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Monday, March 04, 2024

Online Dating: Finding love in a new city

After reading your profile I'm wondering if I sent you a wink, said Hey, and finished with " u r sexi," if that'd get you to respond. Lol not really. 

I'm Kirk though. Just getting situated down here. I moved here for my job and don't know many people so I'm on here trying to make friends. Sounds kinda corny but yeah.

Do you take summer classes? Journalism seems like it'd have to be something you loved doing to be able to do it successfully. I went to college for accounting and... Well... I work in sales now.

You seem like a pretty cool person, I look forward to hearing back from you.

Kirk is a 26-year-old salesman originally from New York. He spent the past year in Detroit and recently relocated to Fort Lauderdale. This self-proclaimed class clown is down for anything as long as it’s not illegal.

Another interesting fact about Kirk is that he may not even be real.

Kirk is just one of my many cyber suitors on a free online dating site referred to as PlentyOfFish.

Yes, that’s right. I have an online dating profile. I have no shame. And neither do an estimated 40 million people that have tried online dating all over the U.S.

I never quite understood online dating— how I could meet someone online and just hit it off. The whole idea seemed wildly shallow and impersonal, like a cyber meat market. What could possibly be the allure behind finding love online? 

My natural curiosity led me to start a profile for myself, and I instantly began to see a common theme within the slew of emails that flooded my inbox.

Sure, there are the guys that send you copy and pasted love poems that are as original as Ray’s Original Pizza, and I can’t even begin to dive into some of the sheer mental cases and presumed sex addicts I’ve encountered on the site. 

For the most part, the so-called normal guys that email me are between the ages of 20 – 33 and have just relocated to a new city for school or work. 

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It got me thinking about how difficult it is when you are starting a new chapter of your life in an unfamiliar place. When family and friends are at times too far for comfort, who can you turn to for love, companionship and support?

What makes a transition like this so challenging is that it is unlike any other move you may have experienced before. It’s not like you moved with your family, and you can easily meet other kids playing in the local park or in the school cafeteria.

On top of being a new to the area, you are so focused on your professional goals that going out to the bars until 3 a.m. in hopes of meeting people does not sound like a promising evening activity to be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for your 9 a.m. clock-in at work. 

Online dating has become an open forum for people to start new relationships— platonic and romantic— as they seek to find any iota of familiar human life forms in their new home base.

When a flexible social schedule is not available to you when you need it the most—

or you really just don’t feel like making the til’-home-do-us-part pact with those 6 inch pumps you would wear for a night on the prowl— creating a profile is only a click away.

The key is to be open-minded, but always stay safe and be smart.

The pictures you choose to upload should be recent and non-suggestive. If you really want to put up Myspace mirror pics in your bra and underwear, lips pursing like a duck and all, be my guest. Just don’t come crying to me when you are constantly fighting the urge to purge when you read what user MoneyBoi had to say about “dat ass.”

The nicest way to put it is you’ll definitely attract the wrong kind of attention from the wrong kind of guy.

It is also important to put honest and factual information about yourself in your profile. You don’t have to divulge your whole life story or talk about how you just love cats more than anything on God’s green earth, but adding a little interesting tidbit about you can go a long way.

Whatever you wish to say about yourself, for goodness sake make sure it’s true. If you smoke a pack a day, you shouldn’t put that you’re a non-smoker. If you haven’t actually been to that beach in Australia, don’t say it was the most beautiful place you’ve ever been to.

Don’t just say what you think people want to hear. Isn’t the whole point wanting the person to like you for you? Trust me, the real you will be just fine to the right one.

If you follow these simple initial steps and end up connecting with someone, make sure you make the best decisions with your safety in mind when it’s time to meet in person 

Always meet in a public place and make sure you have your own method of transportation to get to and from the meeting location.

He might seem cool, down-to-earth and even somewhat trustworthy, but remember you still have no idea who that stranger is sitting behind the screen.

I know online dating can sound kind of scary, but if you approach it with an open mind the possibilities will be endless. Every guy that emails you won’t be your soul mate or anything remotely close to it. It’s up to you to sift through the emails, read each one, and find your own diamond in the rough.

Rejection comes easily from both ends of the spectrum, but don’t get discouraged. After all, there really are plenty of other fish in the sea waiting to be the one to join you in your fish bowl.

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