by strangers or exploring the world of whimsical role-playing, then this is absolutely the site for you.
JDate: The place to go if you want to keep it in the tribe. You’ll find Jewish girls (as well as the occasional opportunistic shiksa), but if you aren’t one of the Chosen, then you might have a tough time getting anyone to respond to your advances.
… and the godfather, eHarmony.com: the one that promises to find you The One, eHarm is the place to go if you’re all of a sudden hit with a big settle-down stick. After proving your seriousness through series of approximately 100,000 multiple-choice questions, you’ll receive emails with potential matches and guides as to how to communicate with those matches, so it’s a lot more involved but promises a much higher success rate (at least according to approximately 2.75 people) than the others. Besides JDate. But that doesn’t count, its mystically-written/cosmically-ordained advantage.
BUT WAIT. After thoughtfully choosing the perfect site, or just joining the first one you see, you still have to complete one more step before you can peruse the goods: crafting a profile. Most of the sites will ask you some uncomfortably intrusive questions, but remember that even though you have little to no intention of actually reading what women write on these things, they have every intention of judging you harshly by what you include on yours. Some general things to avoid: LOL-ing at yourself within your own profile; declaring ‘that’s what she said’ when asked to state your biggest accomplishment; answering every question with ‘this is stupid’ or ‘why do I have to answer this?’ – the jig is up, you’re putting yourself on a website to get a date, that’s why; and posting pictures of yourself posing with hot women, even if you really are related to them.
So, there you go. Short of us creating a profile for you and making you sound less desperate than you probably are, you’re on your own for the rest; just remember not to demand home addresses or naked photos until you’ve established some sort of rapport with your new internet friends. Women, for some unknown reason, don’t find this particularly attractive.