The Non-Expert

The Joy of Internet Dating

Experts answer what they know. The Non-Expert answers anything. This week we discuss online dating: the hubbub, the hoopla, and the sexy stuff too.

Have a question? Need some advice? Ignored by everyone else? Send us your questions via email. The Non-Expert handles all subjects and is updated on Fridays, and is written by a member of The Morning News staff.


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Question: Do personal ads on the Internet really work?

Answer: As a child, you probably experimented with magnets. They stuck to metal perfectly, but if you placed a couple of magnets side-by-side, you felt a strong, repulsive force pushing them apart. So began the great motif of your entire life.

Many people can’t even speak to an attractive stranger without flowering into hives. Of those who can, only a small percentage is capable of weathering the inevitable ice storm that ensues. Devastating personal rejection is the norm, not the exception, and by the time you start hitting clubs and bars, most of the people you will meet are already stunted and deformed beyond recognition from years of crippling emotional abuse—degenerate ciphers who are totally incapable of sustaining interesting conversations (which require something interesting to say), eye contact (which requires bona-fide confidence), or genuine romantic intentions (which are strictly apocryphal). But don’t let that stop you!

The problem isn’t you—it’s the entire dating environment. Physical proximity has always been the bane of social interaction. Instead of satisfying a natural human need for contact and intimacy, you’re left worrying that your clothes are absurd, your armpits stink, your teeth are stained, your hair is ludicrously styled, or your compulsive habit of mumbling rare and frightening obscenities is off-putting to potential mates—all of which assumes you’ve found a person worth pursuing in the first place.

When you’re looking for love, you want to be comfortable, in your element, at ease. But what if you’re only comfortable wearing underwear made entirely of boiled hotdog skins? Internet dating is the answer.

Maybe you’re sick of circling the dance floor in the hopes of finding a compatible partner. Maybe you’ve had your fill of first dates that only lead to quick, aborted pregnancies. Stop wasting time and start living! When you place a personal ad on the Internet, the filtering process begins immediately. You’re also reaching a broader number of potential mates than you would via traditional print ads.

Your personal ad is all that people will have to go on before you begin instant-messaging complete strangers for eight hours a night, so make it good! The heading is the most important part of your ad. The more compelling your headline, the more potential dates you’ll have to choose from. Make your headlines eye-catching:

First 1,000 Hours Free!

XHTML 1.0 Transitional!

No Credit Card Required!


So Easy, No Wonder I’m #1!

The body of your ad is where you talk about yourself. Whatever you do, don’t be honest. If you were the kind of person people wanted to date, you wouldn’t be writing a personal ad on the Internet. Now is your time to shine. If you’re pretty, say ‘gorgeous.’ If you’re short, say ‘tall.’ If you’re into dangerous kinky sex, say you’re into ‘extremely dangerous kinky sex.’

Including a photo is a great idea, as long it’s not a photo of you. If no one else’s photo is available, keep it blurry. Only show yourself from the neck down—or the neck up! The more you leave to the imagination, the more likely it is that someone will find you attractive.

Once you’ve posted your ad, it’s time to sit back and wait for someone to contact you. Before rushing headlong into a relationship with the first person to answer your ad, spend a few days getting to know exactly whom you’re dealing with. This is your only chance to determine whether or not you’re dealing with a pervert, pathological psycho killer, or anonymous blood relative before the two of you meet face-to-face. But why meet at all?

Drop those Trojans, ladies and germs, and grab a box of Nortons. With broadband Internet access gaining popularity, streaming audio and video is hotter than ever. No more mutual long-distance masturbation at the speed of 56K. Now, you can make love at speeds up to 50x faster than traditional dialup connections, all 100-percent virus-free. You’ll never set foot in a filthy bar—or stranger’s bedroom—again.