*This is a guest post about the dangers of online dating by my friend Matt of MattLawrence.net. Follow him on Twitter here and if you’re in the need of logos, illustrations, or book covers – make sure to check out his offerings.
We’ve all been there. You’re too lazy to go to the bar. Too drunk to go to the coffee shop. Too many restraining orders to ever return to the mall. What’s left? Internet dating! It sounds great on paper. You can meet a girl, text for a few hours, grab some drinks and maybe even get laid. Sound great? Not so fast, Speedy Gonzales. The dangers of online dating lurk around every corner. What are you up against when attempting to find the one night stand of your dreams? Let’s take a look at some common pitfalls in the online dating world.
Spend 30 seconds on OkCupid, Tinder or Plenty of Fish and you’ll discover one of the most obvious dangers of online dating: Obesity. Shambling shoggoths lurk around every virtual corner, and if you aren’t careful they’ll ensnare you in their folds of love. Secret Internet Fatties come in two varieties:
The correct camera angle and lighting conditions can hide a surprising number of flaws, and these lardy lasses have spent enough hours perfecting visual trigonometry to earn a degree. Combine camera angle mastery with general female trickery such as strapping in a gut with a corset, and you have a recipe for a minimum 2 point loss when you meet an Angler in person. How do you know you may have a McDonalds denizen on your hands? A sharp eye will tell the true story. Keep a lookout for:
- Tightly-cropped, face-only pics, no body shots. If you can’t see the chub, it doesn’t exist, right? SIFs believe strongly in the power of denial. Anybody who’s in shape won’t be afraid of a full-body pic, so dodge the face-only females.
- No natural lighting, ever. So, you think darkness is your ally? Bright light certainly isn’t the SIF’s friend, as they rely frequently reply upon dark rooms for cover. Remember this handy rule: Don’t swipe right if there’s no bright light.
- Pics with friends (aka the “cheerleader effect”). Chubsters occasionally try to hide their rolls in plain sight by camouflaging themselves amongst other, hotter females. Careful when hammering that red heart, lest you match with the worst dog in the pack.
The Time Traveler
It’s difficult (sometimes impossible) to defend against this particular form of disinformation – women who post old pictures of themselves. Time Travelers know their best days are behind them and hope to fool you into falling in love with the past.
One of my biggest SIF surprises came when I scheduled a date at the zoo, only to discover I was on a date with actual megafauna. This mastodon appeared in the form of a female who was a solid 75 pounds heftier than her pictures would indicate. I mentioned that she didn’t quite look like her pics and she said, “Yeah they’re a little old. Mostly from high school.” This particular specimen was 28, using pics from over a decade prior. Had I not dropped $15 on an animal adventure (I wanted to see the otters, dammit), I’d have about-faced and walked out the door.
The only way to spot a Time Traveler is to examine the photo carefully, looking for time-specific cues. Is there a Bop It and an N’Sync poster in the background? She was probably hot in 1998, but if you show up to a date, you’d better bring a Burger King gift card.
Catfishing is a real danger with online dating, as the person you’re talking to might not be the one you think it is. In addition to the fattie deception you already read about, dating sites like OkCupid and especially Craigslist are ripe hunting grounds for catfishers.
I’ve never had this personally happen, but my bro Bojangles has quite the story about hollering at a girl over Facebook. When he showed up, she was a completely different person. I’ve had a few other friends suspect that the girl (never as good looking) wasn’t the same one in the pics she was using.
Gay guys are another catfish catastrophe waiting to happen. Since I’ve done a considerable amount of Craigslist dating, I’ve run into dozens of gay dudes posing as women trying to scam a dick pic or blow job. You can always recognize these catfisherman by the strangely aggressive attitude. Actual women rarely bring up sex or ask for shirtless pics. An actual woman will almost never try to get cock shots. Do yourself a favor and reverse image search any pic a “girl” sends you unless you want a guy getting down to a pic of your nuts.
Now that you know it isn’t all smiles and rainbows on the internet, you’ll be able to better recognize the dangers of online dating. There’s plenty more where that came from, but hey, you’ll never earn any good stories if you don’t go on a few tragic dates for yourself. Get out there, get online and see what happens!